Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications.

Academic Family Accommodation Policies

Click the headings below for brief descriptions of the UC San Diego academic personnel policies pertaining to family accommodations for academic appointees without binding memorandums of understanding.

For further details, including specific eligibility information, refer to Section 230-15 (Family Accommodations Policy) in the UC San Diego Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM), or consult your department's academic personnel staff.

For information on other types of leaves (e.g., sick leave, sabbatical, paid medical leave), refer to PPM Section 230-10 (Academic Leave Policy).

For information about state and federal laws (e.g., Family and Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, Pregnancy Disability Leave), check with your department's academic personnel staff or campus benefits representative. Click here for information about using UC San Diego's medical and disability benefits.

Campus academic appointees and department chairs are also invited to contact Heather Fowler Zion, Academic Family Programs Liaison, at or x40500 for consultations or discussions of possible benefits.

The campus form in place to request use of any academic policy summarized below is the UC San Diego Family Accommodations Reporting Form

Accomodation of Pregnancy

As an alternative to or in addition to childbearing leave, the university will provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant academic appointee upon request and if medically necessary. The accommodations will vary depending on the appointee's needs and the nature of her work.

Pregnancy accommodations are not considered a leave and are not counted as childbearing leave, pregnancy disability leave, family and medical leave, or Active Service – Modified Duties unless the accommodations take the form of intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule.

DisAbility Counseling and Consulting (DCC) is the Human Resources division that can provide additional information and advice regarding job accommodations.

Academic appointees should direct their requests for pregnancy accommodations to their department chairs.

Link to full Policy

Active Service -- Modified Duties (ASMD)

Active Service – Modified Duties (ASMD) is a period of reduced responsibilities to allow an academic appointee to prepare and/or care for his or her own newborn child or that of a spouse or domestic partner, or a child placed for adoption or foster care in the appointee's home. Eligibility for a period of ASMD extends from three months before to twelve months following the birth or placement of a child. The total combined period of ASMD, childbearing leave, and parental bonding leave will not exceed the equivalent of two quarters for each qualifying event.

Active Service -- Modified Duties may also be used for family care responsibilities, such as the care of a seriously ill family member or significant eldercare responsibilities. 

A period of ASMD is not a leave of absence, and academic appointees are required to be in residence on campus during this time. Modification of duties normally will consist of either partial or full relief from scheduled teaching responsibilities or reduction of clinical duties for Health Sciences faculty, and no additional teaching responsibilities will be assigned in the previous or subsequent quarters. During a period of ASMD, an academic appointee is on active status and will receive at least his or her approved base salary.

Link to full Policy

Childbearing Leave

Childbearing leave is provided to all academic appointees, regardless of length of service, for the period of time before, during, and after childbirth that the academic appointee is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery. The normal childbearing leave period is six weeks, although up to four months will be provided if necessary for medical reasons.

Academic appointees on childbearing leave will be relieved of all duties for the duration of the leave and have no teaching duties in the quarter in which childbearing leave is taken. Childbearing leave need not be taken in one continuous period of time, but may be taken on an as-needed basis, and may be preceded and/or followed by a period of Active Service – Modified Duties.

An academic appointee on childbearing leave who does not accrue sick time will receive her approved base salary for up to six weeks.  An academic appointee who accrues sick leave may, at her option, use accrued sick or vacation leave credit.

If an academic appointee is disabled for more than six weeks because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, she may be eligible to apply for additional paid medical leave (PPM 230-10, part II.F). She should consult her department academic personnel staff or the Benefits Office for information on disability and other benefits.

Link to full Policy

Deferral of merit reviews

Any academic appointee who has an eligible qualifying event may request a one-year deferral of his or her normally scheduled merit review. A deferral may be granted even if the academic appointee does not take a formal leave.

Qualifying Events are defined as below:

  1. Appointee is caring for an existing child, or a child who becomes part of the appointee’s family
  2. Appointee has significant eldercare responsibilities
  3. Appointee is caring for a seriously ill family member (as defined in PPM 230-15.II, Section E.1, above),
  4. Appointee’s ability to pursue his or her duties is significantly disrupted by the appointee’s own serious health condition or disability
  5. Appointee’s ability to pursue his or her duties is significantly disrupted by the death of a close family member
  6. Appointee’s ability to pursue his or her duties is significantly disrupted due to a significant circumstance or event beyond the appointee’s control that disrupts the appointee’s ability to pursue his or her duties.

