16. Leaves Without Pay. A leave without pay is used for absences covering a period of time in excess of one pay period and normally does not extend beyond a year. A status faculty/staff member may request a full or partial leave without pay from her/his department for medical or other personal reasons. If a department cannot accommodate a personal leave without pay, the faculty/staff member may request a leave from the institution. In some circumstances, the institution may place a faculty/staff member on a full or partial leave of absence without pay, either from the department or the institution. A partial leave reduces the faculty/staff member's percent-time of service and pay for the leave period. During a leave of absence without pay from the department, the faculty/staff member retains her/his position. For those leaves granted by the institution, the position is not held, and the faculty/staff member must apply, at the end of the leave, for vacancies available for which s/he is qualified, but s/he is not guaranteed a position.
16.1 Voluntary Leave Without Pay. A faculty/staff member may apply for a full or partial leave of absence without pay from her/his department for medical or other personal reasons. Requests for such leaves should be in writing and directed to the faculty/staff member's immediate supervisor with a copy to the Human Resources Office.
16.1.1 Voluntary Leave for Medical Reasons. When documentation from a medical professional supports a medical leave that qualifies under the Family Medical Leave Act and/or Worker's Compensation, such leave must be granted by the department (see USY.V.A.17 and USY.V.A.16). A faculty/staff member with less than one year of service in a status position may apply for a medical leave without pay. Medical leaves that are covered by Workers' Compensation must be granted (see USY V.A.16). Medical leaves are normally granted for no more than six-months, unless the leave qualifies for Worker's Compensation.
16.1.2 Voluntary Leave for Personal Reasons. If a department cannot accommodate a personal leave without pay, the faculty/staff member may request a leave from the institution. Generally personal leaves are not granted for more than one year and only to those faculty/staff members who have completed at least one year of service in a status position.
16.2 Involuntary Leave Without Pay. Under certain circumstances, a faculty/staff member may be placed on a leave without pay by her/his department or institution.
16.2.1 A faculty/staff member may be placed on a full or partial leave without pay when there are changes in financial conditions or programmatic needs if the duration of such leave is expected to be greater than one pay period. Such leaves require a 30-day notice period for Operating Staff and a 90-day notice period for exempt staff (USY V.C.18.104.22.168.4). In cases where there is no work for faculty/staff members, use of the lay-off policy may be appropriate (see USY V.C.10).
16.2.2 A faculty/staff member may be placed on a full leave of absence without pay pending the resolution of a criminal charge (see policy USY V.C.9.10).
16.3 Benefit Continuation. USNH will continue its usual employer level of contribution to faculty/staff members' benefits for the duration of the leave or for 120 days, whichever is less. Those on partial leave are eligible to continue benefits by making their employee contributions during the 120 day period. While on partial leave, group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance and long-term disability benefits will be based on the salary amount of the faculty/staff member's salary rate at the time the partial leave commenced. Retirement contributions during partial leave will be based on benefits-eligible earnings. (See policy below for benefits after 120 days.) For those benefits that require employee contributions, faculty/staff members on full leave will be billed for that portion of the premium. For those on partial leave, faculty/staff members will be billed for any portion not able to be deducted from their pay check. Those on full leave are normally not eligible for tuition waiver benefits for themselves.
16.3.1 Benefit continuation for leaves greater than 120 days.
22.214.171.124 Full Leave. In cases of full leaves that are greater than 120 days, faculty/staff members will be billed for the full cost of benefits beyond the 120 days, unless benefit coverage is required under FMLA leave regulations (see USY V.A.17) or Worker's Compensation (see USY V.A.16).
126.96.36.199 Partial Leave. While on partial leave, group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance and long-term disability benefits will be based on the salary amount of the faculty/staff member's salary rate at the time the partial leave commenced. Retirement contributions while on partial leave will be based on benefits-eligible earnings. After 120 days of partial leave, those faculty/staff members who have been employed in a status position for at least a year and who are working at least 50% time are eligible to continue benefits by making their employee contribution for the designated leave period or a total leave period of one year, whichever is less. They will be billed for any portion not able to be deducted from their pay check. Those working less than 50% are eligible to continue benefits by paying the full cost of the employee and employer contributions for the designated leave period or a total leave period of one year, whichever is less. They will be billed for any portion not able to be deducted from their pay check.
16.3.2 Accrual for Paid Leave Programs. Faculty/staff members on full leaves of absence without pay do not accrue Earned Time, sick leave, or vacation/personal leave. Those on partial leave will accrue Earned Time or sick/vacation/personal leave benefits based on the percent-time of the reduced appointment.
188.8.131.52 Paid Leave Carry Forward. All unused Earned Time/Sick Pool and up to 35 days of vacation and all sick leave will be carried forward through the period of a full leave of absence. If the staff member does not return to work, any unused vacation (up to 30 days) or Earned Time will be paid at termination.
16.4 Return from Leave. The faculty/staff member must notify her/his department thirty days prior to the expiration of leave of her/his desire to return to work. If the leave was full-time, failure to provide notice of return will be considered a voluntary resignation effective the last day of the leave status.
16.4.1 Leaves for Medical Reasons. Prior to returning to work, a faculty/staff member on leave for medical reasons is required to provide medical documentation supporting her/his ability to perform the essential functions of her/his job.
16.5 Benefit Repayment. Except in cases of death, retirement, or approval for long term disability, a faculty/staff member who does not return to her/his previous status and provide 30 calendar days of active service following a leave of absence will be responsible for the full repayment of all benefit premiums and contributions made by USNH on her/his behalf during the leave. In instances where an employee on leave from the institution or on involuntary leave makes himself/herself available for work but is not rehired, no repayment of benefit premiums and contributions will be required.
16.6 Leave Extension. Any continuation of full or partial leave beyond a total leave period of one year is expected to be rare and requires approval by the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee and is based on such factors as the value of the leave to the institution, the length of the leave, and availability of funds. The faculty/staff member will assume the cost of her/his benefit and the employer benefit contributions. If approved by the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee, the faculty/staff member's department or institution may assume the employer's cost of benefits for the extended leave period.
16.7 Subsequent Leaves. If a faculty/staff member has been on either a full or partial leave of 120 days or more, s/he is not eligible for such leave with benefits again until serving in a status position for at least 24 months after returning from leave, unless the leave was for FMLA reasons. If there are extenuating circumstances, the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee may authorize an exception for a leave to occur earlier than 24 months.