Sick Leave, Short-Term Disability Leave, and Long-Term Disability Leave for Faculty
Short-Term Disability Leave (also called "Medical Leave" or "Sick Leave")
If the faculty member’s own illness or disability prevents the faculty member from performing the individual’s essential University obligations, the faculty member must promptly make arrangements with the department chair, director, or dean to ensure that all such responsibilities are met for the current quarter. During that quarter, the faculty member may take Short-Term Disability Leave, during which the faculty member ordinarily will continue to receive full salary and benefits. The faculty member must use Sick Leave concurrently with Short-Term Disability Leave and such leave shall also count as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, if applicable.
While a faculty member is on Short-Term Disability Leave, they are not expected or required to work. The Short-Term Disability Leave does not count toward the in-residence quarters that determine eligibility for an academic leave nor does it restart the eligibility period.
In addition to using Sick Leave for the faculty member’s own illness, injury, medical care, treatment, diagnosis, or preventive medical care, up to two work weeks (10 workdays) of paid Sick Leave per calendar year (i.e., each January through December) may be used for absences due to a Family Member’s (as defined below) illness or injury or to care for a Family Member who is receiving medical care, treatment, diagnosis, or preventive medical care. Faculty members may also use Sick Leave if they or a Family Member are a victim of domestic violence or a sex offense or if they need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency. Absences of less than one full day are not deducted from a faculty member’s Sick Leave allotment. Sick Leave does not carry over from year to year and is not paid out at the end of the Faculty member’s employment.
For the purposes of this policy, “Family Member” means a faculty member’s child, legal guardian, ward, spouse, domestic partner, parent, spouse, or domestic partner’s parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. A child includes not only a biological relationship, but also a relationship resulting from an adoption, step-relationship, and/or foster care relationship, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis under applicable law. A parent includes a biological, foster, stepparent, adoptive parent, legal guardian of an employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child. Please note that this definition of “Family Member” does not apply to any other University policy, except where stated.
Short-Term Disability and Sick Leaves count toward leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if applicable. Further information about the FMLA Policy is available on the Human Resources website.
Long-Term Disability Leave
While faculty members are not required to participate in a Long-Term Disability Plan, they are strongly encouraged to purchase the Optional Plan, which has several advantageous features compared to the Basic Plan, or at the very least the Basic Plan. (Contact the Benefits Office for more details.) If the faculty member’s inability to fulfill their essential University obligations due to the faculty member’s own illness or disability may extend into a second quarter, the faculty member should apply for Long-Term Disability (LTD) promptly, as the application submission and review process typically takes up to eight (8) weeks. Individuals are eligible for LTD benefits as of the first day of the month after thirteen (13) consecutive weeks of disability. If the faculty member has promptly completed and submitted the LTD application, the University may continue to pay the faculty member’s full salary and benefits until the insurance carrier makes a determination on the application for LTD, up to an additional quarter beyond that provided in (1) above. Such leave shall count as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, if applicable. Thereafter, if approved, the faculty member will receive LTD benefits from the LTD carrier and salary payments will cease while the faculty member is on LTD.
Returning to Work
If a faculty member goes on LTD, they may resume their University position within two years of the first day of the short-term disability leave upon a finding by the Office of the Provost, supported by competent medical opinion and upon recommendation of the chair and the dean or director to the Office of the Provost, that the faculty member is again able to fulfill satisfactorily the individual’s essential University obligations, with or without reasonable accommodations (if applicable and as provided by law). In certain situations, a trial or observation period may be necessary in order to determine whether the faculty member is able to fulfill these essential University obligations satisfactorily. Should the faculty member have a term appointment that ends during the period of LTD, the appointment will expire at the end of the term, pursuant to section 11.2 of the University Statutes, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested in advance of the expiration and approved by the Office of the Provost.
Lack of LTD Coverage, Failure to Apply for LTD or Denial of LTD Benefits
Should the faculty member decide not to apply for LTD, the maximum paid leave for inability to perform essential University obligations due to illness or disability will be thirteen (13) weeks from the first day of leave, and such leave shall count as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, if applicable. If the faculty member does not apply for LTD or is denied LTD benefits by the insurance carrier, they may apply for an unpaid leave of absence for a period for up to two consecutive years from the first date of the short-term disability leave that rendered the faculty member unable to perform essential University obligations. If the faculty member remains unable to fulfill satisfactorily the individual’s essential University obligations after two years, the faculty member’s appointment at the University may be subject to termination. If the faculty member’s term appointment ends in less than two years, the unpaid leave will be coterminous with the remaining portion of the appointment term, and the appointment will expire at the end of the term, pursuant to section 11.2 of the University Statutes, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested in advance of the expiration and approved by the Office of the Provost.
(Only Available to those with the Optional LTD Plan)
Should a faculty member be partially disabled but still able to perform some of their essential University obligations, the faculty member with the chair and dean or with the director will work with the Provost’s Office to determine which accommodations, if any, may be reasonable under the circumstances and whether partial LTD from the insurance carrier is an option for the faculty member.