Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


As more women enter the workforce, employers are increasingly faced with issues such as pregnancy leave. This study addresses perceptions of faculty pregnancy leave practices in a university setting. In part, this study is a replication/follow-up to a study conducted in 1995 on the perceptions of procedural justice when establishing a maternity leave policy. This study examined current pregnancy leave practices and faculty and department head perceptions of fairness of such leave to the pregnant faculty member and other faculty members. Options used most frequently in 1995 are still the options most frequently used by department heads in 2005. Faculty and department heads were in agreement about the options they are most willing to use, option fairness to pregnant faculty, and option fairness to other faculty. Only one of the three options that required more effort from other faculty to cover pregnancy leave was perceived as less fair to other faculty by department heads and faculty members. That option was the one in which the faculty member received no compensation for covering classes. Department head ratings of willingness to use an option were related to their ratings of fairness to pregnant faculty and related to the perceived fairness of that option to other faculty members. Both department heads and faculty perceived the participative decision-making method to be more appropriate for determining which option to use to cover pregnancy leave. The data from this research should prove useful to department heads, deans, and faculty members as they determine which options will be used to determine class coverage for pregnancy leave.


Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology