Leaves and Family Friendly Policies – FAQ

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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

Federal law provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees in a calendar year for any of the following reasons:

  • the employee’s own serious health condition;
  • the birth of a child or to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, or a newborn in foster care; or
  • the care of a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition.

Any employee who has at least 12 months of University service and has worked at least 1250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the leave is eligible. A family and medical leave may, in certain circumstances, overlap or be combined with other types of leaves allowed under UC policies.

2. Is FMLA a paid leave?

According to APM 715-20, Family and Medical Leave is normally an unpaid leave except:

  1. Accrued sick leave may be substituted, at the appointee’s option, for unpaid family and medical leave granted for the appointee’s serious health condition or to care for the appointee’s child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner with a serious health condition.
  2. Accrued vacation leave may be substituted, at the appointee’s option, for unpaid family and medical leave granted for any covered reason
  3. For academic appointees who do not accrue sick leave, Chancellors may approve leave with pay for up to 12 workweeks.
3. Does the Family and Medical Leave Act apply to academic appointments?
Yes. The Family & Medical Leave (FML) Act apply to all UCI academic employees who meet the eligibility requirements.
4. I am asking for a leave to care for a seriously ill family member. What forms should I submit?

When requesting this type of leave, the following should be submitted to the Department, the Dean’s Office, and the Office of Academic Personnel:

Requesting a leave to care for a seriously ill family member who is the appointee’s child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner is covered under APM 715.

Leaves of Absence – General

5. I am an academic appointee and have to take time off for my own serious health condition, but I do not accrue sick leave. How many months of paid leave am I entitled to?
Eligible faculty member as defined by APM 110-15, who are not members of the Health Sciences Compensation Plan and who have a full-time appointment for at least a full academic year (three quarters), who are unable to work for reasons of personal illness, injury, or disability shall be granted paid medical leave as follows:
Length of total UC service in eligible title(s)Maximum paid* sick leave for consecutive or intermittent paid medical leave within a ten-year period:
Less than 10 yearsUp to two (2) quarters for academic-year appointee
Up to 6 months for fiscal-year appointee
10 years or moreUp to three (3) quarters for academic-year appointee
Up to 12 months for fiscal-year appointee
*Faculty members with term appointments will not be granted paid medical leave beyond the end date of the term appointment except in cases of reappointment.

6. My mother passed away in a foreign county and I need time off for bereavement.
APM has no specific language for bereavement leave.  However, academic appointees who accrue sick and/or vacation time may use their accrued leave time for this purpose.  Academic appointees who do not accrue sick and/or vacation leave may request a leave with pay under APM 758/APP 7-17.

Childbearing and Childrearing – Leaves

7. What is Childbearing Leave?
Childbearing leave is granted for the purpose of childbirth and recovery. It usually lasts about 6 weeks but may be extended due to medical reasons. During a childbearing leave, no duties shall be required by the University. Central funding for the purpose of providing ladder rank faculty teaching replacement is allocated to the affected academic department
8. What is Pregnancy Disability Leave?
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a faculty member who is disabled because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is eligible to take an unpaid childbearing leave (“pregnancy disability leave”) for up to 4 months during the period of actual disability. (A faculty member may be eligible for Short-term Disability plan benefits, and Supplemental Disability plan benefits if she is unable to work because of her physical condition, if enrolled.)

For more information on Disability Insurance go to Disability Management Services.

9. What is Parental Leave Without Pay?
Parental Leave without salary can be granted for the purpose of bonding with a newborn or newly adopted child. This leave can be combined with Childbearing Leave and/or Active Service-Modified Duties, but the aggregate of all leaves plus ASMD may not exceed one year for each birth or adoption. 
10. Do I have to take my childbearing leave all at once?
Childbearing leave does not need to be taken in one continuous period of time; and may be taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis when medically necessary. Whenever possible, UCI asks that the affected academic employee provides at least 30 days advance notice.
11. I am an academic appointee and am requesting a Parental Leave for child bonding. What form(s) do I need to submit?

