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Leaves of Absence - Faculty

Human Resources


Contents


Introduction

Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102 et seq. authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees retain authority to approve, interpret, and administer policies pertaining to University governance. The Trustees authorize the President of MSU Denver to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to University operations.

Purpose: This policy defines the rights and responsibilities of faculty when on leaves of absence from employment with the University.

Scope: This policy applies to faculty.


Roles and Responsibilities

Responsible Executive: Chief Operations Officer

Responsible Administrator: Chief Human Resources Officer

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Contact: Human Resources, 303-615-0999


Policy Statement

A. Sabbatical Leave 

  1. Eligibility: Full-time faculty members, except temporary personnel, are eligible for a paid sabbatical leave when they have completed seven academic years of continuous service to the University. A maximum of one academic year per fiscal year may be accrued toward sabbatical leave eligibility. Credit toward eligibility may not be earned by service during summer sessions or mini-terms except when such service is the result of redistributed load. Service accrued toward eligibility for a sabbatical leave shall be lost by interruption of employment with the University, but accrued service shall not be lost because of a leave without pay or non-employment during summer sessions. Similarly, a faculty member terminated due to a reduction in force and subsequently rehired shall be reinstated without a break in service and without loss of service accrued toward sabbatical leave eligibility. (However, the time that such faculty member is not employed by the University shall not count as service accrued toward sabbatical leave eligibility.) No faculty member shall be eligible for or granted more than one sabbatical leave every seven academic years. A faculty member who has been granted a sabbatical shall not be eligible to take a second or subsequent sabbatical until the beginning of the sixth academic year following the academic year in which the faculty member returned from his or her last sabbatical. Eligibility for a sabbatical leave does not guarantee that a leave will be granted at the end of the seven academic year period or at any time thereafter.
  2. Accountability: Every participant in the procedures for applying for, approving and granting sabbatical leaves under Subsection A of this Chapter is responsible for ensuring that each sabbatical leave complies with C.R.S. §23-5-123, and University policies. Any participant who receives, approves or grants a sabbatical leave knowingly that it is not authorized by Section 23-5-123 or University policies may be held personally liable for all salary, benefits or other compensation paid to the recipient by the University.
  3. General Provisions: 
    1. Funding and FTE. The Provost shall set the FTE and approximate dollar budget for the support of sabbatical leaves for each year.
    2. Application deadlines. Sabbatical application deadlines will be identified in the academic calendar.
    3. Purpose of Sabbatical Leaves
      1. Sabbatical leave is granted to promote professional renewal and advancement for faculty who have demonstrated a commitment to the University.
      2. Sabbatical leaves are intended to provide the recipients an opportunity to engage in activities that develop and enhance their expertise, thereby supporting academic excellence. As such, sabbaticals are granted judiciously by the Trustees, for the purposes of benefiting the individual faculty member, the department, the University, and the students, and promoting excellence at the University.
    4. Examples of Sabbatical Leaves include, but are not limited to, the following (not in rank order):
      1. Scholarly research;
      2. Additional training retraining, or study of value to the University;
      3. Writing a book or other document based on the applicant’s research or special talents;
      4. Writing a textbook for use in the classroom;
      5. Developing a process or procedure of educational benefit to the University or the community;
