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Shark Leave Overview and Eligibility

The leave and disability programs are an important a part of your benefits package that NSU provides you at no cost.  These programs are a safety net for you and your family should you become disabled or need a leave of absence, and Lincoln will be there to take you through the leave/disability process.  Lincoln will assign you a personal case manager to provide support and guidance as you plan your leave/disability and help you obtain required medical certification from your physician.  Your case manager will stay in touch with you regularly, keep your supervisor updated on the status of your leave/disability, and assist with your return-to-work planning and notifications.

When to Request a Leave or Disability

Requests must be made for an absence lasting seven (7) consecutive calendar or five (5) work days due to your own serious illness or disability, maternity, to care for a newborn, an immediate family member or to prepare for a military leave.  Leave requests may be submitted up to 30 days in advance of a planned absence and requests for unplanned absences should be submitted as soon as practicable, usually within one to two business days.

Timely reporting is critical in securing approval of your request and continuation of payments issued through payroll.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Overview

The FMLA of 1993 was established to assist employees in balancing work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take a reasonable, job-protected unpaid leave of absence for certain health-related and personal events. All leaves of absence at NSU will run concurrently, where applicable. The substitution of paid time off during leaves of absence does not extend the 12-week leave entitlement under the FMLA or leave approved under the university-sponsored Short Term Disability Leave Program.


Eligibility for FMLA Leave

Employees of Nova Southeastern University (NSU) are eligible for FMLA leave if they have worked at least 12 months and 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the FMLA leave begin date.


Reasons for FMLA Leave

Employees who meet the eligibility requirements stated above will be entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:

  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within the first year of birth;
  • the placement and/or to care (within 1 year of placement) for a child under the age of 18 for adoption or placement in foster care;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  • to care for the employee’s own serious health condition;
  • for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty”.

Submerging into the Shark Leave Waters

The Nova Southeastern University Short-Term Disability Program and Family & Medical Leave are administered by Lincoln Financial.

Lincoln offers our fellow sharks direct access to claims resources and information. You can easily report a claim and check the status of your application through Lincoln Financial Group's dedicated secure website or by telephone. We have also created this E-Z 3-step guide that will help you dominate your Shark Leave!

3-Easy Step Process

1. Notify your Supervisor and Lincoln

You are required to provide notice to Lincoln and your supervisor if you need to request a Shark leave

NSU policy requires employees to notify Lincoln, and their immediate supervisor, of any intermittent or continuous absences that may be considered a serious health condition under the FMLA. Notice is required no more than 30 days in advance for planned medical treatment or procedures, or with as much notice as possible if the leave is unforeseeable. 

Intake Specialists at Lincoln are available 24/7 online at First time users must register using Company Code NSU-EE or you can call 1-800-291-0112 and speak with an Intake Specialist to report your claim.

Please have the following information available when you report your claim:

  • Your physician or medical care provider's name, address, fax and telephone numbers
  • Your direct supervisor's name, telephone number and e-email address
  • Reason you are out of work (Diagnosis/Symptoms)
  • Your last day worked, first day absent from work, and anticipated return to work date
2. Provide Medical Certification

Returning medical certification to Lincoln is your responsibility

Lincoln will attempt to obtain as much detailed medical information as needed and request copies of your medical records. To expedite this process, please provide your physician or medical care provider with a copy of the Authorization to Release Information at your next visit or you can use the Voice Authorization and eSignature features for a quicker process. This form or voice authorization gives your doctor permission to release your medical information to Lincoln. The authorization form can be found at .If the healthcare provider does not respond to the request from Lincoln within 10 business days, your Claims Examiner will contact you to develop a plan of action.

Submitting the appropriate certification for your leave of absence is your responsibility. To prevent delays, inform the healthcare provider for you or your family member that Lincoln will be sending medical certification and may contact them via telephone or fax.

The Office of Human Resources encourages you to have a hassle-free Shark leave by submitting documentation in a timely manner. 

Voice Authorization and eSignature
3.Return to Work Form

Provide the Return to Work form before returning from your Shark leave

A Return to Work Form must be completed by your healthcare provider (when applicable) and submitted to your Benefits Team at or you may fax it over to 954-262-6859.If restrictions are listed on the Return to Work form, they must be communicated to Lincoln for verification. Restrictions to your return to work that reduce your work schedule may reduce your earnings until you are able to resume work without restrictions.

