Having a Baby?
Current on all pre-natal doctor visits and tests. Check.
Painted the baby’s room. Check.
Manager is in the loop. Check.
Maternity leave. Hmmm…Not sure what to do.
The good news is, as a full-time benefits eligible employee, you have coverage. Faculty and AAPs working at least 75% FTE are covered by Salary Continuance and Staff scheduled to work 30+ hours per week are covered by Short-Term Disability Insurance. These plans provide income replacement when you are unable to work due to non- work related illness, accident or injury, including having a baby.
Both of these plans are 100% paid by the University and replace 100% of your salary after any applicable waiting period. Salary Continuance is managed by your department and Short-Term Disability Insurance is managed by The Hartford.
If you are a staff member covered by the short-term disabity plan, Maternity claims are approved for eight weeks, which is the normal recovery period for all types of deliveries. Before your short-term disability benefits can be paid, you must first satisfy a 15 business day waiting period. This means, that you’ll either need to use PTO, Unpaid Leave or Sick Leave (Union only). If a University Holiday occurs during this 15 day waiting period, you won’t have to take Leave for that holiday. So, to recap, for an eight week recovery period on short-term disability, you would take the first three weeks as Leave and the remaining five weeks would be covered at 100% under the plan, for a total of eight weeks. Now, if your physician deems it medically necessary to be out beyond that time, he or she can request up to a two week extension.
If you are taking Short Term Disability or Salary continuance, you must also apply for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under FMLA, Georgetown University provides unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons to eligible faculty and staff employees in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act , and other applicable law. Faculty and staff may coordinate FMLA leave with other types of paid and/or unpaid leave available to eligible employees, and these leaves will run concurrently. To initiate your FMLA request, please contact the FMLA coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You must receive approval from your department head if you are planning to use leave after your Short Term Disability or Salary Continuance benefits expire. If your approved leave will be unpaid and you will be absent for more than 30 days after your Short Term Disability or Salary Continuance period ends, you will need to pay for your University sponsored medical and dental benefits by direct debit from your bank account. Contact Secova at 1-877-327-2365 or GUBenefits@secova.com for arrangements.
There also is a checklist for Georgetown staff who wish to use Short Term Disability for maternity claims that tells you exactly what you need to do and when to do it. Click here to download. Faculty and AAP’s should work with the appropriate campus or departmental contact to ensure the correct policies and procedures for your campus are followed.
One more thing. Having a baby also is considered a Qualifying Event that allows you to make changes to your benefits outside of the annual Open Enrollment period. This could include adding your baby to any medical benefits, increasing or starting a Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. Like any Qualifying Event, this benefits change request must be made within 30 days of your child’s birth and will be retroactive back to that date. You will need to provide some kind of proof of birth documentation (e.g. “Proof of Birth” letter, birth certificate, footprint, records, discharge papers, etc.) that inidcates the baby’s date of birth and your parentage. Click here for step-by-step instructions, and contact our office if you have any questions.
Other Benefits for You & Your Baby
- When you return to work, know that facilities for nursing mothers are available on Main, Med Center and Law Center Campuses. Visit the Department of Human Resources website for more information on lactation rooms and access procedures.
- Hoya Kids Learning Center provides crucial support for University personnel and students who seek to balance work and family responsibilities. Visit their website for more information.
- Bright Horizons Care Advantage program provides back up care for your loved ones and so much more. Your membership is covered by Georgetown University and includes access to Sittercity and YearsAhead, which can help you find vetted assistance for After-school, Infant, Special Needs, Sick child, Last Minute, School Vacation childcare and much more. Additonally, you’ll find access to preferred enrollment and tuition discounts at select local childcare centers. Get started now at www.careadvantage.com/georgetown.
DC’S Law Protecting Pregnant Workers
The District’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires District of Columbia employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for employees whoseability to perform job duties is limited because of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or a related medical condition as long asthe request does not pose an undue hardship or expense on thebusiness. The Act provides increased protections for pregnant workersand allows employers to require medical certification from anemployee’s health care provider concerning the advisability of arequest. Employees seeking an accommodation due to pregnancy or anyrelated condition should contact the Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Affirmative Action in advance of their need for an accommodation, to the extent practicable (http://ideaa.georgetown.edu/ada).
Additional questions about DC’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act can be directed to your HR Client Services Partner.