Leave of Absence - Managers



My employee has requested a leave of absence, where do I start?

Communication is a key factor when an employee has requested a leave. Below are helpful links regarding employee leaves at Sam Houston State University. If there are any questions regarding the eligibility of an employee's leave or the leave process, please contact the Human Resources Specialist over Employee Leaves at 936-294-1872.




Vacation Leave

Sick Leave

Leave Without Pay

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Sick Leave Pool

Other Types of Leaves

FAQ’s about Leaves


Top questions regarding leaves:

What paperwork is required for a leave?

What are my responsibilities for an employee’s leave of absence?

Can I hire someone else while my employee is on a leave?

What happens if my employee uses all of their leave time?

Can my employee take a leave if they do not have any leave accruals?



Vacation Leave

  • Staff employees and faculty with twelve month appointments (such as deans, chairs, or directors of academic departments) shall be entitled to a vacation in each fiscal year without deduction in salary. Part-time eligible employees will accrue vacation leave on a proportionate basis and the maximum carryover will also be proportionate. Such entitlement shall be earned in accordance with the following schedule based on full-time employment:

Employee with Total State Employment of:

Hours Accrued Monthly

Maximum Hours Carried to Next Fiscal Year

0 but less than 2 years

8 (12.0 days/yr)


2 but less than 5 years

9 (13.5 days/yr)


5 but less than 10 years

10 (15.0 days/yr)


10 but less than 15 years

11 (16.5 days/yr)


15 but less than 20 years

13 (19.5 days/yr)


20 but less than 25 years

15 (22.5 days/yr)


25 but less than 30 years

17 (25.5 days/yr)


30 but less than 35 years

19 (28.5 days/yr)


35 years or more

21 (31.5 days/yr)


  • An employee will earn vacation entitlement beginning on the first day of employment with the state and terminating on the last day of duty based upon the chart above. The net balance of unused leave, not to exceed the maximum cited above, shall be carried forward each fiscal year. All hours of unused accumulated vacation, which exceeds the maximum carryover, may be credited to the employee's sick leave balance as of the first day of the next fiscal year.
  • Credit for one month's accrual will be given for each month or fraction of a month of employment and on the first of each succeeding month thereafter, provided that an employee who is in a leave status on the first day of the month shall not be eligible to use leave accrued for such month until the employee returns to duty. Credit for the higher rate of accrual shall be given on the first calendar day of the month, if the employee's anniversary date falls on the first calendar day of the month; otherwise, the increase will occur on the first calendar day of the following month. If an employee begins working in an eligible status on the first workday of the month, the employee is deemed to have begun working on the first calendar day of the month for the purpose of this subsection.
  • Vacation with pay may not be taken until the employee has been continuously employed with the state for six months, although credit will be accrued during that period. Continuous employment means that no leave without pay (i.e., for a full calendar month which does not count as state service credit) has been taken. The six-month eligibility requirement means that once an employee has completed six (6) months or more of continuous state employment and then leaves state employment, that person is eligible to take vacation leave as it is earned upon reemployment, or be paid for it on termination following such re-employment.
  • Employees are encouraged to take vacation in the fiscal year in which the entitlement is earned. Vacation leave should be scheduled in advance by the employee at a mutually agreeable time to both the employee and supervisor.
  • In computing vacation time taken, time during which an employee is excused from work because of holidays shall not be charged against the employee’s vacation.
  • Vacation accruals will be used for absences due to illness after all accumulated sick leave and compensatory time has been exhausted.
  • If, as a condition of employment, an employee accepts or transfers to a position not eligible for vacation accrual, any current vacation balance will be paid upon transition. The rate used in calculating the amount to be paid will be that which the employee earned at termination of the accruing position. Employees are not eligible to use accrued vacation time while in a position not eligible for vacation accrual.
  • An employee who resigns, is dismissed, or separated from employment (including death) shall be entitled to be paid for all their unused balance of vacation within thirty (30) days, provided the employee has had continuous employment with the state of Texas for six (6) months; and is not directly transferring to another Texas state agency into a position which accrues vacation time.
  • Employees who retire on or after June 1, 2005, and return to work on or after September 1, 2005, will have vacation accruals based upon state service since their rehire date. However, return to work retirees are not required to re-establish the six (6) months continuous service requirement in order to take vacation with pay.

