Federal Labor senator Helen Polley said she does not have to reveal to media why she was not in parliament from July 2 to August 1.
A column in The Australian newspaper implied the senator had taken an Italian holiday, booked before Labor lost the federal election and Prime Minister Scott Morrison brought parliament back earlier than expected.
But Ms Polley said she had taken leave for legitimate, and private, reasons.
"Like every other worker in this country I should also be permitted to take personal leave for family and personal reasons without having to give full detail to the media," she said.
"I have had overwhelming support from people within the community who want to know why the media is making an issue out of the fact I had personal leave.
"Tasmania and my constituency have not been disadvantaged."