C. Employment

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "PSU.V.C.1.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)

1.   Faculty Flexibility and Work/Life Balance Policies

Certain procedural elements of the broader USNH FMLA policy must be followed by faculty when taking leave under the Faculty Flexibility and Work/Life Balance Policies. Please review the procedural elements of the broader, USY.V.C.19 or contact Human Resources for guidance.

1.1   Qualifying Condition/Events: Certain qualifying conditions/events provide faculty with the option for leave under the faculty Flexibility and Work/Life Balance policies. These qualifying conditions/events are as follows:

1.1.1   upon the birth of the employee's child;

1.1.2   upon the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;

1.1.3   when the employee is needed to care for a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition;

1.1.4   when the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position because of a serious health condition;

1.1.5   to (i) care for a member of the US Armed Forces who incurred a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the US Armed Forces; or to (ii) deal with a "qualifying exigency" arising out of a family member's active duty service or call to active duty in the US Armed Forces; or any combination of the two, is considered military-related FMLA leave.

1.2   Types of Leaves available under Faculty Flexibility and Work/Life Balance Policies

1.2.1   Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for Faculty. A family and/or medical leave shall be defined as an approved absence available to eligible faculty members for up to 12 weeks per year calendar year. A calendar year is defined as a "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. To be eligible for leave under this policy a faculty member must have been employed within USNH for at least 12 months in total and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period preceding the commencement of the leave. Leaves under FMLA for faculty are available for the qualifying conditions/events noted above.

1.2.2   Parental Leave for Birth or Adoption of a Child. A Parental Leave for Birth or Adoption of a Child shall be defined as an approved paid leave of absence to an eligible faculty member who becomes a mother or father through birth or adoption for a maximum of twelve (12) weeks of paid leave of absence starting with the arrival of the child.   The faculty member shall inform his/her supervisor in writing, as early as possible, of the intent to use parental leave.   Parental leave will replace post-natal pregnancy-related disability leave (USY V.A.4.13.6). Pre-natal pregnancy-related disability leave is available only under the policies outlined in USY V.A.4.13.6.   When both parents work for Plymouth State University, the maximum combined leave they may take is 12 weeks.   If the faculty member decides to return to work prior to the end of 12 weeks, s/he shall provide written notice at least 14 days prior to the return date.   If the faculty member accrues vacation/sick leave, the period of parental leave shall first include the use of accumulated sick leave.   Paid leave taken under this provision shall run concurrently with any leave granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

1.2.3   "Faculty Leave for Exigencies" (FLE). Faculty members not yet eligible for FMLA leave may apply for a Faculty Leave for Exigencies (FLE). The FLE would be available for new faculty at PSU who have not completed the minimum one (1) year of employment (approximately 1250 hours). The FLE provides new faculty with leave time similar to FMLA for the qualifying conditions/events noted above.

1.3   Special Considerations:

1.3.1   A faculty member may request release from teaching assignments for the balance of the semester when FMLA or FLE leave will be three (3) or more weeks during the semester. In this case, the Department Chair in consultation with the faculty member, Dean and Provost will determine alternate work assignments for the period following the end of the FMLA or FLE leave.

1.3.2   Military leave taken under FMLA or FLE to care for an injured armed service member may be for up to 26 weeks.

1.3.3   Further, no combination of military related, FMLA or FLE can extend beyond 26 weeks in any 12-month period.

2.   Lactation Policy

2.1   Rationale. Plymouth State University is in compliance with New Hampshire State law, RSA 132:10-d: Breastfeeding in New Hampshire and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 4207). In support of the institution's family friendly initiatives, the university understands the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, and recognizes and respects the need to accommodate lactating mothers who choose to nurse or express breast milk upon their return to work, without discrimination.

2.2   Policy Statement. Plymouth State University will provide a workplace that supports a decision of an employee to breastfeed when she returns to work. This policy therefore seeks to accommodate the needs of employees within the context of the needs of the University and individual work units. The University will provide an employee reasonable, flexible time and will make reasonable efforts to provide a location to nurse or express breast milk during work hours. Additionally, it is the policy of the Plymouth State University to prohibit discrimination and harassment of breastfeeding employees who exercise their rights under this policy.

2.3   Applicability of the Policy

2.3.1   All units of the University; and

2.3.2   University faculty, staff, graduate, research and teaching assistants

2.4   Procedures: Supervisor and Employee Responsibilities

2.4.1   The supervisor should be aware of the need to support employees who intend to breastfeed and should accommodate reasonable requests to meet this need.

2.4.2   The supervisor and employee will work together to develop a reasonable, flexible work schedule that is mutually convenient for the employee and the work unit. It may include such options as the use of break times to use a breast pump at work; flexible start and finish times; or allowing lunch and/or other breaks to coincide with lactation/breastfeeding needs. The time allowed will not exceed the standard time allowed for lunch and/or breaks. For time above and beyond standard lunch and breaks, PAT sick/annual leave or earned time/sick pool for OS must be used (see respective employee handbook at https://campus.plymouth.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/resources/) or the employee can come in earlier, leave later, or take a shorter lunch.

2.4.3   The supervisor will work with the employee to identify a suitable, private location to nurse or express milk. The room will have accessible electrical outlets for electric breast pump use and a sink close by with a clean, safe water source. If there is adequate privacy, the room could include an employee's own office space or a lockable conference room. If such a room does not exist in the building that houses the work unit, arrangements will be made to allow the employee to use one of the campus lactation rooms. Information on the University's Lactation rooms may be accessed at: http://www.plymouth.edu/office/pcsw/.

2.4.4   Decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.

2.4.5   Employees and supervisors who have concerns or questions regarding the Plymouth State University Lactation Policy should contact Human Resources at (603) 535-2250.

2.4.6   Employees who believe they have been denied appropriate accommodation or that this policy may have been violated should contact Human Resources at (603) 535-2250.

This page last updated Thursday, December 7, 2023. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.