Unpaid Leave - Options for Time Off without Pay

Unpaid Leave


UVA offers generous paid leave benefits. However, in situations when a faculty, staff or team members requires time off beyond his/her available paid leave, Leave Without Pay (LWOP) policies differ by employee type and supervisor approval.

Approved Situations to Take Leave Without Pay

Specific situations warrant the use of LWOP. The following is a list of unpaid leave categories by employee type.  

  • Classified Staff

    • Extended Disability Leave
    • Educational Leave
    • FMLA (Family & Medical Leave Act)
    • Military Training or Active Duty Leave
    • Temporary Non-State Employment
  • University Staff

    • Extended Disability Leave
    • Educational Leave
    • FMLA (Family & Medical Leave Act)
    • Military Training or Active Duty Leave
    • Temporary Non-State Employment
  • Faculty

    • Educational Leave
    • Family Leave
    • FMLA (Family & Medical Leave Act)
    • Military Training or Active Duty Leave
    • Conversion Leave
    • Personal Leave
  • Medical Center Team Members

    • FMLA, Medical Leave, Personal Leave, Educational Leave if PTO or other paid leave is exhausted.
    • Military Leave
    • Administrative Leave- determined by supervisor or Human Resources
    • Other circumstances, see below

    With Manager approval, non-exempt employees may take leave without pay in lieu of using PTO if asked to reduce regular work hours due to low patient volumes. To be eligible to take leave without pay in this situation, the employee’s PTO balance must be less than 312 hours. Exempt employees will not be placed on LWOP for a partial day absence and must exhaust their available PTO balance prior to being placed on LWOP for a full day absence.

    Unless approved for Leave Without Pay (LWOP), non-exempt employees who work less than their assigned hours during a pay period are responsible for entering Paid Time Off into the time and attendance reporting system to bring the their paid hours up to the budgeted full-time or flex status equivalent for that pay period. For example, if an employee is .8 flex and works less than 64 hours during a pay period, Paid Time Off must be manually entered by the employee to bring the total hours up to the base agreement of 64 hours.

    If an employee does not enter PTO as required above, managers, or their designee, will enter PTO to bring the employee’s paid hours up to the budgeted full-time or flex status equivalent for that pay period.

     

     

  • University Physicians Group

    • When all available Paid Time Off has been exhausted in the event of extenuating circumstances, subject to appropriate approval
    • During an approved Short Term Disability Event
    • During an approved Family Medical Leave Act event
    • Fitness for Duty Leave

    See the UPG Paid Time Off Policy for details.

Types of Leave Without Pay

Understand the two types of LWOP - Conditional and Unconditional

  • Classified and University staff

    There are two types of LWOP:

    Conditional Leave Without Pay is approved absence from work without pay that guarantees reinstatement (i.e., only if your position is available when you wish to return). If the position is not available, you may be employed again only after going through normal recruitment and selection.

    Unconditional Leave Without Pay is approved absence from work without pay that guarantees reinstatement to the position you held previously.

    Both types of leave are limited to a period of 12 consecutive months, but may be extended in specific situations.

  • Faculty

    Recognizing the need for faculty members (academic, administrative, and professional) to be free to pursue research and scholarship and to fulfill family, personal, or other obligations, the University allows both unpaid and partial paid leave, (depending on circumstances). With the exception of leave taken under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, faculty members must submit a request to their supervisor and obtain required approvals. A leave request will be considered case-by-case, and based on the needs of the department or unit. A leave of absence, whether full or partial, will not be granted for longer than two consecutive years, (except for exceptional circumstances).

    Leave Without Pay is approved, unpaid absence from UVA of up to two consecutive years; availability of benefits depends on the type of leave.

    Leave With Partial Pay is an approved, temporary reduction of a faculty member’s workload - accompanied by a commensurate reduction in salary (for example, a faculty member who is approved for half-time leave retains approximately half of his/her regular responsibilities for a specified period of time, during which he/she receives 50% of his/her salary). A faculty member on leave with partial pay usually retains full-time benefits, including health insurance, (although the employer’s retirement contribution during leave will vary depending on the type of leave). For most types of leave with partial pay, the reduced salary must be sufficient to allow for payroll deductions (ex.: healthcare) of the employee’s share of the health insurance premium.

UNPAID LEAVE OPTIONS

The sections below explain the Unpaid Leave options. For unpaid leave options not explained below, please contact the HR Solution Center at 434.243.3344, or by email at AskHR@virginia.edu.

Conversion Leave

  • Faculty

    Faculty members who are converting from a 12-month to a 9-month appointment may be placed on leave without pay if their conversion date does not coincide with the start of the 9-month appointment cycle in August. Because faculty members with a 9-month appointment pay annual benefit premiums in 9 installments, rather than 12, faculty members on conversion leave will be billed for their share of any benefit premiums not deducted from their salary prior to the start of conversion leave. Faculty members who have elected to purchase additional life insurance coverage through the University will also be billed for these premiums.

Education

Unpaid Leave Options for Continuing Education

  • Classified Staff and University Staff

    You may be permitted to take unpaid leave for educational purposes that requires a longer period of absence than the paid leave policy.

    Approved leave without pay is usually limited to a period of 12 consecutive months. It may be extended up to an additional 12 consecutive months - with approval of the University VP, Chief Human Resources Officer for University Staff, and State Director of the Department of Human Resource Management for Classified Staff.

  • Faculty

    Educational leave offers faculty the opportunity to pursue new knowledge, techniques, and experiences upon supervisor, dean, or vice president approval. Educational leave may be approved as leave without pay - or partial pay - for up to two years.

