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Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Being Pregnant but Were Afraid To Ask

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FIRST STEPS

I (we’re) pregnant! What should I do regarding my job; who do I tell? When do I tell them? What are the things I need to take into consideration?

If you know in advance that you will need time off, you must give at least 30 days advance notice. If you learn of your need for leave less than 30 days in advance, you must notify Human Resources as soon as you can; generally the day you hear of the need or the next workday.

Do I need a doctor’s verification of pregnancy?

The Human Resources Offices will send FMLA/CFRA documents within five business days from the employees first notification of needing time off which include whether medical certification is required.

Will the district use my personal leave for compensation during pregnancy leave?

Pregnancy Leave

 Unit members may claim personal leave pay and/or extended disability leave pay for absence due to disabilities caused by or contributed to pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery there from. (Article 6.2.4 of the VTA contract).

How many personal leave days do I get per school year?

12 days

Does it accumulate and transfer to the next year, or do I lose my personal leave every year?

Leave is accumulated and carried over to the next year. There is no limit on accumulated leave.

Will the district apply personal leave first to my pregnancy leave?

Yes

TYPES OF LEAVES

What is the difference among pregnancy leave, bonding leave, and child rearing leave? How long do all these last? When do the pregnancy/bonding/child rearing leaves start?

Pregnancy Leave: May use personal leave pay and/or extended disability leave pay for absence due to disabilities caused of contributed to pregnancy. (Article 6.2.4 of VTA contract).

 Baby Bonding: Entitles up to 12 workweeks (60 days) for baby bonding.   Personal Leave is reduced; differential will apply if PL is exhausted. Your health and welfare benefits are protected for 12 weeks (you still pay your portion).

 If both parents are employed by the District, each parent is entitled up to 12 workweeks (60) days of baby bonding.

 Child Rearing Leave: Leave without pay, up to two (2) consecutive years. (Article 6.2.5 of VTA contract).

What is the difference in maternity leave for natural childbirth and C-section births?

Natural childbirth – may use up to 6 weeks of personal leave – leave may be extended with written statement from a physician.

 C-Section – may use 8 weeks of personal leave – leave may be extended with written statement from a physician.

What happens if I have multiple children at once? (Twins/triplets, etc.), do I get more leave?

No – FMLA entitles eligible employees to take 12 workweeks of leave during any 12 month period.

How are adoptions and/or foster care different from giving birth in terms of all of the leaves?

Adoption/or foster care is not covered under pregnancy leave. You may use baby bonding leave.

Is there paper work involved when there is an adoption or foster care situation? What are the forms?

Yes, the Human Resources Offices will send FMLA/CFRA documents within five business days from the employee’s first notification of needing time off.

What if there are complications for the mother or child after birth?

Mother may use extended disability leave for own self (Article 6.2.3 of VTA contract).

 If the child has complications after birth, all accumulated personal leave and/or 12 weeks of baby bonding may be used.

 What happens if there is a miscarriage or stillbirth?

Employee may use Pregnancy Leave (Article 6.2.4 of VTA contract).

Employee may use Bereavement Leave (Article 6.2.6 of VTA contract).   

 Can baby bonding leave be used intermittently?

Yes, baby bonding leave may be used intermittently but must be used within one year of the birth or placement.

If I have a baby over the summer, can I take the baby bonding leave in August? Can I take pregnancy leave?

Yes, 12 weeks of baby bonding may be used anytime within one year for birth or placement.  

Pregnancy leave may be used after summer break if the employee is disabled due to or contributed to by pregnancy.

How old does the child have to be for me to get baby bonding leave?

Birth or up to 18 years for adoption or foster care placement. This includes stepchildren.

If I am not ready to come back after my pregnancy leave and baby bonding is over, what type of leave would I use?

Child Rearing Leave Unpaid (Article 6.2.5 of VTA contract)

In the new school year, if I wanted to take a whole semester off, who do I talk to? What if I don’t have enough personal leave to use during this time?

After the use of 6/8 weeks of personal leave and 12 weeks of baby bonding, the employee may request an unpaid child rearing leave of absence (Article 6.2.5 of VTA contract). For questions, please contact the Human Resources Department.

