Leaves Of Absence

Staff members who require time off from work for a period of time in addition to, or in lieu of accrued vacation and/or sick time may be eligible to take a leave of absence. In order to qualify for a leave of absence, staff members must intend, and be eligible to return to employment in a secured position with the University at the expiration of the leave. Employees on a leave of absence remain administratively attached to the department from which they are taking the leave. An employee seeking to return to a different department upon expiration of the leave of absence may do so subject to pertinent policies (see also Transfer and Promotion, policy (#20.021) and Interdepartmental/Interdivisional Promotion, policy (#20.022). If, however, the employee returns to employment in a different department, additional requests for leave will require consent of the new department.

Leaves of absence may be paid (e.g., by using accrued sick and/or vacation time) or unpaid. As applicable, employees may use accrued Sick Time (policy #30.022), and/or Vacation Time (policy #30.021), and/or the Parental Leave Benefit (policy #30.026), in accordance with the terms of the applicable policy(ies), to continue their pay during a short-term leave.

If an employee is eligible for a leave under more than one policy or pertinent law, the leave periods will be served concurrently.

Leaves are generally classified according to the following criteria:

Category

Leave Type

Maximum Duration

Job Protection

Short-Term

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)* or the Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave Act (RIPFML)

12 or 13 weeks,

respectively

Yes

Short-Term

Personal or Administrative

26 weeks

Based Upon

Departmental

Need

Short-Term

Short Term Disability (employee's own illness following an approved FMLA or RIPFML)

Commencing at the end

of an approved FMLA/RIPFMLA until a total of 26 weeks has elapsed

Based Upon

Departmental

Need

Long-Term

Long Term Disability

Duration of approved Long Term Disability benefits per Brown policy and plan

No

* Special provisions exist for intermittent leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Benefits Office can provide additional information for these situations.

A personal leave is generally requested by the employee for personal reasons or reasons not covered by other types of leaves. Administrative leave is generally initiated by the University, in consultation with the department, for situations where a leave of absence is determined to be in the best interest of the University and the employee.

An employee may transition from one type of leave to another depending upon his or her eligibility and receiving appropriate advance approval. However, the maximum duration of all types of short-term leaves combined is 26 weeks.

Eligibility

Staff members must be regularly scheduled to work at least 50% time (975 hours per year), and must have completed one full year of service.

Eligibility for Family and Medical Leaves (Family Medical Leave Act and Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave) is described in policy #20.043, Family and Medical Leave Act.

An employee who is disabled and has filed a claim for Long Term Disability benefits (See Long Term Disability Insurance, policy #30.027), may request to be placed on a Long Term Disability leave following their 26th week of absence.

Notice and Approval of Leaves of Absence

Except in extraordinary circumstances, Leaves of Absence should be requested in writing by the employee and submitted to the employee's supervisor (or their designated representative) for review and written approval. All leave requests must be signed by the staff member's authorized department representative and must be forwarded to the Benefits Office for review and processing. The written leave request must specify the intended duration of the leave.

When the need for a leave is foreseeable, staff members must give as much notice as possible (preferably a minimum of 30 days) to their departments of their request for leaves. Family and Medical Leaves generally require that an employee provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take a leave, except in unforeseen or emergency situations.

Departments may approve or disapprove personal leaves at their discretion.

Please contact the Benefits Office for more information.

Job Protection Rights During a Leave

Leaves covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave Act (RIPFML) require that employees be returned to their original position or to an equivalent position (including salary and benefits) upon the expiration of the leave. A department may, at its discretion, hold a job open for an employee on a short-term leave other than the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave Act (RIPFML).

Staff members cannot be laid off while on FMLA or RIPFML leave. If such a layoff would normally have occurred during the leave period, it will be effective the first working day following the employee's date of return. (See Position Elimination and Layoff, policy #20.083.) If a staff member receives notice prior to applying for an FMLA or RIPFMLA leave that their employment will end during a period that would otherwise qualify as leave time, the leave and employment will end on the scheduled date.

Duration

A short-term leave is usually not less than two (2) weeks in length and not longer than twenty-six (26) weeks. Leaves covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave Act (RIPFML) may not exceed 12 or 13 weeks, respectively.

