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Pregnancy and Childbirth Assistance

Pregnancy And Childbirth Assistance

PREGNANCY/CHILDBIRTH Frequently asked questions

For Students
For Employees
For Supervisors/Instructors


The following FAQ is meant to help provide guidance to students and employees (faculty and staff) who are pregnant or parenting as well as the supervisors of those individuals to help navigate the process together. It is within the mission of the Equity Compliance Office to assist in creating interactive dialogue to meet the needs of pregnant and parenting individuals while also adhering to University policy and expectations. Requests for assistance or adjustment to work or class related to needs of pregnancy/childbirth require an interactive process. That is, the individual in need and their supervisor or instructor should discuss how to meet the requested adjustment. This means considering options and recognizing that this may include deviating from stated procedures or practices, and may not result in exactly what is requested, but identifies available assistance. Should you have concerns regarding how you are being treated or have concerns over assistance or reasonable adjustments in your access to work or education, the Equity Compliance Office is here to consult and assist. The University must not discriminate on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination, or recovery from; providing equitable access to education and work, with at least the same special services provided to those with other temporary conditions. Below you will find separate sections for students, employees (faculty and staff), and supervisors, addressing some common needs specific to each population.

Employees may find it helpful to explore available information on line.
Faculty may discuss options with the Associate Provost for Faculty and Administrative Affairs.
Staff may consult the Benefits and Leaves of Absence Handbook for Exempt Staff (https://udayton.edu/hr/_resources/documents/handbooks/ExemptHdbk.pdf), Non-exempt staff should utilize the Benefits and Leaves of Absence Handbook for Non-Exempt Staff (https://udayton.edu/hr/_resources/documents/handbooks/NonexemptHdbk.pdf), and Faculty should utilize the Benefits and Leaves of Absence Handbook for Faculty (https://udayton.edu/hr/_resources/documents/handbooks/Faculty_Handbook.pdf), and then speak with Human Resources Benefits and Wellness.

The Equity Compliance Office can be reached at 937-229-3622 or visiting https://www.udayton.edu/finadmin/divisions/equity_compliance/index.php.

The Women's Center can also provide information about campus and community resources for those who are pregnant and parenting by visiting https://udayton.edu/womenscenter/balance/parenting/index.php.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") prohibits discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy and parental status (including pregnancy and childbirth, and/or related medical attention; an equitable application of rules concerning parental or family status). The University promotes an inclusive environment and offers the information here to aid in identifying reasonable adjustments in support of a campus climate inclusive for all.

 

FOR A STUDENT WHO IS SEEKING ASSISTANCE RELATED TO PREGNANCY OR CHILDBIRTH

Where do I go if I need assistance due to my pregnancy or new family responsibilities?

If seeking assistance due to a pregnancy or childbirth related responsibilities, you will want to work directly with the office that oversees the area/service with which you are seeking an adjustment/assistance. These offices will work directly with you to engage in an understanding of what reasonable adjustments can be offered/provided. This can include working with individual professors, supervisors, parking services, learning resources, etc.

What if I've talked with the department and they aren't able to provide me the assistance I've requested?

Students (and employees) with pregnancy or childbirth-related needs, like any individual with a short-term or temporary disability, are entitled to reasonable assistance or adjustments so that they will not be disadvantaged in their courses of study, research, or work, and may seek assistance from the Equity Compliance Office. If you have an issue with how that request for consideration is handled or determined, please consult with the Equity Compliance Officer ("ECO") to help resolve that issue by submitting a report online (report form found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination) or making an appointment by calling 937-229-3622. In other words, the ECO provides an avenue of appeal/grievance after the interactive process has been utilized. It is also an option to consult with the ECO for guidance on how to approach the interactive process of seeking assistance or adjustment.

What happens if I miss class/research/lab participation due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical issues?

You should work with your individual instructor/supervisor to communicate the absence and engage in an interactive process to identify reasonable time to make up missed work. It is appropriate for a professor to deviate from stated policy and provide reasonable adjustments based on your doctor's direction related to health, regardless of a professor's attendance policy. Absences due to these reasons should be considered excused. After the conclusion of those absences, it is appropriate to provide a reasonable amount of time to make up the missed work. Students participating in co-ops, internships, or clinical hours should work with their Academic Advisor or Dean and on site supervisor to determine appropriate adjustments.

What happens when I come back from a period of leave?

Students should work with academic departments to ensure reasonable steps are taken to return to the same position of academic progress that you were in when you took leave. The Equity Compliance Office has the authority to determine that such adjustments or support are necessary and appropriate, and to inform faculty/staff members of the need to adjust academic or work parameters accordingly. This is an interactive process.

The distance of my assigned parking (to where I work or live on campus) is impacting my health or access, and my doctor recommends I find a closer option. Can I receive alternate parking?

