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Parental Leave for Graduate Assistants (Policy 7580)

University Policy 7580

Download a Printable Version of Policy 7580

Effective Date

January 2020

Responsible Party

Dean of the Graduate College, (208) 426-3647

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all Eligible Graduate Assistants. This policy does not apply to any other employment classification at Boise State University.

1. Policy Purpose

To promote Graduate Assistants’ ability to maintain a positive work-life balance by providing Parental Leave when enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program.

2. Policy Statement

Providing Parental Leave to an Eligible Graduate Assistant promotes enhanced work-life integration while pursuing a graduate degree at Boise State University. It is the policy of the University to provide Parental Leave to new Parents to support academic success while caring and bonding with a new child. New Parents have the option of requesting leave from their assistantship responsibilities for Parental Leave purposes. This policy does not refer to academic requirements or responsibilities.

3. Definitions

3.1 Eligible Graduate Assistant

To be eligible for Parental Leave, a Graduate Assistant (Graduate Service Assistant, GSA; Graduate Teaching Assistant, GTA; Graduate Research Assistant, GRA) must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The Eligible Graduate Assistant must have been enrolled in a graduate degree program at Boise State University, with a minimum of five (5) semester credits, with a minimum .25 FTE assistantship during the semester immediately prior to the semester when the leave is to be taken. In the case of a fall appointment, an appointment and enrollment the previous spring will also meet the eligibility requirement.
  • During the semester when the Leave is to be taken, the graduate assistant must be appointed with a minimum .25 FTE graduate assistantship and be enrolled in the minimum number of credits required to hold an assistantship.
  • Eligible Graduate Assistants must be in good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree.

3.2 Parent

An Eligible Graduate Assistant who is the biological or adoptive Parent in either a birth or adoption.

3.3 Parental Leave

Parental Leave refers to paid time off following the birth of the Graduate Assistant’s child or the legal placement of a child with the Graduate Assistant for purpose of adoption. The maximum amount of paid Parental Leave is six (6) weeks following the birth or adoption of a child.

4. Responsibilities and Procedures

4.1 Use of Parental Leave

a. Parental Leave may be used following the birth of a Graduate Assistant’s child, or for the legal placement of a child with the Graduate Assistant for purposes of adoption. The Parental Leave six (6) week period must be completed within twelve (12) weeks of the birth or adoption, but does not extend past the end of the contract term (e.g., 12-month, 9-month, or summer). If the birth or adoption occurs prior to the beginning of the contract term, any remainder of the twelve-week period that occurs during the next contract term may be taken.

b. A Graduate Assistant may use only one Parental Leave period per birth or adoption. The number of children born or adopted does not increase the amount of Parental Leave. Parental Leave is never eligible for payment upon separation from employment. If two parents are Graduate Assistants, they may each use Parental Leave.

c. Parental Leave must be used in one continuous block of time, not intermittently.

d. The timing of the leave with continued salary, health insurance, and tuition support is required to coincide with the Graduate Assistant’s funding contract with the appropriate academic department or unit.

4.2 Advance Notice and Work Plan

a. To request Parental Leave, the Graduate Assistant must complete a Parental Leave for Graduate Assistants Form and submit it to the Graduate Assistant’s supervisor. The Graduate Assistant’s supervisor will then forward it to the department head/chair/lead, the Graduate College, and Human Resources.

b. Approval of Parental Leave is secured after the Graduate College confirms the Graduate Assistant meets the eligibility requirements as defined in Section 3.1.

c. Funding for Parental Leave is provided by the Graduate College. Funding in an amount equal to the actual cost of work coverage will be provided to the department, not to exceed 110% of the pro-rated salary of the Graduate Assistant on leave. The supervisor and department head/chair/lead are responsible for obtaining work coverage.

d. Parental leave must be requested at least sixty (60) days prior to the child’s anticipated due date/adoption date, absent any unforeseeable circumstances.

4.3 Return to Work Expectations

After the end of the Parental Leave period, it is expected that the Graduate Assistant will return to normal assistantship duties and graduate studies to complete the degree program. The University encourages faculty to be flexible in their expectations of new Parents, so the demands of graduate study may become balanced with new parental responsibilities. Good communication between the Graduate Assistant and their major advisor and assistantship supervisor is required to assist the Graduate Assistant with easing back into their University activities.

4.4 International Students

Eligible Graduate Assistants who are studying at Boise State University on a visa should consult with the Center for Global Education, International Student Services to talk about their plans for Parental Leave and to determine if these plans are permissible under their visas.

5. Forms

Parental Leave for Graduate Assistants Form

6. Related Information

University Policy 7170 (Graduate Assistantships)