[See also Maternity Extension Leave [VX]]
[Note: This post has been revised with updated information. Clarifications or edits are indicated in strikeout font for deleted text and underlined font for added text. – Edited 03.15.2018 jtp]
Q: I’m wondering what the work requirement would be to ensure time off for L-VX FAs on Maternity Extension Leave. As you know, VX used to require 504 duty hours in order to qualify for the 12 weeks baby bonding. Does AS require the same amount of work in order to take the additional 8 months leave? Or do you just have to have worked for AS for 6 months? Have flown 480 TFP? Or are all expectant moms guaranteed maternity leave regardless of how much and how long they’ve flown for VX/AS?
A: It’s complicated. Alaska management is requiring any L-VX FA who applies for intermittent baby bonding under the California Family Right Act (CFRA) after 1/1/2018 must have achieved 1250 hours in order to be eligible. This is the Company’s interpretation of its obligation for 12 weeks of intermittent continuous baby bonding under CFRA, which is not contractual. To qualify for the contractual Maternity Leave Extension of eight months, the FA is automatically qualified upon expiration of her Maternity Leave if she applies for the Maternity Leave Extension. In order to remain covered for healthcare insurance at the active employee rates, she must have available sick leave and/or vacation in order to coordinate with the leave pursuant to §15.M; otherwise, the leave is unpaid and she would be responsible for the full cost of healthcare insurance. A L-AS FA has available sick leave after the completion of probation (although a new Washington Paid Sick Leave law allows sick leave access earlier, so that law is currently working its way through the courts) and available vacation after the first year of service as long as she has achieved the appropriate 480 thresholds. L-VX FAs will be able to immediately access Maternity Leave Extension upon ratification of the Merger Agreement, and the FA will be on an unpaid leave but remain covered by healthcare insurance at the active employee rates until Full Integration; at Full Integration, the contractual requirement to draw sick leave and/or vacation will take over in order to maintain healthcare benefits at the active employee rates and to be paid. AFA strongly suggests any L-VX FAs who are currently on or anticipating to be on any type of Maternity Leave to contact your local union leadership (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your options.