Are there any other leave provisions to tap into?

This depends on circumstances. Please contact Human Resources.

DISABILITY and HEALTH INSURANCE

 Who do I inform about my disability insurance and how does it work with pregnancy?

Since this is a private policy purchased directly from an insurance company, you work with the company that issued the policy.

How can I find more information about my disability and insurance details?

For disability insurance – please contact agency that issued the policy.

For health insurance, please contact the Human Resources Office.

 For the Employee Assistance Program, please contact the Human Resources Office.

Apart from CTA companies, are there any other disability leave insurance options for me?

Aflac and American Fidelity policies are offered through the District. Certificated employees do not pay in to State Disability Insurance.

How does being off for a whole semester or year affect my health insurance?

While in paid status, which includes differential pay, health and welfare benefits remain intact. Employee still pays their portion.

 For unpaid leave of absence, the employee may choose to continue medical, dental and vision by self-pay.

What is differential pay and when does it start? How long does it last?

Differential pay is the difference between his/her own salary and the amount paid a substitute or the amount a substitute would have been paid had a substitute been employed. Differential applies if an employee has exhausted all their personal leave.

 Differential pay

  • up to 5 months due to extended disability
  • up to 18 weeks for pregnancy leave and baby bonding for birth parent
  • up to 12 weeks for baby bonding for non-birth parent

 Can I have differential pay even if I am collecting disability insurance?

  Yes

In terms of health insurance, does the current month cover the next month, or does it cover the same month?

 Same month.

Are benefits different for the parent who does not bear the child?

Pregnancy disability leave may not be used by non-birth parent.

 How do I get my child(ren) on my health insurance? How do I get them on my spouse’s insurance?

VUSD benefit eligible employees must complete enrollment forms that are obtained in the Human Resources Office.

How long do I have to put my child on my insurance policy or are they automatically covered?

 Newborn – within 60 days of birth. Coverage is effective from the date of birth.

Newly adopted children – within 60 days of physical custody. Coverage is effective from the date physical custody is obtained.

BEING GONE

How long does the district hold a teaching position if a teacher has permanent status and takes time off for a pregnancy? What if a teacher is probationary? What if the teacher takes off a whole semester or year?

The employee shall be allowed to return to the same site left, if there is a vacancy that has been filled by a long term substitute regardless of the employee permanency status.

How long can the same substitute work for the employee on leave?

The holder of a 30-day sub permit may serve as a substitute for no more than 30 days for any one teacher during the school year, except in a special education classroom, where the holder may serve for no more than 20 days for any one teacher during the school year.

 A credentialed substitute in the same subject area(s) may sub for the duration of the leave.

 Each case is unique. For questions please contact the Human Resources Department.

Can I choose my own substitute?

This should be a mutual decision with the site administrator.

Who is responsible for all of the teacher duties during the teacher’s absence?

Except in emergency situations, the regular teacher shall supply lesson plans for the first fifteen (15) days.

How do these different leaves affect my service credits for STRS retirement?

 Any dockings (not receiving full pay) will reduce a full year service credit. For approved leaves, employee may be eligible to purchase service credit. For more information, please visit www.calstrs.com/publication/purchase-additional-service-credit

 How do the different leaves affect permanent status, and salary scale advancement?

The teacher must serve 75% of the days school is in session to receive 1 year of district service credit for salary scale (step) advancement.  

 Probationary employees must serve 75% of the days school is in session to have served a complete year toward probationary status. Permanent status is attained after completing two complete consecutive years of service.

MISCELLANEOUS

 Lactation Accommodation

The district shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee each time she has a need to express breast milk. See board policy http://vusdca.schoolloop.com/file/1224132568400/1344704140366/1875771159444824359.pdf

What is the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and how does it all tie into this?

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster care placement of a child.

What benefits do I get from the California Teachers Association? The National Education Association?

 Disability Insurance is available through CTA.

 No benefits available through NEA.

What should I do if I can’t find the answer to my question here?

Please contact the Human Resources Department.

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