Employee Leave

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Policy No: 1001
Effective Date: 09/09/05
Revised Date: 06/02/22
Reviewed Date: 06/02/22

Employee Leave Policy


1.1 It is the intent of UNMC to grant paid or unpaid leave to regular employees under appropriate circumstances. For regular part-time employees, the rate is adjusted according to the employee's FTE.


2.1 The UNMC Leave Policy is applicable to all UNMC employees to include Office/Service, Managerial/Professional, Faculty, and Other Academic positions.

Basis of the Policy

3.1 UNMC provides for various types of paid and unpaid employee leave. UNMC leave policies are based on the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, ADA, the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994, Nebraska Revised Statutes §55-160 et seq. §81-1391, Nebraska Family Military Act of 2007, University of Nebraska Central Administration and the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (3.4.2; 3.4.3; and 3.6).

Authorities and Administration

4.1 The UNMC Human Resources’ Associate Director of Human Resources - Employee Relations is responsible for the administration, implementation, and maintenance of the Employee Leave policy at the campus level in consultation with the Assistant Vice Chancellor - Executive Director of Human Resources and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.


Recording of Leave Time

All leave must be recorded according to established payroll procedures. A record-keeping system for leave usage must be maintained by departments. Records of leave must remain in the department files for three (3) years.

Administrative Leave

It is the policy of UNMC that regular full-time and part-time employees may be granted administrative leave, with or without pay, for good and sufficient reason. Temporary employees are not eligible to receive administrative leave with pay.

Bereavement/Funeral Leave

When necessary, up to five consecutive workdays of bereavement/funeral leave may be granted in the event of a death within the employee's immediate family. Notice to the supervisor of the need to use bereavement/funeral leave must be given in advance.

Civil Leave

All regular employees may be granted paid civil leave for the purpose of providing civil service if the performance of such service is required during their normal working hours.

The specific instances for which paid civil leave will be granted include jury duty, witness duty, court appearances regarding the affairs of the state or University, emergency civilian duty in connection with national defense or natural disaster, or election board duty. Employees will retain any compensation paid to them in carrying out such civic service.

Up to two hours of paid civil leave may be granted to vote in public elections, if circumstances prevent an employee from voting at any other time.

Paid civil leave will not be granted to an employee who attends court as a party plaintiff or party defendant on a personal matter. In such instances the employee may elect to have such time charged to vacation leave or floating holiday time or may have such time treated as a leave of absence without pay.

Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-1391, an employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross may, with the authorization of his/her supervisor, be granted a leave not to exceed fifteen (15) working days in each year to participate in specialized disaster relief services in Nebraska for the American Red Cross, upon the request of the American Red Cross, without loss of pay, vacation time, sick leave or previously earned overtime accumulations.

Crisis Leave

UNMC has established a crisis leave bank. Employees may donate accumulated vacation leave of up to three (3) days for potential use in emergency situations by other UNMC employees, whose leave has been exhausted. The Assistant Vice Chancellor/Executive Director of Human Resources may identify exceptional circumstances under which greater amounts, not to exceed five (5) days per calendar year, may be donated to the crisis leave pool. In a rolling calendar year, employees may request leave equal to the amount of annual vacation leave to which they are entitled (up to 24 days of paid crisis leave) for:

  • Serious illness of the employee or the employee's spouse;
  • Serious illness of the employee's child or parent.
  • In conjunction with a Worker's Compensation claim.

Regular employees (those who have completed original probation) may be eligible to receive crisis leave when all accrued sick, vacation and floating/banked holiday time has been exhausted, as applicable to the circumstance. If an employee has exhausted their crisis leave or is a probationary employee, they may be eligible to take an advancement of leave. Up to 40 hours of sick and 40 hours of vacation may be advanced, as applicable to the circumstance.

Denials of crisis leave or limitations on the amount of crisis leave given are not grievable events.

Crisis Leave Donation Form
Crisis Leave Request Form

Family Medical & Family Military Leave - FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) entitles each eligible employee to a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons in a 12-month period. UNMC complies with this act and expands its coverage to include all regular employees with an FTE of 0.50 or greater. Other employees, including temporary employees and graduate students, are covered with at least 1,250 hours of service for the year preceding the leave.

The expressed intent of the Board of Regents is that employees have a right to family/medical leaves of absence. Timing or other considerations surrounding a family/medical leave will be the issues negotiated with the employee by the immediate supervisor, dean, director, or Human Resources-Employee Relations.


