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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY
Home : Human Resources : Leaves

Paid Medical Leave and Disability Benefits for Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

Effective Date: June 1983
Last Update: January 2012
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Human Resources
Policy Owner:
  • Director, Retirement Programs
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

Paid Medical Leave

Medical leave will be provided for self needs of eligible faculty members and academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees, for needs of their dependent children, and for needs of their immediate family members. Medical leave may be used for the following reasons:

  • A physical or mental health condition that prevents employee performance of any portion of their work duties for any period of time;
  • To undergo a medical procedure, including match testing, to donate bone marrow or an organ or partial organ to another person;
  • To care for or arrange care for an employee's dependent child because of a physical or mental health condition;
  • To care for or arrange care for an employee's immediate family member because of a serious health condition as defined within the context of this policy; and
  • For personal medical and dental appointments or for dependent child's or immediate family member's appointments when the presence of the employee is required.
Eligibility Criteria

The availability and length of paid medical leave varies according to the terms of the employee's appointment and the reason for the leave. The availability and length of leave are outlined in Appendix: Paid Medical Leave Eligibility and Provisions.

Excluded from paid medical leave coverage under this policy are (1) adjunct or clinical appointments from outside the University (appointment types: A or U), (2) "Without Salary" appointments, (3) civil service and union-represented staff, (4) graduate assistants, (5) professionals-in-training employees, and (6) represented UMD faculty whose paid medical leave provisions are covered under a collective bargaining agreement.

Bone Marrow or Organ Donation

In accordance with state statute, employees who work an average of 20 or more hours per week will be granted a paid medical leave of absence of up to 40 work hours (five work days) to undergo a medical procedure, including match testing, to donate bone marrow or an organ or partial organ to another person. Additional paid medical leave is available under this policy. To the extent possible, the leave should be arranged to minimize interference with the employee’s work.

Certification of Reason for Medical Leave

When an employee takes medical leave based on a personal health condition, and the leave is expected to or does reach two weeks, the employee must file a claim with the University’s disability vendor and provide medical documentation to support the leave. The disability vendor will evaluate the documentation, determine the onset date of the disability, and certify the claim. The University or the disability vendor may request documentation from an authorized health care provider throughout the leave to support any request for medical leave, either for self, dependent child, or for an immediate family member. A delay in providing medical documentation or contacting the disability vendor could compromise medical leave benefits. Refusal to provide medical documentation can disqualify the employee from paid medical leave and may result in disciplinary action.

Medical Leave Payment Provisions

Medical leave payments are paid by the employee's department according to scheduled biweekly earnings, which may not exceed 100 percent of the employee’s salary as of the last full day of active work. If an employee is scheduled to receive pay for a period less than 12 months, medical leave pay is not provided during the period when regular pay is not scheduled.

An otherwise eligible employee who has been granted a full or partial unpaid leave and is subsequently medically unable to work during any portion of that period will not be paid for the percentage of the appointment that is on unpaid leave.

There is no provision for paid leave under this policy if the disability vendor determines that the employee does not meet the definition of disability.

Report of Use of Medical Leave

Employees must provide to the departments documentation that reports the employee’s use of medical leave in increments of half or whole days, including the dates of the leave, as soon as is practical in the circumstances.

Return to Work

The University may require a health care provider’s certification or physician’s statement of the employee’s ability to return to work if the employee is returning to work under any restricted circumstances (e.g., partial return to work or work accommodation is requested) or if the employee is returning earlier or later than previously reported by the provider. Information regarding any restrictions is to be provided along with the medical reason. The University encourages the employee’s return to work by providing services to assist with any disability or medical condition requiring accommodations or adjustments.

Disability Benefits

The University will provide disability benefits to eligible faculty (including UMD represented faculty) and P&A employees who are unable to return to work following three months of medical leave because of their own health condition in accordance with the University's Academic Disability Program. Benefits will only be paid if the claim is approved by the disability vendor at the time of payment. The terms of this program are provided in the Academic Disability Plan document and the Academic Long-term Disability Insurance Policy, number LK-980184, found at http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/benefits/disability/academic/index.html.

