Medical Leave

Purpose

Medical leave is absence to care for a personal serious health condition, such as identified on the back of the Health Certification to be completed by the individual’s health care provider.

Eligibility

Service. One continuous year of service is required for an individual to take medical leave of absence.

Hours. In the 12 months prior to the leave, the individual must have worked at least 1250 hours.

Provisions

Holding the job. The job is held for up to 12 weeks in any 12 month period. In the case of intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule, the job is held for the time equivalent of 12 weeks of the employee’s work schedule. If paid time is accrued beyond 12 weeks, whether as sick time or vacation, the job is held for the duration of the paid time. If department operations permit, the employing department may hold the job beyond 12 weeks or beyond the duration of paid sick time.

Extended medical leave. For personal medical conditions preventing work for beyond 12 weeks of medical leave with holding of the job, medical leave is available at large, renewable in 3 month increments up to a total leave of a year, including the initial 12 weeks, without holding the job and without assurance of return to University employment. The employing department may hold the job during this time if operations permit.

Pay. Incidental sick time and approved extended sick time are used for the duration of the leave.

Insured benefits. An individual on medical leave may continue insured benefits by paying the employee contribution to the insurance premiums. The University continues to pay the employer contribution during a medical leave.

Application procedure

Application. The leave application is obtainable at the end of this policy statement, from the Department of Human Resources, from a school’s business office, or on line at www.northwestern.edu/hr. It is completed by the employee, given to the supervisor for approval, and forwarded to Human Resources. Thirty days notice is needed except in emergencies. The Benefits Division notifies the employee about benefits availability

Approval. The employee's supervisor approves payment of paid sick time, the holding of the job as needed, and a recommendation for the leave. Confirmation by the Department of Human Resources is required to begin the leave.

End of the leave

Return to work. The employee reports to work at the end of the leave if the position was held. Upon returning to work after an absence of 15 or more working days, the employee is required to submit a physician’s statement about ability to return. A department may require such a statement after a shorter period of absence.

Extension. A 3-month extension of personal medical leave beyond 12 weeks can be requested two weeks prior to expiration. The department may hold the job beyond the initial 12 weeks if department operations permit.