Parental Leave & Benefits for Academics

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Negotiating for parental leave

August 2002

I am a female professor at a Bay Area private college that offers no maternity policy and no maternity leave (outside of just taking disability pay) and I am expecting my second child in the early part of next year's Spring semester, and I plan to go back to work full time after three months of disability pay. I wonder if anyone with faculty positions has had experience negotiating with administration about missing part of a semester? I have a considerable teaching load but will only be available for the beginning and very end of the semester, and I fear that there will be an attempt to force me to lose pay for an entire half-year, which I cannot afford. Does anyone know what my legal rights are in California, have you consulted with anyone who has helped you negotiate this, what options have you tried? Thanks much.

The American Association of University Professors has done a great deal of work on family leaves for faculty, and post partum issues. (For example, we publish a handbook on the Family and Medical Leave Act for faculty, and collect examples of policies at diffent schools to help in negotiations, etc.). The inquirer should feel free to contact the national office of the AAUP for free assistance on this issue. Their number is 202-737-5900.
Ann Springer (Associate Counsel, AAUP)