GA Parental Leave Policy

Effective Date:  January 19, 2022
How to Apply:  Request for GA Parental Leave form

Purpose and Summary

The University of Arizona is committed to providing a work environment that is supportive of employees’ work and family life obligations. In demonstration of this commitment, the University offers paid Parental Leave to Graduate Assistants/Associates upon the birth, adoption, Foster Placement, Legal Guardianship Placement, Stillbirth, Miscarriage, or Surrogacy of a Child.


This Policy applies to all Eligible Graduate Assistants/Associates.


Child:  Person under the age of 18.

Eligible Graduate Assistant/Associate:  A University graduate student who is appointed as a Graduate Assistant/Associate, Teaching, Research, Outreach, Head Resident, or Other at the time of the qualifying event.

Foster Placement:  The placement of a Child by a state agency with an individual who is not the Child's parent or legal guardian and who seeks the opportunity to adopt the Child.

Legal Guardianship Placement: A court-ordered relationship in which a person is assigned the responsibility and authority to provide physical care and supervision for a Child.

Miscarriage:  Loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week.

Parental Leave: A benefit that provides up to 12 workweeks of paid leave for Eligible Graduate Assistants/Associates upon the birth, adoption, Foster Placement, Legal Guardianship Placement, Stillbirth, or Surrogacy of a Child in their care, or up to 2 weeks of paid leave for a miscarriage.

Stillbirth:  The death or loss of a Child before or during delivery, defined as the loss of a Child at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Surrogacy:  An arrangement whereby a person agrees to bear a Child for another person or persons who are the Child’s intended parents.


The University offers Eligible Graduate Assistants/Associates the following Parental Leave:

  • 12 workweeks of paid Parental Leave.
  • Parental Leave may be taken for one or more of these qualified reasons:
  • The birth of a Child
  • The adoption of a Child
  • The Surrogacy of a Child
  • The Foster Placement of a Child
  • The Legal Guardianship Placement of a Child
  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage - Eligible Graduate Assistants/Associates who have a miscarriage qualify for up to 2 weeks of paid parental leave immediately following the miscarriage. This applies to the parent who has the miscarriage and/or to their spouse/partner.

Parental Leave must be taken continuously during the period of hire and immediately following the birth, adoption, Foster Placement, Legal Guardianship Placement, Stillbirth, or Surrogacy of a Child.

At the request of the Eligible Graduate Assistant/Associate, Parental Leave may start up to 2 workweeks prior to the anticipated birth, adoption, Foster Placement, Legal Guardianship Placement, or Surrogacy of a Child.

Parental Leave is available only once during a consecutive 12-month period. The calculation of the 12-month period begins from the first day of approved Parental Leave.

Parental Leave can only be used once for the same Child. For Foster Placements and Legal Guardianship Placements, Parental Leave will only be provided for the period that the Child is placed with the Graduate Assistant/Associate.

It is the Graduate Assistant/Associate’s responsibility to initiate the Parental Leave request process. Requests for Parental Leave must be submitted at least 60 days before the leave is expected to begin. The University recognizes that extenuating circumstances (e.g., early birth, Foster Placement) may make advance notice difficult to provide and that supervisors may grant exceptions to this requirement in such cases.

Other Provisions

When Both Parents Are Graduate Assistants/Associates: When both parents are Graduate Assistants/Associates, each parent is entitled to 12 workweeks of paid Parental Leave.

When One Parent is a Graduate Assistant/Associate and One Parent is an Employee: When one parent is a Graduate Assistant/Associate and one parent is an Eligible Employee under the University’s Parental Leave policy, each parent is entitled to parental leave under the policy applicable to their position.

Compliance and Responsibilities

Retaliation or Interference

The University prohibits adverse action or retaliation against a Graduate Assistant/Associate who elects to take Parental Leave. Supervisors are prohibited from interfering with a Graduate Assistant/Associate’s ability to take Parental Leave. Graduate Assistants/Associates who are concerned about retaliation or interference are encouraged to contact the Graduate College.


Requesting leave is the responsibility of the Eligible Graduate Assistant/Associate.

The Eligible Graduate Assistant/Associate is also responsible for entering time appropriately into their timesheet. If they are unable to enter their time, the Graduate Assistant/Associate may request that their supervisor or business manager enter their time.

When using paid parental leave:


Exception (Salary)

Supplemental Comp (Hourly)

Parental Leave



FML Paid Parental Leave*



*Any portion of parental leave that runs concurrently with Family and Medical Leave should be coded using the "FML" extension to ensure that FML balances are accurately tracked.

The Eligible Graduate Assistant/Associate’s supervisor and the Graduate College are responsible for approving the leave and keeping the leave paperwork on file.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.  How long must a Graduate Assistant/Associate be in their position before they are eligible for Parental Leave?

GAs are eligible for Parental Leave as soon as their hire date starts.


Q2.  How will a Graduate Assistant/Associate know if they are qualified for Family Medical Leave (FML)?

Departments with Graduate Assistants/Associates who think they may qualify for FMLA should work directly with Human Resources.


Q3.  How does an Eligible Graduate Assistant/Associate apply for Parental Leave?

  1. Fill out and submit the Request for GA Parental Leave form.  Once submitted, the form will route to the supervisor for approval.  To support departmental planning, please complete the form at least 60 days in advance of a planned leave, unless extenuating circumstances make it impossible to do so.
  2. After obtaining the supervisor’s approval, a copy of the form will route to the hiring unit identified on the form.  The Graduate College will have a record of the submission.
  3. Work with your supervisor to create a leave plan to cover essential functions during your absence.


Q4.  How is Parental Leave affected if a GA appointment spans two terms?

If a GA appointment spans two terms (e.g., fall and spring), Parental Leave may continue into the second term.


Q5.  How is Parental Leave affected if a GA appointment ends before the 12 weeks of Parental Leave can be taken?

Parental Leave can only be taken during the GA appointment, so the Parental Leave period would end when the GA appointment ends.


Q6.  Can Graduate Assistants/Associates take their Parental Leave intermittently?

No. GAs must take Parental Leave continuously and cannot take leave intermittently.


Q7.  Do departments pay for Parental Leave?

Yes, the hiring/funding academic college/department/unit is responsible for continuing to cover the stipend costs of a Graduate Assistant/Associate on paid parental leave.