Time-Off Benefits and Income Protection
Faculty refer to Faculty Handbook for a listing of recesses and the academic calendar.
The University non-academic staff that does not observe the academic schedule of holidays and recesses generally observes the following holidays by closing for business on:
- Independence Day
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- Day after Christmas
- New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- 2 Personal Days for non-exempt support staff
- 1 Personal Day for exempt administrative staff
- Personal days are of the employee’s choice with the supervisor’s approval and must be taken within the fiscal year or forfeited. An unused personal day is not compensable upon termination of employment.
- Active employees generally have the time off for the observed holiday unless otherwise scheduled. When the holiday falls on a Saturday, the University will generally observe the holiday on the preceding Friday. When the holiday falls on a Sunday, the University will generally observe the holiday on the following Monday. Employees whose regular work day may be either Saturday or Sunday will have the actual holiday off if appropriate for University business.
- Part-time employees will receive holiday pay only for hours they are regularly scheduled to work on that day.
- On-call employees and temporary or casual employees will be paid for any hours worked on a holiday but will not receive any additional holiday pay.
The University complies with all requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). In order to preserve one’s rights under that Act, a staff or faculty member who enlists in, is inducted into or is ordered to active duty in one of the uniformed services must give the University reasonable advance notice of the need for such leave, unless military necessity or other relevant circumstances make the giving of that reasonable advance notice impossible or unreasonable.
In order to be eligible for reinstatement in employment, generally the employee’s cumulative period of service in the uniformed services may not exceed five years. The “uniformed services” are the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, including reserve components thereof), the Army National Guard and the Air Force National Guard. “Service” in the uniformed services means the performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in one of the uniformed services under competent authority and includes active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training and full-time National Guard duty.
The employee also must apply for reinstatement in employment with the University on a timely basis. What constitutes a timely basis depends on the duration of the employee’s period of service. The following table sets forth the time frames for timely reapplication:
|Period of Service||Reapplication|
|Less than 31 days||At the beginning of the first full regularly scheduled work period on the first full calendar day following release from duty plus necessary travel time and 8 additional hours for rest.|
|31 - 181 days||Within 14 days after release from duty.|
|More than 181 days (but less than five years)||Within 90 days after release from duty.|
There are certain exceptions both to the above table for timely reapplication and to the University’s obligation to reinstate the employee in a position of like seniority and pay as compared with reasonable certainty to the position he/she would have held had the individual not interrupted service for active duty. If any of these exceptions might be applicable to the employee’s circumstances, they may be discussed with the Office of Human Resources.
Benefits (life insurance and accidental death/dismemberment, disability insurance, retirement contributions, etc.) are not continued while an employee is on active duty. However, employees may opt to continue group health and dental insurance coverage for up to 24 months by assuming the cost for employee and for dependent coverage, if applicable. Retirement Plan contributions will be made up by the University if the employee makes up the employee contributions. Upon reinstatement, the employee may make up his/her unpaid Retirement Plan contributions in equal installments on a mutually agreeable basis but typically reimbursed through payroll deduction over a period which is the lesser of three times the employee’s period of service or five years.
Eligible vacation and sick leave are not accrued while on military leave of absence but, at reinstatement, time spent in military service will count toward years of service, seniority, vesting requirements and benefits eligibility. The University will return the employee to its then current group health insurance plan, if any, for employees of like classification without any waiting period or exclusions.
Funeral Leave (Faculty refer to Faculty Handbook)
Any full-time employee is granted up to three days paid bereavement leave at the time of death of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent or sibling) or the death of a member of the spouse’s immediate family. One day paid leave is granted for the employee to attend the funeral of a grandparent, niece, nephew, aunt or uncle. or spouse’s grandparent, niece or nephew.
The University will allow an employee a reasonable amount of time off so he or she may vote. Since, however, voting hours extend both before and after the normal working hours at Muskingum University, employees are encouraged to vote on personal time.
Upon employment, two personal days are available to full-time non-exempt support staff which may be taken at the employee’s discretion provided he/she first has obtained the supervisor’s approval. One personal day is available to administrative staff. These days must be taken within the applicable fiscal year or are forfeited. An unused personal day is not compensable at termination.
