Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Affairs Office
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Leaves of Absence

The content on this page applies to the following career tracks:

  • Clinician-Educators
  • Investigators
  • Team Scientists

Important Notice to Administrators

If you have questions about faculty leaves, please contact the Faculty Affairs Office (fao@northwestern.edu).  

When processing faculty leaves, first confirm the employment arrangement of the faculty member.  Many FSM faculty receive their salary from a clinical affiliate which impacts the benefits the faculty member is eligible for at the University. In particular, for faculty employed by NMG, it is important to confirm in myHR what portion of the salary is paid by NU versus what portion is paid by NMG on an "NMFF Member" record.  The NU leave only applies to the NU portion of the salary; NMG policies will apply to the NMG portion of the salary.  Contact NMG's benefits office for information about NMG policies.

Administrators are encouraged to review NU faculty leave policies in the Faculty Handbook and on the Faculty Leave page. Both of these resources are maintained by the Office of the Provost, but please do not contact the Office of the Provost directly with questions.  First, contact the FSM Faculty Affairs Office, which will liaise with the Provost's Office as needed.  All leave paperwork should also be submitted to the Faculty Affairs Office (not to the Office of the Provost).

 

 Medical Leave for NMG-employed Faculty (salary split between NU and NMG)

Northwestern Medical Group (NMG) uses a third party called Unum to evaluate and make a determination regarding a request for medical leave.  Faculty physicians employed by NMG--i.e., those who have a "NMG Member" record (typically record 1) in the Northwestern University MyHR system--should follow NMG's process to request a medical leave through Unum. 

After Unum approves the request, the faculty member is also eligible to take medical leave from NU, subject to NU's leave policies.  NU's leave benefit is applied to the NU portion of the faculty member's salary, and the NMG leave benefit is applied to the NMG portion of the candidate's salary.

After Unum approves a medical leave request, submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Copy of the Unum leave approval notice
  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
    • Both the NU and NMG sets of forms should be updated with the appropriate leave of absence codes if the candidate will be taking leave from both entities.
    • The NMG set of forms (which is usually Record 1 in myHR) must be routed to NMG payroll for signature.  After the signature is obtained, submit the complete set of paperwork to FAO. 

 

 Medical Leave for NU-employed Faculty (all salary from NU)
New! This process is now applicable to NU-employed faculty in all FSM departments.

Medical Leave Process

  • Faculty member should contact The Hartford (1-888-541-7283) to initiate a medical leave.  Northwestern University partners with The Hartford to handle the faculty medical leave process, which helps maintain confidentiality of medical information. 
  • The Hartford issues a preliminary letter indicating what leave benefits a faculty member is eligible for based on his or her length of service, hours worked, etc.  This letter typically asks the faculty member to provide additional medical documentation to complete leave process.
  • The Hartford issues a final determination letter indicating whether the leave is approved or denied.
  • If the leave is approved, the department administrator prints position data/appointment forms from myHR and updates them with the appropriate leave codes and dates, based on the determination letter.  The completed and signed forms should be delivered to FAO.

 Medical Leave for Affiliate-employed Faculty (no salary from NU)

Academic full-time faculty--i.e., those who receive all of their salary from an FSM affiliate (e.g., Lurie Children's Hospital, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab)--should follow the medical leave process of their employer, which will typically have an internal process for evaluating medical leave requests or use a third party vendor to manage the process.

After a leave approval notice is issued through the employer's medical leave process, the faculty member is also eligible to take medical leave from NU, subject to NU's leave policies.  Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Copy of the leave approval notice issued through the employer's medical leave process
  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated

 Non-FMLA Leave

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

 Return from Paid Leave

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated

 Return from Unpaid Leave

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
 
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