Policy no. IV-11
Effective date: 01/01/2008
Scope: faculty, executive staff, senior staff, and staff employees
Exclusions: temporary employees
Definitions: (See Introduction to Compensation and Benefits)
The university recognizes the need to accommodate employees who request a leave but who do not meet the requirements for a leave under the Absence and Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical and Parenting Reasons Under the Family and Medical Leave Act Policy (IV-8) or who request a leave for various other personal or professional reasons. These leaves may be agreed to by the staff member's supervisor on an as-needed basis for the reasons outlined below. If the supervisor approves such a leave, the supervisor is responsible for determining how to continue quality operations during such a leave.
Non-FMLA Medical Leave
Employees who do not meet the requirements for a leave under FMLA may request a leave of absence when they or a family member have a serious health condition. Supervisors have the authority to approve such a request, but the request may not be denied without consulting Employee Relations. If the request is denied and the employee decides not to report to work, employment ends as a voluntary termination effective the last day worked by the employee.
The employee must submit a completed Certificate of Health Care Provider form if more than five days of consecutive absence are anticipated. If such a leave is granted, the amount of leave will be determined between the supervisor and the employee. The employee’s position or equivalent position may be held for a specified time determined by the supervisor but in no case for longer than 12 weeks. The maximum non-FMLA leave is 12 weeks in a 12-month period, and the maximum combined FMLA and non-FMLA leave is 26 weeks in a 12-month period. Category 2 and Category 3 employees who are on a personal medical leave for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days may qualify for short-term disability benefits.
Employees must use all unused sick days and vacation days prior to commencing an unpaid non-FMLA leave. Employees who are on a paid leave will remain in their current Benelect program according to the Benelect plan and continue to accrue service time towards benefits based on active status. Once an employee commences an unpaid leave, they are eligible to continue benefits under COBRA; the employee is responsible for arranging for Benelect continuation. If an employee returns to work from an unpaid leave on the first work day of the month, his/her benefits are reinstated effective that day; if the employee’s return to work is after the first work day of the month, his/her benefits are reinstated effective the following month.
An unpaid convenience leave will apply when it is mutually beneficial to the university and to the employee. A convenience leave is initiated by the university department and accepted by the employee. It provides an opportunity to decrease employment levels due to a slack period of work without incurring a layoff and without affecting the employee's ability to accrue time toward benefit calculations. The maximum leave time is 12 weeks, during which time employees are responsible for their contribution to the Benelect plan. The university will continue its portion of the Benelect contribution during the leave period for a maximum of 12 weeks.
The University encourages employees to honor their civil responsibilities. Therefore, the university will continue to pay an employee at the regular rate of pay for the time spent on jury duty. Documentation to verify the time spent on jury duty must be submitted to Employee Relations.
The university will treat any annual commitment to active duty or a call to active duty as a military leave. The university provides military leave to employees in accordance with the Uniformed Service Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). USERRA provides guidelines for the prompt re-employment of employees who left employment to perform military training or service in one of the uniformed services and who have completed such service under honorable conditions. The uniformed services include armed forces, the Army National Guard and Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training or full time National Guard duty, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of person’s designation by the president in time of emergency.
The employee’s position will be held for 12 weeks for any military leave. For any military leave beyond 12 weeks, the employee will be restored to the same or equivalent position for up to 5 years in length. During the military leave, the employee will receive compensation for the first two weeks of duty. If the active duty is less than 12 weeks, the employee will be responsible for only the employee's contribution to the Benelect plan. If the active duty extends beyond 12 weeks, the employee will be responsible for the employee's and the university's contribution.
Occasionally, employees have unique opportunities for personal and professional development which conflict with their availability to perform their jobs for a period of time. The university recognizes the related value of personal growth for legitimate purposes such as: education, travel, journalism, civic responsibilities, retreat, and other career planning situations or family-related situations. However, personal leaves are not granted for engaging in employment outside of Case Western Reserve University. Therefore, the university may provide unpaid personal leaves of absence for up to 12 weeks if approved by the supervisor. The university may provide an extension of such leaves on rare occasions.
Supervisors are responsible for reviewing the legitimacy of the request and confirming that the leave, if approved, will not interrupt normal departmental operations and services. The employee’s position will be held for a maximum of 12 weeks if the position has not already been held for 12 weeks during the previous 12 months. The employee and supervisor will agree as to the start/end dates of the leave. Unused vacation time must be used prior to commencing the unpaid portion of the leave but will be included as part of the total leave time. Employees who are on a paid leave will remain in their current Benelect program according to the Benelect plan and continue to accrue service time towards benefits based on active status. Once an employee commences an unpaid leave, they are eligible to continue benefits under COBRA; the employee is responsible for arranging for Benelect continuation. If an employee returns to work from an unpaid leave on the first work day of the month, his/her benefits are reinstated effective that day; if the employee’s return to work is after the first work day of the month, his/her benefits are reinstated effective the following month.
Faculty may request a sabbatical leave according to the provisions in the Faculty Handbook for a period of one year or less to enhance their professional development through special study or research.
Employees may be placed on administrative leave with or without pay to provide the university time to investigate and evaluate the circumstances regarding a pending action concerning the employee. Supervisors must work with Employee Relations prior to placing the employee on administrative leave. The university has the right to terminate the employee while he/she is on administrative leave.
When a university investigation is pending concerning an allegation that an employee has committed an act of misconduct or failed to comply with the university policies and procedures including the standards of excellence, the department in conjunction with Employee Relations may place an employee on an administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of an investigation. The investigation should be conducted as soon as practical.
Policy Administration: Supervisor in consultation with the Employee Relations office and Benefits office
References: Faculty Handbook, Other Leaves of Absence Procedure (IV-11a), Safety and Security (I-6, 6a), Positive Corrective Action (III-3, 3a), Absence and Leaves for Personal medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), (IV-8)