Receiving the Benefit of Time

A new employee benefit gives time off for birthing and non-birthing parents to be home with their babies.

When Karie Miller became a mom this spring, she received the beautiful gift of her daughter and another one she wasn’t expecting – the gift of time. Miller, a teacher at Cobber Kids, was able to take the college’s new parenting leave option giving her paid time with her baby while not draining her PTO.

The new benefit, which is for both the birthing parent or a non-birthing parent who works at Concordia, made the transition into parenthood go a little more smoothly. She also appreciated the opportunity to figure out their new rhythm of life knowing she had more time.

“We didn’t have to worry about the financial end of taking time off,” Miller says.

Under the new benefit, a birthing parent can take six weeks of extended illness benefit for recovery followed by six weeks of parental leave to take care of a child for a total of 12 weeks of paid leave. A non-birthing parent who works for the college can take six weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.

Petra Vanderford, event coordinator in Conferences and Events, used the benefit for the birth of her second child this summer. She says the process of taking the leave was simple and she felt the Human Resources Office was supportive in her request.

“Without this option, I would have had to use more of my paid time off balance or possibly gone unpaid for a portion of my leave,” Vanderford says. “I may have even decided to take a lesser amount of time off.”

Concordia has also had a dad take this benefit opportunity to be home with his new baby. All the parents said the best part of being home was spending those beautiful moments with their babies.

“I was completely free to schedule and attend baby’s appointments and was blessed to witness so many of her ‘firsts’ – smiling, rolling over,” Vanderford says.

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Top photo: Miller and her daughter; b&w photo: Vanderford and her daughter