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Policy on Faculty Medical Leave

Northwestern's Faculty Medical Leave Policy (excerpted from the Faculty Handbook, pages 45-46): 

“Faculty members with benefits-eligible, half-time or greater appointments who are unable to work as a result of a medically certified disability [see note] become eligible for paid sick leave. Such faculty members may receive up to six consecutive months (including summer) at budgeted salary.  Faculty members who are also enrolled in benefits through additional employers, such as those provided by Northwestern Medical Group or other affiliated hospitals, may have different medical leave benefits and should contact those employers directly for additional information.”


  • Although not specifically mentioned in the Faculty Handbook, all Northwestern employees (including faculty) must have completed 6 months of benefits-eligible service to be eligible for a paid medical leave.
  • In the paragraph above, the phrase “medically certified disability” is meant to refer to an injury, accident, surgery, or serious illness which leaves you unable to perform one or more of the essential duties of your occupation.  Your physician will be required to provide medical documentation to support your need for a medical leave.

Any faculty in the Feinberg School of Medicine who have appointments in NMG should follow the leave of absence process outlined on the Feinberg Faculty Affairs Office website. Faculty with NMG appointments do not contact The Hartford for leave of absence requests.

Guide to Filing a Faculty Medical Leave of Absence with The Hartford and FAQs

For instructions on how to file a Faculty Medical Leave of Absence, including procedures with The Hartford, view the Guide.

Responsible Office: Office of the Provost

Who Needs to Know This Policy: All Northwestern faculty members


All members of the faculty are encouraged to discuss medical leave and any additional questions with the designated administrator within the faculty member’s school Dean’s or Faculty Affairs Office and/or the Office of the Provost. You may also contact your department chair. View the Contact List.

Dated: January 1, 2021