§ 35.077  UNPAID LEAVES OF ABSENCE.
   Occasionally, for medical, personal, or other reasons, an employee may need to be temporarily released from the duties of his or her job with the village, but may not wish to submit his or her resignation.  Under certain circumstances, an employee may be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence.  There are several types of unpaid leaves which the employee may be eligible for:
   (A)   Family/medical leave of absence.  In general, a leave of absence is an official authorization to be absent from work without pay for a specified period of time.  Eligible employees may be entitled to job-protected family or medical leaves of absence if they are unable to come to work due to pressing family or medical concerns as described under the following family/medical leave policy, which shall be administered in accordance with applicable state and federal laws:
      (1)   Employees are eligible if they have been actively employed for 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours (an average of 25 hours per week) during those 12 months.
      (2)   Under the circumstances set forth below, each eligible employee shall have up to a total of 12 weeks leave during any one year period.
      (3)   A family leave shall be granted upon the birth or adoption of a child of the employee, or upon the serious illness of the employee’s child, spouse or parent.
      (4)   A medical leave shall be granted upon the employee’s own serious illness.
      (5)   Whenever possible, and subject to the employee’s health care provider’s approval, absences for planned medical treatment should be scheduled so as not to unduly disrupt village operations.
      (6)   In appropriate circumstances, the village may require the employee to be examined by a village designated physician, at village expense.
      (7)   In the event of serious illness to the employee or his or her child, spouse or parent, creating a need for unforeseeable family or medical leave, the employee should provide the Director notice, as soon as practicable, of any time needed off, and a written doctor’s certificate indicating the expected duration and nature of the illness, particularly as it relates to the employee’s ability to come to work or the need for that employee’s presence at home to care for a seriously ill family member.
      (8)   Employee’s shall be required to give 30 days advance notice in the event of a foreseeable medical treatment.  To assist the village in arranging work assignments during the employee’s absence, the village  asks that the employee give the village prior notice, to the extent possible, of an expected birth or adoption, as well as an indication, to the extent known, of the employee’s expected return date.  To facilitate the employee’s return to work, the village also asks that the employee provide the village with two weeks advance notification of the employee’s intended return date.  Failure to do so may delay the employee’s return date.
      (9)   For purposes of this policy, a child is defined as a natural, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild or a legal ward.  If the child is over 18 he or she must be unable to care for himself or herself due to a serious illness.
      (10)   A parent is defined as the employee's or his or her spouse's natural, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian.
      (11)   A serious illness is defined as a disabling physical or mental illness, injury, impairment, or condition involving: (1) inpatient care in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice; or (2) outpatient care requiring continuing treatment or supervision from a health care professional.
      (12)   Leave of absence rights available to the employee under other sections of the village’s policy shall be counted towards the total time off available under this section.
      (13)   Upon completion of a leave granted under this section, the employee shall be reinstated to his or her original position, or an equivalent one.
      (14)   If, due to the employee’s own medical circumstances, the employee is no longer able to perform his or her original job, the village will attempt to transfer the employee to alternate suitable work, if available.
      (15)   While on a leave of absence provided for under this policy, the village will continue the employee’s group health insurance benefits under the same terms as provided to other employees, for up to a maximum of 12 weeks leave time during any one year period.  If the employee’s leave extends beyond 12 weeks, the employee shall be offered the opportunity to purchase continuing coverage under state and federal COBRA continuation rules.
      (16)   Other accumulated fringe benefits such as seniority, retirement, service credits, sick pay, vacation pay, and the like, shall be preserved at the level earned as of commencement of the leave, but shall not accrue further during any such leave period.
      (17)   Should the employee require an extended leave beyond the period of time described in this policy, the village will seek to return the employee to a suitable position, but cannot guarantee that one will be available.
   (B)   Disability (including pregnancy) leave of absence.  Medical documentation, to the satisfaction of the village may be required for all periods of time during short-term disability.  The village reserves the right to require independent medical verification of an employee's inability to work, based on a medical exam by a physician chosen by and paid for by the village.
      (1)   The village classifies pregnancy as any other medically disabling condition, and will provide reasonable leave for all employees for the period of disability as determined by the employee and her physician.  When ready to return to work, the employee will be reinstated to her original job or a similar level position providing circumstances have not so changed as to make it impossible or unreasonable to do so.  At all times the village’s maternity leave policy will be in compliance with the state and federal laws.
