Extended Leave of Absence

“Extended leave” encompasses forms of leave with or without pay that last longer than 15 consecutive workdays. Extended leave may be provided for medical (self and family), parental, military, and personal reasons.

Please note: When an employee uses vacation leave and compensatory leave to cover an absence of more than 15 consecutive workdays for personal reasons, in keeping with the university’s vacation and compensatory leave policies, the employee will not be considered to be on an “extended leave,” so long as the employee has sufficient vacation and compensatory leave to remain in full pay status.

The University of Florida’s extended leave of absence policy incorporates at a minimum that which is required by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, or FMLA (see UF Extended Leave of Absence Policy Chart).

Upon return from an extended leave, including FMLA leave, an employee will be returned to the same position or a position in the same classification unless he or she and the university have agreed in writing otherwise.

Employees may use their individually accrued paid leave, be in leave without pay status, maintain reduced work schedules, or be absent from work intermittently (Click here for the Intermittent Leave Application form) while on many forms of extended leaves of absence. As appropriate, all of the above will count against the 12 weeks of an employee’s FMLA entitlement. Overtime compensatory leave, when used, may not count toward the 12 weeks of an employee’s FMLA entitlement.

Required Paperwork

Two forms are required to apply for an extended leave of absence for medical reasons and should be forwarded to the Central Leave Administration:

Medical certifications for Academic Personnel are kept at the department; however, they may be forwarded to Central Leave Administration for retention.

Please see the FMLA section of this web site for guidance on determining if an absence is FMLA-qualifying.

USPS Employees and TEAMS Employees

USPS employees with permanent status in the University Classification System (or law enforcement employees with six months of satisfactory on-the-job service), faculty members, and TEAMS employees with 12-month contracts are eligible for up to six months of leave. All of the following types of leave, except military and personal, are FMLA-qualifying. (An exception: medical leave granted for family members who do not meet the FMLA’s definition of family does not count against an employee’s FMLA entitlement.)

  • Medical leave, self (serious personal health condition)
    The FMLA guarantees up to 12 workweeks in such instances; however, the University of Florida’s policy goes beyond this federal mandate and allows, pending supervisory approval, up to six months of such leave to eligible employees, which may be extended up to one year for extenuating circumstances.
  • Medical leave, family (serious family health condition)
    While the FMLA requires up to 12 workweeks of leave be granted when an employee needs to care for his or her parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition, the University of Florida’s policy allows, pending supervisory approval, up to six months of such leave and also may provide leave, again with supervisory approval, in instances in which family members who do not meet the FMLA’s strict definition of family have a serious health condition. In these instances, the university’s definition for “immediate family” would be the spouse, great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the employee and his/her spouse. “Step” relations are covered by this definition.
  • Parental (the birth of a biological child or placement of the child pending adoption)
    Here too, the university’s policy goes beyond the federal FMLA mandate of 12 workweeks and provides up to six months of such leave to eligible employees which shall be granted upon request. The official parental leave period may begin two weeks before the expected date of the child’s arrival and must occur within the 12-month period beginning with that date.
  • Foster Care
    Up to 12 workweeks of leave for foster care purposes are available under the FMLA and requires official documentation of the foster care relationship.
  • Personal reasons
    Up to 12 months of leave without pay for personal reasons may be available pending supervisory approval. Beginning leave without pay is considered a qualifying event which allows employees to reduce or cancel their insurance, or continue coverage through direct payment.  An employee taking a personal leave of absence must contact University Benefits prior to going on leave without pay in order to initiate any of these changes to their insurance benefits.  Time spent on personal leaves of absence does not count toward the requirement for 10 years of creditable service for purposes of sick leave cash-out.OPS employees, including Postdoctoral Associates, are not eligible for a personal leave of absence.  However, under special circumstances, Postdoctoral Associates may be placed on a personal leave of absence of short duration for administrative purposes when advised by UF’s Immigration Attorney.
  • Military leave shall be granted to these employees, as long as they are not on temporary appointments.

Probationary Non-Exempt Employees and Exempt Employees on Initial Six-Month Contracts

Newly hired non-exempt employees serving their probationary periods or newly hired TEAMS-exempt employees on initial six-months contract are entitled to up to 12 workweeks of leave for the following. All of the following types of leave, except military, are FMLA-qualifying. (An exception: medical leave granted for family members who do not meet the FMLA’s definition of family does not count against an employee’s FMLA entitlement).

  • Medical leave, self (serious personal health condition)
  • Medical leave, family (serious family health condition)
    While the FMLA provides up to 12 workweeks of leave when an employee needs to care for his or her parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition, the University of Florida’s policy allows probationary employees and those on an initial six-month contract, pending supervisory approval, to use such leave in instances where family members who do not meet this strict definition have a serious health condition. In these instances, the university’s definition for “immediate family” would be used.
  • Foster Care requires official documentation of the foster-care relationship.
  • Parental (the birth of a biological child or placement of the child pending adoption)
    University of Florida policy requires that up to six months of leave be granted upon request to all non-OPS employees for the birth of a biological child or placement of the child pending adoption (parental). The University of Florida’s policy goes beyond the federal FMLA mandate of 12 workweeks that must be granted when this event occurs. The official parental leave period may begin two weeks before the expected date of the child’s arrival and must occur within the 12-month period beginning with that date.
  • Military leave shall be granted to these employees, as long as they are not on temporary appointments.