7.0 Leave Benefits

7.1 Vacation Leave

All full-time regular employees are eligible to receive paid vacation leave. Employees will accrue leave with a minimum of 80 hours paid time in a pay period.

Employees who terminate employment or retire from the University will accrue vacation in the month of termination/retirement provided that they have 80 hours of paid time for that pay period; no partial monthly accruals are allowed.

Employees who are off work due to a work-related injury or illness (i.e., one for which the employee has filed a workers' compensation claim) will not accrue any vacation leave if they do not have 80 hours paid time during each pay period that they are off work. Employees may supplement their workers' compensation payments (i.e., the temporary total disability [TTD] payments from the State of Missouri) by using their accrued vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time off during the pay period in order to meet the minimum 80 hours of paid time.

Employees accrue vacation monthly and may carry days forward from one month to the next. The maximum amount of vacation that can be carried forward from one fiscal year to the next cannot exceed two times the employee's annual allowance. For example, if an employee earns vacation at the rate of 6.67 hours each pay period, or 80 hours per year (10 days), the employee may carry forward up to a maximum of 160 hours (20 days). Any amount of leave over the maximum accumulation of two times the annual allowance is lost at the end of the fiscal year (June 30) in which the maximum accumulation amount has been reached.

7.1.1 Accrual - Nonexempt Employees

For nonexempt employees on regular 12-month appointments, vacation leave accrues every pay period based upon the schedule shown in the following table. The leave is posted to the leave balance at the end of each month. The schedule shown in the following table also applies to employees who transfer from an exempt to a nonexempt position. Staff members with appointments of less than 12 months (e.g., nine-month positions), will accrue vacation leave on a basis pro-rated to full-time, 12-month appointments.

Nonexempt Employee Vacation Accrual Summary

Years of ServiceMonthly AccrualAnnual AccrualMaximum
Less than 5 years 6.67 hours 80 hours (10 days) 160 hours (20 days)
At least 5 but less than 10 years 10 hours 120 hours (15 days) 240 hours (30 days)
10 or more years 13.34 hours 160 hours (20 days) 320 hours (40 days)

The effective date for the increase in the vacation accrual rate to the next higher rate will be the pay period in which the years of service milestone is reached and is posted to the leave balance at the end of the month. (Note: Employees who were accruing vacation leave in 1987 at a greater annual rate due to former policy provisions will remain at the annual rate in effect at that time.)

7.1.2 Accrual - Exempt Employees

The vacation leave accrual rate for exempt employees is established at the time of employment. Typically, exempt employees accrue vacation at the rate of 20 days annually. The department head, with approval from the appropriate vice president and the Director of Human Resources, may establish the annual allowance at 15 days, with justifiable reasons. In such cases, the accrual rate for the exempt employee will increase to 20 days at the two year anniversary of the exempt employee's date of employment. The department head is responsible for notifying the Office of Human Resources of the effective date of the increase in the accrual rate. The department head may, however, withhold the increase to the higher accrual rate, based upon objective considerations, if approved by his/her vice president and the Director of Human Resources. The schedule below also applies to employees who transfer from a nonexempt to an exempt position.

Exempt Employee Vacation Accrual Summary

Monthly AccrualAnnual AccrualMaximum
1 day 2 hours 15 days 30 days
1 day 5 hours 20 minutes 20 days 40 days

The accrual rates shown above apply to employees on full-time, 12-month appointments. Staff members with appointments of less than 12 months (e.g., nine-month positions), will accrue vacation leave on a basis pro-rated to full-time, 12-month appointments.

7.1.3 Using Vacation Leave

Vacation may be taken only after time is accrued and recorded at the end of each month. It cannot be taken before it is accrued or in anticipation of it being recorded at the end of the month. Vacations may be taken as weekly periods, individual days, or in quarter-hour increments as long as the period chosen meets with departmental approval, and there is a sufficient leave balance available. An absence of less than 15 minutes will be counted as a quarter hour. Vacation leave will be granted at the convenience of the University. Due to work scheduling and workload, some departments will specify periods of time when no vacations will be approved or will specify the number of employees who may be on vacation at any given time. Some departments will request that leave be taken in defined increments of half days, whole days, or weeks. Employees must adhere to any departmental policies and/or restrictions regarding vacation scheduling. Employees should request leave from their supervisor at least two weeks prior to the date the vacation is to begin. In certain departments, requests for summer vacation may be required early in the spring so the complete summer vacation schedule can be established in advance.

7.1.4 Unused Vacation Leave

Employees terminating employment for any reason are entitled to payment for their accrued, unused hours of vacation, up to a maximum of two times their annual accrual.

7.2 Sick Leave

All full-time regular employees are eligible to accrue paid sick leave. Sick leave may be used for an illness, pregnancy, injury, or for medical/dental appointments. Employees whose normal work location is on the Springfield campus are not required to use sick leave when they have a medical appointment or seek medical treatment at one of the University's on-campus healthcare providers (e.g., the Taylor Health and Wellness Center, the Physical Therapy clinic, the Speech Language clinic), including filling or re-filling a prescription at the Taylor pharmacy. If the treatment or appointment at one of the University's on-campus healthcare providers results in a referral to another healthcare provider who is located off campus and the employee wants the time away from work for that subsequent appointment off campus to be paid, then sick leave can be used and the provisions of paragraph 7.2.2 apply.

