Chapter 16: Leaves, Absences, Holidays, Vacations, and University Closures

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16.C Leaves/Absences Related to Personal Circumstances

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16.C.1 Introduction

The following section lists the various ways in which a member of the University of Michigan community may obtain time off work, either paid or unpaid, to meet the faculty member’s professional and personal needs. Because of the time commitment required of faculty members who teach, some of these leaves may not apply to them.

On the Ann Arbor campus, faculty absences must be reported to the faculty member’s department chair, dean, or director, and absences extending over more than three consecutive weeks must be reported to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. At the UM-Dearborn or the UM-Flint campuses, absences over more than three consecutive weeks are reported to the chancellor (bylaw 5.16). See also section 14.C “Salary Payments.”

16.C.2 Funeral Time

In the case of a death in the immediate family, the University provides up to three days paid time off from work to attend the funeral or memorial services and to make necessary arrangements. If additional time is needed, vacation time or excused absence without pay may be granted. When the death of an immediate family member occurs while a faculty member is on a scheduled vacation, up to three days of the faculty member’s vacation time may be converted to funeral leave.
“Immediate family” consists of an employee’s spouse or other qualified adult; the son, daughter, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister (or the spouse of any of them) of the employee, the employee’s spouse/other qualified adult, or any other related person living in the employee’s household (SPG 201.03).

16.C.3 Pregnancy and Family Care Benefits

Faculty are eligible to receive sick leave income for up to three calendar weeks per year to care for a family member whose condition meets the eligibility criteria included in Standard Practice Guide 201.11-1 Sick Leave Plan – Academic Appointments. These conditions include time off to care for a family member who needs care because of incapacity caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth. Short-term sick time pay is also available for employees who are unable to work because they are caring for their newly born, newly adopted or newly fostered child. Staff members may use sick time pay for this purpose only during the year following the child’s birth or arrival in the home. A “family member” is defined as the employee’s spouse or partner with whom the employee shares living accommodations and expenses; the child, sibling, parent, grandparent or other related individual whose care is the responsibility of the staff member, spouse or partner. (SPG 201.11-0) See also “Benefits and Wellness“.

16.C.4 Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees up to twelve weeks of job-protected leave per year, provides for continuance of the employee’s pre-existing health, dental and vision coverage during this leave period, and restores the employee to the same or an equivalent position at the conclusion of the designated leave. The FMLA applies to all employees with at least one year of service who worked at least 1250 hours in the previous twelve months.

Regular and supplemental faculty and staff are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for the following kinds of unpaid leaves of absence: child care for the birth, adoption, and foster care placement of a child; personal medical, for a faculty member’s own personal illness; and family medical, for the serious illness of a family member (see SPG 201.11-0 for definitions). Before taking an unpaid FMLA leave, the faculty member must use up all available sick time and vacation time (if vacation plan participation is appropriate).

The University will pay the monthly premiums for health insurance of a faculty member who has been approved for a leave of absence without pay under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, provided the faculty member is already eligible to participate in the health insurance plans. Any required reimbursement of the faculty member’s portion of the health insurance premiums is processed after the faculty member returns to work following the leave. Benefits and leave of absence end dates for supplemental faculty may not extend past the individual’s appointment end date.

16.C.5 Jury and Witness Service

The University’s policy is that no regular employee shall sustain a loss of regular compensation when they are called for jury duty or to testify at the order of a court or other government agency or at the request of the University. Specific regulations about compensation for this service and for related travel expenses may be obtained from departmental offices. See SPG 201.29 Jury and Witness Pay.

16.C.6 Leaves of Absence without Salary for Personal Reasons (Including Child Care Leaves)

Excused absences without pay for longer than 21 consecutive calendar days must be covered by a leave of absence. Leaves of absence without salary are granted for professional circumstances (see section 16.B.6Leaves of Absence Without Salary for Professional Reasons” or for personal circumstances, including child-care, disability, maternity, medical needs, military service, and a variety of other personal circumstances. (SPG 201.30-1 )

The president or his or her designated representative may grant leaves of absence without salary on recommendation by the dean or director to members of the instructional faculty for periods of up to one year, and to archivists, curators, librarians, and research track faculty. Only the Board of Regents may grant leaves exceeding one year in duration and extensions of leaves beyond one year for instructional faculty when an appropriate request is made on recommendation by the department head, the dean or director, and the president. Leaves of absence for instructional faculty will be reported monthly to the Board of Regents.

See Leaves for information about benefit coverage during a leave and the criteria for a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are entitled to receive University contributions toward medical and dental premiums.

16.C.7 Military Leave

Leaves of absence without salary for military service may be given to a person who is called up as a member of the National Guard or Reserve. Faculty members should contact the appropriate dean or director for more information. The University complies with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). See SPG 201.30-1 for more on unpaid leaves of an instructional nature.

16.C.8 Military Reserve Duty

All regular faculty and staff are granted up to 15 working days off in any one calendar year without loss of their regular compensation or any loss of their fringe benefits in order to participate in Military Reserve or National Guard Training Programs or for service required as a result of civil disorder or other emergency. The faculty member’s regular University compensation will be reduced by the amount of base military pay, if any, received for such services. On request, faculty may choose to use available vacation time to allow them to receive their full University pay. (SPG 201.33).

16.C.9 Sick Leave

The University wishes to minimize the loss of compensation to faculty when illness, injury, disability or preventive medical care makes absence from the performance of duty unavoidable. Consistent with its needs and requirements, the University grants sick leave to eligible members of the faculty when they make application on these grounds. The duties of the individual on sick leave are to be provided for without additional funding from the staff member’s school or college.

Members of the faculty who become incapacitated by sickness or accident are eligible for sick leave for periods of time and at rates of compensation that vary according to the individual’s length of service with the University and his or her rank. Regular and supplemental instructional faculty members are eligible for short-term sick leave at their regular salary during incapacity not to exceed three calendar weeks annually. Regular faculty members with service of two years or more are eligible for extended sick leave for one-half of a University- year at regular salary and one-half of a University-year at one-half regular salary. As an alternative, the faculty member may opt to receive sick leave income paid during incapacity at the full rate of the faculty member’s academic year annual salary or twelve-month salary for a time not to exceed three-quarters the length of his or her annual appointment (up to a total of 6 3⁄4 months for faculty who hold University-year appointments or up to a total of 9 months for faculty who hold 12-month appointments).

Regular associate and full professors, associate and full research scientists and research professors, and senior associate librarians and archivists, librarians, and curators with ten years of service or more are eligible for extended sick leave for one University-year at regular salary and for an additional University-year at one-half regular salary. As an alternative, the faculty member may opt to receive sick leave income paid during incapacity at the full rate of the faculty member’s academic year annual salary or twelve-month salary for a time not to exceed one length plus one-half the length of his or her annual appointment (up to a total of 13 1⁄2 months for faculty who hold University-year appointments or up to a total of 18 months for faculty who hold 12-month appointments).

The maximum amount of sick leave available for any one continuous illness or injury is three weeks of short-term sick leave plus the faculty member’s extended sick leave benefits minus any short-term sick leave taken during the one year short-term sick leave period or the five year extended sick leave period in effect at the time the illness or injury occurs (SPG 201.11-1).