Process to request leave

  • Notify manager/supervisor of expected due date and leave request
  • Notify Unum at least 30 days before due date; will need to indicate requesting Short-term Medical Disability and provide WUSTL’s Policy #: 714055
  • Supply requested information/documentation to Unum within specified timeframes
    • Unum will determine which leaves of absence (e.g., Short-term Medical Disability, FMLA, non-FMLA, etc.) you are eligible for
  • Prior to returning to work, provide WashU’s leave team with return to work release form
    • If manager approves, can take vacation after Caregiver/Parental Leave (or after Short-term Medical Disability if not eligible for Caregiver/Parental Leave)
    • Cannot use sick time for bonding time with a newborn
  • For more information on requesting a leave, see Leaves of Absence Helpful Resources

Summary Timeline

WhenDescriptionAdditional Information
At least 30 days prior to due dateNotify manager/supervisor and contact UnumUnum will provide information on leaves available to you. If Unum determines you are not eligible for FMLA, contact HR at to determine what options are available to you.
As soon as possible after deliveryNotify Unum of birth 
Week 1 after deliverySick days and then vacation days are used to cover first 7 calendar days* (typically 5 sick days)Paid by WashU on normal schedule unless not enough sick/vacation accrual; benefits coverages and deductions continue. If eligible, FMLA will run concurrently with any sick/vacation/unpaid days.
Weeks 2-6
(or 2-8 if cesarean)
100% base salary Short-term Medical Disability (STMD) coverage begins**

If eligible, FMLA runs concurrently with STMD.

STMD paid by WashU on regular schedule. Benefits coverages and deductions continue.

Weeks 7-10

(or 9-12 if cesarean)

If full-time staff employee, may request 100% base salary Caregiver/Parental leave for up to 4 weeks***

If part-time staff employee, vacation days or unpaid FMLA or non-FMLA****

If full-time staff employee: Must be released from STMD for your own health condition prior to the start of Caregiver/Parental leave. If eligible, FMLA will run concurrently with Caregiver/Parental leave. Caregiver/Parental leave paid by WashU on regular payroll schedule and benefits deductions resume.

An employee may use some of their Caregiver/Parental leave after their maternity STMD and then vacation time prior to returning to work. However, Caregiver/Parental leave directly following maternity STMD must be taken in full week increments and cannot be interspersed with other types of paid time off (e.g. vacation).  Sick time cannot be used for bonding time once STMD ends.

Weeks 11-12 if normal deliveryVacation days or unpaid FMLA or non-FMLA****

Vacation time paid on regular schedule. Benefits coverages and deductions continue.

If unpaid leave, Retirement Savings Plan (403(b)) contributions stop and are not taken retroactively upon return to work. Health and insurance coverages continue. You remain financially responsible for any health and insurance contributions accrued but not deducted while on unpaid leave. Vacation and sick time do not accrue during unpaid leave.

No later than week 13Return to work 

*If not enough sick time and vacation accrued, unpaid time off.

**Assumes sick time balance is at or below 50 days; if balance is greater than 50 days, sick time continues to be paid by WashU until balance reduced to 50 days. STMD begins once sick balance reduced to 50 days.

***If prime appointment at medical school, Caregiver/Parental leave limited to a total of 8 weeks (2 leaves) within a 5-year period and 4 weeks per rolling 12 month period

****If unpaid non-FMLA, leave is not job-protected. Requests for unpaid non-FMLA leave will be reviewed on an individual basis with your department

Considerations after baby is born

You have 62 days from the date of birth to add your newborn to your health/dental/vision coverage (even if you already have family coverage) and make changes to your flexible spending accounts. Changes to your health/dental/vision coverage and flexible spending account will be effective as of the date of birth. 

In addition to making changes to your health/dental/vision coverage and flexible spending accounts, you should also:

  • Review and consider making changes to your health savings account elections.
  • Review and consider updating your optional life insurance and AD&D elections (employee, spouse/domestic partner and child). If you elect to increase or enroll in employee and/or spouse/domestic partner life insurance, MetLife may require a Statement of Health (also referred to as evidence of insurability).
  • Review your current life insurance, health savings account and Retirement Savings Plan (403b) beneficiary designations and make any necessary updates. Your life insurance beneficiary can be changed through Workday. Your health savings account beneficiary can be changed by logging onto your Optum Financial account. Your Retirement Savings Plan beneficiary designation must be updated through your account at TIAA. Note: If you are married, the Retirement Savings Plan requires that your spouse be listed as your primary beneficiary unless this right is waived by your spouse.

You can make changes online through Workday. Please reference the Change Benefit Election tutorial for help. Be sure to add your newborn’s social security number through Workday Employee Self Service once you receive it.

Note: Changes to your health savings account, optional life insurance (employee, spouse/domestic partner and/or child) and retirement medical savings account coverage may be made at any time.

Helpful Resources

For additional information, contact the WashU Leaves team at