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Sick Leave

  • Regular benefits eligible non-student employees will earn sick leave entitlement beginning on the first day of employment and terminating on the last day of duty. Credit for one (1) month’s accrual will be given for each month or fraction of a month of employment and will be posted to each employee’s leave record on the first day of employment and on the first day of each succeeding month of employment thereafter. An employee who is on leave on the first day of a month may not use the sick leave that the employee accrues for that month until after they return to duty. An employee must be in a status of pay each month to be eligible to accrue.
  • Sick leave entitlement shall be earned at the rate of eight (8) hours for each month or fraction of a month employment, and shall accumulate with the unused amount of such leave carried forward each month. Part-time regular employees accrue proportionate to their appointment. Sick leave accrual shall terminate on the last day of duty.
  • Sick leave with pay may be taken when sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement prevent the employee’s performance of duty or when the employee is needed to care for a member of their immediate family who is actually ill.

    • For purposes relating to regular sick leave, immediate family is defined as those individuals who reside in the same household and are related by kinship, adoption, or marriage, as well as foster children certified by the State.
    • Minor children of the employee, whether or not living in the same household, will be considered immediate family for purposes of regular sick leave.
    • An employee’s use of sick leave for family members not residing in that employee’s household is strictly limited to the time necessary to provide care to a spouse, child, or parent of the employee who needs such care as a direct result of a documented medical condition. This provision does not extend to an employee’s parent-in-law if they do not live in the same household.
    • If an employee is on vacation and would otherwise be entitled to sick leave then the fact that such sick leave is requested while on vacation does not affect the employee’s entitlement to sick leave.
  • An employee who must be absent from duty because of illness shall notify their supervisor or cause them to be notified of that fact as soon as possible. To be eligible for accumulated sick leave with pay during a continuous period of more than three (3) working days (includes absences for part of a scheduled work day), an employee absent due to illness shall send to the supervisor a doctor’s certificate showing the cause or nature of the illness, or some other written statement of the facts concerning the illness which is acceptable to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Risk Management. The administrative head has the discretion to require documentation concerning illnesses resulting in absences of three (3) working days or less. Also, a physician’s statement may be required when the nature of the illness has been such that the safety, health, or fitness of the employee to do their work may need assurance or clarification from a physician. Abuses of sick leave privileges shall constitute grounds for dismissal from employment by the University.
  • Upon return to duty after sick leave the employee concerned shall, without delay, report on the bimonthly “Leave Report” or “Personnel Time Report” any such leave taken. The “Leave Report” or “Personnel Time Report” shall be approved by the departmental supervisor and sent to the Payroll Office. The method for keeping current sick leave records between payroll reporting periods shall be prescribed by the departmental supervisor. Faculty members must submit a Leave report for all sick leave even though no classes were missed if the absence occurred during the normal workday.
  • An employee who transfers directly from one state agency to another, shall be given credit by the receiving agency for the unused balance of sick leave, provided employment with the state is uninterrupted.
  • The estate of an employee, when the employee dies while employed, is entitled to payment for one-half of the employee’s accumulated sick leave or for 336 hours of sick leave, whichever is less, provided that the employee had continuous employment with the state for at least six (6) months at the time of death.
  • Accumulated sick leave shall not constitute claim for reimbursement when an employee leaves the employment of the University. However, an employee separated from employment with the state under a formal reduction-in-force shall have their sick leave balance restored if re-employed by the state within twelve (12) months of termination; an employee separated for other reasons shall also have their sick leave balance restored if re-employed by the state within twelve (12) months of termination, and provided there has been a break in service of at least thirty (30) calendar days since termination if re-employed by the same state agency. Employees that become ineligible to accrue sick leave, as a result of a reduction in their employment to less than half-time or by changing to a student job status, will have their accrued balance frozen, but are eligible to transfer the time (if not earned in a state multiple employment status) when directly transferring to another state agency in an eligible accrual capacity; can have the accrued balance reinstated if after terminating by satisfying the re-employment period reinstatement requirements as described in the above paragraph; or can use the accrued balance upon returning to a non-student regular benefits eligible position.
  • For employees returning to work as a retiree, there must be an official separation (termination) of employment to effect retirement status. In addition, there must be a thirty (30) calendar day break to have their sick leave balance restored when re-employed by the same state agency.
  • Sam Houston State University does not grant extended sick leave.

