4.4 Extended Sick Leave Plan for Support Staff

4.4 Extended Sick Leave Plan for Support Staff

The Institute's yearly allowance of paid sick leave, with unused portions accumulating, provides protection which meets the needs of most employees. The Extended Sick Leave Plan provides an extension of income for those occasions when an accident or serious illness causes absence beyond an individual's reserve paid sick leave.

4.4.1 Eligibility

All regular MIT employees paid on the Support Staff payroll, who are scheduled to work at least half time, become eligible for the Extended Sick Leave Plan following employment at the Institute for one full year.

An employee becomes eligible for Plan benefits on the day he or she first meets the above requirements provided that the employee is then actively at work or receiving paid sick leave. Otherwise the employee becomes eligible on the day he or she returns to work.

Benefits under the Extended Sick Leave Plan are conditional upon an employee's intention to return to work at the end of the period of disability.

4.4.2 Amount of Payments

When extended sick leave payments are authorized, they begin with the work day following the day the employee has exhausted his or her accumulated paid sick leave (including personal leave), or any sick and personal leave credited to the employee at his or her current year anniversary date.

For each period of disability, the Plan provides Extended Sick Leave as needed up to a total of 26 weeks (in any 12 month period), paid at 75% of the employee's base salary for up to the 26 week total.

Example:

An employee who has been employed at MIT for three years has accrued sick leave of twenty days (4 weeks). For an absence of ten weeks, the employee would be paid as follows:

4 weeks at full salary Employee's accrued sick leave
6 weeks at 75% salary Extended Sick Leave

During the period covered by provisions of the Extended Sick Leave Plan, regular payroll deductions are made and income taxes are withheld from the payments.

4.4.3 Basis for Payment Benefits

When an employee is eligible as defined above, Plan benefits are paid under the following conditions:

Not Work-Related - Benefits are paid when an employee is unable to work for an extended period because of an accident or illness that is not work-related. The Plan may not pay benefits when benefits for work-related injuries or illness (such as Worker's Compensation) are either received or claimed, nor is it intended to cover illness of short duration.

Medical Requirements - Benefits are paid only for those days on which:

  1. the employee is under the care of a legally qualified physician and is absent on the physician's advice, and
  2. the employee is not performing work for compensation or profit.

MIT may require evidence of disability before commencing payments and may from time to time require additional evidence as a condition for continuing such payments.

Twelve Month Period - Whether for a single period of disability or for more than one period, benefits under the Plan are limited to 26 weeks of payments in any 12-month period.

Period of Disability - All disability absences will be considered as part of a single period of disability unless:

  1. the employee can furnish acceptable evidence that the causes of the latest disability absence are not related to the causes of any prior disability absences, and the latest one occurs after the employee has returned to active work on his or her regular schedule for a least one day, or
  2. a relationship does exist between the causes of the latest disability absence and a prior one, but the employee has returned to active work on his or her regular schedule, performing the duties of his or her regular job, for a period of not less than four consecutive work weeks.

Note: MIT will not be obligated to pay Plan benefits covering any period prior to the time the employee notifies the supervisor of his or her disability.

4.4.4 Procedure for Obtaining Benefits

It is the employee's responsibility to notify the supervisor that his or her disability absence may extend beyond the period of paid sick leave, and to keep the supervisor reasonably informed if the disability is prolonged. Based on the information furnished by the employee, together with medical and other evidence, the supervisor will arrange with Human Resources and the Payroll Office for the payment of Extended Sick Leave benefits, and for the mailing of the weekly payments to the employee.

A final decision on any request for Plan benefits is the responsibility of the Plan Administrator.

If an employee has followed the above procedures for obtaining benefits under this Plan and is not satisfied with MIT's decision or action, he or she may address a written appeal to the Plan Administrator. The Administrator will consider the appeal and any evidence presented and will give the employee a written reply, with reasons, within sixty days.

Any legal action concerning the Plan should be addressed to the Plan's agent for the service of legal process.

4.4.5 Plan Administration

The Extended Sick Leave Plan is a welfare benefit plan established and administered by MIT Benefits are paid from the Institute's funds by the Payroll Office as jointly authorized by the disabled employee's supervisor and the cognizant Human Resources Officer. Overall administration of the Plan is the responsibility of the Plan Administrator. Eligibility for Plan benefits is determined by Human Resources from records maintained by Faculty and Staff Information Services (and the Human Resources Office at Lincoln Laboratory). Records of sick leave absences, rates of pay, and Extended Sick Leave payments are maintained by the Office of the Vice President for Finance (at Lincoln Laboratory, the Lincoln Fiscal Office).

4.4.6 Amendment or Termination of the Plan

MIT expects and intends to continue the Extended Sick Leave Plan indefinitely as a benefit for those eligible. Subject to contractual obligations or other limitations, however, the Institute reserves the right to modify the terms or discontinue the Plan if this should become necessary or advisable. Such a change in the Plan would not affect the benefits payable to any individual receiving benefits at that time.

4.4.7 Crediting of New Sick Leave Balance

Full-time or part-time employees who are eligible are credited with new sick leave allotments on their anniversary dates of each year (see Section 4.3.6, Amount of Sick Leave). However, the crediting of new sick leave balances for employees on their anniversary dates will be suspended until the expiration of the extended sick leave benefit, or the employee's return to work.

An employee may remain on extended sick leave for as long as he or she qualifies for it. If needed, at the expiration of the extended sick leave benefit, the regular sick leave allotment may be paid in full. Otherwise, when the employee returns to work, he or she is credited with the number of sick leave days to which he or she is entitled. For other adjustments to sick leave balances, see Section 4.3.13, Adjustment to Sick Leave Following Leaves of Absence.

4.4.8 Holiday Within Extended Sick Leave Period

A recognized Institute holiday which falls within an extended sick leave period covered at a percentage of the normal base salary of an employee will be paid at the percentage rate currently in effect, and will be charged as extended sick leave and not as a holiday. (See Section 4.1.5, Holiday During Paid Leave.)

4.4.9 Vacation Accrual During Extended Sick Leave

Support Staff continue to be eligible for their normal vacation accrual while on extended sick leave.

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