Leave Benefit Enhancements for Staff and AAPs

Frequently Asked Questions

Paid Parental Leave

If you worked for Georgetown for at least one full year in a benefits-eligible position at the time your child was born or was placed in your home, you can take up to 8 weeks of parental leave as long as it concludes within 12 months of the date of your child’s birth (or placement). 

For example:

  • If your child was born, adopted or placed with you as a foster parent or guardian, on December 30, 2021, you have until December 30, 2022 to take parental leave.
  • If your child was born or placed with you on August 1, 2021, you would be eligible to take leave for that qualifying event between July 1, 2022 (the date this new policy takes effect) and July 31, 2022 (the conclusion of the 12-month period after your child was born or placed with you). You would not be eligible to take the full 8 weeks but could take up to 30 days (approximately 4 weeks, from July 1 through July 30, 2022) in this scenario.

If you are a full-time, benefits-eligible Staff or AAP employee or Postdoctoral Fellow you are eligible for Parental Leave. You must have one year of continuous service at the time your child is born or placed with you to qualify for the benefit.

Unfortunately, you would not qualify for parental leave for the birth of that child. Your child must have been born or placed with you within the past 12 months.

Yes, non-birth parents qualify for this leave as long as they meet the eligibility requirements and take the leave within the first year of the birth or placement of the child.

To apply for Parental Leave, employees will contact MetLife at 1-877-, who will confirm eligibility, collect any required documentation (birth certificate, adoption papers, etc.) and advise applicants on coordinating any other related benefits such as Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) and state Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.

Yes. FMLA provides unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family member and medical reasons to eligible employees in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended (“Federal FMLA”), the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (“DC FMLA”), and other applicable law. This is seperate from Georgetown’s new parental leave benefits, which is why it is important to apply for both programs.

When contacting MetLife to initiate the Parental Leave, an FMLA request will be automatically initiated. If eligible, an employee will receive up to 12 weeks of federal FMLA and 16 weeks of DC FMLA, all of which will run concurrently to each other and to Parental Leave.

Yes. If you are eligible under this program, you may receive Paid Parental Leave benefits regardless of whether or not you have exhausted your allotment of FMLA-related leave.

No. Your Parental Leave request will be reviewed and approved by MetLife. You should, however, notify your manager of your upcoming leave at least 30 days prior to its commencement and coordinate with your manager on the date you will return to work.

Georgetown University pays a tax to the District of Columbia to fund the Paid Family Leave benefit. DC PFL is fully administered by the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES). Eligible employees must apply directly to DOES at dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov in order to receive a paid leave benefit for qualifying events such as prenatal care, birth/bonding, one’s own serious health condition or care for a family member’s serious health condition. 

If an employee is eligible to receive a benefit from DC PFL (or another statutory program), Georgetown University will reduce their parental leave benefit by that amount. In other words, the combined benefit from DC and GU will equal 100% of salary. An employee must apply directly to dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov in order to initiate the DC PFL claim.

We recognize there are many programs you will need to apply for ahead of a child joining your family and that this can often seem complicated and overwhelming. Please see below for an overview of the benefit programs you should plan to apply for and know that our staff in the Department of Human Resources are available to talk this through with you and answer any questions:

  • Birth parent (i.e. the parent experiencing the medical event of giving birth)
    • Short Term Disability (see below) 
    • Georgetown University Parental Leave (new as of July 1, 2022)
    • Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
    • District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA)
    • DC Paid Family Leave (PFL)
  • Non-birth parent (i.e. the partner of the parent experiencing the medical event of giving birth)
    • Georgetown University Parental Leave (new as of July 1, 2022)
    • Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
    • District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA)
    • DC Paid Family Leave (PFL)
  • Adoptive/foster/guardianship parents
    • Georgetown University Parental Leave (new as of July 1, 2022)
    • Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
    • District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA)
    • DC Paid Family Leave (PFL)

For qualifying events that will begin on or after July 1, employees will contact MetLife to begin the process for all types of leave (Short Term Disability, GU Parental Leave, FMLA and DC FMLA) with the exception of DC PFL. Visit benefits.georgetown.edu/disability for more information.

Amanda Harris is the University Leave Manager and can be reached at fmla@georgetown.edu.

Short Term Disability and Salary Continuance

All disability requests from staff and AAPs go through MetLife, the administrator of the university’s disability, FMLA and Parental Leave benefits. You can find instructions for filing a disability claim on the HR website.

Yes. If you go out on disability starting on June 30, 2022 or earlier, your leave will be governed by the policies and procedures in place at that time. The updated 1-week waiting period for short term disability benefits will begin for all qualifying disability events on July 1, 2022 or later.

As your qualifying disability event will happen prior to July 1, 2022 when the new policies take effect, you will be covered under the Salary Continuance plan for the duration of your leave.

If your qualifying disability event occurs on or after July 1, it will be covered under the terms of the new Short Term Disability program. Under this program, there will be a one week unpaid waiting period, then up to 9 weeks of paid benefits.

If the medical disability extends beyond 10 weeks, then you will be able to apply for Long Term Disability. Metlife will work with you to coordinate the Long Term Disability application process.

You can request PTO or use available leave from the new Sick Leave bank in GMS. You may also choose to take this one week waiting period unpaid.

You will continue to be enrolled in any benefits that you are enrolled in at the time your Parental Leave begins. Any deductions for benefits that you are enrolled in will be deducted from any Paid Parental Leave payments received. 

All AAP employees employed with Georgetown as of July 1, 2022 will receive a one-time 90-day salary continuance bank to be used by June 30, 2027 in recognition that the salary continuance program they previously had access to is being sunset. You can use time from your 90-day Salary Continuance leave bank to receive pay during your one week waiting period before Short Term Disability benefits begin.

An employee returning from a medical leave due to his or her own serious health condition must notify MetLife and supply satisfactory medical certification from the health care provider that clears the employee to return to work. The Return to Work Medical Certification Form will be provided to you by MetLife. Once the form is completed, please upload it to GMS. You must notify MetLife and Georgetown University of any anticipated changes to your Return to Work date in a timely manner. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact fmla@georgetown.edu.

PTO Enhancements

As of July 1, 2022, current employees will have their accrual rates adjusted based on their years of service to reflect the chart below:

Sick Leave

Eligible employees may use sick leave hours for:

  • Absence due to personal illness or injury, including the unpaid waiting period for Short Term Disability and absence covered by the Family and Medical Leave policy;
  • Absence due to the illness or injury of an employee’s immediate family member, including absence covered by the Family and Medical Leave policy;
  • Health maintenance;
  • The first three days of absence related to a workers’ compensation injury;
  • If an employee or an employee’s family member is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse, to obtain assistance for or with medical services (including psychological or other counseling), victim’s services, legal proceedings associated with the offense, or other reasonable actions related to the victim or their recovery.

Immediate family is considered to be an employee’s spouse, parents, legal guardian, children, grandparents, siblings, or any person who stands in the same relationship. 

Employees are responsible for requesting sick leave as far in advance as possible and following the appropriate leave request procedures established by their departments. Employees are encouraged to check with their supervisor if they are unaware of leave request procedures.

All eligible employees who are employed by the university on July 1, 2022, will receive 5 days of sick leave as of that date. On each work anniversary following July 1, 2022, employees will receive an additional credit of 5 days up to a maximum accrual of 30 days.

If you have exhausted your sick leave, you can use PTO for the purposes of caring for yourself or your family members when sick or seeking medical care. You will receive an additional 5 sick leave days on your next employment anniversary.