      6. Creating an educational activity of service to the University or the community;
      7. Teaching and/or conducting research or program development at another educational institution in the U.S. or abroad;
      8. Professional or artistic development or creative work;
      9. Technology development or training and application to courses;
      10. Visiting other institutions, presenting programs, and analyzing their curricula;
      11. Innovative projects related to academic advising;
      12. Innovative projects, such as joint endeavors with community colleges or other academic institutions; and
      13. Research projects with application to instruction.
  4. Criteria for Evaluating Sabbatical Leave Proposals:
    1. Submission of all information required by subsection 6, below, “Components of a Proposal for Sabbatical Leave”; 
    2. The quality of a faculty member’s proposed activities while on sabbatical, including but not limited to:
      1. Feasibility and overall value of proposed goals and timeline;
      2. Availability of resources necessary to complete the proposed activities; and
      3. Probability that the applicant will complete the proposed activities, based upon the background, previous experience, and accomplishments demonstrated by the vitae of the applicant and others who will be involved in the proposed activities;
    3. University and/or external individuals who will be involved with the faculty member in support of the proposed activities; and
    4. The benefits to be received from such activities by the faculty member, the University, the department, and the students.
  5. Faculty Senate Professional Leave Committee:
    1. The Professional Leave Committee will be a permanent unit of the Faculty Senate.
    2. Membership of the faculty Senate professional leave unit is established by the Senate by-laws.
    3. The chair will be chosen by the Professional Leave Unit at its first regular meeting.
    4. Department chairpersons are not eligible to serve on the committee.
    5. The committee may aid applicants by, and only by, an announced workshop, but in no case shall members be advocates for their College/School’s applicants.
  6. Components of a Proposal for Sabbatical Leave: A proposal for sabbatical leave must contain:
    1. Applicant’s current vita;
    2. A written, detailed explanation of the proposed sabbatical including:
      1. A statement of goals and a detailed description of the activities planned to achieve the goals;
      2. A description of the purpose, objectives and expected outcome of the activities;
      3. The places where the activities will occur;
      4. The timeline for the completion of each activity and the accomplishment of each objective (proposals for full academic year sabbaticals will include timelines for the completion of activities and the accomplishment of objectives in each semester of the academic year);
      5. Names of other people or organizations involved in the activities, including appropriate documentation, such as letters of support;
      6. A statement describing how the proposed activities will result in the faculty member’s professional growth, how the sabbatical will enhance the institution’s reputation and the students’ educational experience at the University, and how it will increase the overall level of knowledge in the faculty member’s area of expertise;
      7. A description of the proposed budget and budgetary support, such as grants, scholarships, and outside employment. Any financial arrangements must be approved by the President;
      8. Evidence that support arrangements have been made or will be made such as travel and logistical arrangements; and,
      9. The final report(s) from previously awarded sabbaticals.
  7. Application Procedure:
    1. Review by the Chair. The proposal for sabbatical leave shall be submitted to the chair of the applicant’s department.
      1. Included with any forwarded proposal shall be evaluative comments and any additional information the chair may deem appropriate to aid the dean, the Provost, and the Professional Leave Committee in their review and evaluation of the proposal; and,
      2. It is the responsibility of the department chair, working with the dean, to assure that the professional responsibilities of the faculty on leave can be fulfilled by either part-time support, temporary replacement, personnel exchanges, or other means.
      3. If the department chair recommends approval of the proposal, it shall be forwarded to the dean;
      4. If the chair does not recommend approval of the proposal, the chair must notify the faculty member in writing of non-approval within three working days, and the faculty member may, by written request to the chair, have the proposal forwarded to the dean;
    2. Review by the Dean.
      1. If the dean recommends approval of the proposal, it shall be forwarded to the Provost;
      2. If the dean does not recommend approval of the proposal, the dean must notify the faculty member in writing of non-approval within three working days, and the faculty member may, by written request to the dean, have the proposal forwarded to the Provost; and,
      3. Included with any forwarded proposal shall be the evaluative comments and additional information provided by the chair and any evaluative comments and additional information that the dean deems appropriate to aid the Provost in his or her review and evaluation of the proposal.
    3. Review by the Faculty Senate Professional Leave Unit.
      1. The Provost shall provide copies of the proposals and other documentation to the members of the Faculty Senate Professional Leave Unit;
      2. The committee members will individually review and evaluate the proposals according to the criteria;
      3. Committee members will discuss the proposals only within the committee;
      4. On the basis of each committee member’s evaluation, the committee will prepare a composite evaluation for each proposal; and,
      5. The committee will list the proposals in a recommended order of priority, based on the committee evaluations. The chair will sign the proposals, and submit the proposals, the composite evaluation for each proposal and the priority list to the Provost.
    4. Review by the Provost.
      1. The Provost will review the employment records of faculty applicants for sabbatical leave to verify eligibility;
      2. The Provost will review the recommendations of the Professional Leave Unit and meet with the committee to discuss any differences;
      3. The Provost may confer with the deans regarding departmental and/or College/School recommendations; and,
      4. The Provost shall recommend to the President of the University which proposals shall be funded and the extent of that funding.
    5. Review by the President
      1. The President shall review the proposals recommended by the Provost and may either deny or approve the proposed sabbatical;
      2. Only proposals approved by the President shall be recommended to the Trustees for final action. The President will notify the committee and applicant which proposals he or she intends to recommend to the Trustees; and,
      3. The Trustees have the final authority to approve or deny sabbatical leaves.
  8. Post-Sabbatical Reports: A written report shall be provided to the Provost and Dean within 30 days after completion of the sabbatical. The report shall include a summary of:
    1. The faculty member’s activities while on sabbatical;
    2. The benefits the faculty member derived from the leave, in sufficient detail to permit a determination whether the faculty member achieved the goals specified in the sabbatical plan; and,
    3. Completion of objectives and activities as stated in the approved timeline as required by the sabbatical.
  9. Sabbatical Evaluation:
    1. The Provost will evaluate the sabbatical and provide this rating to the faculty member’s chair in a timely manner.
    2. The evaluation rating will follow the rating scale in effect at the time of the Sabbatical Leave.
    3. For a spring semester sabbatical, the faculty member will remain responsible for timely submission of the Sabbatical Evaluation.      
    4. For a full year sabbatical, if applicable, the faculty member will submit a post-tenure dossier within 30 calendar days after the last scheduled day for spring final exams unless a later date and merit pay implementation was agreed in writing when the leave was approved.
    5. For a spring semester sabbatical, the faculty member in a post-tenure review year will remain responsible for timely submission of the post-tenure review dossier.

