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Frequently Asked Questions about Leaves of Absence


1. Where can I find more information about taking a Leave of Absence?

The Human Resources website provides detailed information about what you should do before, during, and after a leave of absence.  We ask that you review Leave of Absence on the HR website if you are considering taking a Leave of Absence.

Other sites to explore include:

2. Is it my responsibility to inform my manager/supervisor of my leave?

Yes.  It is your responsibility to notify your manager/supervisor of a foreseen Leave of Absence.  If unforeseen, notification should be made to the employee's manager/supervisor as soon as possible.  The employee is not required to discuss with his/her manager/supervisor or department the nature of the medical leave.

3. Do I continue to accrue vacation and sick time while on a Leave of Absence?

If your approved Leave of Absence is "with pay", you will continue to accrue vacation and sick time.  Your vacation and sick time will accrue at the rate in effect prior to your approved paid Leave of Absence.  If the leave is granted "without pay", no additional vacation or sick time is accrued or reported.

4. What documentation must I submit when I request a Leave of Absence?

Documentation requirements vary by Leave.  Check the appropriate Leave of Absence Policy or Collective Bargaining Agreement for details.

5. Do I maintain benefits while on a leave with pay?

Employees on Leave with Pay maintain benefits and their contributions continue to be deducted from their paychecks.

6. Is there help available since I have exhausted time-off work accurals and I am without pay?

You may inquire about the Leave Donation Policy, which allows eligible employees who have presented a completed Certification of Health Care Provider form to University Health Services for injury or illness and who have exhausted all accrued time, to receive donations of accrued vacation hours from fellow employees.  Please refer to the Leave Donation website to review eligibility, procedures, and forms.

AAUP represented faculty may contact Human Resources to donate vacation time but cannot be a recepient. Refer to the AAUP CBA for information regarding the faculty sick bank.

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7. How can I tell when I'll run out of pay?

You can estimate when you'll run out of paid time by checking your most recent pay stub.  Your supervisor should also be able to assist you.

8. If a paid holiday occurs while I'm on a Leave of Absence, will I be paid for the holiday?

If you are on a Leave of Absence With Pay, you will receive pay for the holiday.  If you are on a Leave of Absence Without Pay, you will not receive pay.

9. How long can I be on a Leave of Absence?

Duration varies by Leave.  Check the appropriate Leave of Absence Policy or Collective Bargaining Agreement for details.

10. What is the university's maternity leave policy?

There is no separate maternity leave policy; however, an employee may qualify for an FMLA (Employee) and/or Medical Leave (Employee) with or without pay. COM Post Docs, see question 13 and AAUP represented faculty, see questions 39-67.

11. Does the university have paternity leave?

No; however, an employee may qualify for FMLA-Medical (Family) or Medical (Family) Leave of Absence with or without pay. COM Post Docs, see question 13 and AAUP represented faculty, see questions 39-67.

12. An employee is expecting a baby soon. She is not a COM Post Doc or AAUP reprsented faculty member. How do I process her Leave of Absence?

You must first determine whether or not the employee is eligible for FMLA.  The employee must use sick time for the duration of medical certification and may elect to use vacation if all sick time is exhausted.  Sick time may not be used beyond the period of medical certification.  When initiating the PCR, you should select Leave of Absence With Pay if using sick and/or vacation or Leave of Absence Without Pay if no paid time is available to use. 

The Leave reason will be Paid or Unpaid FMLA-Medical (Employee) if FMLA eligible or Paid or Unpaid Medical (Employee) if not FMLA eligible.  Employees may remain absent for childrearing leave following absence for childbirth.  When initiating the PCR, you should select Leave of Absence With Pay if using vacation or Leave of Absence Without Pay if no paid time is available or requested.  The Leave reason will be Paid or Unpaid FMLA Childrearing if FMLA eligible, or Paid or Unpaid Childrearing if not FMLA eligible.

An employee returning from maternity/medical leave must report to UHS with a return to work note from her provider. UHS will provide a release to present to the supervisor before beginning work.

When an employee remains absent, transitions to childrearing leave and returns from this non-medical event she is not required to visit UHS but must present a full duty release from her provider before working.

