Leave of Absence (LOA)
There are many reasons why you may need to take a Leave of Absence (LOA). Whether it be your own serious health condition, pregnancy, caring for a newborn (baby bonding) or caring for your family member’s serious health condition, most employees will need to take at least one leave of absence during their career. Below is some general information to help you understand the process and familiarize yourself with the resources that are available to you.
Let’s say you need to take some time off for your own serious health condition (i.e., surgery with eight weeks post-op recovery). If you have worked for the company for at least one year and worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months, you will be eligible for FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). Under FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks (480 hours) off work in a rolling 12-month period.
Your Action Items:
We recognize this process can be confusing and have put together a check list of the typical things you’ll need to do from start to finish. Please also read through our Most Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.
How do I request a leave of absence (LOA)?
If your leave is foreseeable, please submit an LOA Request through the HR Ticketing system on Hotspot. If you are already on LOA and/or unable to submit an LOA request, please contact Zovio to start the process:
PHONE: 866.475.0317 ext. 11807
1811 E Northrop Blvd.
Chandler, AZ 85286
What information do you need from my doctor?
Your physician/health care provider will need to complete a medical certificate* to certify your time off. This document is due back to Zovio within 15 days from the start of your leave.. If you are out for more than seven days, we will also need the Return to Work form complete prior to you return back to work. Please notify Zovio two to five days in advance prior to your expected return date to confirm your return date. If you are not able to return as expected, we will need an updated medical certificate completed by your health care provider in order to extend your time off.
The following forms will be provided by Zovio for completion:
*Please note that a medical certificate is not required for leaves taken for non-health reasons such as military or baby bonding.
What compensation is available to me while I am out on leave?
LOAs are generally unpaid. However, you can use your Sick, Vacation, and/or Floating Holiday time to supplement your disability payments during this time. Please note that per company policy, you must use any accrued sick/vacation time for the first week (40 hours) of your Leave of Absence (except for Military). When you request your LOA, you will have the option to request the number of hours (sick and/or vacation) you want to use each pay period while you are out on Leave. Most employees will only use the number of hours needed to supplement their disability payments (i.e., 16 hours per pay period).
Short-Term Disability through Zovio:
Zovio provides all benefits eligible employees with a short-term disability policy that pays up to 60 percent of their pre-disability earnings (up to a weekly max of $1,200). This is a company perk at no cost to you. Visit this link for instructions on how to report a disability claim with NY Life.
What other resources are available to help me?
Whether its caring for a loved one, welcoming a new baby, or coping during your own illness, being on a Leave of Absence can be stressful and we want to help you. Zovio provides all employees (and their household) with a free Employee Assistance Program through Cigna. This program is confidential and provides up to five visits per issue, per year. Visit the EAP page to learn more.
If you enrolled in one of our voluntary benefits, such as:
You may have other benefits that you are eligible for depending on your situation.
How do I pay for my benefits while out on LOA?
Zovio will maintain your benefits while on job protected leave. Any missed premiums will be deducted from six of your future paychecks, once you return to work, until you are caught up.
If you prefer, you can send in your benefit premiums while on leave to:
Attention: Human Resources (Benefit Payment)
1811 E Northrop Blvd
Chandler, AZ 85286
What happens if I am unable to return to work before my FMLA leave ends?
FMLA provides you with job and benefits protection. There are times an employee will qualify for an extended LOA beyond the federal and state requirement. In this case, your leave will transition to a non-FMLA status, which means that your LOA is no longer job protected and your benefits will terminate. You will have the option to continue your Benefits through COBRA. Our COBRA administrator, Discovery Benefits, will send you a COBRA packet with information on how to continue your benefits. Read our COBRA FAQ for more information.
This also means, there is no guarantee that your job will be available when you return back from leave. If your position is no longer available, we will provide you with a list of all open positions. You may apply for any open position for which you are qualified. Zovio will make a good faith effort to place you in a suitable position. However, we cannot guarantee placement or any particular return date. In the event a suitable position is not available within 30 days of your desired return date, your employment with Zovio will terminate as of the 30th day. You will still be eligible to apply for future open positions with Zovio.
What are the qualified reasons for a leave of absence?
There are various reasons and types of leaves. Zovio follows all Federal and State regulatory laws for the state that you work in. Please read section 7 of the Employee Handbook to learn more. Leaves of Absence for hardship/personal reasons are normally difficult to accommodate without seriously affecting the operation of the company. For that reason, most Leaves are not granted except those required by law. However, the company does offer a non-FMLA Medical Leave of up to four weeks for those employees who are not eligible for FMLA.