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Faculty Serious Illness Leave/Parental Leave Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a serious illness or major disability?

Answer: A serious illness or major disability is a serious health condition of the employee that prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of his or her job. The policy requires certification of a serious illness/major disability by the faculty member’s physician.

2. Why does the Serious Illness Leave policy provide 60 days of paid leave?

Answer: The 60 days coincides with the 60 day wait period needed to qualify for Short Term Disability benefits. For more information on Short Term Disability, please contact your department’s HR Benefits Specialist.

3. May I use this leave to care for my child who has a serious health condition?

Answer: Yes, this leave may be used to care for a child or other dependent living in the household, or the spouse, domestic partner, or parent of a faculty member who has a serious health condition.

4. I am a 12 month faculty member. Am I required to use my earned leave time under this policy?

Answer: Faculty are not required to use accrued leave time during the 60 days. This leave is paid by the department/school.

5. What do I need to do to use this leave?

Answer: A faculty member requesting use of this leave should submit to his/her department Chair or Dean’s Office a Medical & Parental Leave Request Form and a Medical & Parental Leave Certification Form. The Request form is completed by the faculty member and the Certifications Form is completed by the treating physician.

6. I am a 12 month Clinical Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and I am currently pregnant. What options do I have under these policies?

Answer: You are eligible for use of the Parental Leave policy which grants up to 15 weeks of leave. You are also eligible for 60 days of paid leave under the Serious Illness Leave policy. The first 60 days of the 15 week leave period are paid by your department (you are not required to use your earned sick/vacation leave). The remainder of your leave period is paid if you have sick/vacation leave to cover the leave period. You are not, however, required to use your accrued leave time. If you choose to not use accrued leave time, the remainder of your leave (beyond the paid 60 days) is unpaid.

7. I am adopting a child and need to leave the country to complete the adoption. May I use Parental Leave to finalize my adoption arrangements?

Answer: Yes, leave time may be granted (as part of the 15 weeks) for purposes of arranging for adoption. The leave must be taken within 12 months of the adoption.

8. My partner and I both work for UNC. Are we both eligible for up to 15 weeks of leave under the Parental Leave policy?

Answer: No, the total amount of parental leave to which both parents may be entitled in connection with the birth or adoption of a child is limited to 15 weeks.

9. Will I still have benefits while on leave?

Answer: Paid leaves have no effect on a faculty member’s benefits.

10. May I use the Serious Illness Leave intermittently?

Answer: The Faculty Serious Illness leave is designed to be used for a period of continuous leave. The leave may be used intermittently if the faculty member is caring for a child, spouse, domestic partner, or other dependent living in the household.

11. I have only been on faculty in my department for 6 months, but I have sustained an injury that will require about 5 weeks of recuperation. Am I eligible for the 60 days of paid leave?

Answer: Yes, faculty are eligible for this benefit upon initial appointment. There is no waiting period.