Carnegie Mellon University

Caring for a Family Member

When you are faced with caring for an aging or elderly parent, or a spouse or child with a serious injury or illness, you may wonder how you will manage it all. The university provides resources to help you balance your work life with your caretaking responsibilities.

With all types of leave, you should notify your manager and seek approval for time away from work with as much advance notice as possible.

Eligible staff members may take Paid Time Off while caring for a family member.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible faculty and staff members with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons (up to 26 weeks to care for a military service member injured in the line of duty). Apply for FMLA leave through the Office of Human Resources.

Eligible staff members may take Staff Personal Leave [pdf] of up to one year to care for a dependent. You should work with your supervisor to get approval and initiate the personal leave process.

Eligible faculty members may take Faculty Family Leave of up to one year to care for a dependent. Submit a request through the Vice Provost for Faculty.

Under the Flexible Working Hours Policy, full-time staff members may work with their supervisor to arrange an alternative schedule to accommodate caregiving duties. 

HR's Temporary Employment Service can provide temporary staffing to assist with a staff member's duties while on leave.

If your loved one is a dependent, you may need to review and update your health and welfare benefits coverage or increase your spending account allocations during the next open enrollment period.

Certain leaves may impact your benefits. Be sure to discuss how your leave will impact your benefits with the leaves manager in the Office of Human Resources.

The Employee Assistance Program provides CMU employees and their household members with resources to assist with caregiving. Through the EAP you can get help with child and elder care resources and referrals, counseling for stress and other issues, financial planning and legal counseling.