Parking Services will grant alternate temporary parking passes to accommodate such need for a period of up to four weeks during pregnancy, upon request at the Parking Services office. Individuals with a need for a greater period of time for this alternate parking can consult with the Equity Compliance Office to review individual needs that may allow for a deviation from this four week period alternate for parking lot assignment.

I am a Graduate/Teaching Assistant, what are my options regarding my position?

If you hold a Graduate Assistantship position you should work with your supervisor to determine appropriate adjustments to hours as well as expectations upon leave and return from the role, if applicable. During your Assistantship, the expectation is that work be completed within the frame of the contract and it is expected to be an interactive process with your supervisor as needs may change. You should also expect to return to the position which you vacated at the time of your medical leave unless the contract has naturally expired.

What if I do not think my instructor / supervisor is fairly considering my request?

If you have an issue with how that request for assistance or adjustment is handled or determined, please seek the assistance of the Equity Compliance Officer ("ECO") to help resolve that issue by submitting a report online (found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination) or making an appointment by calling 937-229-3622). Individuals may choose to consult with Equity Compliance, Women's Center (937-229-5390) or Human Resources (937-229-2541) staff to discuss how to approach the interaction process with others.

I'm coming back to school after giving birth. Does my school have to let me breastfeed or pump breast milk on campus?

Yes, breastfeeding is a condition related to pregnancy, so schools must find ways to help students who need to breastfeed or pump on campus. Lactation rooms are available for use in a variety of buildings across campus. Visit the Women's Center (go.udayton.edu/lactation) for a listing of locations as well as the usage agreement. Each room, with the exception of Alumni Hall, has a refrigerator for the use of storing breast milk as well.

Can I be excused from class to pump breast milk?

Every parent and baby is different but, in general, a nursing parent with a new baby must pump or breastfeed every two to three hours. If you have a class that is longer than three hours or back-to-back classes without enough break time in between, talk to the Equity Compliance Office or directly with your professors about taking break time to pump. This is where an interactive process can be most helpful in determining a reasonable plan to ensure you can pump while also meeting expectations of the class and receiving information covered in the class. Additionally, a professor should not penalize a student because of pumping needs. The professor and you should work to make arrangements to complete missed while you were out of the classroom to meet these needs.

What should I do if my childcare fell through?

Childcare needs related to medically necessary complications immediately following childbirth are to be excused absences that allow for making up missed work. In general, affording reasonable flexibility to parents with regard to childcare needs is aligned with the University's interest in affording students access to education. You should communicate with your instructor regarding such absence at the earliest possible time and then work to make-up any missed assignments/tests in an appropriate time frame. Planning ahead for backup care can help alleviate the stress of the moment when a sitter cancels or a daycare is closed, however, sometimes backup care isn't possible. The Women's Center provides a variety of resources to explore at https://udayton.edu/womenscenter/balance/parenting/backup-care.php.

What are my options for taking time off?

For those students considering taking a leave of absence, we encourage individuals to explore your options by consulting with your Academic Advisor and Financial Aid. It is important to consult with these areas as withdrawing from UD may impact degree progress and may also affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress and may jeopardize future financial aid eligibility. Please visit https://udayton.edu/fss/financialaid/undergrad/awards.php for more information or contact the Flyer Student Services to speak with a financial aid counselor.

I am a student here on a Visa, can my pregnancy impact my ability to take classes?

The goal is for every student to be able to experience all educational opportunities they are due. There may be unique requirements related to those studying on a visa. Therefore, students should work directly with their scholarship advisor to ensure appropriate steps can be taken to enable you to continue to engage fully as a student. Additional resources can be found in the Women's Center as well as through the Center for International Programs.

What are examples of potentially reasonable assistance or adjustments?

In appropriate situations, deviating from established policy or practice may be reasonable. Reasonable adjustments may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Providing adjustments requested by a pregnant individual to protect the health and safety of the person and/or the pregnancy (such as allowing the individual to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances);
  2. Making modifications to the physical environment (such as accessible seating);
  3. Providing mobility support;
  4. Extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for necessary pregnancy-related absences;
  5. Offering remote learning options;
  6. Excusing medically-necessary absences (this must be granted, irrespective of classroom attendance requirements set by a faculty member, department, or division);
  7. Granting leave per UD's voluntary leave policy or implementing incomplete grades for classes that will be resumed at a future date; or
  8. Allowing breastfeeding students and employees reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible. Bathroom stalls do not satisfy this requirement. (Contact the Women's Center (937) 229-5390 or go.udayton.edu/lactation) for a list and access to lactation rooms on campus and/or refrigerator rental.)
  9. Coordinating hours for internships, labs, and research as to not interfere with the needs of a pregnant or nursing student while still satisfying the academic requirements of the course.