University Wellness Program

The University strongly encourages its responsible administrators/supervisors to work with faculty and P&A employees to allow for reasonable scheduling flexibility to accommodate participation in University Wellness Program offerings designed to improve employee health and wellness. Such flexibility should not compromise the needs of the department and the expectations of the position.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Employee Work-Life and Personal Leaves. Paid medical leave and disability benefits are provided by the University to minimize loss of compensation during a defined period of time when illness, injury, disability, or preventative medical care makes absence from the performance of duty unavoidable or in the best interest of the University and its employees. Paid medical leave and disability benefits are intended to be a financial safety net to help replace University-paid wages that are expected to be paid to the employee. Benefits will not be paid during those times when income is not expected, such as during an unpaid work break or during an unpaid leave of absence. Provisions specific to bone marrow or organ donation are provided in accordance with state statutes. This policy also supports faculty members and P&A employees who need time away from work to attend to family members with serious health conditions.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

In support of this policy, the following triplicate form is available from the employing department, if this is the department's form of choice for reporting medical leave:

  • UM 506 - Absence Card
    1. Individual employees should contact their department for the absence card.
    2. Departments may order forms in large quantities through University Stores.

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
General Information or Procedural Assistance
Primary: Responsible administrator/supervisor
 
 
 
Secondary: Local campus, college, or administrative unit HR administrator
 
 
 
UReturn Specialist
612-624-3316
612-626-1333
218-722-5232 (Duluth)
 
Employee Benefits
Employee Benefits Service Center
612-624-9090,
Option 2;
1-800-756-2363
benefits@umn.edu
Fax: 612-626-0808
Document Processing
HRMS Key Contact
 
Office of Human Resources Call Center
612-625-2016
 

DEFINITIONS

Authorized Health Care Provider
A doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the state where they practice. The definition also includes: podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, chiropractors (related to spinal manipulation), nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical social workers, physician assistants, and listed Christian Science practitioners. These professionals, including health care providers practicing in a country other than the United States, must be authorized to practice in that state/country and must be performing within the scope of their practice as defined under state law.
Dependent Child
The employee's biological, adoptive, or foster son or daughter, a stepchild, or a legal ward of the employee or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is under the age of 18, or 18 and older and incapable of self care and self-sustaining employment because of a mental or physical disability certified by the UPlan Medical Plan Administrator. The University's policy on domestic partners extends the definition of son or daughter to include those of registered same-sex domestic partners.
Immediate Family Member
Spouse or registered same-sex domestic partner; employee's biological, adoptive, or step child (not meeting the dependent child definition); parents of spouse or registered same-sex domestic partner; and the parents, guardian, or siblings of the employee.
Registered Same-Sex Domestic Partner
Two persons of the same sex who are (1) engaged in a committed relationship and intend to remain together indefinitely; (2) unable to marry each other under MN law; (3) at least 18 years of age and have the capacity to enter into a contract; (4) are jointly responsible to each other for the necessities of life; (5) are not related by blood closer than permitted under MN marriage laws; and (6) registered as same-sex domestic partners with the University.
Serious Health Condition
An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves one of the following:
  1. Hospital Care: Inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with or consequent to such inpatient care.
  2. Absence Plus Treatment: A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days (including any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition), that also involves:
    • Treatment two or more times, within 30 days of the first day of incapacity, unless extenuating circumstances exist, by a health care provider, by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider, or by a provider of health care services (e.g., physical therapist) under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider, or
    • Treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider.
  3. Pregnancy: Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.
  4. Chronic Conditions Requiring Treatments: A chronic condition which
    • Requires periodic visits (at least twice a year) for treatment by a health care provider or by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider; and
    • Continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and
    • May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g. asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.)
  5. Permanent/Long-Term Conditions Requiring Supervision: A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider. Examples include Alzheimer's, a severe stroke, or the terminal stages of a disease.
  6. Multiple Treatments (Non-Chronic Conditions): Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery) by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider, either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment such as cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.) severe arthritis (physical therapy), kidney disease (dialysis).
Work day
The employee's typical scheduled time to work.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Unit
  • Establishes guidelines and develops procedures for notifying/requesting use of medical leave for reasons as provided under this policy.
  • Communicates guidelines, procedures, and expectations for medical leave compliance with unit faculty members and P&A employees.
  • Oversees tracking of medical leave usage by unit faculty and P&A employees.
Faculty Member or P&A Employee
  • Requests from the responsible administrator/supervisor leave for medical reasons or for medical or dental appointments for self, dependent child, or for an immediate family member as covered under this policy.
  • Requests medical leave to care for or arrange care for an immediate family member as defined within this policy because of a serious health condition.
  • Requests medical leave for the purpose of bone marrow or organ donation.
  • Files a claim with the disability vendor when medical leave based on the employee’s health condition is expected to or does exceed two work weeks.
  • Provides appropriate medical documentation to support inability to work, as requested.
  • Provides appropriate medical documentation to support return to work, as requested.
  • Documents medical leave of absence following departmental and/or campus, college, or administrative unit procedures.
Responsible Administrator/Supervisor
  • Handles requests for use of medical leave, in conjunction with Employee Benefits and the disability vendor.
  • Ensures appropriate documentation of use of medical leave of absence.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:

