Leaves of Absence


When you need to spend more than three consecutive days away from work, it's considered a leave of absence, unless it is planned vacation. Review this information to learn more about actions you should take before, during, and after your leave of absence.

How and when to request a leave of absence

Submit a leave request via HR Umbrella. You will need to be logged in to the UCSF Pulse Secure VPN to do so. If you cannot access HR Umbrella, let your manager know. Your manager can submit a leave request on your behalf.

Request a leave of absence 30 days in advance of the proposed effective date. If this is an unplanned leave, immediately inform your manager of your need for a leave of absence, submit a written request for leave and provide the required documentation and/or certification to support your request for a leave of absence. 

General leave of absence information

A leave of absence (LOA) is a period of time when you may be away from your primary job, while maintaining your status of employment. A LOA is defined as an approved absence from work for a specified period of time for medical (including pregnancy), parental (bonding), family care, military or personal reasons. 

Below are types of leave of absences that may be taken in addition to having a formal LOA request on file in HR Umbrella.  If you have any additional questions about your specific leave need, Health employees should contact 415-353-4545, Ask A Question through PeopleConnect or email [email protected]. Campus employees may reach out to the leave specialist.

Types of leaves

Leave taken before or after birth during any period of time an employee is physically unable to work because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition

You may not need to use the leave in one continuous block of time. However, when it is medically necessary, you may take the leave intermittently or on a reduced-schedule basis.

More on pregnancy disability leave

If you meet these eligibility requirements, you may take Family and Medical Leave for any of the following reasons:

• To care for a family member (spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or designated person) who has a serious health condition;

• To bond with your newborn, adopted child or foster child, or to take care of responsibilities related to the birth, adoption or placement of your new child (FML taken as Parental Bonding Leave);

• To address “qualifying exigencies” such as legal, financial or other matters that result from the active duty (or the call to active duty) of your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or parent-in-law who is a military member (FML taken as Qualifying Exigency Leave);

• To care for a family member—spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin—who is a covered service member with a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of active duty (FML taken as Military Caregiver Leave). 

You may not need to use the leave in one continuous block of time. However, when it is medically necessary, you may take the leave intermittently or on a reduced-schedule basis.

More on family care and/or parental bonding leave

Leave taken because of a serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job for a specified continuous period of time or an intermittent period of time

You may not need to use the leave in one continuous block of time. However, when it is medically necessary, you may take the leave intermittently or on a reduced-schedule basis.

More on medical leaves

Leave taken for an injury, illness or exposure arising out of the course and scope of employment

More on workers' compensation

Leave of absence for any regular, full-time staff member who is called to serve on active military duty

More on military leaves

Leave for qualifying exigencies that arise when the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty. Qualifying exigencies include making alternative child care arrangements for a child of the deployed military member, attending certain military ceremonies and briefings, and making financial or legal arrangements to address the military member’s absence.

More on qualifying exigency leave

Leave allowing an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or “next of kin” of a covered veteran with a serious injury or illness to take up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period to provide care for the veteran.

More on military caregiver leave

A personal leave of absence is unpaid and is at the discretion of your manager to approve or deny.  In addition, there will be an impact to your benefits as a personal leave is not a protected leave of absence.  Therefore, please be sure to read the Leave without Pay fact sheet linked below.

View Leave without Pay fact sheet

Bereavement, jury duty, professional development, reproductive loss, voting and others

More on other leave types



Returning to work

You are returning to work after an approved leave. The goal of the return-to-work (RTW) process is to help you smoothly return from full or partial leave, with or without accommodations.

Prior to your return

  • Two weeks before returning to work, provide your supervisor and HR Generalist with the return-to-work certification (approved Family and Medical Leave) or a return-to-work doctor’s note.
    • If you are returning to work with medical restrictions, please provide documentation to your supervisor and HR Generalist, from your health care provider that clearly outlines the work restrictions and the duration of the restrictions.

Upon your return:

  1. Review your history timesheets to ensure they are accurate. 
    • Once you have returned to work, if you need to alter HBS timesheets, complete the HBS Timesheet Change Request form and forward to your supervisor.
  2. Complete the Health and Welfare Plan Benefit Change Form (UPAY 850) sent from your HR generalist in order to re-enroll in benefits. Send your completed form back to Payroll via email at [email protected].


  • If your return-to -rk date changes, communicate the updated date to your supervisor and HR Generalist.
  • Providing information regarding any restrictions prior to your return will help your department and HR work with you to assess any reasonable accommodations and/or modified duty assignments that may be available.
  • If medical documentation is required for the return process, you must provide this documentation on or before the date you return to work.