4.06 Industrial Leave of Absence
Origination date: 10/1/93
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Faculty, Service Professionals
The purpose of the Industrial Leave of Absence Pay benefit is to provide a specific period of time for the employee to recuperate from work related illness or injury, which has been accepted for benefits by the university’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier.
Eligibility and Qualification
Regular employees working 20 hours per week or more are eligible for this leave. Regular employees working fewer than 20 hours per week (part-time or temporary) are not eligible.
An employee may request a leave of absence if he/she is unable to work due to a work-related injury/illness, which has been accepted for benefits by the university Workers' Compensation insurance carrier. Such requests must be accompanied by a physician's statement of disability.
The total Industrial Leave of Absence may not exceed six months. All requests for Industrial Leave of Absence or monthly extensions of leave are subject to the approval of the department head, the dean/director and the appropriate provost/associate provost or vice president. Requests must be accompanied by a physician's certificate that the employee is still under medical care and is not able to work.
Accrued sick and vacation leave may be used prior to the commencement of an industrial leave of absence.
If a department head has reason to question the capacity of an employee to perform duties and responsibilities, the department head may require the employee to provide a physician's statement certifying that the employee is able to continue in the performance of regular duties. The university may also choose to get a second opinion through the university Workers' Compensation insurance carrier.
Effect on Benefits
Insurance: Participation in automobile insurance, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, dental insurance and health insurance may be maintained and coverage continued if the employee pays the required premiums on or before the paydays on which the premiums would have been deducted or paid. If the employee elects to continue these insurance coverages, he/she must pay the employee only portion of the premiums for health and dental coverage and the entire cost of the other insurances, which includes both the employee’s and the university’s portion of the cost. The employee may be eligible for waiver of the long term disability premium. Arrangements must be made with the Human Resources Department prior to the beginning of the Industrial Leave of Absence. Failure to make such arrangements prior to the beginning of the leave could result in the termination of the employee’s benefits.
Leave Accruals: Vacation and sick leave hours will only accrue while an employee is on a paid status.
Retirement: No refund of any retirement contribution is made upon the commencement of the leave, since the return of the employee is anticipated. Service credits do not accrue during any period of unpaid leave, but will commence upon the employee's return to work.
Other Benefits: The educational aid benefit remains in effect for employees during the leave period as does the use of university facilities.
Continuous Service: Computation of service dates for continuous service, vacation accrual rates, seniority, and general pay adjustments will include this leave as creditable service providing the employee returns to work on the first workday following the termination of the authorized leave.
Return to Work
The granting of an Industrial Leave of Absence constitutes an agreement by the university to return an employee to his/her former or essentially equal position. The practical effect of this agreement is that the department head should hold the employee's regular position, anticipating the employee's eventual return from the industrial leave of absence. However, the department head can hire a temporary replacement for the duration of the leave.
When returning from an Industrial Leave of Absence, the employee must furnish the university with a written statement from a physician certifying that the employee is able to return to work. The university may also choose to require the employee to be examined by a physician of the university's choosing for a "fitness for duty" examination.
An employee may request a light duty assignment, if unable to return to his/her job in full capacity. Refer to Policy 4.07 Light Duty.
Failure to Return or Accept Employment
An employee will be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment if he/she:
- fails to return to work upon the expiration of the Industrial Leave of Absence or any extension thereof; or
- fails to contact his/her department head two weeks prior to the end of the Industrial Leave of Absence to request an extension (if applicable) and/or fails to provide the university a physician's statement of continuing disability; or
- advises the university of his/her intention not to return; or
- he/she refuses comparable reemployment.
Continuation of Leave After Industrial Leave of Absence
Employees who require additional leave from work beyond the six months provided in this policy may request an extended leave of absence in accordance with policy 4.04 Extended Leave