Whenever employees seek medical treatment or have medical appointments off campus, the provisions of paragraph 7.2.2 apply. If the on-campus treating healthcare provider determines that the employee should not return to work but should be sent home, the employee may use sick leave for the time he/she is at home due to the medical illness or injury. Otherwise, the time away from work while at home will be unpaid unless it is a work-related injury or illness (see Section 6.5 of this handbook for information about Workers' Compensation benefits). The provisions of paragraph 7.2.2 apply regarding the use of sick leave under these circumstances.

Employees may also use sick leave, up to a maximum of 96 hours (12 days) in a fiscal year, due to an illness or injury of the employee's spouse, sponsored dependent, children, parents, mother-in-law, father-in-law, or other family members who require the employee's personal care and attention. If employees need more than 96 hours in a fiscal year to care for a family member who is ill or injured, they may use vacation or compensatory time. Employees may use unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a family member who is ill or injured (see Section 7.7 in this handbook for details about applying for Family and Medical Leave.) Sick leave may also be approved as provided in the policy provision for personal leave. Sick leave, whether for personal illness, family illness, or personal leave, shall be deducted from the employee's accumulated sick leave.

7.2.1 Accrual

Sick leave accrues at the rate of eight hours per pay period (one day); there is no limit on the number of sick leave days that may be accrued or carried forward. The accrual rate applies to full-time 12-month appointments. Staff members with appointments of less than 12 months (e.g., nine-month positions) will accrue sick leave on a basis prorated to full-time, 12-month appointments (e.g., 72 hours per year (nine days) for nine-month appointments). Employees will accrue leave with a minimum of 80 hours paid time in a pay period. Employees who terminate employment or retire from the University will accrue sick leave in the month of termination/retirement provided that they have 80 hours of paid time for that pay period; no partial monthly accruals are allowed.

Employees who are off work due to a work-related injury or illness (i.e., one for which the employee has filed a workers' compensation claim) will not accrue any sick leave if they do not have 80 hours paid time during each pay period that they are off work. Employees may supplement their workers' compensation payments (i.e., the temporary total disability [TTD] payments from the State of Missouri) by using their accrued vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time off during the pay period in order to meet the minimum 80 hours of paid time.

7.2.2 Using Sick Leave

Sick leave may be taken only after time is accrued and recorded at the end of each month. It cannot be taken before it is accrued. Sick leave will be recorded in quarter-hour increments. An absence of less than 15 minutes will be counted as a quarter hour. Employees whose regular work week consists of four 10-hour days will need to record 10 hours of sick leave on their timesheet or leave report which will be deducted from their sick leave balance for each day of sick leave that they take.

Employees who are unable to report to work because they are ill must promptly notify their supervisor (See Section 9.2.1 of this handbook for the policy on employee absence). A supervisor may require an employee who has been absent from work due to illness or injury to provide a doctor's statement or other acceptable proof of illness or injury. Supervisors may require a doctor's statement that includes a release to return to work. Supervisors may also require proof of illness if employees have a poor attendance record or have exhibited a pattern of misusing sick leave.

7.2.2.1 Unused Sick Leave Applied at Retirement

Employees terminating employment for any reason other than qualified retirement are not paid for their unused sick leave. However, the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS) requires that the University report the number of unused sick hours that an employee had at the time the employee terminated employment with the University. If the employee is vested in MOSERS at the time of termination of employment, MOSERS will convert the reported unused sick leave hours into retirement service credit; 168 hours equals one month of service credit. When the employee applies for retirement at some future date when he/she is qualified to retire, MOSERS will include those months of service in the calculation of the retirement benefit amount.

The provisions of this section regarding treatment of sick leave by MOSERS are subject to modification in order to comply with MOSERS requirements. Employees who retire under one of the University's public retirement plans will be paid for 40 percent of any accumulated unused sick leave rounded up or down to the nearest full day (up to a maximum of 384 hours (48 days), and the remaining unused sick leave will be reported to MOSERS for inclusion as creditable service in accordance with MOSERS' policies regarding the reporting of unused sick leave. A qualified retirement is one in which the employee is eligible for and receives a monthly retirement benefit from one of the University's retirement plans (Missouri State Employees' Retirement System).

7.3 Staff Changes to Full-Time, Regular Faculty

Staff employees who are appointed to a full-time, regular faculty position no longer earn vacation or paid sick leave. Vacation and sick leave accrual ceases upon the effective date of appointment to their faculty position responsibilities. Employees who have accrued vacation days are encouraged to use such vacation prior to the start of the faculty position responsibilities. Any earned, unused vacation days not taken prior to the start of the faculty position responsibilities will be paid as a supplemental payment. Any unused sick leave days not taken prior to the start of the faculty position responsibilities will be retained until the employee resigns or retires from the University. Upon resignation or retirement, the unused sick leave days will be reported to MOSERS for inclusion as creditable service in accordance with MOSERS' policy regarding the reporting of unused sick leave.

7.4 Leave Records

All full-time regular employees who are entitled to paid leave benefits must request leave from their supervisor in advance and record leave taken on their timesheet or leave report. Employees may gain access to their personal information on http://my.missouristate.edu/. The Office of Human Resources maintains leave records for all employees.

7.5 Leave Benefits for Academic Administrators and Twelve-Month Academic Professional Employees

7.5.1 Eligibility

All full-time 12-month administrative and professional employees who hold faculty rank are entitled to paid vacation and sick leave benefits described in this policy. The 12-month academic employees include executive/administrative, deans, academic department heads, and other administrative and professional employees. Leave benefits take effect at the time an employee is appointed to an eligible 12-month position. Generally, a 12-month academic appointment coincides with the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30).

7.5.2 Vacation Leave Accrual and Use

Employees will accrue leave with a minimum of 80 hours paid time in a pay period. Vacation time will accrue at a rate of 13.34 hours per pay period or 160 hours per year (20 days). Employees accrue vacation monthly and may carry days forward from one month to the next. The maximum amount of vacation that can be carried forward from one fiscal year to the next cannot exceed two times the employee's annual allowance. For example, if an employee earns vacation at the rate of 13.34 hours each pay period, or 160 hours per year (20 days), the employee may carry forward up to a maximum of 320 hours (40 days). Any amount of leave over the maximum accumulation of two times the annual allowance is lost at the end of the fiscal year (June 30) in which the maximum accumulation amount has been reached.

Vacation may be taken only after time is accrued and recorded at the end of each month. It cannot be taken before it is accrued or in anticipation of it being recorded at the end of the month. Vacations may be taken as weekly periods, individual days, or in half-day increments as long as the period chosen meets with departmental approval and there is a sufficient leave balance available.

7.5.3 Sick Leave Accrual and Use

Upon assuming their duties as academic administrators or professionals, faculty will be extended an initial allotment of sick leave. Sick leave can be either “earned” or “unearned”. Earned sick leave is referred to simply as sick leave and is defined as follows:

  • An allotment of days (at the rate of one day per month) that was given to all academic administrators/professionals who were serving in their positions on July 1, 1992 based upon the appropriate amount of sick leave they would have accumulated prior to implementation of the sick leave system for academic administrators/professionals on that date. The allotment of sick leave for service prior to July 1, 1992 was capped at 120 days and was previously referred to as “back-up” sick leave and/or
  • The accrual of days (at the rate of one day per month) after July 1, 1992, while serving in an academic administrator/professional position.

Unearned Sick Leave is defined as an allotment of sick leave days, based upon the faculty member's months of service at Missouri State University (exclusive of any months of service as an academic administrator/professional), granted at the rate of one day of sick leave for each month of service and is capped at a maximum of 120 days.

Sick leave accrues at the rate of eight hours per pay period (1 day); there is no limit on the number of earned sick leave days that may be accrued or carried forward. This system allows employees the opportunity to accumulate a substantial amount of paid sick leave in the event of an accident or long-term illness. Employees will accrue leave with a minimum of 80 hours paid time in a pay period. Employees who terminate employment or retire from the University will accrue sick leave in the month of termination/retirement provided that they have 80 hours of paid time for that pay period; no partial monthly accruals are allowed.

Sick leave may be taken as leave accrues for employee illness or injury which renders the employee incapable of performing the duties of the position and for preventative medical and dental care. A limited amount of sick leave may also be used due to the illness or injury of the employee's spouse, sponsored dependent, child(ren), parents, mother-in-law, father-in-law, or other family members who require the employee's personal care and attention. A maximum of twelve days each fiscal year can be used for such illness or injury. Sick leave may be taken only after time is accrued and recorded at the end of each month. It cannot be taken before it is accrued or in anticipation of it being recorded at the end of the month.

Three days of sick leave per fiscal year may be granted for any reason deemed important to an employee and as outlined in Paragraph 6.6 below.

Employees who are off work due to a work-related injury or illness (i.e., one for which the employee has filed a workers' compensation claim) will not accrue any sick leave if they do not have 80 hours paid time during each pay period that they are off work. Employees may supplement their workers' compensation payments (i.e., the temporary total disability [TTD] payments from the State of Missouri) by using their accrued vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time off during the pay period in order to meet the minimum 80 hours of paid time.

7.5.4 Leave Records

An academic administrator or 12-month academic professional may elect not to complete the Leave Report if he/she signs an agreement that he/she will not ask for payment for unused vacation or sick leave upon retirement or return to a nine-month faculty position.

Academic Administrators/Professionals who are entitled to paid leave benefits must request leave from their supervisor in advance and record leave taken on their leave report. Employees may gain access to their personal information on http://my.missouristate.edu/. The Office of Human Resources maintains leave records for all employees.

7.5.5 Changes in Employment Status

7.5.5.1 Retirement

A qualifying retirement is one in which the academic administrator or 12-month academic professional, at the time he/she leaves the University, is eligible for and receives a monthly retirement benefit in the University's retirement plans: Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS) and College and University Retirement Plan (CURP). Academic administrators and professionals who retire from the University while serving in a 12-month position are entitled to payment for all accrued, unused vacation time. They will also be paid for forty percent up to a maximum of 384 hours (48 days) of their accumulated earned, unused sick leave. Employees retiring under the MOSERS plan will have the remaining earned, unused sick leave reported to MOSERS for inclusion as creditable service in accordance with MOSERS' policies. However, the remaining earned, unused sick leave days will not be reported to the CURP retirement plan for service credit because CURP does not recognize service credit as a component of its retirement benefit calculation. Calculation of the unused sick leave upon which the forty percent payment is based will not include the days allotted as unearned sick leave.

7.5.5.2 Transfer/Return to a Nine-month Faculty Position

When an academic administrator or 12-month academic professional transfers from a 12-month position to a nine-month faculty position, he/she is no longer entitled to paid leave benefits under this policy. Upon assuming the responsibilities of the nine-month faculty position, faculty leave benefits as described in the Faculty Handbook will apply. The employee is expected to use all accumulated vacation leave before the nine-month faculty appointment begins. Any earned, unused vacation days not taken prior to the start of the nine-month faculty position responsibilities will be paid.

Academic administrators and 12-month academic professionals transferring from their 12-month position to a nine-month faculty position are not entitled to receive payment for any unused sick time; however, they will retain their earned, unused sick days while serving as faculty. If an academic administrator or professional, who has transferred from a 12-month position to a nine-month faculty position, subsequently retires from the University, he/she will not be paid for the forty percent of his/her earned sick leave days. However, if the retirement occurs after July 1, 2000 and is under MOSERS, the University will report to MOSERS the number of earned, unused sick leave days the employee accrued while serving in the 12-month position in accordance with MOSERS' policy regarding the reporting of unused sick leave for service credit. The days allotted as unearned sick leave will not be reported to MOSERS.

7.5.5.3 Resignation

Academic administrators and 12-month academic professionals who terminate their employment with the University while serving in a 12-month position are entitled to payment for all unused vacation time, but are not entitled to payment for forty percent of the earned, unused sick leave. For MOSERS participants the University will report the number of earned, unused sick leave days the person accrued while serving in the 12-month position in accordance with MOSERS' policy regarding the reporting of unused sick leave. For CURP participants the University will not report the number of unused sick leave days earned because CURP does not recognize service credit as a component of its retirement benefit calculation.

7.6 Personal Leave

Full-time, regular employees may use up to three days of accrued sick leave each fiscal year as personal leave. Personal leave may be granted for any reason deemed important to the employee. Examples of occasions for which employees may want to use a day of sick leave as a day of personal leave might include:

  • Community service
  • Legal business
  • Household repairs
  • Personal or family birthday, anniversary, graduation
  • Other personal business or significant event.

Personal leave will not be granted for an absence due to inclement weather conditions when the University needs all employees possible to report to work.

Personal leave may be taken in four-hour increments.

If an employee decides to use a day of sick leave as a day of personal leave, the day will be deducted from his/her accrued sick leave balance. Personal leave does not accumulate from one fiscal year to the next. Employees who do not use all their personal leave one year will not have additional personal leave the next year; only three days of sick leave can be used as personal leave in any fiscal year. If an employee does not use personal leave, the sick leave will remain as accrued sick leave.

7.6.1 Guidelines and Procedures

Personal leave will be approved by the department unless the absence would cause a severe work scheduling problem or an unreasonable hardship on the other workers in the department. Requests for personal leave must be submitted to the employee's supervisor.  The request must be submitted at least three working days before the anticipated personal leave. Exceptions to this three-day advance notice will be allowed when the absence is of a true emergency nature due to illness in the immediate family or other urgent personal business. An explanation of the emergency nature of the leave must be satisfactory to the supervisor if an exception to the three-day advance notice requirement is to be approved.

7.7 Family and Medical Leave

Missouri State University provides Family and Medical Leave (FML) in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and subsequent amendments. FMLA provides eligible employees who work for covered employers the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave for absences due to a qualifying event. This policy outlines information also obtained in the Department of Labor poster. The terms referenced in this policy are defined as outlined in Department of Labor regulations and any inconsistencies between this policy and the regulations are resolved in favor of the regulations (29 CFR Part 825).

Employee Eligibility

Eligible employees who have a qualifying event and provide appropriate notice and requested certification(s) are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave and health insurance continuation during a rolling 12-month period, except military caregiver leave which can be up to 26 weeks. The minimum requirements for an employee to be eligible for FML:

  1. worked for the University for at least 12 months;
  2. worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to when the leave will commence;
  3. has not used all available FML in the 12 months prior to when the leave will commence; and
  4. has a qualifying event.

Qualifying Event

A qualifying event under FMLA includes:

  1. Birth and care of the employee’s newborn child;
  2. Placement of a child with the employee for adoption, or by the State for foster care;
  3. To care for the employee’s spouse, sponsored dependent, child or parent with a serious health condition (this does not include in-laws);
  4. The employee’s own serious health condition that prevents him or her from performing the employee’s job;
  5. “Any qualifying exigency” for an employee’s spouse, sponsored dependent, child, or parent on active military duty or being called to active military duty; or
  6. To care for a spouse, sponsored dependent, child, parent, or next-of-kin who is a member of the Armed Forces and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness suffered in the line of duty on active duty.

Amount and Timing of Leave

Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FML during a rolling 12-month period for the first five qualifying events above.  Only military caregiver leave, the 6th qualifying event above, provides an entitlement to 26 weeks.  The 12-month period is defined as the 12 months prior to when the leave will commence. Eligible employees may take leave in the following manner:

  • Family leave for the birth or adoption of a child must be taken within 12 months of the birth or adoption of the child.
  • Leave for birth or adoption shall be limited to one consecutive leave period; it may not be taken on an intermittent or reduced time basis, e.g., every other day or a couple of hours every day.
  • As consecutive weeks or on an intermittent basis when medically necessary, or for qualifying exigencies.  Employees must attempt to schedule intermittent leave to minimize disruption of normal operations

Employee Request and Notice

The Family and Medical Leave Act not only mandates certain protections and benefits for employees who apply for it, but also specifies that it is the employer's responsibility to determine when an employee's absence should be considered as protected leave under this law. Thus, the University has the legal authority to consider an employee's absence as family and medical leave when it has sufficient evidence that the absence is due to an FMLA-qualifying reason, or the circumstances of the absence are such that the University should reasonably suspect that the absence is for an FMLA purpose, even if the employee has not applied for family and medical leave.

An employee requesting leave under the FMLA provision will complete a FMLA Leave Request form or letter of request and submit it to the Office of Human Resources and a copy to his/her department head.  The Office of Human Resources will inform the employee about the procedure and the need to submit complete and sufficient supporting medical and/or military documentation.   If the University requires medical certification to support a request for Family and Medical Leave, the employee will have 15 calendar days from the date he/she receives the FMLA packet from the Office of Human Resources to provide the University with such certification. Failure to provide the medical certification may result in a delay or denial of the requested leave. The Office of Human Resources shall have final approval of all family leave requests.

When leave is foreseeable, an employee must give the University 30 days advance notice. In addition, when foreseeable leave is for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the University's operations. If it is not possible to provide 30 days notice, as much notice as is practical must be provided.

An employee on leave is required to report any change in his/her status, duration of leave, or intent to return to Office of Human Resources.  During the leave, the University may require periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.  

Pay and Benefits During Leave

The Office of Human Resources will promptly inform the employee of the status of pay and benefits.   FML is usually unpaid, but the employee may use accrued, unused paid time off, such as vacation or sick leave, during the absence.  An employee electing to use any type of paid leave concurrently with FML must follow the same terms and conditions of the leave policies that apply to other employees for use of paid leave.

If an employee elects not to use accrued paid leave or has none available, the FML will be unpaid.  While on an unpaid FML, employees will not accrue sick or vacation time during a month in which they have not been paid for 80 or more hours.  Additionally, employees on FML will not be paid for a holiday(s) that occurs during the period that they are on Family and Medical Leave.

Continuation of Benefits during Family and Medical Leave For the duration of the approved Family and Medical Leave, the University will maintain the employee’s benefits at the same level and under the same conditions as if the employee had continued work. The employee is required to continue to pay his/her contribution to dependent insurance or other elective benefit costs.  If on paid leave, premiums will be deducted from pay as usual.  If some or all of the leave will be without pay, information on how and when to make premium payments will be provided to the employee.  If necessary, employees will be allowed to discontinue coverage and be reinstated to the plan, if they return to work on or before expiration of the Family and Medical leave. 

If the employee does not return to work with the University, or returns for less than a period of 30 days after the leave has ended, the employee will owe the University the cost of any benefits provided during the entire duration of the Family and Medical Leave, including the employer contribution to the employee’s health benefits.  No such amount shall be owed if there is a reoccurrence or onset of a serious health condition, or if, in the opinion of the University, there is a change of circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

Return to Work

Employees should notify the Office of Human Resources of their intent to return to work two weeks prior to the anticipated date of return, or of any medically necessary changes in the date of return.  If the leave was due to a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA, the University will require a “fitness for duty” certification from the health care provider, verifying the employee’s ability to return to work, with or without restrictions.  Employees may also be required to submit to a medical examination before returning to work.  If employees return to work on or before the expiration of available FML, they will normally be returned to their former position or an equivalent job.  If, however, they do not return at the expiration of FML, there is no guarantee of reinstatement. 

7.8 Catastrophic Medical Leave

The University provides a paid leave benefit for full-time, regular employees who have exhausted all of their sick, vacation, and compensatory time, yet are unable to work due to suffering an extreme, life-threatening illness, injury or impairment (physical or mental) which requires continuing treatment/supervision by a health care provider and which is likely to cause the employee to take a prolonged leave without pay or likely to result in a substantial permanent disability leading to termination of employment with the University. Catastrophic medical leave may only be granted for an employee's extreme, life-threatening illness, injury or impairment; it cannot be granted to an employee to care for an injured or ill family member.

Catastrophic medical leave may be granted for a maximum of four weeks (i.e., 20 work days, exclusive of any University holiday) during any 12-month period and will only be granted as consecutive, full days. It cannot be approved as intermittent leave (e.g., every other day off) or under a reduced work schedule arrangement (e.g., just working four hours daily). Employees on an approved catastrophic medical leave will also be paid for any University holiday that occurs during the approved period of the catastrophic medical leave. The holiday will not count as a day in the approved catastrophic medical leave period.

Employees on an approved catastrophic medical leave will continue to receive their salary, and all of the fringe benefits available to full-time, regular employees will be continued.  The monthly premiums for all voluntary or supplemental benefits (e.g., family medical, family dental, dependent life insurance, supplemental life insurance) elected by the employee will be paid through the regular payroll deduction method.

Catastrophic medical leave will count toward the allowable period of Family & Medical Leave as delineated in Section 7.7 of this handbook. Availability of allowable Family & Medical Leave time is not a determining factor in eligibility for catastrophic medical leave.

Employees granted catastrophic medical leave must apply for long-term disability.  Catastrophic medical leave cannot be continued once an employee is approved for long-term disability even if the approved period of the catastrophic medical leave has not been completed.

7.8.1 Catastrophic Medical Conditions

The determination of whether an employee's medical condition qualifies as a catastrophic medical condition will be based upon the documentation provided by the employee's licensed health care provider that the employee suffers from an extreme, life-threatening illness, injury or impairment (physical or mental) which requires continuing treatment/supervision by a health care provider and which is likely to cause the employee to take a prolonged leave without pay or to terminate employment with the University. While a comprehensive list of specific medical conditions that would qualify an employee for catastrophic medical leave is not provided in this handbook, the medical conditions listed here could be so extremely serious as to qualify for the leave. This list should not be considered as all inclusive or a guarantee of leave approval because each request is reviewed and considered on its own merits.

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Organ failure/transplant
  • Fetal endangerment
  • Coma

7.8.2 Applying for Catastrophic Medical Leave

Applications for Catastrophic Medical Leave are available in the Office of Human Resources. To apply for catastrophic medical leave, an employee must complete a Catastrophic Medical Leave Request form and provide a certification from the his/her physician regarding the extreme, life-threatening illness, injury or impairment (physical or mental) which requires continuing treatment/supervision by a health care provider. Detailed information about Catastrophic Medical Leave can be found on the Human Resources' web page at: www.missouristate.edu/human/HumResForms.htm.

