Leave

Leave General Policies

Residents and Fellows shall be entitled to leave with pay for the purpose of annual and sick leave depending upon the length of appointment during the academic year July 1 through June 30, as described in this section. Leave will be granted and charged in one-day increments for each workday of leave requested and approved.

  • Residents and fellows have the responsibility of keeping their department informed of all leave requests and obtaining the required approval. All leave requests are approved at the discretion of an appropriate authority and all anticipated leave must be requested and approved in advance. If not approved, leave without pay needs to be taken.
  • Leave approving authorities:
    • For Residents:
      • For leave requests fewer than 15 work days, the Approvers are Chief Resident and Residency Program Director (signed RESIDENTS & FELLOWS REQUEST FOR LEAVE form is required).
      • For leave requests greater than or equal to 15 work days the Approvers are Residency Program Director, Chairman, and the designee of the COM Graduate Medical Education Program (signed RESIDENTS & FELLOWS REQUEST FOR LEAVE and JUSTIFICATION LETTER are required).
    • For Subspecialty Fellows:
      • For leave requests fewer than 15 work days the Approvers are Divisional Fellowship Director and Fellowship Program Director (signed RESIDENTS & FELLOWS REQUEST FOR LEAVE form is required).
      • For leave requests greater than or equal to 15 work days the Approvers are Divisional Fellowship Director, Fellowship Program Director, Chairman and the designee of the COM Graduate Medical Education Program (signed RESIDENTS & FELLOWS REQUEST FOR LEAVE and JUSTIFICATION LETTER are required).
  • If specialty board regulations for annual and sick leave accrual and usage differ from that outlined in this rule, written notification of the board policy shall be completed by the Program Director (PD) and submitted for approval. The confirmation of the board policy will be maintained in the respective department and the Office of the Dean.
  • The total maximum time a resident or fellow can be away from a program in any given year or for the duration of the program shall be determined by the requirements of the specialty board involved. If leave time is taken beyond what is allowed by the University or the applicable specialty board, the resident or fellow may be required to extend the period of activity in the program accordingly in order to fulfill the appropriate specialty board requirements. The resident or fellow will be paid for makeup or extended time if funds are available. However, residents and fellows are not automatically entitled to additional training beyond the prescribed number of years in order to achieve board eligibility in the designated specialty. Any such extension of the residency and fellowship and the required funding must be consistent with the specialty board requirements and be approved by the PD and the Dean of the College of Medicine or his designee. For detailed information on Pediatrics board requirements visit American Board of Pediatrics website:

Residency Programs: the duration of general pediatrics training is 36 months. Thirty-three months of clinical training are required. One month of absence is allowed each year for leave (e.g., vacation, sick, parental leave). Absences greater than 3 months during the 3 years of residency should be made up with additional periods of training. If the program director believes that the candidate is well qualified and has met all the training requirements, the program director may submit a petition to the ABP requesting an exemption to the policy near the end of residency training, with no guarantee that it will be granted. Residents in combined training may not take more than 1 month of leave per year.

American Board of Pediatrics Regulations

Subspecialty Fellowships: The duration of fellowship training is 36 months. Thirty-three months of clinical training are required. If total absences (during the 36 month training period) exceed 3 months, the missed time must be made up. This applies to any extended absence, whether the absence be for illness, vacation, parental leave, etc. The ABP must approve any variation in meeting this requirement.

American Board of Pediatrics Regulations

Vacation (Annual) Leave

  • Vacation leave shall be requested and approved prior to the date taken.
  • Vacation leave should not be fragmented into less than one-week periods except under unusual circumstances and must be taken at the time approved by the PD.
  • Vacation leave may be advanced to residents and fellows proportionate to expected service. This advance leave cannot exceed the amount of the leave accrual rate for a one-year period. The amount of advanced leave will not exceed that which can be earned during the remainder of the resident and fellow leave year.
  • Vacation leave which has been granted but not earned by the member at the time of separation from the academic department will require an appropriate reduction for the value thereof in the final stipend payment.
  • Vacation leave accruals are normally based on an annual rate of fifteen (15) work days for all residents and fellows provided this does not exceed that allowed by the appropriate board. Residents and fellows may be permitted to carry over unused leave to a new year, as consistent with department policy; however, carryover must be approved by the authorities and an excess of twenty-five (25) work days cannot be accumulated. Accumulated leave cannot be carried over from PGY3 to PGY4.
  • All unused leave is considered non-payable leave, and there is no entitlement for lump-sum payment for unused leave upon separation or completion of training.

