Leaves of Absence

General Information

Absences Protected Under Federal and/or Oregon Law

Other Types of Absences

General Information

What is a leave of absence?

A leave of absence is any continuous period of absence for more than five consecutive workdays, not including any such period of absence due to approved vacation. Leaves of absence include:

  • Being absent for more than five consecutive workdays due to a medical or health condition.
  • Being absent for more than five consecutive days to care for a family member who is sick.
  • Being absent for more than five consecutive days for maternity or paternity leave.
  • Being absent for more than five consecutive days for bereavement related leave.
  • Being absent for more than five consecutive days for military service related leave.

Also, certain types of repeated intermittent absences – even if absences are not for more than five consecutive days – also may be considered to be a leave of absence. Common intermittent leaves of absence include:

  • Being absent intermittently for a period of time due to a medical or health condition.
  • Being absent intermittently to care for a family member who is sick.
  • Being absent intermittently as part of maternity or paternity leave.

What is the process for requesting a leave of absence?

When any type of leave of absence is anticipated, faculty and staff employees should first contact Human Resources by emailing leaves@up.edu. Human Resources will provide information about the leave request process, including leave request paperwork and certification required from a healthcare practitioner. It is preferred that employees send an email to leaves@up.edu but if email is not available, please call 503.943.8987 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and that you are calling about a leave of absence.

How much notice should be provided for a leave of absence?

Employees should notify Human Resources and the supervisor as soon as possible and practical if a leave of absence is anticipated. Even if an employee does not know for sure that a leave will be taken, the employee should notify Human Resources and the supervisor.

What information do I need to provide to a supervisor?

Employees do not have to provide medical or health related information to the supervisor. All documents from a healthcare provider should be provided directly to Human Resources. Supervisors who receive documents with information from a healthcare provider should forward the documents to Human Resources and not keep such documents in the supervisors’ files.

Employees should provide supervisors with the following information: that a leave of absence is anticipated, the anticipated leave start date and return-to-work date, and that Human Resources has been contacted.

Does an employee have to provide documentation for a leave of absence?

Documentation is required for many types of leaves. Once an employee contacts Human Resources, the employee will be provided with information about what, if any, type of documentation is required. Failure to provide required written notice and supporting documentation may result in the denial of leave or leave not being protected under applicable leave laws.

What is the process for returning to work from a leave of absence?

When a leave of absence is authorized, the approval letter or email will have information about the process for returning to work. Usually, when a leave involves the medical or health condition of an employee, the employee will be required to send return-to-work certification from a healthcare practitioner to Human Resources before the return to work will be authorized by Human Resources. Also, Human Resources may require an interactive discussion when the employee returns to work to discuss any reasonable limitations, restrictions, or work accommodations.

What happens if an employee fails to return to work after a leave of absence?

If an employee fails to return to work at the expiration of the approved leave, the University will assume that the employee has resigned.   

Does an employee continue to receive University pay during a leave of absence?

During most types of leave, employees may or be required to use accrued sick and/or vacation time, or a combination of both, to keep receiving University pay. Once accrued sick and/or vacation time is exhausted, an employee who continues to be on leave will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence. Please note, FMLA and OFLA protected leaves are the most common types of leaves; during leaves protected by FMLA and OFLA, employees are required to use sick and then vacation time. For information about whether sick and/or vacation time may be used during other types of leaves, please contact Human Resources at hr@up.edu.

Also, for bereavement leave, the University provides up to three days of paid leave for an employee to attend the funeral of a family member. (Family member is defined in the UP Staff Sick Time Policy.) As well, sick and vacation time is applicable to bereavement leave for a certain amount of time as provided by Oregon law.

May an employee engage in employment outside UP during a leave of absence?

An employee on a leave of absence may not work for another employer or be self-employed without prior authorization from the University.

Absences Protected Under Federal and/or Oregon Law

The University complies with all applicable laws regarding protected leaves and other types of protected absences. When an employee requests a leave of absence, the University will provide information about all applicable laws that apply to the employee.

Below is a list of leaves and absences that are protected under Federal and/or Oregon law with links to more information:

Other Types of Absences

Personal Leave of Absence         

A personal leave of absence may be approved for certain reasons such as public interest work that is aligned with the University's mission.  Requests should be submitted in writing to the immediate supervisor and Human Resources as far in advance as possible and must state the reason for and duration of the request.  Personal leave of absences are at the discretion of the University. Any leave extending over 30 days is subject to periodic review to determine continuation. Employees are required by the University to exhaust all accrued vacation hours during periods of such leave before taking unpaid leave. 

Employee benefits are not earned during a personal leave of absence.  Please speak with Human Resources about whether group health benefits may be maintained during leave.  Each employee will be responsible for paying in advance for any medical insurance premiums due during the absence.

Upon the conclusion of the leave, return to any position is not guaranteed unless required by state or federal law.

Jury Duty and Court Appearances

Regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible for jury duty absences with regular daily pay. Non-regular employees may attend jury duty but without pay as provided by Oregon Law. 

If summoned for jury duty, a copy of the subpoena must be provided to the supervisor as soon as possible. Employees reporting for jury duty and excused before 2 p.m. must report to work at their regular position.

If an employee is required to testify on behalf of the University, the employee will receive regular pay, less any witness fees he or she receives.  If the employee must appear in court for personal matters not covered by the University's leave of absence policy, this time may be charged to vacation time. Certain types of court appearances also may be charged to sick time as provided by Oregon law. Please contact leaves@up.edu for more information.

Contact

University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97203-5798

503.943.8000

webmaster@up.edu