Maternity and Dependent Care Leave Policies


This Web site is designed to help with personal leaves, dependant care and maternity leave. Much of the information included here was taken from the UM Standard Practice Guide, which can be accessed on the World Wide Web or from the department offices. Since University policies are subject to change, and benefits may vary among different faculty tracks and ranks, faculty members are urged to consult the Regents' Bylaws, the Standard Practice Guide, and other primary sources.

Maternity and Modified Duties Policies

Maternity and modified duties leave at the Medical School have several components:

Sick Leave

The University of Michigan does not specifically have a maternity leave, but it does provide maternity benefits under the sick leave plan. Sick leave may be used for incapacity caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth.

Through the use of short-term and long-term sick leave, faculty members are eligible to be paid during the time a physician determines they should be off work. The amount of sick leave available to faculty members varies depending on their rank, their length of service with the University, and the amount of sick leave they have already used.

All regular and supplemental faculty members receive up to three weeks (15 days) of short-term sick leave annually at their regular salary, which may be used for incapacitation due to pregnancy or childbirth. After faculty members have exhausted all fifteen days of their short-term leave, individuals with two or more years of service at the University are entitled to use extended sick time. Years worked in a medical residency at UM count toward faculty members' years of service.) During extended sick leave, faculty members are paid their full salaries for up to six months and then are paid half-salaries for an additional six months. Professors and Associate Professors (at all tracks) with ten or more years of UM service are eligible to be paid for one year at regular salaries and one additional year at half of their regular salary. Requests for extended leave must be submitted to the department chair or relevant dean accompanied by a physician's statement. The physician's statement must provide the number of weeks that the faculty member will be unable to work due to childbirth. (SPG 201.11-1) (PDF)

Faculty members who are unable to work because of disability related to pregnancy, but are not eligible for extended sick leave, and have exhausted their 15 days of short-term sick leave, have four options. They can use their paid vacation time, they can take an excused absence for up to three weeks without salary with the permission of the department chair, use FMLA or, for longer periods, they can take a medical leave of absence without salary for up to one year. (SPG 201.30-1) (PDF)

If there is a question of whether or not a faculty member is incapacitated, the department chair or dean may require a statement from a physician or the faculty member may be required to be examined by a physician designated by the University at the University's expense. If the return date is unknown at the time the leave is requested, the department chair or dean should be notified, in writing, of the intended return date as soon as it is determined. A return to work letter from a physician should also be provided.


For each month that faculty members receive full pay under the sick leave plan, their deductions and the University's contributions remain the same. For each month that only 50% pay is received under the sick leave plan, the University will continue to pay its share and, in addition, it will pay the faculty members' share of contributions to the retirement, group life insurance, and health insurance programs in which they were enrolled at the time of pregnancy.

Faculty members who are new parents should remember that the form to add a new dependent to their insurance policies needs to be completed and returned to the Benefits Office within 30 days of the addition of the new family member.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted on August 5, 1993. This law provides job guarantees for employees who need time off for medical or dependent care responsibilities.

The law requires the University of Michigan and other large employers to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in each 12-month period with a job guarantee for faculty and staff. This is offset by any sick leave usage during the 12-month period. FMLA leaves may be taken due to birth, adoption or foster care placement; or the employee's serious illness; or the serious illness of an immediate family member. The University must continue to pay its portion of group health and dental insurance coverage for faculty and staff with at least 12 months continuous service prior to the leave.

Modified Duties

In 2005, the University adopted a new policy of modified duties for parents of newly born or adopted children. Modified duties give the eligible faculty member the opportunity to adapt his or her schedule to the new family addition for a period of time with pay. For those faculty who are involved in direct classroom teaching modified duties includes a semester off those teaching responsibilities. University policy is on this link: (SPG 201.93) (PDF).

For the faculty in the medical school, this policy has been adapted as of January 1, 2006 to be more useful and practical, since most of our faculty have a complex schedule with responsibilities in clinical duties, research and administration as well as teaching in the clinical context.

