Employee Handbook

Human Resources Office - Abilene Christian University   
Employment Policies and Procedures

Section 300: Employee Leave


Policy No. 314   
June 2000
Reviewed April 2005



To provide income protection for employees who, because of illness or accident of the employee or the employee's spouse, children or parents, are absent from work for limited periods.

This policy applies to all full-time and half-time employees.


Sick leave may be granted and pay received for an absence within the following limits.

  1. Illness of employee
    Illness of employee's spouse
    Illness of employee's children
    Illness of employee's parents
    Illness of spouse's parents
    Birth of employee's child
  2. Doctor's appointments for the above mentioned.
  3. Deaths that occur in the immediate family of the employee or the employee's spouse (mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband, wife, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandchildren).

Full-time employees accrue sick leave at the rate of 12 hours/month.

Half-time employees accrue sick leave on the same basis as full-time except it is prorated according to the number of hours worked.

Sick leave may accrue to a total of 1,040 hours, and sick leave pay may be drawn up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.  At the employee's option, the total amount of pay resulting from the calculation may be spread over several weeks.  For example, if an employee is eligible for 20 days (4 weeks) of accrued sick leave and must be off eight weeks for surgery, an election may be made to receive one-half pay for a total of eight weeks.

Time paid for sick leave does not count as time worked in calculating overtime for the week.

When an employee is absent as a result of injury or sickness, the employee may qualify for benefits compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act, as well as for ACU sick leave pay.  When the employee qualifies for both, sick leave pay will be adjusted to ensure the employee does not receive more than 100 percent of base salary.  Further, available sick leave may end earlier or later than Workers' Compensation benefits, based on university sick leave policy.

The university may require an employee to support a request for sick leave benefits with medical certification.  Failure to provide a statement from a physician may lead to a denial of benefits.

Accumulated sick leave will not be paid upon termination.  However, upon separation from the university, an employee may donate up to 350 hours to the Shared Leave Bank.  (See Policy No. 314.1)

Seriously health conditions or maternity leave may qualify an employee for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  For more details, refer to Policy No. 321.

When an employee has exhausted all sick leave and vacation, he/she may apply to receive leave from the Shared Leave Bank, if eligible under the Shared Leave Bank policy.  (See Policy No. 314.1)


These guidelines should be followed by supervisors in administering sick leave:

  1. Approval of Sick Leave.  Department supervisors are expected to approve only those requests for sick leave pay that are within the allowable limits for each employee.  Vacation time will be charged if more sick leave is requested than has been accumulated.
  2. Maintenance of Contact.  During sick leave, an employee must maintain daily contact (before 8:30 a.m. or make other suitable arrangements) with the supervisor in order for the supervisor to know the employee's estimated date of return to work.  Sick leave benefits are contingent upon maintenance of regular contact with the supervisor.
  3. Physician's Release Upon Return.  Depending on the length and circumstances of an employee's illness, the supervisor may require a physician's written release before the employee may return to work.
  4. Termination of Benefits.  If an employee's absence due to illness continues beyond the period covered by sick leave, the employee will be placed on medical leave of absence status without pay.  At the employee's option, unused vacation may be used before transferring to medical leave of absence status.
  5. Extension. If an employee dies in service, his/her base salary will be continued according to the following schedule:

    Years of Service
    Months of Salary Extension
    Less than 1
    No salary extension
    1 month
    2 month
    3 month
    4 month
    5 month
    10 or more
    6 month


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Policy No. 314.1   
June 2005


To provide a safety net against salary interruption for employees who have a catastrophic health condition causing them to be unable to perform their assigned job duties.  Donations of sick leave hours by employees provide income to an affected employee who would otherwise be on unpaid leave.  The purpose is not to provide unlimited sick leave for any medical reason.

This policy applies to all full-time and half-time faculty and staff.

