Taking time off from work is often seen as a tricky topic. Many people worry about looking lazy, and bosses might not like the extra work when someone is gone. But taking leave is really important for taking care of yourself, and you shouldn’t feel bad about needing it.
Be it for health, family, or personal growth, is actually a smart move. This helps you come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to do a good job. But it’s also important for bosses to see the value in this.
So, in this article, we will talk about the obligations of an employee when asked for leave from an employer. We will also discuss how taking a leave of absence can work in your favor when done for the right reasons, the right way.
Let’s get started.
What is a leave of absence?
A leave of absence is like taking a longer break from work, where you’re officially allowed to be away for a long time. It’s like when you ask your boss if you can take a few weeks or even months off. This time off could be with pay or without pay, depending on what you and your workplace agree on.
You will understand it better with an example: let’s say you’ve used up all your sick days and vacation time, but you need more time off for a personal reason. You might ask for an unpaid leave of absence. In this case, your job usually waits for you when you get back. Also, you might still keep benefits like health insurance while you’re away.
So, it’s like hitting pause on your job for a while, with the plan to hit play again when you’re ready to return.
Paid or Unpaid Leave of Absence?
As an employee, it’s good to know that a leave of absence usually means you won’t get paid while you’re off work. However, usually, the question arises, “can an employer deny unpaid time off?” the answer is yes, they can! There can be several reasons for your employer to decide to pay you during this time or not. It’s up to them and the law, so you also need to check with a lawyer first.
Getting help from a lawyer is important to help you understand your employer’s policies and also when your leaves are denied or behave inappropriately. Not just that, they guide you about the state laws, which vary from state to state and might have different rules.
You, as an employee, might also be asked to use all your paid time off, like vacation or sick days, before you start your leave. Sometimes, your workplace might offer paid leave for special situations, like if you’re part of an investigation or as a benefit, such as getting six weeks of paid parental leave after you’ve worked there for a year.
Remember, this could happen if having you away for a long time would be hard for the company or for other reasons that affect the business.
Extending a Leave of Absence
When an employee needs to extend their time off beyond what was originally planned, employers have to decide whether to allow more time off. If you, as an employee, have used up all your official leave rights, it’s the employer’s call to give them extra time.
Before making a decision, employers can also take advice from a legal expert to ensure everything is done right. They should also look at what other companies usually do in similar situations.
It’s also smart to talk with the HR department to understand how giving more time off might impact the business. This helps employers make a well-informed choice about extending an employee’s leave.
What Happens After Leave of Absence Ends?
When an employee returns from a leave of absence, the employer has a couple of options. They can either put the employee back in their old job or give them a similar role. This decision depends on the company’s policy about leaves of absence.
However, it’s also important for employers to know the state laws about leave when they make their company policies. This helps make sure everything is done fairly and legally when an employee comes back to work.
As an employee, you can request a leave of absence after using all your paid time off. Although some leaves are legally guaranteed, while others depend on your employer’s policy. And for employers, offering a leave of absence can be a valuable perk to attract and retain employees.