Sick Leave

  • All residents and fellows shall accrue sick leave at the rate of 10 working days per year of full employment if consistent with board requirements.
  • They shall be entitled to utilize for special cases severe illness, in the immediate family (spouse, parents, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, and grandchildren of both resident and fellow and their spouse).The number of days allowed will be determined by the program director.
  • Sick leave may be advanced to residents and fellows proportionate to expected service. This advance leave cannot exceed the amount of the leave accrual rate for a one-year period. The amount of advanced leave will not exceed that which can be earned during the remainder of the residents and fellow leave year.
  • Sick leave which has been granted but not earned by the member at the time of separation from the academic department will require an appropriate reduction for the value thereof in the final stipend payment.
  • Residents and fellows may be permitted to carry over sick leave to a new year, as consistent with department policy; however, carryover must be approved by the program director and an excess of fifteen days (15) work days cannot be accumulated. Accumulated leave cannot be carried over from PGY3 to PGY4.
  • All unused leave is considered non-payable leave, and there is no entitlement for lump-sum payment for unused leave upon separation or completion of training.
  • Residents and Fellows may take up to 8 weeks paid leave using accrued sick leave and vacation leave to care for a new child by birth or adoption. Sick/Vacation leave may be advanced to resident or fellow proportionate to expected service.  Please see above sick leave policy.
  • The official parental leave period may begin two week before the expected date of the child’s arrival and must occur within the 12-month period beginning with that date. Residents and fellows that plan to utilize parental leave are expected to notify their Training Program Director as soon as they know they will need to use parental leave to facilitate appropriate scheduling.
  • Complicated pregnancy or delivery will be handled through additional sick leave and disability policies.  FMLA mandates that up to 12 workweeks may be taken for the birth of a biological child or placement of child pending adoption.  If the resident or fellow member chooses to take more than the 8 weeks leave, he/she will be placed on unpaid leave during weeks 9 through 12.  While on unpaid leave, resident’s and fellow’s insurance benefits will be covered by the academic department for up to two (2) months. After two (2) months, they will be responsible for payment of insurance premiums. Such coverage may be purchased for a time period consistent with COBRA regulations.
  • The total time allowed away from a program in any given year or for the duration of the program will be determined by the requirements of the specialty board involved. Any absences must be made up in accordance with specialty board policy (see Leave General Policies point 4 A and B above). Residents and fellows will be paid for makeup or extended time.

FMLA Entitlement

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is federal legislation enacted to provide job protection for up to 12 weeks an entitlement year to an employee, or for an employee to care for his or her parent, spouse, or child who has a serious health condition determined to be FMLA-qualifying by the patient’s physician, or when an employee must be absent due to becoming a parent. Employers must approve leave for events that qualify under the FMLA. Employees hired into leave-accruing positions are eligible for FMLA leave upon hire at the University of Florida.
  • Twelve weeks of entitlement translates to 12 weeks of an employee’s regular work schedule. The maximum entitlement for FMLA leave is 480 hours in the FMLA year for a full-time employee. The entitlement is prorated based on FTE, so an employee at .50 FTE would have a maximum entitlement of 240 hours in the FMLA entitlement year, which is from July 1 through June 30.
  • OPS employees (Staff, Academic Personnel and Graduate Assistants) who have been employed by the University of Florida at least 12 months (need not have been consecutive), and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the requested leave, are eligible for a total entitlement (not per event) of up to 12 workweeks of leave without pay in a fiscal year for events determined to be FMLA-qualifying. Residents and fellows are included in this group. They can use their accumulated vacation and a sick leave for FMLA qualifying events and/or use leave without pay.
  • At the University of Florida, the leave benefits to which employees have access are frequently more generous than those provided by FMLA. As a result, when granting appropriate leave in keeping with university policy, departments will likely meet the requirements of FMLA as a matter of course.

Domestic Violence Leave

  • Residents and fellows are eligible for up to 3 days leave in a twelve-month period if the resident/fellow or their family or household member is a victim of domestic violence. The fiscal year of July 1 to June 30 will be considered the 12 month period. Except in case of imminent danger to the health or safety of a resident/fellow, or the health or safety of a family or household member, a resident or fellow seeking leave from work under this section must provide his or her program director advanced notice of the leave. He or she is required to use accrued sick or annual leave. In the event that the employee does not have sufficient leave hours to cover the event, the leave that is not covered will be unpaid.

Bereavement Leave

  • Residents and fellows shall be granted, upon request to the program director, up to 5 scheduled work days off for the funeral of an immediate family member. They are granted 2 days of bereavement pay and for the other 3 days, they may use their sick or annual leave time. Immediate family shall include spouse, cohabiters, registered same sex domestic partners, children, step children, parents, parents of spouse, and the stepparents, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, and sisters.

