2122 - Leave of Absence



Audience List

  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Supervisors


This policy

  • Defines a leave of absence.
  • Provides statutes for a leave of absence and an extension beyond one year.
  • Discusses the various types of leaves.


A leave of absence (LOA) without pay is a temporary separation for a period of time in which an employee is away from their job, while maintaining a mandatory right of return to their position. An unpaid LOA may be up to one year, however an extension to an unpaid LOA may be granted by the appointing power with approval from Department of Human Resources or by provisions of the employees Memorandum of Understanding, whichever is applicable.


A leave of absence (LOA) is an unpaid leave that may last up to one year. This leave allows employees to take time off work with a mandatory right of return when the leave ends.

The information below is provided as general guidance on LOA. For represented employees refer to the applicable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  In instances where the MOU differs from any of the information below, the MOU controls.

Government Code section 19991.1 provides that an appointing power may grant an LOA not to exceed one year, subject to California Department of Human Resources rule.  California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.781 provides that an appointing power may grant a leave of absence without pay to any employee for a period not to exceed 30 calendar days.  It also provides that the appointing power may grant an LOA to any employee who has permanent status without a break in state service due to permanent separation, a probationer who has completed six months of service in a class having a longer probationary period, or a probationer who was prevented from completing the probationary period because of entry into the United States military service.

An extension to an unpaid LOA may be granted by the appointing power subject to provisions set forth in the applicable MOU or where applicable upon approval from the Department of Human Resources, Personnel Services Branch. Approvals of an extension must be done prior to the expiration date of the original one year leave.

An unpaid leave of absence shall not be granted under California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.781 for employees accepting another position in state service or outside of state service.

Government Code section 19991.6 provides that an appointing power shall grant an LOA without pay at the request of a female employee for the purposes of pregnancy, childbirth or the recovery therefrom for a period as determined by the employee not to exceed one year.  Once the employee has provided a request for a specific period of time, changes must be approved by the appointing power.

Per Government Code section 19143, employees who temporarily separate, such as those on an LOA, shall be reinstated to their former position upon expiration of the LOA.


Not Applicable.




  • PML 1982-009: PML 1982-009 - 11/19/1982 - Leaves of Absence
  • PML 1984-003: PML 1984-003 - 1/25/1984 - Extension of one year leave of absence

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division

Contact Person

Personnel Services Branch
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Services Branch
Phone: 916-909-3702
Fax: 916-327-1886
Email: psb@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan