In our 2016 contract negotiations, UC Postdocs fought for — and won — expanded Paid Parental Leave for all new parents. But UC administrators are often misinformed about our parental leave rights. Here are the facts! And if you have any questions, send an email to

Postdoc Parental Leave rights
You have a number of options (that may be used in combination) for taking paid (or unpaid) time off after birth or adoption.

  • 4 weeks of Paid Parental Leave at 100% pay within 1 year of your child’s birth or adoption for all new parents; this may be used in a flexible manner (e.g. half-time for 8 weeks).
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance at 70% pay (for birth parents) and Sick Leave – STD typically starts 2 weeks before the due date, and runs through 6 weeks after the birth.
  • 24 days of Personal Time Off (PTO) – available at the beginning of each year of your appointment.
  • Longer leave – If provided by your funding source (such as NIH NRSA fellowships), our contract ensures you receive longer leave.
  • Unpaid leave – If you exhaust your paid options, you also have the option of taking unpaid leave.

And a few more important points:

  • UC may not discriminate against you for being pregnant or for taking parental leave. If you feel that you are facing any kind of discrimination, contact your union at
  • If you are pregnant, you can request a reduced work schedule, temporary reassignment, or modification of duties to be less strenuous and hazardous.
  • Check out this flyer for more details about parental leave (some Postdocs have even found it useful to bring the flyer with them when they speak to their HR administrator).

Join the Union!
There’s a direct connection between how many Postdocs support our union and what improvements we can win. We need additional parental leave, higher salaries, more career support, and much more. To win these when we renegotiate our contract next year, it’s essential for all Postdocs to sign up as members. Please do your part by becoming a member using this online form.