Staff Leaves of Absence

Paid Medical Leave

Medical Leave may be used for:

  • Illness or injury of staff member, spouse, dependent children, or parents

  • Occupational injury

  • Death in immediate family

One paid day of Medical Leave is accrued for each month of employment and may be used after six months of employment. Unused days may be accumulated to a maximum of 90 work days. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 you must use accrued time.

Part-time and partial year employees accrue prorated leave according to scheduled hours.

See policy 7.15 of the SMU Policies and Procedures Manual for a complete explanation of the above benefits.

FMLA Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants eligible employees the right to take 12 work weeks of job-protected leave over a rolling 12-month period for the reasons addressed below. FMLA leave does not eliminate or reduce other University leaves; however, certain leaves must run concurrently with FMLA Leave.

Employees may be eligible for FMLA leave if they have been employed by the University for at least 12 months, (consecutive or non-consecutive,) and have worked at least 1,250 hours (actual hours worked) during the 12-month period preceding the date their leave commences.

Employees are eligible for FMLA Leave for the following reasons:

  • Serious health condition that makes an employee unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of their job, as certified by their health care provider
  • Birth of a child
  • Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care (including related court appearances, consultations with attorneys, and counseling sessions)
  • Care of a child during the first 12 months following birth or placement
  • Care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, as certified by the family member's health care provider.

 FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law, or other SMU leave policy which provides greater family or medical leave rights.

See policy 7.16 of the SMU Policies and Procedures Manual for more detailing information.

Military Caregiver Leave

Eligible employees who are family members of covered service members will be able to take up to 26 workweeks of leave in a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered service member with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty on active duty. This 26 work week entitlement is a special provision that extends FMLA job-protected leave beyond the normal 12 weeks of FMLA leave. This provision also extends FMLA protection to additional family members (i.e., next of kin) beyond those who may take FMLA leave for other qualifying reasons.

Qualifying Exigency Leave

The second new military leave entitlement helps families of members of the National Guard and Reserves manage their affairs while the member is on active duty in support of a contingency operation. This provision makes the normal 12 workweeks of FMLA job-protected leave available to eligible employees with a covered military member serving in the National Guard or Reserves to use for “any qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that a covered military member is on active duty or called to active duty status in support of a contingency operation.

 “Qualifying exigency” refers to a number of broad categories for which employees can use FMLA leave:

  • Short-notice deployment;

  • Military events and related activities;

  • Childcare and school activities;

  • Financial and legal arrangements;

  • Counseling;

  • Rest and recuperation;

  • Post-deployment activities; and

  • Additional activities not encompassed in the other categories, but agreed to by the employer and employee.