Leave of Absence Programs


GW employees who work in Washington, DC over 50% of the time may be eligible to receive paid leave benefits from the District of Columbia Government, beginning on July 1, 2020 as outlined in the DC Paid Family Leave Law. The law extends to GW employees who are temporarily teleworking due to COVID-19, but would typically work in Washington, DC over 50% of the time.

Covered employees can apply for paid benefits for qualifying parental, family and medical leave events. Please refer to the DC Paid Family Leave FAQs above 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’s disability and paid parental leave programs, including 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 for a real life example.

*Please note: Faculty and medical residents may be eligible for additional leave programs unique to those categories of employees (such as faculty childcare leave or medical resident temporary disability). For more information about coordination with those programs, faculty should consult with the Office of Faculty Affairs, and medical residents should contact the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

Need to Apply for Leave? Follow These Steps to Get Started

Step 1: Contact Lincoln Financial

Contact Lincoln at 1-800-213-5609 or apply online using the Reporting Your Claim or Leave (PDF) instructions. Lincoln Financial will determine which leave programs for which you are eligible. If eligible, Lincoln will also estimate the DC Paid Family Leave benefit; however, the D.C. Government will calculate the actual benefit amount and provide payment.

Step 2: Contact the DC Office of Paid Family Leave

After Lincoln confirms eligibility and estimated D.C. Paid Family Leave benefit amount, applications for the DC Paid Family Leave benefit must be made directly through the DC Office of Paid Family Leave website.

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 Lincoln to ensure appropriate coordination and receipt of GW benefits.



COVID-19: Temporary Enhancement to GW's Sick Time Policy

The university supports its employees' ability to balance their work and home lives by providing several leave of absence options, with certain restrictions and limitations, including leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act(s). You can elect to use applicable accrued annual, sick, or other paid time off while on an approved leave of absence to remain in paid status to the extent permitted under university policy. In addition, if you are in an unpaid status during your leave, your annual and sick time accrual may be pro-rated.

The university reserves the right to modify or discontinue its leave programs in whole or in part at any time, except as required by law.

Absence Management Program

Lincoln Financial, GW’s life and disability vendor, also administers absence management for the university. Lincoln Financial performs all intake functions, provides status information and responds to leave and disability claims inquiries. Leave requests administered by Lincoln Financial include:

  • Federal Family and Medical Leave
  • DC Family and Medical Leave
  • Military Duty Leave
  • DC Parental Leave

In addition, Lincoln Financial also administers the following paid benefits:

  • Staff Paid Parental Leave
  • GW Paid Short Term Disability
  • Voluntary Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Statutory (state and locality) Leave

To apply, call Lincoln Financial at 1-800-213-5609 or apply online and follow the instructions for Reporting Your Claim or Leave (PDF)

Other Paid Benefits

Paid sick time benefits may be available under applicable state, local and federal regulations including Montgomery County, Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act and Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.

Paid family and medical leave benefits may also be available under applicable state or local regulations including in California, the District of ColumbiaNew YorkMassachusetts and Washington

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