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Human Resources

Revised and New Leave of Absence Policies for Clerical and Service Staff (C-45)

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
EXECUTIVE MEMORANDUM NO. C-45

January 1, 1999

TO: Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices

RE: Revised and New Leave of Absence Policies for Clerical and Service Staff

In an effort to simplify Purdue University's clerical and service staff leave of absence policies and to bring them up-to-date with recent legal developments, Executive Memorandum No. C- 45 sets forth revised policies regarding the following leaves of absence:

The following policies are effective immediately and supersede, in whole or in part, any prior inconsistent verbal or written policies of the University for clerical and service staff including, but not limited to, Business Office Memorandum No. 187, dated November 8, 1991, Business Office Memorandum No. 172, dated November 1, 1981, Business Office Memorandum No. 166, dated January 1, 1980, Business Office Memorandum No. 161, dated November 26, 1975, Business Office Memorandum No. 155, dated April 5, 1974, Business Office Memorandum No. 130, dated May 23, 1968, Business Office Memorandum No. 121, dated January 11, 1967, Business Office Memorandum No. 112, dated March 11, 1973, and Business Office Memorandum No. 71, dated June 19, 1961. The unpaid personal leave of absence policy in section III below is a new policy that replaces the verbal and written policies of the University for clerical and service staff dealing with unpaid sick leave, personal business leave, newborn infant care leave, departmental leave, educational leave, and mutually acceptable leave.

  1. Paid Sick Leave

      1. Introduction

        The University recognizes that an employee's inability to work due to injury or illness may cause economic hardship. To minimize the effect that such absences can have on an employee, the University provides paid sick leave as set forth below.

      2. Scope

        This policy applies to all regular clerical and service staff.

      3. Qualifying Reasons For Paid Sick Leave

        An employee may use accrued, paid sick leave for the following reasons:

        1. If s/he is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job due to an injury or illness including, but not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related medical conditions.
        2. To care for an immediate family member (1) with an injury or illness for up to ten workdays (i.e., eighty hours for a full-time employee) in a fiscal year (2, 3).
        3. For an appointment with a health care provider that could not be scheduled to occur during non-working hours.
      4. Sick Leave Accrual and Payments
        1. Accrual Rate
          1. Employees will accrue paid sick leave as of their date of hire in direct proportion to the time they are in pay status. An employee will be considered to be in pay status if s/he is working or on a paid leave of absence approved by the University.
          2. Full-time employees will accrue paid sick leave at a rate of eighty hours per fiscal year. Part-time employees will accrue paid sick leave in direct proportion to their full-time equivalency.
        2. Carryover

          Employees may carryover any accrued, unused paid sick leave from one fiscal year to the next fiscal year.

        3. Sick Leave Payments
          1. An employee will be paid his/her straight-time hourly rate of pay for sick leave.
          2. Sick leave will be paid in the employee's regular paycheck.
        4. Payment Upon Termination, Retirement, or Death
          1. Except as provided in paragraph b. below, any accrued, unused paid sick leave remaining upon termination of employment will be forfeited.
          2. Upon retirement recognized by the University or death, an employee will be eligible to receive payment and creditable service for any accrued, unused paid sick leave as follows:
            1. Cash Payment
              1. Twenty-five percent of all accrued, unused paid sick leave up to and including 520 hours; and
              2. One hundred percent of all accrued, unused paid sick leave that exceeds 520 hours.
            2. Creditable Service
              1. Apply one hundred percent of all accrued, unused paid sick leave toward creditable service for retirement purposes.
        5. Coordination With Disability Leaves

          Once an employee satisfies the waiting period for his/her short-term disability plan, benefits will begin regardless of how much sick leave the employee has remaining. Short-term disability will pay sixty-five percent of the employee's budgeted pay. If the employee has paid sick leave remaining when short term disability benefits begin, s/he will draw from sick leave to bring the pay up to one hundred percent of his/her budgeted pay. The employee is not allowed to draw more than one hundred percent of budgeted pay through short-term disability and sick leave combined.

          If an employee is eligible for long-term disability ("LTD") benefits upon completing thirteen weeks of sick leave and has accrued, unused paid sick leave, the employee will receive one hundred percent of his/her paid sick leave benefit and a LTD benefit of $50.00 per month. After the twenty-sixth week of leave, if the employee has accrued, unused paid sick leave, LTD will pay sixty-five percent of his/her budgeted pay and the employee will use the remaining sick leave to bring the total benefit up to one hundred percent of his/her budgeted pay.

