Staff employees who have completed one year of benefits eligible service prior to the date of the requested personal leave are eligible. In the event of a discrepancy between these policies and procedures and a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern. Excluded are faculty, employees of USC Norris Cancer Hospital and USC University Hospital, and those claiming student status (including teaching and research assistants).
A staff employee, with the approval of his or her department head, may take an unpaid personal leave of absence, which may not exceed four months.
Requests for personal leave must be submitted in writing to the staff employee’s department head, in accordance with departmental request procedures, at least 30 days prior to the time requested. A department head may deny a request for leave based on business necessity. Failure to receive approval prior to taking time off and/or failure to return to work at the end of an approved personal leave may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination.
A staff employee may be required to use vacation accruals, with the remainder of the time taken as leave without pay.
In situations where personal leave is being coordinated with Family Care Medical Leave or Pregnancy-Related Medical Leave, supervisors should contact Human Resources Administration to review appropriate calculations and provisions that may require the department to reinstate the staff employee into his or her position.
Vacation time and sick leave are not accrued during an unpaid personal leave after the leave extends beyond 30 days. Staff employees are not eligible for holiday pay for university holidays falling within the leave period.
A staff employee on personal leave extending beyond 30 days may continue benefits coverage, but must pay the full cost of the premiums.
If a staff employee is able to return to work within four months, the department should make every effort to reinstate that staff employee in the position he or she occupied prior to the leave, but has no obligation to do so if business necessity requires the position to be filled or the position ceases to exist (e.g., the position was eliminated in a layoff).
Human Resources Administration
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California