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SIUE FACULTY PARENTAL, FAMILY, AND EXTENDED LEAVE

(WC #08-13/14, Approved by Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe 06/03/2014)

 

Members of the SIUE faculty enjoy a number of substantial benefits derived from their status as employees of the University. More extensive details and fuller benefit descriptions, as well as links to mandatory forms and critical definitions, are available at the The Office of Human Resources website:

http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/ and http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/policies-faculty.shtml

Definition of “Faculty” Under this Policy

For the purposes of this policy, the terms “faculty” and “faculty member” refer to full-time faculty members who hold appointments as tenure-track, tenured, and clinical faculty, and are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Definition of Request for Leave Under this Policy

At a minimum, any request for leave under this policy must specify the following: 1) the requested length of time for the leave; 2) the reason for the leave; 3) the duties that need to be covered during the faculty member’s time on leave; and 4) the dates and type(s) of any previous leaves taken under this policy. Faculty members should be prepared to provide medical or other documentation, as appropriate, to justify the request for leave, as such documentation can be requested by The Office of Human Resources.

Any request for flexible options pursuant to Section IV of this policy must also specify why the duties to be covered under the proposed leave are proportional to the situation for the leave. Requests for differentiated workloads should also justify the percentage reduction in the percentage of effort by the faculty member.

Eligibility Under this Policy

Faculty members, as defined above, become eligible to apply for the benefits outlined in this policy after completing 12 months of continuous employment. For those faculty on nine-month contracts, the “12 months of continuous employment” period would include the summer terms, whether or not the faculty member was actually teaching or on other active assignment.

Scope of this Policy

Note: Faculty members seeking leave or accommodation for their own serious health condition are directed to research the options offered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its provisions, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, the University’s Medical Leave of Absence policy, among others, may afford an option in certain circumstances.

The benefits in this policy are designed specifically to assist faculty members as they care for persons other than themselves. Faculty members seeking leave or accommodation to care for someone else are directed to first exhaust the options offered under FMLA. However, if FMLA leave is not available, or FMLA benefits have been exhausted, or the event is not a qualifying event under FMLA rules, this policy creates additional options (Parental Leave, Family Leave, Extended Leave, Modified Duties, and Differentiated Workloads) for faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements and face a qualifying event.

Importance of Being Fully Informed

Some types of leave may result in changes to the cost and/or the provision of health insurance and other benefits, so faculty contemplating any leave should consult with the Office of Human Resources to be fully informed. Faculty members should also review SIUE’s Faculty Handbook to consider how the use of leaves may affect Tenure and Promotion processes.

Substantial, good faith compliance with this policy, or the University Committee for Family-Friendly Policy Implementation Operating Papers constitutes full compliance. 

I. Parental Leave for a Qualifying Birth or Adoption[1]

Faculty members, as defined in this policy, may be eligible for Parental Leave if the following life events occur: birth or qualifying adoption. The goal of Parental Leave is to ensure that faculty members are guaranteed the possibility of 12 weeks of leave in the case of birth or qualifying adoption. The faculty member is expected to notify the department Chair as early as possible of the intent to use Parental Leave. A faculty member must also consult with the Office of Human Resources regarding the existing rules for initiating FMLA or other medical leave for this purpose.

A.  If the qualifying event occurs during the academic year contract-period, faculty members on nine-month appointments are eligible for up to twelve weeks of parental leave to serve as primary caregiver after the birth of a biological child or a qualifying adoption of a child. Faculty members on twelve-month appointments are eligible for this same leave, given the same conditions. This leave must be taken in accord with FMLA policies and existing University rules[2].

B.  If the faculty member has FMLA eligibility, s/he shall use it before applying for Parental Leave under this Policy. Once consulted, the The Office of Human Resources will provide the faculty member with the number of weeks of FMLA leave that s/he has remaining. If the faculty member has all 12 weeks of FMLA leave remaining, then s/he must utilize that time and is not eligible for Parental Leave.

C.  In situations where the faculty member has less than 12 weeks of FMLA leave remaining, Parental Leave will be used to supplement FMLA leave such that faculty members receive up to 12 weeks of leave even if they have no remaining FMLA eligibility. In no circumstances may the combination of FMLA and Parental Leave taken to be the primary caregiver for a newborn child or qualifying adoption exceed 12 weeks for a given event.

D.  Subject to University policy, the qualifying faculty member may use accruable and non-accruable sick leave to cover this period, or a portion thereof. If the faculty member has vacation time available, he or she may also use that leave during this period. If the faculty member does not have any accrued paid time available, then this leave will be unpaid.

E.  In preparing for the faculty member’s absence, Chairs and Deans shall have the responsibility of addressing the needs of the departments, schools, college, and University.

F.  The University Committee for Family-Friendly Policy Implementation (UCFPI) has no role in determining the outcomes of requests for Parental Leave under this section.

II. Family Leave

 Faculty members, as defined by this policy, are eligible for Family Leave if any of the following life events occur:

  1. A family member for whom the faculty member has primary caregiving responsibilities experiences a serious physical or mental health condition that is not covered pursuant to FMLA.
  2. The faculty member experiences a non-qualifying adoption, foster care placement, or obtains legal guardianship of a child not covered pursuant to FMLA.

A.  Applying for Family Leave

To apply for Family Leave, a faculty member shall submit copies of a written request to the Chair, Dean, and the Chair of the UCFPI, as well as coordinate with the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources to supply the necessary documentation to substantiate the request for a leave.

  1. Department and Dean’s Assessment of Feasibility
  • The department Chair shall review the faculty member’s written request and determine the feasibility and impact of the requested leave within five business days. By the end of this five business day period, the Chair shall forward a written assessment concerning the request to the responsible Dean for her or his review.
  • The Dean shall conduct an independent review of the request and determine the feasibility and impact of the requested leave. Within five business days of receiving the department Chair’s assessment, the Dean shall forward a written assessment to the Chair of the University Committee for Family-Friendly Policy Implementation (UCFPI).
  • The Dean’s written assessment must also include a copy of the Chair’s statement of feasibility and impact of the requested leave.
  • The Chair and Dean’s written assessments of the requested leave shall be limited to the questions of feasibility and impact.
  • The Chair and Dean’s written assessments cannot make any determination regarding the medical necessity or rationale of the request.
  • The written assessments of both the Chair and Dean, regardless of rating, shall be forwarded to the Chair of the University Committee for Family-Friendly Policy Implementation (UCFPI).

       2.  Documentation and Certification to The Office of Human Resources

  • Upon receiving a request from a faculty member, the UCFPI Chair (or designate) shall consult with members of the committee and the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources within ten business days to determine the types and extent of documentation needed for the requested leave.
  • After the types and extent of documentation needed for the requested leave are determined, the Benefits Manager (or designee) has five business days to communicate in writing with the faculty member who submitted the request. This communication must include a complete listing of all documentation that the faculty member must submit to demonstrate the necessity for the medical leave.
  • To protect the privacy of individuals and potentially sensitive medical records, and to facilitate the timely gathering of all documents relevant to the request for leave, the faculty member shall submit all of the medical and other appropriate documentation to demonstrate the necessity for the requested leave within five business days of being asked to do so to the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources.
  • When all of the documentation has been received, the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources shall write a memo to the Chair of the UCFPI within five business days that certifies that all the documentation has been received and a qualifying event under the policy has occurred.

3.  Approval Process

  • The written assessments of both the Chair and Dean, regardless of rating, shall be forwarded to the Chair of the UCFPI.
  • The written memo from the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources shall be forwarded to the Chair of the UCFPI.
  • The UCFPI, in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, shall make a final determination regarding the faculty member’s request within ten business days.
  • The UCFPI will determine the outcome of all family leave requests in a manner consistent with its operating papers, other university policies, and applicable federal and state laws, and work with a mission to ensure consistency across units.
  • Within five business days, the Chair of the UCFPI will communicate its decision and reasons for it, in writing, to the faculty member, department Chair, Dean, and the Office of Human Resources.  
  • Upon approval, all final leave arrangements must be made in writing, approved by the UCFPI, and signed by the faculty member.

B. If deemed eligible for Family Leave through the process described above, a faculty member may use appropriate University benefits as stipulated by this and other University policies.

  1. Family Leave As Paid Leave

Within a given semester, faculty on nine-month appointments may use any amount or all of their available non-accruable or accrued sick leave and/or vacation days to care for a family member up to a maximum of sixteen weeks. Those on twelve-month appointments may use up to a maximum of six months of available sick leave and/or vacation days to care for the family member as paid leave.   

