Parental & Maternity

Westwood Public Schools grants leaves in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act and the WTA contract.

Feel free to make an appointment with Assistant Superintendent Emily Parks for a packet of information regarding leave of absences.

WTA Contract Language:


Article XIX - LEAVES OF ABSENCE
H. PARENTAL LEAVE

1. A parental leave of absence shall be granted upon request to any teacher for any purpose
related to the actual or prospective rearing of a newly born or adopted infant provided that:

a. The teacher has completed three (3) consecutive months as a unit employee of the School Committee.

b. As soon as practicable after a female employee learns that she is expecting a child, and anticipates taking leave, that person shall inform the building principal.

c. The teacher shall notify the Superintendent, in writing, at least four (4) weeks prior to the probable date said leave or disability is to commence. At the time of the notification, the teacher shall select, in writing, one of the following options, if applicable:

(1) Option A Extended leave without pay, and as to female employees, with entitlement to sick leave benefits for certified disability due to childbearing and/or childbirth and recovery there from during the period of this leave, provided that,

(a) if the teacher is requesting extended parental leave and the leave will commence or extend into the beginning of the subsequent school year, that request must be submitted to the Superintendent at least 90 days prior to the start of that subsequent school year, except in the case of a birth or adoption occurring after April 1 of the prior school year, in which case the teacher shall give as much notice as practicable, but no less than four (4) weeks; and,

(b) a teacher who has already been granted a year’s extended leave of absence relative to a particular birth or adoption, and who wishes to extend that leave to a second school year, must notify the Superintendent by March 15 preceding commencement of the second school year.

(2) Option B Massachusetts statutory maternity leave of eight (8) weeks with entitlement of sick leave benefits for certified disability resulting from
childbearing and/or childbirth and recovery there from during the period of this leave.

2. The provisions of Option A are as follows:

a. No leave shall be more than two (2) years;

b.A teacher returning to the school system must return at the beginning of the school year, unless he or she is granted permission to return at another time by the Superintendent.

c. If a female employee's period of disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery occurs immediately prior to the anticipated parental leave, the parental leave shall commence with the first day after the last day of certified disability.

d. All requests for leave under this Section are irrevocable except that in
unusual situations, such as infant death or miscarriage, a teacher may
return to work earlier than the return work date selected in the original
leave application, provided that the Superintendent receives written notice at least thirty (30) days prior to the intended return. The Superintendent may require the teacher to return on the first day of the marking period following said notification.

3. A teacher who chooses Option B, but whose leave extends beyond eight (8) weeks and who is not certified disabled, shall be considered on leave under Option A, and shall be required to notify the Superintendent, in writing, as to his/her intended return date.

4. An employee requesting a Parental Leave of Absence must indicate at the time of notification of said leave the Option selected and the intended date of return pursuant to the Option selected. An employee must notify the Superintendent, in writing, at least four (4) weeks prior to the expiration of the leave of his/her intention to return to work.

5. An employee who fails to so notify the Superintendent in writing, or who does furnish said written notice, but fails to return to duty at the expiration of the leave without good reason, shall be deemed absent without leave, and the School Committee's obligation to provide a position for said employee shall cease.

6. In order for entitlement to sick leave benefits to apply for certified disability for childbirth and recovery there from in connection with additional siblings, the employee must first return to active service and be granted an additional leave of the type provided under Option A or Option B above. The parties agree that sick leave benefits for disability due to childbirth and recovery there from will not be allowed for an employee who is on any kind of approved unpaid leave of absence. In addition, employees will not be entitled to sick leave benefits for any other illness and/or disabilities incurred while on parental leave, except as provided in this Section.

7. Rights on Return to Service and Benefits

a. An employee returning to work as prescribed above shall be restored to the same
position with the same status as of the date of his/her leave, unless the position
has been impacted by Article XIII, REDUCTION IN FORCE.

b. All other benefits to which the employee was entitled at the time the Leave of
Absence commenced, including any unused sick leave, shall be restored upon
return to service. Only Leaves of Absence for which salary is granted shall be
counted toward seniority and step advancement on the salary schedule.

c. Any employee returning from Parental Leave in any year following the one in
which the leave was taken shall be advanced to the next step on the salary
schedule, subject to the provisions set forth in Article III, Section B of this
Agreement.