Maternity and Paternity Leave in Austin, Texas: What Are the Limitations?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks unpaid work-protected maternity/paternity leave but Texas does not have any state family laws that require private employers to grant it.

Maternity and Paternity Leave in Austin, Texas: What Are the Limitations?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, work-protected leave. Unfortunately, Texas does not have any state family laws that require private employers to grant maternity or paternity leave. Therefore, employees can only rely on the federal FMLA for their maternity or paternity leave. This leave can be taken up to twelve months after the birth of a child.

Some mothers choose to take advantage of sick days and vacations to recover from childbirth and then take FMLA leave later in the year, when it's best for their families. All employees, except those in positions that require student status as a condition of employment, are entitled to the holidays provided by the Legislature in the current Appropriations Act and approved annually by the Executive Vice President for Business Affairs, or to alternative holidays approved in the official calendars of the various institutions by the Executive Vice President for Business Affairs. Vacations for eligible employees, including teachers appointed for 12 months, will be in accordance with state law. Holidays for eligible full and part-time employees will be calculated as a percentage for the designated time, regardless of whether they are paid monthly or hourly.

Eligible employees accumulate vacation hours based on length of state service. Taking into account first of all the interests of the institution and for good cause, unpaid leave may be granted for a period within the term of appointment of any professor or staff, subject to the general conditions included here. The Chancellor or the President, or the person he appoints, can grant leave of absence for the first year or part of it or a second consecutive year of leave. Leave of absence for the third consecutive year will be granted only for the reasons described in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 below, after review and approval by the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor.

Development licenses for faculty members can be granted as set forth in Section 51,101 et seq. of the Texas Education Code. Prior approval by the president of an institution is required. The law states that after two consecutive academic years at the same institution, faculty members can be eligible for teacher development leave for one academic year with half their regular salary or for half an academic year with their full regular salary.

Such licenses shall be granted in accordance with the procedures described in the Act and with the limitations contained therein. As set forth in Section 661,911 of the Texas Government Code, the president or president of an institution can grant administrative leave without deduction in salary to an employee as a reward for outstanding performance, as documented in employee performance evaluations. The total amount of administrative leave an employee can be granted under this law cannot exceed 32 hours in a tax year. Parental leave for all employees will be governed by state law, as set forth in Section 661.913 of the Texas Government Code.

This law gives supervisors responsibility to approve applications for parental leave for those employees who do not qualify for family and medical leave due to the birth of a natural child or adoption or placement in foster care with an employee of a child under 3 years old. Employees must first use all available and appropriate vacation and sick leave before taking unpaid parental leave. Parental leave may not exceed twelve weeks. Sick leave for all employees, including teachers, non-teaching staff, and classified personnel, will be provided as provided by state law.

The compensation time for employees exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act will be determined by the president or president of an institution in question, or their respective appointees, and will be set forth in their policy and procedures. In case of death of an employee who has accumulated sick leave, inheritance will be paid out as permitted by law at rate of compensation paid to employee at time of death. It is necessary to grant time off necessary to be a juror without loss of pay or vacation. A leave of no more than 15 business days in any federal fiscal year is granted to employees who must participate in training or service authorized, ordered, or authorized by appropriate authority as members of National Guard or Official Texas Militia or members of any Armed Forces reserve institutions.

During these periods employee is absent without loss of efficiency rating, vacation time, or salary; upon relief from military service employee regains position and status previously held. Full paid leave will be granted to any employee who is called to active duty in National Guard by governor of Texas. Such leave shall not be attributed to employee's vacation or sick leave privileges. The commercial director at each institution may prescribe forms and procedures for such licenses.

Any employee can apply for and receive unpaid leave up to 12 weeks a year for family and medical reasons specified in Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 1993 (29 United States Code section 29). Eligibility criteria are defined in Act. Upon expiration 12 weeks FMLA leave taken according to Family and Medical Leave Act employee may be entitled to unpaid leave according Section 3 above. In addition employee may be entitled to paid leave related COVID-19 pandemic under Families First Coronavirus Response Act as specified Family Medical Leave Act 1993 (29 Code Sec.).

Eligible employee entitled combined total 26 workweeks under Sections 12 13 Rule during only 12-month period described.

Tammy Staiano
Tammy Staiano

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