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Faculty Parental Leave Policy

Bentley University supports full-time faculty who have a new child through birth, adoption, or foster care and who want to take time to bond with and care for their new child.  The support may take the form of unpaid FMLA leave, paid childbirth and parental leave, and teaching release, depending on the faculty’s member’s needs and eligiblility. This policy applies to full-time faculty.


Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Full-time faculty members may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12 month period following the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, in accordance with the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA).  Additional time for multiple births may be permitted under MPLA. Faculty should refer to the university’s FMLA policy or the MPLA policy on the Human Resources webpage to understand both their rights and responsibilities.  Faculty members must notify Human Resources of all requests for FMLA/MPLA leave.


If FMLA is not taken immediately following birth/placement, the faculty member should discuss the timing of FMLA leave with their Department Chair to balance the need to care for and bond with the child and the university’s need to minimize the impact of the leave on student learning.


Paid Leave

Childbirth/Parental Leave: Birth mothers are eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave (8 weeks of childbirth leave following childbirth to provide time off for recovery plus 4 weeks of parental leave for bonding time).  The paid childbirth leave generally would begin following the birth of the child and occur over eight consecutive weeks. If a birth mother wants to take the four weeks of parental leave at a later time, she should discuss the timing of the parental leave with her department chair.


Parental Leave: Spouses/partners of birth mothers, adoptive parents and foster parents are eligible for 4 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth or placement of a child to provide bonding time.  Parental leave should be taken within 12 months after the birth or placement of the child. 


The faculty member’s base pay and benefits will continue during these paid leaves.  The paid leaves will run concurrently with leaves available through FMLA or MPLA.


Parental Teaching Release

In addition to the leaves described above, faculty who are the primary caregivers for a newborn or newly adopted or foster child are eligible for up to one semester of teaching release.  Primary caregiving is defined as spending the majority of time caring for the child during the teaching release period. The teaching release can be taken within one year after the birth or placement of the child.  The faculty member must discuss the timing of this release with their Department Chair and have the timing approved by the Provost’s Office. The period of teaching release may run concurrently with FMLA/MPLA leave and/or paid leave, depending on the timing of the leave in relation to the birth or placement of a child.


This is a one semester release from teaching responsibilities; the faculty member should discuss any service or research responsibilities with their Department Chair. 


Approval Process

All parental leaves and teaching releases must be approved by the Department Chair, Dean, Provost and Human Resources.



Reference the Faculty Manual, Section 5.9.3 Criteria for Appointments with Tenure, to understand the impact of a leave/teaching release on the faculty member’s tenure clock.



Approved: April 2018


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