A medical school faculty member who meets the criteria below is entitled, upon request, to a period of modified duties without a reduction in Academic Salary and Supplement.(Incentive will be determined per department), If the faculty member:


  1. Eligibility:
    • Faculty are eligible upon employment.
    • Faculty on all tracks are eligible (Clinical Lecturers are not on a track, and therefore, are not eligible.)
  2. An eligible faculty member may take one period of modified duties for each birth or adoption that adds a child or children to his or her family. If both parents are employed in an eligible position at the University, each of them may take a period of modified duties for each birth or adoption that adds a child or children to their family if both of them meet the other eligibility criteria.
  3. A period of modified duties must begin within twelve months of the date of the relevant birth or adoption.
  4. Eligible faculty are entitled to take a period of modified duties with pay in consultation with the relevant associate or assistant faculty affairs dean (or designate) and the department chair or division chief.
  5. For medical school faculty, modified duties means:
    • For those who are involved in direct classroom teaching:
      • a semester off those teaching responsibilities, or
      • any of the below described options
    • For those who do not do any direct classroom teaching:
      • a four month period at 75% effort, or
      • a two month period at 50% effort, or
      • an equivalent benefit of modified duties arranged in consultation with the relevant dean (or designate) and the department chair or division chief.

Lactation Rooms

There are several rooms available to pump breast milk for your baby around the Health System.

You will need an Ameda Egnell Double pump kit  to attach to the electric pump provided if you are not providing your own electric pump. In addition to your pump kit, you will need to provide bottles or some other suitable storage container for your milk. There is no milk storage space provided in any of these pump rooms.

Community and Staff Breast Pump Room Locations Directions/Important Information

University Hospital East

East elevator to floor 5.  Exit to your right.  Follow signs to 5A , Court side, Room 5101A.


East elevator to floor 1. Proceed toward Trauma Burn Unit (Follow signs) Room 1C440 Women's Locker Room. May require badge entry into locker room. (If unable to find locker room, ask Staff in area)

University Hospital West

West elevator to floor 4.  Exit to your left to 4D Court side (overhead Neuro ICU sign).  Left at first hallway.  Right at 4D Court side hallway.  Third door on right Room 4608 Nursing StaffWill need to ask at nursing station for entrance into the staff room. Pager # 1706


8 C Women’s Locker Room on Court side Hallway Room #8155. Requires Employee Badge to enter

Mott Hospital
F5670 – Breast Pump Room

Take Mott elevator to floor 5.  Turn right through electronic double doors.  Room F5670 - Breast pump Room.

Women’s Health Resource Center

In  OB/GYN Clinic area, Taubman Center
Call 936-8886 for details and hours of availability

Cardiovascular Center

In  CVC4 (also known as CV-ICU) Women’s Locker Room
Door is not locked

Medical Science II

Med Sci ll Room 2810
Those wanting to use the room must call 936-8064 or 647-2788 to obtain an entry code. They will be required to provide their name, department, contact phone number and their EMPL ID in order to obtain the code.

A binder with sign-up sheets has been provided to schedule time slots. 
Pump Kits

You can purchase an Ameda Egnell pump kit from the following convenient University of Michigan Health System locations:

See this Pump Rental list (PFD) for pump retailers.

Call our Lactation Consultants at 734-764-8149.

Read more about it!
Lactation Consultants and Breastfeeding Support list (PDF)

Dependent Care Policies

Faculty members can take time off to care for ill or injured family members in several ways. Family members are defined as the faculty members' spouse or domestic partner with whom the faculty member shares living accommodations and expenses and, without regard to their place of residence, the child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or other related individual whose care is the responsibility of the faculty member, spouse, or domestic partner.

The first option is the use of a portion of the faculty members' own sick leave benefits to care for a child or other family member as part of the Family Care Policy. The second option is a leave of absence.

Family Care Policy

The University instituted the Family Care Policy which allows faculty and staff to use their available short-term sick leave to care for incapacitated, ill or injured family members.

Child Care Leaves of Absence

An excused absence without pay for up to three weeks can be requested. If child care needs require an absence longer than three weeks, the absence must be covered by a leave.

A child care leave of up to one year may be granted to faculty members by the President upon the recommendation of the relevant dean. Leaves exceeding one year require approval by the Regents.