AAUP represented faculty will be advised if required to report to UHS before returning to work.

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13. Post Doc Fellows are eligible for six weeks Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave.  Are eligible Post Doc Fellows required to exhaust all accrued sick time and vacation time as part of the approved Leave?  Is this Leave treated as an FMLA absence?  Which Leave type do I use when initiating a PCR?

When a College of Medicine Post Doc employee indicates the need for a Maternity/Paternity Leave per the College of Medicine Post Doc policy you must first determine whether or not the employee is eligible for FMLA.  The employee must exhaust all accrued sick (for the duration of medical certification) and vacation as part of the Leave.  If the Post Doc employee has not accrued six weeks of accrued time (sick or vacation), the balance of the time off is paid as regular pay.  The full six weeks of time is paid time.  When initiating the PCR, you should select Leave of Absence With Pay.  The Leave reason will be Paid FMLA Medical (Employee if maternity or Family if paternity) if FMLA eligible or Paid Medical (Employee if maternity or Family if paternity) if not FMLA eligible.

14.   An employee has requested time off for a medical reason.  She has exhausted all available FMLA time as well as all accrued vacation.  She has 10 hours of sick time available to her.  Her absence will be 20 calendar days.  What Leave type and reasons do I use when initiating the PCR?  Her last day worked will be July 17, 20__.

Process as follows: (Example)

  • Leave of Absence With Pay - Paid Medical (Employee): Effective July18 (first day after last day worked)
  • Leave of Absence Without Pay - Unpaid Medical (Employee): Effective July 20 (first full day without pay)
  • Report eight (8) hours sick on July 18 and two (2) hours sick and six hours sick with no pay on July 19

15. An employee's last day worked before his/her Leave begins is a Friday.  When does the employee's Leave of Absence begin?

Since the employee's last day of work was Friday, the Leave of Absence will begin on the following Monday (unless the employee is normally scheduled to work on Saturday or Sunday).  The start of the Leave of Absence is the following scheduled work day after the last day worked.

16. I am currently on a Leave of Absence With Pay, but will exhaust all my sick time soon.  How will I know how much I need to pay in order to continue my benefits?  Where do I send my check?

You will receive a letter and an invoice from UC Benefits shortly after your organizational unit initiates the PCR placing you on a Leave of Absence Without Pay.  The invoice will detail the amount you must submit each month in order to keep your benefit plans in force.  Payment instructions are also included on the invoice.  If you do not hear from UC Benefits near the time you exhaust your paid time, feel free to contact them at 513-556-6381.

17. If I exhaust all paid time and I am unable to return to work, what happens to my benefits?

You should contact UC Benefits at 513-556-6381 to talk about your specific situation.

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18. What are the qualifying events that will allow me to change my coverage?

You have 31 days to make changes to your pre-tax benefits (health, life, flexible spending account) when you experience a "qualified status change."  Going from a paid Leave to a Leave Without Pay is a qualifying event that allows you to make coverage changes.  Returning from a Leave Without Pay is another qualifying event.  You must request any desired changes within 31 days of the event effective date.  Examples of other qualifying events are gaining a dependent by marriage, birth, or adoption.  It also applies if you lose a dependent through divorce or death.  You may also have a 31-day enrollment window if your spouse loses their coverage due to loss of job, Leave of Absence Without Pay or change to part-time status.  We will need documentation of these events for the change to be processed.

19. How does my no-pay status affect my Flexible Spending Account? (FSA's are sometimes referred to as Section 125 Flex Plan or Cafeteria Plan benefits.)

Are you currently enrolled in an FSA?  If so, and you return to work from a Leave of Absence Without Pay in the same calendar year, your FSA deduction amount will automatically increase so you will reach your elected annual amount by the end of the calendar year.  You may also be eligible to make changes to your FSA before you Leave.  Be sure to talk to UC Benefits before you go on leave so we can discuss the options with you.

20. How does my no pay status impact my Health Savings Account (HSA)?

Because you won't be paid, you won't be able to make pre-tax contributions to the Health Savings Account. You continue to receive UC's HSA contribution during your Leave.