      5. Employee Notice Requirements
        1. When planning medical treatment, an employee must consult with his/her supervisor and make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave so as not to disrupt the University's operations.
        2. If the sick leave is foreseeable, the employee must give his/her supervisor as much advance notice of the need for leave as is practicable under the circumstances.
        3. If the sick leave is not foreseeable, the employee, or another person on the employee's behalf, must notify the employee's supervisor or department head no later than one hour after the scheduled start of the employee's workday, unless instructed otherwise by the employee's supervisor or department head.
        4. An employee who fails to satisfy the foregoing notice requirements may be disciplined, up to and including termination.
      6. Written Leave Request

        An employee whose paid sick leave exceeds ten consecutive workdays must request sick leave in writing on an appropriate University leave request form.

      7. Medical Statement
        1. If paid sick leave is used concurrently with Family and Medical Leave Act leave, the employee must satisfy the medical certification requirements of the University's FMLA policy until the FMLA leave is exhausted.
        2. If paid sick leave is not used concurrently with FMLA leave, the requirements for a medical statement will be as follows:
          1. Subject to paragraph b. below, an employee who requests sick leave must provide to his/her department a medical statement from the principal attending health care provider, which certifies that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job due to a qualifying reason under this policy. The statement must also include an estimate of when the employee will be able to return to work.
          2. Each department will provide written notice to its employees regarding the number of consecutive workdays of sick leave that will trigger the employee's duty to provide a medical statement. Under no circumstances may an employee be on sick leave for more than ten consecutive workdays without providing a medical statement to the department. In the absence of written notice from the department, the employee must provide the medical statement if the sick leave exceeds ten consecutive workdays.
          3. The medical statement must be provided within fifteen calendar days of the employee's first day of sick leave, unless it is impracticable to do so despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts.
          4. If the sick leave continues for more than thirty calendar days, the employee's department should request medical statements at reasonable intervals from the employee (e.g., every thirty days).
          5. An employee who fails to provide a medical statement under this policy may be denied sick leave and/or disciplined, up to and including termination of employment.
          6. With the employee's written consent, a representative of the campus personnel department may contact the employee's health care provider to clarify and authenticate the medical statement, subject to any applicable provisions of the FMLA, the Indiana Workers' Compensation Act, or the Americans With Disabilities Act.
      8. Return-To-Duty Statement
        1. Subject to paragraph 2. below, upon returning to work from sick leave due to the employee's illness or injury, the employee will furnish to his/her department a return-to-duty statement from the employee's principal attending health care provider. The statement must indicate that the employee has been released to return to work. It must also specify any physical or other limitation on the employee's ability to perform regular or other duties and the duration of those limitations.
        2. Each department will provide written notice to its employees regarding the number of consecutive workdays of sick leave that will trigger the employee's duty to provide a return-to-work statement. Under no circumstances may an employee be reinstated without providing a return-to-work statement if the sick leave exceeded ten consecutive workdays. In the absence of written notice from the department, the employee must provide the return-to-work statement if the sick leave exceeded ten consecutive workdays.
        3. If an employee uses paid sick leave during intermittent FMLA leave, a return-to-duty statement will not be required when the employee's intermittent FMLA leave ends, except as permitted by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
        4. If the employee does not provide a return-to-duty statement upon returning to work, then reinstatement may be delayed until the employee submits a statement. If the employee fails to submit a statement within a reasonable period of time from the department's request, s/he may be disciplined, up to and including termination of employment.
        5. With the employee's written consent, a representative of the campus personnel department may contact the employee's health care provider to clarify and authenticate the return-to-duty statement, subject to the limitations of the FMLA, the Indiana Workers' Compensation Act, and the Americans With Disabilities Act, if applicable.
      9. Coordination With Family and Medical Leave Act Leave

        If an employee qualifies for paid sick leave and FMLA leave, the sick leave and FMLA leave must be used concurrently. Under such circumstances, the employee must meet the medical certification requirements of the University's FMLA leave policy until s/he exhausts his/her FMLA leave. In addition, the employee's reinstatement rights will be governed by the University's FMLA policy; however, if the employee exhausts his/her FMLA leave and remains on paid sick leave, all provisions of the paid sick leave policy will govern including, but not limited to, the employee's right to be reinstated.

