Student Pregnancy Policy
About This Policy
I. POLICY STATEMENT
Montclair State University is committed to protecting the rights of students to an educational environment free from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, as required under Title IX of the Educational Amendment Act of 1972; the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act; and State of New Jersey Title 18A statute prohibiting institutions of higher education from pregnancy discrimination.
This policy has been developed by the University to inform members of the campus community about the University policy applicable to pregnant and parenting students.
II. UNIVERSITY STUDENT STATUS ACTIONS
Students affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions will be treated in the same manner as other students who are affected by a physical condition. This will occur in all aspects of student life, including but not limited to actions relating to enrollment, academic status and progress, and ability to participate in research, extracurricular activities, student employment and other educational opportunities.
All enrollment, participation, academic and other student status decisions are made without regard to stereotypes or assumptions about individuals affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
University employees who violate the University’s policy against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues are subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination.
III. ANTI-HARASSMENT STATEMENT
The University will not tolerate harassment in the educational environment. Harassment based on a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (including breastfeeding) is unlawful and is prohibited.
Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to: making sexual comments or jokes about a pregnancy, sexually charged name calling, spreading rumors about sexual activity, and making sexual propositions or gestures, if the comments are sufficiently serious that they interfere with a student’s ability to benefit from or participate in an educational activity.
Any student who believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related issue, should file an immediate complaint with the appropriate party as indicated below. In the event that a complaint is filed against any person who has primary responsibility for implementing the procedures, the President of the University or designee shall determine the appropriate changes in personnel, and shall advise the parties in writing of how the complaint should be processed.
Report Discrimination By A Student To:
Associate Dean of Students & Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Student Center, Room 400I
1 Normal Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043
All complaints of pregnancy discrimination will be investigated promptly and thoroughly.
The procedures used to address complaints of discrimination due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues will be the same as those utilized to address Title IX complaints. Procedures to address complaints of discrimination by a faculty or staff member are described in full here: Sexual Harassment website. Procedures to address complaints of discrimination by a student are described in full here: Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures for Students. Print copies of these procedures are available in the following offices: Dean of Students Office, Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity (Human Resources), Counseling and Psychological Services, University Health Center, University Police Department.
Retaliation against an individual for reporting discrimination or for participating in an investigation is prohibited by Title IX and University policy. Examples of retaliation include intimidation, threats, coercion and may subject the offender to sanctions, regardless of whether or not the sexual harassment complaint has been substantiated.
V. DISCLOSURE OF PREGNANCY
A student who is, or becomes, pregnant is strongly encouraged to notify their faculty, and support personnel in the Dean of Students Office and/or the Disability Resource Center as soon as possible. By doing so, the student and the University can collaborate and develop an appropriate plan for the continuation of the student’s educational progression, as well as particular challenges the student may face while pregnant or recovering from childbirth (e.g. missed classes, make-up work, etc.).
However, the choice to declare a pregnancy is voluntary, and a student is not required to disclose this information to the University.
VI. REQUESTING PREGNANCY ACCOMMODATIONS
Pregnant students may attend classes and participate in all educational activities until such time as they may choose to request a medical withdrawal or leave of absence/withdrawal from the University. Reasonable accommodations will be granted when necessary to enable the student to complete coursework, research and other educational and extracurricular activities.
A. Reasonable Accommodations
At a minimum, the following reasonable accommodations will be granted when appropriate:
- Allow opportunities to make up missed work, extend deadlines, and earn credit for tests, assignments, participation and attendance.
- Access to the same accommodation services that are provided to any student with a temporary medical condition must be available to students who are pregnant or experiencing pregnancy-related issues.
- Allowing a pregnant student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances
- Modifications to the physical environment such as accessible seating or elevator access
- Allowing breastfeeding students reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean and reasonably accessible. See: Lactation Rooms
B. Process for Handling Requests for Accommodations
- In order to request a pregnancy-related accommodation, students should contact the Disability Resource Center, Cole Hall, Room 331, 973-655-5431.
- As with all accommodation requests for temporary conditions, the student will be required to provide documentation of the pregnancy or related medical condition to the Disability Resource Center. The Disability Resource Center will determine such accommodations are necessary and appropriate, and will inform the faculty member of the need to adjust academic parameters accordingly, in coordination with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Yolanda Alvarez, Dean of Students Office, Student Center Room 4001, 973-655-7543, email@example.com.