7.8.3 Catastrophic Medical Leave Review Committee

In order to promote University-wide consistency in the granting of catastrophic medical leave and the length of such leaves, all requests for catastrophic medical leave will be reviewed by the Catastrophic Medical Leave Review Committee.  If necessary, the committee may request that the employee or other persons familiar with the employee's situation or who can offer expertise on the matter being considered meet with the committee. The committee should render its opinion and recommendation to the Office of Human Resources within 10 working days of receipt of the request and all relevant documentation and information.  

7.8.4 Approval of Catastrophic Medical Leave

Approval authority for granting a request for catastrophic medical leave rests with the requesting employee's Cost Center Administrator. Cost Center Administrators will be required to fund any additional costs incurred by granting of catastrophic medical leave, such as the costs in hiring a temporary employee or the costs for supplemental salary paid to an employee who picks up the work load of the employee on catastrophic medical leave. The Cost Center Administrator should render his/her decision within five working days of receipt of the request.

7.8.5 Appeal of Catastrophic Medical Leave

If the decision by the Cost Center Administrator is to deny the request for catastrophic medical leave or to grant a period of leave different (i.e., fewer days or more days) from the period recommended by the committee, the employee requesting the leave may appeal the decision to the University President.

7.9 Funeral Leave

Employees may be excused from work, with pay, in the event of a funeral for their spouse, sponsored dependent, children, mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother, sister, step-mother, step-father, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents and great-grandparents, spouse's/sponsored dependent's grandparents and great-grandparents, step-brother, step-sister, step-children, step-grandparents, and step-grandchildren. The employee's supervisor may grant funeral leave for up to five consecutive work days for each funeral involving a family member listed in this policy. Time not worked because of funeral leave will be paid at the employee's regular, straight time, hourly rate.

7.10 Military Leave

The University recognizes the important role of the National Guard and Reserves and supports employee participation. The following provisions apply for military leave of absence when an employee is required by a branch of the armed forces to attend an annual training session or serve under emergency mobilization orders.

Employees are entitled to a leave of absence, without the loss of pay, position, seniority, accumulated leave, impairment of performance appraisal, pay status, work schedule, and any other right or benefits to which the employee is entitled in order to perform military service. Such military leave may not exceed 120 hours during a federal fiscal year (Oct – Sept), and only those hours when the employee would otherwise be required to work had it not been for such military leave will be counted toward the 120 hour limit. In the event of an emergency mobilization order, the employee is eligible to be retained on leave of absence status without pay for the duration of the mobilization orders. An employee may choose, but is not required, to use accumulated vacation leave before going on leave of absence without pay. Employees must furnish the University with a copy of their official military orders in order to receive paid military leave or approved unpaid leave of absence status. If reservists or members of the National Guard are called to active duty, they will have rehire and other benefits as prescribed by federal law in Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). See Section 6.6 of this handbook for insurance information.

7.11 Court Leave/Jury Duty

An employee will be granted leave with pay if selected for jury duty or subpoenaed to serve as a witness in a court of law. Any compensation received for service as a juror or as a witness (except the payment of mileage) must be turned in to the University if paid court leave is requested. The employee must provide a copy of the summons or subpoena and the compensation received from the court to the Office of Human Resources. In addition, the employee must record the leave on their timesheet or leave report. Court compensation can be retained by the employee if the employee chooses to take leave without pay. Paid court leave is not available to an employee when the employee is the named plaintiff or defendant.

7.12 Voting Leave

If an employee is eligible to vote in any local, state, or national election in the State of Missouri, the employee will normally be able to vote before or after work. If an employee does not have three successive hours between the opening and closing of the polls on election day when he/she is not scheduled to work, the employee will be excused from work with pay for up to three consecutive hours between the time of opening and the time of closing the polls for the purpose of voting. If the employee plans to take time off for voting, arrangements must be made with the supervisor prior to election day, and the University may specify any three hours between the time of opening and closing of the polls during which the employee may be absent to vote.

7.13 Leave Without Pay

An employee may be granted leave without pay for a prolonged period but may not exceed six months in any 12-month period.  A Personnel Action Form must be initiated and approved by the proper authority prior to the leave. Any unpaid leave taken as Family and Medical Leave shall be subtracted from the six months of leave without pay allowable in any 12-month period. Leave without pay is intended to be taken in full-day increments. Leave without pay may be granted under the following conditions:

  • When such leave is for prolonged illness or injury extending beyond accumulated vacation or sick leave. Family and Medical Leave will count toward the six-month leave without pay.
  • When an employee will attend a college, university, or other school for the purpose of training in subjects relating to a job where there will be benefits to both the employee and the University.
  • Because of seasonal fluctuations in the work schedules at the University.
  • Under special circumstances, an employee may be granted leave without pay for a specific purpose other than those listed above with the approval of the appropriate major administrator.

Leave without pay is not intended to be granted when the employee has paid vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time off available to be used, except under those circumstances listed above.

Employees on leave without pay will not earn paid sick leave or vacation, will not have their insurance coverages paid by the University, nor will they be paid for a holiday that occurs during the period that they are on leave without pay. Nine- and ten-month staff employees, however, will have their basic insurance coverages (employee medical and dental, life, accidental death & dismemberment, and long-term disability coverages), paid by the University during the summer months when they are otherwise not at work but are expected to return to work. Nine- and ten-month employees are considered to be on leave without pay during the summer when they are otherwise not at work.   The Department must complete a Personnel Action Form documenting the period of their absence while on leave without pay. If an employee desires to maintain insurance coverages during a leave without pay, arrangements must be made with the Office of Human Resources at least 60 days prior to the leave, and premiums must be paid one month in advance of the month of insurance coverage.

