Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 7/1/1978

Revised: 7/1/2013

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SPP 705–01: Extended Leave of Absence

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Purpose

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To provide a procedure whereby an employee may request an extended leave of absence

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Sources

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Arizona Revised Statutes § 38–781
Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–805
University policy

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Applicability

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Benefits-eligible classified employees, university staff, and non-faculty administrators

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Policy

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An employee may request an extended leave of absence for the following:

  1. personal reasons

    or

  2. additional time after the employee’s Family Medical Leave has expired

    or

  3. medical reasons, if the employee is not eligible for Family Medical Leave.

Requests for extended leave will be considered by the supervisor and may be granted based on a case-by-case determination consistent with the provisions of federal and state law. In no instance will combined sick leave, Family Medical Leave, extended leave, or any combination of paid or unpaid leaves be for more than 12 consecutive months.


Requesting Leave

The employee must submit a written leave request to the supervisor stating the reason for the leave and the duration (dates) of the leave. When the need for leave is foreseeable, an employee is required to give at least a 30-day written notice. If the leave is due to an unforeseeable event, the employee must provide as much notice as is practicable under the circumstances. See Leaves Management for step-by-step instructions.

If the request is for medical reasons, the employee must provide a physician’s statement specifying the purpose and duration of the extended leave. Failure to provide medical documentation may delay the commencement of the leave or may result in denial of the leave request.


Coordination with Other ASU Leave Plans

An employee may use accrued compensatory time (SPP 404–04, “Overtime—General Policy”), sick leave (SPP 701–01, “Sick Leave Benefits”), and/or vacation leave (SPP 702–01, “Vacation Leave Benefits”) during the leave period to remain in a paid status and continue to accrue leave in accordance with these policies; otherwise, the leave will be without pay. An employee on leave without pay will not accrue sick and/or vacation leave during an unpaid leave or for disability income paid by a third-party (i.e., short-term disability or workers’ compensation).

It is recommended that an employee use enough paid time to at least cover the cost of elected health, life, and disability benefits.


Benefits Coverage

During paid leave, the university will continue to pay the employer’s portion of health insurance premiums for benefits coverage and the employee’s portion will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck.

If the leave becomes unpaid, the employee may continue benefits coverage during the leave period by paying both the employee and employer portions of the insurance premium, as itemized in the ASU Benefits Guide/Health. A bill for the premium amount will be mailed to the employee by the Office of Human Resources, Benefits Design & Management Office. If the premium payment is more than 30 days late, the university may discontinue coverage retroactive to the last day of the pay period for which coverage had been paid.


Retirement Contributions

While in a paid status, the employee’s retirement contribution will be deducted from the employee’s pay and the employer’s contribution will be paid by the university. During an unpaid leave, no contributions will be made.

An employee will not earn service credit or have retirement contributions paid by the university during a leave of absence without pay. Employees may contact the Arizona State Retirement Plan to discuss purchasing service credits equal to the unpaid leave.

Active members of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) may receive credited service limited to 60 months if ordered/volunteered to active military service while working for the current employer if criteria are met pursuant to A.R.S. §38-858. The member shall pay the member’s contributions, upon which the employer shall make employer contributions. If the member performs military service due to presidential call-up, the employer shall make the employee and employer contributions not to exceed 48 months. Contact the ASU Office of Human Resources for more information.


Return to Work

As soon as practical, but no later than two weeks before the end of the leave, the employee must confirm with the supervisor a return-to-work date.

In the case of the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee must provide a certification from the health care provider confirming that he or she is able to return to work and can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without accommodation. Employees without proper authorization will not be allowed to return to work.

If the employee wishes to re-enroll in health benefits, a Benefits Enrollment/Change Form must be submitted to OHR Benefits Design & Management within 30 calendar days of the return to a benefits-eligible position.

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Cross-References

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For further information, see:

  1. the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures Manual— ACD 405, “Individuals with Disabilities”
  2. SPP 701–01, “Sick Leave Benefits”
  3. SPP 702–01, “Vacation Leave Benefits”

    and

  4. SPP 705–02, “Family Leave of Absence.”

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