UNMC will grant up to twelve weeks of unpaid family/medical leave for any of the following reasons:

  • The employee's own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • A serious health condition of the employee's spouse, child or parent.
  • Maternal/paternal concerns related to the birth and first year care of a child or adoption of a child, or the placement of a child with the employee for foster care.
  • A death in the immediate family.
  • Qualifying Exigency Leave

Family Leave Due to a Call to Active Duty

  • This benefit provides 12 weeks of FMLA leave due to a spouse, son, daughter or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Leave may be used for any "qualifying exigency" arising out of the service member's current tour of active duty or because the service member is notified of an impending call to duty in support of a contingency operation. Qualifying exigency includes any one or more of the following non-medical, non routine activities and no others by referring to a number of broad categories for which employees could use FMLA leave:
    • Short-notice deployment activities;
    • Military events and related activities;
    • Childcare and school activities;
    • Financial and legal arrangements;
    • Counseling activities;
    • Rest and Recuperation activities;
    • Post deployment activities; and/or
    • Additional activities not encompassed in the other activities, but agreed to by the employer and employee.

Caregiver Leave for an Injured Service Member

  • This benefit provides 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period for a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative caring for a recovering service member. A recovering service member is defined as:
    • A member of the Armed Forces who suffered an injury or illness while on active-duty that may render the person unable to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank or rating; or
    • A veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces at any time during the five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes such treatment, recuperation, or therapy.

FMLA - Request for Family Medical Leave Form
FMLA - Request for Military Qualifying Exigency Leave and Medical Caregiver Leave Form
FMLA - Certification of Health Care Provider for Employees Serious Health Condition
FMLA - Certification for Health Care Provider for Family Members Serious Health Condition
FMLA - Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember for Military Family Leave
FMLA - Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave
FMLA - Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave

Nebraska Family Military Leave

The Nebraska Unicameral enacted the Nebraska Family Military Leave Act effective April 4, 2007. As such, UNMC provide unpaid leave to qualifying University employees who are spouses or parents of military service members under federal or state deployment orders.

Qualifying employees shall include any employee who:

  • Has been employed by the University of Nebraska for at least twelve months.
  • Has provided at least one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours of service during the twelve-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.
  • Is the spouse or parent of a person called to military service lasting over one hundred seventy-nine days or longer with the state or United States pursuant to the orders of the Governor or the President of the United States.

Requests for Family Military Leave (Nebraska Family Military ACT): may be made to the employee's immediate supervisor any time the deployment orders are in effect. Employees requesting five (5) or more consecutive days of Family Military Leave shall provide at least fourteen calendar day's prior notice, and where able, will consult with the supervisor to schedule leave to avoid work disruptions. For leave of less than five (5) consecutive days, employees shall give advance notice as practical. Certification/proof of the call to service, from the proper military authority, may be required.

Maximum leave allowable under the Nebraska Family Military Leave Act shall be thirty (30) working days of unpaid leave. The employee may elect to apply accrued vacation leave, compensatory time off, or floating or banked holiday during the leave period.

Employees involved in any of the University of Nebraska insured benefit programs may continue to participate in said programs and will receive continued employer contributions for the period of the leave. They are, however, responsible for their employee contributions required to maintain those benefits when on an unpaid status.

Upon expiration of the leave, the employee is entitled to be restored to the position held prior to commencement of leave or to an equivalent position.

Request for Nebraska Military Family Leave Form

Holiday Leave

UNMC provides thirteen (13) paid holidays a year to all regular employees. UNMC recognizes seven (7) traditional holidays where non-essential business operations are closed. UNMC also recognizes six (6) floating/banked holidays, during which UNMC operations are open; employees may use these days on or after the date on which they are observed, with supervisory approval.

Traditional Holidays
New Year's Day January 1
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day After Thanksgiving Friday following the Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas December 25

Holidays falling on the first day of the weekend will be observed on the day before; holidays falling on the last day of the weekend will be observed the following day.

Banked Holiday
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Floating Holidays
President's Day Third Monday in February
Arbor Day Last Friday in April
Juneteenth June 19
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veteran's Day November 11

Inclement Weather

Chancellors of the University of Nebraska have the discretion to close campuses due to local weather conditions. In the event of a closing of a University of Nebraska campus due to inclement weather, employees will receive paid leave, if they were scheduled to work during the closure.