- Information about a pregnant student’s requests for accommodations will be shared with administrators and faculty on a limited need to know basis, only as necessary to implement the accommodation(s).
VII. PREGNANCY LEAVE OF ABSENCE OR WITHDRAWAL
A registered student at any level (certificate, undergraduate, graduate) may choose to take a leave of absence/withdrawal, or a medical withdrawal for pregnancy, pregnancy-related issues or birth of a child. Birth parents may take a leave up to one full academic year, unless there is a medical reason for a longer absence, without being required to re-apply for admission. No re-admission process will be required in cases when the leave of absence exceeds one year out of medical necessity. Non-birth parents may take a leave of absence/withdrawal up to one full semester without being required to apply for re-admission.
Any student requesting a medical withdrawal should follow the steps outlined in the Medical Withdrawal Policy. Undergraduate students requesting a withdrawal/leave of absence can complete the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Request Form. Graduate students requesting a leave should contact the Graduate School at firstname.lastname@example.org, 973-655-5147.
VIII. RETURNING FROM LEAVE
A. All Students
- Any student returning from a leave for pregnancy or birth of a child is entitled to return to the same academic program and same standing in the University with no loss of standing, credit, progress, grade point average, or other rights or privileges. The University will take reasonable steps to ensure that an enrolled student at any level (certificate, undergraduate, graduate) who was in good academic standing prior to the leave of absence shall return to good academic standing in their program or course of study, as long as the duration of their leave is consistent with this policy and the policies of the University.
- There is no requirement to provide any documentation prior to returning from a leave. If the student will require accommodations upon return from the leave, they must notify the Disability Resource Center of their pending return to initiate this process.
- If a student does not return from the medical withdrawal or withdrawal/leave of absence for the semester immediately following the end of their approved leave, the student must submit a readmission application with the Office of Admissions by the established admissions deadlines.
B. Graduate Students
A graduate student who chooses to take a leave of absence due to pregnancy or birth of child will be granted an extension of time upon return as follows:
- Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations
The birth parent will be allowed a period consistent with Montclair State University policies or a period of 12 months, whichever is longer to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations. The non-birth parent shall be allowed a period consistent with Montclair State University policy or one month, whichever is longer to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations.
- Time to Degree
The time to degree requirement for a student who has taken a leave of absence for pregnancy or birth of a child will be extended for the period of time equal to the length of the leave of absence, unless a longer extension is medically necessary. For the non-birth parent, the time to degree must be extended at least one month, unless a longer period or extension is medically necessary to care for the student’s partner or their child.
IX. PREGNANCY RELATED ABSENCES
Student absences due to pregnancy and related conditions, childbirth, or recovery from childbirth will be excused. Doctor’s notes are required only in cases when they are required of any other student who has a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor, or who has been hospitalized for other conditions.
X. LACTATION STATIONS & INFORMATION
The University provides 6 lactation stations across campus for breastfeeding students – these locations. These spaces provide an area where students are shielded from view and free from intrusion. Refrigeration/storage is not provided in the rooms; users will need to provide their own cooler with ice pack for storage purposes. Lactation rooms must be scheduled before use:
- Center for Clinical Services (CCSV 1440), Room 1140, schedule through 25Live
- School of Nursing/Graduate School (NURS 105), Room 105, schedule through 25Live
- Overlook Corporate Center, Room 3109 (OVLK 3109), schedule through 25Live
- Richardson Hall, Room 236 (RICH 236, temporarily out-of-service during building renovations), schedule through 25Live
- Student Center, Room 305, schedule by email to Sonja Tillman, email@example.com
- University Hall, Room 3122, schedule by email to Hanan Atiyat, firstname.lastname@example.org
As mandated by law, a breastfeeding student may take a reasonable amount of time to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth, each time such student has the need to express the milk.
XI. DISTRIBUTION OF THE POLICY
This policy shall be made available annually to all faculty, staff and employees, and distributed to all students attending orientation sessions at the University.
XII. QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS
Any student who has questions about this policy or who is concerned about its implementation should contact:
Associate Vice President for Compliance for Human Resources & Title IX Coordinator
Overlook Corporate Center, 150 Clove Rd., 3rd Floor, Little Falls, NJ 07424