The University of Washington provides parental leave for all Librarians — mothers and fathers, birth and non-birth parents — regardless of how long they have worked here.

You may take parental leave even if you are not eligible for FMLA.  If you qualify for FMLA, your parental leave and FMLA will run at the same time. If you have not used up your FMLA entitlement as of the first day of parental leave, then all or part of your parental leave may be designated as covered by the FMLA.

Length of Leave

As a librarian, you may take up to 4 months of parental leave.

Parental leave is usually approved as one continuous period of time. It does not break into days or hours; rather it is a 4-month period during which a parent can take a leave of absence. However, with departmental approval, you may be able to work intermittently or request a modified work schedule.

Additionally, most parents take the leave of absence when the child arrives. You are, however, allowed to take your parental leave any time during the 12 months following your child’s birth, adoption, or placement.

In addition to parental leave, if you are pregnant or are the birth parent, you are also eligible for temporary pregnancy and childbirth disability leave for prenatal and postpartum medical needs, including postpartum recovery.


To continue your pay during parental leave, use any of the following types of paid time off:

  • Vacation
  • Personal holiday
  • Holiday credit
  • Compensatory time
  • Discretionary
  • Sick (up to 30 days of sick time off)


If your leave is covered by the FMLA, the University will continue to pay its employer portion of your health insurance. You will still be responsible for any portion of your benefits that you normally pay.

Once your 12 weeks of FMLA entitlement are exhausted, if you are still on an approved parental leave and are going to be absent from work for a full calendar month, you must be in pay status for at least eight hours that month in order for the University to continue paying its portion of your health insurance.

To remain in pay status, you must do one of the following:

  • Work at least 8 hours; or
  • Use at least 8 hours of paid time off (e.g., sick, vacation, personal holiday, etc.)

Using 8 hours of paid time off per month to maintain benefits is known as “interspersing.” You are allowed to intersperse while you are on approved parental leave.

If you go an entire calendar month without being in pay status, you will need to self-pay (in other words, pay both your and the University’s portion) to keep your health insurance coverage.

Dependent health insurance coverage

If you carry UW health insurance, you can add your new dependent child by contacting the UW Integrated Service Center (ISC).

Leave accrual

You continue to accrue vacation and sick time off if you do not take more than 10 days of unpaid time off in a calendar month.


To be paid for a scheduled holiday, you must be in pay status at least 4 hours on the work day preceding the holiday. If you do not meet this requirement, the holiday will be designated as unpaid time off.

Requesting parental leave

Request parental leave and the related time-offs in Workday (see Becoming a Parent user guide). Contact the ISC with questions. You will also need to complete and submit the applicable parental leave form:

To submit completed forms, or to ask questions regarding parental leave, contact

Returning to work

Two weeks before you are scheduled to return to work, contact your supervisor to discuss your department’s return-to-work process.


 Additional resources

  • APS 45.5 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Coverage for University Employees