The University of Pittsburgh provides a Faculty Medical and Family Leave (FMFL) of absence for faculty for medical (including pregnancy and childbirth), parental, and other family care purposes. The goal of the policy is to assist faculty members in balancing the demands of the workplace with family obligations, and to establish equitable practices across the diverse departments, schools, and campuses of the University. This policy is ultimately intended to maximize the professional productivity of faculty while strengthening the University as a collegial and supportive work environment. Victoria Lancaster, Director of Faculty Actions, can answer your questions regarding the Faculty Medical and Family Leave policy, procedure, and guidelines.
How to Request a Faculty Medical or Family Leave (for Faculty)
- Become familiar with the FMFL policy and FMFL procedure.
- Communicate with your department chair/division head as soon as possible. All documentation must come through the department or division, is then approved by your dean/president, and then sent on to the Office of the Provost for final approval. It is very important to communicate early and frequently with your department or division administrator so that they can assist you with your paperwork and advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the policy and procedure.
- The Director of Faculty Actions, Victoria Lancaster (firstname.lastname@example.org), is available to answer questions for both the faculty member and department administrators.
- Ensure that you have access to the correct Physician Certification form. This certification of physician form is required to be filled out completely and signed by the physician. The faculty member has a choice of either including the completed certification form with the memo requesting the leave, or sending it directly to Victoria Lancaster, Director of Faculty Actions, G-39 Cathedral of Learning, for confidentiality.
- Write a memo to your department chair/division head requesting medical and/or family leave.
- Please indicate the length of leave you are requesting, including a start date and end date. The requested length of leave must be consistent with what their physician has recommended and with the FMFL policy. The memo does not need to state the medical condition prompting the request.
- Will this leave require an extension of the tenure clock? If so, please include a statement indicating this in the memo requesting medical and/or family leave.
- Please provide this written request to your department chair/division head as soon as possible.
- You are requested to give 30 days of intent to take leave; if the leave is not foreseeable, please provide as much notice as is possible.
- Your department chair/division chair is required to notify and seek approval from the Dean/President’s office.
- Your department chair/division chair will coordinate with the department administrator to create and process all of the required internal University paperwork.
- Once the completed paperwork is received by the Director of Faculty Actions, the request is submitted to the Provost’s office for review and approval.
- You will be notified in writing that your leave has been approved, but you can also contact Victoria Lancaster (email@example.com) to check on the status.
Does the University offer maternity leave for faculty?
While there is nothing at the University that is officially titled “maternity leave,” the University offers medical leave and family leave under the FMFL policy. A pregnant faculty member may wish to take medical leave for the birth of a child and/or family leave to care for a child. Medical leave is paid leave and family leave can be paid or unpaid depending on the length of leave taken.
The medical portion of the University policy covers leave requests due to pregnancy and childbirth. The eligible faculty member submits a completed Certificate of Physician or Practitioner, indicating the amount of leave medically necessary (this is generally six weeks for a normal pregnancy and delivery, eight weeks for a normal pregnancy with a surgical (c-section) delivery). Eligible faculty members on medical leave continue to receive full salary and medical insurance benefits.
The family leave portion of the policy provides four workweeks of paid leave for eligible faculty members within one calendar year after the birth or adoption of a child. This time can be taken as four straight weeks or pro-rated (one day a week for 16 weeks for instance); the faculty member and his or her department work together to decide how best to utilize the family leave. Unpaid leave of up to one calendar year to care for a child is also provided under this policy. Please refer to 02-11-01 Procedure for Faculty Medical and Family Leave.