Disability-Short Term

For all full-time employees who need to be away from work for medical reasons (including maternity) for more than 5 days but less than 90 days.

Medical Leaves of Absence

PURPOSE:  This practice statement describes the provisions for employees who take a leave of absence from work for medical reasons.  It describes the compensation levels for those on leave and the provisions for returning to employment with the College.

SCOPE:  The practice applies to all full-time employees of Ursinus College.  Part-time or temporary employees are not eligible for this program.

PRACTICE:  Certain medical circumstances, such as illness, injury, and pregnancy, may require an absence from work for an extended time.  The College provides or insures a specified compensation level for persons during a medical leave of absence.  The College will also hold positions available for an employee returning from a medical leave of absence if the total time of the medical leave does not exceed 90 days.

The College requires medical certification from a physician before either short- term medical leave or long-term disability benefits are provided.  All employees must have medical certification from a physician to return to work, and any work restrictions must be specified by the treating physician.  If an employee is able to return to work but with the need for accommodations, then the employee must meet with the supervisor and/or personnel officer to discuss the accommodations and the needs of the position.  If the College is unable to accommodate the restrictions, several options may be available, including long-term disability, termination of employment/unemployment compensation and extension of the leave as unpaid.   The College may require a confirmation by a physician it chooses at any point in the medical leave process.

Medical leave is intended only to assist employees who have certified medical conditions that prevent them from working for an extended period, at least in excess of 5 days. 

Medical leave will begin on the first day of the injury or illness; medical leave practices for maternity leaves are described in a separate section.  Workers’ compensation rather than medical leave practices apply to work-related injury or illness.

Employees who return from a medical leave are not eligible to receive pay for another medical leave until they have completed one year of continuous service from the date they return to work.

Medical leave time will be considered a period of employment for the purpose of calculating length of service.

The Human Resources Office administers the procedures for medical leave.

COMPENSATION DURING MEDICAL LEAVE:  The College provides short-term medical leave payments and long-term disability (“LTD”) insurance. 

During the first 90 days of a certified medical leave of absence, the College provides short-term medical leave payments with its own funds.  Eligible employees will receive short-term medical leave compensation from the College during the 90-day period from the start of the medical leave until LTD insurance payments are available.  Eligible employees will receive eight (8) weeks of full medical leave pay; followed by one week of full medical leave pay for each year of service during the 90-day period; and then followed by 60% of full pay for the remaining weeks during the 90-day period.  College-paid benefits will continue for the first 90 days of the medical leave period. Medical leave payments will not be provided in addition to or in conjunction with any other College payments, such as vacation pay or sick pay.

The College purchases long-term disability insurance to support employees whose medical leaves of absence extend beyond 90 days.  An employee’s qualification for the insurance is determined by the College’s LTD insurance carrier.  Should the employee qualify for LTD insurance, the current insurance payments are at 60% of the employee’s salary.  The insurance carrier may impose certain conditions (e.g., require application for Social Security disability benefits) for receipt of LTD benefits.  The College reserves the right to change its LTD insurance terms and/or carrier at any time, as well as any of the other terms in this practice.

During a long-term disability period, College-paid benefits (e.g., health care insurance) will generally cease.  The employee, who has been approved for LTD, may continue to participate in the College’s medical and/or dental benefits at their own expense under the continuation of benefits provisions of COBRA.

Medical leave pay is not a benefit that accrues.  When persons return to work after an absence for medical reasons, they will not be paid for unused leave pay, and they are not eligible to receive pay for another medical leave until they have completed one year of continuous service from the date they return to work.

Long-term disability benefits are governed by Plan documents, and to the extent that there is any conflict between the Plan documents and this practice, the Plan documents control and govern.

Maternity Leave:  The College provides up to thirteen (13) weeks for maternity leave, which is paid according to the compensation terms of this medical leave practice.  An employee who returns from a maternity leave is not eligible to receive pay for another medical leave until she had completed one year of continuous service from the date she returns to work.  The maternity leave time will count as short-term medical leave time under this policy.

By the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, the employee should submit a written request for maternity leave, specifying the approximate date that she expects to stop working and the amount of time of leave she expects to take after giving birth.  The employee should inform the College of any changes in plans as soon as possible.

RETURN TO EMPLOYMENT FOLLOWING MEDICAL LEAVE: 

If an employee on medical leave is certified as able to return to work and offers to return to work within the first 90 days, the College will provide employment to the employee at his/her previous rate of pay and will place the returning employee into his/her previous position.  There is not guarantee of employment beyond the first 90 days of a medical leave of absence.  If the certified medical leave of absence extends beyond the 90 day period, the College will consider alternatives including LTD, termination and unemployment compensation, and extension of leave as unpaid.