Leave of Absence and Accommodations

We know that life happens, and it’s important for you to take the time you need. Our PetSmart Leave of Absence team is here to help you navigate taking time away from work.

If you have a disabling illness or injury and are unable to work, you may qualify for income replacement through disability benefits. During a leave of absence, your medical coverage will continue and you will be responsible for paying your medical premiums when you return to work.

To learn more, review the related policies located in the Policy and Procedure library on our internal Fetch site. For questions, please contact your Leader or the Leave of Absence Team, or call 1-800-521-7387.


Leave type – paid


Who is eligible

Maternity/adoption leave

State-mandated leave of 8 paid weeks of maternity and adoption leave; includes miscarriages

Full-time and part-time associates

Bereavement leave

Up to 3 days

Full-time associates

Jury duty

Up to 15 working days

Full-time associates

Sports leave

Up to 30 days to represent PR in Olympic-type events

Full-time associates

Leave for witness in criminal cases

Receive regular compensation if summoned as a witness in a criminal case

Full-time associates

Leave type – unpaid


Who is eligible


Employees who provide notice of military orders are not to be treated disproportionately to paid time off and other benefits while on leave

All associates


After working 1,250 hours, associates are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected leave

All associates

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Associates may be eligible for a period of job-protected unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons such as:

  • A serious health condition which renders the associate unable to perform his/her job
  • To bond with a new child through birth, adoption, or foster care
  • To care for an immediate family member
  • A deployment of an eligible family member in the U.S. military

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an associate must have worked for PetSmart for at least 12 months and must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to the start date of any leave request.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is another resource that applies only to associates who do not meet the eligibility requirements under FMLA, or who have exhausted FMLA leave. A medical leave may be requested when an associate is under the care of a licensed healthcare provider (practicing within the terms of his/her license).
  • The associate must be currently unable to perform one or more essential functions of their position, with or without accommodations. If PetSmart crafts an accommodation for the associate that would allow them to perform their position even with their current medical restrictions, then leave under this policy will be unavailable.
  • To obtain leave under this policy, the associate must cooperate with PetSmart to obtain medical information substantiating: (1) the nature of impairment; (2) the functions the associate cannot perform; (3) the amount of time the associate will have the restrictions; (4) an estimated return to work date; (5) the level of confidence of the physician that the date provided is accurate; and (6) estimated restrictions that will still exist after the associate is released to return.

Short-Term and Long-Term Disability



Short-Term Disability

Company-paid benefit offered through Puerto Rico government; benefit is $113/week up to 26 weeks. 

Long-Term Disability 

Company-paid for salaried associates and hourly store leadership; associate-paid for hourly non-leadership associates. Payable after elimination period.

Short-Term Disability (STD) coverage provides income replacement to associates who are unable to work because of an extended illness or non-work-related injury. STD coverage is available automatically and at no cost to all full-time associates.

How do you make a claim for STD benefits? Review the steps to complete your disability claim here.

Maternity Leave and Short-Term Disability Benefits from Cigna 

Pregnancy leave is treated the same as any other short-term disability (STD). The period of time that may be paid under STD will be based on information provided by the attending physician regarding the actual date of disability and the expected date of delivery. The time for which the doctor states that the associate is disabled and unable to work before the delivery and for up to six weeks after the delivery date is covered under STD, for a maximum STD benefit of 11 weeks. If the pregnancy disability period is longer than 12 weeks, it may become a long-term disability (LTD) claim if the associate is eligible for the LTD benefits. When you notify your manager of your impending maternity leave, the Phoenix Home Office Benefits team will initiate a lump-sum payment of eight weeks pay to be paid out on your next regular paycheck.
Long-Term Disability (LTD) coverage picks up where STD coverage ends and pays a benefit of 60 percent of your monthly pay if you are unable to work due to extended illness or non-work-related injury.
All full-time salaried associates, full-time hourly Store Leaders and Salon Leaders automatically receive LTD coverage. All other full-time associates can elect the voluntary LTD coverage as part of their full-time benefits when they become eligible for benefits or during open enrollment. If the voluntary LTD benefit is not elected when it is first available and is elected during the next annual open enrollment period, evidence of insurability (EOI) is required. Coverage is not effective until EOI is approved by Cigna.
LTD benefits may be offset by other compensation received, including but not limited to Social Security disability insurance. LTD benefits will be provided to all covered associates in accordance with the LTD plan document (the terms and provisions of which are incorporated in the Summary Plan Description) governing such benefits.
How do you make a claim for LTD benefits?
  • Claims that have been processed for STD with Cigna will automatically be reviewed for potential LTD compensation if eligible.
  • Cigna will conduct an investigation in accordance to the plan guidelines and may require additional documentation to support the continued disability.
  • To be eligible to receive LTD benefits, the associate must be totally disabled during the entire STD period and under a physician’s regular care and attendance.
  • Payments stop when the associate returns to work, the disability ends or the maximum benefit has been paid, whichever occurs first.
  • PetSmart offers reasonable accommodations consistent with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act to qualified individuals as long as those reasonable accommodations will not create a hardship on PetSmart.

Schedule of LTD Benefits


60% of monthly earnings

Maximum benefit

$10,500 per month (less any SINOT payments received)

Minimum benefit

$100 per week

Benefit waiting period

13 weeks

Other Time Away

Personal Leave:

  • Any full-time or part-time associate can request a personal leave of absence of up to 30 days for a compelling non-medical personal reason per management approval.
  • There is no job protection while on a personal leave.
  • Personal leave is unpaid; however, an associate can use vacation pay or discretionary days to cover any period of the personal leave. An associate may be eligible to use accrued sick time as determined by state or local regulations.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Check out these frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Check out these frequently asked questions.

Leader FAQs

If an associate is absent from work for more than three consecutive days, you will need to create a Status Change Form (SCF) in HR Connect and place the associate on the appropriate leave of absence. The leave start date is the first day the associate missed work due to the need for leave. Once the associate has been released to return to work, you will need to process an SCF returning the associate from leave.

A review of the restrictions and any requested accommodation will need to be reviewed with the Leave of Absence team and the associate. For additional information, please or contact the Leave of Absence team at leaveofabsence@petsmart.com, or by phone at 1-800-521-7387.


Leaders and associates can review the following policies and procedures on our internal Fetch site under the P&P library.

  • Americans with Disabilities Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act Policy
  • Paid Parental Leave Policy

Associate FAQs

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an associate must have worked for PetSmart for at least 12 months and must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to the commencement date of any leave request.

  • Short-term disability is not a leave of absence; it is a partial income replacement program that is meant to supplement your lost income if you are out of work due to an illness or non-work-related accident.
  • A Leave of Absence (LOA) is what protects your job. LOA allows the company to hold your job, for a reasonable timeframe, until you are released by your medical provider to return to work.

If you have health benefits with PetSmart, you are responsible for your portion of the benefit premiums that would normally be deducted from each paycheck (medical, dental, vision, etc.). Please refer back to your LOA paperwork for full instructions. Contact Address: Benefits Department- Premiums, 19601 N. 27th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85027.