You can contribute after-tax to your HSA during your Leave of Absence Without Pay by contacting Health Equity.

21. What happens to my benefits if I do not come back to work following a Leave of Absence Without Pay?

If you do not return to work, your insurance will terminate retroactively to the date through which your premiums were paid.  If you did not pay premiums while you were on Leave of Absence, you are responsible for paying any medical or dental expenses you incurred and you may not be eligible for COBRA coverage.  Please contact us as soon as you begin your Leave of Absence so we can discuss your options.

22. What is long term disability (LTD)?

This is an elective benefit that provides supplemental income to you, the employee, while you are totally disabled (more than four or six months depending upon the plan in which you are enrolled).  Upon approval from UC's disability carrier, you will receive a monthly disability benefit check based on your current benefit election, 60% of base salary or 65% of base salary.  Your LTD benefit may be offset by other sources of income you may be receiving.

23. When does long term disability begin?

Employees enrolled in the plan must be off work for a period of 120 or 180 consecutive days, depending upon the plan.

24. How do I make a claim for long term disability?

To obtain the appropriate claim form, please contact UC Benefits at 513-556-6381.

25. Who do I call if I have questions?

Contact Human Resources at 513-556-6381.  Be sure to contact us at the start of your Leave of Absence; then again when you return to work.

26. Is it permissible to require FLSA-exempt (i.e. non-hourly) employees to use partial days of accumulated time off when absent from work?

Yes.  The U.S. Department of Labor has addressed the question in the DOL Opinion Letter.  Questions can be directed to Labor Relations and Policy Development at 513-556-6372.

Exempt employees absent due to an FMLA-certified event (including employees utilizing intermittent FMLA) are required to submit time off work and FMLA in the increments used via ESS Time Off Work Request. This is the one difference to Exempt employee half day reporting identified by the Department of Labor.

27. Does the university offer Organ Donation Leave as provided under the Ohio Revised Code 124.139?

Yes. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 124.139 UC will provide a paid* Leave of Absence of up to 240 hours each calendar year to any full-time employee who donates a kidney or any portion of a liver. Additionally, any full-time employee who donates bone marrow is eligible for up to 56 hours of paid* time off during any calendar year. Time off work will be processed according to university FMLA, time off work and leave procedures which means that FMLA may run concurrent to any organ donation Leave time granted. If the employee remains absent beyond the paid* period of absence provided for in the Code, university paid Leave time must be used and reported as appropriate.

*regular pay; you are not required to use sick time if you meet Organ Donation Leave requirements. Use of employee paid time off work accruals is not required for the first 240 or 56 hours; organ donation leave time off is to be reported as ABS.

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Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

1. What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law which allows unpaid leave for up to 12 work weeks in a 12-month period for certain qualifying events for eligible employees.  FMLA provides job protection for employees who take this leave.  The university uses a rolling 12-month calendar.

FMLA is not a separate leave bank; it is the university's policy to substitute paid leave for unpaid FMLA when appropriate.  Substitution of paid leave is determined by the terms and conditions of the University's leave policies and collective bargaining agreements.

2. Who is eligible for FMLA?

Employees are eligible if they have worked (including student work employment) for the university for at least 12 cumulative months (employment prior to continuous break in service of seven (7) years or more is not counted) and for 1,250 hours (hours worked, not hours in pay status) over the previous 12 months as of the date leave is to begin, and who have not used their total 12 work weeks entitlement during the individual's 12 rolling-month period.  Any FMLA taken will reduce an employee's remaining available leave entitlement.

Eligibility must be determined as of the date the FMLA leave is to start.  An employee may be on "non-FMLA leave" at the time he/she meets the eligibility requirements and, in that event, any portion of the leave taken for an FMLA-qualifying reason after the employee meets the eligibility is "FMLA leave."

Employees returning from National Guard or Reserve service must be credited with hours they would have worked.

