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Leave Without Pay Procedure - 63.08.08

College Policy Number/Title:

Any Howard Community College (HCC) employee who is in a budgeted or temporary with benefits position may request leave without pay.  These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Leave without pay may or may not be granted depending on budgetary and operational constraints.

The college recognizes that employees may encounter situations that require an extended period of time off for purposes not specifically covered by other leave procedures.  Examples of these situations include child-rearing, other family obligations, professional pursuits, or personal needs.  Leave types described elsewhere in this section (63.08) should be utilized, when applicable, prior to applying for a leave without pay.   All requests for leave without pay should be submitted on a "Request for Leave" form for approval through normal supervisory channels.

Leave without pay may be requested for a period of up to six months.  An extension of up to six additional months may be requested.  Leave without pay in excess of one year may only be allowed if approved by the board of trustees. In the event that the reasons for which leave without pay are granted cease to exist, employees must immediately notify their supervisors.  Applications for leave without pay must be accompanied by a statement of purpose and any supporting documentation requested by the college and approved by the employee's first-level supervisor, second-level supervisor, and area vice president or the president.  Requests for leave without pay exceeding two weeks must also be approved by the college president.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Procedure 63.08.15, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave, describes leave without pay under the FMLA.   Whenever an employee requests leave for an FMLA covered event, the employee is required to exhaust all accrued sick leave, annual leave, and personal leave prior to being placed in unpaid leave status.  FMLA leave without pay will be used concurrently with FMLA approved leave. See procedure 63.08.15, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave.

Professional Leave

Professional leave without pay is intended for employees who want to pursue objectives directly or indirectly related to their current job or a career goal within the college. Professional leave would generally be used by employees for whom paid sabbatical leave has been disapproved or is unavailable. A written report documenting leave accomplishments will be required within 30 calendar days after the leave is completed.


During FMLA and professional leave, employees will continue to pay only their portion of health insurance and the college will continue its normal subsidy.

For other types of leave without pay, leave periods  of less than one month will not affect medical and dental benefit coverage.  Employees may continue in the college's group medical and dental plans but are responsible for the full premium cost of each plan if the leave without pay is for a period greater than one month; if original leave requests for periods of less than one month are extended, the employee will be responsible for reimbursing the college for the cost from the first day of leave, see procedure 63.08.15, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave.  Other benefits may only continue if allowed by carriers and fully paid by the employee.

Any unused accrued leave will be held in reserve for the employee's use upon return to work. If employees choose to discontinue medical, dental, or other benefits while on leave without pay, they must re-enroll upon return to work.

Reinstatement and Credit for Service  

Employees returning from leave without pay shall be reinstated to the same position provided that they are still qualified to perform their former duties, they are available for assignment immediately following the expiration of the leave, and the college is not under reduction in force status.  Should an employee become available for assignment prior to the expiration of a leave without pay, reinstatement will occur as soon as it is convenient to the college but no later than the original date of expiration.  Also see procedure 63.08.15, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave.

Periods of leave without pay that exceed two years will not be counted for the purpose of computing longevity with the college. 

Other Employment

Other employment while on leave without pay status may result in cancellation of the leave or termination of employment unless such employment has been an approved condition of the leave.

Accrual of Leave and Automatic Leave Sequence

  • Individuals do not accrue vacation days or sick leave while on leave without pay.
  • There is no automatic leave sequence for leave without pay. However, leave without pay is the final leave type in the sequence for many other types of leave; this is noted under each leave type. For example, if an employee takes annual leave, but does not have a sufficient annual leave balance to cover the leave taken, leave without pay would automatically be recorded in the employee's record for any time not covered by the accrued annual leave balance.
  • Pay for employees who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act may only be deducted in less than full-day increments when taken under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Effective Date:  12/09/16

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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