Employees may voluntarily donate accumulated sick leave hours to a shared leave bank for distribution to aid another employee who is unable to work due to personal illness or crisis.  Donating employees donate sick leave at their individual pay rates, and the recipient will be credited with sick leave at his/her individual pay rate.  Therefore, the leave recipient will be paid at his/her current pay rate, not at the pay rate of the person donating the leave time.

Approval to receive donated leave time is dependent upon approval of supervisor, vice president of division and Director of Human Resources.

Eligibility to Receive Shared Leave
Faculty and staff may receive shared leave as follows:

  1. An employee must have exhausted all of his or her own vacation and sick leave.
  2. For each application, an employee must be unable to work a regular schedule for at least a continuous period of 30 calendar days.
  3. An employee may apply for his/her own catastrophic illness or injury, or for a certifiable illness or injury of immediate family, defined as:
    1. Illness of employee's spouse
    2. Illness of employee's children
    3. Illness of employee's parents
    4. Illness of spouse's parents
  4. An employee must have worked at ACU continuously for 90 days.
  5. The maximum amount of shared leave bank benefits accessible to a recipient cannot exceed one-third of the balance of the bank, or three months leave time, whichever is less.
  6. If an employee returns to work prior to using all hours granted, the unused balance of hours granted returns to the shared leave bank.
  7. If intermittent treatment is required, unused approved shared leave bank benefits will be provided on an as-needed basis until the employee (or family member) recovers from the catastrophic illness or injury or the benefit ends, whichever is earlier.
  8. The estate of a deceased employee is not entitled to payment for approved unused shared leave bank hours.
  9. Shared leave bank hours may not be converted to cash.
  10. Employees may not solicit or distribute lists inquiring for donations from the catastrophic leave bank.
  11. If the hours in the shared leave bank are not sufficient and a need arises, the Director of Human Resources or designee may send a communication to faculty and staff indicating such a need but may not under any circumstances coerce an employee(s) to contribute leave time.
  12. A contributor does not have to first donate to the bank in order to receive donations from the bank.
  13. Employees who use leave from the shared leave bank are not required to pay the bank back for leave used.
  14. It is not possible to make back-payments to a shared leave bank recipient who may have already taken some leave without pay.  Donated time will be available for use by the recipient in accordance with regular payroll procedures and deadlines.
  15. Employees who are off work due to an on-the-job injury or illness are not eligible to use the shared leave donation bank.
  16. An intent to return to work is not required in order to be eligible for the shared leave donation bank; however, employees who utilize the full amount of approved bank benefits must return to work for six continuous months following their last day of use of the donated time before the are eligible to apply for additional benefits from the bank.
  17. Employees receiving a medical release for return to work on a part-time basis (i.e. fewer hours per day per week than the regular work schedule), may continue to use donated leave for the balance of the regular work schedule until medically released for full duty.

Eligibility to Donate Shared Leave
Faculty and staff may donate sick leave as follows:

  1. The donation of leave is strictly voluntary.  No employee shall be coerced or financially induced into donating leave time.
  2. A contributor may not designate a particular employee to receive the donation.
  3. Time must be donated in whole hours.
  4. An initial donation requires a minimum of eight hours.
  5. The maximum number of hours that may be donated during any 12-month period is 48.
  6. Upon separation from the university, an employee may donate up to 350 hours to the shared leave bank.
  7. A contributor must maintain a balance of 320 sick leave hours.
  8. Sick leave which has been contributed to the shared leave bank cannot be restored to the contributor.
  9. The contributor's identity will remain confidential, unless he/she chooses to self-identify.
  10. A contributor does not have to first donate to the bank in order to receive donations from the bank.
  11. The contributor does not receive any type of tax deduction for the donated leave time.