7.14 Severe Weather

Refer to Section 2.15 on Severe Weather for information pertaining to absence during inclement weather.

7.15 University Closings

Refer to Section 2.15 for information pertaining to absences when the University is officially closed.

7.16 On-the-job Injuries/Workers' Compensation

Refer to Section 6.5 of this handbook for information pertaining to absence due to on-the-job injuries covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance.

7.17 Holidays

The University observes several paid holidays throughout the year during which all employees, except those engaged in continuous operations, will be excused from work. Seven holidays always observed include the following days:

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Day After Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Each year, additional days off may be designated by the University President. These days are referred to as “extra given days”.

An employee shall be paid for a holiday only if it falls during the employee's pay period and the employee worked or was on an approved paid leave (e.g., vacation or sick), including compensatory time off, on his/her regular scheduled work day prior to the holiday.

  • Employees who are not scheduled to work during their pay period in which a holiday occurs (for example, nine or ten-month employees or employees on leave without pay) will not be paid for the holiday.
  • Employees scheduled to work but absent without pay on the day before a recognized University holiday will not be paid for the holiday.
  • Employees who are on Family and Medical Leave or a leave without pay on a day that is a recognized University holiday will not be paid for that holiday.
  • Employees who are off work due to a work-related injury or illness (i.e., one for which the employee has filed a workers' compensation claim) will not be paid for the holiday. However, employees who are supplementing their workers' compensation payments (i.e., the temporary total disability [TTD] payments from the State of Missouri) by using their accrued vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time off will be paid for the holiday.
  • Employees whose regular work week consists of four 10-hour days will receive eight hours of holiday pay for all recognized University holidays. The employee will need to use vacation, compensatory time, or actual work hours during the week in which the recognized University holiday occurs in order to be paid for the remaining two hours of the holiday.

Nonexempt employees who are eligible to receive overtime compensation will be paid additional compensation if required to work on a holiday. The rate of compensation will be one and one-half times the regular straight-time rate for the hours worked on any of the seven holidays listed above or one times the regular straight-time rate for the hours worked on any "extra given day." This overtime compensation is in addition to the regular day's pay. The seven holidays listed above will be counted as "hours worked" toward 40 hours for the purpose of payment of overtime.

This policy does not apply to employees who are terminating employment or retiring: see Section 3.20.2 of this handbook.

7.18 Summer Leave

At the President’s discretion, the University may allow full-time staff employees to take a maximum of four days (32 hours) of paid leave during the summer months beginning the Monday following May graduation up to the week before the week in which the Fall Semester begins.  The purpose of this policy is to provide a work/life benefit for employees in order to have more time for families and personal responsibilities during the summer.  It is also important to understand that, in all cases, departments need to maintain normal operational work hours.  Employees must be scheduled to work and not on unpaid leave during this time frame to be eligible for the leave days.  The summer leave days will not be charged against vacation, personal or sick days and will not carryover from summer to summer or be paid if not used.  The leave can be taken in increments no less than four hours and must be entered as summer leave on the employee’s time sheet or leave report.

7. 19 Shared Leave 

7.19.1 Purpose 

To provide a safety net against salary interruption for eligible employees who have a qualifying event causing them to be unable to perform their assigned job duties. Donations of leave hours by employees provide income to an affected employee who would otherwise be on unpaid leave. The purpose is not to provide unlimited sick leave for any medical reason. By Board Resolution this program will be effective for use July 1, 2012 and will be subject to review at the end of two years.

7.19.2  Scope 

This policy applies to all full-time benefit eligible employees in a leave-earning position.

7.19.3  Policy 

Eligible employees may voluntarily donate accumulated vacation as defined by the Employee Handbook to a Shared Leave Pool (SLP) to aid eligible employees who are unable to work due to a qualifying event.  Donations shall not be made directly from one employee to another, but shall be made to the University pool established for this purpose.

The donation of leave is strictly voluntary.  No employee may intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee with respect to donating or receiving leave under this program.  Individual leave records that apply to Shared Leave are confidential and no individual employees shall receive remuneration of any kind for leave donated.  Shared leave is for employee’s health condition only.

7.19.4 Eligibility

  1. Receiving Shared Leave
    1. Employee must have worked at least one-year at Missouri State University continuously from the date of employment and be in a leave-earning position to apply for SLP benefits.
    2. Employee must have donated at least 24 hours of earned leave to the bank prior to requesting leave from the pool in order to receive donations from the SLP.
    3. Employee must have experienced a qualifying event.
    4. Employee must have exhausted all accrued vacation and sick leave.
    5. Employee must return to work for six continuous months following the last day of use of the donated time, if maximum amount of approved SLP benefits were used, before becoming eligible to apply for additional benefits from the pool.
  2. Donating Shared Leave
    1. Vacation leave may be donated upon accrual.
    2. Employee contribution may not exceed 32 hours, unless the Office of Human Resources has communicated a need for additional days.  In that case, employee(s) may contribute additional day(s) up to the limit requested at that time.
    3. Time must be donated in whole hours with a minimum donation of 8 hours. 

