Leaves of Absence
In the event an employee is in need of a Leave of Absence from their job for a period of time, information provided here will assist both the employee and supervisor to complete the process requesting approval in an accurate and timely manner.
Reasons for requesting a leave of absence include health/medical, maternity/parental, military, educational, workers’ compensation, or personal. Each situation is unique based on the reason for the leave request, amount of sick leave/vacation available, insurance status, potential cost to the employee for benefits, and the needs of the Department.
Information provided here will guide the employee and supervisor regarding how to apply for the leave and the paperwork involved. The Benefit Coordinator will work with the supervisor and employee to receive complete paperwork and once approval is received to process the leave paperwork, coordinate benefits, and appropriate use of accrued sick leave and vacation.
Leave of Absence Process
In an attempt to “demystify” and simplify the leave of absence process, we are providing a brief outline to help you know how to proceed in the event you are faced with the prospect of needing to request a leave or to process a requested leave.
Once it has been determined that a Leave of Absence is necessary, you need to meet with your supervisor to provide the following information: type of leave requested, expected length of time on leave, and documentation (i.e., doctor’s note for health/medical leave).
An “Employee Request for Leave of Absence” form needs to be completed and submitted to your supervisor for approval; this can be completed when you meet with your supervisor.
After the supervisor/manager approves the Request for Leave of Absence form, you should make an appointment to meet with the Benefit Coordinator (x4524) to complete the remainder of the paperwork (make sure to bring approved request form and original doctor’s note with expected date of return, if health/medical leave).
If you are no longer able to work, please call Human Resources after talking with your supervisor, and the paperwork will be completed by HR and your supervisor.
Please keep your supervisor and HR informed of any changes to your status (i.e., extension of your return date). Any time your leave needs to be extended, request approval from your supervisor and HR, AND you will need to provide HR and your supervisor with the original doctor’s note extending the return date, if you are on a health/medical leave.
When an employee informs you of their need for a leave of absence, you need to gather the following information: type of leave requested, expected length of time on leave, and documentation (i.e., doctor’s note for health/medical leave).
If the employee has not completed the “Employee Request for Leave of Absence” at this point, you need to complete the form with the employee.
If the employee is still working, give the request form to the employee after completion of the approval process. If the request was approved, have the employee meet with HR as soon as possible to complete the appropriate paperwork. If the leave was denied,, inform the employee as soon as possible.
It is your responsibility to monitor the employee’s leave, especially when it comes to the return date or an extension of the leave AND to let HR know of any changes.
If an employee informs you that their health/medical leave has been extended by the doctor, you need to contact the employee to ensure a medical certification is provided to you and the Benefit Coordinator in HR.
When the employee returns to work, please notify the Benefit Coordinator as soon as possible.
(Information listed above is intended to provide a general summary of the Leave of Absence process; each situation is unique and employees, managers, and supervisors should work with Human Resources to ensure accurate and timely processing.)
Employee Request for Leave of Absence Form
Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
The following documents provide information on FMLA/CFRA. If you have questions or you need assistance with your particular situation, please contact your Benefit Coordinator at 755-4514.
Monterey County Health Department information sheet on Family Medical Lease Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (September 2008)
Your Rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, U.S. Department of Labor (Revised 2001)
Monterey County Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 95-300, establishing a County-Wide Family and Medical Leave Policy for Use by County Employees in Compliance with State and Federal Law
Maternity Leave of Absence
The following document provides overall information regarding maternity/ pregnancy leave of absence. If you have questions or you are ready to plan or request your leave of absence, please contact your Benefit Coordinator at 755-4515.
Monterey County Health Department information sheet on Maternity Leave of Absence
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a leave of absence and other leaves (i.e., sick or vacation)?
Generally, a leave of absence is longer than a typical vacation (one to three weeks) or regular sick leave (one to three days) and may be an unplanned event.
What is FMLA?
FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons.
Do I automatically qualify for FMLA?
No. In order to be eligible for FMLA, you must have worked for Monterey County for at least one year and worked for at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.
What about my insurance?
During your FMLA leave (up to 12 weeks/480 hours), the County provides medical insurance for you only. If you have covered dependents, you will be responsible for that portion.
If I qualify for FMLA, am I eligible for any medical reason?
No. The County must grant FMLA for any of the following reasons:
Care for the employee’s child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care;
Care for employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
Serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform the their job.
Routine medical procedures or running out of the leave do not qualify you for FMLA.
If I do not quality for FMLA, can I still take unpaid leave?
It depends. Your leave request needs approval by your immediate supervisor, the division manager, and the Director of Health prior to taking unpaid leave. It does not matter whether the leave is for one week or one day, you still need all three to approve the leave request.
How much notice do I need to give?
As soon as you know or suspect that you will need to request a leave, let your supervisor know. When the information is confirmed, fill out your leave request and submit it to your supervisor for the approval process. Inform HR as soon as possible so the appropriate paperwork can be completed in a timely manner.
Why is the doctor’s note so important?
For health/medical leave, the doctor’s note provides the date for the leave to begin, can qualify you for FMLA, and tells the department when it is okay for you to return. If for some reason your leave needs to be extended, the doctor’s note may provide authorization and will provide a new return date. Every time you have a doctor’s note, you need to provide the original to HR and a copy to your supervisor.