To request leave:

  1. An employee requesting leave from the shared leave donation bank will download, print and complete an application form available at www.acu.edu/hr, and submit to the Director of Human Resources.
  2. The application must be accompanied by a physician's statement indicating beginning date of health condition and anticipated date employee will be able to return to work.  If the request is for time off to provide a written statement indicating the relationship, where the family member resides, and the extent to which the family member is dependent on the employee for the recuperative care.
  3. After receiving an application, the Human Resources office will verify the employee's eligibility and status, including current accumulated vacation and sick leave balances.  The Director of Human Resources will confer with the employee's supervisor and vice president.  If they are not in agreement, the President's Cabinet will make the final decision.
  4. The Director of Human Resources will notify the employee of the decision within give (5) business days of receipt of application.
  5. If the application is approved, the Payroll office will make the transfer of hours from the university's shared leave bank to the employee's sick leave bank.  Neither the donating employee nor the employee receiving time needs to reflect any transfer of hours on his/her time sheet; the hours will be reflected on the applicable employee's Banner Web leave balance.

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Policy No. 321
Effective Date: January 1, 1994
Reviewed/Updated Date: January 2015
Date of Scheduled Review: January 2019

To enable eligible employees to receive time away from work, with or without pay, for limited periods to attend to specified medical or family needs with job protection and no loss of accumulated service.

This policy applies to all full-time and half-time employees who have been employed by Abilene Christian University for at least 12 months as of the date the leave begins, and have completed 1,250 hours of service during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave.


  1. “Covered Service Member”: A member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness that was incurred while the service member was serving on active duty and in the line of duty and could render the service member unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating
  2. “Employee’s child, son or daughter”: the employee’s biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or child for whom the employee stood in loco parentis. A child must be 18 years or younger, or a child over age 18 with a physical or mental disability that renders them incapable of self-care.
  3. “In Loco Parentis”:  The status of a person who holds day-to-day responsibilities to care for and/or financially supports a child, or who had such responsibility for a person when the person was a child. The status does not require a biological or legal relationship.
  4. “Intermittent Leave”:  FMLA leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason.
  5. “Reduced Leave Schedule”:  FMLA leave that reduces an employee’s usual number of working hours per workweek or hours per workday.
  6. “Serious Health Condition”:  An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider, lasting more than three consecutive full calendar days plus either (a) an in-person treatment by a health care provider at least once within seven days of the first day of incapacity followed by a regimen of continuing treatment or (b) two or more treatments with 30 days of the first day of incapacity.
  7. “Veteran”:  A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service of the United States, and who was discharged or released from that service under conditions other than dishonorable.


