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Paid Parental Leave Policy for Staff

November 17, 2022

To: Caltech Employees
From:  Thomas F. Rosenbaum
Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and Professor of Physics

I am pleased to announce that Caltech will offer a paid parental leave benefit for all benefits-eligible staff on campus, at JPL, and at offsite observatories, effective December 1, 2022. The new benefit will provide up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to enable an employee time to care for and bond with a new child.

This new policy is an important investment in the well-being of our employees and their families. I am grateful to the human resources professionals on campus and at the Lab who have helped make this plan a reality. 

In accordance with the policy, which is posted on the campus's Human Resources website and JPL's Human Resources website: 

  • The paid leave benefit is available to all eligible staff within a 12-month period following the birth of an employee's child or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption or foster care. 
  • During the Institute's paid parental leave period, which may run for up to eight consecutive weeks, employees will be able to receive 100% of their base pay without using other earned, paid-time-off accruals. 
  • Where applicable, the leave benefit will run concurrently with state benefits and plans, such as California and Washington's paid family leave programs, as well as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which may entitle employees to up to a total of 12 weeks of job-protected leave. Employees who are eligible for leave beyond the Institute-supported eight weeks may take the time as unpaid leave or supplement their pay with accrued paid time off. 
  • In families where both parents are benefits-eligible employees at the Institute, both are entitled to take the full leave benefit. 

I encourage individuals with additional questions on the new benefit to review the policy and to contact the Disability and Leave Unit at [email protected] for personal consultation. If you work at JPL, please contact AskHR.

The benefits offered in the new plan are exclusively for benefits-eligible staff, who make up the Institute's largest employee population. Benefits for Caltech faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students are outlined in their respective handbooks. 

It is the Institute's intent to ensure greater alignment in parental leave benefits across the campus. Leadership within Student Affairs and the Provost's Office presently are working to review the current policies for our graduate student and postdoctoral communities.