3. What is a qualifying event?

Examples of qualifying events are:

  • Overnight hospitalization of employee or qualified family member
  • Incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • Care for the employee's spouse, son/daughter under 18 (or over 18 only if he/she is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability at the time leave is to begin), or parent, who has a serious health condition
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the employee's job
  • Qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation
  • Twenty-six work weeks of leave to care for a covered service member of the Armed Forces, including National Guard or Reserves who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty, that renders the service member medically unfit to perform his/her duties) for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, therapy, in outpatient status, or is on the temporary disability retired list

4. What is not covered under FMLA?

Family and Medical Leave is not intended to cover short-term conditions for which treatment and recovery are very brief (i.e. cold, flu, etc.).  Treatment does not include routine physical exams, eye exams, or dental exams.  Over the counter medications are not considered a course of treatment.

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5. What is a serious health condition as defined under FMLA?

A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee's job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

6. What does continuing treatment mean?

Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined, with at least two (2) visits to a healthcare provider or one (1) visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.

Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.  For an incapacity of over three (3) days to qualify as a serious health condition based on "two (2) visits to a healthcare provider," the two (2) visits must occur within 30 days of when the incapacity  begins absent extenuating circumstances.  The healthcare provider must determine that the second visit is necessary, and the first visit must be within seven (7) days of the first day of incapacity.  This seven (7) day requirement also applies where the "one (1) visit to a healthcare provider followed by a regimen of treatment" standard is being applied.  Whether additional treatment visits are necessary within the 30-day grace period is to be determined by the healthcare provider.

7. What is the definition of spouse under FMLA?

All legally recognized married couples, whether opposite-sex or same-sex, or married under common law. This does not include domestic partners.

8. How do I verify I have a spouse?

Please refer to Dependent Information.

9. What is the definition of a son or daughter under FMLA?

Son or daughter means a biological, adopted, foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is either under age 18 or age 18 or older and "incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, at the time leave is to begin."

10. Can an employee take FMLA for placement of a child for adoption or foster care?

FMLA may be taken before the actual placement or adoption if required. FMLA leave to bond with a child after placement must be taken within 12 months following placement.

11. Can an employee take FMLA to care for an adopted or fostered child with a serious health condition?

An employee may be eligible for FMLA to care for his/her adopted fostered child. All FMLA regulations (and UC time-off work rules) apply.

12. What is intermittent FMLA?

Intermittent FMLA is FMLA time taken in separate blocks due to a single qualifying reason.

13. Can an employee take intermittent FMLA for prenatal care?

Yes, because prenatal care is determined to be a serious health condition under the FMLA definition.  In fact, all prenatal physician visits taken during working hours should be reported as FMLA., if the employee is FMLA eligible.

14. Can an employee take intermittent FMLA for childrearing?

Yes.  Time taken for childrearing or placement may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule, with the approval of the department.  Time taken for childrearing, foster care or adoption must be taken within 12 months of the date of the birth or placement of the child.

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15. Can a father of a newborn child take FMLA too?

Yes.  The father may take FMLA for the birth of a child, to care for his spouse following the birth of the child for the period of medical certification, and to care for that child (childrearing) or for the placement of a child for adoption or foster care.  Documentation requirements must be met.

16. Who determines whether leave qualifies under FMLA?

The university, in conjunction with information provided by the employee and the appropriate healthcare provider, determines whether or not FML is appropriate.  Eligible employees cannot choose to decline taking FML when there is a qualifying event.

17. How do I apply for Family and Medical Leave?

Employees can request FML time verbally by contacting their supervisor.  If you are FMLA eligible, your supervisor or business office will provide you with the Certification of Health Care Provider form which must be completed by you and your healthcare provider.  Your healthcare provider must submit the form to University Health Services within 15 calendar days of receipt.

Even if you do not apply for FMLA, your supervisor may place you on FML Medical Leave of Absence when she/he determines you are eligible and knows you have a qualifying event.  It is the responsibility of management to place an eligible employee on FML when there is a qualifying event.  It is not the employee's choice to decline using FML.

18. Is advance notice required to take FML time?

Employees seeking to use FML time are required to provide 30-day advance notice of the need to take FML time when the need is foreseeable or as soon as practicable.  Absent unusual circumstances employees must comply with the University's usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave or the request for FML time may be denied.

Employees must follow university required notice procedures for substitution of paid leave for FML time.  Failure to comply with call-in procedures may result in discipline.

