Paid parental leave policy expanded to include classified staff

Effective Nov. 1, new policy applies to births, adoptions and foster placements

Paid parental leave policy expanded to include classified staff

In response to University of Colorado employees’ requests for a paid parental leave benefit for classified staff, the university will deliver this benefit beginning Nov. 1.

Classified staff will be eligible to take 160 hours of paid parental leave. Eligible employees can take four consecutive weeks of paid leave within one year of the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

“We’re happy to announce the expansion of paid parental leave to our classified staff members,” said Felicity O’Herron, chief human resources officer and assistant vice president of Employee Services. “Paid parental leave is something our employees identified as a benefit needed to support themselves as they grow their families, and this expansion shows our commitment to their well-being.”

The policy expansion to classified staff was advocated by CU’s Staff Council and Faculty Council after paid parental leave was approved and expanded to include university staff this summer. CU administrators worked to balance the needs of the state classified system against the unique aspects of the CU workforce.

Ultimately, President Bruce Benson and the university decided it was most important to treat all CU employees equally, to the greatest extent possible. Accordingly, the university policy on paid parental leave was amended to extend this benefit to CU classified staff.

The Office of Policy and Efficiency (OPE) today posted full details on the revisions to APS5019-Parental Leave Benefits for Faculty and Staff.

As usual, the proposed changes were reviewed by the campus chancellors and approved by President Benson. More information is available at More details on system policies are at

Paid parental leave basics

Classified staff may take 13 weeks of unpaid family medical leave, as governed by state of Colorado personnel rules, receiving pay using a combination of paid parental leave, vacation, sick leave and – in the case of birth parents only – short-term disability.

These employees must have worked for 12 consecutive months in a 50 percent or greater appointment prior to the child’s arrival to qualify for paid parental leave. Paid parental leave must be taken as part of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Paid parental leave will be based on an employee’s base salary and has no cash value if the employee is terminated or leaves the university. It is prorated for percent of time appointments; for example, an employee who works 32 hours weekly would receive 128 hours of leave.

Who to contact

Campus human resources offices will administer all aspects of the policy, and should be contacted with questions.