UNMC, as a health sciences center, has a number of activities that must be kept operational regardless of the weather conditions. These include activities that directly and indirectly support patient care at the hospital and clinics, as well as many research and educational functions. This is why UNMC is the only campus in the University of Nebraska System that does not close down during semester break in late December. Because so many employees must report, regardless of the weather, the determination has been made for the entire campus to be considered open and operational, even when other University of Nebraska campuses and area businesses may be closed. All supervisors are asked to be as reasonable as conditions allow in staffing their departments during severely inclement weather. It is recognized that some employees may not be able to report or will want to leave early due to safety concerns. Employees who do not report, or leave early, with supervisor approval must use vacation, floating holiday, or leave without pay to account for any time not worked. Salaried employees who are exempt from FLSA cannot take unpaid leave in increments of less than one work day.

Employees of UNMC who are located on:

  • Other University of Nebraska campuses (i.e., Kearney), will comply with the directions of the Chancellors of those campuses regarding closings due to weather. If the individual campus is closed during inclement weather, the time reporting should be coded in a manner prescribed by payroll.
  • On locations other than University campuses (i.e., Lincoln), will comply with the directions of the Dean of those Colleges (CON) regarding closing due to weather. If the individual location is closed during inclement weather, the time reporting should be coded in a manner prescribed by payroll.

Injury Leave

If the work-related injury or illness causes an employee to remain off work, up to 40 hours will be paid as injury leave during the seven (7) calendar day waiting period, pro-rated based on the FTE. Injury leave will not be charged to sick leave or vacation; the time reporting should be coded in a manner prescribed by Payroll.

The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act is found in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§48-101 to 48-1,118. Portions of the act which are specific to state workers' compensation claims are found in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 48-192 to 48-1,109.

Leave of Absence without Pay

Due to extenuating circumstances, regular employees may be granted a leave of absence without pay for maximum of one year. A leave of absence will be granted only when it is in the best interest of UNMC. Upon return from leave the employee will be entitled to the same or comparable position with the department granting the leave.

Military Leave - USERRA

UNMC shall comply with the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) and Neb. Rev. Stat. &55-l60 et seq. concerning the treatment of University employees with military obligations.

In general, USERRA requires employers to grant leave to employees serving in the United States armed forces and the various reserve units; protects applicants and employees against discrimination on the basis of military service in the areas of hiring, job retention and advancement; provides certain rights to reemployment upon return from leave; and extends health care and retirement plan coverage during military leave.

Nebraska Statute: In accordance with State law, the University provides fifteen workdays of paid military leave per calendar year, without regard to the specific nature of the military leave (e.g. active military duty annual training, emergency assignment, assignments of an unspecified length). Military service beyond fifteen workdays will be charged against accrued vacation or taken without pay, as designated by the employee within a reasonable time of receiving notice of his or her leave.

Employee Responsibilities: Employees serving in the military are required to provide advance notice to the University concerning their military obligation when possible and must inform the University when they plan to return to work once they have been discharged from their military duties.

Annual Training Defined: Generally defined, annual training refers to that temporary duty in which military reserve personnel engage, commonly serving one weekend per month and two consecutive weeks during the year.

Emergency Duty: Leave will be granted to any employee, who is a member of the National Guard or any other reserve component, ordered to active duty under emergency conditions. Should the military pay of such person be less than his/her full University pay, the University shall pay the differential while the person is in the active emergency service of the State.

Request for Military Leave USERRA Form

Parental Leave

The Parental Leave policies are intended to establish and clarify the leaves available to University of Nebraska Medical Center staff in cases of pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption:

  • Medical Maternity Leave: UNMC staff is eligible for Leave requirements vary depending upon each employee's individual circumstances. An attending physician or other licensed health care provider will normally determine the appropriate length of leave. An eight-week total leave period for pre-partum and post-partum care and recovery during which time the employee will be excused from all duties, will be considered normal; however, more or less leave time may be taken based on individual health circumstances.
  • Parental Leave to Provide Care/Assistance to Mother and/or Child: for those employees who wish to take leave upon the birth of a child because the health of the employee's spouse or child requires the employee's presence, or because such presence would be beneficial to the employee's spouse or child, up to five days unpaid parental leave unless he has accrued sick leave or vacation leave that he/she may desire to use during parental leave.
  • Adoption Leave: UNMC staff is eligible for eight weeks unpaid adoption leave unless he/she has accrued sick leave or vacation leave that he/she may desire to use during the adoption leave. A newly adoptive parent, who is the primary caregiver, may take up to eight weeks unpaid leave upon the adoption of a child to provide care and assistance to the child. The declaration of which parent is the primary care-giver is made by the adopting parents. The non-primary care-giver of the adopted child may take up to five days unpaid parental leave, unless he/she has accrued sick leave or vacation leave that he/she may desire to use during parental leave, to provide assistance in the care of the child.
    Any parental leaves taken in accordance with the above parental leave policies are, by definition, related to qualifying events under Family/Medical Leave Act(FMLA)(see Family/Medical Leave above). Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave under the FMLA and will be considered part of the 12 week FMLA entitlement.

