Policies & Contracts

506 - Bereavement Leave

Subject: Bereavement Leave

Section: U506

Date: April 11, 2018


Purpose:

To provide employees with time off from work when death occurs in their families.

Key Definitions:

Word/Phrase Definition
Child An employee's son, or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or child of a person standing in loco parentis (in the place of a parent). This definition applies only to this Bereavement Leave Policy 506, and not to other University policies or benefits referencing a Child or similar terminology. 
Spouse An employee's spouse, or domestic partner with a Statement of Domestic Partnership registered and approved by the Benefits Office. 

Policy Statement:

In the event of the death of certain members of employees’ families, and upon request, it is the University’s policy to grant paid time off and/or unpaid leave.

A. Bereavement Leave for the Death of a Child or Spouse

In the event of the death of an employee's Child or Spouse (as defined in this Policy), the employee may take up to 20 work days (four work weeks) of bereavement leave, if requested. Bereavement leave for the death of a Child or Spouse need not be taken on consecutive work days, but must be taken within one year of the death. 

B. Bereavement Leave for Other Family Members

In the event of the death of an employee's parent or foster parent, sister, brother, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, step-parent, grandparent, grandchild or father or mother of the employee's University-approved domestic partner, the employee may take up to 5 consecutive work days of bereavement leave immediately following the death, if requested. 

C. Administration of All Bereavement Leave

An employee should communicate the need for bereavement leave as soon as is practicable. 

For benefits-eligible staff employees, bereavement leave of up to 5 work days, or 20 work days in the event of the death of a Child or Spouse, will be paid and will not be deducted from the employee's allotment of sick leave, vacation days, or personal holidays. In the case of paid bereavement leaves, the employee will be paid only for those days that fall on his/her regularly scheduled work days. 

Bereavement leave for non-benefits-eligible staff employees is generally unpaid; however, such employees may (but are not required to) use accrued sick leave during a bereavement leave. 

An employee may request additional time off to be charged against accrued vacation days, sick leave, or personal holidays, or as unpaid time off. The supervisor may contact Human Resources (HR) to discuss other options. 

Supervisor considerations will be given on an individual basis to requests for bereavement leave in the event of the death of a person not bearing one of the relationships listed above to the employee. 

An employee may be requested to verify the relationship and death. Documentation requested may include a death certificate, a published obituary, or written verification of death, burial, or memorial services from a mortuary, funeral home, burial society, cremation, religious institution, or government agency. 

Bereavement leave, when paid, is paid on a regular, straight-time basis and is not counted as time worked when computing overtime.

Revision History

  • April 11, 2018: leave expanded to include provision for non-benefits eligible staff and additional time off for the death of a spouse or child.
  • September 30, 2016: relationships qualifying for bereavement leave expanded to include daughter-, son-, father- and mother-in-law. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Governed Party

Roles and Responsibilities

Employee The Employee is responsible for following the Supervisor's time off request procedures and recording bereavement leave use. 
Supervisor The Supervisor is responsible for setting time off request procedures, ensuring they are followed, and approving bereavement leave use in the time off calendar. 

Related Information

Policy U304 Compensable Time, Record-Keeping, and Tracking Absences

Policy U509 Vacation

Policy U511 Personal Holidays

Policy U512 Sick Leave

Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.