2.  Family Leave as Unpaid Leave

If the available paid leave is not enough to cover the requested period of Family Leave, then the faculty member may continue the family leave for the remainder of the period (sixteen weeks within a semester for faculty on nine-month appointments; six months for faculty on twelve-month appointments) without pay.  

3.  The faculty member is expected to inform his or her department Chair as early as possible of the intent to apply for Family Leave. Faculty members, Chairs, and Deans should work to develop a solution that attempts to address both the personal needs of the faculty member and the professional needs of the department, school/college, and University. All final decisions shall be made by the UCFPI in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

In lieu of taking Family Leave as described above, the faculty member may opt to apply for flexible working options, such as differentiated workloads with respect to teaching, research, and service responsibilities or modified duties, as defined in Section IV, below.

III. Extended Leave

If the leave options under this policy have been exhausted or a faculty member faces a situation not covered pursuant to FMLA or Family Leave (described above), a faculty member who needs to care for a family member may request an Extended Leave. Extended Leave is unpaid leave, and the circumstances requiring such a leave shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

[Note: Faculty Handbook, Personnel Policies, “Leaves of Absence Without Pay” only allows leave for personal development or furthering one’s education.]

A.  Applying for Extended Leave

To apply for Extended Leave, a faculty member shall submit copies of a written request to his or her department Chair, Dean, and the Chair of the UCFPI, as well as coordinate with the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources  to supply the necessary documentation to substantiate the request for a leave.

 1.  Department and Dean’s Assessment of Feasibility

  • The department Chair shall review the faculty member’s written request and determine the feasibility and impact of the requested leave. Within five business days, the Chair will forward a written assessment to the responsible Dean for her or his review.
  • The Dean shall conduct an independent review of the request and determine the feasibility and impact of the requested leave. Within five business days of receiving the department Chair’s assessment, the Dean shall forward a written assessment to the Chair of the University Committee for Family-Friendly Policy Implementation (UCFPI).
  • The Dean’s written assessment must also include a copy of the Chair’s statement of feasibility and impact of the requested leave.
  • The Chair and Dean’s written assessments of the requested leave shall be limited to the questions of feasibility and impact.
  • The Chair’s and Dean’s assessments cannot make any determination regarding the medical necessity or rationale of the request.
  • The written assessments of both the Chair and Dean, regardless of rating, shall be forwarded to the Chair of the UCFPI.

 2.  Documentation and Certification to The Office of Human Resources

  • Upon receiving a request from a faculty member, the UCFPI Chair (or designate) will consult with members of the UCFPI and the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources within ten business days to determine the types and extent of documentation needed for the requested leave.
  • After the types and extent of documentation needed for the requested leave are determined, the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources has five business days to communicate in writing with the faculty member who submitted the request. This communication must include a complete listing of all documentation that the faculty member must submit to demonstrate the necessity for the medical leave.
  • To protect the privacy of individuals and potentially sensitive medical records, and to facilitate the timely gathering of all documents relevant to the request for leave, the faculty member shall submit all of the medical and other appropriate documentation to demonstrate the necessity for the requested leave within five business days of being asked to do so to the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources
  • In the case of the family leave policy, these documents would be to establish primary care responsibility and medical need, or that a non-qualifying birth, adoption, etc. has taken place.
  • When all of the documentation has been received, the Benefits Manager (or designee) in The Office of Human Resources shall write a memo to the UCFPI Chair certifying that a qualifying event under the policy has occurred.

 3.  Approval Process

  • The written assessments of both the Chair and Dean, regardless of rating, shall be forwarded to the Chair of the UCFPI.
  • The written memo from the Benefits Manager (or designee) in the Office of Human Resources shall be forwarded to the Chair of the UCFPI.
  • The UCFPI, in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will make a final determination regarding the faculty member’s request within ten business days.
  • The UCFPI shall determine the outcome of all extended leave requests in a manner consistent with its operating papers, other University policies, and applicable federal and state laws. The UCFPI will work with a mission to ensure consistency across units.
  •  Within five business days, the Chair of the UCFPI will communicate its decision and reasons for it, in writing, to the faculty member, department Chair, Dean, and the Office of Human Resources.
  • Upon approval, all final leave arrangements must be made in writing, approved by the UCFPI, and signed by the faculty member.

 B.     Duration of an “Extended Leave”

If the request is approved, the UCFPI may grant Extended Leave for up to twelve months for faculty members on twelve-month appointments and up to 9 months for faculty members on nine-month appointments.

