As a manager, you have an important role in your employee’s leave and return to work. If an employee expects to be absent from work for more than three days in a row due to their own illness, injury or healthcare need; or needs time off to care for a family member, simply have the employee do one of the following:

  1. Call Unum at 1-866-371-5723 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm CST Monday – Friday. A Unum representative will walk them through the process.
  2. Register for an online account via Complete the claim form and submit.
  3. Download the Unum Customer App and register. Complete the claim form and submit.

Manager Responsibilities during a Leave of Absence

Employees must notify you 30 days prior to a scheduled leave, or as soon as possible (e.g. within 24-48 hours) after an unscheduled leave begins. Inform the employee that they need to call Unum. If the employee is unable to contact Unum, you or a family member can call on their behalf.

Employees do not have the option to elect to use sick or vacation time instead of contacting Unum to request a leave. Employees are required to contact Unum. Encourage your employee to read all documentation from Unum regarding their leave of absence and to respond promptly to requests for information from their leave/claims manager. Unum, not Washington University, manages, approves and, depending on the type of leave, pays the claim based on medical information.

Remind your employee to provide both you and Unum a current phone number with activated voice mail so that they can be contacted while out.

You should periodically contact your employee while they are on leave so that you understand the duration of their leave and return to work status. You may also inquire about their overall well-being, and ask brief work-related questions.

  • You should not ask about medical condition details
  • You should be kept informed regarding leave start and leave end dates
  • Employees out on a leave should not perform work duties while out on a leave of absence
  • Unum will email leave status updates to managers during the leave, but you should also stay in contact with your employee(s) regarding their leave status

Managers and Employees Should Not Enter any Leave Status Information in Workday.

The leaves team enters leave statuses (job data/action reason) and paid time off.

  • Employees are required to use sick and vacation to cover periods of unpaid leave. If the employee is absent due to their own health condition other than the birth of a baby, after seven calendar days (the elimination period), the employee’s WashU pay is reduced to 40%, paid from sick or vacation accruals. The employee must request STMD from Unum in order to be eligible for the 60% STMD benefit. If the employee is absent due to giving birth, the employee must request STMD from Unum to be eligible for the 100% STMD benefit. Note: STMD benefits do not begin until Unum approves the disability.
  • Entering the leave will end access to all systems with the exception of Employee Self Service and Web Email access. The WUSTL leaves team will be responsible for completing the timesheet or leave record.
  • Contact the leaves team at for any payroll questions.

Manager Responsibilities When an Employee Returns to Work

On the scheduled date of the employee’s return to work (“RTW”), Unum sends an email to the manager (the subject line will include RTW) in order to confirm the actual return date. Please respond to this email so that Unum can close out the claim. This email is separate from the employee Return to Work form that must be completed by the employee’s physician and returned if the employee has been on FMLA and/or STMD leave due to their own serious health condition.

If your employee is on leave due to their own serious health condition (FMLA/STMD), they cannot return to work without submitting the Return to Work form. Employees should bring a copy of their Return to Work form to you on their first day back at work. The Return to Work form is not required if the employee is returning from Caregiver/Parental leave.

Unum will mail the Return to Work form to the employee’s home or the employee can obtain a copy (available at or via email from You or your employee must also provide a copy of the completed form to the WUSTL leaves team at or via fax to 314-362-4923.

If the return to work has a physician statement which includes restrictions or accommodations, please add “RESTRICTION” and / or “ACCOMMODATION” in the email subject line when forwarding to the WUSTL leaves team at so that HR can take the necessary steps to comply with the request.

Once the employee has given you their return to work notice from their doctor, contact the leaves team to ensure status.

Reduced Schedule

If your employee works a reduced schedule due to a disability or returns to work from a disability on a reduced schedule, the employee must notify Unum and the WUSTL leaves team via email at

If you have questions, contact the WashU leave team at 314-935-2332 or via email at