Employee Handbook

11.10 Leaves from Work

The College provides eligible employees with time away from work for a variety of family and medical reasons. The following summarizes the College's time away practices. Please note, time away from work and leaves of absences are subject to a complex set of requirements imposed by federal and state law that cannot be thoroughly discussed here. In some cases, the College provides leaves that are more generous than what the law requires.

Time away from work take various forms, either with or without pay. Time away from work may be granted only when a staff member submits a request to his or her supervisor within a reasonable time in advance of the desired leave, or, in the case of medical disability or emergencies, as soon as possible after the disability or emergency occurs. All parental, personal, and educational leaves must be approved in advance by the Employment Services Department for Staff and by the Provost Office for Faculty. All time away (with and without pay) must be reported on a time record/report/sheet.

If an employee will be away from work for medical reasons for a combination of three or more days, the employee must complete a Request for Leave of Absence Form and may be required to provide a completed Certification of Health Care Provider form.

Employees with an assigned FTE of .5 or greater are eligible for time off benefits which are prorated per FTE.

Approval of time away from work is granted for a specific period of time. An employee who foresees being unable to return to work at the end of the approved time away period should complete and return another Request for Leave of Absence Form.  Employees approved for time away from work or leaves of absence by the College are prohibited from working another job in the same capacity while on approved time away or leave of absence. Employees who abuse time away or leaves of absence lose their rights to time away and/or leaves of absence and can corrective action up to and including termination of employment. The employment of any employee who does not return to work at the end of an approved time away period, including any extensions, will be terminated as of the date the approved time away ends.

While on a FMLA leave of absence, employees may continue to participate in Macalester's group insurance plans. Insurance premiums, which are normally paid through payroll deductions (called employee contributions), are deducted from employee's paychecks when receiving pay. Employees off of work under FMLA for an extended period of time and not receiving pay will owe Macalester for benefits employee contributions.

If FMLA expires and leave continues, Macalester will no longer contribute to insurance premiums. However, employees will have an opportunity to continue coverage through COBRA at their own expense.

While on a non-FMLA leaves of absence of beyond two weeks, Macalester will no longer contribute to insurance premiums. However, employees will have an opportunity to continue coverage through COBRA at their own expense.

Time off benefits (vacation and sick) will continue to accrue while receiving pay through Macalester. Holiday pay will not be paid during leaves of absence periods of more than two (2) weeks at a time.

11.10.1 Leaves With Pay

Paid Parental Leave - Faculty

Macalester College offers eligible faculty members who are assuming primary care of a new dependent child three options for paid parental leave. These options are described below.  Eligibility extends to all full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty members, and all non-tenure track faculty members with FTE of .50 or above who have taught at the College for a minimum of two consecutive years.    One four credit course is considered roughly equivalent to six weeks of leave for a full-time faculty member. Options A and C are fully paid leaves, Option B allows the faculty member to supplement the paid leave with unpaid course reductions.

Part-time faculty with FTE of .50 and above will receive pro-rated paid parental leave benefits.

Option A: Leave for up to six (6) continuous weeks with full teaching responsibilities for remainder of the academic year.  Full pay during the up to six continuous weeks will be provided through paid parental leave.  The leave would begin when the faculty member desires but not more than six weeks after the birth or adoption of a child.

Option B: Leave for one (1) complete academic semester with full teaching responsibilities for the remainder of the academic year.   Full-time faculty members receive a one course reduction paid through parental leave. The remaining one or two course releases are unpaid, resulting in a salary reduction. Full-time faculty with two courses in the teaching semester will receive .67 of their annual salary; faculty with three courses will receive .83 of their annual salary.    Leave must be taken during the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs or in the semester immediately following.

Option C: One (1) course release during the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs or in the semester immediately following.  Full-time faculty may choose to teach the remaining courses according to a 2-2, 3-1, or 1-3 schedule, and will receive full pay for the academic year with paid parental leave providing salary replacement for the one (1) course reduction.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Minnesota Parenting Leave Act will run concurrently with the leave option elected. (See Section 11.10 for additional information.)