B. Administrative Leave – Faculty

  1. The President may authorize administrative leave with full or partial pay that, in the judgment of the President, is beneficial to the University or essential to the welfare of the individual. Such leaves include, but are not limited to, military leave, bereavement leave, jury duty leave, disciplinary or investigative leave not to exceed a reasonable period of time, and leave of not more than 60 calendar days to engage in professional activities.
  2. Administrative leave approvals must address how and when the requirements for the annual evaluation, and when appropriate, post-tenure review, will be met.

C. Accountability 

Every participant in the procedures for applying for, approving and granting sabbatical or administrative leaves is responsible for ensuring that each sabbatical or administrative leave complies with C.R.S. §23-5-123 and University policies. Any participant who receives, approves or grants a sabbatical or administrative leave knowing that it is not authorized by C.R.S. §23-5-123 or University policies may be held personally liable for all salary, benefits or other compensation paid to the recipient by the University or Trustees.

D. Leave Without Pay (Excluding Unpaid Leave Authorized by The Family and Medical Leave Act)

  1. Eligibility: 
    1. Professional personnel may be granted a leave without compensation to study, to conduct research, to travel in connection with study or research, to hold a temporary appointment at another institution of higher learning or in government service, for medical reasons, or to engage in other activities, which are deemed acceptable by the President.
    2. Leaves without compensation for purposes indicated above may be renewed. Normally, leave without pay may not exceed two successive years.
    3. Leave without pay to campaign and to serve in a state or national elective or appointive office may be granted up to one year, and may be renewed annually.
  2. Procedures for Application:
    1. A written proposal must be prepared and include a section specifying plans for the leave period. The nature and scope of the proposed activities must be indicated, including location, time periods, and people and/or organizations involved. The proposal must describe how both the individual and the University will benefit, directly or indirectly, as a result of the proposed leave; and,
    2. The proposal should be submitted in a single copy through the department chair and dean, or director, to the appropriate vice president and forwarded to the President for final approval.
    3. The due date for unpaid leave applications each year will be established in the academic calendar. Applications submitted after that date will not be considered unless the late submission was demonstrably unavoidable: e.g., an offer to each abroad on a grant or award was not made until after the deadline expired.
  3. Conditions of Employment upon Return: Conditions of employment to be in effect upon return from leave without pay must be agreed to in writing in advance of the leave by the individual and the University. At a minimum, agreement must be reached as to position, title, or rank, evaluation method and salary consideration upon return.
  4. Unpaid Medical Leave: If an employee is on medical leave without pay for more than four months or one semester (whichever is less) no evaluation will be conducted and the employee will be ineligible for a merit increase in salary for that year.

E. Leave and Short-term Disability Leave

  1. General: Full-time professional personnel shall be granted 20 workdays of fully paid sick leave per fiscal year at the salary in effect at the time the sick leave is used. An additional 46 days of short-term disability leave per fiscal year is allowed if the employee provides documentation from a medical doctor that such leave is necessary due to a diagnosed medical condition, and satisfying the certification criteria.   Leave beyond the 66 workdays shall be taken as unpaid personal medical leave. If a professional either has exhausted both his/her paid sick leave/short-term disability leave and unpaid personal medical leave; or has exhausted his/her paid sick leave/long-term disability leave, and does not qualify for unpaid personal medical leave, he/she may apply for leave without pay. Sick leave and short-term disability leave do not accrue through the year.
    1. Notice. If the sick leave/short-term disability leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee shall give not less than 30 days notice before the date his/her leave is scheduled to begin or such notice as is practicable if the date of treatment requires the leave to begin in less than 30 days. In either event, subject to the approval of the employee’s physician, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the University.
    2. Certification
      1. Any employee who takes sick leave for more than ten consecutive work days shall furnish a certificate from his/her physician stating: (a) that the employee is unable to perform the functions of his/her position; (b) the date on which the serious health condition commenced; (c)  the probable duration of the condition; and (d) the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition.
      2. Any employee requesting sick leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule shall furnish the additional certificates required upon request.
      3. The University may require employees on sick leave/short-term disability leave to provide re-certification of the foregoing matters on a reasonable basis.
      4. An employee who seeks to return to work following four or more consecutive calendar weeks of sick leave/short-term disability leave shall furnish the University with a certificate from his/her physician stating that the employee is able to resume work.
      5. The certification requirements shall be construed and applied in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
      6. An employee on sick leave/short-term disability leave at the close of the fiscal year may use the remainder of his/her unused sick leave/short-term disability leave in the new fiscal year for consecutive work days missed due to the same illness. Such employee will not be granted sick leave/short-term disability leave for the next fiscal year until the employee returns to work following certification by his/her physician that employee is able to resume work.
  2. Family Leave: An employee may use up to 20 workdays of the paid sick leave for the purpose of caring for a sick child, parent, spouse or other member of the employee’s household who relies on the employee as his or her primary caregiver. Family leave beyond the 20 days shall be taken as family medical leave.
    1. Notice. If the family leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee shall give not less than 30 days notice before the date the leave is scheduled to begin or such notice as is practicable if the date of treatment requires the leave to begin in less than 30 days. In either event, subject to the approval of the family member’s physician, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the University.
  3. No Pay for Sick Leave Upon Termination: Employees whose employment by the University is voluntarily or involuntarily terminated shall not be entitled to any compensation whatsoever for unused sick leave.

F. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, to include: Parental Leave, Family Medical Leave, Personal Medical Leave, and Military Family Leave

The following policies are intended to implement the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, P.L. No. 103-3, 107 Stat. 6 (1993) (the “Act”), and shall be construed accordingly. The Act shall supersede any policy that is inconsistent with its legal requirements. Some detailed provisions of the Act have been omitted from these policies, but shall be deemed to be included herein by reference. Personnel seeking additional information about the Act are invited to refer to its complete text, which is on file in University personnel or AA/EEO offices.