      (2)   Extended maternity leave.  Should an employee with an excellent work record desire more time after using all vacation and sick time, allowances may be made at the discretion of the Director and on an individual basis.  The deciding factor will be the ability of the village to cover, without interruption, the position as described in the employee's job description.
      (3)   Extended disability leave.  If the employee’s disability, (other than pregnancy), prevents the employee from working for longer than six weeks, when the employee is ready to return to work the village  will do its best to reinstate the employee to his or her position or a similar position, but the village cannot guarantee that the employee’s job or any job will be available.
   (C)   Educational leave of absence.  An educational leave of absence may be approved if the desired curriculum is of mutual benefit to the employee and to the village.  Apply in the same manner as the employee would for a personal leave of absence.
   (D)   Election day.  The village encourages the employee to exercise his or her voting privileges in local, state, and national elections.  However, since the polls are open for long periods, the employee is encouraged to vote before or after regular working hours.  If it should be necessary, the employee may take up to thirty minutes leave from work to vote in a governmental election or referendum.  The employee will be expected to notify his or her department head at least one week in advance.  The employee will not be paid for such time.  Personal leave time, if available, may be used for this purpose.
   (E)   Military leave of absence.  If the employee is a full-time employee and is inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces, the employee will be eligible for re-employment after completing military service, provided:
      (1)   The employee show his or her orders to the Director as soon as the employee receives them.
      (2)   The employee satisfactorily completes his or her active duty service.
      (3)   The employee enters the military service directly from his or her employment with the village.
      (4)   The employee applies for and is available for re-employment within 90 days after discharge from active duty.  If the employee is returning from up to six months active duty for training, the employee must apply within a reasonable time (usually 30 days) after discharge.
   (F)   Military reserves or National Guard leave of  absence.  Employees who serve in U. S. military organizations or state militia groups may take the necessary time off without pay to fulfill this obligation, and will retain all of their legal rights for continued employment under existing laws. These employees may apply accrued personal leave and unused earned vacation time to the leave if they wish; however, they are not obliged to do so.  The employee is expected to notify the Director as soon as the employee is aware of the dates he or she will be on duty so that arrangements can be made for replacement during this absence.
   (G)   Personal leave of absence.  In very special circumstances, the village may grant a leave for a personal reason, but never for taking employment elsewhere or going into business for one’s self. The employee should request an unpaid personal leave of absence from the Director.  A personal leave of absence must not interfere with the operations of the employee’s department or the village.  A personal leave of absence may be granted for up to 30 days. If the employee’s leave is extended for more than 30 days, vacation and other benefits will no longer continue to accrue.  Consult employee group insurance booklet to determine employee insurance coverage during a leave of absence.  Failure to return from a leave at the time agreed will result in termination of employment.
   (H)   Accepting other employment or going into business while on leave of absence.  If an employee accepts any employment or goes into business while on a leave of absence from the village, the employee will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from employment with the village as of the day on which the employee began his or her leave of absence.
   (I)   Insurance premium payment during leaves of absence.  While the employee is on unpaid leave of absence from the village, the employee will be responsible for paying the total premiums for his or her coverage and that of his or her dependents while on leave.  Failure to do so may result in loss of coverage and possible refusal by the insurance carrier to allow  the employee’s coverage to be reinstated.
   (J)   Jury leave.  An employee called for jury duty shall be given leave to attend jury duty.  The employee upon receiving a summons shall immediately provide a copy to his or her department head, or if the employee is a department head, to the Director of Administration.  An employee taking jury leave has the following options regarding pay:
      (1)   The employee may continue to receive pay from the village and pay over to the Village Treasurer all compensation paid by the court;
      (2)   The employee may take an unpaid leave of absence from the village and retain all compensation paid by the court; or
      (3)   The employee may take paid vacation days and retain all compensation paid by the court.
   (K)   Leaves required under Workers Compensation Laws.  An employee suffering from an injury that is job related under the Workers Compensation Laws shall be entitled to leave for such injury strictly and exclusively in accordance with those laws.
(Ord. 92-11, passed 4-28-92; Am. Ord. 02-55, passed 1-14-03)