Medical Leave

Unpaid Leave Options for illness

  • Classified Staff, University Staff, and Faculty

    Classifed, University Staff and Faculty members covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and entitled to unpaid leave, for the following circumstances:

    • Birth of a child
    • Addition to the family through adoption or foster care
    • Care for a family member (child, spouse, or parent) with a serious health condition
    • A serious health condition that makes you unable to do your job

    See additional information regarding FMLA eligibility and how to apply. 

    Classified or University Staff experiencing an extended disability may be approved for up to an additional 12 consecutive months of unpaid leave. 

    Other circumstances may apply for Leave Without Pay (LWOP) due to illness in the event staff are not eligible for FMLA. 

     

    FMLA
  • Medical Center Team Members

    Medical Center Team members may be eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is an unpaid leave.

    Team Members may choose to use their PTO if they are approved for Short Term Disability. For FMLA without STD Medical Center Team members must use their PTO prior to taking an unpaid leave 

    Medical Leave of Absence: The Medical Center may grant a medical leave of absence for personal illness or disability. This policy applies to team members who are not eligible for leave under the FMLA, or who have exhausted their rights under FMLA.

    This leave is unpaid if PTO has been exhausted or Short Term Disability has not been approved. 

    Contact UNUM to apply for Medical Leave. 866-269-0979

    Personal Leave of Absence: An unpaid leave of absence available, with approval of the team member's supervisor, to care for an ill or disabled family member for team members are not eligible for FMLA. 

    This leave is unpaid if PTO has been exhausted or Short Term Disability has not been approved. 

    Complete the Personal Leave Request form and provide it to your supervisor. Your supervisor will send the completed form to leave@virginia.edu for formal notification. 

  • Faculty

    In addition to leave covered by the FMLA, faculty members may be eligible for general Family Leave or additional Parental Leave.

    Family Leave: A faculty member who is tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track with an appointment of one year or more, may request leave (with partial pay or without pay) for up to one year if unable to carry out assigned duties. Family leave may be approved to care for a child, spouse, or other disabled or elderly adult.

    Additional Parental Leave: A faculty member who is tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track with an appointment of one year or more may request an additional 9 weeks of unpaid parental leave - in addition to paid leave. Parental leave must be completed within 12 months of the date of the birth or placement of the child.

  • University Physicians Group

    UPG employees on FMLA are required to use accrued PTO to cover the absence. When PTO is exhausted, an employee on approved FMLA will be placed on leave without pay. When the absence is an approved short-term disability, STD benefits provide 70%  income replacement. 

    For more details, see:

Military Duty

Unpaid Leave Options for Military Training or Active Duty

  • Classified Staff and University Staff

    See Policy 4.50 for details of pay while on leave.

    Military Leave provides up to 120 hours (15 days) of paid leave for active duty or military training. Service beyond 15 days requires Leave Without Pay.

    Active military who require Leave Without Pay and would like to request supplemental pay should provide their department with a Military Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) as soon as possible.

    Leave without pay for military reasons is usually limited to a period of 12 consecutive months. It may be extended up to an additional 48 consecutive months - if you receive a normal discharge, and up to 48 months if you are hospitalized.

    To apply for Military Leave, notify your supervisor of your leave dates and contact UNUM at 866-269-0979. 

    DHRM Policy 4.50 Military Leave
  • Faculty

    Faculty called to military duty will be placed on leave without pay by the department. If the faculty member is a 12-month employee he/she may take available annual leave before being moved to a non-pay status of unpaid leave.

  • University Physicians Group

    UPG will comply with the requirements of USERRA. In the event that you need to be away from work for active military duty, please contact Human Resources.

  • Medical Center Team Members

    Pay During Leave


    Regular full-time, part-time and flex staff employees will be granted up to fifteen (15) workdays (120 hours) of Military Leave with pay in a federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) while engaged in active military duty or state or federally funded military training. In addition, the employee will be paid up to eight (8) hours for pre-induction and other physical examinations required for military service. Employees may elect to use all or part of their available Paid Time Off (PTO) leave balance or be placed on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) for the portion of any Military Leave in excess of fifteen (15) workdays.


    Employees who have completed their probationary period and are called to active duty military service in the Armed Forces of the United States and on Military LWOP are eligible to receive Active Military Supplement pay if their gross military salary plus allowances is less than their Medical Center base salary. The employee will receive payment of the difference.

    Medical Center Policy 600 Leaves of Absence

Personal Leave

  • Faculty

    A faculty member who is tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track with an appointment of one year or more, may request leave for personal reasons other than those already specified. Personal leave may be granted (with partial pay or without pay) for up to 2 years.

    Faculty Leave Policies
  • Medical Center Team Members

    Personal Leave for Medical Center Team members can be granted with approval of the supervisor for a variety of reasons. 

    Requests for leave will be evaluated based on a number of factors, including anticipated workload requirements and staffing considerations during the proposed period of absence.

    In order to apply for Personal Leave, team members should submit the Personal Leave Request Form to their supervisor as soon as eligible employees become aware of the need for Personal or Educational Leave.

    Personal Leave is an unpaid leave; however, per PTO Policy 315 team member must exhaust their own PTO before becoming eligible for Leave Without Pay. 

    Medical Center Leave Policy 600

Temporary Leave

Unpaid Leave Options for Non-State Employment

  • Classified & University Staff, Faculty

    Requested non-state employment of vital importance to the State and/or national welfare, of up to 12 months, requires approval of the University VP, Chief Human Resources Officer for University Staff, and State Director of the Department of Human Resource Management.