19. When does my year for FML purposes begin?

It begins the very first time you use your first day or hour of FML time.  For example, if you use your first day of FML  time on March 3, 2016, your 12-month calendar or "window" will be from March 3, 2016 through March 2, 2017.  During this 12-month "window" you may use up to 12 work weeks (based on FTE) of FML time for a qualifying event.

20. How do I get paid (versus being unpaid) while using Family Medical Leave time?

You are paid in conjunction with the university policies on sick time/vacation time/comp time.  You are paid only if you have accrued sick, vacation, or comp time.  Employees are required to substitute paid sick time for unpaid FML time, if absence is for medical reasons, and may elect to remain in pay status using vacation or comp time before being placed on an unpaid Medical Leave of Absence.

21. If I am on Family and Medical Leave  time on a holiday, will I be paid for that holiday and does the holiday count as FMLA time off?

If you are in a pay status on both the day before and the day after the holiday, you will be paid FML holiday pay.  If not, you will not be paid for the holiday.

For purposes of determining the amount of FMLA time used, the fact that a holiday may occur within the FMLA work week taken has no effect; the week is counted as a work week of FMLA leave.

22. If both spouses are UC employees, are they each eligible for 12 weeks of FML per 12-month period?

Sometimes, but not always.  When it is for their own serious health condition or the serious health condition of their spouse or child, they may each take 12 work weeks of FMLA.  Spouses who both work for the university are limited in the amount of family medical leave they may take for the birth and care of a newborn child, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition to a combined total of 12 work weeks (or 26 work weeks if leave to care for a covered services member with a serious injury or illness is also used).

23. In what way does Family Medical Leave protect me?

Family and Medical Leave protects your job.  In most cases, your same job will be held for you up to a maximum of 12 work weeks in 12 months. If not the identical job, an equivalent job with the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment will be provided in accordance with university policy and collective bargaining agreements.

In addition, FMLA absences cannot be held against you for corrective action purposes regarding absenteeism. While you are on approved FMLA, the university will continue to pay its share of the cost for your basic life insurance, long-term disability insurance (if applicable), and for your own health insurance even if you are in no-pay status.

24. What if I do not return to work after being on Family Medical Leave?

You must repay any health insurance premiums the university paid for you unless you do not return to work due to a continuation of your serious health condition or if other circumstances occur which are beyond your control.

25. What if I am on Workers' Compensation?  Is that also Family Medical Leave?

Yes it can be. Contact Human Resources for additional assistance at 513-556-6381.

26. As a supervisor or manager, what is my responsibility regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act?

You are responsible for knowing about and understanding the Family and Medical Leave Act.

You must be able to determine when your employee might be experiencing a qualifying event under the FMLA by inquiring sufficiently and appropriately to employee requests for time away from work. You must then follow the proper procedures to place your employee on FML, if appropriate. It is your responsibility to provisionally designate FML even if the employee does not apply for it. The employee may not choose to decline FML if they are eligible for it and have a qualifying event.

As soon as you are aware of your employee's FML qualifying event, you must notify your employee of his/her eligibility for FML. If the employee is not eligible, you are required to give the employee a completed WH-382 within five (5) business days of notice/request. If eligible, you are to provide the employee with a cover letter, Certification of Healthcare Provider form, and the Employee Rights and Responsibilities document within five (5) business days of notice or request.

You must track FML absences appropriately via payroll data entry.

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27. Who can request FMLA?

The employee.  In addition, managers and supervisors should provisionally designate FMLA in writing to an eligible employee if a request is not made and there is enough information to believe that the absence meets the requirements of FMLA.

28. What happens to benefits while an employee is on FML?

The use of FML time cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of the employee's leave. During FML-related leave, the University must maintain the employee's health coverage under any "group health plan" on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If on paid leave, employee health care contributions continue to be deducted from the paycheck. If on unpaid leave, the employee must make arrangements with the Human Resources Department to pay for the health care that would have been deducted from the paycheck.

