Date: January 2009
Employees may request leaves of absence for a variety of reasons, including those circumstances outlined in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Consistent with its obligations under state and federal law, the College retains complete discretion whether to grant or deny an employee's request for a leave of absence, and to define the terms and conditions of the leave. Faculty members are also subject to the applicable provisions of the Faculty Handbook . Any absence of two weeks or more, whether paid or unpaid, requires that a Leave of Absence be requested. Leaves of Absence fall into the following categories:
* Medical Leave
* Non-work related disabilities and injuries
* Work-related illnesses and injuries
* Family Medical Leave
* Parental Leave
* Victims of Violence Leave
* Sabbatic Leaves
* Professional/Educational Leaves
* Personal Leaves
* Military Leaves
* Disability Leaves
Requesting a Leave of Absence. An employee should request a Leave of Absence at the earliest possible time that the need for a leave is anticipated. Requests for a leave of absence should be made in writing, using the Leave of Absence form available from Human Resources. This form is used to gather information about the purpose, timing, and expected length of a leave of absence, as well as any necessary approvals required in granting the leave. It also contains important information about continuing College benefits during a leave of absence. Faculty members request leaves of absence in a letter to the Dean of Academic Affairs.
It is the employee's responsibility to keep the College informed of his/her status during a leave of absence. Any changes in the employee's status while on leave, including an anticipated need for a leave extension, must be reported to the employee's department head and to Human Resources by updating the leave of absence form. Faculty members must request extensions through the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs.
Consistent with its obligations under state and federal law, the College retains complete discretion whether to grant or deny an employee's request for a leave of absence, and to define the terms and conditions of the leave. Faculty members are also subject to the applicable provisions of the Faculty Handbook.
Intermittent Leave, Reduced Schedule and Alternative Position. Generally, a leave of absence is expected to be taken in a specific block of time, unless otherwise required by law or approved by the College. If an intermittent leave or reduced work schedule is approved, the College reserves the right to transfer the employee to an alternative position which better meets the College's needs and allows accommodation for the intermittent leave.
Returning to Work following a Leave of Absence. An employee is expected to return to work immediately following the conclusion of an approved Leave of Absence. Employment will automatically terminate if the employee does not return to work on the first normal work day following the last day of approved leave of absence, unless a request for extension has been approved in writing by the College prior to the leave expiration date. The extension must be approved by the department head or the senior officer and forwarded to Human Resources. Any employee who is away from work for any reason whatsoever for a period of time beyond the approved leave of absence period will be separated from the College's payroll and will be notified of any benefit conversion privileges. A leave of absence (other than a sabbatical or professional leave) may be automatically canceled and employment terminated if the employee begins work elsewhere.
Bowdoin College’s Sick Time and Medical Leave policies for employees satisfy the requirements of the federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and the Maine State Family Medical Leave Act. Paid sick time and paid or unpaid medical leave count towards federal and state family medical leave requirements.
Eligibility. A medical leave may be granted to a regular full-time or part-time employee if the employee is unable to work due to a serious medical condition, illness or injury. The illness or injury may be non-work-related or work-related. A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
· any period of incapacity or treatment in connection with inpatient care (overnight stay) in a hospital or other health care facility;
· any period of incapacity requiring absence from work of more than 3 days, that also involves continuing treatment by a health care provider; or
· continuing treatment by a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable, or so serious that, if not treated, would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than 3 days.
Medical Certification. Prior to granting a medical leave, whether non-work or work-related, a statement from the employee's physician is required. This statement must provide the specific information requested by the College, including the diagnosis, the degree of incapacity and the estimated time for recovery. Medical certification from the physician is also required before the employee can return to work at the end of a medical leave. Physicians’ statements must be provided to Human Resources in a timely fashion. The College reserves the right to obtain clarification from the physician if necessary, and to obtain a second medical opinion.
Pay during Medical Leave for Non-work-related Injury or Illness. Sick time (if available) must be used in accordance with the College's sick time policy for non-work related injuries, except when short-term or long-term disability benefits are payable. If available sick time is exhausted and the employee remains unable to return to work, vacation time may be used at the employee’s option, unless disability benefits are payable. Once sick time and vacation time are exhausted, the medical leave becomes an unpaid leave.
Benefits during a Medical Leave for a Non-Work-related Injury or Illness. While the employee remains in pay status, and for the first six months of unpaid medical leave, the College will continue to pay its usual share of insurance premiums and the employee is responsible for his/her usual contributions toward insurance premiums. Retirement contributions, holiday pay, and vacation and sick time accruals continue while the employee remains in pay status, based on hours paid and wages or salary received. Retirement contributions, holiday pay, and vacation and sick time accruals are not provided during an unpaid leave.
Pay during a Medical Leave for a Work-related Injury or Illness. If an employee is injured in a work-related incident, the employee should use accrued sick time for the first seven days of absence. If sufficient sick time is not available, the employee should use vacation or saved holiday time. If incapacity continues, lost time benefit payments may be payable from Worker’s Compensation beginning on day 8. If an employee's incapacity lasts more than 14 days, then lost time benefit payments may be paid retroactive to the first day. Wages are covered at 80% of after tax average weekly wages (which works out to be less than regular pay if the employee was able to return to work, even in a limited capacity). The employee may not draw upon sick time while receiving workers' compensation payments for lost time, except in the case of employees whose gross earnings exceed the state maximum covered earnings, when sick time may be used to supplement workers' compensation benefits up to a combined benefit of 80% of after-tax wages. If for some reason the workers' compensation insurance carrier denies the claim and withholds payment, the employee may draw upon available sick time and vacation, and then reimburse the College should the carrier subsequently pay for lost time. If time from work is lost (a full day or more) due to a work-related illness or injury, a doctor’s release must be provided to the department head and to Human Resources in order to return to work.
Benefits during a Medical Leave for a Work-Related Injury or Illness. While the employee remains in paid status, and for the first six months of unpaid medical leave, the College will continue to pay its usual share of insurance premiums and the employee is responsible for his/her usual contributions toward insurance premiums. Retirement contributions, holiday pay, and vacation and sick time accruals continue while the employee remains in paid status, based on hours paid and wages or salary received. Retirement contributions, holiday pay, and vacation and sick time accruals are not provided during an unpaid leave.
Coordination with Disability Benefits. Non-exempt employees working 30 or more hours per week in a regular position have short-term disability insurance and should contact Human Resources as soon as possible after becoming ill or injured to apply for the disability benefit. Short-term disability is only available for non-work-related accidents. The appropriate benefits of the short-term disability plan then may be combined with available sick time when completing time sheets to maintain income levels at 100% for the longest period of time.
Duration of Leave. A medical leave may extend for a period of up to six months in any 12 month period due to a serious health condition. If an employee is released to return to work prior to the expiration of the maximum leave period as set forth in this policy, either with restrictions or at less than the employee’s regular schedule, the employee must be able to resume the essential functions of the employee’s job and resume the employee’s regular working hours by the expiration of the six-month medical leave. Unless otherwise required by law, the College will post the employee’s position and terminate the employee’s employment coincident with the end of the six-month period, or when all family medical leave time has been exhausted, whichever is later.
Return to Work. An employee on a medical leave of absence must provide a copy of the current job description to his/her physician for review. To authorize a return to work, the physician must provide a written return-to-work statement to Human Resources and the employee's department head. The statement must be specific in outlining whether the employee is fully capable of returning to a normal work schedule and if not, must itemize any restrictions. If restrictions are in order, the College must be given ample time to consider whether or not it can accommodate the restrictions. Whenever possible, the College will accommodate employees returning with restrictions. When the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, the College may exercise the option of waiting until the employee has recovered more fully before allowing a return to work.
In compliance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), Bowdoin College allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a twelve month period. This section describes Family Medical Leave provisions that apply when a family member’s illness or injury prompts a request for Family Medical Leave. For provisions that apply to a leave for an employee’s illness or injury, see Sick Time and Medical Leaves .
Eligibility: A regular full-time or part-time employee of the College who has worked 1250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave and has been an employee of the College for at least 12 months may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve month period for specified family and medical reasons. (Absences of the employee for his/her own medical reasons covered by FMLA will also count toward the 12 weeks, whether paid or unpaid.) Those specific circumstances are:
· Birth of a child of the employee and in order to take care of this child
· Adoption of a child or placement of a foster child in the employee's home
· Care of a spouse/domestic partner, child, or parent with a serious health condition and
· Military Family Leave including:
1) Any qualifying exigency (e.g., short notice deployment, military events, counseling, etc.) leave for an eligible employee with a covered military member serving in the National Guard or Reserves who is on active duty or called to active duty status.
2) Military Caregiver Leave enables any eligible employee who is “a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin” to take up to 26 workweeks of leave in a single 12 month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty on active duty.
An employee should request a Leave of Absence at the earliest possible time the need for a leave is anticipated. When the need for leave is foreseeable (e.g., the birth of a child, placement of an adopted child or foster child, or planned medical treatments), at least 30 days notice is required. Under some circumstances, such as a request for a reduced schedule following the birth or adoption of a child, supervisory approval may be required.
Medical Certification: The College requires medical certification from a health care provider to support leave of absence requests for employee illness or to care for an employee's seriously ill family member. This certification must be provided by the employee within 15 days of the date of the leave request, unless it is not practical to do so under the circumstances.
Any request for intermittent leave will be reviewed by the College in keeping with the "medically necessary" provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
Pay during Family Medical Leave. Vacation time may be used for Family Medical Leave needed to care for a family member with a serious health condition or for additional time at home with a newborn or newly adopted child. Once vacation time is exhausted, the remainder of the leave is unpaid. All benefits-eligible employees may also use up to forty hours accrued sick or vacation time per calendar year during a Family Medical Leave (see Personal Emergency Time) provided they have not already been used.
Benefits during Family Medical Leave. For employees covered under the College's benefit plans prior to a family leave, the College will continue coverage of the employee's benefit plans (including medical, dental and short term disability) during an approved leave and will continue its contributions toward coverage. The employee must make arrangements with Human Resources prior to the leave to continue to pay any required employee contributions. While the employee remains in "paid" status (using vacation time), the employee's contributions will continue through payroll deduction. When the leave becomes unpaid, the employee is responsible for making necessary billing arrangements through Human Resources. To maintain benefits, it is the responsibility of the employee to pay his/her portion of benefits on a monthly basis unless other arrangements have been made. During a family leave, all other insurance plans fully paid by the College (e.g., life insurance and long-term disability insurance), continue to be paid by the College. College retirement contributions,holiday pay and vacation and sick leave accruals continue while the employee remains in "paid" status, but are discontinued during any unpaid portion of the leave.
Return to Work. If the employee returns to work within the 12 (or 26) weeks specified in FMLA, or within the agreed upon time under which the leave was granted, the College will make every effort to hold his/her original position for reinstatement. However, if business conditions require that the employee be assigned to another position at the same level and pay, the College reserves the right to transfer the returning employee to a new, but comparable position. If an employee fails to return to work from a Family Medical Leave for reasons other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition or for other circumstances beyond the control of the employee, the College reserves the right to recover from the employee the costs of health care and other insurance premiums paid by the College on behalf of the employee during the leave of absence.
MATERNITY LEAVE OF ABSENCE for mothers
AND PARENTAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE for mothers and fathers
Taking a leave of absence for maternity (or a related medical condition) or adoption of a child in an employee’s home may actually be a combination of one or more types of leaves: medical leave which can be paid through the use of sick time (for a birth mother); family medical leave as mandated by federal and state law; paid parental leave; and unpaid leave.
Your medical leave begins when your doctor determines that you are unable to work due to your pregnancy, childbirth, or related complications. At this point, the College requires a doctor's note indicating when your leave should begin as well as an estimate of how long it will extend.
You may use paid sick time for the leave period designated by your physician (please refer to Employee Handbook for eligibility for paid sick time). Once your doctor determines that you are physically able to return to work, your use of sick time ends and the medical leave portion of your leave is over. For this reason, you will need to provide another doctor’s note releasing you to work even if you do not return immediately. When your medical leave ends, you are eligible to use your parental leave.
Upon your return to work, the College will provide lactation accommodation breaks for nursing mothers. Human Resources will work with your supervisors to determine a room or temporary space that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by co-workers and the public for up to a year after the baby's birth.
FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE for mothers and fathers
In compliance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), Bowdoin allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a twelve month period for specified family and medical reasons, including the birth of a child of an employee or adoption of a child in the employee's home. You must have worked at Bowdoin for at least one year and you must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to theFMLA leave request to be eligible for FMLA leave. Although the College must track FMLA time as required by law, sick time (for birth mothers) and parental leave (for mothers and fathers) provide paid time off during many FMLA leaves of absence. Please see the Employee Handbook for more details about FMLAleaves of absence.
PAID PARENTAL LEAVE for mothers and fathers
Paid parental leave is available to all employees who have been employed by the College for at least one year of continuous service in a benefits-eligible position at the time they have a child(ren) born or placed for adoption. The paid parental leave options for all eligible employees (options for faculty are outlined below) are either up to 4 weeks of full-time leave at full pay, or up to 8 weeks of leave at half pay, to be taken within 6 months of the birth or placement for adoption. Appropriate documentation must be provided. In general, paid parental leave for birth mothers begins after the disability (medical leave) portion of maternity leave is over.
Paid time off for parental leave is considered part of the 12 weeks time off allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act. At the conclusion of the leave, it is assumed that the employee will resume his/her normal work schedule unless alternative arrangements are made with the department in advance
Given the nature and timing of the teaching responsibilities of the faculty, the paid parental leave options described above can be challenging, both for the individual faculty member and for the College. Accordingly, it is possible for eligible faculty to take paid parental leave in a variety of alternative forms, each of which is designed to provide a reduction in teaching or other responsibilities that is comparable to 4 weeks at full time, but is packaged in ways that are compatible with the semester teaching cycle. With the approval of the Dean, it is possible for a faculty member to begin a parental leave of absence prior to birth/adoption if the birth/adoption is expected early in the semester.
FMLA provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a twelve-month period. For mothers, the length of your medical maternity leave may be longer or shorter than 12 weeks. You may elect to return to work as soon as your doctor indicates that you are physically able to do your job (which signals the end of your medical leave). Before returning to work, if you had not done so earlier in your leave, you must provide a note from your doctor indicating that you are physically able to return to your job.
Mothers and fathers may elect to remain out until the 12 weeks of family medical leave expire. Once the twelve weeks of family medical leave expires, you are expected to return to work at your regular schedule unless your leave has been approved for a longer period of time.
Eligibility. In compliance with Maine's law to protect victims of crimes in the workplace, Bowdoin College will provide reasonable and necessary leaves to employees who are victims of violence, assault, sexual assault, and/or stalking, for the employee to:
· Prepare for and attend court proceedings;
· Receive medical treatment; or
· Obtain necessary services to remedy a crisis caused by domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
Typically, such leaves will not extend for long periods of time. Depending on the circumstances, the employee may qualify for a different type of leave of absence as well, such as a medical or disability leave when the employee has suffered a serious injury.
An employee should notify his/her supervisor as soon as it is known a leave is necessary. The College reserves the right to require appropriate proof of the need for the leave.
Pay during the Leave. Leave for victims of violence is unpaid, however employees may use available vacation time and non-exempt employees may use any unused personal emergency time as well.
Benefits during the Leave. The College will continue its normal benefits contributions toward insurance benefits during any Victims of Violence leave. College retirement contributions, holiday pay and vacation and sick time accruals continue only while the employee is in paid status.
