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.

To learn more, review the related policies located in the Policy and Procedure library on our internal Fetch site.

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)

  • 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.

Paid Parental Leave

It’s an adjustment to transition back to work after adding to your family. PetSmart is proud to offer Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to new parents which includes up to 4 weeks of paid parental leave.

Benefits include:

  • 100% of base pay for exempt associates.
  • Full-time non-exempt associates will be paid using the associate’s hourly base rate of pay at 40 hours per week.
  • Part-time associates will be paid based on the average of the hours worked in the 6 weeks immediately preceding the start of your leave and multiplied by the associate’s regular hourly base rate of pay.
  • The full paid parental leave policy is located on our internal Fetch site and associates are encouraged to reach out to the Leave of Absence Team for more information at leaveofabsence@petsmart.com. Eligibility requirements must be met in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Adoption Assistance Program

The Adoption Assistance Program allows eligible full-time associates, with one year of service, to apply for a reimbursement of up to $2,000 per child. You can apply this money toward legal fees, domestic transportation costs, counseling fees and other expenses. Eligible associates can also receive 4 weeks of paid parental leave, if eligible. Contact the Leave and Disability Team for more information at 1-800-521-7387 or leaveofabsence@petsmart.com. To fill out a reimbursement form, click here.

U.S. law requires that adoption assistance expenses be reimbursed only through a qualified plan for our company to help. If you have a qualifying adoption-related expense, PetSmart will provide reimbursement to you up to this plan’s limit. Availability of this benefit is limited to the following provisions:

  • You must be a full-time associate and have completed at least one year of service with PetSmart.
  • Your adoption expenses must be qualified as defined by the Internal Revenue Service under Internal Revenue Code Section 137.
  • The child being adopted must be under the age of 18.
  • The maximum reimbursement limit for the adoption of a child is $2,000, with a lifetime maximum of $8,000.
  • Covered expenses include the following: Public/private agency fees court costs, legal fees associated with the adoption, temporary foster care by an approved agency, domestic transportation costs, counseling fees associated with the placement and initial adjustment, medical costs that are not covered under the current medical plan,
  • Covered adoption expenses will not be reimbursed until the adoption is finalized.
  • If two associates are married and both are employed by PetSmart, the adoption benefit will be available to only one associate per adoption.
  • Stepparent adoptions are excluded from the Adoption Assistance Program.

Short-term and Long-term Disability

Short-term Disability (STD): The short-term disability plan provides income replacement to full-time eligible associates who are unable to work because of an extended illness or non-work-related injury.  After a 1 week waiting period, you may receive STD pay at 60% of your average weekly wage for the six-week pay periods preceding your leave, and up to $2000 per week while you’re out due to medical necessity. STD benefits will be provided to all covered associates in accordance with the short-term disability policy.

STD coverage is available automatically and at no cost to all full-time associates in most states. Associates working in California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington have state disability coverage.

To view details on the short-term disability schedule and state disability supplemental information, please click here.

Maternity Leave: Pregnancy leave is treated the same as any other short-term disability. The 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 or after the delivery and for up to six weeks after the delivery date is covered under STD, for a maximum STD benefit of 12 weeks. If the pregnancy disability period is longer than 13 weeks, it may become a long-term disability (LTD) claim if the associate is eligible for the LTD benefits.

Long-term disability (LTD): Long-term disability coverage begins when STD coverage ends and pays a benefit of 60 percent of your monthly earnings if you are unable to work due to an extended illness or a non-work-related injury.

All full-time salaried associates, full-time hourly Store Leaders, Salon Leaders and full-time hourly Phoenix Home Office associates 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 the annual open enrollment period each year.

LTD benefits may be offset by other compensation received, including but not limited to Social Security disability benefits. 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.

Military Leave

  • Associates may be eligible for Active Duty Leave as the result of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that an associate’s spouse, son (of any age), daughter (of any age) or parent, who is serving in any branch of the US military (including the National Guard or Reserves), has been deployed or called to active duty in a foreign country.
  • An associate also may be eligible for military caregiver leave to care for a family member who is a current member of the Armed Forces or a veteran who was a member of any branch of the Armed Forces.
  • Eligible associates are entitled to a total of 26 weeks of unpaid military caregiver leave during a single 12-month period.

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.

Workers’ Compensation:

If you’re injured at work, notify your leader and seek appropriate medical attention. Your medical expenses as a result of the injuries may be covered under workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation coverage is provided by PetSmart at no cost to you.

  • You or a family member should contact your leader within 24 hours or as soon as possible after the injury. The hospital or doctor can contact Sedgwick directly at 1-800-582-7387 to confirm that you are covered by workers’ compensation.
  • PetSmart is required to report all workers’ compensation claims to the applicable state authorities within a certain time period. To determine the severity of the disability, you may need to be examined by a physician. For questions about an existing claim, please call Sedgwick at 1-888-287-7387.
  • Any associate who misses three (3) consecutive workdays due to a work-related illness or injury should be placed on a work-related leave of absence in accordance with their state guidelines.
  • More information is available on our internal Fetch site at Risk Management Department > Associate Injuries.

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 (STD) 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.
  • The 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.

You must contact New York Life to complete the claim process. New York Life contact information can be found below in the Contact Section. **If you reside in New Jersey, California, Washington, or Rhode Island, you must file a claim directly with the disability office in your state.

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 PetSmart Benefits Center at 1-888-481-0101 with any payment questions.

Filing a claim is important for finding peace of mind. We’re here to support you every step of the way with this How To guide.