29. What are the return-to-work steps?

Before being restored to employment, employees (except AAUP represented faculty) who have taken an FML-related leave that was in any part attributable to the employee's serious health condition, and for a period of five (5) or more consecutive work days, must submit to University Health Services (UHS) with a release to return to work from his/her healthcare provider. This includes returning from maternity/medical leave. UHS will facilitate the employee's return to work. If returned with restrictions, documentation must cite specific restrictions and their duration. The employee must present a release of return from UHS to his/her supervisor before returning to the job. If returning from child-rearing leave (following medical leave) a note from the employee's health care provider releasing her to full duty is to be presented directly to the supervisor and no visit to UHS is required. 

AAUP represented faculty will be advised if required to report to UHS before returning to work.

30. Where can I find more specific information on Employee Rights and Responsibilities concerning FMLA?

You can find more information at

31. An employee and his child come down with a cold and the employee needs to stay home for two consecutive days.  They see the doctor and receive medical care.  Would this qualify as FMLA?

No.  There is no serious medical condition involved.

32. An employee and his child come down with an illness and the employee needs to stay home for four consecutive days.  They see the doctor twice and receive a regimen of continuing medical treatment.  Would this qualify for FMLA?

Yes, as long as the employee has met all other requirements, has not exhausted FML time, and if the doctor visits are within 30 days of when the incapacity begins; absent extenuating circumstances.

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33. An employee suffers a severe stroke and is hospitalized.  The doctor informs the employee she/he can not perform his/her job under the circumstances and advises her/him to take one (1) month off work to recover, undergo therapy, or have a minor surgical procedure.  Would this qualify as FML time?

Yes, as long as the employee has met all other requirements and has not exhausted FML time, this would be considered a serious health condition and the employee would need to follow up with a request to the department and submit the appropriate CHCP form to University Health Services for review.

34. An employee has been employed at UC for 8.5 months and has worked 1,500 hours.  The employee goes into labor and gives birth to a baby.  Is she eligible for FMLA?

No.  The employee must be employed at least one (1) cumulative year in the 7 years preceding the first day of need for leave and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. Employment prior to a continuous break in service of seven (7) years or more is not counted. (Note: Medical Leave would still be applicable, but it would not be FML time.)

35. An employee's wife has been diagnosed with cancer; her physician has requested the employee stay home with her on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take her to chemotherapy, help her bathe, and take her to physician appointments.  Would this qualify for FML time?

Yes, as long as the employee has met all other requirements and has not exhausted FML time.  The CHCP form must be filed with University Health Services for review. (FMLA can be provisionally designated pending CHCP submission and review.)

36. An employee's absence is designated FMLA for the eight (8) weeks following the birth of her child.  She would like to take an additional four (4) weeks to bond with the child.  Does FMLA apply?

Yes, as long as the employee has met all other requirements.  The Leave reason must be changed from Paid or Unpaid FMLA-Medical to Paid or Unpaid FMLA-Childrearing.  Sick time applies to childbirth, but not childrearing.  The employee may use vacation time to remain in pay status for Childrearing Leave.

37. Due to downsizing, several job abolishment procedures occur in a department, including the job of an employee on FMLA leave.  Does FMLA protect this individual's job?

No.  The FMLA does not protect against job abolishment.

38. Upon Return from FMLA Leave, an Administrative Assistant is reassigned as a Groundskeeper responsible for mowing the lawns.  Is this acceptable under FMLA?

No.  The FMLA requires that the employee return to the "same or equivalent job."

Questions 39 – 66 pertain to the AAUP Paid Parental Leave.  Only AAUP-represented faculty members are eligible for PPL. 

39. What is Paid Parental Leave (PPL)?

If you are the primary caregiver, PPL provides paid leave* for the birth of a child, the placement of a newly adopted child under the age of 7, or the initiation of travel to take custody of a newly adopted child. Adoption of a child over the age of 7 also qualifies, if the adoption process requires such leave. (This policy cannot be used, however, in the event of adoption of a spouse's or domestic partner's child.)

*An eligible individual is paid his/her base salary for the period of the leave (maximum 6 weeks) and not required to use sick and/or vacation.

40. What is teaching release?

Under this PPL policy, teaching release is defined as release from specifically assigned classroom teaching duties for the same academic semester during which PPL is taken. Alternative duties as agreed between the parties for any period of the semester not covered by PPL are expected to continue during the semester of teaching release, except during the PPL (maximum 6-week period).

