4.05(2) Victim's Leave of Absence

Applicability: All University Employees

Reference: Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-4401; § 13-4439; § 8-420

Origination date: 09/01/2011

Revised: 04/01/2018

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide victim's leave to eligible employees in accordance with the State of Arizona Victim's Leave Laws (A.R.S. § 13-4439 and A.R.S. § 8-420).

Eligibility

Any University employee is eligible for leave under this policy, except that the employee is not eligible if a family member is the victim and the employee is in custody for the offense or accused of the crime.

Qualifying Reasons

The law authorizes employees who are victims of crimes to leave work to exercise the right to be present at legal proceedings related to the crime.

As defined in ARS § 13-4401, a "victim" is 1) a person against whom the criminal offense has been committed, or 2) if the person is killed or incapacitated, the person's immediate family or other lawful representative, unless the family member or lawful representative is in custody for an offense or is the accused. Immediate family is defined as a parent, parent-in-law, brother, sister, spouse, child, grandparent, grandchild, and any other person who is a permanent member of the employee's established household. A parent is defined as a natural parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, or surrogate parent (a person who raised the employee as his/her child). A child is defined as a natural child, adoptive child, foster child, stepchild, or a child whom an employee has assumed the responsibility of raising. A “lawful representative” is a person who is designated by the victim or appointed by the court and who acts in the best interests of the victim.

Duration

Although the law does not limit the duration of Victim’s Leave, the University reserves the right to limit the leave provided under the law depending upon the circumstances, specialization or critical
nature of the employee’s position as well as the practicality of replacing the employee. Such a determination will be made by Human Resources after consultation with the appropriate dean, director or department head.

Pay Status

To remain in a paid status, employees are required to report all time away from work following Human Resources Department procedures.  The university will require the employee to use accrued sick and/or vacation time, as defined by those policies, for all or any part of the Victim’s Leave of Absence period necessary to maintain a fully paid status.  Use of paid time off will occur in the order of all available sick time and then vacation time.  Non-exempt employees may also use accumulated compensatory time balances after sick and vacation time are depleted.

The employee will be on an unpaid status when accrued sick and vacation time balances are depleted.

Employee Responsibilities

A request for Victim's Leave must be submitted following Human Resources Department procedures, providing as much notice as possible. In making this request, the employee shall provide

  • a copy of the form provided to employee by the law enforcement agency, and
  • a copy of the notice of each scheduled proceeding that is provided to the victim by the responsible agency, if applicable.

Failure to follow procedures or timelines may result in the denial or delay of Victim’s Leave of Absence.

Employees who have requested a Victim’s Leave of Absence must provide Human Resources and their department up to date contact information (e-mail, phone and home address) for the duration of their leave of absence.  In addition, they must respond to inquiries from Human Resources and their department in a timely manner.

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify Human Resources and their supervisor of the intent to return to work giving enough advance notice to reasonably facilitate planning and completion of paperwork.

Effect on Benefits

The university will continue to pay the employer’s portion of voluntary benefits premiums including medical and dental insurances for the duration of the Victim’s Leave of Absence whether the employee is in a paid or unpaid status.  While in a paid status, premiums will continue to be collected through payroll deductions.  If the employee is in an unpaid status, premiums will be collected through personal payments.  However, if the employee’s portion of the premium payment is more than 30 days late, the university may discontinue coverage.

Leave Accruals: Vacation and sick hours will 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 Victim’s Leave of Absence will in most circumstances be followed by the employee’s return to their former or essentially equal position.  The practical effect of this is that the department head should hold the employee's regular position anticipating the employee's return from Victim’s Leave of Absence.  However, the department head can hire a temporary replacement for the duration of the leave.

The employee will not be penalized for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence pursuant to this policy.

Failure to Return or Accept Employment

An employee will be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment if they:

  • fail to return to work upon the expiration of the approved Victim’s Leave of Absence or date agreed upon or any extension thereof; or
  • fail to contact their department head at least two weeks prior to the end of the Victim’s Leave of Absence to request an extension (if applicable); or
  • advise the university of their intention not to return to work; or
  • refuse comparable reemployment.

An employee who voluntarily terminates at the end of the Victim’s Leave of Absence for reasons listed above will be required to return to the university the full insurance premiums paid by the university on behalf of that employee during the period of the Victim’s Leave of Absence.