Pregnancy and Parenting
|EWU Policy 402-06||Authority: University President|
|Effective March 6, 2019||Proponent: Student Life, Human Resources and Civil Rights|
Purpose: This guideline is intended to inform students and employees of resources and protections available for pregnant and parenting individuals.
History: This guideline is new and was approved by the University President on March 6, 2019.
Applicability: This policy pertains to all students and employees of Eastern Washington University.
1 – INTRODUCTION
Eastern Washington University is committed to supporting its students and employees during pregnancy, the birth of a child, adoption of a child, and/or placement of a foster child. EWU does not discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, familial status, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from pregnancy.
The following individuals and programs are available to assist students and employees:
301 Pence Union Building
Women’s and Gender Education Center/ H.O.M.E (Helping Ourselves Means Education)
314 Showalter Hall
Title IX Coordinator
211 Tawanka Hall
2 – STUDENTS
2-1. Ability to Fully Participate
Pregnant students are welcomed and encouraged to continue their studies and participate in university activities throughout their pregnancy. EWU will not exclude pregnant students from its programs and activities.
Departments may require a student to obtain a certification from a physician that a pregnant student is physically and emotionally able to continue participating in a program as long as such a certification is required of all students for other physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician. Any medical records obtained must be kept in a secured location and be treated as confidential medical records.
2-2. Need for Leave of Absence for Birth or Adoption of a Child
EWU will grant a student a leave of absence for pregnancy/birth of a child for so long a time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician. To the extent possible, EWU will take reasonable steps to ensure pregnant students who take a leave of absence for pregnancy/birth of a child return to the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave.
In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, EWU will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-model programs, EWU will work with a student to see if alternative arrangements can be made or will permit a student to join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave.
Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and Student Life to devise a plan for how to best address the medical conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator can assist with plan development and implementation as needed.
Students have the option of withdrawing from classes for documented medical reasons and may be eligible for a reversal of tuition and fees. Information about how to withdraw for a medical reason is contained in Academic Policy 303-30 (Registration). Students who are looking for assistance in requesting a leave of absence may contact Student Life at (509) 359-7924 or the Title IX Coordinator at (509) 359-2021.
Students who are also employed by the university may have other leave options available. Leave options for employees are contained in section 4.
2-3. Accommodations for Medical Conditions
Students who are in need of an accommodation for academics, housing, or university programs and activities for a medical condition relating to pregnancy or childbirth should contact Disability Support Services. Students are who are employed by the university should also contact Human Resources to request an accommodation for employment purposes. The process for requesting an accommodation is contained in EWU Policy 402-03 (Accommodating Persons with Disabilities).
2-4. Child Care Options, Scholarships, Housing & Medical Resources
EWU contracts with the YMCA to provide child care opportunities on the Cheney campus. Information is available at: https://ymcaspokane.org/locations/ewu-childrens-center/
H.O.M.E. (Helping Ourselves Means Education) is a program connecting student parents with campus and community resources. H.O.M.E. also provides scholarship opportunities for students to assist with daycare expenses. The H.O.M.E. program is affiliated with the Women’s and Gender Education Center.
University apartments are available for pregnant or parenting students. https://inside.ewu.edu/housing/apartment-communities/
3 – BREASTFEEDING & LACTATION ROOMS
3-1. Lactation/Family Nurturing Rooms
EWU has several lactation/family nurturing rooms on campus available to students, employees, and visitors:
- Pence Union Building (keys are available through the PUB Welcome Desk on the 2nd floor)
- Patterson Hall L231B
- Showalter Hall 202
- Williamson Hall 100A
- JFK Library
- Spokane Campus- Academic Center 145B
As a place of public accommodation, Washington law permits students and visitors to breastfeed in public.
3-3. Nursing Mother Breaks
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees who are overtime eligible are entitled to take reasonable break times to express breast milk for a nursing child for up to one year after the child’s birth. Employees who need breaks and/or a location to express breast milk should work with their supervisors to accommodate the employees’ needs.
Employees who are not eligible for overtime should work with their supervisors to develop a schedule that will allow the nursing mother to take reasonable breaks to express breast milk for up to one year after a child’s birth.
4 – PREGNANT EMPLOYEES
4-1. Accommodations- Provided Upon Request
Pregnant employees may request certain changes to their working environment to accommodate their pregnancy. Upon request, EWU will fulfill a pregnant employee’s request for:
- Frequent, longer, or flexible restroom breaks
- Modification of a no food or drink policy
- Seating or allowing employee to sit more frequently
- Limiting lifting to 17 pounds or less.
4-2. Accommodations- Interactive Process
Pregnant employees who need additional accommodations beyond what is identified in section 4-1 should contact the Human Resources Manager, Showalter Hall 314, (509) 359-2384, to initiate the reasonable accommodations process. The process for seeking an accommodation is contained in EWU Policy 402-03 (Accommodating Persons with Disabilities).
The Human Resources Manager may request a written note from a health care professional outlining the need for additional accommodations for a pregnant employee, such as:
- Modifying a work schedule, job reassignment, changing a work station, or providing equipment other than a seat
- Temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position
- Scheduling flexibility for prenatal visits
4-3. Need for Leave During Pregnancy
Employees who need leave from work for a pregnancy-related reason have several leave options available. Leave options are outlined in relevant collective bargaining agreements or EWU Policy 406-01 (Exempt Employment). In addition, if an employee has a serious medical condition or needs to care for a family member with a serious medical condition, leave may be available under EWU Policy 403-03 (Family & Medical Leave). Shared leave may be available for employees who are sick or temporarily disabled because of a pregnancy-related medical condition or miscarriage. Additional information about shared leave is available in EWU Policy 403-02 (Shared Leave).
Leave options for an employee after childbirth are identified in the next chapter.
5 – PARENTAL LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES
5-1. Family Medical Leave Act
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees who meet certain eligibility criteria may be entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth and care of a newborn child or the placement for adoption or foster care of a child. Such leave must be taken with in the first twelve months from the date or birth or placement of the foster or adopted child. Detailed information about family and medical leave are available in EWU Policy 403-03 (Family & Medical Leave).
5-2. Shared Leave
Shared leave may be available for up to sixteen weeks for employees who need time to bond and care for a newborn child after birth or after placement for adoption or foster care. Additional leave about shared leave options is available in EWU Policy 403-02 (Shared Leave).
5-3. Other Leave Options
Other leave options may be available. Employees should check their applicable collective bargaining agreement or EWU Policy 406-01 (Exempt Employment).
6 – DISCRIMINATION OR CONCERNS
EWU prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, pregnancy, parental, or familial status. EWU’s policy against discrimination is EWU Policy 402-02 (Diversity & Nondiscrimination). Persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of sex, pregnancy, parental, or familial status can contact:
Title IX Coordinator
Director of Equal Opportunity