A faculty member wishing to take advantage of parental leave should notify the department chair and Provost so that arrangements to cover classes and committee assignments can be made in a timely fashion. The Department Chair and the Provost are responsible for making these arrangements. Pre-tenure faculty members selecting any of the above three options will also have the option of delaying their pre-tenure or tenure review by up to one year. A faculty member electing a  parental leave  should discuss the timing of future reviews with the Provost; the final decision should be made and communicated to the Provost  no later the beginning of the semester prior to the one in which his or her pre-tenure or tenure case is scheduled to be reviewed.

Parental leave will count as time in service toward salary determination and eligibility for sabbatical leave. The College's contribution for health, disability, and life insurance premiums will continue during parental leaves. Retirement benefits will be proportionate to salary earned.

If both parents are Macalester employees only one parent is eligible for paid parental leave.

Paid Parental Leave - Staff

Macalester staff members with regular full-time employment and who have been on the payroll for at least two years are eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave if they are the primary care giver for a new dependent. The paid parental leave must begin no later than six weeks after the birth or adoption of a child. The paid parental leave must also end no later than six months from the date of birth of adoption of a child.  Staff members who have been employed more than one year but less than two years will receive prorated paid parental leave based on their number of months of service. See the table below for more information.

FTE 0.49 or less
Eligible? Not eligible for paid parental leave

 

FTE 0.50-1.00 FTE and worked 1000+ hours in prior 12 months
Time at Macalester Less than 1 year
Eligible? Not eligible for paid parental leave

 

FTE 0.50-1.00 FTE and worked 1000+ hours in prior 12 months
Time at Macalester More than 1 year but less than 2 years
Appointment 12 months Academic year with deferred pay
Eligible? Yes Yes if birth/adoption must occur no more than 6 weeks before the academic year or during the academic year
Leave Amount 6 weeks, Prorated
Leave Begins No more than 6 weeks after birth/adoption
Leave Expires 6 months after birth/adoption

 

FTE 0.50-1.00 FTE and worked 1000+ hours in prior 12 months
Time at Macalester More than 2 years
Appointment 12 months Academic year with deferred pay
Eligible? Yes Yes if birth/adoption must occur no more than 6 weeks before the academic year or during the academic year
Leave Amount 6 weeks
Leave Begins No more than 6 weeks after birth/adoption
Leave Expires 6 months after birth/adoption

Staff members eligible for leaves of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Minnesota Parenting Leave Act will have their paid parental time, sick time and/or vacation time run concurrently with the period of time away from work available under these programs. Accumulated sick time may only be used during the period of time away in which the employee meets the criteria of utilizing sick time. Accumulated vacation time and paid parental leave may be used anytime during the leave. (See the FMLA Guide and the Minnesota Parental Leave Notice for more information.)

As with all leaves, eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis. Forms for requesting a leave are available on the Employment Services website.

Bereavement Leave

  • After 90 calendar days of employment, benefit eligible employees are provided up to five (5) consecutive scheduled days away from work, per occurrence, in the event of the death of the employee's current spouse, registered domestic partner, father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister.
  • After 90 calendar days of employment, benefit eligible employees are provided up to three (3) consecutive scheduled days away from work, per occurrence, in the event of the death of the employee's father-in-law, mother-in-law, stepson, or stepdaughter.
  • After 90 calendar days of employment, benefit eligible employees are provided up to one (1) scheduled day away from work, per occurrence, in the event of the death of the employee's former spouse, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, stepfather, stepmother, niece, nephew, uncle or aunt.
  • Payment of bereavement leave time may be conditioned upon the employee submitting to the College's Employment Services department satisfactory proof, as determined within the sole discretion of the Employment Services department, of the death of the deceased.
  • Bereavement leave will generally coincide with the day before, the day of, and the day after the funeral if scheduled to work. If appropriate, employees may request an alternate bereavement time to accommodate cultural bereavement processes. 
  • Employees are paid at straight-time rates, with no overtime or shift differential, for any regularly scheduled hours missed during the period of the bereavement leave.
  • Employees may arrange for additional time off with the approval of their manager.   Additional time will be paid using vacation time. If vacation time is not available, employees may request time off without pay. Bereavement leave is not paid when an employee is in on an unpaid leave of absence.

Jury Leave

All employees are encouraged to serve when called for jury duty. All employees with regular employment will be kept whole with regard to salary and benefits for up to one month. An employee may endorse the check from jury duty to the College, or the College will reduce the employee's salary/wages by the amount received for jury duty. Benefit coverage will continue uninterrupted. A person serving on a jury is expected to report to his or her department for work during normal working hours when the jury is recessed.

