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3.5.2 Family and Medical Leave

Last updated on:
Friday, September 1, 2017
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
3.5.B

Stanford’s policy on Family and Medical Leave (FML) for Faculty follows the guidelines of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) of 1991 (amended in 1993) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This legislation provides for up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave in any 12 month period for eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Family or medical leave may be taken for the following reasons:

  • To care for the faculty member’s spouse (including registered domestic partner), child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • For a faculty member’s serious health condition;
  • For bonding as described below in section 3.5.3
  • To care for a family member who is a member of the Armed Services and suffers serious injury in the line of duty or is undergoing treatment or recuperation from a serious injury (up to 26 weeks)

A serious health condition is defined as any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition serious enough to involve hospitalization, in-patient care in a residential medical facility, or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider. In the case of a serious personal health condition, the faculty member may be eligible for short-term or long-term disability payments.

To be eligible for family or medical leave, an individual must have been employed by Stanford (within the U.S.) for at least 12 months and work 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to the leave start date. An individual is not eligible if he/she has already used the maximum yearly leave entitlement provided by law.  Under University policy, if the faculty member is eligible for FML and the leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition, the University will pay the faculty member the difference between his/her disability benefit and his/her full academic base salary.


When the need for family leave is foreseeable, requests for family or medical leave should be made sufficiently in advance to allow the school or department to make replacement teaching and other arrangements.  In some circumstances, faculty may take their family or medical leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis.  (Specific information is available at http://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu.) During family or medical leave, the University continues its contributions toward medical and dental group health plans. The faculty member continues to be responsible for paying his or her own premium. If additional leave is approved beyond the 12 weeks of family or medical leave, the faculty member must pay the University’s portion of the monthly premium in addition to his or her own premium to ensure continuous insurance coverage