      10. Supplementing Workers' Compensation Leave
        1. Paid sick leave may be used to supplement weekly wage-replacement benefits paid under the University's workers' compensation leave policy; however, the total weekly compensation paid during the leave may not exceed the employee's normal weekly pay.
        2. For full-time, non-exempt employees the normal weekly pay will be determined by multiplying the employee's straight-time hourly rate of pay times forty hours. For part-time, non-exempt employees the normal weekly pay will be in proportion to the employee's FTE.
      11. Right to Reinstatement -- Paid Sick Leave Only (4)

        An employee will normally be reinstated to the same position s/he held when the leave began if the position is available and the employee can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation as may be required by law. If the employee is not reinstated to the position s/he held when the leave began, his/her employment may be terminated.

      12. Interdepartmental Transfers

        An employee who transfers between two departments of the University will maintain his/her accrued, unused paid sick leave.

      13. Holidays

        If a paid holiday observed by the University occurs during an employee's sick leave, the employee will be paid holiday pay and will not be charged for the sick leave.

      14. Group Health Insurance

        The University will continue to pay its share of the cost of an employee's group health insurance during paid sick leave. The employee's share of the cost will be deducted from the employee's pay in accordance with normal payroll practices.

      15. Confidentiality

        All information, whether written or verbal, including, but not limited to, medical statements, return-to-work statements, and notes relating to the employee's or his/her immediate family members' health condition will be kept confidential to the maximum extent possible. All written medical information will be kept in a confidential, secure file separate from the employee's personnel file.

      16. Definitions
        1. Health Care Provider

          Health care provider means:

          1. A doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the State in which the doctor practices.
          2. Podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, and chiropractors authorized to practice in the State and performing within the scope of their practice as defined under State law.
          3. Nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and clinical social workers who are authorized to practice under State law and who are performing within the scope of their practice as defined under State law.
          4. Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.
          5. Any health care provider from whom the University or the University's group health plan's benefits manager will accept certification of the existence of an injury or illness to substantiate a claim for benefits.
          6. A health care provider as defined above who practices in a country other than the United States, who is licensed to practice in accordance with the laws and regulations of that country.
        2. Immediate Family Member

          Immediate family member means the employee's spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, corresponding in-laws, and step-relatives, and any other relative residing in the employee's home.

  2. Paid Vacation Leave

    1. Introduction

      Purdue University provides paid vacation leave to clerical and service staff primarily so they will have time away from the workplace for recreation, travel, and relaxation. The University strongly encourages staff to use this benefit for these and other similar purposes.

    2. Scope

      This policy applies to all regular full-time and regular part-time (i.e., at least twenty and less than forty hours per week) clerical and service staff.

    3. Vacation Accrual
      1. Employees will accrue vacation as of their date of hire in direct proportion to the time they are in pay status. An employee will be considered in pay status if s/he is working or on a paid leave of absence approved by the University.
      2. The amount of paid vacation an employee accrues depends upon the number of his/her continuous years of service, as set forth in the table below:

        Regular, Full-time Accrual Table*

        Years of Continuous Service Days Hours
        1 10 80
        2 11 88
        3 12 96
        4 13 104
        5 14 112
        6 15 120
        7 16 128
        8 17 136
        9 18 144
        10 19 152
        11+ 20 160

        *Part-time employees will accrue vacation in direct proportion to their FTE.

      3. Breaks in service will be disregarded and any accrued, unused vacation as of the date of interruption will be reinstated if:
        1. An individual's employment is terminated or interrupted by reasons of convenience to the University (e.g., reduction in force) and the employee is re-employed within one year from the date of interruption; or
        2. An individual's employment is interrupted by a military leave of absence; or
        3. An individual, who has been employed for less than one calendar year, is terminated because s/he is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position due to an injury or illness, with or without reasonable accommodation, and s/he is re-employed by the University within six months of the date of termination.
    4. Written Leave Request

      Staff should request all vacation leave in writing on an appropriate University leave request form.

    5. Carryover

      An employee may carryover from one calendar year to the next up to 320 hours (i.e., forty workdays) of vacation.

