Congratulations on your decision to become a parent! Now, you've got a lot of planning to do. 

Please note: The following text is intended as a guideline only and is not intended to alter, modify, and/or abridge the terms and conditions of employment set forth in the UC-UAW collective bargaining agreement, effective October 17, 2016 through September 30, 2020. Refer to section 12-C of the agreement for information specifically about pregnancy leave.

These guidelines apply to postdocs in all title codes: postdoctoral scholar-employee (3252), postdoctoral scholar-fellow (3253), postdoctoral scholar-paid direct (3254), postdoctoral scholar-employee NEX (3255), and interim postdoctoral scholar-employee (3256).


Two Kinds of Leave – Parental Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave

  • "CORE" 4 WEEKS: Paid Parental Leave Benefit – All postdocs, regardless of gender, are eligible for four weeks of parental leave at full pay. This leave may be used within one year of the birth or adoption of a child, and doesn't necessarily have to be taken all at once. 
  • ADDITIONAL 8 WEEKS: Unpaid Parental Leave – After using the four weeks of paid parental leave, the postdoc may take an additional eight weeks leave. If the postdoc has any personal time off (PTO) remaining, they must use all PTO (for which the postdoc gets full pay) before taking unpaid leave. 
  • ADDITIONAL TIME / PREGNANCY DISABILITY – When medically necessary, a pregnant postdoc or a postdoc who has given birth may take additional leave using short-term disability (STD) insurance, which will pay a percentage of your usual salary. Read more about pregnancy disability leave.
  • KNOW WHAT YOUR FUNDER ALLOWS. Postdocs whose funding source provides for longer guaranteed parental leave than the bargaining agreement are entitled to take the longer leave period, sometimes with pay. A common example: NIH/NRSA fellowships provide 60 calendar days of parental leave for either parent following the birth or adoption of a child, during which time the postdoc receives their full stipend. 

Most often, postdocs cobble together a plan that combines parental leave, personal time off, and – when applicable – pregnancy disability leave and/or sick leave, over the course of their (or their partner's) pregnancy and for a while afterwards. Work closely with your HR representative to make sure you understand how much leave time you are entitled to and how much income you will receive at different times during your leave.

Reduced Work Schedule

If you are pregnant, you may request a reduced work schedule or modifications to your usual work routine in order to make your job less strenuous or less hazardous. Speak with your PI to make arrangements.  

Inform Your PI

Inform your PI or supervisor that you are taking leave at least 30 days in advance of when you plan to pause work. This will help your PI and lab manager to arrange for any accommodations you need and to see that your duties are covered while you're away. The University must not discriminate against you for being pregnant or taking parental leave! If you are having any trouble with your PI around arranging for leave or other issues, please contact the Postdoc Office (or your union representative).