Family and medical leave

Paid sick leave

You can take up to 90 calendar days paid sick leave per academic year, for reasons such as your own personal serious health condition, a family member’s serious health condition, or temporary disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, or recovery. The use of paid sick leave requires certification from a Health Care Provider.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

You can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected FMLA leave per 12 month period due to your own serious health condition or an eligible family member’s serious health condition. You are eligible for FMLA covered leave if you have worked for the University for at least 12 months in a benefit-eligible capacity and have not used all of the FMLA covered leave available in the 12 month period prior. This FMLA leave period usually runs concurrent with any available paid sick leave.

Parental leave

Under state regulations, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave per 12 month period. You can only use paid sick leave if your newborn has a serious health condition, you are incapacitated due to pregnancy or childbirth, or you are caring for your partner during her period of incapacity due to pregnancy or childbirth.  You can take unpaid leave time or use annual time off for bonding with a newborn or newly-adopted child.

Paid time off

Faculty do not earn or accrue vacation time. If you are employed full-time, year-round, you are paid for twelve months over eleven months of service per academic year. If you are employed for nine months a year, you are paid for nine months a year and use summer as time off.

Unpaid leave

Leave without pay

You can apply for Leave Without Pay (LWOP) for personal or familial reasons. In order to retain benefits while on LWOP, you need to maintain a minimum 5% FTE per month. LWOP is limited to two consecutive years (on partial or full leave), after which time you would need to request a reduction in FTE.

Reduction in full-time equivalency (FTE)

You may apply for a reduction in FTE for professional, personal, or other reasons. In order to do so, contact your division administrator for next steps.

Leave for faculty employed less than 1.0 FTE

If you are employed at less than 1.0 FTE, you have the same leave benefits as full-time faculty, paid at the rate of employment. For example, if you are appointed .75 FTE, you can take up to 90 days of paid sick leave per academic year, paid at .75 FTE. Leave is paid based on the FTE held on the day the leave begins.

Other leave categories

Paid professional leave (sabbatical)

The University provides a benefit of paid professional leave (sabbatical) to encourage scholarship and professional development. You can take paid professional leave in the seventh year of service to the University, or in the seventh year after returning from a previous professional leave. Depending on the length of leave, the University provides anywhere from 67 – 100 percent salary support during the leave.

Military leave

If you serve in the Armed Forces, you can take paid military leave. Military leave allows for up to 21 paid work days per year running October 1 to September 30. Additionally, you can take to up to 5 years of unpaid military leave while on active duty.

Emergency relief leave

You may use annual time off for volunteering to provide emergency relief, otherwise emergency relief leave is unpaid time off. If you are a health care professional, you may need to complete a Site of Practice proposal prior to providing patient care as a volunteer.

Domestic violence leave

An employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking or has a family member who is a victim, may take a reasonable amount of paid or unpaid leave to seek treatment or get assistance. Allowable reasons for leave include to seek legal counseling or a protective order, safety planning, mental health counseling or similar activities. 

Applying for leave

For all types of planned leave, contact your division first to notify them you will be requesting leave.

For Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Submit your FMLA paperwork/request directly to the University of Washington Academic Human Resources Office (UWAHR). Dependent upon type of leave, one of the following forms should be completed and mailed to UW AHR:

For all other leaves, including LWOP, time off and FTE reduction (temporary or permanent), you will work with your division to submit the forms.

Returning to work after FMLA

Seven days prior to your return to work, you must complete a Fitness for Duty Certification form. This form needs to be completed by a health care professional. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How does leave impact my timeline for promotion?

The use of time off and/or paid sick leave will not impact your clock.

Acting faculty: If you are an acting instructor or acting assistant professor, taking leave or reducing your FTE will not extend your timeline as acting faculty. You will be eligible to be in the acting titles for a total of six years, with no more than four years in either one of the titles, regardless of amount of time spent on leave during those years. 

Assistant professors: If you are an assistant professor and take a period of LWOP that is more than 50% time AND six months in length or more during an academic year, the mandatory promotion date is extended by one year. 

How does leave impact my benefits?

Dependent upon the type and length of leave, your benefits may be impacted differently. Please contact the Benefits Office at uwhr@uw.edu or 543-2800 about retention of benefits during leave.

If you are on approved FMLA leave, the University will continue to pay their portion of your benefits during this time. If you are on LWOP, you will need to maintain a minimum of 5% FTE to retain benefits. You will also maintain regular benefits when using your paid sick time or paid annual leave.

I’m appointed at 50% FTE, how much paid sick time do I have available?

You can take up to 90 days of paid sick leave, paid at 50% FTE.

I’ve adopted a child/my partner just gave birth. How much paid time off do I get?

You can’t use paid sick leave for parental bonding. You may use your annual time off or take unpaid leave. However, you may be able to use paid sick time if you are caring for a newborn with a serious health condition, or to care for your partner during her incapacity due to childbirth. 

When does the leave clock “reset”?

FMLA: Prior to January 1, 2016, FMLA time is allotted per academic year, July 1 to June 30.

During the year 2015, your FMLA eligibility will be calculated using whichever method benefits you the most: either by rolling calculation, or with your FMLA eligibility resetting July 1, 2015.

Effective January 1, 2016, all FMLA will be calculated on a rolling basis, by adding up total use of FMLA time during the previous 12 months.

Paid sick leave: Paid sick leave resets every July 1, at the beginning of a new academic year. Time cannot be accrued or carried over.

Paid Professional leave: You can take paid professional leave in your seventh year of service, or in your seventh year after a previous paid professional leave.

Military leave: Military leave eligibility runs October 1 to September 30 every year. Time cannot be accrued or carried over.

Unpaid parental leave: Must be taken within one year of birth or placement of a child.