  1. Events That May Entitle an Employee to FMLA Leave – Eligible employees are entitled to take FLMA leave for one or more of the following reasons:
    • Employee’s own serious health condition which makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job;
    • To care for the employee’s child, spouse, or parent with serious health condition;
    • For the birth of a child or placement of a child for foster care or adoption;
    • To provide care for a covered service member or veteran with a serious illness or injury if the service member is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin (“military caregiver leave”); or
    • For a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a member of the regular U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves who is deployed to a foreign country on active duty; or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in a foreign country (“qualifying exigency leave”). This does not apply to members of the state military unless they are called into federal service.
    • Qualifying exigencies include the following:
      • Any issue relating to a short-notice deployment;
      • Attendance at military events and related activities, such as pre-deployment briefings and family support sessions;
      • Time needed to provide or arrange for childcare or participate in school-related activities with respect to a child or ward of the covered family member;
      • Time needed to make or update financial and legal arrangements relating to the covered family member or act as the covered family member’s representative with respect to military service benefits;
      • Time needed to participate in counseling, where the need for counseling arises from the covered member’s active duty or call to active duty;
      • Up to five days spent with a covered family member on short-term rest and recuperation leave from a deployment;
      • Post-deployment activities, including any official ceremony sponsored by the military, as well as exigencies arising from the death of a covered family member while on active duty status;
      • Other activities provided that the University and the employee agree that such leave shall qualify as an exigency and agree to both the timing and duration of the leave.
  2. Amount of Leave That May Be Taken
    • Except for military caregiver leave, employees are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a rolling 12 month period for an approved FMLA-qualifying reason. The 12-month period to take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA begins on the day the employee first takes leave for an FMLA-qualifying reason. The university will measure backward 12 months from the date that an employee seeks FMLA leave to determine whether that employee has exhausted his or her entitlement to leave in the 12 month period. For example, assuming an employee takes no military caregiver leave, if an employee used 4 weeks of FMLA leave beginning February 1, 2011, 4 weeks beginning June 1, 2011, and 4 weeks beginning December 1, 2011, the employee would not be entitled to any additional leave until February 1, 2011. However, beginning on February 1, 2011, the employee would be entitled to 4 weeks of leave; on June 1, 2011, the employee would be entitled to an additional 4 weeks, etc.
    • Employees taking military caregiver leave are entitled to take up to 26 work weeks of leave during a rolling 12 month period.  During this period the employee may not take more than a combined maximum of 26 work weeks of FMLA leave for all types of FMLA leave. For employees taking military caregiver leave, the single 12-month period to take up to 26 workweeks of FMLA begins on the day the employee first takes leave to care for the covered service member. 
    • Employees may take intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave for their own serious health condition, for a family member’s health condition, to care for an injured service member, or for recovery from a serious health condition or from treatment.  Leave taken for qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis. Intermittent or reduced-schedule leave should be scheduled to the extent possible to minimally disrupt business operations. When an employee takes intermittent or reduced-schedule leave, the University may temporarily transfer the employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits for which the employee is qualified and which better accommodates a reduced-schedule or intermittent leave schedule.
  3. Limits to Amount of Leave Taken
    • Leave taken to care for a newborn or newly placed child must conclude within 12 months after the birth or placement of the child.
    • A husband and wife who are both employed by the University and are eligible for FMLA leave are entitled to a combined 12 workweeks of FMLA, unless taking military caregiver leave, in which case they may take up to a combined 26 workweeks of FMLA leave.
    • For exigency leave taken due to short-notice deployment, employees may take up to seven calendar days of FMLA leave beginning on the date the covered military member receives call or order to covered active duty.
    • For exigency leave taken due to rest and recuperation for the covered service member, employees may take up to five days of leave for each instance.
  4. Use of Accrued/Paid Leave While on FMLA
    • An employee must use all accrued leave concurrently with FMLA hours while on FMLA leave.  This includes sick, holiday, and vacation leave. Once accrued leave is exhausted, the balance of the FMLA leave will be without pay. However, once accrued leave is exhausted, employees may apply for and receive (if approved) hours from ACU’s shared leave bank to apply towards the FMLA leave.
    • Employees receiving workers’ compensation or temporary disability benefits are not required to use all paid leave while receiving those particular benefits.


