Skip to Main Content


You are in the main content

Policy 1319
Classified Employee Leave Without Pay

Date of Current Revision: July 2012
Primary Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources


It is university practice to grant classified employees leave without pay in accordance with this policy and the Virginia Personnel Act.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


The Virginia Personnel Act, Code of Virginia § 2.2-2900, authorizes and sets standards for agencies granting employees leave without pay.


Unconditional leave without pay:
An employee's approved absence from work without pay that guarantees reinstatement to the position held by the employee before the leave was taken. Applies to military leave without pay only.

Conditional leave without pay:
An employee's approved absence from work without pay that guarantees reinstatement only if the employee's position is available when he/she returns from leave. If the position is not available, the employee will be separated and may be employed again only after going through the normal recruitment and selection process.


This policy applies to all full-time classified employees.


Classified employees may be granted leave without pay for the following reasons:

  • Extended periods of personal illness (non-VSDP employees only). This leave is conditional.
  • Periods of extended serious illness for immediate family members. Immediate family shall be defined as parent, spouse, and child (See Policy 1308-Family and Medical Leave). This leave is conditional.
  • Periods of leave because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the spouse, child or parent of the employee being called to active duty or notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation (See Policy 1308-Family and Medical Leave, 6.2(a) ). This leave is conditional.
  • Periods of leave to care for a spouse, child, parent or nearest blood relative with an illness or injury incurred in the line of duty while in the Armed Forces (See Policy 1308-Family and Medical Leave 6.2(b)). This leave is conditional.
  • Educational leave to further education through a work-related field of study. This leave must be approved by the university, and is conditional.
  • Military leave for the duty indicated in military orders not covered by military leave with pay, normally for up to four years. Military leave without pay is unconditional.
  • Workers' Compensation Leave in excess of 92 calendar days for illness or injury compensable under the Workers Compensation Act when the employee does not have an accrued leave balance. This leave is conditional.
  • Leave because of a reduction in the departmental workload. Persons awarded leave of this nature may not be replaced during the period of absence. Leave of this type will not be awarded for less than one semi-monthly pay period this leave is often referred to as a furlough.

A leave without pay may be granted for a period of up to 12 months. An extension past 12 months may be requested for:

  • Extended disability of the employee (non-VSDP employees only);
  • Active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States;
  • Special courses of study; or
  • Non-state employment in an essential position identified by the Department of Personnel & Training to be of vital importance to the state or national welfare.


6.1 Classified employees must submit a request for leave without pay in writing to the immediate supervisor. All such written requests must indicate the type of leave requested and include a detailed justification for such leave. The supervisor will review the request for leave without pay and discuss the request with the employee. Once approved, the department must submit a completed Personnel Action Request form to Human Resources. The employee's written request must be attached to the PAR form.

6.2 Employees will not accumulate leave during the period of leave without pay. Employees experiencing leave without pay longer than 14 consecutive calendar days will have their leave anniversary date adjusted based on the length of absence.

6.3 Employees placed on leave without pay for Military Leave may freeze their leave balances. Employees on Military Leave will not have their leave anniversary date adjusted based on the length of absence.

6.4 Leave without pay may affect other benefits such as health insurance, retirement benefits and life insurance. Employees should contact Human Resources prior to requesting a leave without pay to learn of the effect of leave on benefits.

6.5 An employee on leave without pay may be subject to an adjustment in any performance related or cost-of-living increase based upon the number of hours missed from work.

6.6 An employee who fails to return to work at the end of a period of leave without pay shall be deemed to have resigned from his or her position.


Employees requesting a leave without pay are responsible for submitting a written request and explanation to their supervisors. Employees seeking to extend their leave without pay status beyond the approved period are responsible for submitting a written request and justification to the Director of Human Resources.

Supervisors are responsible for notifying Human Resources of all requests for leave without pay, for obtaining appropriate levels of approval for any such request, and for completing a personnel action request (PAR) detailing the dates and reasons for the leave.

The Director of Human Resources is responsible for coordinating any requests for extension of leave without pay with the appropriate department and informing the employee of the action taken.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

Employees who fail to comply with this policy in requesting unpaid leave may have that request denied on the basis of failure to comply.


This policy does not apply to wage employees or members of the instructional or administrative & professional faculty.


The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Approved by the President: November 2002
Previous Version: April 2011