Over the past two years, the Integrated Disability Absence Management team (IDAM), Human Resources, Women’s Support and Empowerment Council ERG (WSEC), Strategic Communications, Creative Services, IDEA, and the Early Career ERG (ECERG) have worked to develop materials to help employees at LBNL better understand the parental leave process.

As a result of the work of this cross-functional group, a number of visual resources have been created to assist Lab employees navigate the complexity of parental leave options available:

  • A flowchart to help employees navigate to the proper chart of potential parental leave options based on their parental status, role, and how long they have been at the Lab.
  • Six timelines of parental leave that cover job protection, pay and wage replacement, and benefits protection. Please note that timelines assume an ideal pregnancy/birth, so these resources are not reflective of more complex cases.

These materials also reflect a number of important improvements to parental leave benefits. Effective this year, UC and Berkeley Lab expanded the Pay for Family Care and Bonding policy (PFCB) coverage to cover 100% of eligible earnings. Additionally, the Lab extended its Paid Parental Leave policy indefinitely for non-represented employees who are not eligible for PFCB.

U.S. laws and Berkeley Lab policies related to parental leave can be very complex and difficult for employees to navigate. For example, those from other countries may be surprised to learn that pregnancy is classified as a disability; thus it is worth suggesting that Lab staff sign up for short-term disability coverage when they first join. In the spirit of inclusivity and the Lab’s stewardship commitment to take care of one another, these resources aim to raise the baseline knowledge of what parental leave options may be available at LBNL overall. 

Finally, the Lab’s dedicated IDAM team is available for individual consultation, particularly for complex cases not captured in the resources mentioned above. For all questions related to family and parental leave, please contact IDAM@lbl.gov.