Leave of Absence

Leaves of absence are granted in compliance with federal, state, and local law to protect regular full-time and part-time employees, who under certain circumstances, might otherwise have to terminate employment. Such leaves have the effect of preserving continuity of service and continuation of certain benefits.

If you are requesting a leave of absence, you will begin the process by accessing the LeaveLink portal here and initiating a new leave.

Human Resources will determine eligibility for the leave under the applicable leave law/hospital policy and will mail or email necessary paperwork to the employee to begin the leave of absence approval process.



Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides eligible employees the opportunity to take unpaid, job-protected leave under qualifying circumstances for intermittent or continuous periods of time. The maximum amount of leave an employee may use is 12 work weeks within a rolling 12-month period.
Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADA)Pursuant to its state and federal law obligations, if an employee is not eligible for FMLA or is unable to return to work at the end of their FMLA leave, a leave request for the Employees own health condition may be considered as an accommodation and exception to the NKCH/Meritas attendance policy
USERRA/Military LeaveIn accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA), all regular full-time or part-time employees may be granted a leave of absence for military duty in the United States Uniformed Services.
Personal LeaveThis policy allows employees to take reasonable time off to handle family or emergency situations of a personal nature that are not covered under any federal or state leave law. Personal leaves are approved at management discretion and do not provide job protection.

The following general standards apply to all leaves of absence:

  • Employees are required to notify NKCH/MERITAS of a need for any type of leave. Employees can request a leave of absence through the leave management system’s intake process (currently LeaveLink) and/or contact Human Resources for assistance.
  • Employees must provide 30 days’ advance notice for all foreseeable leaves. If the employee is unable to give 30 days’ notice, they must give notice as soon as practicable. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, this information must be provided as soon as is practicable and in compliance with NKCH/MERITAS’s normal call-in procedures, absent unusual circumstances that prevent an employee from complying with NKCH/MERITAS’s normal call-in procedure.
  • The starting date of the leave will be the first scheduled day missed following the last day worked. The date an employee is due back to work will be the first scheduled working day following the scheduled ending date of the leave. If the employee is released to return to work by a healthcare professional prior to the scheduled ending date of a leave, the employee is required to return to work on the release date.
  • Failure to return to work on the first scheduled workday following the ending date of a leave, without having secured an extension of the leave, will result in the employee being considered to have voluntarily resigned employment. The only exception is when there is an emergency or other circumstance that, in the judgment of management, justified the failure to return to work or secure an extension of the leave.
  • Any employee who fails to report to work and fails to notify their supervisor of the reason for absence from work for three consecutive workdays will be considered to have abandoned their job. The employee is deemed to have resigned and will be terminated immediately.
  • During periods of all leaves under this policy, NKCH/MERITAS will continue the employee’s health, dental, vision, and/or flexible spending account coverage under the same terms as if the employee were actively working for a period of 180 days except for Personal Leaves. While on paid leave, NKCH/MERITAS will continue to take payroll deductions to collect the employee’s share of the premium. While on unpaid leave, the employee must continue to make this payment, either in person or by mail. Employees in an unpaid status will be mailed an invoice for premium contributions due on a monthly basis.  If the payment is more than 30 days past due, the employee’s health, dental, vision and/or flex spending accounts coverage may be dropped for the duration of the leave. NKCH/MERITAS will provide 15 days’ notification prior to the employee’s loss of coverage.
  • If the employee contributes to a voluntary supplemental, life, or other voluntary benefit plan, NKCH/MERITAS will continue taking payroll deductions while the employee is on paid leave. While the employee is on unpaid leave, the employee may request continuation of such benefits and pay their portion of the premiums. If the employee does not continue these payments NKCH/MERITAS will discontinue the coverage during the leave. If coverage is discontinued, upon return to work, benefits may be reinstated if allowed under the terms of the Plans.
  • An employee whose benefits coverages are terminated because they have not been able to return to work after 180 days may be eligible for continued coverage under COBRA, subject to timely enrollment and payment of COBRA premiums.
  • If the employee chooses not to return to work for reasons other than a continued serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s family member, or a circumstance beyond the employee’s control, the company may require the employee to reimburse NKCH/MERITAS the amount it paid for the employee’s benefit premiums during the leave period.
  • If any benefit coverages are terminated due to nonpayment of employee benefit contributions, the effective termination date will be retro back to the first date of nonpayment. Any claims paid during the nonpayment period will be reprocessed and become the sole responsibility of the employee.
  • If an employee is in an unpaid status, PTO and ML accruals (as applicable) will be suspended until the employee has returned to active employment status in a benefit-eligible position.
  • Failure to comply with the conditions of the leave, or failure to provide timely and truthful information or documentation completed by an appropriate medical professional regarding reasons for the leave, activities while on leave, or request for leave or extension of leave, may result in denial or delay of leave and/or corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
  • Any activity during a leave which is inconsistent with the purpose of the leave (such as engaging in outside employment without NKCH/MERITAS approval) may result in the immediate cancellation of the leave and corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

*This guide provides basic information on leave of absence. The information included in this document is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather to provide basic information. Please refer to the LOA policy for complete details.


LeaveLink is a convenient, online tool that lets you enter a request for leave, upload documents, and more. You can access the LeaveLink portal, 24/7, from any computer, tablet, or smartphone, at leavelinksaas.sedgwick.com/eeselfservice/home.cfm

For instructions on how to login click Instructions – Log-in to LeaveLink and follow the directions to complete your leave request. For assistance, please contact:

How To Navigate

Additional information has been provided to help you navigate the LeaveLink site:

Employees can use the Employee – How to Navigate LeaveLink document.

Supervisors can use the Supervisor – How to Navigate LeaveLink document.