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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Parental Leave

Policy Number: 107


Leave for the birth of a natural child or for the adoption or foster care placement of a child under three years of age


Eligible employees

Date Reviewed:
April 2018
Responsible Office:
Human Resources
Responsible Executive:
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Office


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("University") provides parental leave for eligible employees. Parental leave may not exceed 12 weeks (or 480 hours) during the 12 month period following the commencement of leave. The approval of parental leave by the University constitutes a guarantee of employment for a specified period of time, subject to fiscal constraints.

A. Eligibility

Regular employees are eligible if they have worked less than 12 months with the State of Texas or have worked fewer than 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the leave. Regular employees are those employees who are appointed for a minimum of four and one-half consecutive months with a definite job assignment that must be 50 percent time or more. (See HOOP Policy 17 Appointment Status.)

Regular employees who have worked 12 months with the State of Texas and worked 1,250 hours or more during the 12 months preceding the leave should consult HOOP Policy 106 Family and Medical Leave.  Parental leave will expire upon eligibility for Family Medical Leave (FML) and the employee will be placed on FML at that time.  The employee is eligible for the full amount of Family Medical Leave when eligibility requirements for the FML are met. 

Parental leave may be granted for, and begins on the date of:

  • the birth of a natural child; or
  • the adoption or foster care placement of a child under three years of age.

B. Requirement of Using Paid Leave

Employees must first use all available and appropriate paid leave and then the remainder of the leave period will be leave without pay. See HOOP Policy 29 Paid Leave Eligibility to determine appropriate use of paid leave. Note: The use of sick leave is strictly limited to those situations clearly falling within the definition of sick leave contained in HOOP Policy 30 Sick Leave.


A. Leave Requests

The employee will submit the Parental Leave Request Form to their Family Medical Leave (FML) Coordinator as far in advance of the anticipated leave as possible.

B. Response to Leave Requests

The FML Coordinator should determine if the employee is eligible for Parental Leave and inform the employee in writing of the determination.

C. Payments for Medical Insurance

It is the employee’s responsibility to contact Employee Benefits and make arrangements for any benefits issues.

D. Returning to Work

The employee must have his/her health care provider complete the Certification of Fitness for Duty form, if applicable, and provide the completed form to his/her FML Coordinator.

E. Confidential Medical Records

Records and documents relating to medical certifications, recertification, and medical histories or genetic information of the employee or employee's family members should be maintained in separate files and treated as confidential medical records.  These records do not go into the employee's personnel file.  The medical information may be released only:

  • to the employee's supervisor, manager, designated team leader or Human Resources, if needed, to make adjustments in job duties/responsibilities due to work restrictions resulting from the medical condition; or
  • to emergency and/or safety personnel, if the employee's medical condition might require emergency treatment. 

F. Accrual of Paid Leave and Holiday Pay

Parental leave is considered unpaid leave by the University. Vacation and sick leave do not accrue during any full calendar month for which an employee is on unpaid leave. An employee is not eligible to receive holiday pay while on an unpaid leave.


    • Human Resources
    • 713-500-3180
    • Employee Benefits (regarding the maintenance of benefits while on parental leave)