Family and Medical Leave Policies

University policies concerning faculty leaves caused by medical or family circumstances are explained in the Faculty Handbook, and faculty members should be directed to this source of information immediately whenever related issues arise. The causes underlying such leaves may be as joyful as the birth or adoption of a child or they may be very serious. In all cases, Department Chairs should protect the privacy of the faculty member, and treat related information as confidentially as possible.

The notes provided below offer a brief summary of policies and procedures related to Medical and Family Leaves. They are not a substitute for official policy statements and should be used only to prompt reference to the official documents or to the Dean's office. The full University policy is available in the University's Policies, Procedures, and Handbooks Web page policy number 02-11-01.

  • Eligibility
    • Full-time faculty
    • Part-time tenure-stream faculty (must be at least half-time)
  • Duration for medical leave
    • Serious illness; Certification required
    • Up to 26 paid workweeks during any 12-month period for own serious medical condition
    • Up to 4 paid workweeks during 24-month period for family illness; eligibility requires 24 months of service
    • If paid medical leave extends beyond 6 months, the faculty member must apply for disability insurance.
  • Duration for family leaves — care of family member
    • Up to one year unpaid; University continues to pay its share of premiums
    • Combined paid and unpaid leave cannot exceed 12 calendar months
  • Tenure track considerations
    • 4 months leave or more: clock stops for one academic year and contract will be extended.
    • Less than 4 months: upon request, clock may stop for one academic year and contract may be extended.
    • Mandatory tenure review cannot be delayed more than 3 years under this policy.
  • Guidelines for Department Chairs on FMFL paperwork
    • Become familiar with the FMFL policy.
    • Provide the faculty member requesting leave with a copy of the FMFL policy.
    • Provide the faculty member requesting leave with the contact information for the Provost’s website: https://www.provost.pitt.edu/faculty-medical-and-family-leave-fmfl 
    • Instruct the faculty member to take the Certification of Physician or Practitioner Form (found on the Provost’s website) to his/her physician and have it filled out completely. The faculty member has a choice of either including the completed certification form with the memo requesting the leave or sending it directly to Faculty Records, Attn: Becky DiPerna, G39 Cathedral of Learning (412-624-4232).
    • Instruct the faculty member to write a memo to you requesting medical and/or family leave.
    • The faculty member must indicate the length of leave he/she is requesting, including a start date and an end date. Note that the length of leave requested is not an arbitrary number. The faculty member should be made aware that his/her requested length of leave must be consistent with what his/her physician has recommended and with the FMFL policy. The memo does not need to state the medical condition prompting the request.
    • Check to see if the faculty member plans to request an extension of the tenure clock; and, if so, instruct the faculty member to include a statement indicating this in his/her memo requesting medical and/or family leave.
    • Write a memo to the Associate Dean for Faculty, Kay Brummond, recommending the medical and/or family leave for the faculty member.
      • The memo should state that the faculty member was provided with a copy of the FMFL policy.
      • When applicable, the memo should indicate that any necessary arrangements to have the faculty member's courses covered have been made.
      • The amount of leave recommended should be identical to what the faculty member requested, providing it is acceptable under the FMFL policy. The Office of the Provost will check the faculty member's requested leave against the Certification of Physician or Practitioner Form.
      • Faculty member's CV
      • Upload your memo (via Perceptive Content) recommending the leave, the faculty member's memo requesting the leave, and the faculty member's CV and assign to Jaime Wesoloski (jlw85@pitt.edu).
      • All FMFL paperwork should be processed in a timely manner.

University FMFL Policy on Birth and Adoption:  Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Implementation

  • Category A:  Birth mothers entitled to both medical leave and parental leave.
    • Faculty member is entitled to paid medical leave as recommended by doctor (e.g. 6 weeks for uncomplicated birth), plus 4 weeks of paid parental leave. This is a total of 10-12 weeks of paid leave, for an uncomplicated pregnancy. In Arts and Sciences, this will be implemented as one term with no teaching responsibilities.
    • Salary will be continued only during that period for which the faculty member would normally be on the payroll.
    • Leave must be taken within 1 year of birth of a child.
    • Academic year in which birth takes place will not normally count toward mandatory tenure review. The faculty member desiring this option must submit a written statement to the department chair or dean within the academic year in which the birth occurs.
  • Category BFaculty member entitled to parental leave only (i.e. non-birth mothers, and partners).
    • Faculty member is entitled to 4 weeks of paid parental leave. In Arts and Sciences, this will be implemented as a one-course reduction on a standard two-course per term teaching load.
    • Primary caregiver (provides at least 50% of child care) may also:
      • request buy out of one additional course at the standard Dietrich School rate or
      • arrange with department chair for modified duties for one term
    • Leave and/or modified duties must take place within 1 year of birth or adoption of a child.
    • Academic year in which birth takes place will not normally count toward mandatory tenure review. The faculty member desiring this option must submit a written statement to the department chair or dean within the academic year in which the birth or adoption occurs.