Leaves of Absence for Supervisors

A Simpler Way to Support Employees 

The University is transitioning to a new, employee-centered process for tracking and managing certain workplace leaves of absence starting December 1. A dedicated staff in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) will manage the process for faculty and staff taking a parental, personal, military, or other extended leave of absence, including leaves covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Requesting a Leave for an Employee in an Emergency

Employees should submit their leave request via the My Time tab in MyU. However, in an emergency, if an employee cannot submit a request in MyU, the employee, a supervisor, family member, or HR staff can submit a leave request by:

  • Emailing [email protected]
  • Calling OHR’s Leave Administration team at 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363 and choosing option No. 2, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. Documents can be faxed to 952-232-4915

Once you submit a request, a leave specialist will contact you within one to two business days. They will also update the supervisor and local HR staff on the leave of absence requests, track the time away, and work with the employee on benefits coverage, and help to communicate and coordinate the return to work plan.

Helping to Support the Entire Person

Employees who need extended time away from work for a parental, medical, personal, or military leave will be supported by the Leave Administration team, which will connect them with resources from the University so they can focus on themselves, their health, their family, or their service to the country. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors 

Q. Why did the University adopt a new leave of absence process?

A. The PEAK Initiative identified complex leaves of absence as an opportunity for improved service. Supervisors who had an employee recently take a leave of absence provided recommendations that are being incorporated into the new leave approach. The new, human-centered approach to leaves 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 improve the experience for employees, supervisors, and the HR community.  

Q. Which employee groups are affected by the transition and how?

A. Faculty and staff will follow the new leave of absence process by contacting the Leave Administration team or using MyU for self-service. The leave of absence process for graduate assistants, residents, and fellows will continue to be administered by the department.

Medical School Faculty employed by the University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) and Trades employees will follow slightly different steps, outlined below:

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.
  • In addition, 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 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. 


Q. What are the benefits of the new leaves process?

A. 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.

It also will free supervisors and HR unit staff to focus on other aspects of their jobs, removing the burden of managing what are, at times, complex and administrative-heavy tasks with compliance risk.


Q. How do employees submit a leave request?

A. In MyU, click on the My Time tab, then on the Request a Leave of Absence link. A leave specialist will respond in one to two business days.


Q. What if an employee needs to take an emergency leave?

A. An employee’s supervisor, family member, or emergency contact can initiate a leave request on behalf of an employee by contacting OHR 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 leave specialist will respond in one to two business days.


Q. How are supervisors informed of employee leaves status?

A. Leave specialists will update HR staff and supervisors on employees’ leave status and expected return dates.


Q. What steps should supervisors take if an employee expresses a desire to take a leave of absence?

A. Tell employees to submit a leave request in MyU by clicking on the My Time tab, then on the Request a Leave of Absence link.

This project is part of the PEAK Initiative, which aims to help align our people, provide a work community that supports them, and prioritize employee experiences.

Checklist for Supervisors

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1. Prepare


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 the Leave Administration team if they have further questions.
 You may be contacted by a leave specialist when your employee’s leave is approved or if more information is needed.

Related Resources

Leave of absence information web page 

2. Plan


Prior to employee Leave (~1-2 weeks)

My Tasks

Plan coverage for work:
 Confirm leave timing with employee and discuss work transition while on leave at a high level.
 Discuss your employee’s leave with your HR staff to receive guidance on transitioning your employee’s work to others, if needed.

3. Employee Leaves


During employee’s time away

My Tasks

 Look for communications from your employee or leave specialist in case they have notified you of plans changing.
 If employee extends leave, adjust workforce plans as needed. Contact your unit's HR staff for guidance, if needed.

4. Employee Returns


Upon employee’s return

My Tasks

Prepare for employee’s return to work:
 Your leave specialist will contact you one to two weeks before your employee’s planned return to confirm the return and will notify you of plans.
 Work with your employee and the UReturn office to understand any accommodations they’ll need when returning from their leave, including a phased return, if needed.
 Acknowledge employees who have provided coverage for the employee out on leave to encourage team motivation and morale.

Related Resources