Voting

Staff members are permitted paid time away in the morning usually not to exceed two hours for scheduled state primaries, general elections, and any election of a member of Congress.

Election Judge Leave

All employees participating as an Election Judge will be made whole for wages on Election Day. An employee may endorse the check for election judge service to the College, or the College will reduce the employee's salary/wages by the amount received for being an election judge. Since this is only a one day leave on the day of service, benefits are not affected.

Medical Leave - Faculty

Tenure and tenure track faculty are eligible for paid medical leaves of fewer than 90 days due to a workplace injury; personal illness; or to care for a spouse, qualified domestic partner, or dependent who is ill or injured.  Non -tenure track faculty with FTE of .50 and above are eligible for paid medical leaves of fewer than 90 days after two years of continuous service with the College.  Faculty members who have missed or will miss a combination of three (3) or more days for medical leave are required to contact Employment Services.  Arrangements for classes and other responsibilities will be made by the Provost in consultation with the department chair.

Medical/Sick Time - Staff

Employees with an assigned FTE of .5 or greater, with appointments of greater than six months, are eligible for sick time which is prorated per FTE.  Sick time is accrued at a rate of .0461 per compensated hour (~12 days per year prorated per FTE) and may be carried over from year to year.  Unused medical/sick time will not be paid out upon termination.

Medical/sick time is available for use as earned. Under certain circumstances, your supervisor may request a physician's statement, to include the nature of care being provided, the date the current illness or injury occurred, the date the practitioner first saw the employee and/or the dependent child (includes biological, adopted, foster and stepchild), adult child, spouse, qualified domestic partner, sibling, parent, grandparent, or stepparent for the current condition, the date when the medical clinician expects the employee to return to work, and any work restrictions, during any paid time away or before allowing you to return to work. Medical/sick time is to be taken when you are unable to perform your job duties due to illness, injury, or a physical or mental disability. (See also Long Term Disability, Section 5.3). Medical/sick time should also be used if you may expose fellow employee(s) or the public to a contagious or infectious disease. Physical disability includes pregnancy and any pregnancy-related disability.

Additionally, you may use your accumulated medical leave for the following purposes:

  • For medical/dental appointments during work hours for you or your dependents.
  • To care for your dependent child (includes biological, adopted, foster, and stepchild), adult child, spouse, qualified domestic partner, sibling, parent, grandparent, or stepparent who is ill or injured.
  • If you are a non-primary caregiver, upon the birth or adoption of your child (up to 5 days per year) if not medically disabled.
  • For approved Family Medical Leave (FMLA) to care for a parent with a serious health condition.

In order to allow coordination of paid sick leave with Family Medical Leave (FMLA), an employee missing work for of a combination of more than 3 days for the same condition, will be required to complete a Request for Leave of Absence Form and return to Employment Services as soon as reasonably possible. If the paid medical leave also qualifies for FMLA, both FMLA and medical leaves run concurrently.

Time off balances may be used for time off due to an injury covered by the Worker's Compensation Act for the second and third calendar days of lost time since worker's compensation salary reimbursement begins after three calendar days of lost time. Employees may also utilize accrued time off benefits to supplement Worker's Compensation payments. Combined time off benefits and worker’s compensation payments may not exceed an employee’s regular FTE defined pay per pay period.

Bone Marrow Donor Leave

Employees with an assigned FTE of .5 or greater, with appointments of greater than six months, are eligible for up to one week (adjusted per FTE) of paid time off to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow. This time away may be taken on an intermittent basis as it is necessary. Employees will be required to provide verification by a physician of the purpose and length of the time away. This time away will not be charged against any other type of time off balances.

Staff Vacation Time

Macalester supports employee’s need for time off from work by providing vacation time to employees with an assigned FTE of .5 or greater and appointments of greater than 180 days.  Vacation time is accrued based upon each compensated hour and is adjusted per FTE.  Employees may use vacation time as accrued, with the approval of their supervisor and may be based on seniority. All requests for time off must be approved by their supervisor and scheduled in advance.  Timing of the request and workload will be taken into consideration.  For any unscheduled time off, employees must notify their supervisor per department guidelines.  Official holidays and sick time are not part of the vacation time accrual.  Employees who take time off will be required to use time off benefits. Members of Macalester's collective bargaining units (CBU) should refer to collective bargaining contract for details regarding their vacation benefits.

