Employee Relations FAQs

General Policy Information

The orientation period can be extended if the request for the extension is made prior to the original ninety (90) days being completed. Contact the HR Service Center at 216.368.6964 to be directed to the correct Employee Relations Specialist on approximately the 75th day. After the 90th day, orientation cannot be extended.

An explanation of the process and all of the forms can be found on the Human Resources forms page.

The university intends to give employees reasonable opportunity to improve their performance whenever productivity, quality, efficiency, or behavior is below an acceptable level. When performance falls below an acceptable level, corrective action may be imposed, including: verbal warning, written warning, suspension, or termination. Positive corrective action is not progressive.

The grievance procedure is the process for an employee to utilize if he/she believes that the Human Resources policies and procedures are not being properly applied to his/her situation or involuntary termination.

Faculty and staff should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OIDEO) at 216.368.8877. Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs at 216.368.2020. These officials have been designated to receive reports of sexual harassment, will provide general advice about dealing with sexual harassment, and they will also discuss options for pursuing resolution of a sexual harassment complaint.

Counseling services for benefit-eligible employees

Yes, counseling services are offered through the Employee Assistant Program.

The Employee Assistance Program is a voluntary, private and confidential program provided through the Center for Families and Children (CFC). This service provides counseling and community resources for benefits-eligible employees and family members to help identify problems and develop plans for resolution.

The program utilizes the services of over 40 licensed, credentialed counseling professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other trained counselors in over 30 Northeast Ohio locations. In addition, the program has a national counseling network with several hundred providers.

To use the Employee Assistance Program, simply call 216.241.3273 or 1.800.521.3273. Your call will be immediately directed to counseling professionals. Staff is available and calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The program also offers information on child care, class act (general and special education needs for school-agers), elder care, legal resources, financial resources, nutrition coaching, and fitness coaching to benefits-eligible employees.

To use the Employee Assistance Program, simply call 216.241.3273 or 1.800.521.3273. Your call will be immediately directed to counseling professionals. Staff are available and calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Benefits-eligible employees and family members may schedule three free visits per problem per year.

Absences, Attendance, Sick Time, and Leaves (Other Than FMLA Leaves)

The Absence and Attendance Policy is located in the Policy Manual, Policy no. IV-8.

Sick time is accrued based upon your benefits category and years of service. Sick time is given in a lump sum on an employee’s anniversary date.

New staff employees (SG 17 and below) receive five (5) sick days upon successful completion of their orientation. Staff employees with one to four years of service receive 10 days on their anniversary date. Staff employees with five to nine years of service receive 15 days on their anniversary date. Unused allowance accrues from year to year.

Years of Service Paid Time Off:

  • Three months to less than one year = five days per year
  • One year to less than five years = 10 days per year
  • Over five years = 15 days per year

Faculty, Executive Staff and Senior Staff accrue vacation time at the following rate:

  • Less than 1 year receives full pay for 1 2/3 day per month(s) worked
  • One year to less than three years receives full pay for one month plus 60 percent pay for 1 month
  • Three years to less than five years receives full pay for two months plus 60 percent pay for one month
  • Five years to less than 10 years receives full pay for three months plus 60 percent pay for three months
  • 10+ years receives full pay for six months

All employees can use up to eight (8) days per year for family medical, bereavement and parenting reasons. Employees who have FMLA leave for family medical can use up to twelve (12) days per year.

Refer to the Sick Pay Policy in the Policy Manual, Policy no. IV-10 for further details.

Non-exempt employees can use paid sick time in one-hour increments. Exempt employees must use paid sick time in half-day or whole-day increments, unless they are on intermittent FMLA leave.

There is a delay in HCM downloading sick time for new employees. However, despite it not showing as available, the time is available to employees as soon as their orientation period is over. Payroll and benefits are both aware of the delay and there is no penalty for taking time even though it is not visible.

For staff members (SG 17 and below), whatever sick time isn’t used per year is carried over and built upon when the new sick time is distributed.

Faculty, executive staff and senior staff’s paid sick time balances zero out and renew each anniversary date and, therefore, sick pay does not carry over from year-to-year.

Unused paid sick time is forfeited upon termination and is not included in termination pay calculations for faculty, executive staff or senior staff.

Exempt employees must take sick time in half day increments. Non-exempt employees may take sick time in one-hour increments.

Yes, employees may take up to eight (8) sick days per year for family sick and/or bereavement time, if they have the time available to them. Employees who have FMLA leave for family sick time can take up to twelve (12) sick days per year. Please see FMLA policy, Policy no. IV-8, as it may apply to your situation.

You need to take a leave of absence if you have been or anticipate being absent from work for more than five consecutive work days.