When requesting a parental leave, Leave of Absence Form (UCI-AP-76) as well as the Family Medical Leave request form and a FML Declaration of Relationship Form should be submitted via the Department Chair, via the Dean to the Office of Academic Personnel.

Parental Leave for child bonding is typically a leave without pay covered under APM 760-27.  Because the purpose of this leave is to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, this is considered a type of family medical leave that provides certain benefits under University policies during the leave.

For faculty who accrues vacation, vacation accrual may be used to convert the applicable period of time to a paid leave.

12. I am a male faculty member and my wife is pregnant. I plan to request paternity leave. What options do I have?

A paternity leave request is considered a “parental leave” under APM 760-27.  A parental leave is a full-time or part-time leave without pay for up to a year to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child.  Accrued vacation may be substituted in lieu of unpaid parental leave.

Alternatively, this faculty member is also eligible for a quarter of Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD) within 12 months following the birth or placement of his child, if he has primary responsibility for the care of an infant or newly adopted child under the age of five.

Childbearing and Childrearing – General Questions

13. Is there any accommodation if a pregnant academic appointee cannot perform her regular work duties?
If medically necessary, the University may temporarily modify a pregnant appointee’s position or transfer her to a less strenuous or hazardous position upon request, and if the temporary modification or transfer can be reasonably accommodated (Accommodation of Pregnancy APM 760-25-c). This temporary modification or transfer shall not be counted against an eligible academic appointee’s entitlement to up to 4 months of childbearing leave (“pregnancy disability leave” under the FEHA) or family and medical leave unless the modification has taken the form of intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule.
14. Both my wife and I are faculty members; and we are expecting a baby. What options regarding leaves do we have once our baby is born?

The female faculty member is eligible for childbearing leave for the period prior to, during, and after childbirth. Childbearing leave shall consist of time an appointee is temporarily disabled because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. For example, the faculty member who is the birth mother will have at least six weeks of paid leave; and may request for the remainder of the leave quarter as ASMD.  In addition, she is also eligible for an additional quarter of ASMD, which will provide release from full or partial teaching responsibilities or other assigned duties in accordance with APM 760-28 and established school practice.

The male faculty member is eligible for a quarter of parental leave for baby bonding under APM 760, which is normally an unpaid leave, up to one year. He is also eligible to request ASMD for a quarter if he has primary responsibility for the care of an infant or newly adopted child under the age of five.

15. I am a ladder rank faculty member and a birth mother. I heard I can get childbearing leave for two quarters. Is this true?
Not exactly. The total period of Childbearing Leave plus Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD) for a birth mother, who has a full-time ladder rank faculty appointment of at least one full academic year, may not exceed two quarters for each birth. So yes, you can have “2 quarters” but it is a combination of childbearing leave and ASMD.
16. If I am adopting a child, what rules apply?
The rules about FMLA apply; however rules about pregnancy benefits do not apply. Adoptive parents are eligible for one quarter of ASMD.
17. If I am becoming a parent through surrogacy, what rules apply to me in terms of leaves and Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD)?
The rules about FMLA apply; however rules about pregnancy benefits do not apply. Adoptive parents are eligible for one quarter of ASMD.
18. I am an academic-year appointee and had my baby during the summer. Do I need to submit a leave form?
No.  Academic-year Appointees are not in active University service during the summer months.  No leave request, therefore no leave forms, are required in this case.
19. I had my baby in August. In September, I decided to take time off during Fall quarter to care for and bond with my child. What are my options?

Faculty who do not accrue vacation have two options:

  1. Request an ASMD for fall quarter, which will provide full pay with modified duties. This is normally partial or full release from teaching assignments, but can also include other assigned duties.
  2. Request a Parental Leave without Pay, which will mean no pay and no work requirement.

For non-faculty academic appointees, submit a request for Parental Leave which will mean no pay and no work requirement.  This is normally without pay; but accrued vacation leave may be substituted, at the appointee’s option, if the leave is approved.

20. I am an academic-year female faculty member who is pregnant and expecting to deliver my baby at the end of the Spring quarter. May I take my maternity leave during the following Fall quarter? May I get summer salary during the summer?

