Leaves of Absence

The University of Denver, in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), offers employees several types of leave programs that are available under various circumstances. On this page, you will find details on these programs, including eligibility provisions and how to apply.

For assistance with the leave process, questions, or if you need to request time off and are unsure which type of leave is applicable, contact the Shared Services Center at 303-871-7420.

Learn more about your rights under the FMLA and how they shape DU guidelines here.

Leave forms are accessible through MyDU on the Benefits Information page.

Access leave forms on MyDU

Employee Leave Programs

  • Faculty Paid Parental Leave

    The University of Denver provides paid parental leave to all employees in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

    The purpose of this policy is to assist and support new parents with balancing work and family matters. The University of Denver provides one academic term of paid parental leave for faculty members, which must be taken within the first year after delivery, adoption, or foster care placement, and pertain to the care and wellbeing of the newborn or adopted child. The number of children involved does not increase the length of leave granted.

    If any questions arise that are not covered by these guidelines or previous published statements interpreting our policy, the University reserves the right to make any necessary interpretation, which shall be conclusive for purposes of resolving the question.


    Eligibility

    Parental leave is available to both birth and non-birth parents. When the birth mother is taking parental leave, it will be in conjunction with the University's core short-term disability benefit, when applicable. Faculty members who have not been in a benefited faculty position at the University for at least one full academic year prior to taking parental leave must complete a full academic year of employment following the leave or reimburse the University for the salary dollars received during the leave period.


    Notification

    Whenever possible, faculty members intending to take parental leave should inform their chairs or deans no later than three months prior to the proposed beginning of the leave. If this is not possible due to pre-term delivery, sudden availability of adoption, or other unpredictable changes in family status, leave will still be granted.


    Simultaneous Leave

    If both parents are employed by the University of Denver, either may utilize the paid Parental Leave, but not both simultaneously. In accordance with the FMLA, only unpaid leave may be taken simultaneously.


    Faculty Status After Leave

    Faculty members who take parental leave will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent status, pay, benefits, and other employment terms. After taking parental leave, faculty members must return to work at the same status they held prior to going on leave, and work the following academic term. Faculty members who choose not to return to work for reasons other than an ongoing serious health condition will be required to reimburse the University the amount it paid for the employee's health insurance premium and parental leave during the leave period.


    Tenure Probationary Period

    Faculty members taking parental leave may request the addition of one year to the total number of years that otherwise would constitute that individual's tenure probationary period. Such requests shall be made in writing no later than six months after the end of the parental leave period, and must be approved by the appropriate dean and the provost. This election is irrevocable and not subject to modification.


    Effect on Sabbatical Leave

    In computing years of service for sabbatical eligibility, time spent on a faculty parental leave will constitute a term of service and will not delay sabbatical eligibility.


    How to Apply

    The Leave of Absence Communication Form must be submitted to your immediate supervisor with a copy submitted to the Shared Services Center. A doctor or health care provider must complete the Certification of Health Care Provider Form and submit a copy to the Shared Services Center.

    Confidential fax: 303-871-6339

  • Staff Paid Parental Leave

    The University of Denver provides paid parental leave to all employees in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

    The purpose of the policy is to assist and support new parents with balancing work and family matters. The University of Denver provides 10 weeks of paid parental leave for appointed staff members. (Percentage of pay depends on years of service; see the Parental Leave Pay Schedule section below.) Parental leave must be taken within the first year after delivery, adoption, or foster care placement, and pertain to the care and wellbeing of the newborn or adopted child. The number of children involved does not increase the length of leave granted.

    Appointed staff members who are FMLA eligible may take two additional weeks of leave paid from their sick and/or vacation banks (PTO where applicable).

    The University does allow for intermittent parental leave as long as the schedule is not disruptive to the business operations of the unit and has been approved by the employee's supervisor. In some departments, intermittent leave is not available due to the nature of the position.

    If any questions arise that are not covered by these guidelines or previous published statements interpreting our policy, the University reserves the right to make any necessary interpretation, which shall be conclusive for purposes of resolving the question.


    Eligibility

    Parental leave is available to both birth and non-birth parents. All appointed employees are eligible to receive up to 10 weeks of paid parental leave. (Percentage of pay depends on years of service; see the Parental Leave Pay Schedule section below.) Employees who elect to take their 12 weeks as eligible under federal law are required to use their accrued time before it becomes unpaid leave.


    Notification

    Whenever possible, staff members intending to take parental leave should inform their supervisors or department heads no later than three months prior to the proposed beginning of the leave. If this is not possible due to pre-term delivery, sudden availability of adoption, or other unpredictable changes in family status, leave will still be granted.


    Simultaneous Leave

    If both parents are employed by the University of Denver, either may utilize the paid parental leave, but not both simultaneously. In accordance with the FMLA, only unpaid leave may be taken simultaneously.


