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Academic Leaves & Accommodations 

Academic appointees with academic-year appointments are expected to be in residence from the first day of the fall quarter through the last day of the spring quarter, except during official University holidays. Fiscal year appointees are in service to the university throughout the year, except during official University holidays.

The UC San Diego Academic and Administrative Calendar lists each academic year service period and the official university holidays that apply to all. Please note: Intersession days between quarters that are not designated official holidays are considered service days. Below are general directives, policy links, and leaves resources for faculty and academic appointees.

For information on federal and university leaves related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit COVID-19 FAQ on Leave and Remote Work Provisions for Faculty and Academic Appointees.

What is an Academic Leave?

Per the UC San Diego PPM 230-10 Academic Leave Policy, "An academic appointee is considered to be on a leave of absence any time they take a leave from normal duties during the prescribed periods of service.   Academic appointees who leave the campus prior to obtaining formal approval are in violation of university policy." 

Please see the chart below for general types of leaves by category and consult the campus and systemwide leaves policies and MOUs for more detailed information about eligibility.

  

*Accommodations that do not involve leave time are not listed on this chart because they are not considered leaves. See below for more information on accommodations.

 

What Are Leave Accruals and Who Earns Them?

Leave accruals are sick time or vacation hours earned, contingent on appointment series and percentage.  Faculty and academic appointees who accrue sick or vacation leave may use it according to policy.  Many types of academic leave allow for the use of earned accruals to provide compensation during leaves that might have otherwise been taken as unpaid. See policy for details.

Academic appointees who do not accrue sick or vacation time may have other paid leave provisions governed by academic policy or their Collective Bargaining Agreements. To view sick and vacation leave accruals by series, please visit Leave Accruals by Series.

What is an Accommodation?

An accommodation is any measure put into place by the University of California in order to assist faculty and other academic appointees with balancing essential job duties and personal healthSome accommodations are leaves, such as childbearing and parental bonding leave. A formal accommodation that involves modified duties is often the result of the interactive process.

An interactive process is often initiated when an academic appointee with a new or existing disability seeks to work out an arrangement for accommodating their disability with the appointee's department.  The DisAbility Counseling and Consulting Office can be contacted with inquiries.  Suitable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.   


Some examples of accommodations that are not leaves and the paperwork or actions they require to initiate:

  • Any duties modification created by an interactive process with DisAbility Counseling & Consulting (DCC) that does not involve a reduction in percentage of time. Any accommodation negotiated during an interactive-process is initiated with Disability Counseling and Consulting Office guidance and designated paperwork.
  • Any duties modification related to pregnancy disability, initiated by a conversation with the department chair, that does not involve a reduction in percentage of time. Internal department paperwork, as appropriate, may be required by the chair. (PPM 230-15)
  • An Active Service-Modified Duties accommodation, per policy, that does not result in a reduction in percentage of time. Such requests require FAR form processing. (PPM 230-15)
  •  Change in Work Location, as referenced in PPM 230-10, that is a period of 60 days or less in which an academic appointee performs all of his or her normal duties from a remote location to facilitate conference attendance or because research and/or teaching activities require his or her absence from campus during the service period. This accommodation must be taken during a non-teaching quarter, and is most often taken in service to the university. None of an appointee’s duties while on Change in Work Location may be reassigned. Changes in Work Location require an ALAS and a memo from the candidate endorsed by the chair and approved by the dean. (PPM 230-10)
  • A Flexible Workload agreement as defined by the Family Accommodations Policy requires a memo from the candidate and an MOU. (PPM 230-15)
  • A Family Accommodations policy-related extension of the probationary period or request for deferral of academic review for an Assistant Rank appointee. These require FAR form processing. (PPM 230-15)

When May I Apply for a Leave?

Aside from FML and other protected leaves, which frequently arise without substantive notice (though require a minimum of 30 days advance application when possible (PPM 230-15 III.A)), it is generally best practice to apply for leaves of one quarter or more at least one quarter in advance.

Leaves that require Executive Vice Chancellor or Chancellor's approval due to duration, Category I Prior Approval requirements, or exception to policy requests may take longer to process and must be submitted, at a minimum, one quarter previous to the date the leave is projected to take place. 

For research-related leaves or leaves that can be anticipated and planned in advance, best practices would be to ensure department chairs or academic divisions receive between one quarter and one academic year's advance consultation.

Contact your department chair or your unit's Academic Personnel contact for preferred department protocols.

Where May I Find Resources Regarding Protected Leaves?

Protected leave usually means a type of leave that protects designated employee benefits and rights.   See below for information regarding the most common types of protected leaves, which include those that may be protected by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), and/or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).  

