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Medical Leave of Absence

California State University, Fresno provides Faculty, Staff and Administrators (MPP) with the opportunity to apply for time away from work for medical reasons for self or for family care.A medical leave of absence is defined as any absence for self or to care for an eligible family member in excess of five (5) workdays. A medical leave of absence may be full, partial (a reduced work schedule), or intermittent (non-consecutive full or partial days).

Time off is approved in compliance with applicable Federal and State laws, relevant Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA), and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. It is the responsibility of every employee absent from work in excess of five (5) workdays to comply with the medical leave of absence process. Failure to comply with this process may result in a delay or ineligibility of leave program benefits.


Please Contact the Confidential Leave coordinator or call the main HR office at (559) 278-5014 for an appointment to discuss eligibility for medical leave programs and usage of available leave credits.

Leave Coordinator Assignment
Juanita Aguilar
Benefits Manager
(559) 278-5336

Medical & Parental Leaves

  • FERP
  • Unit 11
Sarah Confer
Confidential Leave Coordinator
(559) 278-8237

Medical and Parental Leaves

  • Staff
  • MPP
  • Coaches
  • Lecturers
  • Librarians
  • Faculty (Tenure/Tenure Track)


There are several types of medical leave of absences that may be granted to employees depending on the circumstances.

The Organ Donor Leave (ODL) Program, in accordance with Assembly Bill (AB) 1825, allows CSU employees, who have exhausted all available sick leave, the following leaves of absence with pay:

A paid leave of absence of up to 30 continuous calendar days in any one-year period to any employee who is donating his or her organ to another person.
A paid leave of absence of up to five continuous calendar days in any-one year period to any employee who is donating his or her bone marrow to another person.
The one-year period is a "rolling" year commencing on the first day of ODL.

In order for such leave to be designated as ODL, the employee must provide written verification specifying that the employee is an organ or bone marrow donor, and that the donation is medically necessary. Such leave will apply only to those employees who are viable donors, and cannot be used to cover absences for preliminary tests conducted on a "potential" donor.

If an employee is unable to return to work beyond the time or period that ODL was granted, the employee can apply existing vacation credits and/or compensatory time off to the absence, as deemed appropriate. If the employee has exhausted all available leave credits and is unable to return to work following the ODL, the employee may be eligible for Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI).

ODL runs currently with the CSU Family Medical Leave Policy, and employees continue to receive benefits (if enrolled) while participating in ODL. Employees who subsequently exhaust all other available leave credits after ODL, may elect to continue benefits via direct payment.

For more information on the ODL, please contact Human Resources and refer to the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).


Substitution of Vacation for Unpaid Sick Leave

In cases where the employee has exhausted their available sick leave credits and is not on an approved CSU Family and Medical Leave (CSU FML), the appropriate Administrator cannot authorize the use of other available leave credits (e.g. vacation or CTO) in lieu of unpaid sick leave (dock). However, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources (President’s Designee) may authorize such requests.

Request for Substitution of Vacation for Unpaid Sick Leave



When should I apply for a leave of absence?

If you have an upcoming medical need (i.e., medical treatment, surgery, paternity, maternity, adoption, or caring for an eligible family member), you should notify your department and contact your Leave Coordinator 30 days prior to the effective date of the requested medical leave. If circumstances prevent a 30 day advance notice, you must contact HR within 5 days of learning of the medical need.

If your total time away from work would equal 5 consecutive days or more for a specific medical reason or if you have been sporadically off due to illness or caring for an eligible family member, you should contact your Leave Coordinator to discuss leave programs for which you may be eligible.

How do I apply for a medical leave of absence? 

Your first step is to request an appointment with your Leave Coordinator in the Human Resources department.    

What should I do with any doctor’s notes or forms signed by my physician? 

All medical notes or forms associated with a medical leave of absence should be sent or delivered to your Leave Coordinator in Human Resources. It is not necessary to provide copies of these documents to your manager/department chair or to your department as your Leave Coordinator will keep your department informed of your leave status. Documents may be faxed to 559.278.4275 or via the secured document transfer software MOVEit.

Can I change my return to work date once I've started my medical leave? 

The return to work date may be extended or changed to an earlier date based on a medical note from the doctor.   A medical note must be provided to the Leave Coordinator 2-3 days prior to reporting to work in order to discuss accommodations with your manager, if applicable .  

Can I use vacation credits if I am on a medical leave of absence? 

Faculty, staff or administrators out ill on an approved medical leave through Human Resources must use their available sick leave credits first.  When discussing an upcoming medical leave with your Leave Coordinator, you may opt to use available leave credits (Vacation, Personal Holiday, etc..) based on the appropriate leave program.  

If an employee has exhausted all sick leave credits and is not on an approved medical leave of absence, they cannot use their Personal Holiday, Vacation, CTO or Holiday Credit in lieu of unpaid sick leave. Usage of such leave credits are governed by CBA, CSU Policy and Title 5.  Contact Human Resources for more information (559) 278-2032.

How will I get my paycheck while I am on a medical leave? 

While on a medical leave, your pay warrant may not issue from the State Controller's Office on a timely basis when participating in the NonIndustrial Disability Insurance (NDI) program.  You may want to consider making prior arrangements with General Accounting (Cashier’s Office) to have your pay warrant/statement mailed during your leave of absence.  


How do I report my medical leave time in Absence Management while I am on leave? 

