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Parental and Maternity Leave

The birth or adoption of a child is an exciting and life-changing experience. It’s important for parents to have time to focus on caring for and bonding with their new child.

This page will help you understand the leave options available to you as a new parent, and link you to helpful resources for before and after your baby arrives.

You can print a one-sheet version of our maternity leave guide here.

Before your baby arrives

Having a healthy baby starts well before you enter the delivery room. Here are some resources as you prepare for parenthood.

URMC’s planning for delivery guide: Tips on how to pre-register, what to have prepared ahead of your delivery day, and more.

Find a UR Medicine provider: Have a healthy pregnancy and delivery using one of the University of Rochester practices or the Highland Family Maternity Center.

Strong Beginnings maternity classes and tours: Take a variety of classes to help you transition to motherhood.

Highland Family Maternity Center classes and tours: Take classes covering childbirth, infant care, and breastfeeding.


Leave options when your baby is born

If you are giving birth to a child, you will qualify for Short-Term Disability for the time period your doctor considers you unable to work. Typically, new mothers receive 6 weeks of Short-Term Disability after the birth of their child. However, these are only guidelines, and your actual disability length is set by your doctor with medical support.

Your pay rate during this period is set according to the University’s policy on Short-Term Disability.

  • When your doctor determines you are no longer able to work, call Hartford Disability at (866) 548-3101 to open a Short-Term Disability claim. Please note: STD is paid on your regular pay cycle through the University (not through Hartford).
    • Don’t call too early: Plan to call about 2 weeks before your due date.
  • When you deliver your baby, call Hartford again and give them the “actual” delivery date.
  • Be sure your physician provides Hartford (not Leave Administration or your department) with updated medical information by completing the Attending Physician Statement provided by Hartford.

Leave options for bonding with your baby

For those parents who adopt, whose partner gives birth to a child, or for mothers taking time beyond Short-Term Disability to bond with a child, there are several types of leave you might be eligible for. Depending on the type, these leaves are paid, partially paid, or unpaid.

For those parents who adopt, whose partner gives birth to a child, or mothers taking time beyond Short-Term Disability to bond with a child, you may be eligible for New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL). PFL allows partial pay for up to 12 weeks of bonding time with your child during the first 12 months following the birth, adopted, or foster placement of the child.

If you have just given birth, the Short-Term Disability team at Hartford will discuss PFL with you while you’re on disability. They will explain the process and share any required documentation to ensure a seamless process.

Step 1: Be sure to communicate with Hartford and your supervisor on your intentions to remain out of work once your Short-Term Disability ends to begin your PFL bonding time. Hartford will request employer information from Leave Administration, which will be provided to Hartford within 3 business days.

Step 2: Be sure you have provided Hartford with the dates you wish to bond. Hartford will process your PFL claim, and payments will be received from Hartford for any PFL time.

Remember, if you are eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it will automatically run concurrently with PFL when bonding is taken in a “block of time”. There is no FMLA paperwork to complete. Intermittent bonding is covered under PFL. Intermittent bonding is not covered under FMLA.

Payment under PFL will come directly from the Hartford to the employee and will not be paid through the University payroll.

To open a claim, call Hartford at (866) 548-3101 no more than 30 days in advance. Find additional PFL resources below.

For those parents who adopt, whose partner gives birth to a child, or mothers taking time beyond Short Term Disability to bond with a child, you may be eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA leave is unpaid and runs concurrent with other types of leave such as Short-Term Disability, Faculty Parental Leave and Paid Family Leave.

FMLA is for a maximum of 12 weeks in a rolling 52 week period.

In order to be eligible for FMLA, you must have worked for the University for 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediate 12 months prior to the start of your disability.

If you are eligible, FMLA will automatically run concurrently with your Short-Term Disability. There is no paperwork for you to complete.

Faculty members who have already taken 2 weeks of Faculty Parental Leave and 10 weeks of PFL would not be eligible for FMLA leave. However since FMLA leave can be taken in ½ hour increments while PFL must be taken in whole day increments, there may be situations where FMLA leave is more appropriate for you.

Find additional FMLA resources below.

For those parents who adopt or whose partner gives birth to a child, you may be eligible for 2 weeks of paid Faculty Parental Leave as described in the University of Rochester Faculty Handbook. Under this policy, “All full-time and part-time benefits-eligible faculty members can request paid leave as long as the faculty member is the primary caregiver for the child. If both parents work for the University, only one parent can be designated as a primary caregiver.”

Please note that Faculty Parental Leave runs concurrently with other leaves and cannot be used to create a double payment. See the University of Rochester Faculty Handbook for further details. Contact your department chair for guidance on Faculty Parental Leave.

Graduate students and postdocs can find more specific information on their options and benefits at the links above.

After your baby arrives

Life after a new baby comes home can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled some helpful resources to get you started on your journey.

UR Medicine breastfeeding inpatient and outpatient support: Learn more about breastfeeding, including what to expect your first month and the challenges you may face.

Breastfeeding and lactation support for University employees: The
UR Medicine Breastfeeding & Lactation Services department has resources and contacts for University employees who need additional information and support.

Lactation rooms on University campuses: Locations for rooms on the River Campus and Medical Center Campus.

Lactation consultation: To speak with a lactation consultant by phone at no cost, call (585) 275-9575 and someone will return your call within 24 hours.

Breastfeeding classes and support for University employees: Consider attending a support group or a Baby Café.

New York State Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights: Discover your rights from the New York State Department of Health.

Newborn safety: Discover the practices that have been put in place by the hospital to keep your newborn safe, along with dos and don’ts for parents.

Strong Beginnings maternity classes and tours: Take a variety of classes to help you transition to parenthood.

How to choose a pediatrician: Get tips on finding the right pediatrician for your newborn.

Accountable Health Partners (AHP) website: Find a pediatrician within the AHP network.

Golisano Children’s Hospital pediatric specialists: Find the best doctors for your child’s special medical needs.

NYS Car Seat Laws: Review the rules and regulations for transporting children in a motor vehicle.

Postpartum conditions: Understand common conditions that occur after having a baby, and what should you do if you are experiencing these issues.

Still have questions?

We’re here to help.

See contact information for the University of Rochester’s Ask-URHR help center and reach out for more assistance.

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