Leaves of Absence Policy

Policy Statement

Duke offers three types of leaves of absence to enable staff to temporarily leave active service for personal illnesses, the illnesses and/or care of immediate family members, educational needs, military service, family issues and/or personal matters. The purpose of paid and unpaid leaves of absence is to protect the service of staff who wish to temporarily leave active service but plan to return to Duke within the time specified by their leave of absence. Duke's leave-of-absence program is designed to allow for the continuation of applicable benefits coverage during this time.

Policy Details

Types of Leave

Duke provides three ways in which leaves of absences can be taken. They include the following:

  • Family Medical Leave – intended to complement the leave rights granted to staff by the Family Medical Leave Act and/or state laws. Family Medical Leave also includes the Duke-sponsored Paid Parental Leave that supports both male and female staff who are striving to balance the challenges of work and parenting.
    • Military Family Leave - care for servicemember who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty.
    • An eligible employee with a covered military member serving in the National Guard or Reserves manages 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 for: (1) Short-notice deployment; (2) Military events and related activities; (3) Childcare and school activities; (4) Financial and legal arrangements; (5) Counseling; (6) Rest and recuperation; (7) Post-deployment activities; and (8) Additional activities not encompassed in the other categories, but agreed to by the employer and employee.
  • Personal Leave of Absence – designed to assist staff in their educational pursuits and for the pregnancies, illnesses, and injuries of staff ineligible for family medical leave.
  • Military Leave of Absence – designed for Duke staff entering into active service with any branch of the US military.

Staff and their supervisors should thoroughly agree upon the conditions under which a leave is to be granted – with particular attention paid to the expected conditions of reemployment.

Initiation of a Leave

In advance of the leave, the terms and conditions of the absence must be agreed upon by the staff member and his or her supervisor and with a department head or entity/department Human Resources representative. To initiate any type of leave, a Leave of Absence form must be processed. To receive a copy of this form, please contact the Staff & Labor Relations office at 684-2808 (P.O. Box 3904, 1527 Duke South Clinic Building, Durham, NC 27710) or visit the Leaves of Absence website.

Vacation, Sick Leave, Holidays, and Paid Time Off (DUHS) Accrual

  • Vacation, sick leave, holidays, or Paid Time Off (DUHS) do not accrue while a staff member is on an unpaid leave of absence.
  • Vacation, sick leave, holidays, or Paid Time Off (DUHS) do accrue when a staff member is away from work on paid leave.

Continued Benefits Coverage

A staff member on a leave of absence may continue coverage under the Duke-sponsored insurance program. Questions concerning continued benefits and premium payments may be referred to the Benefits Office at 684-5600.

For more detailed information, please see Work Absences: Leaves of Absence.

Policy Number: 09.15

Policy Number: 09.15

Issued Date

July 1, 2006

Last Revised

July 1, 2013


Time Away From Duke Policy