2022-2023 Bulletin: Policies and General Information 
    
    Oct 07, 2022  
2022-2023 Bulletin: Policies and General Information

Pregnancy, Childbirth, Adoption, and Lactation Policy


Policy Statement 

Claremont Graduate University (CGU) prohibits discrimination on the basis of any characteristic protected by applicable law, including discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, in the administration of its programs and activities. 

Scope of Policy  

This policy applies to enrolled pregnant CGU graduate students or certificate participants (included in this policy hereafter as “students”) who wish to seek accommodations during pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, or to lactating CGU graduate students who wish to seek accommodations as a result of their lactating status.  

Policy 

Nothing in this policy requires modification to the essential elements of any academic program. Pregnant students cannot be channeled into an alternative program or school against their wishes. CGU will neither require nor prohibit leaves of absence for pregnancy or childbirth. CGU will reasonably accommodate pregnant students so that they may continue to make progress toward the completion of their degree. Any student who believes that they have not been treated equitably under the provisions of this policy may contact the Title IX Office. 

Privacy Statement 

As with disability accommodations, information about pregnant students’ requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information unless necessary. Administrative responsibility for these accommodations lies with the Disability Coordinator, who will maintain all appropriate documentation related to accommodations. 

Definitions 

  • Care-taking: caring for and providing for the needs of a child.  
  • Medical Necessity: a determination made by a health care provider (of the student’s choosing) that a certain course of action is in the patient’s best health interests.  
  • Parenting: the raising of a child by the child’s parents or guardian in the reasonably immediate postpartum period.  
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Related Medical Conditions: include (but are not limited to) pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, termination of pregnancy, conditions arising in connection with pregnancy, and recovery from any of these conditions. 
  • Pregnancy Discrimination: includes treating an individual affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition less favorably than similarly situated individuals not so affected and includes a failure to provide legally mandated leave or accommodations.  
  • Pregnant Student/Birth Parent: refers to the student who is or was pregnant. This policy and its pregnancy-related protections apply to all pregnant persons, regardless of gender identity or expression.  
  • Non-birth Parent: refers to spouses or partners of individual’s anticipating or recently experiencing the birth of a child, parents who adopt a child, or parents by means of surrogacy.  
  • Reasonable Accommodations: (for the purposes of this policy) changes in the academic environment or typical operations that enables pregnant students or students with related medical conditions to continue to pursue their studies and enjoy the equal benefits of CGU while still maintaining the integrity of the program and fairness for all participating students. 

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Students  

  • Requests for accommodations due to pregnancy or related medical conditions must be supported by documentation from a healthcare provider.  
  • CGU and its faculty, staff, and other employees will not require students to limit their studies as the result of pregnancy or related medical conditions.  
  • The benefits and services provided to students affected by pregnancy will be no less than those provided to students with temporary medical conditions.  
  • No artificial deadlines or time limitations will be imposed on requests for accommodations, but CGU is limited in its ability to impact or implement accommodations retroactively 
  • Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:  
  • Providing accommodations requested by a pregnant student to protect the health and safety of the student and/or the pregnancy (such as allowing the student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances)  
  • Making modifications to the physical environment (such as accessible seating)  
  • Extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy related absences  
  • Excusing medically-necessary absences (this must be granted, irrespective of classroom attendance requirements set by a faculty member, department, or division)  
  • Granting leave per CGU leave policy or implementing incomplete grades for classes that will be resumed at a future date. 

Support for Lactating Parents  

CGU supports the importance of health and bonding for students nursing their infants. To ensure access for students who wish to breastfeed, the institution will provide reasonable accommodations to enable parents to express breast milk. A Lactation room (other than a restroom) is available to all members of the community. 

Recommended Steps  

  • Request: Students should discuss a lactation accommodation with the CGU Disability Coordinator. The request does not need to be made in writing nor is a doctor’s note required. 
  • Discussion: The CGU Disability Coordinator will meet with the student to acknowledge the request and help develop an accommodation. The representative should confirm that the student or third party has a private, clean, and secure place to express breast milk. If the student has questions or concerns about the available accommodations on campus, questions should be referred to the CGU Disability Coordinator.  
  • Follow up: The CGU Disability Coordinator should confirm the accommodation in writing and offer to revisit the plan with the student after two to three weeks to see if any changes are needed. 

Support for Non-birth Parents  

An enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who is not the birth parent and who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of their child shall return to their program in good academic standing following a leave period consistent with CGU’s leave of absence policy. 

Family Leave of Absence Students requesting a leave of absence must apply for the leave through a form available in the Registrar’s Office. Pregnant graduate students may request a Family Leave of Absence in order to suspend their student enrollment around the time of the birth. Any matriculated pregnant graduate student requesting a Family Leave of Absence will be approved for a leave period of one academic semester so long as the general leave of absence eligibility criteria are met. Non-birth parents may also request a Leave of Absence and will also be approved for a leave period of one academic semester if eligibility criteria are met. Students that have welcomed a new child into the family through adoption or foster care will also be granted a leave of absence upon request if eligibility criteria are met.  

Prior to requesting a leave of absence students should familiarize themselves with the eligibility conditions, procedures, and limitations for leaves. This information may be found on the Registrar’s Office website. 

Retaliation and Harassment  

  • Harassment of any member of CGU community based on sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, or parental status is prohibited.  
  • Faculty, staff, and other CGU employees are prohibited from interfering with students’ right to take leave, seek reasonable accommodation, or otherwise exercise their rights under this policy.  
  • Faculty, staff, and other CGU employees are prohibited from retaliating against students for exercising the rights articulated by this policy, including imposing or threatening to impose negative educational outcomes because students request leave or accommodation, file a complaint, or otherwise exercise their rights under this policy.  
  • Retaliation and/or harassment claims will be adjudicated using the procedures outlined in the Student, Staff, and Faculty Harassment and Discrimination Policy.