Sick Leave

Sick leave means the period of time during which the employee is incapacitated or unable, due to illness or injury, to perform the regularly assigned duties of his or her position. Paid sick leave means a period of time that the employee is paid his or her regular salary during a period of illness or injury. The period of time shall begin and end when medically indicated to the satisfaction of the appropriate administrative officer.

Eligible employees may choose to take any available sick leave balance for all or part of the unpaid Family/Medical Leave, if applicable, under certain circumstances. Any sick leave of 40 or more consecutive hours taken under this policy may be considered to be a qualifying event under the federal Family Medical Leave Act and the Family Medical Leave Policy approved by the Board of Regents.

Sick Leave Accruals

  1. Sick leave shall begin to accrue with the date of hire. Sick leave shall be charged against the sick leave accrued on a work-hour basis. Under appropriate circumstances, an employee shall be eligible to use sick leave as soon as it has accrued.
  2. The rate at which an employee accrues sick leave shall be computed from the service date and adjusted by breaks in service if such break in service is less than three years.
  3. Disability absences caused or contributed to by pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery there from are considered sick leave, and shall be governed by the provisions of the Parental Leave Policies.
  4. The schedule of sick leave accrual is displayed on the leave procedure page.
  5. Employees on Leave without Pay or Layoff shall not accrue sick leave during that time.

Sick Leave Use

  1. Sick leave must be requested as far in advance as possible.
  2. One hour of sick leave shall be consumed for each working hour of absence due to illness or injury.
  3. Vacation days or University holidays that may fall within the period of paid sick leave shall not be counted as days to be subtracted from sick leave.
  4. The allowance of sick leave for any purpose under this policy shall be subject to the right of the University to require satisfactory evidence of illness or injury including the certification of an attending physician in the case of the employee or a member of his or her immediate family. Sick leave allowance shall be at the discretion of the University.
  5. Employees may be advanced sick leave in an amount not to exceed a total of forty hours (40) (one work week), pro-rated for part-time employees. Employees shall reimburse the University for all used, unearned sick leave upon separation.

Advancement of Leave Request Form

Vacation Leave

  1. All regular employees of UNMC shall be granted vacation leave according to the schedule of vacation leave accrual displayed on the leave procedure page.
  2. Vacation leave accrual begins the first day of employment and ends the last day of employment.
  3. Employees accrue only when they are in a paid status.
  4. Vacation leave requests must be approved in advance by management, consistent with the business needs of UNMC.
  5. Vacation leave shall accrue on a pay period basis and an account of such leave earned and used shall be maintained and balanced annually.
  6. Effective April 1, 2007, the maximum vacation leave which may be earned and accrued by members of the Managerial-Professional staff and members of the Office and Service staff shall be two hundred eighty (280) hours; provided that any employee who has accumulated more than 280 hours of vacation leave as of said effective date shall be entitled to retain any such excess vacation leave over 280 hours for future use.
  7. The rate at which an employee accrues vacation leave shall be computed from the service date and adjusted by breaks in service if such break in service is less than three years.
  8. All regular employees who transfer to another department at UNMC shall accrue vacation based on the original hiring date at UNMC and shall have their vacation leave balance transfer to the incoming department.
  9. All regular employees who transfer from employment within any campus of the University of Nebraska shall accrue vacation leave based on the original hiring date with the campus from which they are transferring.
  10. All regular employees who transfer from employment with the State government or the State colleges shall accrue vacation leave at a rate based on the hiring date with the organization from which they are transferring.
  11. Unused vacation shall be paid out when an employee separates. Upon the death of an employee, his/her beneficiary shall be paid for any unused vacation leave of the employee.
  12. The schedule of vacation leave accrual is displayed on the leave procedure page.
  13. Employees may be advanced vacation leave in an amount not to exceed a total of forty hours (40) (one work week), pro-rated for part-time employees. Employees shall reimburse the University for all used and un-earned vacation time/leave upon separation.

Advancement of Leave Request Form

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Please see UNMC's Notice of Non-Discrimination regarding the University of Nebraska Medical Center's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Additional Information

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