*For COVID-19 related limited duration Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) protected Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML), please see guidance from the University of California Office of the President as they pertain to COVID-19-Related Leave for Academic Appointees: Guidance for Supervisors and COVID-19 Leaves and Job Protection Guidance for Academic Personnel.


Regarding FMLA, From the Department of Labor:

"The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave. Employees are also entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave.

The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. Eligible employees may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military deployments of their family members. Additionally, they may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemen with a serious injury or illness."

Please see the Department of Labor FMLA Guidance pages for more detailed information on eligible leave types and terms and the University of California FMLA fact sheet for additional resources and employer-paid benefits coverage details.  Please also see academic policies detailed below for more guidelines regarding the implementation of FMLA for academic appointees.


Regarding PDL, from the State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Visit this resource for more information about an employee's rights and obligations as a pregnant employee. 


Regarding FMLA, PDL, and CFRA

FMLA benefits will be used concurrently with CFRA benefits whenever PDL is not taken with FMLA.  In the instances where PDL and FMLA are used together, an appointee's eligibility under CFRA can entail additional weeks of benefits coverage.  For information regarding terms of these state and federal laws, please visit the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's  PDL, CFRA, NPLA, and FMLA Requirements and Obligations.

Which Academic Leaves May Fall Under Protected Leave Categories?

Protected Leaves - FML/FMLA/CFRA/PDL

The academic leave types that can fall under protected leave categorization (provided the employee is eligible per guidelines) are as follows.  

Academic Leave Name Assuming Eligibility, Possible Protective Leave Categorization Primary Academic Policy/Policies to be Consulted Maximum Duration
Childbearing Leave/Pregnancy Disability Leave with or without pay FMLA/PDL PPM 230-15, APM 760, *HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines/Leaves Executive Summary 4 months, contingent on disability status
Parental Bonding Leave/Parental Leave with or without pay FMLA/CFRA (if request meets guidelines for eligibility for these leaves) PPM 230-15, APM 760, *HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines/Leaves Executive Summary 12 Weeks, within one year of the date of event
Family Leave without pay FMLA/CFRA PPM 230-15, APM 760 (similar to Parental leave), *HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines/Leaves Executive Summary 1 Year

Medical Leave with or without Pay 

FMLA/CFRA/PDL PPM 230-10, APM 710 1 Year

Extended Illness

FMLA/CFRA/PDL APM 670, *HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines/Leaves Executive Summary 6 weeks, consecutive or intermittent (min)

* For these guidelines, please visit the Faculty Compensation website on Pulse. Your UC San Diego Active Directory login is required.


Which Academic Leaves Fall Under Research-Related and Other Categories?

Research Related Leaves  

Academic Leave Name Paid or Unpaid Primary Academic Policy/Policies to be Consulted Maximum Duration

Sabbatical Leave

or

Sabbatical in Residence Leave

(must be in eligible series: Ladder-rank faculty or Teaching Professors (LSOE))

Paid, requires sabbatical credit forfeiture

PPM 230-10,, APM 740, *HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines/Leaves Executive Summary

One Year

Leave with Pay in Lieu of Sabbatical

(must be in eligible series: Professor In Residence; Professor of Clinical X; Salaried Adjunct Professor; or Salaried Clinical Professor)

Paid, requires leave in lieu credit forfeiture

PPM 230-10, *HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines/Leaves Executive Summary

One Year
Leave to Attend Professional Meetings Paid

PPM 230-10, APM - 752

10 Service Days
Extended Leave Paid, requires Sabbatical Credit forfeiture

PPM 230-10 

Equal to 11 Service days or more but less than an academic quarter.
Leave from Professional Duties to Do Research  Paid, requires grant funding and research title for duration of leave

 PPM 230-10

14 days, after that exceptions to policy

 


Other Leaves

Academic Leave Name Paid or Unpaid Primary Academic Policy/Policies to be Consulted Maximum Duration
Leave for Service to Government Agency Unpaid

PPM 230-10,  APM - 750 

Two Years

Leave for Military Service

First 30 days paid if employed for the twelve months prior, otherwise unpaid

PPM 230-10APM - 751

One Year
Other Leaves with Pay Paid

PPM 230-10, APM - 758

One Year
CBA Leaves for Represented Appointees Variable Variable, See contracts. Variable
Jury Duty Paid

 PPM 230-10

Variable

Which Leave Requests Require Which Paperwork?

