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Non-FMLA Frequently Asked Questions

Q. If I have worked at Vanderbilt for only five months, am I eligible for a FMLA leave of absence for surgery?

A. No. You will not be eligible for FMLA (Family and Medical Leave); to be eligible for FMLA, you must have worked at Vanderbilt at least twelve months and have worked at least 1250 hours in the past year. However, you may be eligible to take non-FMLA medical leave. Under our current policy, Vanderbilt allows you to take a maximum of six weeks of leave within your first 12 months for non-FMLA medical reasons. However, supervisors approval is required.

Q. I've worked here for three years, but I don't have very much vacation time. Is there any leave of absence from work available to me to hike the Appalachian Trail with my friends?

A. Yes and No. After your first twelve months of service, you may request personal leave for up to six months. Personal leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the department for educational opportunities, travel to care for a family member, or to spend time with a new baby or child placed in your home within the first twelve months (beyond the 12 weeks that is provided under the FMLA). Personal leave is not allowed for engaging in employment outside of Vanderbilt or for pursuing an independent business venture.

Q. Under what circumstances will leave not be granted?

A. A leave will not be granted in the following instances, i.e., when the staff member does not intend to return to work or when a leave is requested for non-medical reasons that the department cannot accommodate because of business operations.

Q. Will I continue to get paid for the leave that I take from Vanderbilt?

A. Yes. By policy, when you are on a leave of absence you must use all appropriate accrued time before going into an unpaid status. If you have exhausted your appropriate accrual banks before or during a leave, you would then continue the balance of your leave in an unpaid status.

Q. Can I keep my Vanderbilt insurance coverage while I am out on leave?

A. Yes. As long as you are on paid leave, your payroll deduction will continue. If you go on unpaid leave, you will need to submit payment for your monthly premiums. Contact the Benefits Office for the details.

Q. Does my department have to hold my job while I am out on a leave of absence under the FMLA?

A. Yes. The department is required to hold your job if you are on an approved Family Medical Leave of absence for a maximum of 12 weeks. If your leave extends beyond the 12 weeks, there is no requirement to hold your position when out on a personal leave or non-FMLA medical leave of absence. If you return from a personal or non-FMLA leave within 6 months, you can seek placement in a comparable position without loss of service, but there is no guarantee.

Q. Can I take "administrative" leave for personal reasons?

A. No. Administrative leave is for the following reasons: jury duty, bereavement leave, military leave, or for investigative purposes. Please refer to HR-20, the Administrative Leave Policy. If you have worked here for at least 12 months, you may request a personal leave of absence, however, this leave is discretionary and requires management approval.

Q. I have used all my twelve weeks of FMLA time, but my doctor says I still need a few more weeks to recover from a serious illness. What can I do?

A. You may request non-FMLA medical leave from your supervisor for a period not to exceed six months from the beginning of your leave. However, you should be aware that your position may not be held for the additional time beyond the twelve weeks required under the FMLA.

Q. My twelve weeks of FMLA has run out, but I still need to take at least one day off every three weeks to finish my treatment. Otherwise, I am ready to return to work. What can I do?

A. You may request non-FMLA medical leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule. Be sure to provide your supervisor with any restrictions you might have as well as your schedule for follow-up visits.

Q. What can I do if I need an extended medical leave for more than six months?

A. Six months is the maximum amount of leave time you can take in a twelve month period. You may be eligible for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits if you are ill beyond that period of time. After a total of six months of leave your employment will be terminated. Contact the Human Resources Benefits Office for information on eligibility for LTD.


You may call Employee Relations for information regarding FMLA and non-FMLA Leave