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Administration and Operations Manual

4.20 Sick Leave Loan Program

Last Revised: 15 Oct 2004
Refer Questions To: Director, Human Resources

Scope

This policy applies to regular status staff employees who have satisfactorily completed their initial probationary period in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University, unless specifically covered by collective bargaining agreements made between Gallaudet University and certified bargaining agents.

Policy

The sick leave loan program is designed to provide continuation of income when an employee does not have sufficient sick leave to cover periods of personal illness or injury. This program is intended for new employees who have not had an opportunity to accrue sufficient leave and for employees who have experienced chronic illnesses or long-term disabling conditions and have exhausted their leave accruals.

An employee may borrow up to 60 percent of his/her normal working hours for any week or portion thereof, or a maximum of 48 hours per pay period for a full-time employee. Leave hours may not be borrowed for portions of days unless the employee is classified as part time. Since an employee would otherwise be on leave-without-pay status, holidays are not considered in determining the number of hours borrowed. Sick leave may not be borrowed for any period for which long-term disability would apply. Employees who are receiving or who may be eligible to receive other disability benefits, e.g., workers' compensation or recovery of income through settlement, are not eligible to borrow sick leave. The maximum number of hours which may be borrowed is 300 hours per calendar year (prorated for part-time employees).

All sick leave hours borrowed must be repaid in accordance with the repayment schedule. If an employee voluntarily leaves the University or changes to a non-accrual leave status before the leave loan has been repaid, the employee must repay the remaining loan either by direct contribution of accumulated sick and/or annual leave hours or by direct payment.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees

Procedures

  1. An application for a sick leave loan may be obtained from Human Resources Services. The request must include a letter from a health care provider that indicates that the illness or injury is totally disabling and prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of his/her position.
  2. A sick leave loan must be approved by the employee's supervisor and unit administrator and by the Director of Human Resources. If the leave is not approved or is reduced, the employee is given a written explanation.

Conditions

  1. Leave may be borrowed for the employee's personal illness or injury only.
  2. The employee must exhaust all of his/her sick and annual leave before requesting a sick leave loan.
  3. The employee must be on leave-without-pay status for five working days before using a sick leave loan.
  4. Doctor's certification is required every 30 days.
  5. Requests for retroactive compensation after return to duty are not considered.
  6. An employee may receive a maximum of 60 percent of his/her normal working hours for any week or portion thereof, up to 48 hours per pay period for a full- time employee (hours are prorated for part-time employees). Leave may not be borrowed for portions of days unless the employee is classified as part time.
  7. A demonstrated pattern of sick leave abuse or misuse may result in a reduction in or elimination of benefits. Employees with three years of service or more and who have limited sick leave may be asked to provide documentation supporting a chronic illness or a prior long-term disabling condition.
  8. Sick leave loan hours are not authorized for any period for which long-term disability would apply. Employees who are receiving or who may be eligible to receive other disability benefits, e.g.,workers' compensation or recovery of income through settlement, are not eligible to borrow sick leave.
  9. Annual leave and sick leave do not accrue while using borrowed sick leave.
  10. If the employee ceases to be totally disabled and returns to work for a period not to exceed five working days and has a reoccurrence of the same condition, the employee is not required to fulfill the five-day leave-without-pay period a second time in order to apply for a sick leave loan. However, a physician's statement is required stating that the disability is a reoccurrence and that the condition continues to be totally disabling.
  11. The University reserves the right to seek a second opinion on the status of an employee's health condition. If the opinions of the University's and employee's health care provider differ, the University can require a third opinion at its expense. The third opinion is from a health care provider agreed to by the employee and the University. The third opinion is final and binding. Should the employee refuse to be examined, the leave will not be approved or will terminate.
  12. The maximum leave loan is 300 hours per year (prorated for part-time employees).
  13. Loan payments are less taxes and benefits deductions. If sufficient salary is not available for benefits deductions, the employee is responsible for his/her share of the premium costs if coverage is to continue.
  14. The sick leave loan benefit terminates when or if:
    • The employee ceases to be totally disabled.
    • The employee fails to provide documentation.
    • The employee ceases to be a member of the eligible employee group.
    • The maximum duration has expired.
    • The employee becomes eligible for long-term disability or other disability benefits.
    • The employee fails to comply with the University's request for a second or third opinion.
    • The deciding physician rules that the illness or injury is not totally disabling.
    • The employee ceases to be employed by the University.
    • Any other situation determined to be in violation of the intent of this policy.
  15. Should any sick leave loan be made for unauthorized leave, the employee is required to reimburse the University.

Repayment

  1. All leave hours borrowed must be repaid, including the hours paid for holidays.
  2. Upon the employee's return to a leave accrual status, the employee must repay one hour of sick leave and one hour of annual leave per pay period during the first year following return to pay status and two hours of sick leave and two hours of annual leave per pay period during the second year and beyond until the loan is repaid.
  3. If an employee voluntarily leaves the University or changes to a non-accrual leave status before the leave loan has been repaid, the employee must repay the balance either by direct contribution of accumulated sick and/or annual leave hours or by direct payment.
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