In this case, this faculty member has the option to take a childbirth leave during Spring quarter.

Another option for this faculty member is to request a six-week childbirth leave in the Spring and Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD) for the Fall quarter. In either situation, replacement teaching costs would be centrally covered for the quarter. Additionally, if no leave is taken in the Spring, she would be eligible for a subsequent quarter of ASMD, so long if this request is within 12 months of the birth.

Summer salary is only provided to those academic-year faculty who are carrying out their academic responsibilities during the summer month(s). In this situation, if the faculty member has just given birth, she would likely not be working, and if that is the case, summer salary would not be appropriate.

Childbearing and Childrearing – Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD)

21. What is Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD)?

This is a reduction of duties, not a leave. The appointee remains in service to the University but with modified duties. Duties to be assumed during this period shall be arranged between the Department Chairperson and the appointee.   Each School at UCI has established specific practice regarding how duties are modified for ASMD.  For school-specific information regarding ASMD, please contact the dean’s office at each school.

For ladder-rank faculty, the modification of duties normally will be either partial or full relief from teaching without the assignment of additional teaching duties before or after to offset the teaching relief. Modified duties may be reduction of other duties as determined by the department and school.

For other eligible faculty who primarily have teaching duties, the modification of duties normally will be partial teaching relief or the assignment of additional resources such as teaching assistants or readers, as appropriate.

For all other eligible academic appointees, the modification of duties normally will be a reduced workload using sick accrual.

22. Who is eligible for Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD)?

To be eligible for active service-modified duties, an academic appointee must have primary responsibility for the care of an infant or newly adopted child under the age of five. The child may be the appointee’s child or that of a spouse or domestic partner. An appointee is eligible for a period of active service-modified duties for each event of birth or placement (adoption). The birth or placement of one or more children at the same time constitutes a single event of birth or placement. Eligibility for a period of active service-modified duties shall normally extend from 3 months prior to and up to 12 months following the birth or placement.

Eligibility for a period of Active Service-Modified Duties normally extend from 3 months prior to, and up to 12 months following the birth or adoption of a child and may be granted to any faculty member who has primary responsibility for the child. This means fathers can apply for Active Service-Modified Duties.

The total period of Childbearing Leave plus Active Service-Modified Duties for a birth mother (who has a full-time appointment of at least one full academic year) may not exceed two quarters for each birth. If she gives birth during the summer she is eligible for a total period of active service-modified duties of two quarters during the academic year. Central funding for the purpose of providing ladder rank faculty teaching replacement is allocated to the affected academic department on request

23. I am an assistant professor, newly appointed as of July 1, and had a child in August. Do I qualify for Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD)? If so, how many quarters?
Yes.  An assistant professor who has a full-time appointment for at least one full academic year (three quarters or two semesters) is eligible.  As the birth of her child occurred during the summer, she has two (2) quarters of ASMD entitlement for this birth (APP 7-42 & APM 760-20-2).
24. I am a non-senate academic appointee. Am I eligible to request Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD) when I have a qualifying event related to childbearing or childrearing?

Yes.  Non-senate academic appointees may be eligible to request a ASMD. To be eligible for ASMD, an academic appointee must have primary responsibility for the care of an infant or newly adopted child under the age of five.  Refer to APM 760-28 and APP 7-42 for eligibility criteria and ASMD entitlement.

At UCI, a Non-Senate faculty will normally receive a one-course reduction during his/her ASMD quarter.  A Non-Senate academic appointee who has no teaching responsibilities will normally receive a 33% workload reduction during the ASMD quarter, using accrued sick leave credit in proportion to the reduced workload to substitute.  When sick leave is exhausted or for non-faculty academics who do not accrue sick leave, pay will be reduced proportionately to workload reduction.  The Non-Senate Appointee’s department will assume the cost of teaching or workload replacement during the ASMD quarter.

