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3.1.11 Leave of Absence

Paid Bereavement Leave 

An employee shall be granted, without loss of salary, bereavement leave of up to three workdays due to the death of a covered family member as defined in this paid bereavement leave section.   Bereavement time is granted to an employee to attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral of a covered family member, to make arrangements necessitated by the death of a covered family member, and to grieve the death of a covered family member.

A covered family member is defined as an employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner (as defined in policy 3.1.13), sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, or any other relative within the first degree living in the same household.

Child is defined as the employee’s biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.

A child lost to stillbirth or miscarriage is included in this definition of a child. 

An employee may also be granted, without loss of salary, bereavement leave of one workday due to the death of a relative outside the immediate family or household. This would include the employee’s aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and cousin (within the first degree).

Bereavement leave is not intended for use in the event of the death of an individual whose relationship was established by marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership if the relationship has ended. However, in situations where the employee shared a child or children with an ex-spouse, ex-civil union partner or ex-domestic partner (as defined in policy 3.1.13), paid bereavement leave of up to three workdays shall be extended to the employee.

Documentation of the reason for bereavement leave may be required.

Unpaid Bereavement Leave

In addition to the paid leave described above, an employee may also be granted up to ten workdays of unpaid bereavement leave due to the death of the employee’s covered family member and up to six weeks of unpaid leave in the event of the death of more than one of the employee’s covered family members during a twelve-month period under the Family Bereavement Leave Act. 

                Definitions for purposes of this unpaid bereavement leave section are as follows:

Covered family member is defined as an employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent or any other relative withing the first degree living in the same household.

Child is defined as the employee’s son or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.  A child lost to stillbirth or miscarriage is included in this definition of a child.

Under this section only (based upon the Illinois Family Bereavement Leave Act), a domestic partner includes a person recognized as the domestic partner of the employee under any domestic partnership or civil union law of a state or political subdivision of a state; or an unmarried adult person who is in a committed, personal relationship with the employee and not in such a relationship with any other person and who is designated to the employee’s employer by such employee as that employee’s domestic partner. 

In addition to eligibility leave reasons under paid bereavement leave, the following are additional eligibility leave reasons for unpaid leave only. 

An employee may be granted unpaid leave due to an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure, a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party, a failed surrogacy agreement, or a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility.

Eligible Usage of Unpaid Bereavement Time

The leave must be used within 60 calendar days after the date the employee receives notice of the death or date of the event as described in the section above. The employer may require reasonable documentation substantiating the need for the leave.  In order to be eligible for leave under this policy, the employee must meet the employment length and hours of service requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Family bereavement leave may not be taken in addition to leave permitted under the FMLA and may not exceed leave time allowed under the FMLA. Therefore, employees who have exhausted their FMLA entitlement may not take any additional days under this Policy.

Calculation of time for Paid and Unpaid Bereavement Leave

The calculation of bereavement time is based upon the employee’s standard University working day, either 7.5 or 8 hours, multiplied by the employee’s FTE.  Employees who work on a flex schedule will be limited to the maximum hours available to a standard workweek employee in the same classification.  Additional leave will normally be charged to vacation, compensatory time, or personal days.

Jury Duty / Subpoenaed Witness

A leave of absence without loss of pay shall be granted for jury duty service. An eligible employee may be granted a leave of absence without loss of pay as a subpoenaed witness in cases not initiated by the employee. The employee may keep any payments received from the court system.

Employees are expected to report to work at the University at the regularly scheduled time on days when they are not needed for jury or witness duty or if released from duty early enough to allow the employee to work four or more hours. Employees are expected to keep supervisors informed of the court schedule and the dates and times the employee is required to appear. Employees who do not work a shift that coincides with the court schedule may take time off work equal to the time spent at jury or witness duty on the shift immediately following the jury or witness duty.

The University may require evidence of jury service or witness subpoenaed duty. Individuals who either voluntarily or through their actions become plaintiffs, witnesses, or defendants are ineligible for such leave unless related to the Victim’s Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA).

Educational Leave

Employees may be granted an educational leave with or without pay for advance study upon approval by the President of the University.

Time Off for Voting

Employees may be given time off with pay, not to exceed two hours, to vote on the day of an election if the following conditions are met:

  • The employee is entitled to vote.
  • The employee is scheduled to work on a day a general or special election is held, or at any election at which propositions are submitted to a popular vote in this State.
  • The employee's working hours begin less than two hours after the opening of the polls and end less than two hours before the closing of the polls.

Time Off to Attend School Conferences

In accordance with the School Visitation Rights Act, employees who meet all the requirements are entitled to take up to eight hours of leave to attend school conferences and functions during any school year if the activity cannot be scheduled outside of a regular workday.  No more than four hours may be taken in any one workday. 

