DePaul University Human Resources > Benefits > Work/Life Balance > Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence

The university is committed to help support the balance between your work and personal life. As such we provide opportunities for employees to take a leaves of absence when needed.

This section is designed to help you determine which leave and benefits programs meet your immediate needs. Below are the types of available leaves of absence. Each link provides access to the university policy, information on how to apply for the leave, what to do while you are on a leave and what to do when it is time to return to work from a leave.

Types of Leave – Choose the specific type of leave for more details:

  • Sick Leave is available to eligible employees if an absence is due to illness or injury.
  • Short -term Disability is available to eligible employees if leave of absence is due to your own serious health condition.
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. FMLA may be used for your own serious health condition or to take care of an immediate family member with an illness or injury.
  • Long-term Disability is continued income in the event an eligible employee is unable to work due to a qualifying disability.
  • Personal Leave is an unpaid leave of absence for personal or family needs of an urgent nature, educational opportunities, or professional development.
  • Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off allows eligible full-time staff and faculty to request authorized voluntary unpaid time away from work, without pay, but with benefits.
  • Maternity Leave
  • Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) provides an employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or who has a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, with up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave per any twelve (12) month period to address issues arising from domestic or sexual violence.
  • The Child Bereavement Leave Act provides eligible employees who suffer the loss of a child with up to a maximum of ten (10) unpaid days of leave.

Employee General Leaves FAQs

Where can I find more information about taking a leave of absence?

The Human Resources website provides detailed information about what you should do before, during, and after a leave of absence. We ask that you review this site if you are considering a leave of absence.​​​​​

What is the university’s maternity leave policy?

Click here ​for information on maternity leave.

Does the university have paternity leave?

There is no official paternity leave policy; however, an employee may qualify for unpaid FMLA to take care of a newborn or family member.  ​See the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) policy​​

Is it my responsibility to inform my manager of my leave?


​Yes, it is the employee’s responsibility to notify their managers of a foreseen leave of absence.  If unforeseen, the notification of illness should be made to an employee's supervisor as soon as possible and at least within one (1) hour of the start of the scheduled workday. See the policy​.  The employee is not required to discuss the specifics of illness or medical leave with his/her manager or department the nature of the medical leave.​

Do my benefits continue while I am on an approved leave of absence?

Most benefits may continue while on an approved leave of absence as long as the employee pays the appropriate premium level and the employee continues to be eligible for the benefits.   The exception is the dependent care flexible spending account.  While on leave, participation in the dependent care flexible spending account will automatically cease as of the date the leave of absence begins. ​

Do my benefits continue while I am on a paid leave of absence?

If you are receiving pay under any of the university policies for sick pay, short-term disability or vacation during your leave of absence your benefits continue during the leave (with the exception of the dependent care flexible spending account). Regular employee premium deductions and contributions will continue through payroll deduction. ​

Can I stop my contributions to my Health Care Flexible Spending Account while I am on a paid leave of absence?

You may elect to discontinue your participation in Health Care Flexible Spending Account – but you must do so within 31 days of the commencement of the leave. If you elect to discontinue participation in your Spending Accounts, your participation ends at the end of the month following your last active pay period.  Expenses incurred during the leave after your participation ends are not eligible for reimbursement.  ​

Can I stop my contributions to my 403b Retirement Plan while I am on a leave of absence?

Faculty and staff can change or stop retirement plan and Health Savings Account contributions at any time.​

Do my benefits continue while I am on an unpaid leave of absence?

If you are not eligible to receive pay under any of the university policies for sick pay, short-term disability or vacation, the leave will be unpaid and you are responsible for paying the employee contribution amount for those benefits that require an employee contribution. This can be done on an after-tax basis by personal check and forwarding such payment to the Human Resources department or by arranging pre-payment via pre-tax (if appropriate) deductions prior to the leave.  ​

Can I stop my contributions to the transportation program while I am on a leave of absence?

Faculty and staff can change or stop transportation program contributions at any time. ​

Can I stop my contributions to the Health Savings Account (HSA) while I am on a leave of absence?

 HSA contributions will be suspended during an unpaid FMLA leave.  An employee may make Health Savings Account post-tax contributions directly to his or her HSA account. Upon an employee’s return from unpaid leave, contributions that have been suspended by Human Resources will re-start automatically.  ​

How do I reinstate my benefits once I return to work?

If you choose to discontinue any benefits while on leave, you may need to re-enroll upon your return to work.  Contact the Benefits Department at ext. 28232 for more information immediately upon return to work.​

What happens if a performance review or salary increase is scheduled during the time I am on leave?

If you are on an approved leave of absence, the review and/or increase will be postponed until you have returned to work. ​

Manager General Leaves FAQs

Who can I contact if I have questions about the leave of absence process?

You can contact the Benefits Department at ext. 28232.​

Can I contact an employee regarding work‐related issues when he/she is out on a leave of absence?

While an employee is on leave, he/she has been deemed unable to work and therefore should not be performing any work‐related tasks from home.​

Can I talk to an employee or ask questions about the reason for the leave of absence?

No, a manager and fellow employees should not ask about the individual’s medical condition or reason for leave of absence.​

Do I have to pay an employee who is on a leave of absence?

: FMLA is an unpaid leave of absence, but the university policy allows the employee to use accrued sick, vacation, or floating holidays during the period of FMLA leave. In addition, an FMLA leave may run concurrently with short‐term disability leave.

If the employee is on an approved short‐term disability leave, the salary is continued through the university’s short‐term disability budget.

How can I cover the work when an employee is on a leave of absence?

During this time period, the manager may consider hiring a temporary employee to assist with the department workload. For additional information on hiring a temporary employee, contact the Talent Acquisition Department at ext. 26855 or your designated recruiter.​​

What do I do if an employee tells me he or she wants to extend the leave or wants to come back to work early?

If an employee contacts you directly with a request to extend or shorten the scheduled end date of the leave, you should contact the Benefits Department at ext. 28232 for assistance.

Who do I contact if an employee on a short term disability or FMLA leave did not return to work after the leave's scheduled end?

If an employee does not return to work on the scheduled end date and you have not been notified of an approved change to the leave end date, contact the Benefits Department at ext. 28232 immediately.​​​

Certain types of leaves are not included on this website:

  • For a work related illness or injury, contact the Environmental Health & Safety Department at (312) 362-6531 or by email at InsuranceClaim@depaul.edu.
  • To apply for a military leave of absence, contact the Benefits Department at (312) 362-8232.
  • For a faculty leave of absence consult the DePaul University Faculty Handbook