The University recognizes the responsibility of employees to serve jury duty. No employee will lose regular compensation or benefits when called on for jury duty or to testify at the order of the court or other agency of government or at the request of the University. No employee will be required to utilize paid time for jury duty but may be required to submit to the Office of Human Resources official summons for duty. An employee is not required to turn over to the University any jury duty compensation nor any jury duty reimbursement for travel expenses and meals. Sick leave for support staff continues to be accumulated during time spent on jury or witness service as long as the employee is being paid.
Unpaid Leave Of Absence
In rare instances an employee may request an unpaid leave of absence without benefits. The granting of this leave will be contingent upon the reason for the leave and the ability of the University either to temporarily function without the employee or to find an adequate temporary replacement. The granting of this leave for support staff and administration must be approved by the senior staff member responsible for that department and supervisor. Any appropriate paid leave must be exhausted prior to the granting of an unpaid leave of absence. Faculty refer to Faculty Handbook
A vacation leave for full-time non-exempt (support) staff is based on the fiscal year July 1 through June 30. The vacation schedule for full-time non-exempt staff working 12 months per year is as follows:
|Years of Service||Vacation Leave Given|
|First year hire date to July 1||Pro-rated|
|July 1 of year 1||5 working days ( 40 hrs)|
|July 1 of years 2-4||10 working days ( 80 hrs)|
|July 1 of years 5-9||15 working days (120 hrs)|
|July 1 10 years and over||20 working days (160 hrs)|
Each July 1 a support staff member who is eligible by years of service to rise to the next higher level of vacation leave benefit will do so regardless of when employment began.
The following schedule indicates vacation leave available during the first year of employment for full-time non-exempt support staff to be taken between start date and June 30 after completion of a successful 60 day probation period.
|If employment begins...||Pro-rated leave available|
|July 1 - Sept. 30||5 working days (40 hrs)|
|Oct. 1 - Dec. 31||3 working days (24 hrs)|
|Jan. 1 - Mar. 31||1 working day (8 hrs)|
|Apr.1 - Jun. 30||0 working days|
Effective January 1, 2001, an eligible full-time 12 month exempt (administrative) staff member who does not follow the academic schedule of holidays and recesses is annually given one month of vacation on July 1, which is defined as 20 working days to be taken during that current fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) or forfeit.
Newly hired eligible members of the administration will be given a prorated amount of vacation leave to be taken between start date and July 1 as indicated:
|If employment begins...||Vacation given and to be taken
between start date and June 30
|Between July 1 - Sept 30||15 working days|
|Between Oct. 1 - Dec 31||10 working days|
|Between Jan. 1 - Mar 31||5 working days|
|Between Apr. 1 - June 30||0 working days|
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT VACATION LEAVE FOR NON-FACULTY
Consideration will be given to all requests for vacation time and the employee's preference will be respected whenever practical. The senior staff member over the position, however, does have the right to deny requests which may jeopardize the department operations at that time. Vacation leave is usually granted when the office or department can best afford the time off.
Except for unforeseen emergencies, vacation time must be scheduled as far in advance as possible. It is expected that all requests for vacation leave will be made at least 24 hours ahead of requested time. Such requests must be approved by the supervisor.
Competitive requests for the same time off generally will be decided in favor of the employee with the longer period of continuous service to the University. In the event coveted vacation time begins to be monopolized by a particular employee, the senior staff member over the positions may establish a system under which selection is rotated among members of the employee group involved.
Paid holidays falling within vacation time are not charged against vacation.
Unused vacation leave may not be taken as "terminal leave" prior to separation.
A full-time employee changing to a part-time position is entitled to all the eligible vacation days which have not yet been taken.
Part-time employees receive no paid vacation.
Support-staff members having less than 6 months of employment receive no payment for vacation upon termination of employment. All unused vacation time will be paid to other eligible employees with the final paycheck in the event of separation of employment or to his/her estate in the event of death.
Sick Leave Policy: Support Staff
The purpose of sick leave pay is to provide uninterrupted compensation to employees who are temporarily unable to work for the following reasons:
- Employee illness, injury or medical condition (including pregnancy and childbirth).