Return to Work. During a leave, the employee's position will be held open for him or her. Any employee on leave is expected to return to work immediately at the conclusion of the leave.
Eligibility. A sabbatic leave may be granted to eligible members of the faculty in accordance with the Sabbatic Leave Policy outlined in the Faculty Handbook. All sabbatic leaves must be approved by the Dean for Academic Affairs.
Pay during Sabbatic Leaves. The Sabbatic Leave Policy provides for payment at full salary for a one-semester leave or at half salary for a two-semester leave. The following payment options are available for a two-semester leave:
-twelve equal monthly payments
-six equal monthly payments during one semester and no payments during the other semester
-80% of salary in six equal monthly payments during one semester and 20% in six equal monthly payments during the other semester.
If the faculty member does not contact Human Resources with a preferred option prior to the beginning of the sabbatic leave, the default option is to pay the salary in equal amounts over twelve months.
Benefits during a Sabbatic Leave. The College continues to pay its portion of all benefit plans including life, long term disability, health and dental insurance premiums. Employee contributions are made through payroll deduction, providing an option is chosen that allows payment over the entire course of the sabbatic leave. In cases when payment is made over one semester only, the faculty member will be billed the same amount during the unpaid semester that would have otherwise been deducted through payroll. Retirement contributions are based on actual compensation paid during the sabbatic leave.
Return to Work. Upon a faculty member’s return from a sabbatic leave, full pay and benefits are resumed.
Eligibility. A professional or educational leave may be granted to an employee who has satisfactorily completed the initial adaptation period for administrative and support staff or as otherwise dictated by applicable policies for College employees. Professional or educational leaves of one year or less may be granted by the appropriate department head for senior officer or the purpose of engaging in research, teaching, education, or other activities related to practicing one's profession or enhancing professional development. An employee should request a professional or educational leave of absence at the earliest possible time that the need for a leave is anticipated, but at least 90 days in advance.
Pay during a Professional or Educational Leave. Accrued but unused vacation must be used as part of any professional leave of absence. The remainder of the leave is unpaid.
Benefits during a Professional or Educational Leave. During the first six months of an unpaid professional/educational leave of absence, the employee is responsible for his/her usual contributions to benefit plans. The College continues to make its regular contributions toward all applicable benefit plans during this time. Should the leave extend beyond six months, the employee will become responsible for the full costs of all benefits (including life and disability insurance) on the first day of the month following the end of the initial six month period. Employees must make arrangements with Human Resources to select which benefits will be maintained and billed at full cost prior to the commencement of the leave of absence. To maintain benefits, it is the responsibility of the employee to pay his/her portion of benefits on a monthly basis unless other arrangements have been made. During a professional/educational leave of absence, an employee does not accrue vacation, sick time, or holiday benefits, and College retirement contributions continue only while the employee is in paid status.
Return to Work. Employees who return to work within the guidelines of this policy may expect to be restored to the position they held prior to commencing the leave, or to a comparable one.
Personal leaves of absence may be granted at the discretion of the College, due to special personal circumstances when applicable benefit time is not available to cover lost time from work. Typically, a personal leave is short in duration, and under no circumstances will exceed six months.
Eligibility. Any regular full-time or part-time employee of the College may apply for a personal leave of absence. A staff member must have completed his/her adaptation period in order to apply for a personal leave. Approval by the immediate supervisor, department head and senior officer are required to initiate a personal leave and approval may be based on the department's ability to accommodate the request. Depending on the circumstances of the leave, the College may hold the employee’s position vacant during the leave, or may decide to fill the position.
Pay during a Personal Leave. If a personal leave will be 4 weeks or less in length, all accrued vacation must be exhausted before beginning an unpaid personal leave. If a personal leave will be longer than 4 weeks in length, one-half of available vacation time must be used before the personal leave becomes unpaid.
