Human Resources and Payroll




Frequently Asked Questions - Death of a Family Member

Mason is committed to supporting the life/work balance and well-being of its faculty and staff. For this reason, the university wants everyone to have leave available to use upon the death of a loved one. It is hoped this bereavement leave will provide comfort during a difficult time.

What should I immediately do?

As the employee, you, or someone on your behalf, should notify your supervisor or department of your loss. Then, within the next few days, you should notify your supervisor again to discuss the amount of leave you may need to take and any outstanding work items that need immediate attention.

What type of leave can be used for the death of afamily member?

The Commonwealth of Virginia does not assign special leave days for bereavement.

George Mason University offers bereavement leave to all benefited faculty and staff.

How is immediate family defined?

The Commonwealth of Virginia defines immediate family as:

The definition of immediate family does not include grandparents, grandchildren, or in-laws of the employee unless the relative lives in the employee's household.


George Mason University defines family as:

Bereavement leave can be used for any of the above family members.

If deceased family member is spouse, beneficiary, or dependent of GMU employee:

If your deceased loved one was your spouse, beneficiary, or dependent, you may want to tend to the following business issues upon your return to work:

Grief Support

Mason also offers resources to help you and your loved ones manage your grief during this difficult time. Please visit supportive resources for more information.