25. If an eligible academic appointee plans to apply for a quarter of Active-Service Modified Duties (ASMD), when should s/he make that request?
The academic appointee should notify his or her department of intent to request ASMD as soon as possible to allow the department adequate time to arrange teaching replacement for the ASMD quarter.
26. If a faculty member is approved for Active-Service Modified Duties (ASMD) and is scheduled to teach more than one course during the quarter when he or she will be released from teaching, does the faculty member get to choose the course from which he or she will be released?
The final decision regarding who and when course(s) is (are) taught rests with the Department Chair.  However, the faculty member should discuss course release with his or her department and try to come to an agreement. For example, it may be easier for the department to find a replacement instructor for one course versus another.
27. If a faculty member is approved for Active-Service Modified Duties (ASMD), will his or her department be reimbursed for the cost of teaching replacement?
Central funding is provided for ASMD approved for Senate Faculty to pay the replacement instructor.  The department and school are responsible for providing funding for non-senate faculty approved for ASMD.
28. Does an academic appointee still accrue sabbatical credits during a quarter which s/he is on Active-Service Modified Duties (ASMD)?

YES.   Because Active-Service Modified Duties (ASMD) involves reduced academic duties, not the absence of academic duties, the quarter in which an academic appointee is approved for ASMD counts as one credit toward his/her sabbatical leave (see APM 740-11).

In contrast, when an academic appointee is on an approved leave of absence for more than 50% of a given quarter or semester, no sabbatical credit is counted for that quarter or semester.

Childbearing and Childrearing – Personnel Reviews

29. What is the effect on the eight-year limitation of service for an Assistant level faculty who has had a childbearing or parental leave?
Any childbearing or parental leave which is equal to or great than one semester or one quarter but less than one year, shall automatically be excluded from service toward the eight-year limit.  This includes leaves with or without salary.  The faculty also has the option to inform the Department Chair or unit head in writing before, during, or within one quarter or semester after the leave that it should not be excluded from service toward the eight-year limit.
30. What is Stop the Clock for the Care of a Child or Children?
This is not a leave; it is a stoppage of the eight-year clock for academic appointees in certain titles, for the purpose of childrearing.  Specifically, (adoptive or natural) mothers and fathers, who have primary responsibility for care of an infant or newly adopted child under the age of five, are entitled to  Stop the Clock. Such notifications must be made within two years of the birth or adoption of the child and must be exercised before July 1 of the academic year in which a promotion review is to occur; and no later than the second half of the appointee’s actual fifth year.
31. I'm an Assistant Professor; and I just had a baby. Can I “Stop the Clock?”
You can “Stop the Clock” by submitting a Childrearing Stop the Clock Certification form (UCI-AP-92) before July 1 in the academic year in which a tenure or promotion review is to occur.  A “Stop the Clock” will not be granted for a faculty member who has primary responsibility for a young child when that child is born or adopted during the year of the tenure or promotion review.
32. I’ve already “Stopped the Clock,” do I also have the option to postpone my tenure review?
If you have had a childrearing extension and you are making substantial progress, even if it is at a slower pace, you have the option to request for postponement of tenure.  The postponement file must be accompanied by the candidate’s merit or reappointment file.  The postponement of tenure file must be submitted to the Office of Academic Personnel by November 1st in which the promotion review occurs.
33. I’m an Assistant Professor and I just had a baby. Can I defer a merit review automatically? Can I defer a mid-career appraisal automatically?
An Assistant Professor appointment is for a two-year term and must be reviewed every two years.  Therefore, the review may not be deferred.  The mid-career appraisal will automatically be deferred if the notification to Stop the Clock is submitted by the end of the faculty member’s third year (June 30).
34. I am a faculty member who was recently promoted to Associate Professor. I recently had two children — within the last three years. I did not request to stop the clock for either birth. Am I eligible, in the future, to postpone a personnel review?
According to our Family Friendly Policy and in the systemwide policy, APM 760, faculty may request a deferral of a personnel review to accommodate family needs in accordance with campus policies.  Such requests should be made within two years of the birth/adoption placement. Personnel review deferrals are delegated to the Dean.  Submit your request via your Department Chair, which will then be forwarded to the Dean for approval.

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