Leaves of Absence

GW supports your ability to balance your work and home life through several leave of absence options.  We encourage you to review the Time Off and Leave Guide for details about each type of leave.

Please visit the Life and Disability page for information on short-term and long-term disability coverage and claims.

If you have questions regarding leaves of absence, contact [email protected].

DC Paid Family Leave

DC Paid Family Leave

GW employees who work in Washington, DC over 50% of the time are eligible to receive paid leave benefits (PDF) from the District of Columbia Government, as outlined in the DC Paid Family Leave Law. 

DC Paid Family Leave FAQs (PDF)

Covered employees can apply for paid benefits for qualifying parental, prenatal, family and medical leave events. Please refer to the DC Paid Family Leave FAQs for details on eligibility, benefits provided, and coordination with GW provided programs.

Coordination with GW Programs

When an employee is eligible for disability or paid family leave benefits under state or local programs, the benefit is considered deductible income under GW Paid Short-Term Disability and Staff Paid Parental Leave. This means the amount you are eligible for under the DC Paid Family Leave benefit will be subtracted from your GW paid benefits. Please refer to the DC Paid Family Leave FAQs above for additional details on how the university’s internal paid benefits coordinate with DC Paid Family Leave and application requirements.

Need to Apply for Leave? 

Step 1: Contact Lincoln Financial

Contact Lincoln Financial (PDF) at least 30 days prior to the start of your leave (when foreseeable) or as soon as possible.  Lincoln Financial will determine which leave and disability programs for which you are eligible. If eligible, Lincoln will also estimate the DC Paid Family Leave benefit; however, the DC Government will calculate the actual benefit amount and provide payment.

Step 2: Contact the DC Office of Paid Family Leave

On your leave begin date; apply for DC Paid Family Leave benefits. If you delay your application with DC, you may not receive all eligible benefits for your absence as DC pays out based on your application date, not necessarily your leave begin date. It is your responsibility to timely apply for all eligible paid benefits*.

Step 3: Communicate DC Paid Leave Determination with Lincoln Financial

Once the application is processed through the DC Office of Paid Family Leave, provide the leave determination and benefit amount to GW Benefits to ensure appropriate coordination and receipt of paid benefits.

*For information on the DC PFL appeal process, please review the DC PFL FAQs above.

Other Statutory Family and Medical Leave

Paid family and medical leave benefits may also be available under applicable state or local regulations including in:

State Disability Programs

CaliforniaHawaii,  New JerseyNew YorkRhode Island and  Puerto Rico have state-mandated disability insurance programs. Employees who work in these states who are also approved for short term disability through the university may have the short term disability benefit reduced by the eligible level of benefit provided by the state-mandated program. For additional details regarding these state disability programs, please visit the individual state websites. 

Statutory Sick Time

Paid sick time benefits may be available under applicable state, local and federal regulations including: