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Medical leave is granted on the first date of eligibility and at the beginning of each fiscal year thereafter. Medical leave may be used immediately upon eligibility. Medical leave is intended to provide the security of continued income when an employee is absent due to illness or injury. Medical leave may only be used when the employee is unable to perform the employee's duties because of illness or injury, or for medical or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled outside of working hours.

If any employee is absent due to illness or injury for seven or more consecutive calendar days (not necessarily work days), the medical leave benefit must be coordinated with New York State disability or Workers' Compensation. The employee and supervisor must contact the Office of Human Resources to begin this process as soon as it becomes apparent that the employee will be absent for seven or more consecutive calendar days. 

3.9.14.1 Annual Medical Leave Allowance and Maximum Balance (Based on Full-Time Schedule)

Number of Days Per Year

7.5 Hours Per Day: Annual Amount

Maximum Balance

8.0 Hours Per Day: Annual Amount

Maximum Balance

12 Days

90 Hours

900 Hours

96 Hours

960 Hours

The amount of medical leave an employee is granted is based on the average number of scheduled work hours per day and the number of months worked in the fiscal year. For most employees the average workday will be 7.5 or 8.0 hours. The chart in this section shows the amount of medical leave granted on a yearly basis, for employees who work 7.5-hour days (37.5-hour weeks) and employees who work 8.0-hour days (40-hour weeks).

Employees in Benefits Group I have an unspecified number of medical leave. However, under normal circumstances, an employee in group I will not exceed the allowance granted to employees in group II. Due to the level of responsibility and the accompanying demands on employees in group I, these individuals are often working even though they are away on sick or personal leave. Therefore, the president and executive officers may authorize time beyond the standard entitlement granted. If the circumstances warrant special consideration, the College (not the employee) determines how to specify the "unspecified" amount.

Employees who gain benefits eligibility on any date other than the start of the fiscal year will have the annual medical leave allowance pro-rated based on the date of benefit eligibility as follows:

Date of Benefit Eligibility and Pro-ration Amount

June 1 – September 30: Full Annual Allowance

October 1 – January 31: 2/3 Annual Allowance

February 1 – May 31: 1/3 Annual Allowance

3.9.14.1.1 How to Calculate and Record Usage of Medical Leave

When an employee uses medical leave, the appropriate amount should be reported in the week in which it is taken.

No medical leave accumulation will be paid at termination. 

3.9.14.1.2 Use of Medical Leave

Employees will not be paid for more medical leave than they have accumulated. Generally, if an employee is ill and has no medical leave available, with the agreement of the employee, any personal and/or vacation balances will be used to cover the absence prior to being placed on an unpaid leave.

If an employee who is not on New York State disability or Workers’ Compensation and has no medical leave balance wants to use vacation leave to cover an illness of short duration, such use of vacation leave is granted at the discretion of the supervisor.

If an employee works a varied number of hours each day, a debit is charged against medical leave for the number of hours scheduled for the day or days of sickness.

Abuse of medical leave privileges is cause for disciplinary action up to and including suspension or dismissal. It is the responsibility of supervisors to explain the use of medical leave and to make sure it is used for valid reasons only. The College reserves the right to require proof for all absences for illness. While the supervisor generally need not require proof of illness, if there is a regular pattern of short-term absences or abuse of the benefit is suspected, proof should be required. It is the responsibility of supervisors to be consistent in monitoring absences and supervisors should consult with the Office of Human Resources prior to taking written disciplinary action.

Employees are required to notify their supervisor within the first hour of the work period if they will be absent due to illness or injury or as soon after as possible. If an employee does not give proper notification or does not provide proof, if requested, the supervisor may deny use of medical leave.

The College reserves the right to require a physician's statement indicating an employee returning from medical leave is fit to resume the employee's responsibilities. The physician’s statement must be provided to the Office of Human Resources before the employee is allowed to return to work.

3.9.14.1.3 Use of Medical Leave Accrual to Care for Immediate Family (Staff/Administrators Only)

In addition to the College's unpaid leave of absence policy, and in recognition of the difficult roles which employees must sometimes assume in caring for children, parents, and other dependents, the College will allow employees to use up to five days (per fiscal year) of their medical leave balance for the care of members of their immediate family who are ill. Immediate family is defined as parents (also foster and step-parents), children, spouse, qualified domestic partner, brothers and sisters, in-laws (including parents and children), grandparents and grandchildren. This policy is also applicable to the care of a relative or other individual who is a permanent member of the household.  

3.9.14.1.4 Medical Leave Payment at Termination

No medical leave balance will be paid at termination.

3.9.14.1.5 Coordination of Medical Leave with New York State Disability and Workers' Compensation (Staff/Administrators Only)

An employee must use medical leave for absences due to personal illness which are not covered by NYS Disability, Short-term Disability or Workers’ Compensation or to supplement payment from one of these sources, up to the amount the employee would normally earn.

In the event that an employee is absent from work due to illness or injury for seven or more consecutive calendar days (not necessarily all work days), the employee and the supervisor must contact the Office of Human Resources. Special procedures must be followed in these cases to apply for any applicable disability benefits.

Hours paid under any short-term disability benefits are not charged against medical leave balances. The amount charged against the employee’s paid time away balances is equal to the amount paid to the employee through the IC payroll. Staff in the Office of Human Resources will complete the timecard in the human resources information system for the employee when they are out on medical leave. When the employee returns to work, they should review the calculations done by the Office of Human Resources and confirm the accuracy of the payments and paid time away debits.

3.9.14.2 New York State Disability (Non-Work-Related Illness or Injury) (Non-Faculty)

New York State disability is a statutory benefit provided by the College in compliance with New York State law. The College currently pays the entire premium for this benefit. Employees of the Ithaca College L.A. Program currently pay the premium for California short-term disability insurance. 

Absence from work due to an on-the job injury or illness is considered to be a serious health condition for the purposes of applying Family and Medical Leave. If the employee is eligible for and entitled to Family and Medical Leave, the time away from work up to 12 work weeks will be credited to the employee's Family and Medical Leave entitlement.

3.9.14.2.1 Eligibility for New York State Disability

This benefit covers all employees (except faculty and coaches) including part-time, temporary, and student employees, except teaching assistants who work in New York State. Eligibility for this benefit begins four weeks from the date of hire and continues until four weeks immediately following termination of employment.

This benefit provides for employees in the event of a non-job related disability. The benefit provides fifty percent (50%) of a claimant's average weekly wage, but no more than the maximum benefit allowed (currently $170 per week).

3.9.14.2.2 Eligibility for Supplemental Short-term Disability Benefits

In addition to the mandated NYS Disability benefit, staff and administrators in benefit eligible positions may be eligible for a supplemental benefit that pays benefits above what NYS Disability covers up to a specific maximum. 

3.9.14.2.3 Benefits Under New York State Disability Insurance

Disability payments begin after seven consecutive calendar days of absence (not necessarily work days). Benefit-eligible staff and administrators must use any available medical leave for the first five workdays of absence.

Disability checks are issued by the insurance carrier directly to the employee. An employee may receive disability checks for up to 26 weeks during any 52-week period.

If the employee has a medical leave balance, the College will continue to issue a paycheck based on the difference between the amount paid by any disability benefit and the amount of the employee's usual weekly wage. If the employee has no medical leave remaining, the employee may request that vacation and/or personal leave be used to supplement the disability benefit. An employee with no paid time away balances will receive only the check(s) from the disability insurance carrier.

Employees who receive disability payments are responsible for declaring this as income on their income tax returns. A W-2 form will be provided by the insurance carrier.

The employee must notify their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources when their physician has released them to return to work. The employee must provide the Office of Human Resources with a return to work note from their physician indicating the employee is able to return to work before starting to work.

3.9.14.3 Claiming Disability Benefits

An eligible employee must contact their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources as soon as they know the absence will extend beyond five workdays. The supervisor must then complete the Notice of Disability form and submit it to the Office of Human Resources.

When the employee contacts the Office of Human Resources, he/she will be instructed to call the insurance carrier directly to begin the disability application process. Written instructions will then be sent to the employee as well as a copy of the laws that govern the NYS disability plan.

The Office of Human Resources will work with the insurance carrier, the employee, and the supervisor to ensure that all procedures are properly followed.

3.9.14.4 Medical Leave (Faculty)

Faculty on tenure, tenure-eligible, or non-tenure notice appointments are entitled to paid medical leave from the College. Full salary will be continued for up to six months provided that appropriate medical documentation is provided to the Office of Human Resources. Six months coincides with the waiting period for long-term disability benefits.

