Leave and Workload Modification

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The pandemic has only made more visible the incompatibility of U.S. workplace culture with caregiving responsibilities, which in the aggregate are still more likely to fall to women. Even pre-pandemic, there was urgent need for action by employers and policymakers, as Joan C. Williams argues in this article. Although there are limited legal supports at this time, DU leadership has set a tone of flexibility and support for caretakers, and we encourage those struggling to balance competing commitments to reach out to the VPFA’s office, HR, or a trusted mentor.

Eligible faculty who have a personal medical condition or have a qualifying family member with a medical condition, may be entitled to FMLA or an accommodation under the ADA.  Please connect to your HR Partner or Shared Services to better understand what applies to your situation. 

Some other institutions have explored alternative and formalized approaches to workload modification, such as the University of San Diego or the University of Washington, which offers these tools for navigating workload as a caregiver. Although not all the specifics apply at DU, you might still find them useful. At DU, your HR partner is a good resource for navigating workload conversations and pressures, and can help you decide on next steps.