Military Leave

  • Absences for temporary military duty (e.g., two-week annual training) may be taken from annual leave or if insufficient annual leave is accumulated, the resident or fellow must be placed on leave without pay for such absences. If activated from reserve to active duty status, the resident or fellow will receive thirty (30) days full pay before going on leave without pay. Insurance policies will remain in effect for dependents during period of active duty for one year. Additional extensions require special approval from the Dean of the College of Medicine.

Jury Duty Leave

  • Residents and fellows who are summoned to jury duty will be granted paid leave for all hours required for such duty. If jury duty does not require absence for the entire workday, they should return to work immediately upon release by the court. The university will not reimburse the employee for meals, lodging, and travel expense while as a juror. This type of leave must be approved by program director in advance. Any absences must be made up in accordance with specialty board policy. Residents and fellows will be paid for makeup or extended time.

Educational Assignment

  • Residents and fellows shall be eligible for absence pertaining to education and training provided it is allowed by the appropriate board and agreed to, in writing, by the program director. This should not be charged as either annual or sick leave.

Licensure Examination Leave

  • Residents and fellows taking American specialty board and state licensure examinations will be authorized leave at the discretion of the program director. The amount of absence authorized will not exceed the time actually required for taking the examination and for travel to and from the place of examinations. Only one licensure and one specialty exam shall be authorized per member. Any additional absence will be charged to annual leave or leave without pay if annual leave is not available.

Holidays

  • Residents and fellows shall be entitled to observe all official holidays designated by the Department of Administration for state employees except when they are on call for clinical responsibilities. Residents on Veterans’ Administration Medical Center (VAMC) rotations shall be entitled to observe all official holidays designated by the federal government for Veterans Administration employees except when they are on call for clinical responsibilities. When on duty or call for clinical responsibilities on designated holidays, this assignment will be considered as a part of the residency or fellowship and will not result in extra remuneration.

Procedures for Requesting Leave of Absences

Leave of Absence with Pay

the policy should be followed by the Departments when a resident/fellow requests a LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY (LWP): Under special circumstances consistent with medically documented illness or disability, an approved leave of absence may be granted for a period not to exceed six months. During such an approved leave of absence, eligible residents/fellows will continue to receive salary and all fringe benefits. Once long-term disability coverage begins, the resident will be taken off payroll but benefits will continue.

  • The resident/fellow must submit in writing the request for leave of absence with pay. The letter should be addressed to the Chair of the Department and must contain the following information:
    • The purpose of the leave of absence.
    • Period of leave to be taken.
    • The number of annual leave hours being requested.
    • A date of expected return. This date can always be adjusted either with the resident/fellow returning earlier or extending further LWP. If an extension is needed, the resident/fellow must write a new letter indicating the new date of return.
    • Work intermittently during this time period, is not allowed.
    • A statement acknowledging the resident’s/fellow’s understanding that the program will be extended by the number of days, months, etc., taken as leave as required by the RRC/Board
    • See General Leave Policies Point #10 for appropriate forms.
  • After the letter has been officially accepted by the Department, the Chair shall submit a letter to the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (ADGME) or Educational Affairs (ADEA), referencing the attached letter of request from the resident/fellow. The Chair’s letter should contain the following:
    • The purpose of the leave of absence
    • The period of the leave of absence
    • What portion of the leave he/she has approved as annual and/or sick leave and when the program director/chair expects the person to return. Start the date of leave after annual and sick day used. NOTE: each academic department is responsible for computing actual leave accruals. At the discretion of the Chair or Program Director, annual leave may be advanced to a resident/fellow proportionate to expected service but cannot exceed that which can be earned during the remainder of the leave year.
    • A statement ensuring the ADGME/ADEA that the resident/fellow has been told the program will be extended by the number of days, months, etc., taken as leave as required by the RRC/Board. NOTE: Since annual leave is normally taken annually, only the sick portion and those days that are actually leave with pay should be counted toward extending the program.
    • A signature block for approval by the ADGME/ADEA. Once approved, a copy of this letter will be sent to the resident/fellow.
  • The department should submit to the Office of Educational Affairs/Graduate Medical Education form 255 and a coding sheet with the Status Code (Extended Leave of Absence) indicating  the effective date of the long-term disability insurance. The Program Assistant is advised to keep in contact with the fringe benefits office regarding the date the disability insurance becomes effective.
  • Group Long Term Disability Claim package: The package must be completed on all leave of absence with pay requests regardless of the length of time the resident/fellow expects to be on leave. It may be obtained by calling the fringe benefits office (see list of key contacts below)
  • Insurance benefits will be covered for up to six months. After the six month period, the resident/fellow may purchase this coverage for up to 18 months, consistent with the COBRA provisions.
  • Upon a resident’s/fellow’s return from leave, a Return to work Notification letter must be written and signed by the Program Director indicating officially that the resident/fellow is back to work, the date of return and the status of the resident’s/fellow’s return to work. A statement regarding the resident’s/fellow’s ability to resume the duties of the position is required. This letter should be submitted to the ADGME/ADEA and Fringe Benefits Office.
  • Appropriate law on ADA must be followed.
  • Key contacts for Gainesville Campus:
    • ADGME: Lisa Dixon, M.D. Associate Dean, DIO, College of Medicine Personnel (352) 265-0152
    • Fringe Benefits Office at (352) 273-5074