- Doctor or dentist visits unable to be scheduled during off hours for employee and dependents.
- Illness of a dependent child.
- Need to provide care for a critically ill member of the immediate family (parent, spouse, child or sibling) as granted on a case-by-case basis by the Manager of Human Resources and the senior staff member over the position. Final authority is with the President.
Sick leave for support staff is given at the rate of four hours per pay period for full-time personnel. An employee may accumulate up to 30 days of sick leave. Any support staff employee who completes a fiscal year without using sick leave or having any unexcused absences is granted an additional personal day off with pay which must be taken during the next fiscal year.
The employee's immediate supervisor is to be notified as far in advance as possible for any planned use of sick leave (i.e. doctor's visits, elective surgery), and as soon as possible for any unplanned use of sick leave. If the supervisor is unavailable, notification is to be given to the Manager of Human Resources. Failure to give appropriate notice may be considered as an unexcused absence.
If an employee calls off sick on the day before or the day after a holiday or vacation day, no sick leave pay will be granted without providing a doctor’s excuse. While on vacation, days in which the employee is confined to a hospital or residence due to a major illness or injury may be charged to his/her accumulated sick leave rather than to vacation leave. A statement from the treating physician may be required in such cases. Sick leave accrues during any sick leave of less than 80 hours or any leave with pay but it does not accrue during unpaid leave.
Persons hired as part-time employees do not receive paid sick leave. A full-time employee changing to part-time status retains the portion of accumulated sick leave, which is defined by his or her now current status (i.e., a full-time person with 30 days accumulated sick leave changing to part-time 20 hours per week will retain 30 one-half days of sick leave). No additional sick leave will accumulate for that part-time employee.
The University reserves the right to require a physician's statement to support the use of sick leave. At times, the University may require an examination, at its expense, by a University appointed physician. Any employee who is absent for three or more consecutive days must present a Dr excuse before returning to work.
Extended Sick Leave
Extended sick leave is earned at the rate of 4 hours per pay period worked only during the pay period that the employee's regular sick leave accumulation is at 30 days. A total of 30 days of extended sick leave can be accumulated in addition to the 30 days of regular sick leave. No sick leave will accrue after a total of 60 days has been reached.
Extended sick leave provides compensation only to the support staff employee who due to major illness or injury is not able to return to work after using 30 days regular sick leave.
Separation of Employment
Upon termination of employment with the University, any unused sick leave is canceled and non-compensable.
Family Medical Leave
Under the FMLA the University, upon request, will provide up to 12 weeks of job protected leave to eligible employees during a period of 12 consecutive months measured forward from the date of the employee's first use of FMLA leave under this Policy. Employees are eligible if they have worked for Muskingum University for a total of 12 months, not necessarily consecutively, and have at least 1,250 hours during the 12 consecutive month period preceding the FMLA leave.
Employees are required to take any available University paid sick leave, personal leave and vacation leave at the beginning of the FMLA leave period. Further time-off (up to the 12 week maximum) required within the 12 consecutive month period, after all available paid leave has been exhausted, is taken as unpaid leave. Such unpaid leave does not adversely affect an exempt salaried employee's status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Individuals meeting the eligibility standards and working on a part-time schedule would be eligible for pro-rated FMLA leave.
Sick leave accrues while a support staff employee is on FMLA leave per the Sick Leave Policy. Unused FMLA leave cannot be carried over from one period of 12 consecutive months to the next such period.
Events That Entitle an Employee to FMLA Leave
- the birth of a son or daughter or to care for such newborn infant.
- a child's placement with the employee for adoption or foster care.
- the employee's own serious health condition which makes it impossible to perform essential job functions.
- to care for the employee's child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition.
Advanced Notice and Medical Certification
When the employee's need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, advance notice to the University is required.
The University requires that an employee's request for FMLA leave to care for a sick child, spouse or parent or due to the employee's own serious health condition be supported by medical certification issued by the treating health care provider within 15 days after the employees' FMLA leave request, unless procuring such is not practical despite good faith and diligent efforts. The certification should include details of the illness, injury or treatment and an estimate of duration. Certification forms are available in the Office of the Manager of Human Resources.
