Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence Assistance

Since certain types of extended leaves of absence are more complex to administer, the University uses a case management approach to support employees, their families, and supervisors during an extended leave.

The Leave Administration team in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) acts as a single point of contact to help initiate, track, and conclude a parental, medical, personal, or military leave of absence, including those covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Once you submit your request in the My Time tab in MyU, your leave will be assigned to a leave specialist who will be in touch with you. If you have questions on how to submit your leave, call the Leave Administration team at 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 and choose option 2, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.

Types of Leave

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Parental Leave

Parental leave is available to employees who welcome a new child into their family. Whether by birth or adoption, parental leave allows you time away from work to care for your new child.

Details about who is eligible for parental leave and other requirements are outlined in your employee group governance document or the Parental Leave for Employees Administrative Policy.

If you are eligible for FMLA, that will run concurrently with parental leave.

Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, is a federal law that allows you up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave per fiscal year. With the proper medical documentation and supervisor approval, FMLA can be used for:

  1. Your own serious health condition
  2. The serious health condition of an immediate family member
  3. Caring for a newborn or newly placed adopted child or foster child
  4. The urgent need of an immediate family member who is on active duty in the military services

For more information, see the Family and Medical Leave web page.

Personal Leave

The University offers unpaid personal leave to support eligible employees who need time away from work to attend to matters that affect their lives that are unrelated to their career at the University and that significantly interfere with their ability to meet their University work responsibilities.

Refer to your employee group governance document or the Administrative Policy for Unpaid Personal Leaves for Faculty and P&A Employees for details about this type of leave, including procedures for requesting a personal leave of absence.

Military Leave

Military duty leaves allow employees to be absent from work for longer periods to fulfill military service activities.

Employee Leave Checklist

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4+ weeks before your leave


Prepare for your leave of absence:

  • Review this Leave of Absence page.
  • Contact the Leave Administration team for further questions.



1–2 weeks before your leave


Plan coverage for your work:

  • Discuss leave with your supervisor.
  • Work with your supervisor to transition your work to others, as needed.
  • Keep your supervisor informed of any date changes related to your leave of absence.

Request your leave:

  • Submit your leave of absence request in MyU > MyTime > Request a Leave of Absence.

Plan with your leave specialist:

  • Make sure your leave specialist has your contact information for when you’re away.
  • Meet with your leave specialist to develop a pay and absence plan.

Take Time Off


During your leave


Track your time off:

  • Enter your time off in your absence tool (for example, in the My Time tab in MyU) each week.

Pay and Benefits:

  • Understand pay information, especially if considering extending your leave.
  • Utilize Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for concerns, if necessary.

Stay connected:

  • IMPORTANT: Stay in touch with your leave specialist. Make sure you respond to emails and notify them if you need to change your leave plans.



1–2 weeks before you return from leave


Prepare for your return to work:

  • Your leave specialist will contact you one to two weeks before your planned return to confirm.
  • Update your leave specialist if your planned return date changes so they can notify your supervisor and HR staff.
  • Work with your leave specialist to ensure you have the right accommodations when you return.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What process do I need to follow for my employee group?

All University of Minnesota faculty and staff who are taking a parental, personal, medical, or military leave of absence should submit their leave in MyU. The OHR leave of absence specialists can answer questions and implement and track leaves.

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

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

  • You will need to inform both UMP and the University’s Leave Administration team about your leave since the HR systems are not integrated.
  • You may need to file two separate disability (U of M and UMP) claims, if appropriate.

Unit 2 Crafts and Trades Contract Employees

  • Those covered by this bargaining unit are not eligible for University leaves since they receive benefits through their trade union.
  • However, you qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 
  • Your time away under FMLA will be tracked through OHR’s Leave Administration team. 
  • 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?

To request a leave, go to the My Time tab in MyU and click on the Request a Leave of Absence link. If you need help during the process, see the web page How to Request a Leave of Absence in MyU.

If you still have a question, email leaveadmin@umn.edu or call OHR’s Leave Administration team at 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 and choose option 2.

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 will also keep your supervisor and local HR staff informed of your return date.

What if I need to take an emergency leave?

Your supervisor, family member, or emergency contact can initiate a leave request on your behalf 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 2), or at leaveadmin@umn.edu. A team member will respond within one to two business days. This process should only be followed in an emergency.

Can I extend, shorten, or change the type of my leave?

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

What types of FMLA are there?

There are generally three types of FMLA leave: intermittent leave, continuous leave, and reduced-schedule leave.

  1. Continuous leave: This type of leave is used by employees for a continuous period of time. The leave is not broken up by a period of work and is continuous when the employee is absent for three consecutive working days or more. They can take the leave for an immediate family member or themselves for serious health issues.
  2. Intermittent leave: This more flexible type of leave allows the employee to take leave for a few hours or a few days. For example, an employee suffering from a migraine can take leave for a few hours during the excessive pain period. They can also use intermittent leave to attend a doctor's appointment for a few hours.
  3. Reduced-schedule leave: An employee can use this leave to take care of a family member or their own serious health problem, or to reduce stress. It allows the employee to reduce the number of hours worked per day or per week so they can take care of themselves or their loved ones in their spare hours. The employer counts the reduced hours toward the FMLA's 12-week allowance.

What happens if my FMLA time is exhausted?

Your assigned leave specialist will work with you and the UReturn team on a possible accommodation.

What happens to my benefits while on leave?

Please contact benefits@umn.edu for specific benefits questions.

During a paid leave, all of your benefits remain the same. 

During an unpaid leave that covers one or more pay periods, you will be responsible for paying your benefits through our direct bill process. If your leave is unpaid but covered under FMLA, you will pay a portion of the cost for the benefits and if your leave is unpaid and not covered under FMLA, the University will not contribute toward the cost of your medical, dental, and life insurance benefits and you will pay the full cost.

Be sure to review the Administrative Policy for Unpaid Personal Leaves for Faculty and P&A Employees, your employee group governance document, and federal and state continuation provisions (COBRA).

Flexible Spending Accounts

Health Care FSA

If you make contributions while out on a leave of absence, you may continue to submit expenses for reimbursement. If you do not make contributions while on leave, any expenses incurred while on your leave are not eligible for reimbursement.

Dependent Care FSA

You can use the money remaining in your account for work-related dependent daycare expenses through the end of the year.

What if I’m going on a Faculty Development Leave?

Eligible faculty members may request development leaves, including single semester, sabbatical, and entrepreneurial leaves. These types of leave are not processed by the Leave Administration team. Learn more about these types of leave, including procedures and their impact on salary and benefits, in the Faculty Development Leaves policy.