41. Who determines if I am eligible for teaching release?

The Academic Unit Head and Dean in conjunction with the Provost Office will make the determination regarding eligibility.

42. Who is eligible for PPL?

AAUP-represented faculty members are eligible for PPL.

43. What is the application process?

The faculty member intending to take PPL must provide his/her Academic Unit Head with written notification in the form of a PPL Application at least 90 days in advance of the leave, or as soon as possible. The PPL Application should indicate the anticipated birth or adoption date, the length of the PPL (maximum 6 weeks), the semester in which the PPL is to be taken, whether teaching release is requested, and confirmation the faculty member will be the primary caregiver during PPL.

44. What other documentation is required?

The faculty member must also provide a Certification of Health Care Provider form (for a birth) or court or other documentation (for adoption).

45. How does FMLA fit in?

If the faculty member is eligible for FMLA, it will run concurrent with PPL.

46. What if the faculty member is not eligible for FMLA because he/she has only been at UC for 6 months? Is he/she still eligible for PPL?

Even if the faculty member is not eligible for FMLA yet, he/she is still eligible for PPL if all other requirements are met.

47. Can a birth mother take six weeks of paid medical leave for physical recovery from the birth (using sick leave days), and then take an additional six weeks of paid parental leave?

No. The PPL is intended to be used in lieu of sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child. It is expected the PPL will be taken as soon as possible after the birth or adoption, or in the immediate next primary semester. PPL must be completed within 6 months of the birth or placement for adoption.

48. Can PPL be taken on an intermittent basis?


49. What if I am the birth mother and my baby is due on October 13 (about mid-semester). When does my PPL begin? When does my PPL end?

You should discuss the effective date of your PPL with your Academic Unit Head; however, the intent of the PPL policy is that it begins as soon as possible following the birth. You should also consider if you will request teaching release for the full semester of the birth (i.e., the Fall semester), or if it is feasible given your academic unit's work schedule and your duties, to take the teaching release during the next semester (the Spring). If you are requesting teaching release for the Fall semester and your request is approved, your teaching release may begin at the start of the Fall semester, with alternative duties as agreed between you and your academic unit head, for any period of the semester not covered by PPL.

50. What if additional time is needed for medically-related reasons (e.g., difficulties with the birth or preeclampsia) before the baby is born?

A faculty member may use accrued sick leave before the birth of the child for medically-related reasons.

Example: Your physician releases you from work two weeks before the expected due date. You may use sick leave (per Article 17) for this two week period. Once the baby is born, you will transition to PPL and will no longer need to use sick leave days.

51. I am a female unrepresented employee (e.g., staff or part-time faculty member) expecting a baby and my spouse is a male AAUP-represented faculty member. How much PPL is he eligible for? Can he take his PPL at the same time I am on Medical Leave? Must he be the primary caregiver in order to take PPL?

Your spouse, as an AAUP-represented faculty member, is eligible for a maximum 6 weeks of PPL in addition to teaching release, provided he is the primary caregiver.

He is not eligible to take PPL at the same time you are on medical leave, unless he will be the primary caregiver. He may be eligible to take PPL when you return to work as long as he does so within six months of the baby's birth.

Alternatively, he may be eligible to use sick time per Article 17 during your post-delivery recovery provided a CHCP is submitted.

52. I am adopting a child from a foreign country. When does PPL begin? What if I want to take additional time off?

Your PPL begins when travel is initiated to take custody of the child. If you feel you need additional time off beyond the limits of the PPL, you may request an unpaid Personal or Childrearing Leave per Article 19.1 or 19.2 of the AAUP collective bargaining agreement.

53. I am considering adopting a special needs child. Is additional time off available?

You may request an unpaid Personal or Childrearing Leave per Article 19.1 or 19.2.

54. I am adopting my new spouse's children. Am I eligible for PPL?


55. What happens to my benefits while on PPL?

A faculty member who is taking PPL will be paid his/her base salary for the period of the full release from duties (maximum 6 weeks). All benefits will remain in force during that six-week period, and premiums will be deducted from your paycheck in accordance with normal practice. During the teaching release period of the PPL, again, all pay and benefits remain as normal.

