Human Resource Services

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My Benefits | I Need To Take a Leave

I Need to Take a Leave

Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

There are different types of leaves that employees can take where their benefits may be affected. These leaves would impact the type of coverage available as well as who pays for the insurance premiums.

  • Contact Information for Leaves & Accommodations

    Melissa Ward
    Leave & Accommodation Coordinator
    (319) 273-6164
    Melissa.Ward@uni.edu

  • Contact Information for Benefit Questions

    Jesse Lahmann
    Benefits Coordinator
    (319) 273-2824
    Jesse.Lahmann@uni.edu

  • Contact Information for Professional Development Assignment (PDA)

    Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
    (319) 273-2517

A leave without pay (LWOP) allows you to make necessary changes to your benefits. Please contact Human Resource Services to arrange for continuing/discontinuing your insurance or TDA after your leave is approved.

Types of Leave

Family and Medical Leave

More Info: Family and Medical Leave

  • 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 personal and family medical reasons.
  • During the 12 weeks of leave, UNI is required to continue to pay the university share of the health, dentalvisionlife and long term disability insurance premiums, and the employee is still responsible to pay for their portion of the health, dental, and/or vision premiums. If you are still in a paid status, these premiums will continue to be deducted from your pay. If you are to move to an unpaid status premiums will be direct billed to you.
  • If an employee has a flexible spending account (FSA) and is in unpaid status, contributions to the account will cease until the employee returns to work.
  • Sick leave and vacation accruals will not continue during an FMLA unpaid leave, but will resume once the employee returns back to work from leave. Employees may convert their sick leave to vacation time if more vacation time is needed.

Leave Without Pay

  • A medical leave without pay (MLWOP) may be granted in situations where an employee has a documented medical need for leave, and either the employee is not eligible for FMLA or FMLA has been exhausted. In these instances, the employee must request a medical leave without pay prior to the exhaustion of their sick leave.
  • This type of leave requires departmental and divisional approval.
  • A leave without pay (LWOP) may also be requested for a number of reasons. 
  • During this leave situation, the employee may continue their healthdental vision and/or voluntary term life benefits, but would be responsible for the full cost of the benefits.  An unpaid benefit election form should be completed with a benefits staff member in order to elect to continue these benefits.

    Form: Unpaid Benefits Election

  • If an employee has a flexible spending account (FSA) and is in unpaid status, contributions to the account will cease until the employee returns to work.

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.
  • As long as the employee remains in paid status, they will have the option to continue their benefits.
  • If not waived, the employee would continue to pay their portion of the coverage, and the employer theirs. This would include health, dental, vision, and flex spending. Life insurance and LTD would continue to be paid by the university. 
  • Once an employee ends their leave status, they have 30 days to re-enroll in their benefits if they had waived them previously.
  • When an employee goes on an unpaid Military Leave their coverage will end the month in which they leave. This includes health, dental, vision, flex spending, LTD, life insurance, and retirement contributions.
  • Once an employee comes back to work, they have 30 days to re-enroll in their benefits.

Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance

  • Employees qualify for LTD benefits if they become disabled under the terms of the Group Policy and have satisfied a waiting period of the latter of 90 working days or the date their accumulated sick leave expires.
  • The monthly disability benefit is 66 2/3rds of their pre-disability earnings, up to a maximum monthly benefit of $6,667.
  • Additional plan details can be found in the LTD group booklet.

    More Info: Principal LTD Policy Booklet

  • If approved for LTD the employee will have a formal termination from the university and receive a $750 monthly medical stipend directly from Principal Financial for 24 months.
  • Life insurance and TIAA contributions will continue to be paid through Principal Life Insurance Company.

Workers Compensation Leave without Pay (WCLWOP)

  • Employees who are losing time from work due to a work related injury and either have exhausted their accruals or are choosing not to supplement their workers compensation and are receiving workers compensation payments only, will be placed on a WCLWOP.
  • State workers' compensation law requires UNI to continue paying the university's portion of an employee's medical and dental insurance for 4 months (16 weeks) after being placed on medical leave without pay.
  • The 12 weeks of FMLA (subject to eligibility) and the 16 weeks (DAS rule) are counted concurrently.
  • Sick leave and vacation accruals do not continue while an employee is on an unpaid leave.
  • If an employee continues on a WCLWOP beyond four months, the employee must pay the full cost of health and dental premiums to continue coverage.
  • If an employee on WCLWOP, applies for and is approved for Long Term Disability, continuation of coverage is subject to COBRA continuation.

More Info: Workers Compensation

Professional Development Assignment (PDA)

  • Tenured faculty of the University of Northern Iowa, and UNI probationary faculty after a successful third-year review, may apply for a Professional Development Assignment (PDA).
  • A PDA provides a maximum stipend, including appropriate fringe benefits, of the faculty member's full salary for one semester or one-half of the faculty member's salary for the academic year.
  • Benefits information as it relates to a PDA can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

Premium Information

The below chart provides a quick glance at when the employee is responsible for their regular premiums, or if the employee is responsible for both the employee portion, and employer portion, of the premium based on the type of leave.

Portion Description

EE = Employee
ER = Employer

FMLA Unpaid
Benefit Portion
1 (Dental Insurance) EE
2 (Health Insurance) EE
3 (Vision) EE
4 (Voluntary Term Life) EE
5 (Voluntary Term Life - Spouse) EE
6 (Voluntary Term Life - Child) EE
7 (Health Care FSA) EE
Medical Leave Without Pay (MLWOP)
Benefit Portion
1 (Dental Insurance) EE, ER
2 (Health Insurance) EE, ER
3 (Vision) EE
4 (Voluntary Term Life) EE
5 (Voluntary Term Life - Spouse) EE
6 (Voluntary Term Life - Child) EE
Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
Benefit Portion
1 (Dental Insurance) EE, ER
2 (Health Insurance) EE, ER
3 (Vision) EE
4 (Voluntary Term Life) EE
5 (Voluntary Term Life - Spouse) EE
6 (Voluntary Term Life - Child) EE
Workers' Comp LWOP
Benefit Portion
1 (Dental Insurance) EE
2 (Health Insurance) EE
3 (Vision) EE
4 (Voluntary Term Life) EE
5 (Voluntary Term Life - Spouse) EE
6 (Voluntary Term Life - Child) EE
Long Term Disability (LTD)
Benefit Portion
1 (Health Insurance) $750 Stipend

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