Child care leaves are available to both male and female faculty members following the births or adoptions of their children. A child care leave may be taken at any time during the 12 months following the child's birth or adoption, and must also be completed within that period. The duration of the leave can be up to one year from the date of the child's birth or the date of the adoption.

Although a child care leave is unpaid, if covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the University will pay its regular portion of the monthly premium for health, dental, and vision insurance premiums for up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period. Faculty members should contact the Benefits Office to arrange for continuation of benefits for themselves and their family members. If the child care leave is not covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Benefits Office must be contacted to continue coverage and the faculty members must pay the full costs of such coverage.

Personal Leave of Absence

Personal leaves of absence are also available to faculty members. A signed Request for a Leave of Absence form should be submitted with appropriate documentation to your department chair, dean or director. If the faculty member is giving birth, the request form should be accompanied by a Physician's Statement certifying her ability to return to work (establishing the starting date of the child care leave). Copies of these forms are available through your department or from the Faculty and Staff Records Office.

The department chair must be notified of the specific intended return date, preferably in writing. An early return to work is at the discretion of the department chair, dean or director and they should be contacted directly. The Benefits Office will reinstate all benefits the faculty member had prior to the leave if they were not continued through the leave. The Benefits Office should be contacted to add any newly acquired family members within 30 days of their birth or adoption.

It is the departments' responsibility to cover the teaching assignments of the faculty members during the leaves. (Although there is no set formula for covering teaching loads, several methods have been used in the past. These include the appointment of a teaching assistant or lecturer to teach the classes and the rearrangement of other faculty members' schedules to cover the classes. To discuss other ideas, it might be helpful to contact other faculty members who have worked out satisfactory arrangements, the Associate Dean who handles personnel matters for the school or college, or the Office of Academic Human Resources.) Faculty members are encouraged to notify the department chair, dean or director of plans for taking leaves as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

For personal, medical and family leaves, the employee may opt to take leave on an intermittent or reduced effort schedule (a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of days per workweek or hours per workday). In contrast, a child care leave must be taken all in one block of time, as per current policy.

Work/Life Resource Center

The University of Michigan Work/Life Resource Center facilitates informed choices by faculty, staff, and students about child care and elder care services in their communities and in the campus community. The office is responsible for providing information about dependent care services and dependent care policies, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Kids Kare at Home

To assist UM faculty, staff, and students in caring for sick children at home, the Work/Life Resource Center has contracted with a nationally accredited home health care agency from the community to provide Kids Kare at Home. Registered participants can call the number provided to them and a trained care giver will come to their home within 2 hours. For more information on this service contact the Work/Life Resource Center at 936-8677.

Reimbursement Accounts

Reimbursement accounts provide a way to pay for child care or elder care with pretax dollars. Faculty and staff members can allocate a specific amount to be deducted pretax from their salaries every month. The University holds these funds in a special account and will reimburse the account holder upon presentation of original itemized receipts and a request for reimbursement. The University does not charge a fee for administering these accounts. For more information contact the Benefits Office or access their Web page.

Tenure Clock Considerations

In recognition of the competing demands faced by faculty members who experience pregnancy, childbirth or extraordinary family care responsibilities (such as caring for an aging parent) during the tenure probationary period, the University provides the opportunity to exclude one year from the countable years of service that constitute the tenure probationary period. Faculty members may benefit from this policy even if they work full-time throughout the tenure probationary period.

If a faculty member bears one or more children during her tenure probationary period, she shall be granted an exclusion of one year from the countable years of service that constitute her tenure probationary period. If a faculty member is experiencing significant demands of family care, he or she may be granted an exclusion of one year from the countable years of service that constitute the tenure probationary period.

To request the exclusion of one year, a request must be submitted in writing to the relevant dean. To promote University-wide consistency, a copy of all requests and responses made under this policy on the Ann Arbor campus are forwarded through the Office of Academic Human Resources to the Provost for review.

Under this policy (SPG 201.92) (PDF) the tenure probationary period may generally be extended for only one year, regardless of the combination of circumstances.

Contact Information