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Leave Without Pay

  • Agencies may grant employees leave without pay or leave of absence without pay subject to the following provisions:

    • Except for disciplinary suspensions, military situations, Workers’ Compensation, and Federal Family and Medical Leave Act leave as provided in Section 15 above, all accumulated paid leave entitlements must be exhausted before granting such leaves, with the additional provisions that sick leave must be exhausted only in those cases where the employee is eligible to take sick leave, as provided in Section 2 and 5 above. Such leaves will be limited in duration to twelve (12) months.
    • Subject to fiscal constraints, approval of such leaves constitutes a guarantee of employment for a specified period of time.
    • The President may grant exceptions to these limitations for such reasons as interagency agreements or educational purposes.
    • Except in the case of an employee returning to state employment from military leave, any full calendar month (i.e., from the first day of a month through the last day of a month, inclusive) in which an employee is on leave without pay, shall not be counted in the calculation of total state service for purposes of longevity pay or vacation leave entitlements. No employee shall accrue vacation or sick leave for such month or the state insurance fringe benefit. Furthermore, any such full calendar month of leave without pay shall not constitute a break in continuity of employment but shall not be included in the calculation of the six (6) continuous months of state employment set forth in other sections of this policy.

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Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Act (FMLA)  allows qualified employees to have up to 12 weeks of leave per year.  The law allows eligible employees to take job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child, for the care of a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition, for the employee’s own serious health condition, or for the care of a covered military service member.

  • Responsibilities Under FMLA
    • Employees should communicate to their supervisor at the earliest practical time details of their absence or anticipated absence(s) including dates with appropriate documentation.
    • For illness and/or disability a doctor’s certification may be needed to certify fitness to work and/or certify the period of absences.
    • Leaving one’s job without proper notification to the employee’s supervisor or designee can constitute job abandonment which is justification for termination. Bona fide emergencies will be taken into consideration.
    • The employee is responsible for completing the application for leave form, providing supporting documentation, and following up on approvals.
    • Departments are responsible for notifying Human Resources and Payroll regarding employee leaves, especially when it is anticipated the employee will not have enough paid leave and must coordinate out-of-pocket payments to continue insurance benefits. The department is responsible for processing the necessary documents (payroll action form, application for leave form, etc.) to process the requested leave in a timely manner.
  • FMLA Eligibility & Requirements
    • State employees who have a total of at least twelve (12) months of state service credit and who have actually worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave, are hereby entitled to FMLA provided that the employee utilizes all available applicable paid vacation and sick leave while taking leave pursuant to this provision.
  • Employee Leaves Policy ( B-1)
  • Leave Request/Approval Form
  • Certification Forms
    • Medical Certification Form – Employee (WH-380-E)
    • Medical Certification Form – Family (WH-380-F)
    • Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave (WH-384)
    • Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service Member for Military Family Leave (WH-385)
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    Sick Leave Pool

