CHAPTER 327

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 573

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 13, PART 1, TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SALARIES AND WORKING CONDITIONS OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend § 1323, Chapter 13, Part 1, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

§ 1323. Maternity leave

It is the purpose of this section to indicate certain requirements of all pregnant teachers, and the terms under which return to employment shall be guaranteed to a female teacher who is absent from duty because of pregnancy.

(a) Maternity leave must be requested, granted and used by any teacher who is pregnant during the term of her contract with a reorganized school district.

(b) Request for maternity leave must be presented in writing to the Board of Education of a reorganized school district no later than the end of the fifth month of pregnancy.

(c) The effective date for the beginning of the leave-of-absence from school shall be a date determined by the Board of Education of the school district in accordance with subsection (d) of this section. The Board shall be advised by the attending physician of the teacher, or such other physician as may be approved by the Board.

(d) The period of leave requested and granted for maternity leave shall be for a period of at least twelve weeks, beginning on a date recommended by the attending physician as being approximately six weeks prior to the anticipated date for the birth of the child and shall extend for a period of six weeks following

the birth of the child; except that the Board of Education of a reorganized school district may require that the period of the leave encompass one recognized period of school programming, such as a semester, quarter, or marking period, depending upon the organization of schools in the district. The district shall not require that the duration of the leave be for an entire school year of one hundred and eighty-five (185) teacher working days.

(e) Absence on account of those illnesses associated with pregnancy, delivery, and recovery after delivery, shall not be recognized under provisions of § 1318 of this Title, relating to Sick-Leave.

(f) A teacher, who is the holder of a regular certificate as defined in Rules and Regulations of the State Board of Education and who qualified for benefits described in Delaware Code, Title 14, Chapter 14, and defined in § 1401, and § 1403, may request and shall be granted leave that extends until the first birthday of the child or the opening of the next regular school term after the first birthday of the child.

(g) As a condition to the granting of the maternity leave, the employee shall indicate to the Board of Education of the school district that she will, at the completion of the leave and on such date as is determined by the Board, return to regular employment in the district; or she shall resign from the position held, thus authorizing the Board to employ a regular full-time teacher..

(h) At the end of any maternity leave the professional employee shall be accepted into full-time employment by the leave-granting Board and assigned to the same or a similar position to the one from which leave was granted. In no case may assignment be made so as to invalidate the professional employee's certification status or to bring about a demotion in position or salary.

(i) The period of absence for maternity leave shall not be counted in the determination of experience, salary, or pension eligibility and computation time.

(j) No state funds shall be used for any payment of salaries to persons on leave under the provisions of this section.

Section 2. The provisions of this Act shall become effective upon signature by the Governor.

Approved January 20, 1972.