Leave Policies

Policies on paternity or maternity leave for the birth of a child or leave to care for a sick child are available (to greater or lesser degrees) at most institutions. The research, however, shows that these policies are underutilized, as employees perceive it may not be professionally prudent to use such policies. Campuses playing a leadership role in work-family issues report that employees use flextime and leave for dependent care moderately and rarely use job sharing or elder-care referral services. The dilemma that administrators need to address is how to create workplace cultures that support the utilization of leave policies.

Governmental Resources

Department of Labor Guidance on the Family and Medical Leave Act

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on pregnancy discrimination

AAUP Resources

A discussion of family-care and disability leaves is contained within the AAUP's Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities.

AAUP guidebooks on the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (member login required) 

Examples of Institutional Policies

University of Virginia (.pdf)

Cornell University (.pdf)

Michigan State University (.pdf)

University of California (.pdf)

Boston University (.pdf)

Other Reading

K.Ward and L. Wolf-Wendel. "Academic Life and Motherhood: Variations by Institutional Type." International Journal of Higher Education Research. October 2006, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 487-521.

For an overview of family leave policies at “Big Ten” universities, see Robert Drago and Kelly Davis,  Parental Leave and Modified Duties Policies across the Big Ten