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Leaves of Absence

There are four types of leave that employees may be eligible for. Click each item on the following list for more details:

  • Paid Medical Leave
  • Maternity Leave
  • Adoption Leave
  • Extended (unpaid) Leave
  • Military and Civic Leave

Visit the Other Benefits Programs and Services page of the Benefits U section of the HR website. You will find a link in the Helpful Links section.

Paid Medical Leave

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If you are ill and upon doctor’s order are required to be out of work for more than ten working days, you must apply for a Medical Leave of Absence. You can continue to receive pay by using your accrued Sick Days and/or Vacation Days. Once you have used your accrued Sick and Vacation Days, you will automatically convert to an Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence. If it is determined that you are unable to return to work after 90 days you may be eligible for Long Term Disability benefits.

You can use Medical Leave for the following:

  • Illness or injury to yourself, spouse, dependent children,
    or parents.
  • Healthcare visits for you, your, spouse, your dependent children, or parents.
  • Occupational injury.
  • Death in immediate family.


Maternity Leave

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Benefit-eligible female staff may request a paid Maternity Leave after one year of employment. Eligible employees may take six weeks of paid leave for a normal delivery and eight weeks for a caesarian delivery.

Regular pay and elected benefis will continue during the Leave, and paid medical and vacation leave will continue to accrue.

Extended (unpaid) Leave

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An unpaid Extended Leave of Absence may be granted for government service, to pursue a full-time educational objective, or for Medical Leave that extends beyond the number of sick and vacation days you have accrued. Upon return, you will resume the same position, if available, or another position at a comparable salary.

All Leaves of Absence must be approved in writing by the Department Head and the Director of Human Resources.

Military and Civic Leave

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Military Leave is available for up to two weeks each calendar year to meet military obligations. SMU will pay the difference, if any, between SMU salary and the salary paid by the military. Extended Leaves of Absence may be granted if you are required to serve on extended active duty.

Civic Leave is available for up to five paid days of leave annually for the purpose of jury duty or as a trial witness. More than five days requires the approval of a Department Head.

Adoption Leave

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The University will provide paid Adoption Leave to an eligible staff employee who adopts a child two years (24 months) of age or younger, and is the primary caretaker for the child. Primary caregivers are eligible for a total of three weeks (15 consecutive work days) of paid Leave. Regular wages and elected benefits will continue during the Leave, and paid medical leave and vacation leave will continue to accrue.