Human Resource Services

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The university has developed the forwardtogether.uni.edu website for the latest updates on COVID-19.

Additional COVID-19 related information can be found on the Faculty and Staff FAQ web page. The COVID-19 Leaves support page provides resources to report a COVID-19 Related Leave. UNI services are available for faculty and staff dealing with stress, mental health, and grief.

My Benefits | Leave of Absence Benefits

Leave of Absence Benefits

Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

A leave of absence is approved time off work. Leaves of absence can be granted for the following reasons:

  1. Catastrophic Leave Donations
  2. Court and Jury Service Leave
  3. Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  4. Military Leave
  5. Sick Time Benefits
  6. UNI Holidays
  7. Vacation Benefits
  8. Unpaid Long Term Leave

Employee Rights Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. For more details, view the employee rights poster.

1. Catastrophic Leave Donations

Vacation time may be donated to the sick leave account of an eligible employee at UNI who is suffering from a catastrophic illness and has exhausted all vacation and sick leave.

Catastrophic illness or injury is defined as a medical condition for which a physician has certified is likely to result in a loss of 30 or more work days.

Leave shall be donated in full hour increments. The total amount of donations received by one employee each pay period cannot exceed the employee's regularly scheduled hours of work for that pay period.

Total leave donations received by an employee may not exceed the amount necessary to cover the 90 working day, Long Term Disability waiting period.

NOTE: Employee's applying for catastrophic leave have one year from the date of their eligibility to use their donations. Employee's donating hours to the catastrophic leave program may not see the donation reduced from their vacation/compensatory time balance until up to one year later. Once hours are pledged they cannot be returned before the recipient leaves the program unless the donor terminates employment.

For questions on catastrophic leave please contact catleave@uni.edu.

2. Court and Jury Service Leave

When an employee is required to appear as a witness or serve as a member of a jury in connection with public or private litigation, they will be entitled to regular compensation provided pay received for such service (other than travel or personal expense reimbursement) is surrendered to the university cashier. Such leave is to be noted on the monthly timecard.

3. FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed by Congress and went into effect on August 5, 1993. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year to eligible employees for certain family, medical, and military-related reasons. During the 12 weeks of leave, the university is required to continue to pay the university share of the health, dental, life and long term disability insurance premiums, and the employee is still responsible to pay for their portion of the health and dental premiums.

4. Military Leave

An employee who is a member of the National Guard or Reserve component of the United States Armed Forces will be granted leave with pay for a period or periods not to exceed 30 days per calendar year, provided the employee is called for field training, active duty, or in connection with an emergency condition (flood, riot, etc.). A copy of the employee's military orders must be filed with the Human Resource Services prior to the leave period. The university is committed to complying with all rules and regulations relating to military leave, including the USERRA and Iowa Code 29A.28.

5. Sick Time Benefits

Full time staff members accrue sick leave at 12 hours (1.5 days) per month. Staff members who are employed for 20 or more hours but less than 40 hours per week for at least an academic year accrue sick leave on a pro rata basis. Staff members hired on a temporary appointment do not accrue sick leave.

Coverage Starts
Life Event Coverage Starts
New Hire First day of employment.
Qualifying Employment Event Effective the first of the month after the event.
Coverage Ends
Life Event Coverage Ends
No Longer Eligible Effective the last day of the month the appointment is no longer eligible.
Separation of Employment Effective the last day of the separation month.

Plan Details

Sick leave accrues during a period of absence for which a staff member is paid sick leave. Sick leave does not accrue during vacation payout nor during any period of absence without pay. Accrual of sick leave is unlimited.

If a holiday falls during a period of sick leave usage, it is paid as a holiday and is not charged to the sick leave accumulation. If a staff member is hospitalized while on vacation, they may use sick leave for days actually spent in a hospital. No other conversion of vacation to sick leave is authorized.

Staff members may use sick leave for:

  • Sick Leave
    Staff members may use accrued sick leave for their own personal illness and/or injury.
  • Family Caregiving Leave
    Staff members may use accrued sick leave for the care and necessary attention of ill or injured members of their immediate family, or for the birth of their child. Staff members may use up to 40 hours of Family Caregiving Leave per year. Staff members may carry over up to forty (40) hours of unused Family Caregiving Leave to the next anniversary year, for a maximum utilization of eighty (80) hours in the next anniversary year. After all eighty (80) hours are used prior to the anniversary date, any additional time needed to care for ill or injured family members may be requested as vacation or compensatory time.
  • Funeral Leave
    Staff members may use up to 3 days (24 hours) of earned sick leave per occurrence when death occurs in their immediate family.
  • Pallbearer Leave
    Staff members may use up to 1 day (8 hours) of earned sick leave per occurrence when serving as a pallbearer or funeral attendant for someone who is not a member of their immediate family.
  • Personal Medical or Dental Appointments
    Staff members may use earned sick leave for personal medical or dental appointments which cannot be scheduled at times other than during working hours.
  • Adoption Leave
    Staff members may use up to 40 hours of sick leave per occurrence during adoption.

