Parental Policies

Officers of Instruction - Morningside and CUMC


These policies recognize the special needs of faculty who must balance research, teaching, and parental obligations, and reflect the belief that the University, as well as the individual, benefits from arrangements that help faculty pursue their academic careers while raising a family.  Please note that the content on this website provides a brief summary of the policies. For complete information please consult the Faculty Handbook.

Pregnancy-Related Disability Leave

As a full-time officer of the University who is pregnant, you are entitled to take a paid medical leave for any part of the pregnancy and post-partum period that your doctor certifies you are medically unable to work.  Medical leave for pregnancy begins on the date your doctor certifies that you are unable to work for medical reasons and ends on the date your doctor certifies you are medically able to return to work. Typically physicians certify medical leave of six to eight weeks.  In the event of complications and extended medical leave is necessary, medical certification may allow up to six months of paid medical leave.

The first 12 weeks of any pregnancy-related disability or parental leave in a rolling year are counted toward the 12 weeks of leave you may be entitled to under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  

Child Care Leave

Officers of Instruction are also eligible to take a child care leave without salary or with partial salary when: 

  • You have a baby
  • Your spouse or same-sex domestic partner has a baby
  • You adopt a child
  • You become a foster parent to a child

New York City Earned Sick Time Act

Under the New York City Earned Sick Time Act Policy all eligible (must work more than 80 hours in a fiscal year: July 1 – June 30) University faculty and staff who work in New York City may accrue up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick time per fiscal year, which can be used for illness or preventive care of one's self or one's family members (defined under the Act to mean the employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling (including a half sibling, step sibling, or sibling related through adoption), grandchild, grandparent, or the child or parent of an employee's spouse or domestic partner).

Part-Time Career Appointment

In addition to paid medical leave and infant care leave, you may be eligible for a part-time career appointment. 

Part-time career appointments are available if you are:

  • a faculty member on tenure track, and
  • a primary caregiver for a child under nine years of age.

You are the primary caregiver if you are:

  • a single parent,
  • or where there are two parents, if the other is working full-time or is enrolled as a full-time student.

During the period of a part-time career appointment, you will perform half your normal duties and responsibilities, and will receive half your normal salary; but you will keep your full-time status, benefits and privileges. Each year of your part-time career appointment is treated as a half-year in determining your up-or-out date.

You are not allowed to work elsewhere during a part-time career appointment. The appointment is made on the assumption that you will be devoting your additional non-work time to the care of your child.

You may hold a part-time career appointment as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for it. You must inform your chair or dean on a yearly basis whether you want to continue to serve in this capacity or resume your full-time appointment.  

Tenure Clock Stoppage

If a nontenured faculty assumes primary responsibility for the care of a child less than a year old, the Provost may stop the tenure clock.  This can occur without taking a leave of absence or participating in the University’s workload relief program(if eligible).  

An officer is considered the “primary parent” if:

  • She or he is a single parent
  • There are two parents, but the other is working full time or enrolled as a full-time student.

Faculty may have the tenure clock stopped in this manner for up to one year of appointment for each of two children.

Leave of Absence for Compelling Personal Need

Full-time faculty may request a leave of absence without salary to deal with a compelling personal need.  Faculty who take such leaves to care for seriously ill family members are entitled, under FMLA, to at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave, subject to the requirements described under the "FMLA Leaves" section of the Faculty Handbook.  Longer periods of leave for that purpose and all other types of personal leave are granted at the discretion of the Provost on the recommendation of the appropriate department chair, dean, or vice president.  Personal leaves are generally limited to a maximum of one year, but the Provost may authorize extensions on the recommendation of the department chair, dean, or vice president. 

Helpful Suggestions

Preparing for a Leave of Absence

For pregnancy-related disability leave, provide written documentation from your doctor stating the length of time you will need to be away from work. If the length of time you need to be on disability leave changes for medical reasons, you will need to submit new documentation from your doctor so that your disability leave can be changed accordingly.  The doctor's letter may be attached to your letter to your chair or dean, or to maintain confidentiality may be sent directly to "HR Disability" in the Office of Human Resources.  Leave sufficient time between your written request(s) and the date you would like to begin your leave so that your department and/or school can plan for your absence and receive authorization from the Provost.

    Provide written notice of your intention to take a child care leave to your department chair or dean.  Make sure to include an anticipated return date in your written notice of leave. Leave sufficient time between your written request(s) and the date you would like to begin your leave so that your department and/or school can plan for your absence and receive authorization from the Provost. 

Things to Think About

  • Paid medical leave and child care leave generally do not exceed one year; however in certain circumstances additional time may be necessary.
  • If eligible, FMLA will run concurrently with paid medical leave and child care leave.  
  • Child care leave is applicable to both fathers and mothers.
  • If you are on tenure track, the period of your leave may change your "up or out" date.
  • If you are tenured, the period of your leave does not count toward establishing your eligibility for a sabbatical.
  • Contact HR Benefits to discuss how you can retain your benefits while on leave.