Employees can request a leave of absence for personal reasons for a period not to exceed thirteen bi-weekly pay periods (six months). The employee may have very personal reasons for the leave, or may disclose that it is for educational purposes, to take an extended trip, to build a house, etc. The granting of a personal leave of absence is at the Department Head’s discretion, and is based on the Department’s ability to do without that employee for a period of time as well as the severity of the employee’s need. The employee must use all vacation and holiday credits prior to going into unpaid status. The entitlement to payment of the County’s portion of health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance premiums ends on the last day of two full bi-weekly pay periods in which the employee is on an unpaid personal leave of absence.