During the medical leave, if the employee is eligible for and entitled to Family and Medical Leave, the time away from work up to 12 work weeks will be credited to the employee's Family and Medical Leave entitlement.

3.9.14.5 Maternity Leave

The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act (an amendment to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) mandates that pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions must be treated the same as other disabilities. The period of medical disability is determined by the employee's physician. For pregnancies without complications, most physicians recommend a six-week leave.

The staff employee is entitled to New York State disability benefits even if she does not intend to return to work. For information on administering this leave, supervisors should contact the Office of Human Resources.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also provides that a leave for childcare purposes must be granted on the same basis as a leave granted to employees for other non-medical reasons. Frequently, an employee will request additional time to care for the newborn child. Such requests should be handled according to the procedures outlined in section 3.9.15.2, Leaves of Absence Without Pay; see also section section 3.9.15.2.1, Leaves of Absence Without Pay Due to Illness or for the Care of Family Members – Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). 

3.9.14.6 Workers' Compensation (Work-Related Illness or Injury)

All employees of the College including faculty, staff, administrators, student employees, part-time employees, and temporary workers (excludes agency temporary workers and independent contractors) are insured and are provided benefits under Workers' Compensation in the event of a job-related injury or illness. Benefits include medical expenses, compensation for lost time, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits as applicable.

Absence from work due to an on-the job injury or illness is considered to be a serious health condition for the purposes of applying Family and Medical Leave. If the employee is eligible for and entitled to Family and Medical Leave, the time away from work up to 12 work weeks will be credited to the employee's Family and Medical Leave entitlement.

3.9.14.6.1 Benefits Under Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation will pay two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly salary up to a specified maximum. The employee must use any medical leave balance to cover the first five days of absence due to a work-related illness or injury. After seven consecutive days of absence (not necessarily work days), Workers’ Compensation benefits will begin if it is determined to be a work-related illness or injury.

If the employee has a medical leave balance, the College will continue to issue a paycheck based on the difference between the amount paid by the Workers’ Compensation benefit and the amount of the employee’s average weekly wage. If the employee has no medical leave remaining, the employee may request that vacation and/or personal leave be used to supplement the Workers’ Compensation benefit. An employee with no paid time away balances will receive only the check(s) from the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier.

Once the employee returns to work, he/she may use available medical leave for time spent attending doctor’s appointments or Workers’ Compensation hearings resulting from the their on-the-job injury or illness at the College.

3.9.14.6.2 Claiming Workers' Compensation Benefits

Any work-related injury or illness must be reported to the employee’s supervisor (staff/administrators) or dean's office (faculty) immediately. The supervisor should make certain that the injured employee promptly receives whatever medical attention is necessary. Any time lost for the day of the accident must be paid as “regular hours” and should not be charged to medical leave.

Attending physicians and hospitals should be informed that treatment is being submitted through the Workers’ Compensation system.

An Accident Report form must be submitted within 24 hours of any work-related illness or injury, even those that do not involve loss of work time. The employee must first complete the Accident Report form and then forward it to their supervisor or department chair, as applicable. Supervisors and department chairs have a responsibility to prevent accidents in their departments and should investigate every accident in order to learn the cause and adopt proper methods to prevent a similar occurrence. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is available to assist with this responsibility. After investigation, the “corrective action” part of the Accident Report form must be completed and the form signed. The supervisor or chair should submit the Accident Report to the Office of Human Resources within 24 hours of the employee becoming sick or injured on the job.

Supervisors and department chairs should remain in contact with an employee who is out of work as a result of a work-related injury. As soon as the employee is aware that they may be absent beyond seven calendar days, the supervisor or department chair as well as the Office of Human Resources must be notified.

Staff in the Office of Human Resources will complete the timecard in the human resources information system for the employee when they are out on medical leave. When the employee returns to work, they should review the calculations done by the Office of Human Resources and confirm the accuracy of the payments and paid time away debits.

3.9.14.7 Long-Term Illness

An employee who has a long-term illness will receive pay from the College to supplement Workers' Compensation or New York State disability payments for up to 26 weeks or until paid time away balances (medical, vacation, and personal) are exhausted, whichever occurs first. If an illness continues beyond six months, eligible employees may be entitled to a monthly income benefit as provided for under the long-term disability plan. (See section 3.9.16.7.)

Last Updated: January 1, 2013