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Faculty Medical Leave Guidelines

For medical, maternity, and family leave issues, see also the Franklin College Statement on Work-Life Integration and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Faculty medical leave is governed by the same State and University policies that govern medical leave for staff. However, medical leave for faculty must be handled in a way appropriate to how faculty work loads and schedules are organized. These guidelines describe how the College of Arts and Sciences handles faculty medical leave issues. They are intended to assist faculty and departmental administrators in addressing medical leave issues. They allow for reasonable flexibility as well as accountability. Questions about these guidelines or about faculty medical leave should be addressed to the appropriate associate dean. In case of conflict between these guidelines and University, State, and Federal policy, University, State, and Federal policy will prevail. The Dean of the College bears final responsibility for resolving medical leave issues within the College of Arts and Sciences. (For a statement of conditions under which medical leave is taken, see "Definition of Medical Leave" at the end of this document).

When faculty are ill and unable to carry out their normal duties, they should report medical leave to the appropriate departmental staff member. Department heads must establish appropriate procedures to track faculty medical leave and enforce University medical leave policies. Medical leave records, like other departmental records, are subject to audit by the University.

Faculty should report medical time in terms of hours missed from work. Faculty who are ill and unable to teach or perform other duties are presumed unable to conduct research and should report medical leave accordingly.

Faculty who must be away from work for longer than a week should provide medical certification of their illness. (See Personnel Handbook statement below)

For medical leaves of up to 4 weeks, departments should arrange to replace faculty in the classroom on a temporary basis out of their own resources. For longer medical leaves, departments should replace faculty for the rest of the term in their courses. The College will provide replacement teaching funds for longer-term medical leaves.

When faculty know ahead of time that they must take medical leave (for instance, when surgery is scheduled or childbirth is expected) and when there are no medical reasons that prevent them from doing so, they should continue to carry out their normal duties until the planned medical leave begins. Faculty who have been on medical leave for part of a term, who are ready to return to full-time work, and who were permanently replaced in their classes, should be assigned other duties by the department head to compensate for the classes they are not teaching. These should be real, tangible duties that are tracked, evaluated, and documented by the department head. A letter explaining these duties should be sent to the Dean's Office.

In accordance with the University of Georgia Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, "Family leave may not be taken intermittently for the birth or placement of a child unless the employee and the employee's immediate supervisor agree otherwise. However, in the case of family or personal illness, leave may be taken intermittently." Intermittent leave is leave taken on a part-time or occasional basis.

Faculty may stop taking medical leave when they are able to return to their work full time.

Family Leave: The Family Medical Leave Act allows faculty to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for conditions defined by that Act. Faculty may use accumulated medical leave to provide paid leave when taking Family Leave. When accumulated medical leave time is expended, faculty must take leave without pay if they wish to use the full amount of time provided by the Family Medical Leave Act.

Definition of Medical Leave

According to the Personnel Handbook, "All regular full-time employees will accumulate paid sick leave at a rate of eight hours per calendar month of service. Regular part-time employees working at least one-half time will accumulate sick leave in a ratio equivalent to the percentage of time employed. There is no maximum on the amount of sick leave which can be accumulated. If you take sick leave for a continuous period in excess of one week, a physician's statement will be required in order for you to continue to claim sick leave benefits. At your supervisor's discretion, you may also be required to submit medical verification from your physician for an illness or disability which prevents you from performing your duties for less than one week.

You may be granted sick leave for any of the following reasons:

  • personal illness or injury
  • medical and dental treatment or consultation
  • quarantine due to a contagious illness in your household
  • illness, injury, or death in your immediate family requiring your presence. (Payment in this situation is left to the discretion of the immediate supervisor in accordance with the University Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual. In the event of a death in your immediate family, sick leave with pay may not exceed four working days.)

"A terminating employee shall not accumulate sick leave or be entitled to receive sick pay after the last working day of his/her employment."

For more detailed information, see the University of Georgia Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, page 71.1-16-25.

These guidelines will be revised to reflect changes in University, Regents, and Federal policy as they occur.

Revised April 2, 2010

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