Employee Medical Leave of Absence

Table of Contents


The employee medical leave of absence policy is designed to be an extension of the employee coverage given under the University's Family and Medical Leave Policy. The Employee Medical Leave of Absence policy allows an employee to be gone from work, or work a reduced schedule, for an extended period of time for verified medical reasons without threat of losing their position or health coverage under the University's benefit plans.

An employee medical leave of absence is an unpaid continuous absence from work or a reduced work schedule, in excess of five days but not longer than 6 months. The first day of the medical leave will correspond with the first day the employee is absent or works a reduced schedule (this date may coincide with the University's designation of the leave as FMLA leave). Employee medical leave is granted for reasons of a continuous verified serious health condition of the employee.

Unpaid means leave without salary, except for the employee's accrued vacation or sick pay, or short or extended short term disability leave when applicable.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for Employee Medical Leave, an employee must have been employed by the University for at least 12 months, and been employed by the University for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period immediately preceding the start of the leave. The employee must also provide a physician's statement certifying the serious medical condition of the employee and the length of the medical leave. The University reserves the right to require a second medical opinion at the University's expense.

Benefits During Medical Leave

The University will continue its contributions to health, dental, life and disability insurance plans and dependent tuition scholarship(s) for the length of the Employee Medical Leave. In order to ensure continued coverage, the employee must arrange through the Office of Human Resources, prior to the beginning of the leave, for the payment of dependent coverage and any shared premium cost.

Holidays which occur during the leave period will not be paid, nor will vacation or sick pay accrue during the portion of the leave when the employee is not receiving accrued vacation, short term disability, maternity leave or sick pay.

Contributions to the retirement plan (which are based on pay) will be continued while accrued vacation, short term disability, maternity leave and sick pay are received but will be suspended once those payments cease. 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 medical leave, fewer than 500 hours of creditable service is completed.

Applying for Medical Leave

As soon as the need is known, the employee must notify their immediate supervisor or department head and then complete a Leave of Absence application, which is available from the Office of Human Resources. The Leave of Absence application, together with any required medical certification, should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will facilitate the leave approval process with the following individuals:

  • Human Resources Benefits Specialist
  • Department Head or Dean
  • Area Vice President

In the rare circumstances that an employee is unable, due to medical incapacity, to complete the leave application, the area vice president's office will notify the Office of Human Resources to complete and begin processing the appropriate forms on the employee's behalf.

Limitations and Exclusions

  1. Employees qualifying for Employee Medical Leave may have already exhausted Family and Medical Leave due to this illness.
  2. The verified serious health condition of the employee must be continuous. Intermittent leave is not a provision of the employee medical leave policy.