FMLA includes:

  1. Parenting (refers to care and nurturing for a new child as a result of childbirth, adoption, or foster custody, unrelated to a medical condition).
  2. Serious health condition of a family member.
  3. Serious health condition of the employee (including workers’ compensation or a serious health condition related to pregnancy and/or childbirth).

Other/Personal leave includes convenience, jury duty, military leave, personal, sabbatical and/or administrative.

Bereavement days come out of an employee’s sick time. Employees can use up to eight (8) sick days per year for bereavement and/or family sick time if they have the time available to them.

The jury summons should be submitted to the employee’s supervisor. Leave of absence paperwork should be completed and turned into Employee Relations along with a copy of the summons if the jury duty extends beyond five (5) days.

Employees should use the “JUR” time recording code (TRC) in the Human Capital Management (HCM) system in their Case Exception Timesheet in PeopleSoft by logging into HCM, clicking the Self Service link, then Time Reporting, then Case Exception Timesheet.

Complete the leave of absence paperwork and supply a copy of the military orders to Employee Relations.

The employee should complete the leave of absence paperwork. The position is held indefinitely.

Two (2) week pay is approved upon start of military leave.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires CWRU to provide up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees for certain family and personal medical reasons.

An employee has to have been employed by CWRU for at least one (1) year with the university, and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately prior to the leave. If you have any questions, please contact the Leave Specialist at 216.368.2268 or leaves@case.edu.

FMLA can qualify:

  1. For the birth of a child, and to bond with the newborn child.
  2. For the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and to bond with that child.
  3. To care for immediate family members (spouse, child or parent–but not parent “in law”) with a serious health condition.
  4. To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
  5. For qualifying exigencies arising from that employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status as a member of the national guard, reserves or armed forces.

FMLA guarantees twelve (12) weeks of job protected leave in a twelve (12) month rolling period.

Employees seeking to use FMLA leave are required to provide a thirty (30) day advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. If the leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice as soon as possible—generally, either the same or next business day.

No, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, employees utilizing FMLA for personal illnesses can use their paid sick time or vacation time. After an employee exhausts their sick and vacation time, their leave is unpaid. At that point, employees can discuss short-term disability with the Leave Specialist.

Employees utilizing FMLA for family illnesses are able to use up to twelve (12) days of their sick time before using their vacation time. After the employee exhausts their vacation time, their leave is unpaid.

Benefits are still active for those utilizing FMLA.

Upon the employee’s return a pre-tax adjustment will be done.

If an employee is out for more than five (5) consecutive days or if they experience an overnight stay in the hospital, leave of absence paperwork must be filed. If an employee is out for more than three (3) consecutive days or if they experience an overnight stay in the hospital, leave of absence paperwork may be filed.

After five (5) consecutive days off for personal or family medical leave and for any intermittent leave.

Forms are located on the Human Resources forms page. They can also be obtained by calling the HR Service Center at 216.368.6964.

Employees on intermittent leave will be required to recertify every six (6) or twelve (12) months, depending on the nature of the leave.

Your supervisor is responsible for entering timesheets while you are out on leave.

Paid Parental Leave

Staff who are eligible for FMLA are eligible for paid parental leave for childbirth or parenting of a newborn or newly adopted or fostered child.

The birth mother or primary caregiver is eligible for up to six (6) weeks of paid parental leave to recover from childbirth and/or to care for and bond with the newborn or newly adopted child within twelve (12) months of birth or placement.

The other parent or domestic partner is eligible for up to three (3) weeks of paid parental leave to care for and bond with the newborn or newly adopted child within twelve (12) months of birth or placement.

The maximum paid parental leave would be nine (9) weeks: six (6) weeks for the primary care giver and three (3) weeks for the non-primary caregiver.

Birth mothers are eligible to use their sick time at the time of the baby’s birth. After the recommended sick time permitted by the healthcare provider is exhausted, or for those who are not the birth mother, vacation time may be used. Once all sick, vacation, and paid parental leave options are exhausted, employees may continue on unpaid leave if appropriate documentation has been submitted, up to a total leave time of twelve (12) weeks.

No, paid parental leave can only commence after the birth of the baby. If the leave is required to start prior to the birth, it will be considered a personal medical leave.

Paid parental leave can be taken intermittently with the approval of the employee’s supervisor and with the expectation of disrupting the department’s operations as little as possible. All parental leave must be exhausted within the first twelve (12) months of the child’s birth or adoption.

Vacation

As of July 1, 2017, vacation time accrues based on an employee’s salary grade and length of service. Hours accrue monthly from the time the employee starts.

  • Salary grades 9 and below with 1-4 years of employment earn 11 days per year, 5-9 years of employment earn sixteen (16) days per year, and 10+ years of employment earn twenty-one (21) days per year.
  • Salary grades 10-17 with 1-4 years of employment earn 10.67 hours/month (16 days per year). Upon reaching five (5) years of employment, salary grades 10-17 earn 14 hours/month (21 days/year).
  • Salary grades 18 and above earn 14 hours/month (21 days per year).

