A letter requesting leave without pay can be as simple as stating the request, the dates for which the leave is being requested and a minimal statement of why the leave is necessary, as explained in U.S. News & World Report Money. The letter can give the employer just enough information to make a decision and no more, or it can give an in-depth explanation, according to Sample Resignation Letters.
There are certain reasons for taking leave without pay that an employer is obligated by law to approve, such as those covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Executive Order 5396 regarding medical treatment for disabled veterans and many other reasons mandated by individual states, including voting and meeting with a child's teachers, according to U.S. News & World Report. If the reason falls outside of those covered by law, an employer has a right to deny the request, making it in the employee's best interest to be as transparent as possible about the need for the leave without providing too many personal details. U.S. News & World Report suggests making requests for leave without pay as far in advance as possible, especially if the reason for the leave is not unexpected.