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CLARIFICATION TO MARADMIN 331-18 CHANGES TO PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY

Date Signed: 10/4/2018
MARADMINS Number: 570/18

R 041444Z OCT 18
MARADMIN 570/18
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//
SUBJ/CLARIFICATION TO MARADMIN 331-18 CHANGES TO PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY//
REF/A/MSGID: MARADMIN 331/18//
AMPN/ REF A IS MARADMIN 331-18, CHANGES TO PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY//
POC/C. C. MCLEOD/LTCOL/CMC (MPO)/TEL: (703)784-9386/CHARLES.MCLEOD@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Purpose. This MARADMIN provides clarification of the policy established in the reference by addressing the most prevalent populations of affected Marines and offering sample vignettes.
2.  Background. The Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act updated the rules for military parental leave. This new guidance affords greater flexibility in the use of parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child(ren). Upon the receipt of implementation guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps promulgated the new leave rules via the reference. Since the policy changes mark a significant shift from previous entitlements, this message facilitates better understanding for Marines that are impacted.
3.  For Marines who give birth (birthparent). With few exceptions, the total amount of non-chargeable leave remains up to 84 days. However, the new policy provides flexibility on who can take leave and when leave may be taken.
3.a.  Maternity Convalescent Leave is intended to enable a Marines body to medically recover following delivery and is taken in one 42-day increment immediately following release from the hospital. This leave cannot be denied by commanders. Maternity Convalescent Leave may be extended if a medical provider deems a Marine is not ready to return to duty. If Maternity Convalescent Leave beyond 42 days is granted, a corresponding reduction in caregiver leave occurs. Conversely, a Marine can voluntarily return to duty earlier than 42 days if desired, but only if cleared by their medical provider first.
3.b.  A Marine who gives birth and accepts primary responsibility for care of the new child will automatically receive 42 days of Primary Caregiver Leave. A Marine may execute Primary Caregiver Leave immediately following Maternity Convalescent Leave or delay Primary Caregiver Leave, so long as it starts within one year of the birth.
3.c.  If desired, a Marine birthparent can instead request designation as the secondary caregiver. In this case, the Marine birthparent receives 14 days of Secondary Caregiver Leave that starts immediately after Maternity Convalescent Leave or any time within one year of the birth.
3.d.  In either case, approximately 60 days prior to the anticipated delivery, the Marine should request designation as primary or secondary caregiver via Marine Onlines Electronic Personnel Administrative Request with the subject: Caregiver Designation.
3.e.  Primary or Secondary Caregiver Leave may be deferred if a Marine is within three months of an operational deployment. The time spent operationally deployed shall not count against the one-year period in which Primary or Secondary Caregiver Leave must commence.
3.f.  A Marine birthparent is exempt from physical fitness and body composition standards until at least nine months after the date of the birth event. Following this nine-month exemption, a Marine birthparent is expected to meet physical fitness and body composition standards at the next regularly scheduled unit physical fitness and/or body composition evaluation, unless stated otherwise by a medical provider. This is a change from MCO 6100.13A and MCO 6110.3A policies and will be incorporated in the next updates to these orders.
3.g.  In cases of miscarriage or stillbirth, convalescent leave other than Maternity Convalescent Leave will be granted according to the recommendation of the health care provider and in coordination with the command.
4.  For Marines who become a parent, but do not give birth (Non-birthparent, also applies to adoptions). Non-birthparent Marines receive 14 days of non-chargeable Secondary Caregiver Leave, unless they are designated as the primary caregiver.
4.a.  Secondary Caregiver Leave is taken in one 14-day increment, starting any time within one year of a birth or adoption.
4.b.  A non-birthparent Marine may be designated as the primary caregiver when justified and approved by the commander. Justification includes, but is not limited to, incapacitation or unavailability of the birthparent. If approved, a Marine receives 42 days of Primary Caregiver Leave as described above.