Upon receipt of the Certification Form, the University may require a second verification from the qualified health care provider of its choice, at University expense. In the event the two certifications present conflicting information regarding leave necessity, the University may require a third opinion at University expense, using a health care provider jointly designated or approved by the University and the employee. Such third health care provider's opinion will be considered final.
The University requires an employee to report his/her status via medical certification every 30 days during the FMLA leave and to document his or her intention (if any) to return to work. The University also requires any usually requested "fitness for duty" certification or release to return to work from the attending health care provider prior to the employee's return.
Intermittent Leave and Reduced Load
The maximum 12 weeks of FMLA leave during the 12 consecutive month period can be taken continuously or, under certain circumstances, intermittently (e.g. several days a week) or as a reduced load (e.g. half work days).
FMLA Leave When Both Husband and Wife Work for Muskingum University
If both are eligible, they are entitled to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child or for caring for one of their own parents (but not parent-in-law) with a serious health condition. Both, however, are entitled to up to the full 12 weeks for their own serious health condition or for caring for a child or spouse with a serious health condition.
Job Restoration at the End of FMLA Leave
"Job protection" means that, upon timely return from FMLA leave, the employee is entitled to be restored to the same position which he or she held when the leave began or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, status and other terms and conditions of employment. The equivalent position should require substantially equivalent skill, effort, responsibility, authority and present equivalent opportunities as well as being on the same shift or on an equivalent work schedule.
Health Insurance Benefits Available During FMLA Leave
While on FMLA leave, the University will continue health care insurance (medical insurance and participation in the flexible spending account) on the same basis as if an individual is actively at work. That is, the University will continue its contribution and the employee will continue his/her contribution. For paid leave, deductions will be taken from paychecks as usual.
For unpaid leave, employees may arrange to pre-pay or to pre-deduct from payroll prior to the leave or may arrange to send their contribution by the 15th of each month for the next month's coverage. The University, however, has no obligation to continue group health insurance for an employee who does not intend to return to work after the FMLA leave.
If an employee fails to return from FMLA leave for reason other than the onset or continuation of a serious health condition or other causes beyond the employee's control, the University may recover from the employee its share of the applicable group health insurance premiums paid during the employee's FMLA leave. This may be done through any available process, up to and including legal action.
Other Benefits Continued During FMLA
The University will continue to pay for disability insurance and life insurance for individuals on FMLA leave who intend to return to work at the conclusion of such leave. Employee and University contributions to the retirement plan will continue during paid FMLA leave but cease during unpaid leave. No employee fringe benefit ceases by virtue of the fact that a formerly full-time employee goes to a part-time schedule while on FMLA intermittent leave or reduced work schedule if the employee was participating in such benefit prior to the leave.
Circumstances Under Which Muskingum University May Deny Job Restoration
- If the employee would not otherwise have been employed at the time reinstatement is requested.
- If the employee fails to provide a required fitness for duty certificate to return to work.
- If the employee is no longer qualified for the position because of the employee's inability to attend a necessary course, renew a license, etc. as a result of the leave. The employee, however, will be given a reasonable opportunity to fulfill those conditions upon return to work.
- If the employee is unable to perform the position because of a physical or mental condition, including the continuation of a serious health condition.
- If the employee is a key employee (a salaried employee whose earnings are among the highest paid 10% of all salaried and non-salaried employees) and job restoration (not the absence) would cause "substantial and grievous" economic injury to the University. The University must notify an employee promptly of an intent to deny restoration and the employee has the right to return immediately. A non-returning key employee would still be entitled to a full 12 weeks of leave and continuation of health insurance as explained in this policy.
Arrangements When 12 Week Period is Close to End of a Semester
Depending on the timing and reason for leave, an individual involved in the academic process may wish to extend leave and thus not return until the beginning of the next term in order to provide continuity in the classroom as a benefit to students. Leave expected to continue past the last five weeks of a semester may be extended with approval until the end of the semester.
The Intended Scope of the University's FMLA Policy
The Director of Human Resources should be consulted should additional information be needed or to obtain a copy of the Policy in its entirety.