TO: Dr. Tony Frank, President

FROM: Dr. Paola Malpezzi Price, Chair and Members of the CWGE

SUBJECT: Recommendation for a Parental Leave Policy

DATE: July 25, 2013

In April 2009, the Commission on Women and Gender Equity recommended to the President’s Office that Colorado State University adopt a gender-neutral parental leave policy that is uniform across all university units.  A well-defined and attractive parental leave policy, consistent with what many peer institutions offer, will positively impact the University’s ability to hire and retrain new faculty and showcase CSU as a ‘family-friendly’ working institution.

This same recommendation came from the Work Life Committee in 2009.  The importance of having a well-defined and attractive parental leave policy is also supported by research that work family policies increase productivity (Perry-Smith & Blum, 2008) and are significant variables in attractiveness to join the organization (Bouris and Redouane Mekkaoui, 2010).  In addition, studies have concluded that the very presence, not necessarily use of, such programs attracts better employees, decreases worker stress, thereby increasing productivity (Meyer & Mukerjee, 2001).  Moreover, in public institutions, researchers report that family and maternal leave are the most preferred work-family programs (Queneau & Marmo, 2003).

During the 2009-2010 year the Commission has focused on a recommendation regarding how to implement this policy.  In the context of the current budgetary situation, we have the following recommendations that could be initial steps toward a more comprehensive family leave policy that could be implemented in the near future at relatively low cost to the university.

  • Allow the use of 60 days (or 480 hours) of sick leave for the care of newborn or adopted or child in foster care.  This modifies the Academic Faculty and Administrative Manual (F.3.2.2.) from the use of up to 20 days (or 160 hours) of sick leave for parental and family care leave – to the use of 60 days (or 480 hours).
  • Allow the use of 60 days (or 480 hours) of sick leave for the care of a family member with medical issues.  This modifies the Academic Faculty and Administrative Manual (F.3.2.2) from the use of up to 20 days (or 160 hours) of sick leave for parental and family care leave – to the use of 60 days (or 480 hours).
  • Add two weeks of paid leave for pregnancies after Short Term Disability (STD) benefits run out.  This would extend the leave period from 30 to 40 work days for both normal pregnancy and caesarian births (an extension is possible if there are complications).

The Commission plans to continue exploring the possibility of extending STD benefits with the appropriate people as well as the option of creating a leave bank for all CSU employees for use for parental and family leave.  This would address the needs for employees that have not accrued sick or annual leave.  In particular, this addresses the needs of faculty, staff and administrative professionals who are recently hired.

References

Bourhis, A. & Mekkaoui, R. (2010). “Beyond work-family balance: Are family-friendly organizations more attractive?”. Industrial Relations, 65: 98-117.

Meyer, C. & Swati, C. & Sestero, A. (2001). “Work-family benefits: Which ones maximize profits?”. Journal of Managerial Issues, 13: 17-28.

Perry-Smith & Blum, T. (2000). “Work-family human resource bundles and perceived organizational performance”. Academy of Management Journal, 43: 1107-1117.

Queneau, H. & Marmo, M. (2003). “Work-family benefits: What women want and negotiators should know”. Journal of Collective Negotiations, 30: 183-197.

Summary Report on Work/Life II, Spring 2009.

 

Copy of Recommendation