7.19.5 Shared Leave (SL) Committee 

  1. The SL Committee shall be comprised of six (6) members:  two (2) administrators, one (1) Office of Human Resources representative and three (3) Staff Senate members.  The Director of Human Resources will act as an ex officio member of the Committee.  The Committee will be categorized as a University Committee.
  2. Members of the Shared Leave Committee shall serve a two year calendar term with the exception of one (1) at Staff Senate member, which will serve a one year term. The other Staff Senate members will serve a two year term. Thereafter, the one year Staff Senate appointee will serve a two year term which will allow the Staff Senate membership to be replaced on alternate years.  In the event that the appointed Staff Senate member’s term on Staff Senate ends before the term on the Shared Leave Committee, a new appointee will be appointed by their respective body.
  3. Committee appointment will be determined as follows:
    1. Staff Senate members will be appointed by the Staff Senate
    2. Human Resources representative will be appointed by the Vice President Administrative and Information Services
    3. Two (2) administrators will be appointed by the University President
  4. The Committee will vote a new Chair and Vice Chair each year at the first meeting in July.  Terms will run July – June. 
  5. The Committee must sign a HIPAA Compliant Confidentiality Agreement promising to maintain all information on a confidential basis.  Any breach of confidentiality will result in the committee member being excused and a replacement member being appointed.  In addition, disciplinary action, up to and including termination of an employee may be taken as a result of any breach of confidentiality.
    1. Examples of a breach of confidentiality include, but are not limited to:
      1. Speaking of applicant’s name and/or health condition outside of committee
      2. Speaking of applicant’s number of hours requested outside of committee
      3. Speaking of the committee’s decision and reasoning for granting or not granting benefits from the leave pool outside of committee.
  6. The SL Committee will determine whether the employee request falls under the qualifying events guidelines.  
  7. The Committee will review all applications for the SLP and shall follow the criteria set out in this policy to approve or disapprove the request for SLP benefits. The Committee’s decision is final.  
  8. The Committee will convene as needed to review applications and approve or disapprove a SLP request. A minimum of four (4) committee members must be present to constitute a quorum. Name of applicant will remain anonymous.  
  9. In the event that the SLP falls below 200 hours or $25,000.00, no more shared leave will be authorized until more hours are available. Lowered leave levels may determine leave distributions. If insufficient balances are experienced, the Office of Human Resources may send a communication to eligible employees indicating such a need but may not under any circumstances coerce an employee(s) to contribute leave time.

7.19.6 Procedures 

  1. General
    1. The maximum amount of SLP benefits accessible to a recipient cannot exceed one-third of the balance of the pool, or 320 hours leave time, whichever is less.
    2. If an employee receives a medical release to return to work prior to using all hours granted, the unused balance of hours granted returns to the SLP.
    3. Employees receiving a medical release for return to work on a part-time basis (i.e., fewer hours per day per week than the regular work schedule), may continue to use donated leave for the balance of the regular work schedule until medically released for full duty.
    4. If intermittent treatment is required, unused approved SLP benefits may be provided on an as-needed basis until the employee has been approved by their attending physician to return to work full-time.
    5. It is not possible to make back-payments to a SLP recipient who may have already taken some leave without pay.  Donated time will be available for use by the recipient in accordance with regular payroll procedures and deadlines.
    6. SLP hours may not be converted to cash.
    7. The estate of a deceased employee is not entitled to payment for approved unused SLP hours.
    8. If an employee earns additional leave benefits while drawing from the SLP, employee must use those hours before additional SL pool hours are used.
    9. Eligible employees must apply for FMLA leave in conjunction with leave used from the SLP.
  2. Requesting Leave
    1. Employees will request leave from the SLP at the My Missouri State portal. Designees for the employee may request leave by completing the Request For SLP Leave available in the Office of Human Resources.
    2. Any employee requesting leave from the SLP must sign a HIPAA release and provide an attending physician’s statement indicating the reason for the leave, beginning date of health condition and anticipated date employee will be able to return to work. These forms will be provided by the Office of Human Resources.
    3. After receiving an application, the Office of Human Resources office will verify the employee’s eligibility and status, including current accumulated vacation.
    4. The Director of Human Resources will notify the employee of the decision within five (5) business days of a decision by the Committee.
    5. If the application is approved, the Office of Human Resources will make the transfer of hours from the University’s SLP to the employee’s leave balance. The time sheet or leave request should be submitted with hours designated as shared leave at the recipient employee’s rate of pay.   Shared Leave time may not be recorded for payroll purposes until the application has been approved.
    6. The application form may be submitted up to 30 days in advance of need.
  3. Donation of Leave
    1. An employee wishing to donate leave to the shared leave donation bank will submit their donation online through the portal at My Missouri State.
    2. After receiving a donation form, the Office of Human Resources will verify the employee’s eligibility and status, including current accumulated leave balances and, upon verification, transfer donated leave from employee’s balance to the SLP.
    3. The Office of Human Resources will, upon completing an exit interview at the time an employee ends his or her employment with Missouri State University, ask the employee if he or she wishes to donate leave to the SLP. 

7.19.7 Qualifying Events

The determination of whether an employee's medical condition qualifies for the SLP will be based upon the documentation provided by the employee's licensed health care provider that the employee suffers from an illness, injury or impairment (physical or mental) which requires continuing treatment/supervision by a health care provider and which is likely to cause the employee to take a prolonged leave without pay from the University.  While a comprehensive list of specific medical conditions that would qualify an employee for leave is not provided in this handbook, the medical conditions listed here could qualify for the leave.  This list should not be considered as all inclusive or a guarantee of leave approval because each request is reviewed and considered on its own merit.

  • Major medical procedures
  • Cancer treatments
  • Stroke
  • Serious health conditions