    Employee Status After Leave

    Following parental leave, employees must return to work for at least 30 calendar days. Employees who choose not to return to work for reasons other than an ongoing serious health condition will be required to reimburse the University the amount it paid for the employee's health insurance premium and parental leave during the leave period.


    How to Apply

    The Leave of Absence Communication Form must be submitted to your immediate supervisor with a copy submitted to the Shared Services Center. A doctor or health care provider must complete the Certification of Health Care Provider Form and submit a copy to the Shared Services Center.

    Confidential fax: 303-871-6339


    Parental Leave Pay Schedule

    Percentage of pay received depends on years of benefited service, and breaks down as follows for 10 weeks of paid parental leave:

    Years of Benefited Service

    Percentage Received as Parental Leave Pay

    Percentage Received as Supplemental Pay

    Less than one year

    34%

    66% sick leave, vacation leave, and/or PTO

    Between one and two years

    66%

    34% sick leave, vacation leave, and/or PTO

    More than two years

    100%

    0%

    Details on how your sick leave, vacation leave, PTO, parental leave, and short-term disability benefit work together are available in the Parental Leave Pay Schedule found under the Leave Forms section on FreshDesk.

  • Vacation Leave

    Vacation benefits accrue for appointed non-faculty employees based on duration of employment:

    • Full-time staff accrue vacation leave at the rate of 15 days per year, or 1.25 days per month, up to a maximum of 15 total vacation days.
    • Vacation leave accrual is prorated for staff employees who work less than full-time.
    • After completing seven years of benefited service at the University, the vacation leave accrual rate increases to 2 days per month, up to a maximum of 22 total vacation days.

    Vacation leave accrual stops once the maximum has been reached and resumes when the balance falls below the maximum. Accrued time will carry over from year to year until it is utilized or until separation of employment.

    Upon separation, any accrued unused vacation leave will be paid out according to University policy and included in your final paycheck.

    Vacation pay will not be counted as time worked for overtime purposes.

  • Discretionary Leave

    The University, at its sole discretion, may grant discretionary leave. In order to be considered for discretionary leave, eligible employees must comply with the FMLA leave requirements regarding coordination with other leave, notice, and, if applicable, medical certification.

    Faculty and professional staff applying for non-medical discretionary leave should submit written requests at least four months in advance. If an employee fails to comply with these requirements, the University reserves the right to deny the request for discretionary leave.

    Discretionary leave may be requested for study, research, educational travel, or other employment that would either enhance the employee's service to the University, provide a significant community service, or be mutually advantageous to the employee and University.


    Eligibility

    The following employees are eligible for discretionary leave:

    • Appointed, non-union employees
    • Tenured faculty members
    • Other professional staff with three or more years of service

    Except as otherwise required by law, the University is not required to grant discretionary leave in any particular case.


    Reinstatement

    The University reserves the right to deny reinstatement of any employee who takes discretionary leave, except as the law may otherwise require. If an employee's original position cannot be held open during a leave of absence, the University will make reasonable efforts to place the employee in a position of equivalent status and salary upon return from leave.

  • Bereavement Leave

    Leave with pay is available to all appointed exempt and non-exempt (non-faculty) staff because of death in the immediate family. Immediate family is limited to the spouse of the employee, a parent of the employee or employee's spouse, a child of the employee or employee's spouse, a sibling of the employee or employee's spouse, or a grandparent of the employee or employee's spouse. Funeral leave will be limited to three days if the burial is within Colorado, and to five days if it is outside of Colorado. Supervisors may request an obituary or other notice to substantiate the absence.

    Bereavement pay will not be counted as time worked for overtime purposes.

  • Jury Duty Leave

    Paid jury duty leave is available to all appointed employees for the duration of their jury service. When a summons for jury duty is received, it should be presented to the employee's supervisor. Employees are expected to report to work if excused from jury duty during normal work hours. Supervisors may require their employees to furnish documentation from the court clerk certifying days served. Any jury duty fees received may be retained by the employee.

    Jury duty pay will not be counted as time worked for overtime purposes.

  • FMLA Provisions for Military Families

    On January 28, 2008, new provisions of the FMLA were signed into law requiring up 26 weeks of protected leave for employees who:

    • Provide care to service members wounded in the line of duty while on active duty
    • Care for veterans undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, are in outpatient status, or are on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness
    • Are the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a wounded service member

    The new amendments also provides up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave to the spouse, child, or parent of any armed services member, including Reservists and members of the National Guard, who is called to active duty in the military.

    The statutory language grants leave for any "qualifying exigency" caused by the active duty call up.

    Employers are entitled to request that the service member provide certification of being called to active duty. Under both types of FMLA leave for military families, intermittent leave is available.

    For more information, see this Department of Labor Q&A.

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