Accessing Up to One Semester Paid Medical Leave

The following steps are taken when the need for up to a full semester of paid leave is requested for medical or health reasons pursuant to 6.6.6 and 6.6.7. of the Missouri State Faculty Handbook:

  1. Faculty must keep the Department Head up to date so that necessary planning for course and other departmental activities may be covered during an absence due to illness or planned medical procedures.
  2. The faculty must notify the designated person in HR that there will be documentation in order to comply with FMLA from a doctor forthcoming indicating the need. The HR designee provides FMLA paperwork to the faculty member.
  3. HR evaluates the medical leave request and notifies the faculty member and Department of the documentation in terms of its adequacy for the purpose of granting the extended medical leave.
  4. The Provost Office is also notified by HR in writing that the required documentation is on file prior to the granting of the leave.
    1. Rationale: The purpose of this communication is to assure a standardized approach for consistency/compliance in handling medical leaves across the university and to assure that necessary documentation is on file in HR as part of the consideration of the request.
  5. In most cases, the Provost or designee has discussed with the Dean and/or Department Head, the request for the leave. In all cases, both the Dean and the Department Head must approve the paid leave and agree on the funding approach and plans for covering courses during the time away
  6. The Provost or designee will send a communication to the faculty indicating whether the paid leave has been granted and provide a date by when the Department Head should be notified that return for work for the following semester is possible. A statement from the doctor indicating a release to return to work full duty must be provided to HR prior to the faculty returning to duties in the department. (Note: Unpaid FMLA may also be used and HR will notify all parties of approval of unpaid leave. If the employee has temporary work restrictions, efforts must be undertaken to see if reasonable accommodations can be made through their department or the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance.)

    The faculty member may return at some point during the period of approved medical leave provided there is a doctor’s release to return to work as stated above. Faculty are encouraged to work closely with HR on accessing other benefits such as Long-Term Disability (LTD) during the leave if it is anticipated that additional time off beyond one semester will be necessary. An additional request for a full semester of paid medical leave, which occurs within a year after the initial full semester leave, may not be granted due to funding and other departmental, college, or university factors. 
  7. Finally, the Department Head must initiate a personnel action form (PAF) specifying the nature of the leave for approval by the Dean and the Office of the Provost. When the faculty member returns from the leave another personnel action form must be completed.