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How to Write Letters Requesting a Medical Leave of Absence

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Sometimes it is necessary for an employee to request a medical leave of absence. The employee often needs to write a letter to the employer stating the request and offering details regarding the leave, such as the precise reason for the request, the amount of time off requested and the expected date of return. The letter's tone should be formal and clear.

Determine whether your reason for the request is valid. A request for a medical leave of absence typically requires that the employee have some type of medical problem that is causing or will cause the employee to be unable to complete her duties. Common medical reasons are childbirth or surgery.

Write your supervisor’s name and address at the top of the letter. Add the date underneath that. Under the date, write “Re: Medical Leave Request.” This allows the reader to understand what the letter will be about. Address the letter “Dear” followed by your supervisor’s name with the appropriate title -- “Mr.”, “Ms.” or "Mrs."

State that you are requesting time off from work for medical reasons. Include the starting date of the requested leave in the opening sentence.

Offer a reason for your request. Be direct. This will likely make your supervisor aware of the seriousness of your medical issue. If you are having surgery, give the date and type of surgery.

Give an estimated date for your return to work, based on your doctor's advice. If the surgery has a 60-day recovery period, do not plan to return to work until around 60 days after the surgery. Let your supervisor know that you will keep him posted on developments as the return date gets closer.

Describe any current projects or duties and say what you plan to do regarding them, such as assigning them to a coworker. Identify the coworker. Offer to answer calls to your home during this absence if necessary.

Close the letter with an offer of thanks for your supervisor's understanding of your request. Include your contact information. Sign the letter “Sincerely,” followed by your name.