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PPM Section 13 - Leaves and Absences from Work: Personal Leave of Absence (Unpaid)

A personal leave of absence without pay may be granted to eligible employees. Employees requesting a personal leave of absence may be eligible for a family and medical leave of absence.

Eligibility

  1. A personal leave may be granted only to regular employees who have completed two (2) consecutive years of employment.
  2. A personal leave may not be granted to seek or accept other employment.

Length of leave

Typically, a personal leave may not be authorized for less than one month or more than one year. After one year, the employee will be terminated. Under unusual circumstances a leave of absence longer than one year may be appropriate. The University may, at its sole discretion, approve an extension of a leave of absence not to exceed an additional year.

Effect on seniority and benefits

An approved personal leave of absence will not result in any loss of seniority, or benefits that are related to seniority, provided that the employee returns to work (either in the previous position or in a different benefits-eligible position) within the leave of absence provisions and no later than the date initially approved for the end of the leave period. Certain benefits can be retained while on leave of absence. Human Resources should be contacted for details. In general:

  1. Health insurance may be continued under the provisions of COBRA. See also health insurance and COBRA.
  2. Life insurance may be continued at the employee's expense, at group rates. See also life insurance.
  3. Long-term disability insurance may not be continued while off the payroll. See also long-term disability insurance.

Reemployment privilege

A staff member granted an unpaid personal leave is not guaranteed a position at the end of that leave. However, every effort will be made by Human Resources to assist the employee in securing a position comparable to the position held prior to leave. To facilitate this, the employee must contact Human Resources at least two (2) weeks before a leave of absence expires to begin searching for positions.

Before end of approved leave

  • Reemployment privilege: May apply for positions as internal candidate through Job Opportunity Program.
  • Benefits: If a position is secured, employee retains seniority and benefits related to seniority.

For ninety days after end of approved leave

  • Reemployment privilege: Eligible to apply for internally posted positions.
  • Benefits: If a position is secured, employee is considered a new hire.

More than ninety (90) days after the end of approved leave

  • Reemployment privilege: May apply for externally posted positions.
  • Benefits: If a position is secured, employee is considered a new hire.

Procedure

  1. Application for a personal leave of absence. To apply for a personal leave of absence, the employee must complete the appropriate sections of a leave of absence application (P-320) and attach any necessary supporting documents. The leave of absence application (P-320) is available on the Forms page.
    1. All personal leaves of absence must be approved prior to the beginning of the leave.
    2. Leaves will not be approved retroactively to cover a prior period of absence.
    3. The department manager and dean, if applicable, then approves or denies the application, and signs it.
    4. The application must be approved and signed by the appropriate vice president.
  2. Processing a personal leave of absence.
    1. Once the vice president has approved the leave of absence, Human Resources verifies that the employee meets the eligibility requirements for the requested leave.
    2. Human Resources then removes the employee from the active payroll and places him/her on an unpaid leave of absence.
  3. Consent to release leave of absence information. The consent to release leave of absence information form is an optional form and is available on the Forms page. This form, when completed and returned to Human Resources, allows the Human Resources staff to release leave of absence information on the employee's behalf to specific, relevant parties (e.g., the employee's personal spokesperson, bargaining unit, etc.).