Leave of Absence Frequently Asked Questions

Human Resources contact person

Erin Christian, Asst Director/Employment Services, chris2e@cmich.edu

Benefits continuation during a leave of absence

Am I able to continue my benefits while on an unpaid leave of absence?


What benefits can I continue while on an unpaid leave of absence?

  • You can continue all or a portion of your current benefits.
  • You can cancel all or a portion of your current benefits at any time during your unpaid leave of absence. Notification of cancellation of benefits to the Benefits & Wellness Office at Rowe 108 must be received in writing.

How do I pay for my benefits while on an unpaid leave of absence?

You will receive a personalized letter along with a "Request for Continuation of Insurance" form regarding your cost for these benefits while on leave." You must complete the form and return it to the Benefits & Wellness Office in Rowe 108 on or before the 1st day of each month.

What portion of the premium costs will be my responsibility?

If you are on an unpaid FML leave of absence, you will be resonsible for your portion of the benefit premiums for medical, prescription drug, dental and vision. You will be responsible for the entire premium cost for life, long-term and short-term disability, spouse and child life insurance, if applicable.

If you are on an unpaid leave of absence not FML, you will be responsible for the the entire premium costs associated with those benefits your continue during your unpaid leave.

How do I make payments?

The Benefits & Wellness Office will notify you directly for the cost of the insurance benefits you elected to continue. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Central Michigan University. Payments may be mailed to or dropped off at the Benefits & Wellness Office in Rowe 108 by 5:00 pm on or before the 1st day of each month.

What happens to my benefits when I return to work?

At the time you return to active work, all benefits you elected for the current benefit plan year (including those benefits you may have cancelled while on an unpaid leave) will be re-activated by the Benefits & Wellness Office.

If you paid for any the the benefits while on an unpaid leave of absence, the Benefits & Wellness Office will make the necessary adjustments to your benefit premiums on your first paycheck upon your return to active work.

Family & Medical Leave

What is Family & Medical Leave (FML)?

The Family Medical Leave act of 1993 is a federal law that requires employers to provide eligible employees leave time of up to 12 work weeks per calendar year for certain family and medical reasons.

How do I know if I'm eligible for FML?

You, the employee, must be employed with CMU for at least one year prior to your leave, and have worked a minimum of 1250 hours during the 12 months prior to your leave. The minimum of 1250 hours worked does not include any paid time such as sick, vacation, holiday.

Do I have to use FML?

If your leave of absence is determined to be an FML qualifying reason, you and/or your supervisor must report your FML hours used.

Why do I have to report FML hours if I have enough sick or vacation time to cover my leave of absence?

As an employer, CMU is required to record hours used for FML reasons. FML is not a stand-alone or separate leave, but runs concurrently with other types of leave such as sick leave, personal leave, worker's compensation, vacation, unpaid leave and short-term disability.

Do I need to charge FML during the summer months for 9/10 month faculty?

A 9/10 month faculty employee charges FML only during the academic year.

How do I report sick leave and/or FML on time sheets?

Sick leave should be reported on time sheet for each day you are not able to fulfill your work obligations, whether or not you have teaching responsibilities. If your supervisor determines your illness is a qualifying FML event and you are eligible for FML, then FML should be reported concurrently along with sick leave time.

​As a chairperson and/or supervisor, what are my responsibilities of an employee who is going on a sick leave.

If the leave is recurring or likely to be greater than 3 calendar days in length, then the chairperson and/or supervisor should complete the Family & Medical Leave Eligibility Checklist to determine whether this is a qualifying absence. You must notify the employee verbally within 2 business days, and in writing, before the next pay period, using the Leave Notification form. A copy of the paperwork must be sent to Human Resources, Rowe 109 for staff or Faculty Personnel Services, Warriner 308 for faculty. You are also responsible for remitting sick leave and FML, if appropriate, on the employee's time sheet each pay period.

How does a leave without pay affect tenure decisions for faculty?

An extended unpaid leave will delay the tenure decision date.

What is long-term disability?

This is a benefit that provides supplemental income to you, the employee, while you are totally disabled (more than 6 months). Upon approval from CMU's Disability Carrier, you will receive a monthly disability benefit check based 67% of base salary at the time of your disability.

When does long-term disability begin?

Employees must be off work for a period of 180 consecutive days. Employees must exhaust all sick leave accrual.

How do I make a claim for long-term disability?

 Please contact HR/Benefits & Wellness Office at Rowe 108 or call 989-774-3661.

See also LTD plan

Short-Term Disability Leave:

What is short-term disability?

This is a benefit that provides you with supplemental income while you, the employee, are temporarily disabled (less than 6 months). Upon approval from CMU's Disability Carrier, you will received a weekly disability benefit check based on your current election, 50% of base salary or 67% of base salary.

When does short-term disability begin?

Short-term disability benefits begin on the later of 45 calendar days of total continuous disability or accrued sick leave is exhausted.

How do I make a claim for short-term disability?

Please contact HR/Benefits & Wellness Office at Rowe 108 or call 989-774-3661.

See also STD plan

Workers’ Compensation Leave

What form do I use to report a possible work-related incident?

There is no longer a form for you to complete. Simply call the Worker’s Compensation Office at (989) 774-7177 any time, day or night, to report an incident. The Workers’ Compensation Office will complete the necessary paperwork for you.

Why should I have to use my sick/personal paid time for doctor visits or for a day I stayed home due to a worker’s comp injury?

Workers’ compensation law states that a person must be taken off work by an employer approved physician for a minimum length of time before they are eligible to receive wage loss benefits. Employee should take care to always have at least one week of sick time available for such a situation.

Why is my workers’ compensation check so much lower than my regular CMU paycheck?

Workers’ compensation payments are not meant to totally replace lost wages, but rather to help insure a person does not go completely without financial support in they event they are unable to work. Payments are computed using a person’s prior year’s earnings and work compensation payment tables for the State of Michigan.

Why can’t I be treated by my family physician?

The most important reason is that it must be billed to workers’ compensation and not to your medical insurance because Blue Cross Blue Shield will refuse payment once they learn it is a work related incident. Michigan employers do not have to pay medical bills from physicians they did not authorize the employee to see for their work related injury. This would leave you responsible for paying the medical expenses. Secondly, we, as the employer, have the right to insure that you are receiving appropriate medical care and be kept fully informed about your injury and progress towards healing.