4.c.  In either case, approximately 60 days prior to the anticipated date of delivery or adoption, the Marine should request designation as primary or secondary caregiver via Marine Online Electronic Personnel Administrative Request with the subject: Caregiver Designation.
4.d.  Primary or Secondary Caregiver Leave may be deferred if a Marine is within three months of an operational deployment. The time spent operationally deployed shall not count against the one-year period in which caregiver leave must be taken.
4.e.  When a Marine is not married to the birthparent, additional documentation is required for a caregiver designation. Documentation includes:
4.e.1. Being listed as a parent, with consent, on the child(s) birth certificate, certificate of live birth, or other government issued document.
4.e.2. Acknowledgement, in writing, of an obligation to support the child, either by voluntary agreement or court order.
4.e.3. Registration, or pending registration, in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). In all cases, DEERS registration must occur within 30 days of the birth event or adoption.
5.  Marines in dual-military relationships.
5.a.  A Marine birthparent is entitled to Maternity Convalescent Leave, as described in paragraph 3.a.
5.b.  The primary and secondary caregiver roles should be mutually determined by both military members. Only one parent may be designated as primary caregiver for a qualifying birth or adoption.
5.c.  Approximately 60 days prior to the anticipated delivery date or adoption, a Marine should request designation as the primary or secondary caregiver via Marine Online Electronic Personnel Administrative Request with the subject: Caregiver Designation. Upon approval, the Marine receives the appropriate caregiver designation and the associated leave, as described above.
6.  Sample Vignettes.
6.a.  A pregnant active duty Marine is married to a civilian spouse. The Marine opts to be the primary caregiver and is designated as such. The Marine gives birth on 6 Nov 2018, is discharged from the hospital on 8 Nov 2018, and begins 42 days of Maternity Convalescent Leave on 9 Nov 2018. At the end of the Maternity Convalescent Leave, her medical provider determines she is not fit for full duty and authorizes 7 additional days of Maternity Convalescent Leave. The Marine has 35 days of Primary Caregiver Leave available (Original 42 days of Primary Caregiver Leave minus the 7 extra days of Maternity Convalescent Leave used), to be started within one year of the birth.
6.b.  An active duty Marines civilian spouse is pregnant. The Marine requests designation as the primary caregiver, but provides no justification. The commander denies the request for insufficient justification and instead designates the Marine as secondary caregiver. The spouse gives birth on 6 Nov 2018 and the Marine starts 14 days of Secondary Caregiver Leave on 7 Nov 2018. On 12 Nov 2018, the spouse suffers a medical emergency and requires hospitalization. On 19 Nov 2018, the Marine requests re-designation as primary caregiver due to the spouse(s) long-term incapacitation. The commander changes the Marine(s) designation to primary caregiver on 20 Nov 2018 and authorizes the Marine 28 days of Primary Caregiver Leave (42 days minus the 14 days of Secondary Caregiver Leave already taken).
6.c.  A pregnant active duty Marine is married to an active duty Sailor. The couple determines the Marine will be the secondary caregiver and the Marine is subsequently designated as such. The birth occurs as planned and after the completion of her Maternity Convalescent Leave (42 days), the Marine will have an additional 14 days of Secondary Caregiver Leave, to begin within one year of the birth.
6.d.  An active duty Marines civilian spouse is pregnant with an expected delivery date of 10 Nov 2018. The Marine is scheduled to deploy on or about 20 Dec 2018. The Marine requests designation as secondary caregiver and informs his chain of command that he intends to defer Secondary Caregiver Leave until after the deployment. The Marine is present for the birth of the child, but continues pre- deployment work ups and deploys with the unit for 182 days. The Marine may commence 14 days of Secondary Caregiver Leave upon return (Secondary Caregiver Leave must start within one year of the birth, excluding the 182 days operationally deployed).
7.  This MARADMIN is applicable to the active component and reserve component Marines on active duty for more than 365 days.
8.  Released authorized by BGen William H. Swan, Director Manpower Plans and Policy Division.//