The Return to Work Form is not required when returning from FMLA to care for a family member, Intermittent leave and/or bonding leave.


Download RETURN TO WORK Form

Short Term Disability (STD) benefits are payable when employees meet the following criteria:
  • are in an eligible class working 19.2 hours or more per week
  • successfully completed 90 days of employment
  • exhausted their available sick, personal, and vacation time off
  • medically necessary disability period has been approved by NSU's designated leave administrator
  • met the 7 day exclusion period defined by the program

STD benefits are not paid for the 7-day exclusion period at the beginning of an approved disability period or when employees have sufficient available paid time off to cover an approved disability period.  In no case shall STD benefits be paid beyond the approved disability period. If approved, STD benefits are paid through Payroll in alignment with the regular practices and policies. 

All leaves of absence at NSU will run concurrently, where applicable. The substitution of paid time off during leaves of absence does not extend the leave entitlement under the FMLA or leave approved under the university-sponsored Short Term Disability Leave Program.

Nurse Case Management is available if you are enrolled in an NSU/ICUBA medical insurance plan

A dedicated Nurse Case Manager is available to provide pre and post-care assistance for employees covered under an NSU/ICUBA medical insurance plan. ICUBA’s dedicated Nurse Case Manager can help manage health concerns, coordinate therapy, quality research, and many other services at no additional cost to employees covered under an NSU/ICUBA medical insurance plan!

Contact the Nurse Case Manager today by calling 800-868-2500, extension 47851.

The EAP is a free resource for you and every member of your household

The EAP is a confidential, free resource that can help you and your family deal with problems that may seem overwhelming.  The EAP is available to all benefit-eligible NSU employees and every member of their household.  Access services online at or by phone at 877-398-5816 (press option 1 for EAP services).  The Employee Assistance Program username is ICUBA and the password is 8773985816.

Your leave may be designated concurrently under FMLA and Worker's Compensation

When applicable, Nova Southeastern University will designate absences approved under Worker’s Compensation as FMLA leave and count them against an employees’ FMLA entitlement.  Workers’ compensation absences are considered paid leave, as such, NSU does not require the substitution of paid leave when FMLA leave is designated concurrently to absences compensated by workers’ compensation benefits.  Nova Southeastern University permits employees to use their available paid time off, where state law permits, to supplement workers’ compensation benefits, such as in the case where workers’ compensation only provides replacement income for two-thirds of employee’s salary.

In cases where an employees’ healthcare provider certifies that an employee can return to light-duty work but cannot return to their same or equivalent job and employees refuse to return to light-duty work, employees may lose their workers’ compensation benefits; however, they still are entitled to remain on unpaid FMLA leave until that entitlement is exhausted. At the termination of workers’ compensation benefits, NSU requires employees to the substitution of available paid time off for the remaining unpaid FMLA leave.

Absences approved under Worker's Compensation are not compensable under the university-sponsored Short Term Disability Program. 



Update your mailing address and telephone number

Lincoln, the University's designated leave administrator, will send a comprehensive intake packet to your home address which includes your rights and responsibilities when requesting leave under the FMLA and NSU Policy. Please make sure your mailing address and telephone contact information are updated prior to requesting a leave of absence. 

Update your mailing address online


Maintain contact with your department

While on leave you are required to periodically update the university’s designated leave administrator, and your immediate supervisor, with updates or changes in your leave status and your expected return to work date. Regular contact with your department allows for efficient and effective planning for the duration of your leave and return to work. 


Your medical leave is generally an unpaid leave

Generally, FMLA leave is unpaid. NSU requires employees to substitute accrued paid time off (sick, personal, and vacation time) for unpaid FMLA leave and prior to receiving benefits under the university-sponsored Short Term Disability Leave Program.  

Remember that while you are on a leave of absence, university closures and holidays are not paid unless you have available paid time off or are approved for Short Term Disability reduced salary benefits. 

During an approved leave, the accrual of sick, personal, and vacation time will stop until you return from leave.

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