Immediate Family Defined

Immediate family is defined as, and limited to, the staff member's spouse, children, grandchildren, foster children, stepchildren, legal wards, parents, grandparents, foster parents, stepparents, brothers, foster brothers, stepbrothers, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters, foster sisters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins, corresponding relatives of the staff member's spouse, and other persons who are members of the staff member's household.

6. UNI Holidays

Employees with non-temporary appointments and at least a half-time schedule are eligible for holiday pay. Holidays for employees with part-time schedules are pro-rated from the full-time equivalent as it relates to the employee's weekly schedule. Employees with less than a 12 month appointment are eligible for holidays falling during periods when work is normally scheduled. Staff members with a temporary, on-call, or seasonal appointment are not entitled to holiday pay. Holidays are to be recorded on the staff member's weekly or monthly timecard.

UNI employees receive eleven (11) holidays per year. Two of these are "personal holidays" and are included in the vacation accrual (exception: Faculty do not accrue vacation).

7. Vacation Benefits

Coverage Starts
Life Event Coverage Starts
New Hire First day of employment.
Qualifying Employment Event Effective the first of the month after the event.
Coverage Ends
Life Event Coverage Ends
No Longer Eligible Effective the last day of the month the appointment is no longer eligible.
Separation of Employment Effective the last day of the separation month.

Academic Administrators, Institutional Officials, and Professional & Scientific

Staff members who are set up on a 12 month calendar year appointment start accruing vacation on their first day in pay status. Employees will accrue 22 days of vacation and two (2) personal holidays per year. Staff members who are regularly employed for 20 or more hours but less than 40 hours per week on a continuing basis will accrue vacation and personal days on a pro rata basis.

Vacation usage is not permitted in excess of the staff member's current vacation balance. Holidays falling within the period of a paid vacation are paid as holidays and are not charged to the staff member's vacation.

Maximum accrual is twice the annual accrual. If sick leave is being converted to vacation the maximum accrual is increased by 12 days. When the maximum accrual limit is reached no further time will accrue until some vacation is used.

Holidays falling within the period of a paid vacation are paid as holidays and are not charged to the staff member's vacation. This does not apply to the vacation payout.

Note: Academic Administrators with an academic year appointment do not accrue vacation.

Merit Supervisory and Merit Confidential

Merit Supervisory and Merit Confidential Vacation Accrual Schedule
Year of Service Monthly Vacation Accrual-Hours Monthly Personal Holiday Accrual-Hours Monthly Total-Hours Annual Accrual-Hours Annual Accrual-Days
1st-4th 6.67 1.33 8.00 96 Hours 12 Days
5th-11th 10.00 1.33 11.33 136 Hours 17 Days
12th-19th 13.33 1.33 14.66 176 Hours 22 Days
20th-24th 14.67 1.33 16.00 192 Hours 24 Days
25th+ 16.67 1.33 18.00 216 Hours 27 Days

Maximum accrual is twice the annual accrual. If sick leave is being converted to vacation the maximum accrual is increased by 12 days. When the maximum accrual limit is reached no further time will accrue until some vacation is used.

8. Unpaid Long Term Leave

An extended leave of absence from active University service without continued earnings may be granted to professional-scientific staff members with continuing service status for a variety of personal and other compelling reasons. Such leave is granted with the understanding that the staff member plans to return to active service at the conclusion of the leave period specified.

Failure to return to active service or to make arrangements for an extension of a leave normally will be considered as a voluntary resignation. For the purpose of this provision, an extended leave shall be for a period in excess of twenty-two (22) scheduled working days. All leave of absences without compensation are to be identified and arranged with the Administrative Staff Absence Request Form.

The employee should contact Human Resource Services to arrange for continuing or discontinuing insurance or annuity program coverage after leave is approved.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1Q: What Happens to My Benefits On Leave?

    1A: Benefits are not maintained during unpaid leave; however you have the option of paying premiums sufficient to maintain full and continuous coverage on any or all fringe benefits during the time of leave. Please contact Human Resource Services to arrange for continuing or discontinuing insurance or annuity program coverage after leave is approved.

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