Long Term Disability leave may continue for the duration of the employee's approved long term disability benefit.

Pay and Benefits During Leaves of Absence

Part or all of the leave may be paid if employees elect to use their accrued vacation time and/or, if applicable, sick time or paid time in accordance with the Maternity Benefit. Such usage (and continued accrual, where applicable) of sick and vacation time must be in accordance with policy (see Vacation Time, policy #30.021, and Sick Time, policy #30.022). All vacation and sick time earned during the leave is not accrued and may not be used until the employee returns from leave.

The following table describes the benefits continuation for the various types of leaves and pay status:

Pay Status

Leave Type

Benefits Continuation*

Paid

FMLA or RIPFML

All benefits continue as if actively employed.

Unpaid

FMLA or RIPFML

All benefits (except retirement contributions) continue as if actively employed. Sick and vacation time are not earned.

Paid

Personal or Administrative

All benefits continue as if actively employed.

Unpaid

Personal or Administrative

Health, dental and voluntary life insurance coverage continues by employee paying the full premiums; basic life and long-term disability insurances continue to be paid by the University; sick and vacation time are not earned.

Paid

Short Term Disability (employee's own illness following an FMLA or RIPFML)

All benefits continue as if actively employed.

Unpaid

Short Term Disability (employee's own illness following an FMLA or RIPFML)

Health, dental and voluntary life insurance coverage continue as if actively employed; basic life and long-term disability insurances continue to be paid by the University; sick and vacation time are not earned.

Unpaid

Long Term Disability

During the first six (6) months of an approved Long Term Disability leave, health, dental, and voluntary life insurance coverage continue as if actively employed; basic life continues to be paid by the University; sickand vacation time are not earned.

After the first six months of the leave, health, dental and voluntary life insurance coverage continues by employee paying the full premiums; basic life continues to be paid by the University; sick and vacation time are not earned.

* For leaves during which benefits continue as if in active employment, the employee on leave must continue to remit the regular premium contributions required as if they were in active employment status. In some instances, employee coverage contributions may be required to be made on a post-tax basis. An employee who fails to return to work can be required to repay the University for premiums paid by the employer on the employee's behalf.

Physician's Statement

Submission of a physician's statement is required within 15 calendar days any time a leave is due to the employee's own or a family member's illness. A physician's authorization to return to work may be required. In some cases the University may request a recertification of the need for continued leave from the employee's or family member's physician.

Coordination with Rhode Island Temporary Disability Insurance, Workers' Compensation and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Employees on leaves of absence due to their own non-work-related disability or illness may be eligible to receive payments under Rhode Island Temporary Disability Insurance (RITDI). RITDI is administered by the State of Rhode Island. While collecting RITDI payments, employees may also use sick or vacation time accrued prior to the commencement of the leave.

Brown employees are covered by statutory Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Insurance. The Office of Risk Management administers the Workers' Compensation program and each case is handled on an individual basis. See also Workers' Compensation Program, policy #30.012.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with substantial impairments on the basis of that individual's disability in employment and the employment relationship. The Director of EEO/AA is the University official responsible for ADA compliance. See also Americans with Disabilities Act, policy #20.041.

Nothing contained in this policy, as it relates to employee leaves of absence, should be construed to conflict with the statutory and compliance requirements of Workers' Compensation and/or ADA.

Separation from Brown Following a Short-Term Leave

Employees who do not return from leaves of absence will be considered to have terminated their employment with Brown. Under such circumstances, they will be asked to attend an exit interview and be offered the opportunity to continue health, dental, FSAP and life insurance coverage (if enrolled).

Performance Management Rights Relating to Leaves

A leave status will not suspend the University's ability to take action regarding performance and/or discipline, or its decision to take action pursuant to the performance management process, except as provided by law.

School Involvement Leave

An employee who has been employed by Brown University for twelve (12) consecutive months shall be entitled to a total of ten (10) hours of leave during any twelve (12) month period to attend school conferences or other school-related activities for a child of whom the employee is the parent, foster parent or guardian.

Employees must provide twenty-four (24) hours prior notice of the leave and make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the department. School involvement leave is considered unpaid, except that an employee may choose to use accrued vacation time. Individual departments are required to approve or disapprove and record time used for school involvement leave, whether paid or unpaid, for all of their employees.