  1. Eligibility: Professional personnel (“employees”) are eligible for parental, family medical and personal medical leave under the Act and this section if they have been employed by the University for:
    1. at least 12 months; and
    2. worked at least 1,250 service hours during the previous 12-month period.
  2. Types of Leave:
    1. Parental Leave. Employees may take parental leave to care for their children following birth or to care for children placed with them for adoption or foster care.
    2. Family Medical Leave. Employees may take family leave to care for certain family members who have a serious health condition. (A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility; or continuing treatment by a health care provider. “Health care provider” means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery [as appropriate] by the State in which the doctor practices or any other person determined by the Secretary of the United States Department of Labor to be capable of providing health care services.) Family leave may be taken to care for the following family members:
      1. biological children, adopted children, foster children, stepchildren, legal wards, or other children to whom the employee stands in loco parentis if the children are under 18, or, if 18 or over, if the children are incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disabilities;\
      2. biological parents or persons who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was an adopted child, foster child, stepchild or ward (a “parent”);
      3. a spouse, and
      4. any other member of the employee’s household who relies on the employee as his or her primary caregiver. (Collectively, “family members”)
    3. Military Family Leave: Employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings. Military Family Leave allows an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or “next-of-kin” of a covered service member with a serious injury or illness to take up to a total of 26 work weeks of unpaid leave during a “single 12-month period” to provide care for the veteran. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.  Reemployment Rights:  You have the right to be reemployed in your civilian job if you leave that job to perform service in the uniformed service and: you ensure that your employer receives advance written or verbal notice of your service; you have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services while with that particular employer; you return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner after conclusion of service; and you have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions. If you are eligible to be reemployed, you must be restored to the job and benefits you would have attained if you had not been absent due to military service or, in some cases, a comparable job.
  3. Length of Leaves:
    1. An employee is entitled to a total of up to 12 workweeks of leave in each state fiscal year (July 1-June 30). The 12 workweeks may be taken in whole or in part of parental leave, family medical leave or personal medical leave.
    2. Leave taken for any of these purposes shall be subtracted from the total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave (or any remaining, unused portion thereof) to which the employee is entitled under the Act. (For example, an employee who takes six workweeks of parental leave may take only six workweeks of family medical leave during the same fiscal year.)
  4. Both Spouses Employed by the University: If two spouses are employed by the University, parental and family medical leave shall be further limited as follows:
    1. Parental Leave. The aggregate leave to which both spouses are entitled is limited to 12 workweeks during a fiscal year.
    2. Family Medical Leave. When family medical leave is taken to care for a parent, the aggregate leave to which both spouses are entitled is limited to 12 workweeks during a fiscal year.
    3. In all other cases, each employee-spouse is entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave in each fiscal year.
  5. Unpaid Leave; Substitution of Paid Leave: Parental, family medical and personal medical leave shall be unpaid. However, employees either may or shall substitute unused, paid sick leave for all or a portion of their unpaid leave as provided in the following subsections:
    1. Family Medical Leave. Employees who have unused, paid sick leave may substitute up to ten days of paid sick leave for all or a portion of their family medical leave. Employees who elect to substitute paid sick for family medical leave must first use their ten days of sick leave before taking unpaid family medical leave.
    2. Personal Medical Leave. Employees with unused, paid sick leave shall substitute their paid sick leave for their personal medical leave. Employees must use all of their accrued sick leave before taking unpaid leave.
    3. Paid sick leave substituted for unpaid parental, family, or personal medical leave shall be subtracted from the total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave (or any remaining, unused portion thereof) to which the employee is entitled under the Family and Medical Leave Act. For example, an employee who takes 60 workdays of paid sick leave may not take any unpaid parental, family medical or personal medical leave during the same fiscal year. Similarly, an employee who substitutes ten days of paid sick leave for family medical leave, may take only four work weeks of additional, unpaid family medical leave during the same fiscal year.
