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 and bands A, B, C, and D are eligible.
404.2 APPLICATION PROCESS
Any employee receiving short-term disability pay under this policy must concurrently use available Family Medical Leave (FML) under Policy 631.
A staff member who is out of work due to a serious health condition or pregnancy will be required to have his/her health care provider complete a Physician Certification form and submit the form to the FMLA Administrator. 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.
Short-term disability may be utilized provided the duration of the serious health condition has been ten (10) or more work days. During the ten (10) day waiting period, available sick time and PTO must be used in that order. If there is no sick time or PTO available, then the ten (10) day waiting period will be unpaid. After that, employees will receive 100% of base pay for up to six (6) weeks. If the disability period has been approved for longer than eight (8) weeks, they will be paid 75% of base salary up to a maximum of eighteen (18) additional weeks.
The maximum number of days in pay status cannot exceed six (6) months or one hundred thirty-two (132) consecutive work days. STD is limited to twenty-six weeks (26) in a 12 month rolling period measured from the first day out of the workplace. Only one (1) six week period at 100% of pay will be paid during that 12-month period. The twenty-six (26) week limit can be used for one leave or multiple leaves. The ten (10) day waiting period will apply to all new leaves.
Medical leave resulting from pregnancy shall entitle employees to paid STD leave for up to eight (8) weeks, or the length of time determined to be medically necessary as certified by the employee's physician. Employees taking additional leave under Policy 631 (Family and Medical Leave) will use available PTO unless they elect to retain 50% 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.
404.4 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 thirty (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 an accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities 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. if a medial leave is expected to last longer than six (6) months, then the employee should 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.
404.5 ACCRUED SHORT-TERM DISABILITY DAYS AS OF 7/1/2016
Employees who have STD days accrued as of 7/1/2016 will keep those days until 6/30/2018. During this time, these days will be used to substitute 100% of pay for 75% of pay during weeks 9 – 26 of any approved STD leave.
404.6 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 or pregnancy.
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 care of newborn, adoption, or foster care.
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: 07/01/2016
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 404 (Short-Term Disability 08/01/1984, 06/01/1998, 04/01/2009, 07/1/2015)
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)