For assistant-level faculty, deferral of a merit review may only be requested in conjunction with an extension of the probationary period. A deferral cannot be granted after initiation of a merit review.

Link to full Policy

Parental Bonding Leave

Parental Bonding Leave is provided to all eligible academic appointees with responsibility for the care of a newborn child or a child newly placed in the appointee's home, regardless of length of service.  This leave type may be taken up to 12 months following the birth or placement of an eligible child in the appointee's home. It entails:

·      Up to 12 weeks of leave in order to bond with a new child entering the home
     Up to 6 weeks paid for academic appointees who do not accrue sick leave

An appointee on parental bonding leave will be relieved of all duties for the duration of the leave. 

Link to full Policy

Extension of the probationary period for assistant-level faculty

Assistant-level faculty members are subject to an eight-year appointment limit, which provides that they may not continue in the ladder-rank Professor series after the eighth year of appointment unless they are promoted to tenure at the associate or full level. The period of time prior to consideration of an assistant professor for promotion to tenure is referred to as the probationary period. An assistant professor is eligible to receive a one-year extension of the probationary period for each event of birth or adoption, up to a maximum of two extensions.

Other rationales for requests for extensions include: caring for a seriously ill family member, providing substantial care to an elder family member, or when faculty member’s ability to pursue his or her duties is significantly disrupted due to a serious personal illness or the death of  a close family member. 

An extension cannot be approved after the beginning of the sixth year of appointment, or if it is reported after an academic review has already resulted in a decision not to continue the appointee's appointment.

The probationary period will automatically be extended by one year for assistant level academic appointees who report childbearing leave, ASMD, family leave without pay, and/or parental bonding leave for one or more quarters, unless they decline the extension. An extension also automatic for academic appointees who participate in a Flexible Workload Agreement.

It is not necessary for a faculty member to take a formal leave or a period of Active Service – Modified Duties in order to receive a one-year extension. 

Link to full Policy

Family Leave without Pay

An academic appointee may take up to one year of full-time or part-time family leave without pay for the purpose of caring for his or her own child, the child of a spouse or domestic partner, a seriously ill family member (see official policy for guidelines), or an elder member of the family in need of substantial assistance.

Family leave is without pay, although academic appointees who accrue sick and/or vacation (those appointed on a fiscal-year basis) may substitute accrued sick or vacation time. Individual circumstances vary, and it is important to discuss possible options with your department academic personnel staff,

An appointee on Family Leave without Pay that does not run concurrently with FMLA or CFRA will be responsible for the continuation of benefits during any unpaid portion of the leave.  Appointees should consult with their departmental benefits contacts for additional information on coverage during leaves without pay.

Link to full Policy

Flexible Workload for Faculty

An academic appointee may request a flexible workload to accommodate his or her family responsibilities as follows:

  • to prepare and/or care for newborn child or a child newly placed in the  appointee’s home,
  • to care for a seriously ill family member (as defined  in PPM 230-15.II,Section E.1. above), or
  • to provide substantial care for and elder family member.

During the period of flexible workload, the faculty member's appointment will be temporarily reduced to 50 percent time. Accrued sabbatical credits or extramural grant funding may be used to supplement the faculty member's salary.  An appointee granted a flexible workload program must be relieved of structured teaching and most service responsibilities. 

For appointees supported by non-state funds, participation in a flexible workload program is contingent on compliance with relevant fund source terms and restrictions.

Link to full Policy

Memorandums of Understanding for Contracted Employees

Benefits for union-represented employees are determined through the collective bargaining process and sometimes differ from campus policies.  For these employees, union contracts apply and all aspects of agreements are negotiated.

Click here to view the negotiated Leaves policy the for Non-Senate Instructional Unit (IX).

Click here to view the negotiated Family and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability/Childbearing Leaves policy for the Professional Librarians Unit (LX).

For information related to postdoctoral scholars and their union contract, please visit the UC San Diego Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs.

See all UC Bargaining Units and Contracts.