For additional information, refer to the resident/fellow manual or College of Medicine Administrative Affairs website: http://adminaffairs.med.ufl.edu/fringe-benefits/housestaff-benefits/

Leave of Absence without Pay

The Policy should be followed by the Departments when a resident/fellow requests a maternity/paternity leave, or any other type of LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY (LWOP):

  • The resident/fellow must submit in writing, the request for leave of absence without pay. The letter should be addressed to the Chair of the Department and must contain the following information:
    • The purpose of the leave of absence.
    • Period of leave to be taken without pay.
    • The number of annual leave hours being requested by the resident/fellow. NOTE: Residents/Fellows taking LWOP can only use hours accumulated prior to the leave request: hours not on the books should not be advanced since he/she will not earn leave while on LWOP.
    • A date of expected return. This date can be adjusted either with the resident/fellow returning earlier or extending further LWOP. If an extension is needed, the resident/fellow must write a new letter indicating the new date of return.
    • Work intermittently during this time period, is not allowed.
    • A statement acknowledging the resident’s/fellow’s understanding that the department will cover the insurance benefits for up to two months, after which time COBRA laws apply.
    • See General Leave Policies Point #10 for appropriate forms.
  • After the letter has been officially accepted by the Department, the Chair shall submit a letter to the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (ADGME) or Educational Affairs (ADEA), referencing the attached letter of request from the resident/fellow, the Chair’s letter should contain the following:
    • The purpose of the leave of absence
    • The period of the leave of absence
    • What portion of the leave he/she has approved as annual and/or sick leave and when the Program Director/Chair expects the resident/fellow to return
    • A statement ensuring the ADGME/ADEA that the resident/fellow has been told the program will be extended by the number of days, months, etc., taken as leave without pay. NOTE: Since annual leave is normally taken annually, only the sick leave portion and those days that are actually leave without pay should be counted toward extending the program
    • A signature block for approval by the ADGME/ADEA. Once approved a copy of this letter will be sent to the resident.
  • The department should submit to the Office of Educational Affairs/Graduate Medical Education (DEA/GME):
    • A 255 and a coding sheet with the Status Code 11-Extended Leave of absence. The effective date of leave without pay (Effective date: from _____ to ______). The “from” date is the date the resident/fellow has exhausted sick and/or annual leave. The “to” date is the expected date of return. The DEA/GME will send a copy of the 255 to fringe benefits.
    • Six weeks after the effective date of the LWOP, call the DEA/GME to inform them when the department will stop paying benefits. (See section 5 Benefits below). The DEA/GME will notify payroll and fringe benefits of the status and code HRIS to “no benefits.”
    • Upon resident’s/fellow’s return from LWOP, complete and submit to the DEA/GME a 255 and coding sheet with the Status Code 01-Active. (Effective date: from ___ to ___). The “form” date is the actual date of return to the date the academic year ends. The DEA/GME will send a copy of the 255 to fringe benefits.
  • Payroll. No salary shall be paid to the resident/fellow for those days or weeks that are not covered by annual/sick leave.
  • Insurance Benefits: If approved, uncompensated leave is taken, insurance benefits are covered for up to two months. Thereafter, one of two options should be selected.
    • Initially and prior to two months ending, the Program Director/Chair may request under separate cover coverage of benefits up to a six-month period, letter should be addressed to Timothy Flynn, M.D., Fringe Benefits Committee Chairman, and a copy sent to the ADGME/ADEA. After the coverage of benefits cease, the resident may purchase this coverage for up to 18 months consistent with COBRA provisions.
    • After two months, the resident will be responsible for payment of insurance premiums for up to six months. The resident may purchase this coverage for up to 18 months, consistent with the COBRA provisions.
  • Key contacts for Gainesville Campus:
    • ADGME:Lisa Dixon, M.D. Associate Dean, DIO, College of Medicine Personnel (352) 265-0152
    • Fringe Benefits Office at (352) 273-5074

For additional information, refer to the resident/fellow manual or College of Medicine Administrative Affairs website: http://adminaffairs.med.ufl.edu/fringe-benefits/housestaff-benefits/