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Leaves & Time Off

Postdoctoral Scholars are eligible for paid Personal Time Off (PTO) and Sick LeaveOther leaves such as FMLA/CFRA, Parental, Pregnancy, and/or Bereavement may be paid or unpaid. 

a chart with types of leaving and time off

Personal Time Off (PTO)

Postdoctoral Scholars with a 100%, 12-month appointment are eligible to use up to twenty four (24) work days of personal time off with pay at any time within each 12-month appointment period. Personal time off not used within the 12-month period is not carried over into a subsequent appointment year. Personal time off not used when the Postdoctoral Scholar’s appointment concludes, including when a Postdoctoral Scholar leaves the appointment prior to the established appointment end date, remains with the University. Requests for personal time off are to be submitted to the postdoctoral scholar’s Supervisor . When making such requests, Postdoctoral Scholars should attempt to request time off as soon as the need for the time off becomes known to minimize the effect on their research and progress.

Sick Leave

Postdoctoral Scholars are eligible for up to twelve days of paid sick leave per twelve-month appointment period. Appointees with a less than 12-month appointment are eligible for sick leave in proportion to the appointment period; for example, a Postdoctoral Scholar with a six month appointment is eligible for up to six days of sick leave.

Other Leaves

Leaves of absence may be taken with or without pay, may be for medical purposes and/or non-medical reasons, and are subject to the approval of the University. Approved leaves do not continue beyond the predetermined end date of the Postdoctoral Scholar’s appointment.

Non-medical leaves of absence, with or without pay, include: certain Family and Medical Leaves (leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, Parental Leave, Military Caregiver Leave, and Qualifying Exigency Leave), leave for jury duty, military leave, leave for professional meetings, Personal Leave, and leave for service to Governmental agencies. Medical Leaves with or without pay, include Pregnancy Disability Leave, Family and Medical Leave taken for the Postdoctoral Scholar’s own serious health condition and Disability Leave.

View UC-UAW Contract Article 12 (Leaves of Absence) for full descriptions of leaves and associated policies

Maternity and Pregnancy Leave

The UC-UAW contract allows up to four (4) months of pregnancy disability leave.  This leave is taken as unpaid unless postdoc has sick, personal time off or goes on short-term disability (income replacement).

As with any other leave, pregnancy disability leave must be discussed with PI/department as recordkeeping for personal time off and sick leave is recorded at department level.

Postdoc will need to discuss with department administrator/contact options for how they wish to be out on leave. For example; postdoc could use sick leave, personal time off, go on short-term disability, take part of leave with no pay or a combination of these options.

If postdoc will be electing to go on Short Term Disability, leave can start up to two (2) weeks before projected delivery date (with doctor approval). There will be a 7 calendar day waiting period (sick or PTO can be used) before The Standard Insurance Group will start paying on the disability claim.  Once baby is born, postdoc will eligible for additional benefits to be paid for up to 6 weeks or 8 weeks (depending on the type of delivery).

For information on short-term disability and to download form, please visit Once the short-term disability form has been completed, please send directly to The Standard Insurance at the address located on the top of the form. Please note that short-term disability is income replacement (pays 70% of the first $1,429 of weekly pre-disability earnings not to exceed $1,000 per week) and therefore, postdoc cannot be paid by any other source while on short-term disability.

Insurance premiums will continue to be paid as if on “paid” status for the duration of pregnancy disability leave. Any postdoc premium contribution will continue to be the responsibility of the postdoc and will receive invoice from either Payroll Department or Garnett-Powers & Associates requesting payment.

Form(s) that must be submitted by department for pregnancy disability leave:

  • Academic Leave of Absence Form (ALAS) (PDF) Submit to Jennie Salomon, or Mailcode 0043 in the Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs
  • Family Medical Leave paperwork (FMLA) if applicable –Submit to Payroll Department and provide copy to Jennie Salomon (mailcode 0043).

If postdoc will be submitting a short-term disability form to The Standard Insurance, there is a portion that will need to be completed by the employer (postdoc’s department).  If you have questions completing the employer portion of the form, please contact Jennie Salomon at 858-534-3553 or 

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Under FMLA, eligible UC employees may be able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid (can be paid if postdoc has sick or personal time off) leave for:

  • Pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or childbirth
  • Leave to bond with the Postdoctoral Scholar's newborn or newly placed child (Parental Leave)
  • Your own serious health condition
  • The serious health condition of a son or daughter, spouse, domestic partner, or parent

FMLA runs concurrent to pregnancy disability leave.

  • Has at least 12 cumulative months of UC service; and
  • Has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the commencement date of the leave

Effect on benefits under FMLA:
Postdoc shall be entitled to continue participation in health coverage (medical, dental and vision) as if on pay status.  Postdoc would still be responsible for the monthly postdoc premium contribution amount.


Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence (PDF) of any kind must be discussed and approved by the postdoc’s PI/department.  Department must complete an Academic Leave of Absence Form (PDF) and submit to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs at or mailcode 0043.