JTS Institutes Policy on Paid Parental Leave

The Chancellor’s Cabinet of The Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to present JTS’s newly instituted Paid Parental Leave Policy. This policy reflects our values as an institution and supports our faculty and staff members in both their work and personal lives. As this new policy is implemented, we will continue to explore other avenues for making JTS an even more caring and fulfilling place to work.

This policy was developed by JTS’s Committee on Sexuality and Gender as part of an on-going effort to address the needs of the JTS community. Special thanks to the Committee’s chair, Rabbi Mychal Springer, and to Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay and Diana Torres-Petrilli, who spearheaded the work of the subcommittee which researched and formulated the policy.

JTS POLICY ON PAID PARENTAL LEAVE (Approved October 7, 2015)

Paid parental leave applies in cases of birth, adoption and foster care when the JTS employee will be the sole primary caregiver. Any benefits eligible JTS employee who has completed 1-3 years of service is eligible for six weeks of paid parental leave.  Benefits eligible employees who have completed more than 3 years of service are eligible for eight weeks of paid parental leave. This paid parental leave policy applies only to benefits-eligible employees and employees who have been employed at JTS for one full year (12 months).  All employees who have worked at JTS for at least 12 months, and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of their requested leave are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The paid parental leave and the FMLA leave will run concurrently. After completing the paid portion of the leave, employees are able to use vacation and sick time to apply to the remainder of their 12 weeks. After they have exhausted those days they may take the remainder of the time unpaid.  Paid parental leave must be taken within one year from the date of birth, adoption or foster care commencement. Only one parent can be designated as the primary caretaker and eligible for JTS paid parental leave per event (birth, adoption/foster care). 

New parents who are not the primary caregiver, but are benefits-eligible and have served at JTS for more than one year, may take two weeks of paid bonding leave. 

Faculty who anticipate taking time off under this policy will work with the Provost to negotiate a schedule which will not extend beyond one semester.

Before going on leave, and as early as possible, the employee is required to submit to his/her supervisor and the Office of Human Resources a parental leave plan indicating how, when, and by whom work will get done while s/he is on leave.  The plan must be discussed and signed off on by the supervisor and all employees influenced by the plan must be officially instructed about their roles. 

The Office of Human Resources will provide employees with a checklist of administrative tasks and deadlines to help new parents ensure that their children are included in all relevant benefits.