Time off for treatment
If I need time away from work for treatment of a mental or emotional health or substance misuse problem, what should I do?
- University sick time benefits cover absences from work for mental health and substance misuse problems just as they do for other health problems.
- In some situations medical documentation is required. To count time off as sick time or PTO, you must be in treatment to resolve or manage the problem.
- See Sick Time Pay - SPG 201.11 (pdf)
University sick time benefits cover absences from work for mental health and substance misuse problems just as they do for other health problems. If you are likely to be away from work for longer than two weeks, you must provide medical documentation from either a psychiatrist or a Ph.D. level psychologist. In some situations documentation may be required before two weeks of absence. (See Sick Time Pay - SPG 201.11 (pdf))
It is important to remember that if you are absent or late due to a mental health or substance misuse problem and wish to have the time counted as sick time or PTO, you must be in treatment to resolve or manage the problem. Otherwise you may have to report the time as unexcused without pay. Your supervisor, in consultation with your HR representative and Work~Connections, will determine whether or not to approve sick time or PTO.
If I am absent for an extended period of time for treatment for a mental or emotional health or substance misuse problem, what must I tell my supervisor?
- Your supervisor needs to know that you have a documented illness requiring time off work for treatment.
- You can submit documentation to your supervisor, HR representative or Work~Connections representative.
- FASAP and UMHS EAP counselors can assist you with the return-to-work process.
If you are or anticipate being absent from work for an extended period for treatment, your supervisor needs to know that you have a documented illness requiring time off work for treatment. If you are uncomfortable submitting medical documentation to your supervisor, you can submit it to your Work~Connections representative. They will release information to your supervisor on a need-to-know basis. Generally speaking, supervisors don’t need to know your diagnosis; they need to know that you will be absent, are receiving appropriate treatment, and when they can anticipate you returning to work.
You should contact your supervisor a few days prior to your anticipated return to work, so they can plan to assign appropriate work and make whatever additional arrangements may be necessary. If your treatment provider thinks accommodations are necessary to help your return-to-work be successful (e.g., returning half days for a limited period of time), this must discussed with your supervisor prior to your return.
FASAP and UMHS EAP counselors can assist you with the return-to-work process. They are available to talk with you about your concerns, clarify special needs you may have, and help plan what you will say to colleagues. Recognizing that the return-to- work can be stressful, counselors can also support you through the transition. A guide, entitled “Points to Consider for Returning to Work After a Medical Leave” (pdf) is available on the FASAP website.