    • Sick Leave Pool Application & Approval Form
    • Medical Certification Form – Employee (WH-380-E)
    • Employee Leaves Policy (B-1)
      • Employees who have at least twelve (12) continuous months of regular staff or faculty employment with SHSU immediately preceding their eligible condition, may request pool leave for their own catastrophic illness or injury or for one in their immediate family. A catastrophic injury or illness, as defined for eligibility to sick leave pool benefits, is any injury or illness, excluding routine pregnancy, which has caused an absence of thirty (30) working days (sequential or otherwise) within the immediate preceding six (6) calendar months. Employees may also use sick leave pool if they contributed sick leave to the pool and subsequently exhaust their sick leave balance.  Such employees may receive only the number of hours they have contributed to the pool unless they suffer a catastrophic illness or injury. Employees must exhaust all earned leave with pay entitlements before they may use leave from the pool. Employees on sick leave pool for a full calendar month accrue paid leave for that month, provided they return to work following the leave.  Employees with catastrophic illnesses or injuries are not required to contribute to the pool before they can use pool leave. Also, employees who use pool leave are not required to pay back pool leave.
      • Contributions to the pool are strictly voluntary. To contribute time to the pool, an employee must complete a “Sick Leave Pool Donation Form”. Employees who contribute leave to the pool cannot get it back unless they are eligible to use it in accordance with this policy. Employees may contribute an unlimited number of their accrued days. Contributions should be in full day increments.
      • Requests for pool leave will be in writing along with a completed “Sick Leave Pool Application & Approval Form” and documentation from the treating physician and forwarded to the Pool Administrator through appropriate supervisory channels. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Risk Management serves as the University's Pool Administrator. Requests will be considered by the Pool Administrator on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Pool Administrator will have up to ten (10) working days from the date they receive a request in which to approve all or part of the request, or deny the request. The amount of pool leave granted for each catastrophic illness or injury will be determined by the Pool Administrator. The amount cannot exceed one-third of the balance of hours in the pool, or ninety (90) working days, whichever is less. Any unused balance of pool leave granted to an employee returns to the pool. The estate of a deceased employee is not entitled to payment for unused pool leave.
      • Illnesses of the same type or that may routinely re-occur, such as cancer, will have a lifetime maximum of ninety (90) days.
      • The employee should advise in the sick leave pool request if they are receiving subrogation benefits, i.e., by legal right collecting pay, reimbursement for loss of work time, or damages from a third party as a result of the catastrophic illness or injury.
    • Sick Leave Donation Form

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    Other Types of Leaves

    • Administrative Leave for Outstanding Performance
      • In addition to employee leave authorized elsewhere in this policy, administrative leave with pay maybe granted by the President as a reward for outstanding performance provided the exceptionally superior performance is properly documented. In no event shall the aggregate amount of administrative leave granted exceed thirty-two (32) hours in any fiscal year.
    • Bereavement Leave
      • The death of a member of the employee’s immediate family shall constitute adequate need for bereavement leave. Employees who experience a death in their immediate family may receive, if needed, up to five (5) days bereavement leave. Immediate familymembers are defined as:
        • Employee’s spouse
        • Employee’s parents, step-parents, children, step-children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and grandchildren
        • Spouse’s parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren
      • An employee who must be away from the job due to a death of a member of his/her immediate family shall notify the supervisor on or before the first day of such absence.
      • Request for approval of bereavement leave must be submitted to the supervisor on or before the first day the employee returns to work. The request for leave must show the name, relationship and date of death of the employee’s immediate family member.
      • Leave for the death of anyone other than members of the employee’s immediate family (as defined above) shall be charged to vacation, compensatory time, or leave without pay.
    • Donation of Blood
      • A state employee shall be allowed sufficient time off, without a deduction in salary or accrued leave, to donate blood. An employee may not receive time off under this section unless the employee obtains approval from his or her supervisor before taking time off. On returning to work after taking time off under this section, an employee shall provide his or her supervisor with proof that the employee donated blood during the time off. If an employee fails to provide proof that the employee donated blood during the time off, Sam Houston State University shall deduct the period for which the employee was granted time off from the employee’s salary or accrued leave, whichever the employee chooses. An employee may receive time off under this section not more than four times in a fiscal year.
    • Certified Red Cross Activities Leave
      • An employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross, or who is in training to become such a volunteer, may be granted leave of up to ten (10) days each year to participate in specialized disaster relief services. The employee must have supervisory authorization in addition to a request from the American Red Cross and the approval of the Governor’s Office. If the above conditions are met, the employee will not lose pay, vacation time, sick leave or earned overtime, and/or compensatory time during such leave. The pool of certified disaster volunteers must not exceed 350 participants at any one time.
    • Emergency Leave
      • The President of Sam Houston State University may grant leave with pay to an employee for good cause, subject to the recommendation of the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Risk Management and/or the Divisional Vice President.
    • Foster Parent Leave
      • An employee who is a foster parent to a child under the protection of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (DPRS) is entitled to a leave of absence with full pay for the purpose of attending staffing meetings held by the DPRS regarding the employee’s foster child. In addition, the employee may attend, with a paid leave of absence, the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meeting held by a school district regarding his or her foster child.
    • Jury Service and Appearance in Official Capacity or as a Witness
      • An employee is entitled to serve on a jury during regular work hours without any deduction from wages, including a deduction for any fee or compensation the employee receives for the jury service. The employee must be responding to a jury duty summons, serving on a jury, or appearing in an official capacity for the state. Appearances in another capacity or any time required for jury service outside the employee’s regular work schedule is on the employee’s own time.
      • An employee called to appear in an official capacity in any judicial action or legislative investigation is not entitled to any witness fees for such a governmental appearance. However, if the appearance is not in an official capacity but is for the purpose of testifying from personal knowledge, an employee may accept any customary witness fees. In the case of an employee whose appearance as an expert witness is not in an official capacity, the employee may receive compensation only when such an appearance is made on his or her own leave time. Employees may receive per diem, expense reimbursements, and mileage allowances for serving as a witness in an official governmental capacity, as long as there is no double reimbursement to the employee for expenses.
      • In order for an employee to receive pay for jury duty, certification from the Court Clerk or some other written statement which is acceptable to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Risk Management, must be attached to the approved “Leave Report” or “Personnel Time Report” form.
    • Military Leave
      • State employees are eligible for leave to accommodate:
        • Authorized training or duty for the state’s military forces and members of any reserve branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
        • Activation of the State’s National Guard by the Governor.
        • National emergency activation for members of a reserve branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
      • Adjusted Work Schedule for Military Leave: State agencies and institutions of higher education are required to adjust the work schedule of a military member so that two of the employee’s days off each month coincide with two days of military duty.
      • Authorized Training for Duty: A state employee who is called to active duty or authorized training is entitled to a leave of absence of fifteen (15) days in each federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) without loss of pay or benefits. The fifteen (15) days need not be consecutive. In addition, these days are “working” days, not “calendar” days. After exhausting the fifteen (15) days, the employee may use accrued vacation or be placed in a leave without pay status (or combination of the two) for the remainder of the active duty period.
      • Call to National Guard Active Duty by the Governor: A member of the state military forces called to state active duty by the Governor because of a state emergency is entitled to receive emergency leave without loss of military or annual leave. This leave is not limited and will be provided with full pay.
      • Call to National Duty: A member of the National Guard or any reserve branch of the U.S. Armed Forces called to federal active duty during a national emergency is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence after exhausting the fifteen (15) days of paid military leave. The employee retains any accrued sick or vacation leave. The employee does not earn sick or annual leave during this period; however, he or she does accrue state service credit. The employee may use any accrued annual leave, compensatory time, or overtime leave to maintain benefits for the employee or the employee’s dependents while on military duty. Before the employee departs for military service, the area Human Resources Representative in the Human Resources Department shall review with the employee any issues relating to maintaining health insurance coverage. Additionally, the employee may continue to accrue service credit by receiving at least one hour of state pay during each month of active military service. The employee may use any combination of paid leave to qualify for state pay.
      • Differential Pay: The President of Sam Houston State University shall grant sufficient emergency leave to provide a pay differential if the employee’s military gross pay is less than the employee’s state gross pay. The combination of gross military pay and emergency leave may not exceed the employee’s actual state gross pay.
      • Restoration of Employment: To be eligible for restoration of employment at the conclusion of military service, the employee must be honorably discharged no later than five (5) years after induction, enlistment, or call to duty and must be physically and mentally qualified to perform the duties of the job.
    • Leave for Organ or Bone Marrow Donors
      • A state employee is entitled to a leave of absence without a deduction in salary for the time necessary to permit the employee to serve as a bone marrow or organ donor. The leave of absence provided by this section may not exceed:
        • Five working days in a fiscal year to serve as a bone marrow donor; or
        •  30 working days in a fiscal year to serve as an organ donor.
    • Parent-Teacher Conference Leave
      • An employee may use up to eight (8) hours of sick leave each calendar year to attend parent-teacher conference sessions for the employee’s children who are in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Employees must give reasonable notice of intention to use sick leave to attend such conferences. Part-time, regular, benefits eligible employees receive this leave on a proportional basis.
    • Parental Leave (see FMLA)
    • Leave for Employees with a Disability
      • A state employee who is a person with a disability as defined by the Human Resources Code section 121.002 shall be granted a paid leave of absence not to exceed ten (10) days each fiscal year for the purpose of attending a training program to acquaint the employee with an assistance dog to be used by the employee.
    • Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Training Leave
      • Employees who are volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services volunteers shall be granted a leave of absence with full pay to attend training schools conducted by state agencies provided such leave does not exceed five (5) working days in any one (1) fiscal year. The leave of absence, authorized by this subsection, shall in no way be charged against the employee’s vacation or sick leave privileges by this Act.
      • In addition to the five (5) days granted for training, leave with full pay not to exceed forty (40) hours per fiscal year will also be granted to volunteer firefighters or emergency medical service volunteers for the purpose of responding to emergency fire or medical situations.
      • Required verification of volunteer training and responder’s participation shall be reported on the bimonthly “Leave Report” or “Personnel Time Report” with appropriate supporting documentation. The “Leave Report” or “Personnel Time Report” shall be signed by the departmental supervisor and sent to the Payroll Office.
    • Time off to Vote
      • Employees should be allowed sufficient time off, without a deduction in pay, to vote in each national, state, or local election.