Any leave credits taken during an approved full or partial leave of absence will be entered on your behalf by your Leave Coordinator in Human Resources. Since Absence Management is available through the web, you can log into your Employee Self Service and verify the time has been entered for you.   If you have been approved for an intermittent leave of absence under the CSU FML, it will be your responsibility to enter your time in Absence Management on a weekly basis as specified by your Leave Coordinator. 


Am I Eligible for Family Medical Leave? 

The California State University Family and Medical Leave (CSU FML) incorporates both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the state California Family Rights Act (CFRA).  Employees with at least 12 months of service are eligible for a leave of up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period. Some units are required to have actually worked one thousand two hundred and fifty (1,250) hours in the twelve (12) months preceding the leave

What is NDI and when can I use it? 

NDI is NonIndustrial Disability Insurance, and is administered through the Employment Development Department. It is a short-term disability program provided by the California State University system for the majority of its employees. NDI can only be used for an employee's own illness.  An application for NDI can be requested from your Leave Coordinator in Human Resources. For all illnesses, there is a 7 day waiting period before benefits begin. The amount you will receive while on NDI varies by collective bargaining agreement. 

Will deductions be taken from my pay associated with NonIndustrial Insurance + Catastrophic  Leave Donations?    

Health benefits, Federal & State taxes, and Medicare are taken from the employee's pay while on these programs.  Voluntary deductions may also be deducted, provided enough pay has been generated by donated leave credits to cover them.  A CalPERS retirement deduction is made only from Catastrophic leave donations.    

Once you return from your medical leave, you are eligible to purchase the CalPERS Service credit . Please contact Human Resources.  

Who is eligible to receive Catastrophic Leave Donations?  

Any CSU employee who: 

  • Is in a position that accrues sick leave 
  • Has exhausted all available leave credits (sick leave, vacation, personal holiday, and CTO) 
  • Employee must apply for the NonIndustrial Disability Insurance  (NDI) program if he/she is out due to their own illness
  • Suffers from a catastrophic illness or injury or 
  • Must take time off work for an extended period of time to care for an immediate family member who suffers from a catastrophic illness or injury.  

How does being on Catastrophic Leave (CAT) affect seniority points? 

If you are receiving CAT leave donations while on NDI or under the CSU Family and Medical Leave program, seniority points are not affected. 

How long can an employee be on Catastrophic Leave (CAT)? 

The total donated leave credits normally shall not exceed an amount necessary to continue the employee's full salary for a period of three (3) calendar months which begins on the first day of Catastrophic Leave.   

 In exceptional cases, you may request an additional three (3) calendar months which must be approved by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.  

What if an employee does not receive enough donated leave credits to cover the disability period completely? 

If there are not enough leave credits to supplement your NonIndustrial Disability Insurance (NDI) benefit,  you will only receive what is donated for that month in addition to the NDI benefit.  

Can participants in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) donate and receive leave credits? 

FERP participants who have a leave balance are eligible to donate credits at any time. This is true even during their non-work periods, if you, the faculty member, is expected to return to work the following academic term.  However, FERP participants may receive and use donations only during scheduled work periods.

 Can I use the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program? 

The California State University does not participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program, which is administered through the Employment Development Department. Instead, the CSU uses NonIndustrial Disability Insurance (NDI) as the short-term disability program for its employees. 

However, employees who have contributed to SDI through a recent or concurrent employer may be eligible for this benefit. This can be verified by contacting the Employment Development Department at: (866) 758-9768 or through their website at for more information. 

Am I eligible for the California Paid Family Leave (PFL)? 

California State University employees are not eligible for the California Paid Family Leave. This benefit is paid through State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions.  California State University employees do not participate or contribute to this program. However, employees who have contributed to PFL through a recent or concurrent employer may be eligible for this benefit. This can be verified by contacting the Employment Development Department at: (866) 758-9768 or through their website at for more information. 


What is the maximum amount of leave I can take for maternity? 

A female with permanent status may be eligible to take up to one year of unpaid leave for pregnancy, childbirth and recovery.  This leave is normally paid for several months and the remaining time is unpaid. 

Eligibility is based on the employee’s Collective Bargaining Agreement or ED Code 89519 for MPPs. Additional information regarding maternity leave may be obtained by scheduling an appointment with your assigned Leave Coordinator in Human Resources. 

Is my job protected while I am on maternity leave? 

Yes, if you have been placed on a formal leave of absence which may incorporate a period of paid and unpaid time.   Your job protection is governed by the CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement, CSU Policies and federal and state regulations.  Additional information will be provided by your assigned Leave Coordinator in Human Resources.

Do I need to request maternity leave in writing? 

Yes. A Medical Leave Application form will need to be completed along with additional forms.  The Leave Coordinator will assist you in applying for a leave of absence for maternity leave. 

How soon do I need to enroll my new child in health benefits

You must complete a Benefits Worksheet and provide your child's birth certificate and Social Security number to Human Resources within 30 days of the birth.  A newborn is covered under his/her mother's health plan for the first 30 days.

Can I use my sick leave during maternity leave? 

Sick time is used during the pregnancy disability period which is validated with a medical note from the treating physician.    

 What kind of accommodations for lactation/breastfeeding are available to me?

The State of California passed AB 1025, the Lactation Accommodation Law, which provides workplace support for mothers who are breastfeeding. We encourage you to work directly with your appropriate administrator for assistance. If further assistance is needed, contact the Human Resources Department.  

For a list of our current lactation stations please visit: