• A leave of absence (LOA) is a period of time that one must be away from one's primary job while maintaining the status of the employee. This is different from normal periods away from the workplace, such as vacations, holidays, hiatuses, sabbaticals, and "working from home" programs, in that they are considered exceptional circumstances, rather than benefits. Generally, such an arrangement has a predefined termination at a particular date or after a certain event has occurred.