56. What happens to my retirement plan contributions while on PPL?

Both you and the university will continue to contribute to the retirement plan in which you are a member, as usual.

57. Is PPL extended when a holiday occurs during PPL time off?


58. Is PPL extended during a university break?


59. How often may a faculty member take PPL?

There is no limit to the number of times a faculty member may use PPL during the course of his/her employment with UC as long as all other eligibility requirements are met.

60. If a faculty member has a multiple birth (e.g., twins or triplets), or adopts more than one child at the same time, will he/she receive any additional time under PPL?

No. The period of time available is not extended for multiple births or in case of adopting more than one child at the same time.

61. How much notice should a faculty member give his/her Academic Unit Head of intent to apply for PPL?

Ninety days is expected as a minimum, unless circumstances prevent you from giving notice earlier (e.g., adopting parents are someitmes given short notice that a child is ready to come to their home). In all cases, we ask that you give notice as early as possible in order to allow your academic unit head plenty of time to make scheduling arrangements.

62. Does a faculty member accrue sick time while on PPL?


63. Can this benefit be used by two AAUP-represented faculty members for one birth or adoption?

Yes, if both parents are AAUP-represented faculty; however, both parents cannot use PPL at the same time.

For "dual faculty" couples, all PPL use must be completed within 12 months of birth or adoption.

64. What does it mean to be the 'Primary caregiver'?

A primary caregiver is defined as the individual who has primary responsibility for the care of a child following the birth or the child coming into the custody, care, or control of the parent for the first time. The definition applies to both births and adoptions.

65. How does PPL apply if my child is born or I adopt a child during my non-primary semester? (For most two-semester faculty this is the Summer term.)

You may request PPL and teaching release in the immediate next following semester.

66. I am a 12-month faculty member. Am I eligible for PPL?

Yes, the benefit is identical.

67. How does PPL work for a 12-month faculty member?

The same as for two-semester faculty, except there is not a primary or secondary semester. You may request a PPL in the semester in which the birth or adoption takes place, or the immediate next semester. All other provisions are identical as described above.

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Leave Donation

1. What is the Leave Donation Program?

The Leave Donation Program is a voluntary program designed to relieve UC employees from the hardship of an extended absence from work when leave balances have been exhausted. This policy does not replace or alter normal applicable rules on sick leave usage.

2. May paid time-off be donated from any/all accurals?

Only vacation time may be donated.

3.  Who is eligible for the Leave Donation Program?

In order to be eligible for Leave Donation, a recipient must:

  • Be a UC employee whose appointment makes him/her eligible to accrue sick and vacation.  
  • Have been employed by UC for at least one year.
  • Provide a Certification of Health Care Provider form to University Health Services certifying that he/she has a serious medical condition.
  • Have exhausted all leave balances (short term sick, long term sick, vacation and compensatory time) and placed on a Leave of Absence Without Pay for a minimum of 80 hours.
  • Not be receiving or eligible to receive disability benefits, disability retirement or regular retirement. 
  • Not have been counseled or disciplined for an attendance violation within the past year.
  • Not absent due to a work related injury or illness.
  • AAUP representative faculty may contact Human Resources to donate vacation time but cannot be a recepient. Refer to the AAUP Collective Bargaining Ageement for information regarding the faculty sick bank.

4. To whom can I donate vacation time?

Vacation time can be donated to an eligible recipient as designated by the donor or an otherwise eligible recipient ‘with the most need’ (as determined by the Leave Donation Committee).

5. What else should I know about the Leave Donation Program?

  • Donations must be a minimum of 1 hour and maximum of 40 hours of vacation time.
  • The donor must retain a minimum of 240 hours of combined leave (includes all sick, vacation and compensatory time) in his/her time off work banks as of the date of donation, not including the number of hours donated.
  • Donated leave may not be paid from a federal grant. 
  • All donations made are irrevocable and irreversible.

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Supplemental FAQs for AAUP Represented Faculty

Please refer to the information provided by the Provost Office