Required Paperwork for Requests: 

  • Family Accommodation leaves (and family accommodations, in general—Childbearing Leave, Parental Bonding Leave, Family Leave (without pay), Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD), Probationary Period Extensions, Deferral Stand-alone requests, etc.) require the FAR form to process up through the designated approval authority or certifier of leaves reported (same individual).  Those that request ASMD are accompanied by a memo indicating plans for who will teach the course/courses for which instructor replacement funding has been requested.
  • Any leaves with that may involve FMLA/CFRA will require FMLA paperwork. This is kept at the departmental level. Short sick leaves of less than three days, which do not qualify for FMLA, still require chair's approval and sick leave forfeiture where accrued. 
  • Personal illness leaves (Paid Medical Leave, for example) need an ALAS form and supporting documentation indicating length of leave necessary from a doctor or medical practitioner.
  • All leaves with medical components that require absence or reduction in percent time for disability-related reasons will require a readiness to return to work certification.
  • Research leaves beyond chair’s approval (Sabbatical, Leave in Lieu of Sabbatical, Leaves to Attend a Professional Meeting, Extended Leave, etc.) require an ALAS form and supporting documentation.

Which Policies, Local and Systemwide, Govern Leaves and Accommodations?

Local Policy Guidance:

The UC San Diego Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM) is the local reference for academic leave policy for unrepresented appointees. The two local leaves policies for UC San Diego non-represented faculty and academic appointees who are not members of the Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP) are  the PPM 230-10  Academic Leave Policy and the PPM 230-15 Family Accommodations  policy.

HSCP members will consult the APM 670 and the HSCP Local Implementation Guidelines and the Executive Summary of Revisions to HSCP Implementation Guidelines: Faculty Leave Benefits, which are available on the the Faculty Compensation website on Pulse.  


Collective Bargaining Agreements

For leaves requested by represented faculty and academic appointees, refer systemwide Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for policy information.

Collective Bargaining Agreements for Academic Appointees by Series:

For appointees with Collective Bargaining Agreements, these resources may also help:


Systemwide Academic Policy

The Academic Personnel Manual (APM) is the systemwide reference for academic policy.  In general, the terms in the systemwide manual are relevant to any leave for which differing local policy, implementation guidelines (for HSCP participants) or collective bargaining agreements (for represented appointees) have not been created. The APM 700 Series policies are those regarding academic leaves. Policies for certain leaves of absence are as follows:

a. Sick leave (APM - 710)
b. Family and medical leave (APM - 715)
c. Holidays (APM - 720)
d. Vacation (APM - 730)
e. Sabbatical leave (APM - 740)
f. Leave for service to governmental agencies (APM - 750)
g. Military leave (APM - 751)
h. Leave to attend professional meetings or other University business
(APM - 752)
i. Other leaves with pay APM - 758)
j. Other leaves without pay (APM - 759)
k. Family accommodations for childbearing and childrearing (APM - 760)


Other References and Programs:

For the UCOP links to systemwide UC Family Friendly Policies, click here (link).

Though a program rather than an academic leave policy, additionally, appointees in vacation-accruing titles who have passed the requisite vacation usage waiting period may also be eligible to participate as donors or recipients of vacation pay under the UC San Diego's Catastrophic Leave Donation Program.   See program page for details.

Which UCOP Resources Will Help Me Understand Benefits Impacted?

Where Can I Learn How Disability Benefits Interact with Academic Leaves?

Disability benefits through Lincoln Financial or other sources provide income to replace lost wages. In general, disability benefits are applied for either when academic leave and accommodations policies do not provide more generous paid terms, when an employee has inadequate accruals or wishes to preserve as many of them as possible, or when paid leave policy provisions have been used to their maximum availability/duration. For information about the University's select enrollment disability programs, please visit Your Disability Benefits on Blink, which is a full resource page with links to all relevant documentation and programs.

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR ACADEMIC APPOINTEES:

  1. Filing for disability benefits cannot be done when there is no loss in pay.
  2. Disability payments cannot be augmented by accrued leave usage except when claims are connected to Worker's Comp.
  3. The paperwork filed for requesting paid disability benefits does not take the place of approved academic leave paperwork (e.g. ALAS/FAR, etc).
  4. A disabled appointee's request/s for job accommodations to remain in active service is done via the Interactive Process at Disability Counseling and Consulting and is separate from the process of requesting wage replacement.
  5. It is advised that those appointees who expect their disability may span more than a year consult with Disability Counseling and Consulting.
  6. FMLA documentation must be completed and submitted to an appointee's department or unit for any leave request that falls under the criteria for Family and Medical Leave.

For academic appointees with paid leave provisions with no loss of income, only academic leave paperwork must be accepted and approved as requested/reported.