  6. Leave Schedules: Employees taking parental, family medical or personal medical leave may take such leave during consecutive work weeks or on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule as provided below. (A “reduced leave schedule” means a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek or hours per workday.)
    1. Parental Leave. Parental leave must be taken during consecutive workweeks.
    2. Family Medical Leave and Personal Medical Leave. Family and personal medical leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule by agreement or if such schedule is certified to be medically necessary. However, if an employee requests an intermittent or reduced leave schedule that is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the University may temporarily transfer the employee to an alternative position for which he/she is qualified and which has equivalent pay and benefits if the alternative position will better accommodate the recurring periods of leave than the employee’s regular position.
  7. Notice: Employees shall give the following notice before taking any periods of foreseeable parental, family medical or personal medical leave (including any substituted Annual Leave and/or sick leave).
    1. Parental Leave. An employee shall give not less than 30 days notice before the date his/her leave is scheduled to begin or such notice as is practicable if the date of birth or placement for adoption or foster care requires the leave to begin in less than 30 days.
    2. Family or Personal Medical Leave. If the leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, an employee shall give not less than 30 days notice before the date his/her leave is scheduled to begin or such notice as is practicable if the date of treatment requires the leave to begin in less than 30 days. In either event, subject to the approval of the family member or employee’s health care provider, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the University.
  8. Certification: Employees who request family or personal medical leave (including substituted Annual Leave and/or sick leave) shall provide timely certification from the family member’s or employee’s health care provider supporting the leave.
    1. Family Medical Leave. An employee taking family medical leave for more than ten consecutive work days shall furnish a certificate from the family member’s health care provider stating:
      1. that the employee is needed to care for the family member;
      2. the estimated amount of time that the employee will be needed to care for the family member;
      3. the date on which the serious health condition commenced;
      4. the probable duration of the condition; and
      5. the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition.
    2. Personal Medical Leave. An employee taking personal medical leave for more than ten consecutive work days shall furnish a certificate from his/her health care provider stating:
      1. that the employee is unable to perform the functions of his/her position;
      2. the date on which the serious health condition commenced;
      3. the probable duration of the condition; and
      4. the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition.
    3. Additional Certification Required for Intermittent Leaves and Reduced Leave Schedules. An employee who requests intermittent family or personal medical leave or family or personal medical leave on a reduced leave schedule shall also furnish a certificate from the appropriate health care provider:
      1. Leave for Planned Medical Treatment.  Stating the dates on which such medical treatment is expected to be given and the duration of such treatment; and/or
      2. Family Medical Leave.  Stating that the employee’s intermittent leave or leave on a reduced leave schedule is necessary for the care of the family member or will assist in his/her recovery and the expected duration of the intermittent leave or reduced leave schedule.
      3. Personal Medical Leave.  Stating the medical necessity for and expected duration of the intermittent leave or leave on a reduced leave schedule.
    4. Recertification. The University may require employees on family or personal medical leave to provide recertification of the foregoing matters on a reasonable basis.
    5. Certification of Ability to Return to Work. An employee seeking reinstatement to his/her former position after a period of four or more consecutive calendar weeks of personal medical leave (including substituted sick leave) shall furnish the University with a certificate from the employee’s health care provider stating that the employee is able to resume work. 
    6. Compliance with Rehabilitation and Americans with Disabilities Acts. The certification requirements of this subsection shall be construed and applied in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  9. Reporting: The University may require employees on parental leave, family medical leave or personal medical leave to report periodically on their status and intentions regarding their return to work.