Vacation days for faculty are assumed within the term designated in each faculty member's appointment letter.

View Calculating Vacation Days in the Vacation Days policy for specific days earned.

Accrual amounts increase based on length of service at the university.

At the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1), you cannot carry over more than last year’s accrual.

If an employee starts on or before the 15th of the month, they will accrue a full month’s worth of vacation. If they are employed after the 15th they will accrue vacation beginning the following month.

Employees can carry over the same amount of vacation time they would earn in a year.

For example, if an employee earns 16 days per year, they can carry over 16 days (i.e. 128 hours for a 40 hour/week employee and 120 hours for a 37.5 hour/week employee).

Maximum Fiscal Carry Over = 168 hours (21 days)

Vacation in excess of what can be carried over per year must be used by June 30th each year. As of the start of the fiscal year, July 1st, any vacation time over what an employee earns in a year will be lost.

No. The time must be used by June 30th or it will be lost.

No, there is no way to get time lost due to the start of the new fiscal year back.

No, the time must be used. Vacation is only paid out to the employee when they are leaving the university.

Part-time employees earn vacation time in days according to their salary grades and years of service, just as full time employees do. The difference is in the total number of hours earned. An employee who works twenty (20) hours per week, or four (4) hours per day, would only accrue vacation days in the amount of four (4) hours each while an employee who works forty (40) hours per week, or eight (8) hours per day, would accrue vacation days in the amount of eight (8) hours each. If both employees earn sixteen (16) vacation days per year, the twenty (20) hour per week/part time employee would earn sixty-four (64) hours per year while the forty (40) hour per week/full time employee would earn 128. This allows them to each receive the same number of days off at the rate of how many hours they work per day.

Sick time is not paid out. Any vacation time an employee has left as of their last day of employment is paid out to them, usually on their last paycheck.

No. Vacation time is paid out in the last paycheck once an employee leaves the university.

Separation of Employment

If you are resigning from your position, a resignation letter should be submitted to your supervisor at least two weeks before your last day worked. Prior to leaving the university, you are responsible for returning all equipment (including laptops), work materials, tools, research and notes, and reconciling outstanding expenses, fines and other expenses. You are also responsible for turning in keys, ID cards, and parking hangtags to Access Services.

You should obtain the Employee Termination Checklist and the Exit Interview form from your supervisor. The Employee Termination Checklist contains instructions for returning all university owned items as well as outlining other tasks you and your supervisor are responsible for completing before you terminate. These will have to be signed off on by your supervisor and Access Services before the form is returned to Records.

If not presented with one, supervisors should request a written letter of resignation from the employee. Upon notification of an employee's termination, the supervisor is to complete the Personnel Action Form and submit the form to the department’s management center within one workday. It should then be forwarded to the Records department.

The employee should also be issued the Employee Termination Checklist and the Exit Interview form. Supervisors should ensure all department related tasks are completed before signing the Employee Termination Checklist.

Please contact the HR Service Center at 216.368.6964. They will direct you to the correct Employee Relations specialist.

No, however, the opinions of departing employees are helpful to the university’s continuous attempt to improve. The exit interview is available in paper form, as an online survey, or can be done with an Employee Relations specialist in person.

An employee’s last paycheck will be issued no later than the next normal pay period.

No, the last paycheck will either be mailed to the employee’s home address or can be picked up in person at Records. The employee should state a preference when turning in the Employee Termination Checklist.

Any employee participating in university benefits when terminating will be sent COBRA paperwork after the termination is processed in HCM.

An employee must provide his or her supervisor at least a two-week notice for a voluntary termination. Staff members who give insufficient notice of termination are not eligible for re- employment.

Yes, a terminating employee should complete the Employee Termination Checklist with his/her supervisor. The checklist requires that the employee return all university property, equipment, work materials, tools, research data/material, and notes, and for reconciling outstanding expenses, fines, and other debts. The terminating employee is also responsible for returning keys, identification cards, parking hangtag, etc. The Employee Termination Checklist must be completed and returned to the HR Records Office prior to the effective date of termination.

Should an employee fail to return any university property or to pay all debts to the university with Access Services, their final paycheck will be held by the HR Records office until the completed checklist is received.

The university wants to better understand what employees’ value most in their workplace and why they leave, and therefore request that departing employees complete a confidential exit survey. If a terminating employee wishes to speak to someone in person regarding their work experience, the employee can contact the employee relations team at 216.368.2268. The feedback that employees provide is a helpful driver for organizational improvement.

If a terminating employee prefers to complete the survey online, they should review the Leaving CWRU information before they submit the exit interview survey.