How do I get paid when I become a parent?

Certain sick leave policies account for sick leave related to becoming a parent.

The faculty paid sick leave policy allows for salary continuation for temporary disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related recovery. Paid sick leave will not be approved in excess of what is authorized by the employee’s healthcare provider and is limited to no more than 90 calendar days from the date of birth. Bonding or non-medical parental leave is not eligible for paid leave under the faculty paid sick leave policy.

All other academic personnel should refer to the specific sick leave policy for your category.

Additionally, Washington residents may be eligible for leave under the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act (PFML). Visit the OAP PFML page for more information about how UW academic personnel access this state administered program.

As a faculty member, can I use paid sick leave for a recurring condition when I’ve already used the allotted 90 days during a given academic year?

Paid sick leave may not exceed 90 days total for treatment of a single personal health condition. Additional sick leave may be considered if the following criteria are met:

  • Healthcare provider determines a new course of treatment for the condition for which you’ve exhausted 90 days of leave
  • There is a new or additional diagnosis
  • There is an available sick leave balance for the current academic year

What if I want to return to work early from my sick leave?

Faculty returning from leave for their own serious health condition prior to the date certified by their healthcare provider are required to submit a Fitness for Duty certificate to be restored to employment. Return to work may be delayed until such certification is provided.

Where should I direct questions about continuation of healthcare benefits while on leave?

Contact the Integrated Service Center (ISC).

Note that healthcare benefits continue automatically during a leave paid by the University or for unpaid leave designated as FMLA-approved.

How does the University define family members?

The University has adopted a broader, more inclusive definition of family member than the definition provided by either the FMLA or FCA. The University’s definition is:

  • Family member: Employee’s spouse or same or opposite sex domestic partner; child; parent; grandparent; grandchild; sister; or brother. Family member also includes individuals in the following relationships with the employee’s spouse or domestic partner: child, parent, or grandparent. It also includes those persons in a “step” or “half” relationship.
  • Son or daughter: Biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or any other child under 18 years of age for whom the employee acts as parent.
  • Child: Includes children above age 18 who are incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

Note: Some collective bargaining agreements also provide definitions of family members.

How does the University define serious health condition?

Illness, injury, or impairment, or a physical or mental condition that requires inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider.

What is the difference between FMLA and faculty paid sick leave?

FMLA offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave and benefits continuation for eligible employees to care for their own or a family member’s serious health condition. Faculty paid sick leave is a benefit provided by the University for FMLA-qualifying reasons for eligible faculty with active UW-paid appointments. FMLA and paid sick leave usually run concurrently.

What if I exhaust my FMLA, PFML, and paid time off balances, but need more time off?

You may apply for a leave without pay. Visit the Leave Without Pay page of this website related to your academic personnel category.

What is the difference between FMLA and PFML?

FMLA is an unpaid leave entitlement that provides job and health insurance protection when eligible employees take a leave of absence for a qualifying reason. Visit OAP’s FMLA web page.

The Washington state PFML program provides partial wage replacement in the form of a weekly benefit paid by the Employment Security Department (ESD) while claiming this benefit. For employees who have worked for UW for 12 months and 1250 hours, PFML leave provides job protection and health benefit continuation.

Can I take PFML intermittently?

Yes. The minimum claim is 8 consecutive hours.

Can I hold on to my vacation and/or sick time off balances and just get the PFML check from ESD?

Yes. During a PFML leave, you are not required to use paid time off before using unpaid time off. (Note: Not every time off type may be available to every academic personnel category.)