The accumulation of short-term disability (STD) allows continuation of base salary plus benefits when an eligible staff member cannot perform his/her work duties due to a serious, incapacitating health condition, defined for the purpose of this policy as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition involving either a) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, b) continuing treatment by a health care provider, or c) pregnancy. For more information on how to track and manage time away from work, click here.
Regular full-time staff up to and including position grade 28 are eligible.
At the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1), for every two (2) unused sick days accrued during the prior twelve (12) month period, the University will add one (1) day to the staff member's short-term disability balance, up to a maximum of six (6) days a year. An initial short-term disability reserve of twenty-two (22) days is established for monthly-paid staff members hired under this policy. The maximum short-term disability accumulation is forty-two (42) work days. Note that an employee will only be paid for time accrued.
404.3 APPLICATION PROCESS
Any employee receiving short-term disability pay under this policy must concurrently use available Family Medical Leave (FML) under Policy 631.
In any case in which it appears that a staff member will exhaust sick leave and paid time off due to a serious health condition, the staff member will be required to have his/her health care provider complete a Physician Certification form and submit the form to the Benefits Office. When such a request is made, the certification must be provided within twenty (20) calendar days of the request. Additionally, the staff member must complete and forward a Short-Term Disability/Family and Medical Leave Application form to the Benefits Office. If the employee already has provided a certification and application for FML leave covering the same period, this shall suffice.
The University reserves the right to require that the individual submit to independent medical examinations by a health care provider of the University's choosing for continuation of payments under this policy, and/or submit additional Physician Certifications.
Accumulated short-term disability may be utilized provided the duration of the serious health condition has been ten (10) or more consecutive work days and all available sick leave and 50% of paid time off have been exhausted.
The maximum number of days in pay status (including sick leave, paid time off, and STD) for any one condition cannot exceed six (6) months or one hundred thirty-two (132) consecutive work days.
Medical leave resulting from pregnancy shall entitle employees to paid leave for up to eight (8) weeks in the case of a normal delivery, and up to ten (10) weeks for a Caesarean Section, or the length of time determined to be medically necessary as certified by the employee's physician. Such paid leave consists of sick leave, 50% of PTO, and STD, in that order. Employees taking additional leave under Policy 631 (Family and Medical Leave) will use available PTO unless they elect to retain it by contacting their Business Administrator.
STD may only be used when an employee has a continuous, incapacitating serious health condition as certified by a physician. STD cannot be used for an intermittent leave or to care for a family member.
A staff member is not eligible for holidays or special vacation periods which may occur while he/she is receiving short-term disability payments. Additional sick leave and paid time off are not accrued during periods of short-term disability.
Employees approved for short-term disability are prohibited from working at the workplace or at any other location, including the employee's home, either for the University or otherwise. A physician's statement certifying the staff member's fitness to return to work may be required before he/she returns.
404.5 JOB SECURITY
Normally employees returning from medical leave will be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. Failure to return to work once all paid leave and unpaid FML have been exhausted may result in termination of employment. However, at times, departments, schools and/or centers may restructure due to changing business and operational needs and the need to continually enhance programs and services. These restructuring initiatives may result in position discontinuations, even positions held by employees out on FML or other types of leave. If a staff member on FML has his/her position discontinued, he/she will be given at least 30 days written notice of the position discontinuation and will be informed of any applicable benefits that he/she may be eligible to receive under the Position Discontinuation and Staff Transition Program.
An employee who must be absent longer than the maximum number of days allowed under this policy may apply for a leave as an accommodation under the Affordable Care Act or a leave of absence without pay under Policy 616. Note that a leave of absence without pay is subject to the approval of the individual's department in consultation with the Division of Human Resources Staff Relations Department if an employee is not eligible for or has exhausted his/her FMLA/STD benefits. Such employees may also apply for long-term disability benefits under Policy 405. However, long-term disability is not a leave status. Employees without FMLA or short-term disability and not returning to work or on an approved leave of absence without pay are subject to termination, irrespective of a pending or accepted application for long-term disability benefits.
404.6 SHORT-TERM DISABILITY FOR PERSONS HIRED PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1984
Regular full-time support staff and professional/administrative staff through grade PA8 (hired before August 1, 1984) entered the short-term disability program with the amount of days provided under the extended sick leave policy with the following provisions:
404.6a: Weekly-paid staff members entered with one (1) week or five (5) days for every completed year of service (as of August 1, 1984). This conversion for existing staff members may initially exceed the maximum of 42 working days stated in the revised policy; however, no additional accumulations will occur unless the short-term disability balance is less than forty-two (42) days.
404.6b: Monthly-paid staff members entered with forty-two (42) working days. This balance plus the sick leave balance equals the maximum of six (6) months (132 working days) provided in both the old and new policies.
404.7 UNIONIZED STAFF MEMBERS
University staff members who are covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to the appropriate contract article. Any contract articles incorporating or referring to previous editions of this policy shall be superseded by the current policy.
Note: Dealing with issues that qualify for Short-Term Disability can be challenging. Returning to work following a disability leave can be stressful. For these and other matters, the University offers the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free, confidential, one-to-one support at any time. The EAP can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you manage the issues at hand and prepare for a successful return to the workplace. Call 1-888-321-4433 to speak with a counselor. You can also find useful information on the EAP website.
Letter #1 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has been out sick for more than 3 consecutive days and has not notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event.
Letter #2 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event for his/her own serious medical condition.
Letter #3 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.
Letter #4 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event for birth/placement of a child for adoption.
Family Medical Leave Forms
Including the Physician's Certification Form and the Short-Term Disability & Family Medical Leave Request Form
Policy Number: 404
Effective Date: 4/1/2009
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 404 (Short-Term Disability 08/01/1984, 06/01/1998)
Applicability: All regular full-time staff through position grade 28
Cross-reference: Policy 405 (Long-Term Disability), Policy 412 (New Child Policy), Policy 607 (Paid Time Off), Policy 612 (Sick Leave), Policy 614 (Sick Leave and PTO Credit for Transferred Staff Whose Position Classification Changes), Policy 615 (Reciprocal Sick Leave Agreement), Policy 631 (Family Medical Leave)