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      Top questions regarding leaves:


      Where can I find my leave balances?

      Leave balances can now be found on the Employee tab located in Self Service Banner: https://www.shsu.edu/dept/human-resources/documents/SelfServiceBannerforEmployees.pdf


      What forms are required for a leave of absence?

      SHSU’s Leave Request/ Approval Form and a completed Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee (WH-380-E) or Family Member’s (WH-380-F) Serious Health Condition are required for a leave of absence.


      What happens to my benefits while I am on a leave of absence?

      For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must continue to pay for the employee's health-insurance coverage as it normally would. The employee must pay for optional coverage’s while on leave. Payroll deductions for optional coverage’s will continue as long as the employee is in a paid-leave status during the leave period.

      If a leave without pay status applies to the FMLA leave, an employee is encouraged to contact the Insurance and Benefits Specialist in Human Resources to inquire about appropriate payment procedures for optional coverage’s.


      Do I get paid while on a leave of absence?

      No. The FMLA does not require your employer to pay you during your leave. You will be required to use your available paid sick leave, vacation leave, and/or other leave during your FMLA absence. This means that you will receive your paid leave and the leave will also be considered protected FMLA leave and counted against your FMLA leave entitlement.


      How are the hours of my leave calculated?

      All full-time Sam Houston State University faculty members eligible for FMLA leave will be charged with eight (8) hours of sick leave when they are absent from duty of University-assigned duties. Faculty members must report sick leave even though no classes were missed if the absence occurred during the normal workday for regular employees. (The normal workday for regular employees is defined as 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday).

      Full-time faculty members absent from University-assigned duties for less than a full day will be charged with the actual number of hours of absence. Part-time faculty members will be charged a proportional amount. For additional details, please refer to Academic Policy Statement 800301 – Faculty Leave Policy: https://www.shsu.edu/dotAsset/c18d3ff5-320f-461a-97d7-695dd55241f7.pdf




      Questions?  Call the Human Resources Department at 936-294-1872.