In order to allow coordination of paid vacation time with Family Medical Leave (FMLA), all employees seeking to take time away from work will be required to provide enough information to their supervisor about the purpose of the time away to allow a determination of whether the time away may also qualify for Family Medical Leave. If the paid time away also qualifies for Family Medical Leave, the employee requesting paid time away of a combination of more than 3 days for the same condition, will be required to complete a Request for Leave of Absence Form and return to Employment Services as soon as reasonably possible.

Vacation time may accrue up to the equivalent of 24 months of vacation accrual based upon years of service and FTE.  Vacation time may be carried over from year to year, but the maximum vacation time carried over from year to year cannot exceed the amount equivalent of 24 months of vacation accrual based upon years of service and FTE. 

Employees that depart the College after less than six months of employment with the College are not entitled to be paid for any accrued vacation time. Eligible employees that depart the College after six months or more of employment with the College may be paid accrued vacation time up to one year's accrual.  If an eligible employee’s FTE falls below eligibility requirements, up to one year’s accrued vacation time may be paid out.  Limited employees with appointments of six months or more must take vacation during the temporary assignment (based on total length of appointment) and accrued vacation time is not paid out.  Staff working less than 12 months must use their vacation during their paid employment period. Staff positions are budgeted for the appointment period only and therefore there are no funds available for paid vacations outside of the appointment period.

Vacation Accrual - Staff

NON-EXEMPT OR BI-WEEKLY PAID EMPLOYEES
Years of Service Hours Earned Per Month
(Based on 1.0 FTE*)
Maximum Accumulation Hours
(24 months of Accrual, based on 1.0 FTE*)
1st Year through 5th Year 9.69 hours per month (1.25 days per month) Vacation accrual cannot exceed 232.50 hours in any given month
6th Year through 10th Year 12.87 hours (1.66 days per month) Vacation accrual cannot exceed 308.76 hours in any given month
11th Year or greater 15.50 hours (2 days per month) Vacation accrual cannot exceed 372.00 hours in any given month
EXEMPT MONTHLY PAID EMPLOYEES
Years of Service Hours Earned Per Month
(Based on 1.0 FTE*)
Maximum Accumulation Hours
(24 months of Accrual, based on 1.0 FTE*)
N/A 15.50 hours (2 days per month) Vacation accrual cannot exceed 372.00 hours in any given month
  • *Accrual is pro-rated based on FTE
  • Vacation accruals in excess of 24 months of accrual are forfeited each month in which the accrual is at the maximum.
  • When claiming vacation, non-exempt staff should record time utilized in ¼ hour increments (i.e. .25, .50, and .75) and exempt staff may utilize time in two hour increments.
  • Cash payment may not be made in lieu of paid time benefits. In addition, time off benefits will not be paid in excess of authorized hours.

11.10.2 Leaves Without Pay

Unpaid Leave – Faculty
Tenured and tenure track faculty may request an academic year leave without pay for professional or personal reasons.  Faculty considering such a leave should contact the Provost and department chair at least one semester before the leave is to begin. Leaves without pay do not include benefits.

Unpaid Leave – Staff
A leave of absence without pay may be granted to a staff member for several purposes when time off benefits have been exhausted. Many leaves require approval by your supervisor. Returning employees will be reinstated to their original job, if possible, or to a position of like status and compensation. Leaves of absence, except for military, normally will not exceed six months.

A request for a leave of absence without pay for more than three days must be submitted in writing to your supervisor 30 days in advance, when the leave of absence is "foreseeable". The request must be forwarded to the Employment Services Department for final approval. If you are on an approved leave of absence without pay for more than 2 weeks, you will not accrue time off benefits. Furthermore, while on a non-FMLA leave of absence of beyond two weeks, Macalester will no longer contribute to insurance premiums. However, employees will have an opportunity to continue coverage through COBRA at their own expense.