*These examples are adapted from the model policy developed by The NCHERM Group, LLC/ATIXA, which the University of Dayton has a license to use.

FOR STAFF AND FACULTY SEEKING ASSISTANCE RELATED TO PREGNANCY OR CHILDBIRTH

Who should I contact about leave from work due to pregnancy?

Pregnant staff and faculty should contact the Office of Human Resources before giving birth to obtain the paperwork needed to file for maternity leave. The Leave of Absence paperwork can be found on the HR website at www.udayton.edu/hr in the Employee Resources section. Your treating medical provider will complete the medical certification form documenting the need for time off. This form should be returned, along with the leave request form, to the Office of Human Resources prior to the birth. Information about maternity leave can be found on the same HR website in the Benefits and Leave of Absence Handbooks also located in the Employee Resources section. These policies apply to all benefit eligible employees of UD, including UDRI, and grant or government specific contractors (if employed through UD).

For Full-Time Faculty

Pregnant faculty member should contact their department chairperson to discuss teaching and potential modified duties in the coming semester and stoppage of the tenure clock. The composite (i.e., course schedule) is developed in September for the Spring term and in February for the Fall term. Working with the department chair early in the schedule development can assist both you and the department in developing a plan for course coverage and modified duties during the maternity leave. The Provost's office has examples of past modified duty agreements that can be helpful in developing plans with your department chairperson. The tenure clock is automatically stopped for one year with a maternity leave. If you wish to have the tenure clock continue, you should discuss this option with your chairperson. What happens if I miss work due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical issues?

You should work with your supervisor/chair to communicate absence(s) and engage in an interactive process to ensure appropriate documentation of absences from work. With respect to tenure-track faculty members, the tenure clock automatically stops for one year in conjunction with a maternity leave. However, you can choose to have the tenure clock continue. This decision should be made in consultation with your department chair or other mentors. Human Resources can assist with identifying options for use of FMLA, if appropriate, for time away from work.

What happens when I come back from a period of leave?

Staff and faculty should work with supervisors to again ensure that reasonable steps are taken to return to the same work status as when you took leave. The Equity Compliance Office (in coordination with HR for employees) has the authority to determine that such adjustments are necessary and appropriate, and to inform staff and faculty members of the need to adjust academic or work parameters accordingly. Human Resources can also be contacted to help with your return along with utilizing the Lifeworks Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the various resources available to all employees on the Lifeworks website. Visit the Human Resources benefits page for additional information about Lifeworks EAP.

What if I've talked with the department and they aren't able to provide me the assistance I've requested?

Staff and faculty with pregnancy or childbirth-related needs, like any individual with a short-term or temporary disability, are entitled to reasonable assistance or adjustments so that they will not be disadvantaged in their courses of study, research, or work, and may seek assistance from the Equity Compliance Office. Staff and faculty are encouraged to consult with Human Resources and the Provost's office, respectively. If you have an issue with how a request for consideration is handled or determined, please consult with the Equity Compliance Officer ("ECO") to help resolve that issue by submitting a report online (report form found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination) or making an appointment by calling 937-229-3622. In other words, the ECO provides an avenue of appeal/grievance after the interactive process has been utilized. It is also an option to consult with the ECO for guidance on how to approach the interactive process of seeking assistance or adjustment.

Are there lactation rooms on campus I can utilize?

Lactation rooms are available for use in a variety of buildings across campus. Reasonable break times are to be provided for an employee or student to express breast milk for a nursing child. The frequency of breaks needed to express breast milk as well as the duration of each break will likely vary. Visit the Women's Center (go.udayton.edu/lactation) for a listing of locations as well as the usage agreement. Each room, with the exception of Alumni Hall, has a refrigerator for the use of storing breast milk as well. Additionally, the Women's Center provides free, personal refrigerators for faculty and staff to keep in their offices to store breast milk. To reserve a refrigerator, please call the Center at (937) 229-5390 or to learn more visit their website at go.udayton.edu/lactation.

What should I do if my childcare option falls through?

Childcare needs related to medically necessary complications following childbirth are to be excused absences that allow for making up missed work. In general, affording reasonable flexibility to parents with regard to childcare needs is aligned with the University's interest in affording staff and faculty a balanced workplace. The goal is that you have worked with your supervisor/chair ahead of time to create expectations around what should/can be done should these situations arise. Planning ahead for backup care can help alleviate the stress of the moment when a sitter cancels or a daycare is closed, however, sometimes backup care isn't possible. Talk with your supervisor/chair in advance about the possibility to alternative work options (exempt employees only may explore teleworking options), preparing alternate class assignments or presenters (OMA's Partners in the Classroom and Sexual Violence Preventions Don't Cancel Your Class), alternate schedules with your partner, or a backup for your backup. Discussing these options before the need arises allows for clear communication and understanding of expectations, but it should always be an ongoing interactive process. The Women's Center provides a variety of resources to explore at https://udayton.edu/womenscenter/balance/parenting/backup-care.php. Lifeworks also offers helpful resources regarding childcare and backup childcare resources at www.lifeworks.com.