    6. Vacation Benefit Rates
      1. An employee will be paid his/her regular, straight-time hourly wage rate, including any shift differential, during vacation leave.
      2. Vacation benefits will be paid in the employee's regular paycheck.
      3. Vacation benefits will not be paid in advance.
      4. No payments will be made in lieu of taking accrued vacation, except at the time of termination.
    7. Supplementing Other Leaves

      An employee may use vacation to supplement paid leave under the University's Workers' Compensation Leave policy. Vacation benefits may also be used during Military Leave and FMLA Leave.

    8. Scheduling
      1. An employee must complete three continuous months of employment before taking vacation leave.
      2. Accrued vacation may be taken at any time during the year; provided, however, that the vacation is approved by the employee's immediate supervisor.
      3. Each department will coordinate vacation scheduling.
    9. Interdepartmental Transfers

      An employee who transfers between two departments of the University will maintain his/her accrued, unused vacation.

    10. Payment Upon Termination
      1. Upon termination, an employee will be paid any accrued, unused vacation in his/her final paycheck.
      2. The number of vacation days payable upon termination will not extend the employee's employment termination date. In addition, an employee may not use vacation in any manner to extend his/her employment termination date.
    11. Holidays

      If a paid holiday observed by the University occurs during an employee's vacation leave, the employee will be paid holiday pay and will not be charged for the vacation leave.

  3. Unpaid Personal Leave
    1. Introduction

      In an effort to simplify Purdue University's leave of absence policies, unpaid personal leave replaces the following leaves of absence:

      • Mutually Acceptable Leave
      • Departmental Leave
      • Educational Leave
      • Newborn Infant Care Leave
      • Personal Business Leave
      • Unpaid Sick Leave

      Personal leave may be used for any reason that is not covered by another leave policy including, but not limited to, illness or injury, pregnancy, pregnancy-related medical conditions, newborn infant care, personal business, education, vacation, or religious observance.

    2. Scope

      This policy applies to all regular clerical and service staff.

    3. Maximum Benefit
      1. Upon successfully completing the provisional period of employment (i.e., normally the first ninety calendar days of employment), an employee will be eligible for up to forty-four workdays (i.e., 352 hours for a regular full-time employee) of unpaid personal leave (5).
      2. Upon completing the first year of employment and each subsequent continuous year of employment thereafter, an employee will accrue twenty-two workdays (i.e., 176 hours for a regular full-time employee) of unpaid personal leave up to a maximum of 132 workdays (i.e., 1056 hours for a regular full-time employee) of leave (5). An employee, who exhausts his/her accrued personal leave, will accrue leave as set forth in the immediately preceding sentence.
    4. Written Leave Request

      Personal leave must be requested in writing on an appropriate University leave request form.

    5. Authorization

      A request for twenty-two workdays or less of personal leave requires written approval by the employee's department head. A request for more than twenty-two workdays of personal leave requires written approval by the employee's department head and the campus personnel director, or his/her designee.

    6. Personal Leave Due to Illness, Injury, Pregnancy, or a Pregnancy-Related Medical Condition

      The determination whether to grant personal leave due to an illness, injury, pregnancy, or pregnancy-related medical condition should be based on considerations of the business needs of the University.

      An employee who is granted personal leave for the employee's or the employee's immediate family member's (6) injury, illness, pregnancy, or pregnancy-related medical condition must comply with the provisions of the clerical and service paid sick leave policy, which requires employees to provide their department with a medical statement and a return-to-work statement.

      An employee whose employment is terminated because s/he was denied personal leave due to his/her own illness, injury, pregnancy, or pregnancy-related medical condition, or because s/he exceeded his/her authorized personal leave due to his/her own illness, injury, pregnancy, or pregnancy-related medical condition will be considered to have been continuously employed if s/he is reinstated by the University within 180 calendar days following the termination and the following conditions are satisfied:

      1. The individual was a regular employee when s/he was terminated.
      2. Prior to returning to work, the employee provides to his/her department a medical statement from the employee's principal attending health care provider (as defined under the clerical and service paid sick leave policy), which certifies as follows:
        1. The employee was unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job during the period of separation, with or without reasonable accommodation as required by law; and
        2. The employee is able to perform the essential functions of his/her job, with or without reasonable accommodation as required by law.
      3. The individual has not been employed elsewhere during the separation from the University.
    7. Personal Leave For The Mutual Benefit of The Employee and The Employee's Department — Previously Mutually Acceptable Leave

      Personal leave that is granted for the convenience of the employee and for the purpose of the University saving wages when work load requirements can be reduced, will not be charged against the employee's accrued, unused unpaid leave. Personal leave for these reasons will not be less than thirty calendar days nor exceed three calendar months per fiscal year. All accrued, unused vacation must be used before personal leave may be granted for these purposes. Staff in a nine-, ten-, or eleven-month position will not be eligible for personal leave for these purposes.