While on an approved leave, employees continue to earn service time toward benefits eligibility requirements, but no other benefits, except as described above. If you do not return to work at the end of your leave of absence, or are not granted an extension, or have not submitted a letter of resignation to the Employment Services Department, it will be assumed that you have resigned. Failure to return to work may require you to reimburse the College for the cost of health insurance premiums paid during your leave. Notify your supervisor and the Employment Services Department if you plan to return before the scheduled end of your leave.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Employees who have been employed for at least twelve months, and who have worked at least 1,000 hours during the prior twelve month period (.50 FTE) are eligible to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in any twelve month period for a "serious health condition" if medical information certifying the condition is provided to the college. This leave can also be used to care for the spouse, dependent, or domestic partner of the eligible employee, if such an individual has a "serious health condition".

More information is available on the “Plan Documents, SPD’s, and Notices” page of the Employment Services website.  See the Notice titled “FMLA Rights” for details.

Minnesota Parenting Leave

Minnesota law provides to certain eligible employees an unpaid leave of absence of up to a maximum of six weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. In many cases, those who have previously taken Federal Leave during a 12-month period will not be entitled to additional parenting leave under Minnesota law during a 12-month period. However, there may be certain situations in which an employee who has exhausted his or her Federal Leave might be eligible for additional Minnesota parenting leave. As with all leaves, eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case examination of the employee's circumstances.

Minnesota parenting leave is available only to an employee who has worked for Macalester for the 12 consecutive months preceding the leave request, and who, during those 12 months worked an average number of hours per week equal to one-half or more of the full-time equivalent of the employee's position. The leave must begin within six weeks of the birth or adoption. (However, when a newborn child remains in the hospital longer than the mother does, leave may begin within six weeks of the time that the child leaves the hospital). If practicable, an employee must provide Macalester with at least 5 days of notice before the leave is to begin.

If at the time an employee seeks a leave of absence for the birth or placement of a child, the employee is eligible for a paid parental leave, the employee must use the paid parental leave instead of the unpaid parenting leave. The amount of unpaid parenting leave available will be reduced by the amount of paid leave taken. Accrued sick time may not be substituted for Minnesota parenting leave.

Macalester will continue to make group health insurance available to eligible employees while on a Minnesota parenting leave.

Upon returning from leave, an employee will be returned to the employee's former position or a position of comparable duties, number of hours, and pay plus any automatic adjustments in the employee's pay scale that occurred during the leave. An employee retains all accrued benefits and seniority as if there had been no interruption in service.

If Macalester experiences a layoff during an employee's leave, and the employee would have lost his or her position had the employee not been on leave, the employee is not entitled to reinstatement. If an employee on leave is laid off, the employee retains all rights under the layoff and recall system as if the employee had not taken leave.

If Macalester, in its discretion, consents, an employee may return to work part-time during the leave.

School Conference And Activity Leave

Macalester College provides all employees un-paid time away of up to a total of 16 hours during any 12-month period to attend school conferences or school-related activities related to the employee's child, provided the conferences or school-related activities cannot be scheduled during non-work hours. If the employee's child receives child care services or attends a pre-kindergarten regular or special education program, the employee may use the time away provided in this section to attend a conference or activity related to the employee's child, or to observe and monitor the services or program, provided the conference, activity, or observation cannot be scheduled during non-work hours.  Foster children are also covered under this provision.

Time away taken in this manner is un-paid, though accrued vacation time may be used to cover the time period taken. When the time away cannot be scheduled during non-work hours and the need for the time away is foreseeable, the employee must provide reasonable prior notice of the time away to their supervisor and make a reasonable effort to schedule the time away so as not to disrupt unduly the normal operations of the department.

Military Leave

You are entitled to a military leave of absence without pay for service in the armed forces of the United States or a state National Guard. Short leaves may be with pay if they are charged to your accumulated vacation. If you are called to active duty, please contact the Employment Services Department regarding your benefit status during leave.

Personal Leave

You may apply for short leaves without pay for such purposes as childcare and travel when time off benefits have been exhausted. Personal leaves of absence will be approved or disapproved by your supervisor and the Employment Services Department, taking into consideration the needs of the College and your department.

Educational Leave

An educational leave to study may be granted if it is determined by the College that such a leave of absence will benefit both you and the College by enabling you to perform your job duties more effectively. See Section 5 for the Staff Professional Leave Policy.