In lieu of taking an Extended Leave as described in the above policy, the faculty member may opt to apply for flexible working options, such as differentiated workloads with respect to teaching, research, and service responsibilities or modified duties, as defined in Section IV, below.

IV. Flexible Options: Differentiated Workloads and Modified Duties

If a faculty member has exhausted or is not eligible for FMLA leave and does not wish to pursue or was not approved for Family Leave as discussed above, the faculty member may apply for either differentiated workload or modified duties to help provide temporary flexibility while caring for a family member.

A.    Differentiated workloads redistribute the faculty member’s time and effort allocations with respect to teaching, research, and service responsibilities. Redistributed workloads must still account for 100% of the faculty member’s assigned time. Such consideration shall take into account the effect of the agreement upon the students and other faculty members in the unit, as well as the effect it has on promotion and tenure for an untenured professor.

  • To allow faculty members appropriate flexibility in a time of need while still maintaining “full time” status (100 percent effort assigned to teaching, research, and service), faculty members shall be allowed to shift their efforts from one course (maximum of 20 percent effort) to a defined research or service activity that will replace the course release.
  • Because differentiated workloads place extra burdens on colleagues and departments/units, the maximum duration of a differentiated workload assignment will be for a single semester. Faculty who have applied for and received differentiated workloads will be ineligible to reapply for a period of three calendar years.
  • Promotion and Tenure: A faculty member must carefully consider how differentiated workloads would affect promotion and tenure, and should consider seeking an approved suspension of the tenure clock. An approved suspension of the tenure clock shall not disadvantage the faculty member in the promotion and tenure process. [Suspensions of the tenure clock are defined in Faculty Handbook, Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty and Criteria for Evaluating Tenure-Track Faculty.]

 

2.  Modified duties temporarily reduce the effort and the pay of the faculty member. The faculty member is literally working less and receiving earnings and benefits commensurate with that reduction.

  • Pay: The amount of pay will be determined in proportion with the percentage of effort that the faculty member is engaging in during the period of modified duties.
  • Benefits: Faculty members who choose this option would retain benefits during the period of modified duties in ways that are consistent with SIUE and State of Illinois policies and statutes. The employee’s costs for benefits may increase during this period.
  • Duration: Because modified duties place extra burdens on colleagues and departments/units, the maximum duration of modified duties assignment will be for a maximum of two concurrent semesters (Fall/Spring, Spring/Summer, Summer/Fall). Faculty who have applied for and received modified duties will be ineligible to reapply for a period of three calendar years.

Promotion and Tenure: A faculty member must carefully consider how modified duties would affect promotion and tenure, and should consider seeking an approved suspension of the tenure clock. If the modified duties result in an appointment of 50 percent or less, the faculty member must seek a suspension of the tenure clock in accordance with University policy. An approved suspension of the tenure clock shall not disadvantage the faculty member in the promotion and tenure process. [Suspensions of the tenure clock are defined in Faculty Handbook, Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty and Criteria for Evaluating Tenure-Track Faculty.]

C.  Applying for Differentiated Workload or Modified Duties

To apply, faculty members must submit a written request with all required supporting documentation.

  • The department Chair shall review the request and determine the feasibility and impact. Within five days of receiving this request, the Chair shall forward a written assessment to the responsible Dean for their review.
  • The Dean shall conduct an independent review of the request and determine the feasibility and impact within five days of receiving this request from the department Chair.
  • The Dean’s written assessment must also include a copy of the Chair’s statement of feasibility and impact of the requested leave.
  • The Chair’s and Dean’s written assessment of the requested leave shall be limited to the questions of feasibility and impact.
  • The written assessments of both the Chair and Dean, regardless of rating, shall be forwarded to the Chair of the UCFPI.
  • The UCFPI must decide whether to approve, deny, or defer action regarding the faculty member’s request within ten days of receipt.
  • Deferral of Action on Requests for Differentiated Workloads
    • If the UCFPI defers action on a request for differentiated workload because the faculty member’s request cannot be reasonably accommodated, then the UCFPI must propose a set of “modified duties” for the faculty member’s consideration.
      • This set of modified duties must be communicated in writing as part of the letter in which action on a request for differentiated workload is deferred.
    • The UCFPI must complete its negotiations with any faculty member whose request has been deferred under this section within 20 business days.
  • The UCFPI shall determine the outcome of all differentiated workload and modified duties requests in a manner consistent with its operating papers, other University policies, and applicable federal and state laws. The UCFPI will work with a mission to ensure consistency across units.
  • Within five business days, the Chair of the UCFPI will communicate the committee’s decision and reasons for it, in writing, to the faculty member, department Chair, and Dean.
  • If approved, all final leave arrangements must be made in writing, approved by the UCFPI, and signed by the faculty member.