January 2012 - Disability vendor replaced The Standard. The definition of serious health condition was updated to reflect the changes to the definition in the Family Medical Leave Act. General edits and clarifications made.

Amended:

October 2008 - The following revisions were made and became effective October 14, 2008:

  • The title of the policy changed to Paid Medical Leave & Disability Benefits for Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative Employees from Sick and Disability Leaves for Academic Employees.
  • The leave of absence provided for paid sick leave is no longer termed “informal sick leave” and “formal medical leave.” The term “medical leave” now encompasses both of these past sick leave provisions for a total of three consecutive calendar months leave available per physical or mental health condition that prevents the employee’s performance of any portion of their work duties.
  • Eligibility criteria for faculty and P&A employees for paid medical leave of absence provided with greater specificity. (Refer to language under the Policy Statement and Appendix A: Paid Medical Leave Eligibility and Provisions.)
  • Faculty and P&A employees otherwise eligible and holding an appointment of 50 percent up to 67 percent time are provided with a total of 10 regularly scheduled work days of paid medical leave per fiscal year to care for or arrange care for a dependent child. The provision for self did not change.
  • Eligible faculty and P&A employees are now required to contact the disability insurer if medical leave of absence extends or is expected to extend beyond two weeks.
  • Limited provision provided for eligible faculty and P&A employees to care for or arrange care for an employee’s immediate family member (as defined) because of a serious health condition (as defined).
  • Provision documented for reasonable use of medical leave for personal, medical, or dental appointments or for family member appointments when the presence of the employee is required.
  • Clarification made concerning the University’s right to request an authorized health care provider’s documentation/certification at any time throughout a period of leave.
  • Documentation of use of medical leave is required for half or whole day absences during the normal workday.
  • Departments and/or college or administrative units to provide to eligible faculty and P&A employees guidelines and procedures for reporting use of medical leave.
  • Language included to strongly encourage responsible administrators/supervisors to work with faculty and P&A employees in allowing for reasonable scheduling flexibility to accommodate participation in University Wellness Program offerings designed to improve employee health and wellness.
Amended:
March 2008 - Administrative Policy: Sick and Disability Leaves for Academic Employees converted to the new University-wide format for Administrative policies.
Amended:
April 2007 - Additional edits to clarify pro-rated sick time for part-time employees.
Amended:
February 2007 - Language contained in the Administrative Policy: Sick and Disability Leaves for Academic Employees incorporates policy information previously contained in Board of Regents Policy: Sick and Disability Leaves. This administrative policy supports Board of Regents Policy: Employee Work-Life and Personal Leaves that supersedes several Board policies concerning personal leaves.
Amended:
November 1990
Amended:
August 1988
Amended:
May 1985
Adopted:
June 1983
Effective:
June 1983
Supercedes:
Administrative Policy: Sick and Disability Leaves, Board of Regents Policy Sick and Disability Leaves.

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Last modified on February 6, 2014