      In keeping with the spirit of leave for these purposes, the employee should not file a claim for unemployment compensation during the leave.

    8. Personal Leave Taken For An FMLA-Qualifying Reason

      If an employee is granted personal leave and s/he qualifies for FMLA leave, the personal leave and FMLA leave will run concurrently. Under such circumstances, the employee must satisfy the medical certification, employee notice, and return-to-work statement provisions of the FMLA policy until s/he exhausts FMLA leave. If the employee exhausts FMLA leave and remains on personal leave, the personal leave policy will control.

    9. Minimum Increment of Leave
      1. Except as provided in paragraph 2. below, personal leave may not be taken in increments of less than one hour.
      2. Personal leave granted due to an illness, injury, pregnancy, or pregnancy-related medical condition may be taken in increments of less than one hour.
    10. Interdepartmental Transfers

      An employee who transfers between two departments of the University will maintain his/her accrued, unused personal leave.

    11. Group Health Insurance

      The University will continue to pay its share of the cost of an employee's medical insurance during personal leave. The employee must pay his/her share of the premium. If the employee fails to pay his/her share of the premium, the University reserves the right to cancel coverage, as permitted by law.

    12. Right to Reinstatement

      An employee will normally be reinstated to the same position s/he held when the leave began if the position is available and the employee can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation as may be required by law. If the employee is not placed in the same position s/he held when the leave began, his/her employment may be terminated.

  4. Paid Personal Holiday
    1. Introduction

      Purdue University provides clerical and service employees with a paid personal holiday each fiscal year. An employee may use a paid personal holiday for any purpose.

    2. Scope

      This policy applies to all regular, full-time and part-time (.5 FTE or greater) clerical and service employees.

    3. Eligibility

      Upon completing three months of continuous service, an employee is eligible for one paid personal holiday each fiscal year. Continuous service under this policy includes paid sick leave.

    4. Benefit Amount
      1. A full-time employee will be paid eight hours of pay at his/her straight-time rate of pay for one personal holiday.
      2. A part-time employee will be paid in direct proportion to his/her FTE. For example, a .5 FTE employee will be paid four hours of pay at his/her straight-time rate of pay for one personal holiday.
      3. The holiday pay will be paid in the employee's regular paycheck.
    5. Payment Upon Termination of Employment

      Upon termination of employment for any reason, an employee who has been employed for three or more continuous months will be paid any unused personal holiday pay in his/her final paycheck.

    6. No Carryover

      Paid personal holidays will not carryover from one fiscal year to the next. Therefore, any personal holiday that is not used by the end of the fiscal year will be forfeited.

    7. Written Request For Holiday

      An employee should request a personal holiday in writing on an appropriate University leave request form. A personal holiday may be taken anytime, provided the employee's immediate supervisor approves it.

    8. Minimum Increment of Leave

      An employee may take holiday leave in increments of no less than one-half workday (i.e., four hours).

  5. Deviation From Leave Policies

    Any deviation from the leave policies described in this Memorandum requires approval by an executive vice president, vice president, chancellor, or the director of intercollegiate athletics, or their designees, unless the leave policy in question specifically authorizes or requires otherwise.

  6. Questions

    Questions regarding the foregoing policies should be directed to your campus personnel department or human resource service team (West Lafayette).

Steven C. Beering
President

1. Immediate family member means the employee's spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, corresponding in-laws and step-relatives, and any other relative residing in the employee's home.

2. The fiscal year for purposes of this policy shall begin each year on July 1 and end on the following June 30.

3. An employee's sick leave allowance to care for an immediate family member will be based on his/her FTE. For example, a 1/2 FTE employee will have forty hours of sick leave to care for an immediate family member.

4. For information concerning coordinating paid sick leave with FMLA leave, see Section I, Letter I.

5. An employee's unpaid personal leave maximum benefit will be based upon his/her FTE.

6. Immediate family member means the employee's spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, corresponding in-laws and step-relatives, and any other relative residing in the employee's home.