V. Modifications of Approved Leave Requests

A. At a minimum, an application for a modification of an approved leave under Sections II, III, and IV of this policy shall consist of the following items:

  • The original request for leave that was submitted to and approved by the UCFPI.
  • A copy of the approval letter from the Chair of the UCFPI.
  • A narrative that states: 1) the revised length of time requested for the leave; 2) an explanation of the reason for the modified leave request; and 3) any duties that will need to be covered in the department should the request be approved.
  • Faculty members may be required to provide medical or other documentation, as appropriate, to justify any additional accommodations requested for leave, as such documentation can be requested by the Office of Human Resources. Any application for a modification of an approved leave request must satisfy the time limitations for the type of leave desired that is specified elsewhere in this policy.
  • Any application for a modification of an approved leave request must satisfy the time limitations described under Section VII of this policy.

B.  Approval Procedure

  • Any modification of an approved leave request must proceed by the same process by which the original leave request was approved, except as specified below.
    • If the modification of an approved leave request results in a new type of leave being requested, then such an application must be submitted under the procedures that correspond to the new type of leave requested, not the original leave that was granted.

 

VI. Appeals of UCFPI Decisions

A.  Decisions of the UCFPI are not subject to appeal unless new circumstances arise that fundamentally change the nature of the original request or modify a previously approved leave request.

B.  At a minimum, any appeal of a decision of the UCFPI must consist of the following:

  • A copy of the decision that was rendered by the UCFPI;
  • A copy of the application materials that were submitted to the UCFPI in all instances; and
  • A narrative that clearly specifies the reasons for the appeal, any evidence that supports the appeal, and a section that states the outcome the appellant would like to see happen.

C.  The appeal shall proceed as if it were a new request for leave, and must proceed by the same process by which the latest leave request was considered.

D.  If the faculty member wishes to appeal the decision of the UCFPI, s/he has ten business days from the date on which s/he was notified of the UCFPI’s decision to file an appeal. This appeal shall be filed with the Chair of the UCFPI and the faculty member’s Chair.

E.  Any appeal of a leave request or modification of a previously approved leave request that is denied by the UCFPI is not subject to additional appeals.

 VII. Miscellaneous

A.  Duration of Leave.

  • A faculty member is not allowed to take more than one year of leave without pay; one semester of differentiated duties; or two consecutive semesters of reduced teaching, research, or service responsibilities due to modified duties at any single time. In no case, shall a combination of leaves under this policy exceed two consecutive years.
  • After taking their leave, faculty members are required to return to the University, with their full responsibilities, for a minimum of the time taken under this provision, including all derivations listed above, before becoming eligible for any additional leave.

B.  Simultaneous Family Leave.

  • If both heads of household are employed by SIUE, they cannot take leave under this policy simultaneously, unless there is a documented medical or legal reason requiring both faculty members to be absent.
  • Such faculty members may simultaneously take a reduction in teaching, research, or service responsibilities at proportionally reduced pay with the provision and payment of benefits as allowed by policy, including proportional adjustments of contributions as stipulated by SIUE and the State of Illinois.

C.  Outside Employment. Faculty members who are on any form of approved leave under this policy may not engage in any form of outside full-time employment, nor engage in part-time or full-time employment at an educational institution.

D.  Tenure Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty. Faculty members who take Parental Leave, Family Leave, or Extended Leave may have the option to or may be required to suspend the probationary period for tenure review by a one-year increment. If a faculty member chooses this option, the process and decision must be initiated in accord with existing Tenure and Promotion policies. See Policy for TENURE POLICIES AND GUIDELINES, SIUE, WC#5-91/92, VII. Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty.



[1] This might also be considered “maternity”, “paternity”, or “parental” leave, and is currently covered by FMLA.

[2] When considering taking unpaid leave, faculty members should check with the Office of Human Resources regarding the cost and provision of health insurance and other benefits.

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