Overview
LOA (Leave of Absence)

WHAT’S A LEAVE OF ABSENCE?

When you take a leave of absence (LOA), you’re taking a chunk of time away from work for a specific reason—the birth or adoption of a child, medical concerns for you or a family member, or military service, to name a few. An LOA must be requested and approved, and it can be paid or unpaid based on your reason for taking the leave.

Let’s start by going through some LOA basics:

 

Types of leave

The type of leave you request will depend on your reason for taking time off from work.

  • FMLA Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) allows you to take job-protected time away from work for a qualifying reason, including your own serious medical condition or that of a family member; birth, adoption or foster care placement; and military family care or military family emergency. For details, see the FMLA policy.
  • Personal Leave: This allows time away from work for a qualifying situation, as described in the Personal Leave policy. These can include medical conditions (yours or a family member's); birth, adoption or foster care placement; extended family member care; expatriate spouse or partner leave; care for a military spouse or partner; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reassignment; education; bereavement (when more than three days are needed); and other compelling reasons.
  • Military Leave: This allows you to take time off work for your military service. If your military pay is less than your Walmart pay, it can also make up the difference with a pay differential under qualifying conditions. For details, see the Military Leave policy.

When you’re out because you’re sick or injured: short-term disability benefits may be available to you. If you have an eligible medical condition requiring that you miss work for an extended period of time, you can submit a short-term disability claim to help replace part of your income for up to 25 weeks, after a seven-day waiting period. When you apply for leave, your leave specialist will let you know if you’re eligible for short-term disability. For more information about short-term disability coverage, check out this link: short-term disability, or the 2020  Associate Benefits Book (PDF).

When you’re injured on the job: workers’ compensation benefits. If your leave is due to an illness or injury covered by workers' compensation, Sedgwick, our leave administrator, will set up a LOA to run for the same length of time as your workers' compensation claim, once you've missed more than three days of work. However, it's still a good idea to check with Sedgwick to confirm that a LOA has been created.

 

Timing of leaves
 

There are three types of leaves available:
  • Continuous Leave: An absence for any of the reasons above for an uninterrupted length of time.
  • Intermittent Leave: An absence that happens from time to time due to an FMLA-qualifying medical reason, like continuing medical treatments. The process is essentially the same as for a regular FMLA leave, but your doctor will need to specify how long and how often you'll be absent.
  • Reduced Hours: This is for when you're able to return to work after an LOA, but can’t work a full shift yet.

 

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR LOA?

You’re eligible for a job-protected  FMLA leave  if you have:

  • Worked for the company for 12 months, and
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to your leave.
     

Different eligibility requirements may apply under certain state laws. For more information, see the FMLA policy.
 

Special Information for Associates Working in the following states

California

California Paid Family Leave (CA PFL) is a paid leave program that gives associates in your area time away from work to welcome a new child, care for themselves, and care for their families.  

 

The CA PFL has made the following change: 

 

  • Starting July 1, 2020, the CA PFL is expanding from six weeks to eight weeks of paid leave. 
  • To access the program, file a claim directly using the state's website.

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Paid Family Leave (DC PFL) is a paid leave program that gives associates in your area time away from work to welcome a new child, care for themselves, and care for their families. 

 

Starting July 1, 2020, it offers:

 

  • Up to two weeks of paid leave for your own medical condition. 
  • Up to six weeks to care for another family member. 
  • Up to eight weeks to welcome a new child through birth, adoption, or foster care placement. 
  • You're eligible if you've spent more than 50% of your time working in the District over the last year, with no requirements for minimum hours or length of service.

 

To access the program, apply on the District's website at https://dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov/.

New Jersey

New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (NJ FLI) and Temporary Disability Insurance (NJ TDI) are leave programs that give eligible associates working in New Jersey paid time away from work to care for themselves or their family members in certain circumstances.

 

The NJ FLI has made the following changes:

 

  • Starting July 1, 2020, the NJ FLI is expanding from six weeks to 12 weeks of paid leave. The maximum number of days of intermittent leave you can take is also increasing, from 42 to 56.

To access the program, contact Sedgwick at 800-492-5678 or mySedgwick.com

Washington

Washington State (WA) has a Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) benefit for associates working in WA. This state paid leave benefit is funded by both associates and Walmart. To make the most of your maternity benefits, if you work in WA, you may be eligible for both state PFML benefits in addition to Walmart’s paid maternity benefits. Here’s how it works:

 

  1.  File a claim for WA PFML  begin by contacting WA to file a PFML claim by going to the state’s dedicated website: www.esd.wa.gov or call 833-717-2273    
  2. File an LOA claim with Sedgwick – be sure to start an LOA claim with Sedgwick in addition to WA. Use the mySedgwick online tool to start your Walmart LOA claim.    
  3.  Send your WA PFML award letter to Sedgwick – once approved by the state, WA will send you an award letter outlining your PFML benefits. Send a copy of your award letter as soon as you receive it to Sedgwick, as this letter will help Sedgwick determine if you are eligible for additional benefits from Walmart, including longer job protection while you’re on LOA.    
  4. Coordinating paid leave benefits – for associates eligible for both Walmart’s short-term disability benefits and WA PFML, you’ll need to first apply with WA for your state benefits. Walmart will supplement the state benefit with short-term disability benefits through Sedgwick. This means the total paid disability benefits between both the WA PFML plus Walmart short-term disability benefits would not exceed 100% of your income prior to your leave.  
  5.  Use your earned PTO – just a reminder, you can use your earned PTO to get paid during any waiting periods for either your state or Walmart maternity leave benefits. And your earned PTO is available to you during your maternity leave. Let Sedgwick know if you’d like to use your earned PTO while on leave.    


Please note:
 Since you can’t receive more than your income prior to taking PFML, using your PTO while on WA PFML may lead to you receiving a reduced benefit from the state.

Please contact WA’s dedicated PFML experts by calling 833-717-2273 or read the Quick Reference Guide for more details.   

 

You’re generally eligible for  personal leave:

  • For your own serious medical condition, from your date of hire.
  • To care for a family member's serious medical condition, from your date of hire (if you're not yet FMLA eligible), or
  • For certain other serious, personal reasons. These are outlined in the Personal Leave policy.
  • For other kinds of leave, like Military Leave, please check in with your People Associate to learn more about your eligibility.
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