The University may provide an unpaid personal leave of absence, where the leave does not qualify for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and is otherwise ineligible or has exhausted other leaves such as the University’s Short-Term Medical Disability, Caregiver/Parental or Non-FMLA policies and has exhausted sick and vacation time off balances.
Benefits-eligible employees working 20 or more hours per week are eligible for leave under this policy. Employees must be in good standing (not have received a formal written Performance Improvement Plan or Corrective Action within the last 9 months). This leave may be granted with the approval and at the discretion of management.
An employee may request up to 12 months of unpaid personal leave once all other leave options and time off balances are exhausted. Because the leave is unpaid, sick and vacation time off does not accrue through the course of this leave. Time off accruals will restart upon the employee’s return to paid status.
Benefits eligibility continues and the employee remains financially responsible for the cost of benefits.
Unpaid personal leave cannot be taken on an intermittent basis and will not be granted to engage in employment outside of the University.
Requests for an extension to the original leave period must be made in writing and submitted to the department manager for review. The approval of any extension request will follow the same process as outlined below.
REINSTATEMENT FROM LEAVE
Employees who take personal leave are not guaranteed reinstatement to their position. The department should notify employees at the beginning of the leave whether the department intends to hold their position, though management retains the right at any time during the leave to decide not to hold the position.
PROCEDURES TO REQUEST A LEAVE
Requests for unpaid personal leave must be made in writing to the employee’s department manager with a copy to the Office of Human Resources. The written request must include the reason and the length of the leave requested. The department manager will review and act upon a request for unpaid personal leave in consideration of the following factors:
- The purpose for which the leave is requested
- The length of time the employee will be away
- The impact the leave will have on the business unit and its ability to cover during the absences
- The quality of the employee’s performance prior to the submission of the request.
The manger should confirm approval or denial of an unpaid Personal Leave request in writing to the employee as soon as practical. If the leave request is approved, the written notice should also include the following: the beginning and ending of the leave, confirmation of unpaid status, and indication as to whether the department intends to hold the employee’s position.