 

FOR SUPERVISORS, CHAIRS, OR INSTRUCTORS RECEIVING REQUESTS RELATED TO PREGNANCY OR CHILDBIRTH RELATED NEEDS

What happens if a student/employee misses class/research/lab participation/work due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical issues?

It is appropriate to deviate from stated policy and allow additional excused absences, based on the doctor's direction related to health for that individual, regardless of course or workplace specific attendance policies. Absences due to these reasons should be considered excused. A student's grade cannot be lowered due to poor attendance related to such absences. After the conclusion of those absences, it is appropriate to provide a reasonable amount of time to make up the missed work and receive information missed. For employees, that could mean a few absences for necessary medical appointments, or a longer leave of absence for a high-risk pregnancy or childbirth. It would be expected that the individual coordinate with their supervisor and Human Resources to ensure appropriate documentation of absences and use of leave from work.

What should I do if an employee/faculty member/student can't come to work/class because their childcare fell through?

Childcare needs related to medically necessary complications following childbirth are to be excused absences that allow for making up missed work. Eligible employees would need to document time off through vacation or may choose to be docked pay. In general, affording reasonable flexibility to parents with regard to childcare needs is aligned with the University's interest in affording employees a balanced workplace and access to education. Students should communicate with their instructor (or employee with their supervisor) regarding such absence at the earliest possible time. For employees/faculty, the goal is that the employee/faculty has worked with their supervisor/chair ahead of time to create expectations around what should/can be done if/when such unanticipated situations arise. Planning ahead for backup care can help alleviate the stress of the moment when a sitter cancels or a daycare is closed, however, sometimes backup care isn't possible. When an absence is unavoidable, the supervisor/chair must be notified. Communication between employee and supervisor can identify other possibilities that may include, when/where appropriate, working from home or remotely (exempt employees only), preparing alternate class assignments or presenters (OMA's Partners in the Classroom and Sexual Violence Preventions Don't Cancel Your Class), adjusting hours to allow alternate schedules with a partner, or identifying a backup for the backup. Discussing these options before the need arises allows for clear communication and understanding of expectations, but it should always be an ongoing interactive process, and should involve HR when it may involve adjusted work schedules for staff members.

What if I think what the student/employee is asking for is not reasonable for my course or work environment?

The process for determining reasonable assistance or adjustments should be interactive in nature. Requests and consideration or adjustments are not to fundamentally alter the responsibilities required or create extreme hardships but it may require a deviation from typical practices. Supervisors and professors should consult with the Provost's Office (faculty modified duties), Human Resources (staff inquiries), or the Equity Compliance Office to discuss options if one is unsure how to proceed.

What is a reasonable break for nursing mothers?

Employers are to provide reasonable break time, as frequently as needed, for an employee or student who is nursing to express breast milk. The frequency and duration of breaks will likely vary, but it may help to ask the individual to create a schedule to manage expectations while allowing for flexibility. Generally, individuals nurse for up to one year after the birth of a child(ren) but may choose to nurse longer. This also requires a place, other than a bathroom, shielded from view and free from intrusion, which may be used by the employee (or student). Lactation spaces are available across campus udayton.edu/lactation. Employees may use their own private office, if they choose. The Women's Center offers information on the importance and need for nursing mothers, that supervisors may find beneficial/educational. Faculty may need to work with their Department regarding class scheduling arrangements for upcoming terms, as applicable.

What is the rationale for needing to consider support outside what would be provided to any student or employee who was requesting something different from my syllabus or regular practices?

Under the Department of Education's (DOE) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding "shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student's pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom." Title IX, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provide guidance to indicate that absences due to pregnancy or related conditions (deemed medically necessary, related to pregnancy or childbirth) are to be excused, allowing opportunity to make up work missed, and/or coordinate alternatives for maintaining status held when leave began. Such assistance should be an interactive process to balance the reasonable assistance under the circumstances and does not represent a substantial change in essential elements of a course or program. This is an interactive process, such that if a request may be unreasonable, there must be attempt to identify reasonable alternatives. Human Resources and/or the Equity Compliance Office can offer suggestions and/or provide examples of options to consider if you you wish to explore options in response to a specific request.

*Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. 34 C.F.R.§ 106.40(b)(l); the Department of Labor also offers rights for nursing mothers see: https://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/ U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/pregnant_workers.cfm

CONTACT

Equity Compliance Office - Room 300

St. Mary's Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1641
937-229-3622
Email