  10. Insurance: For the purposes of this paragraph, “insurance” means the Trustees’ group health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance plans (if such plans exist). Employees who substitute accrued, paid Annual Leave and/or sick leave for all or a portion of their parental leave, family medical leave or personal medical leave shall, during the period of substituted leave, receive the same insurance coverage they would receive if they were taking Annual Leave or sick leave. Employees who take unpaid parental leave, family medical leave or a personal medical leave, or who exhaust the paid leave they substituted for a portion of such unpaid leave, shall receive the following insurance coverage during the period of their unpaid leave:
    1. Health and Dental Insurance. An employee on unpaid leave shall remain covered by the Trustees’ group health and dental insurance if he/she personally pays the periodic employee contributions required by the group health and dental plans. However, if the employee fails to return to work at the end of his/her leave, the employee shall be liable to the University for the employer contributions paid on his/her behalf unless such failure is due to the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition affecting a family member or the employee or some other reason beyond his/her control.
    2. Non-contributory Life and Long-term Disability Group Insurance. An employee on unpaid leave shall remain covered by the Trustees’ group life and long-term disability insurance if coverage for the duration of the leave is authorized by the Trustees’ group insurance policies. (A “non-contributory” group insurance plan is one to which employees are not required to make employee contributions.)
  11. PERA: PERA service credits shall not accrue during periods of unpaid leave.
  12. Seniority: Service Toward Completion of a Probationary Period. Seniority shall not accrue during periods of unpaid leave. Unpaid leave of one or more semesters’ duration shall not be included in faculty members’ probationary periods.
  13. Reinstatement to Position Upon Return from Leave: Except as otherwise provided herein (authorizing the University to assign an employee on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule to an alternative position), and this subsection, employees returning from parental, family medical or personal medical leave (including substituted sick leave) shall be reinstated to the positions they held when the leave began. Employees who are subject to automatic or discretionary termination while on leave due to the expiration or non-renewal of their contracts, or at-will or for cause dismissal, may be terminated on the date on which they would have been terminated if they had remained continuously employed during the leave period. Parental, family medical, and personal medical leave shall not defer the date of such employees’ terminations nor need such employees be reinstated to their former positions when their leave periods end.  Per 29 C.F.R. §825.216(a) (“An employee has no greater right to reinstatement or other benefits of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed during the [Family and Medical Leave Act] leave period. An employer must be able to show that the employee would not otherwise have been employed at the time reinstatement is requested in order to deny restoration to employment.”). An employer may also deny restoration to a “key” employee under certain circumstances. A key employee is a salaried, FMLA-eligible employee who is among the highest-paid 10 percent of all of the employer’s employees within 75 miles. To deny restoration to a key employee, an employer must have determined that substantial and grievous economic injury to its operations would result from the restoration, must have provided notice to the employee that he or she is a key employee and that restoration will be denied, and must provide the employee a reasonable opportunity to return to work.
  14. Prohibited Acts:
    1. The University shall not interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of the attempt to exercise, any right provided by the Act or this subsection.
    2. The University shall not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any individual for opposing any practice made unlawful by the Act.
    3. Neither the University nor any employee shall discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any individual because such individual:
      1. has filed any charge or has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to the Act;
      2. has given, or is about to give, any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relative to any right provided by the Act; or 
      3. has testified, or is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relative to any right provided by the Act.

G. Approval of Leaves

Sabbatical leaves, faculty professional development leaves, leaves without pay and administrative leaves shall be approved by the President. The President may sub-delegate the power to approve sick leave, annual leave, and unpaid parental, family medical, and personal medical leaves to appropriate personnel. Administrative leaves in excess of ten working days shall be reported to the Board.

H. Exceptions

If the strict application of a provision of this Section relating to sick, Annual Leave, and unpaid parental, family medical and personal medical leave leads in a specific case to an unreasonable and inequitable result which is plainly inconsistent with the intent of the leave policies or the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the President may waive or modify the application of such provision as necessary to achieve the intended result.


Policy History

Effective: July 1, 2015

Source: Handbook for Professional Personnel


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