Benefits during a Personal Leave. The College continues its normal benefits contributions toward insurance benefits during a personal leave. The employee is responsible for his/her usual contribution for benefit plans: if the employee is in a paid status (e.g., using vacation time), then his/her contribution will be deducted as usual through payroll. If the employee is in an unpaid status, he/she will be billed by the Controller's Office and may choose which of those benefits will be continued during the leave. Billing by the Controller's Office will begin on the first of the month following commencement of the leave. To maintain benefits, it is the responsibility of the employee to pay his/her portion of benefits on a monthly basis unless other arrangements have been made. College retirement contributions, holiday pay and vacation and sick time accruals continue only while the employee is in paid status.
Return to Work. An employee on a personal leave is expected to return to work immediately following the personal leave of absence, if the employee’s job has been held open. Failure to return from a personal leave will result in termination of employment.
Bowdoin College supports employees serving on active duty or as reservists in any branch of the military, including the United States National Guard, Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and the Maine Army and Air National Guard. The College complies with all federal and state laws regulating any absence from work for the purpose of military service. Reservists may be recalled by the military in a variety of different ways ranging from national defense and wartime activities to domestic emergencies (e.g., hurricane, fire, flood or other disaster). A recall may be “voluntary” (optional for the member) or “involuntary” (mandatory for those recalled). The College reserves the right to amend this policy to insure we continue to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
Eligibility. A leave of absence will be granted to any employee fulfilling reserve training, drilling and/or annual active duty service requirements. Every effort should be made by the reservist to notify his/her supervisor and Human Resources in advance of expected absences for military service. In emergency call-up situations, short notice will be taken into consideration. A copy of the reservist's military orders should be provided to the supervisor and to Human Resources for personnel record keeping and contact purposes.
Pay during a Military Leave. Generally, reservists are required to complete a two-week period of active duty annually. Absence due to annual or emergency reserve duty or active duty may be taken as either paid vacation time (if the employee has vacation available and chooses to take it) or as an unpaid leave of absence.
Benefits during a Military Leave. During a military leave of absence, to the extent applicable, benefits such as vacation and sick time accrual and length of College service continue to accrue. The College continues to make its regular contributions toward all applicable benefit plans for up to six months. Should the leave extend beyond six months, the employee will become responsible for the full costs of all benefits (including life and disability insurance) on the first day of the month following the end of the initial six month period. To maintain benefits, it is the responsibility of the employee to pay his/her portion of benefits on a monthly basis unless other arrangements have been made. If injured while serving in the military, medical coverage and lost wages would be covered by the Federal government.
Return to Work. Upon completion of Reserve active duty or military training, a Reservist will be reinstated with the same length of service, status, pay and other benefits that would have accumulated if the employee had remained continuously on the job. If the College has hired a replacement during the time of absence, the Reservist will be returned to his/her former position.
Eligibility. An employee who remains unable to work at the end of a six-month Medical Leave may be granted a Disability Leave. In addition to the provisions outlined below, faculty members are also subject to the applicable provisions of the Faculty Handbook.
Medical Certification. Prior to granting a Disability Leave, whether non-work-related or work-related, a statement from the employee's physician is required. This statement must provide the specific information requested by the College, including the diagnosis, the degree of incapacity, and the estimated time for recovery. Medical certification from the physician is also required before the employee can return to work at the end of a Disability Leave.
Pay during Disability Leave. An employee on Disability Leave does not receive any pay from the College, but may be eligible for benefits payments under the College's long term disability plan, or from Workers' Compensation in the case of a work-related disability.
Benefits during a Disability Leave. Employees may continue coverage under group insurance benefits during a disability leave by paying for the full cost of benefits themselves. No retirement contributions are made and no sick time or vacation accruals occur during a disability leave.
Duration of Leave. A Disability Leave may extend for a period of up to six months. At the end of six months, if the employee remains unable to work, employment with the College will be terminated.
Return to Work. The College will not hold a specific position vacant for an employee on a Disability Leave. However, if the employee is able to return to work, (s)he is eligible to apply for any vacant position upon providing appropriate medical documentation of ability to return to return to work and will be considered along with other qualified applicants.