Personal Leave of Absence

The following are commonly asked questions regarding Personal Leave. Please click on the question to be directed to the relevant policy section.

  1. What is a Personal Leave of Absence?
  2. Who is eligible to take a Personal Leave of Absence?
  3. How long is a Personal Leave of Absence?
  4. Is a Personal Leave of Absence paid?
  5. What information is required to apply for a Personal Leave of Absence?
  6. What is the application procedure?
  7. Can a Personal Leave of Absence be used to extend another type of leave?
  8. Is there a requirement to use available sick leave, vacation leave, and floating holiday?
  9. Are benefits continued during a Personal Leave of Absence?
  10. What happens when a Personal Leave of Absence ends?

I.      Policy

The University of Puget Sound (the “university”) recognizes that occasionally situations may arise in which a staff member may need to take time off for personal matters and therefore provides Personal Leaves of Absence (“Personal Leave”).

II.    Eligibility and Scope

A regular staff member who has successfully completed his or her initial evaluation period is eligible to take Personal Leave. Personal Leave typically may not be taken prior to completing the initial evaluation period; however, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

A Personal Leave is an unpaid leave of absence in excess of ten work days that is not covered by any other university policy or applicable law. Personal Leave may be granted at the discretion of the university for up to six months. Personal Leave may be taken at once or may be taken in separate periods of time rather than for one continuous period of time.

A staff member in a non-exempt position may choose to take Personal Leave either in regular work day increments or in shorter periods of time of no less than four hours. A staff member in an exempt position should report Personal Leave in full day increments. In addition, a staff member may request a Personal Leave on a reduced schedule basis (i.e., to continue to work part-time).

III.   Requesting Personal Leave

A. Notice Required

An eligible staff member must complete the university’s Leave of Absence Request Form and submit it to his or her next-level supervisor as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days prior to the anticipated start date of the leave, except in cases of emergency. If a Personal Leave is being used to extend another type of leave, the request for the Personal Leave should be made at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the other leave.

B. Documentation Required

A staff member who seeks a Personal Leave must provide sufficient documentation for the university to determine if the requested leave qualifies for Personal Leave. A staff member may also be required to report periodically while on Personal Leave regarding his or her continuing need for Personal Leave and his or her intention to return to work.

IV.  Approval of Personal Leave

A request for Personal Leave is not effective until approved by the university. Any exceptions must be approved by Human Resources.

Personal Leave is a discretionary leave and the university reserves the right to deny a request for Personal Leave unless required by law. A staff member may qualify for other types of leave (e.g., FMLA Leave, Disability Leave) depending on the circumstances. In these instances, the university also reserves the right to designate a requested leave as other than personal leave at its sole discretion.

V.    Use of Available Paid Leave

A staff member is required to use his or her available sick leave, vacation leave and/or floating holiday consistent with the purpose of the Personal Leave before beginning an unpaid Personal Leave. See below for examples of how available sick leave, vacation leave and/or floating holiday may be used depending on the purpose of the Personal Leave. If a staff member requests Personal Leave prior to exhausting his or her available sick leave, vacation leave and/or floating holiday, he or she must indicate on the Leave of Absence Request Form when the Personal Leave is requested to begin.

Example 1                 

Purpose of Personal Leave: To take a personal sabbatical

Use of Available Paid Leave

Sick Leave

Floating Holiday

Vacation Leave

Unpaid Leave

Not available

Use first if available

Use second if available

Use after available floating holiday and vacation leave

  

Example 2     

Purpose of Personal Leave: To care for a sick family member (not FMLA qualified)

Use of Available Paid Leave

Sick Leave

Floating Holiday

Vacation Leave

Unpaid Leave

Use first if available

Use second if available

Use third if available

Use after available sick leave, floating holiday and vacation leave

 

VI.  Benefits During Personal Leave

A staff member’s continuous service credits will continue until his or her available paid leave is exhausted. Continuous service credits will begin to accumulate once more when a staff member returns to work from an unpaid Personal Leave.

A staff member’s benefits eligibility will end on the last day of the month when unpaid personal leave begins, unless the staff member returns from leave during the same calendar month.

A staff member may continue health care benefits coverage during a Personal Leave as allowed by COBRA regulations.

VII.  Return to Work from Personal Leave

When Personal Leave ends, a staff member is not guaranteed reinstatement to the university or to the same or equivalent position, and is not guaranteed the same or equivalent pay or benefits received prior to taking Personal Leave.

A staff member returning from Personal Leave may be reinstated in the same or similar position which is open and for which he or she qualifies. If there is no position available, the opportunity to be reinstated into a similar open position will only be in effect for a period of three months from the time a staff member was to have returned. If there is no opening due to a staff member's former position having been eliminated, this three month period will not apply and a staff member will be separated from the university effective at the time a staff member would have otherwise been laid off due to the reduction in force or reorganization.

A staff member who does not return to work as scheduled from an approved Personal Leave will be considered to have voluntarily terminated his or her employment unless he or she previously received an approved extension of Personal Leave from the university.

Origination Date: 9/1958
Revised: 1996, 3/16/2011, 1/1/2013