Leave of Absence Assistance
- A dedicated staff in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) can help faculty and staff take a parental, medical, personal, or military 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 can go to the My Time tab in MyU and click the Request a Leave of Absence link.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 should use the new process. The Office of Human Resources 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)
- 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.
- 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?
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 [email protected] or call OHR’s Leave Administration team at 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 and choose option No. 2. The Leave Administration team will respond to your request in one to two business days.
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 to two business days. This process should only be followed in an emergency.
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.
What types of FMLA are there?
There are generally three types of FMLA leave: intermittent leave, continuous leave, and reduced-schedule leave.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Employee Leave Checklist
Prior to your Leave (~1-2 weeks)
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
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 time away
Track your time off:
Enter your time off in your absence tool (for example, in the My Time tab in MyU) each week.
Pay + Benefits:
Understand pay information, especially if considering extending your leave.
Utilize Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for concerns, if necessary.
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.
Prepare for your return to work:
Your leave specialist will contact you one to two weeks before your planned return to confirm your return.
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.