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  • 1.  Leaves of Absence

    Posted 01-16-2024 05:42 PM

    I'm coming off an 8-month leave of absence from work.  I was moving anyway, and I wanted to travel without rigid time constraints, plus I had too many places and people to see to fit in a typical yearly PTO allowance.  Because my firm didn't have an office in Chicago where I now live, I simply gave notice and wrapped up my projects.  However, I've heard of a handful of recent instances where employers have permitted staff to take a long period of unpaid time off with the assurance that their job would be there when they get back.

    I'm curious as to where the industry is and where we're heading with respect to leaves of absence.  Do your companies have formal leave of absence policies?  Have you seen staff take a long period of time away before returning to a regular working schedule?  If so, how is this negotiated?

    Christian Parker P.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Project Engineer
    Chicago IL

  • 2.  RE: Leaves of Absence

    Posted 01-19-2024 09:57 AM

    One option my employer provides is "time without pay." This can be used in cases where you need to be away for longer than PTO would allow. I believe it is also only for special circumstances and may have a time-limit to it as well. I am not sure how it affects total time spent with the company with respect to benefits. 

    Personally, I believe that if a company desires your talents or knowledge enough, they might do what they can either to keep you or to re-hire you at a later point. 

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer