Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence Assistance

  • A dedicated staff in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) can help faculty and staff take a parental, medical, personal, military, or other leave of absence, including those covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 
  • Employees and supervisors will have a single point of contact to initiate, track, and conclude a leave of absence.
  • It’s easy to initiate a leave through the new process; employees either can submit requests through MyU or contact a leave specialist directly at [email protected], 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 and choose option  No. 2.
  • Employees now on a leave will continue to work with the human resources staff in their campus, college, or unit.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why is the University adopting a new leave of absence process?

The PEAK Initiative identified complex leaves of absence as an opportunity for improved service. Employees who had recently taken a leave of absence found the process fragmented and difficult to manage during a time of stress. The new human-centered approach to leave management will help streamline leave management and provide an improved, more equitable experience systemwide. The Leave Administration team will measure and monitor the quality of service and look for continued opportunities to further improve the experience for employees, supervisors, and the HR community. 

Which employee groups are affected by the transition and how?

All University of Minnesota faculty and staff who are taking a parental, personal, medical, or military leave of absence will use the new process starting December 1, 2022. The Office of Human Resources leave of absence specialists can answer questions, implement, and track leaves. Those currently on a leave of absence will continue to work with their local human resources staff.

A few groups of employees have different needs based on their employment situation: 

Federal Benefits Employees

  • Employees who receive federal benefits will follow the new leave of absence process by contacting the Leaves Administration team or by using MyU for self-service. 
  • The Leave Administration team will work with the appropriate staff person to ensure time is tracked appropriately on any federal log documents.

Medical School Faculty Employed by University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP)

  • The faculty member will need to inform both UMP and the University’s Leave Administration team about their leave since the HR systems are not integrated.
  • Additionally, these employees will file two separate disability (U of M and UMP) claims if appropriate.

Trades Employees

  • Those covered by the Trades bargaining unit are not eligible for University leaves since they receive benefits through their trade union.
  • However, they qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 
  • Their time away under FMLA will be tracked through OHR’s Leave Administration team using the new processes (phone, email, or MyU submission). 
  • In addition, Trades staff who contact the Disability Resource Center will be directed to OHR if their issue qualifies under either FMLA or ADA. 

How will I request and track my leave of absence?

Go to MyU to submit your leave information. If you need help during the process, see the web page How to Request a Leave of Absence in MyU. Or, email [email protected], or call OHR’s Leave Administration team at 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 and choose option  No. 2. The Leave of Absence team will respond to your request within one business day. 

What does the Leave Administration team do?

The Leave Administration team will answer questions, help get your leave set up, and communicate with you, your supervisor, and your local human resources staff. Your dedicated specialist will work with you to get the necessary documentation for your leave and help ensure that your job is protected, in compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 

When you’re ready to come back, your specialist will connect you with internal resources that can help you transition back to work. They also will keep your supervisor and local HR staff informed of your return date. 

What are the benefits of the new leave process?

With this new process, employees who take a leave are assured it is being managed accurately and with care, so they can focus on themself, their family, or their military service. Centralizing the leave of absence process will improve tracking, reporting and compliance for complex leaves, such as those that fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), disability, or military categories.
 

What if an employee needs to take an emergency leave?

An employee’s supervisor, family member, or emergency contact can initiate a leave request on behalf of an employee by contacting Leave Administration Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. CST at 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 (choose option No. 2), or at [email protected]. A team member will respond within one business day.

Can employees extend, shorten, or change the type of leave they are on?

Employees should work with their designated contact on the Leave Administration team to make any changes to their leave status.

Employee Leave Checklist

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Prepare

Timing

Prior to employee Leave (~4 weeks+)

My Tasks

Prepare for employee leave of absence:
 
 Review Leave of Absence page.
  Contact the Leave Administration team for further questions.
  Put employee in touch with Leave Administration team if they have further questions.
 You will be contacted by a Leave Administrator upon your employee’s leave approval or if more information is needed.

Related Resources

LOA informational page

Plan

Timing

Prior to your Leave (~1-2 weeks)

My Tasks

Plan coverage for your work:
 
 Discuss leave with your manager.
  Work with supervisor to transition your work to others, as needed.
Plan with your Leave Administrator:
 
 Ensure your Leave Administrator has your contact information for when you’re away.
  Meet with your Leave Administrator to develop a pay and absence plan.

Related Resources

Take Time Off

Timing

During your time away

My Tasks

Track your time off:
 
  Enter your time off within your absence tool (e.g., MyU/My Time) each week.
Pay + Benefits:
 
 Understand pay information, especially if considering extending your leave.
  Utilize Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for concerns, if necessary.
Stay connected:
   Notify your Leave Administrator if you need to change your leave plans.

Related Resources

Return

Timing

Upon Return

My Tasks

Prepare for your return to work:
  Your Leave Administrator will reach out 1-2 weeks prior to your planned return to confirm your return.
  Update your Leave Administrator if your planned return date changes so that they can notify your supervisor and HR Lead.
  Work with your Leave Administrator to ensure you have the right accommodations when returning from your leave.

Related Resources