A leave of absence (LOA) is a time period during which an employee is absent from their job. In some situations, applicable sick or vacation benefits may apply. Leaves are intended to be used for a specific period of some duration. Rules covering leaves are available in the University Operations Manual, III-21.2.
When feasible, requests for leave should be authorized in advance by the supervisor or designated department administrator and Human Resources Representative employee.
Types of Leave
Leave of Absence Without Compensation
LOA without compensation may be granted to staff members if it is in the best interest of the University. They are only granted when it is possible to operate effectively in the absence of the staff member requesting leave. Leave periods are granted in continuous increments of time for up to one year and return to pay status requires a return to work duties.
Benefits are discontinued if the employee misses a full calendar month and does not receive a paycheck. When the Benefits Office receives notification of a leave exceeding one calendar month, the employee is sent a letter notifying them of the option to continue their benefits and providing the cost to the employee. The employee must respond stating which coverage they wish to continue and they will be billed accordingly. If no benefits are elected, all coverage will end at the end of the month following the final paycheck.
Exception: Employees on FMLA continue to receive the University’s normal contribution toward the cost of health and dental insurance.
If there is no out-of-pocket cost for health and dental insurance, Benefits staff will automatically enroll the employee in the same plans which were in effect at the time of the leave. They will receive notification that they may continue other insurance (i.e., life, disability) at their own expense. If there is no response, this coverage is terminated for the duration of the leave.
If there is any out-of-pocket cost for health and dental insurance, the employee will be sent a letter offering the option to continue coverage by paying the difference between the University’s contribution and the full cost of the health and dental plan, along with continuing any other coverage at their own expense. The employee must return the letter stating what coverage they wish continued. If Benefits receives no response, coverage will be terminated for the duration of the leave.
Upon return to work, employees are eligible for coverage beginning the first of the month following return to pay status. Employees should contact Benefits at 319-335-2680 as soon as they return to work to begin the process.
Merit staff who did not continue benefits during the leave will be sent new applications to complete. Those who did continue coverage during the leave of absence will be re-enrolled as an active employee by Benefits staff.
Faculty, Professional & Scientific and Merit Supervisory Exempt staff will be sent an e-mail notifying them to go to Benefits Enrollment in the Self Service web site to enroll in benefits.
Leave of Absence With Compensation
The University may grant leaves with full or partial compensation to faculty and staff to undertake approved programs of study, research or other professional activity which will contribute to the improve of the institution. These leaves are granted with the requirement that the staff member return to the University at the end of the leave or compensate the University for any benefit received. Questions regarding this type of leave should be directed to the appropriate department administrator or Human Resources Representative.
A Leave of Absence with Compensation provides the staff member continuation of all benefits. Life insurance and long term disability coverage will be based on the individual’s salary level during the leave