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Leave of Absence

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When it comes to the leave of absence (LOA) process, managers and HR representatives play a big role in making sure everything runs smoothly. Let’s take a look at how you can help your associates request leaves and return to work successfully.

Types of leave

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FMLA allows for 12 weeks of job-protected time away from work for qualifying eligible conditions, including medical conditions (for the associate or a family member), birth, adoption, foster-care placement, military family care and military family exigency.

Legally-mandated leave programs provide eligible associates in certain states or local areas with additional leave pay and/or job protections. Eligibility and qualifying reasons for leave vary by work location. Note that these laws may run concurrently with FMLA if the associate is eligible for both. Please visit our Family and Medical Leave policy for more details.

Military leave

Military leaves give associates time off from work for military service. Associates can get military differential if their military pay is less than their current Walmart pay. All associates are eligible for military leave as soon as they’re hired, and Sedgwick will manage all military leaves and military differential pay.

Personal leave

Personal leaves are for associates’ time away that isn’t covered by state or federal laws. They can be either non-discretionary or discretionary.

Non-discretionary personal leaves are reviewed and approved by Sedgwick. These can be approved for:

Hourly associates:

  • Associate’s own medical condition
  • Extended family care
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Expatriate spouse/partner
  • Military spouse/partner
  • Reassignment due to ADA
  • Pharmacy Intern Education

Salaried associates/OTR drivers:

  • Associate’s own medical condition
  • Family care, if taken prior to FMLA eligibility
  • Parental leave, if taken prior to FMLA eligibility
  • Extended family member care
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Expatriate spouse/partner
  • Military spouse/partner
  • Reassignment due to ADA
  • Pharmacy Intern Education

Discretionary personal leaves:
These need to be turned in to Sedgwick first to make sure the associate is eligible. If they are, Sedgwick will notify the associate’s manager/HR representative to request approval. Depending on the situation, Managers or HR Representatives can approve personal discretionary leaves for:

Hourly associates:

  • Family care
  • Parental
  • Bereavement
  • Transfer
  • Education
  • Other compelling reasons

Salaried associates/OTR drivers:

  • Family care, if taken after FMLA eligible
  • Parental, if taken after FMLA eligible
  • Bereavement
  • Transfer
  • Education
  • Other compelling reasons

Personal medical leave qualifying for short-term disability benefits: If an associate’s leave is due to his or her own serious medical condition, they could be eligible for short-term disability benefits. Keep in mind that an approval of a medical leave of absence doesn’t automatically mean an approval for short-term disability benefits.

Eligibility Rules

Associates are eligible for job-protected FMLA leave if they have:

  • Worked for the company for 12 months and
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months
  • Certain states might have different eligibility requirements. For more information, see the FMLA policy.

In most cases, associates are eligible for personal leave:

  • For their own serious medical condition
  • For a family member’s serious health condition
  • For more eligibility reasons, see the Personal Leave policy.
  • For certain other serious, personal reasons.

Leaves and short-term disability claims

Short-term disability pay:

Eligible associates have a seven-calendar-day waiting period before short-term disability benefits start. Associates can use available PTO to get paid during this waiting period. For more details, see the Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy.

Once Sedgwick approves an associate’s short-term disability claim:

Full-time hourly associates:
Get 50% of their average weekly wage for up to 25 weeks, to a maximum of $200 per week under the short-term disability basic plan.
Get 60% of their average weekly wage for up to 25 weeks with no weekly maximum, if enrolled in the short-term disability enhanced plan.

Salaried Associates:
Get 100% of pay for up to six weeks.
After these six weeks, get 75% of pay for up to an additional 19 weeks.

Full-time Drivers:
Get 75% of the average day’s pay (ADP) for up to 25 weeks.

Important note:
Washington: All eligible associates working in WA are offered legally-mandated state benefits. For those eligible for short-term disability benefits, Walmart will supplement the state benefit with short-term disability benefits. The amount of Walmart’s short-term disability benefit will be reduced by the amount of the legally-mandated benefit. This means the total paid disability benefits between both the state’s Family and Medical Leave plan plus any applicable Walmart short-term disability benefits, would not exceed 100% of associate’s income prior to leave. In addition, associates may use any earned PTO to get paid during their short-term disability waiting period, or while receiving Washington state benefits. Using PTO may reduce their benefit payment amount from the state.

Maternity Benefits

Walmart’s maternity benefit, together with a short-term disability benefit, supports eligible associates with a disabling condition by pregnancy. The maternity benefit offers up to nine weeks of protected paid time away from work at 100% of their earnings, after the initial waiting period of seven calendar days. Generally, no medical evidence is required for this benefit; however, it is important for associate to file a LOA claim with Sedgwick.

Eligibility:

  • Salaried and truck driver associates – eligible as of date of hire
  • Full-time hourly associates – eligible following 12 months of service
  • Part-time and temporary associates – not eligible
  • Associates working in CA, HI, NJ, NY or RI please refer your state guide for information

If an associate has medical complications during or after pregnancy, benefit payments may continue under short-term disability after the end of the maternity benefits. Medical documentation may be required by Sedgwick for these scenarios.

California: Full time hourly and all eCommerce associates in CA are offered legally-mandated state benefits, and Walmart will supplement the these with maternity benefits. The total benefits payable under the Walmart maternity plan will not exceed the level of benefits otherwise payable under the plan. Associates may use any earned PTO to get paid during their short-term disability waiting period, or while receiving state benefits. Using PTO may reduce their benefit payment amount from the state.

Washington: All eligible associates working in WA are offered legally mandated state benefits. For those who are eligible for maternity benefits, Walmart will supplement the legally mandated benefit with Walmart benefits. The total Walmart maternity benefits in this case will not exceed the level of benefits otherwise payable under the plan. Associates may use any earned PTO to get paid during their short-term disability waiting period, or while receiving state benefits. Using PTO may reduce their benefit payment amount from the state.