Other Leave

Besides family leave benefits, unions have bargained for wide variety of other leaves to help workers deal with family responsibilities.

  • Bereavement – leave that provides time off to attend funerals or deal with related responsibilities in the event of a death in the family or household.
  • Domestic Violence – a growing number of collective bargaining agreements (and some state laws) provide for time off to deal with issues related to domestic violence. Time off may be used to deal with medical care, finding safe housing, social work visits, or court appearances.
  • Donated – provisions may allow workers to donate their accumulated leave to co-workers who have used their leave allocations but are in need of additional leave to deal with their own health condition or the care of a family member.
  • Marriage Leave – some contract provisions allow workers to take a specified number of days off in the event of their marriage. Others guarantee the right to take vacation during the time before, during and after marriage.
  • Mentoring/Volunteer Work – provisions that allow time off to participate in mentoring or other forms of volunteer work.
  • Paid Time Off – some contracts combine all forms of paid time off (primarily sick leave and vacation) into one allocation. Employees may then use the time for any reason.
  • Personal – some provisions allow for time off for a variety of personal reasons. Frequently, unpaid sick leave is included in this category but other reasons may also form the basis for personal leave.
  • Religious (or Religious Accommodation) – provisions that allow employees some leeway to engage in religious practices and take time off to mark religious holidays on regular workdays. 
  • Sabbaticals – some contracts provide for periodic sabbaticals based on a preset length of employment giving employees extended time off from work for research, professional development or rejuvenation. Although this is kind of leave is most common in academic workplaces, other employers are beginning to see the advantages of this kind of leave.
  • School Visits/Participation – provisions that specifically employees time off to participate in their children’s school related activities such as parent-teacher conferences, school visits, etc. (NOTE: Such provisions may build upon existing state laws on time off for parental participation in schools.)
  • Sick Leave (Cash Out Unused) – a few contract provisions give employees the opportunity to receive cash payments for unused sick leave upon termination of employment or retirement.
  • Sick Leave (Extended) – provisions that guarantee additional sick leave in the event of a health condition that outlasts available sick leave. Such provisions are most common in teachers’ contracts.
  • Small Increments – provisions that allow workers to take leave in small amounts of time for family responsibilities. (E.g. an employee who needs a few hours off work to take his/her child to the doctor but does not wish to take the whole day off can use this kind of leave.)
  • Stress – some union contracts allow employees to take leave to deal with stress (sometimes known as “mental health days”). This generally involves the use of sick leave or vacation time. Such provisions are most common in the contracts involving workers in high stress occupations such as child protective service workers and mental health hospital staff.
  • Training/Education – provisions that allow employees to take leave to participate in educational programs or trainings. (Also see Tuition Assistance & Training/Education/Professional Development under Assistance/Services)


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