Catastrophic Health Condition (staff)
The University recognizes that in exceptional circumstances an employee may experience a personal catastrophic health event which causes him/her to be absent from work for an extended period of time. In such circumstances, an employee may be eligible to apply for a catastrophic health condition leave benefit from the University.
It is the policy of the University for all employees to regularly attend work and comply with the various leave plans provided by the University when scheduling absences from work. The University recognizes that in exceptional circumstances an employee may experience a personal catastrophic health event which causes him/her to be absent from work for an extended period of time. In such circumstances, an employee may be eligible to apply for a catastrophic health condition leave benefit from the University.
For purposes of this benefit, a Catastrophic Illness or Injury is defined as a severe medical condition or combination of conditions which:
- is incurable, or, if not treated, would likely result in the total incapacitation or debilitation of the mental or physical health of the employee for an extended period of time;
- requires continuing treatment by a health care provider;
- requires absence from work for a prolonged period of time;
- renders the employee unable to perform the essential duties of their position for a prolonged period of time; and,
- results in a potential substantial loss of income to the employee because of the exhaustion of all accrued sick and vacation leave time.
A qualifying illness or injury might include, but is not limited to: terminal illness (physical or mental), cancer/cancer treatments, major non-elective surgery, near fatal accident or injury, serious heart conditions, stroke, complications of pregnancy or elective surgery, etc.
This policy applies to all benefit-eligible staff employees.
1. The employee must have been employed for at least one year, be benefit-eligible, and be in current good standing.
2. The employee must have applied for a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave under the University’s FMLA Policy and must complete all of the required documentation included in the University’s FMLA Policy.
3. The employee must have exhausted all of their sick leave and vacation leave accruals.
4. The employee must not be receiving worker’s compensation payments, group disability payments, or be on any other pay status with the University.
5. If the employee remains incapacitated after exhausting all leave accruals, the University will advance the employee up to 22 Normal Working Days of sick leave (a Normal Working Day is 8 hours; 22 Normal Working Days would result in a negative leave accrual balance of -176 hours). This amount will be pro-rated for benefit-eligible employees working part-time.
6. If the employee remains incapacitated after exhausting the additional 22 Normal Working Days of advanced sick leave, the University will provide up to 22 Normal Working Days of University-funded short-term disability pay (pro-rated for benefit-eligible employees working part-time). These additional days will NOT increase the employee’s negative sick leave accrual balance.
7. The employee should complete and submit long-term disability paperwork in accordance with the University’s Group Long Term Disability Insurance coverage provisions.
8. If the employee remains incapacitated after exhausting the 22 Normal Working Days of University-funded short-term disability leave pay, no further remuneration will be paid by the University and the employee will only be subject to benefits under the University’s Group Long Term Disability Insurance coverage as determined by the insurance carrier and in accordance with the insurance contract provisions.
Appeals for exceptions to this policy, or any provision thereof, must be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA). A committee appointed by the VPFA (subject to the restrictions of health information privacy practices) shall review each appeal on its individual merit. The committee will recommend a course of action to the VPFA, whose decision in the case of the appeal is final.
This policy is subject to periodic review by the Senior Staff.
APPROVED BY THE SENIOR STAFF ON APRIL 18, 2005