Personal Leave of Absence

Table of Contents


An Unpaid Personal Leave of Absence is an unpaid absence from work, for personal reasons, in excess of five working days but less than one calendar year.

Eligibility Requirements

A regular full-time or regular part-time employee may apply for a personal leave of absence if he/she has satisfactorily completed one year of employment, and if he/she intends to return to the University at the conclusion of the requested absence.

Approval for leaves is dependent upon length of service, performance, position responsibilities, reason for the request, and the ability of the University to provide for the continuation of the requesting employee's position responsibilities.

Application Process

All personal leaves of absence must be approved in advance of the absence, through the following process, or the employee will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.

The employee must complete a leave of absence application, which is available in the Office of Human Resources, as soon as the need is known, but not less than 30 days prior to the beginning of one to four week leaves, and not less than 60 days prior to leaves in excess of four weeks. The employee has a responsibility to first notify their supervisor or department head of the plan to file a leave request prior to obtaining an application from the Office of Human Resources. Applications will be facilitated through the approval process by the Office of Human Resources, once eligibility has been verified. Applications must be approved by all of the following, in the following order:

1. Director of Human Resources 
2. Department Head or Dean 
3. Area Vice President

Limitations and Exclusions

The University will not contribute to fringe benefits (health, life, dental, and disability insurance and the tuition scholarship) during a personal leave in excess of two weeks. However, by arrangement through the Office of Human Resources prior to the beginning of the leave, the employee may continue group health insurance by paying all applicable premiums.

Holidays which occur during the leave period will not be paid, nor will vacation or sick pay accrue while an employee is on leave.

Contributions to the retirement plan (which are based on salary) will be suspended for the length of the unpaid leave. The leave may result in a "break of service" for purposes of participation and vesting under the SPU retirement plan, if, during the plan year that includes the unpaid leave of absence, fewer than 1,000 hours of creditable service is completed.


Before a personal leave is approved, an agreement will be reached between the employee and the University to hold the employee's position or a similar position open for the period of the leave. Extensions to the Personal Leave will release the University to fill the open position with another person and the employee will be considered to have voluntarily resigned that position. If another position is not offered to or accepted by the employee within 30 days following the employee's return from leave, the employee will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from the University.