Leave under this section of the policy is for employees who have exhausted all vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, and any other leave that may be granted to the employee except sick leave and disability leave.  An employee who utilizes this leave may choose the opportunity to make up the time on a different day or shift as directed by the employee’s department. An employee is not required to make up the time taken, but if an employee does not make up the time, the employee will not be compensated for the leave.

Employee is defined as one who is a permanent full- or part-time (50% FTE or greater) faculty, civil service, or academic professional employee who is employed for six consecutive months prior to requesting this leave.

Notice. Before arranging attendance at the conference or activity, the employee shall provide their supervisor with a written request for leave at least seven days in advance of the time the employee is required to utilize the leave right. In emergency situations, no more than 24 hours' notice shall be required. The employee must arrange the leave with their supervisor and must schedule the leave so as not to disrupt the operations of the employee’s department.

Documentation. The employee must submit the completed Illinois Department of Labor School Visitation Form to the employer following the school visit. (Please note that a school administrator signature is required on this form.) Failure to submit the verification document within two workdays of the visit subjects the employee to the standard disciplinary procedures imposed by the employer for unexcused absences from work.

Limits on leave. No employer that is subject to this Act is required to grant school visitation leave to an employee if granting the leave would result in more than 5% of the employer's work force or 5% of an employer's work force shift taking school conference or activity leave at the same time.

Religious Observances

Illinois State University is committed to making reasonable accommodation for employees to observe religious events/holidays (See Policy 1.6). If accommodation cannot be made, employees may use vacation or dock time to observe the event or holiday.

Disaster Service Volunteer Leave

Employees may be granted leave with pay for not more than 20 workdays in a 12-month period to participate in disasters designated at Level III and above in the American National Red Cross Regulations and Procedures and any disaster declared by proclamation of the Governor under Section 7 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, subject to the operational needs of the department and supervisory approval.

Leave may be granted when the following conditions are met:

  • The employee must be a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross or assigned to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in accordance with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act.
  • The service of the employee is specifically requested by the Red Cross or the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
  • During the period of absence, the employee will participate in specialized disaster relief services within the state of Illinois; requests for services out-of-state shall be coordinated by the American Red Cross and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency through the Illinois State Emergency Operations Center.

Upon receipt of written confirmation by the Red Cross or the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and provided the above conditions have been met, leave with pay will be granted based on operational needs of the department. The leave will be without pay until such confirmation is received by Human Resources.

If all the conditions are met, during the absence, there will be no loss of seniority, pay, vacation time, compensatory time, sick time, or earned overtime accumulation. Compensation will be at the regular rate of pay for regular work hours during which the employee is absent from work.

Civil Air Patrol Leave

An employee who has worked for the University for at least 12 months and has been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave and is called to perform a civil air patrol mission will be provided up to 30 days of unpaid civil air patrol leave. 


The employee must give at least 14 days notice of the intended date upon which the civil air patrol leave will commence, if the leave will consist of five (5) or more consecutive workdays.  When possible, the employee shall consult with Human Resources to schedule the leave so as to not unduly disrupt the operations of the University.  If the leave will be less than five (5) consecutive workdays, the employee must provide advance notice as is practical.  The University may require certification from the proper civil air patrol authority to verify the employee’s eligibility for the leave.


All benefits for employees on civil air patrol leave shall be continued by the University as required by state law.

Volunteer Emergency Worker 

In accordance with the Illinois Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection Act, this section of the policy provides protection to employees who serve as a volunteer emergency worker and are absent from or late to work due to their response to an emergency, or who respond to an emergency phone call or text message that requests the employee’s volunteer emergency services.  Any time missed due to services provided under this Act during the employee’s normal work hours is considered an unpaid leave.  The employee may request use of compensable vacation time or personal leave.

Eligibility: A volunteer emergency worker is an individual who meets the requirements of the Act serving in one of the following volunteer roles and does not also work in the listed capacity on a full-time career basis:

  • Member of a fire department of a fire protection district, municipality, or other unit of government
  • Serving as an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate (EMT-I), Advanced Emergency Medial Responder (A-EMT), or Paramedic (EMT-P) who is licensed under the Emergency Medical Systems Act
  • Ambulance Driver or Attendant
  • Member of county or municipal emergency services and disaster agency pursuant to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act
  • Auxiliary policeman or deputy properly appointed

The employee must make a reasonable effort to notify their supervisor that they may be absent or late to work.

The employee will provide a written statement from the supervisor or acting supervisor of the volunteer fire department or governmental entity that the volunteer emergency worker serves. This document should state that the employee responded to an emergency and indicate the time and date of the emergency.

This protection does not diminish or supersede University policies, collective bargaining agreements, administrative guidelines, or other applicable written rules administered by the University.  Existing written University policies governing the use of cell phones still apply.


Policy Owner: Human Resources 

Contact: Human Resources (309-438-8311)

Revised on: 01/2023

2023-02-22T08:19:53.786548-08:00 2023