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College Policy Number/Title:

Eligibility  

Any Howard Community College (HCC) employee who is in a budgeted or temporary with benefits position may request leave without pay.  These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Leave without pay may or may not be granted depending on budgetary and operational constraints.

Purposes  

The college recognizes that employees may encounter situations that require an extended period of time off for purposes not specifically covered by other leave procedures.  Examples of these situations include child-rearing, other family obligations, or personal needs.  Leave types described elsewhere in this section (63.08) should be utilized, when applicable, prior to applying for a leave without pay.  Generally, an employee may apply for leave without pay when the employee does not have sufficient paid leave accruals such as annual or sick leave to cover an emergency or other situation that requires the employee to be away from the job for an extended period of time.  All requests for leave without pay should be submitted on a "Request for Leave" form for approval through normal supervisory channels.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Procedure 63.08.15, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave, describes leave without pay under the FMLA.  An employee may use leave without pay for FMLA covered events; such leave will be used concurrently with FMLA approved leave.  Whenever an employee requests leave for an FMLA covered event, the employee is required to exhaust all accrued sick leave, annual leave, and personal leave prior to being placed in unpaid leave status.  See procedure 63.08.15 "Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave."

Time Limits  

Leave without pay may be requested for a period of up to six months.  An extension of up to six additional months may be requested.  In the event that the reasons for which leave without pay are granted cease to exist, employees must immediately notify their supervisors.  Applications for leave without pay must be accompanied by a statement of purpose and any supporting documentation requested by the college and approved by the employee's first-level supervisor, second-level supervisor, and area vice president or the president.  Requests for leave without pay exceeding two weeks must also be approved by the college president.

Benefits

Leave without pay of less than one month will not affect medical and dental benefit coverage.  Employees may continue in the college's group medical and dental plans but are responsible for the full premium cost of each plan if the leave without pay is for a period greater than one month; if original leave requests for periods of less than one month are extended, the employee will be responsible for reimbursing the college for the cost from the first day of leave (also see procedure 63.08.15 "Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave").  Employees are not eligible for any college benefits while on leave without pay except for benefits carried at their own expense as allowed by the carriers.  In addition, federal and state laws prevent the employee from making contributions to any group retirement plan while the employee is on leave without pay.  Any unused leave types shall be held in reserve for the employee’s use upon return to work.  If employees do not maintain medical or dental benefits or other benefits while on leave without pay, they must re-enroll upon return to work.

Reinstatement and Credit for Service  

Employees returning from leave without pay shall be reinstated to the same position provided that they are still qualified to perform their former duties, they are available for assignment immediately following the expiration of the leave, and the college is not under reduction in force status.  Should an employee become available for assignment prior to the expiration of a leave without pay, reinstatement will occur as soon as it is convenient to the college but no later than the original date of expiration.  Also see procedure 63.08.15 "Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave."

Periods of leave without pay that exceed two years will not be counted for the purpose of computing longevity with the college. 

Other Employment

Other employment while on leave without pay status may result in cancellation of the leave or termination of employment unless such employment has been an approved condition of the leave.

Accrual of Leave and Automatic Leave Sequence

  • Individuals do not accrue vacation days, personal leave, or sick leave while on leave without pay.
  • There is no Automatic Leave Sequence for leave without pay. However, leave without pay is the final leave type in the sequence for many other types of leave; this is noted under each leave type. For example, if an employee takes annual leave, but does not have sufficient annual leave balance to cover the leave taken, leave without pay would automatically be recorded in the employee's record for any time not covered by the accrued annual leave balance.
  • Pay for employees who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act may only be deducted in less than full-day increments when taken under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Effective Date:  12/13/13