Work Leave

This is the policy for the US offices.

Taking time off can affect our cash flow, project schedules, and client expectations, so we appreciate being informed as far ahead as possible, and you should coordinate your leave with your manager.

You must provide a minimum of 30 days advance, unless it is impracticable to do so, or if the leave is taken for an emergency, in writing, of your intent to take leave and the anticipated date of your return. Email management@thoughtbot.com with your leave request.

Once your leave is approved, proactively communicate with your team, clients, and management about the leave you will be taking and when you’ll return.

Medical Insurance

We will continue to provide medical insurance coverage during your leave. The company will continue to cover medical insurance premiums per company policy for up to 6 months. If you were already enrolled in dental, thoughtbot also will cover your dental premium for up to 6 months.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, if you decide to not return to work, or choose to leave the company within 6 months of your leave, then you must pay the company back for the medical insurance and dental premiums that the company paid during your leave.

Benefits / Reviews

Unless otherwise stated, your benefits will not continue to accrue, and you will not receive quarterly reviews during the period of leave. For example, life and disability insurance do not continue during an unpaid leave of absence as they are tied to salary. Vacation days do not accrue while you are on leave.

Employees may use their accrued vacation to extend a leave of absence. However, they may not borrow vacation days for this purpose.

Other Employment

While on leave, employees may not apply for unemployment insurance, and should not take other employment.

Types of Leaves:

Parental Leave

You are eligible for both paid and unpaid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. The paid and unpaid leave can be combined for up to 6 months of parental leave. thoughtbot provides 6 weeks paid time off for all new parents.

If you live in a state with a separate system for paid family leave, thoughtbot will pay you directly for the portion of your weekly rate not covered by that state system. A team member who gives birth also receives 4 weeks of short term disability for a natural birth and 6 weeks of short term disability for a c­section if parental leave is taken immediately following the birth.

You may use available sick days or vacation days after the 6 weeks of parental leave paid by thoughtbot. After exhausting paid options, you may take unpaid parental leave for the remainder of the 6 months.

Parental leave may begin up to six months after the birth or adoption of the child. However, short­ term disability is only available to someone who gave birth if the leave is taken immediately after the birth. Employees seeking parental leave must provide a minimum of 30 days advance notice of their intent to take parental leave and the anticipated date of their return, unless it is impracticable to do so, or if the leave is taken for an emergency. In such case, you are required to notify us as soon as possible.

Vacation days continue to accrue while on parental leave.

FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles an eligible employee to take an unpaid leave of absence for up to twelve work weeks for one, or more, qualifying reasons. Eligible employees are those who have been employed at least 12 months and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Requests for Family and Medical Leave should be submitted to the Company at least 30 days in advance of a planned leave or within one or two business days of discovering the need for leave. thoughtbot reserves the right to designate leave, paid or unpaid, as FMLA leave as soon as thoughtbot discovers that the reason for the leave qualifies under the FMLA.

Upon return to thoughtbot at the end of the leave, you will be restored to your former position with the same rights, benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions which existed prior to the leave; or to an equivalent position with equivalent rights, benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

If you are on leave for your own serious health condition, you may be required to provide certification from your health care provider that they are able to return to work and perform all of the functions of the job to which you are returning.

Disability Leave

Employees are eligible for paid disability leave due to non­occupational illness, injury or pregnancy­ related disability through disability insurance. There is a 2 week elimination period for short term disability insurance.

Employees requesting leave must provide written notice of the need to take disability leave in accordance with the parameters set out in the section on Disability Insurance. When you are able to return to work, give us at least one week’s advance written notice. Include a doctor’s note stating that you are medically able to return to your normal duties if you are.

The company will continue to fully contribute to insurance premiums per company policy for up to 6 months.

Receiving any payment from thoughtbot would disqualify the employee from receiving disability benefits.

Military Leave

Employees who are required to fulfill military obligations in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or in state military service will be given the necessary time off and reinstated in accordance with federal and state law.The time off will be unpaid, except where state law dictates otherwise. Exempt employees may be provided time off with pay when necessary to comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.

Military orders should be presented to the management and arrangements for leave made as early as possible before departure. Employees are required to give advance notice of their service obligations to the company unless military necessity makes this impossible. You must notify the management of your intent to return to employment based on requirements of the law. Your benefits may continue to accrue during the period of leave in accordance with state and federal law.

Jury Duty

thoughtbot will pay you your regular salary while on jury duty for up to 5 days.

General Leave of Absence

Under special circumstances, after being with the company for one year, you may be granted a leave of absence, or sabbatical, without pay.

Even when you are not being paid, the cost for a general leave of absence is high. In addition to your benefits, we preserve your position and don’t replace you, while also losing revenue that you would have otherwise billed.

Therefore, the granting of this type of leave is dependent upon the written approval of the CEO. Factors such as overall utilization and profitability, length of time at the company, and your past performance will be taken into account when considering whether we are able to approve your general leave of absence request.