  1. Notice by Employee/Notice to Employee
    • Whenever reasonable and practicable, the employee must give at least thirty (30) days advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave.
    • If the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, the employee should notify Human Resources and his or her supervisor as soon as possible. Supervisors should consult with Human Resources immediately upon learning of the employee's request (verbally or in writing) for FMLA leave or of an absence that may qualify for FMLA leave.
    • Failure to give proper notice, without a reasonable excuse, may delay the commencement of the employee’s leave or withdraw any designation of FMLA leave, in which case the employee’s leave of absence would be unauthorized, subjecting the employee to discipline up to and including dismissal.
    • If the employee meets the FMLA eligibility requirements, and after Human resources receives proper documentation (see section IV. F. “Certification” below), the employee will be notified in writing within five business days whether the leave is approved, not approved, or if additional information is needed.  When additional information is needed, employees will have seven calendar days to provide the requested information. 
  2. Certification
    • For an employee’s own serious health condition or that of a family member, or for military caregiver leave, the employee must provide a health provider’s signed medical certification to Human Resources.  Second or third medical opinions and periodic re-certifications may be required, but will not be required for military caregiver leave.
    • For exigency leave, the employee must provide Human Resources with a copy of the covered active duty orders or other military documentation indicating the covered military member is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status, per each call to covered active duty.
    • The University requires that the serious medical condition be recertified every 30 days except for leave related to pregnancy or childbirth or where the minimum duration of the serious health condition at issue is more than 30 days. For employees requesting intermittent or reduced leave for periods in excess of six months, the University requires recertification every six months. In addition, employees are required to report periodically on their status and intent to return to work. If the circumstances of an employee's leave change, and the employee is able to return to work earlier than originally indicated, the employee should notify the University at least two days prior to the date that he or she intends to return to work.  
    • Before an employee may return to work after taking continuous FMLA leave, Human Resources may require the employee to present a fitness-for-duty certification from a health care provider.
    • Certifications must contain particular information, so employees are encouraged to consult with Human Resources to verify the information required.
  3. Continuation of Benefits
    • While on FMLA leave, ACU will continue to contribute its applicable share of insurance premiums as if the employee were at work or on paid leave. 
    • Employees on FMLA leave are required to pay their share of health plan premiums in any manner customarily used by ACU.
    • Failure to pay the employee’s share of premiums will result in cancelation of coverage for remaining duration of the FMLA leave.  Upon return to work, the employee’s benefits will be restored to at least the same level and terms as were in place when the FMLA leave began.
  4. During FMLA leave, the taking of another job may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  5. Reinstatement/Returning to Work
    • Upon returning from FLMA leave, eligible employees will be restored to their former position or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.
    • ACU cannot guarantee that the employee will be returned to the position held before the FMLA leave began.  Exceptions are permitted when the original position is abolished during the FMLA leave due to reduction in force, reorganization, or if the employee would not otherwise have been employed even if the leave had not been taken.
    • If the employee on leave of absence is a salaried employee among the highest paid ten percent of university employees living within 75 miles of the university, and keeping the job open for the employee would result in substantial economic injury to the university, reinstatement to the position may be denied.  However, the employee will be given an opportunity to return to work in a different job.
    • Any employee who fails to return to work as scheduled after FMLA leave may be subject to dismissal from employment. Employees who exceed their FMLA entitlement without extension(s) of their leave approved under other appropriate leave provisions, may be subject to dismissal from employment.
  6. Record Keeping Requirements
    • Any document containing medical information about an employee is considered a medical record and is regarded as confidential. The Office of Human Resources will maintain medical records in a file separate from all other employee records. If necessary, however, these records may be disclosed to supervisors and managers as needed to evaluate and accommodate necessary work restrictions, to first aid and safety personnel if the employee's physical or medical condition might require emergency treatment, and to government officials investigating compliance with FMLA.
  7. Applying For Leave
    • To apply for FMLA Leave an employee must first notify his or her supervisor of his or her absence from work. Employee must complete the FMLA Request Form to initiate the leave request. If needed, the employee may contact the Office of Human Resources at 325-674-2359 to assist the employee in completing the FMLA Request Form.
    • Employee will need to see his or her physician and provide the physician with a signed and dated copy of the certification form that will be provided to the employee upon the employee’s receipt of the Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities form (WH-381).
    • Employee is responsible for returning the Certification of Health Care Provider form to the Office of Human Resources within 15 calendar days of the employee’s receipt of the Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities form (WH-381).
    • Employee will then receive a Designation Notice from the Office of Human Resources within 5 business days of HR receiving the employee’s medical certification informing the employee of the approval or denial of their FMLA leave. If the leave is approved, the Designation Notice will provide official notice to the employee that their associated leave time will be considered FMLA leave.

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Policy No. 322   
Responsible Department: Human Resources
Responsible Administrator: Director of Human Resources
Effective Date: October 1, 1995
Reviewed Date: January 2012
Date of Scheduled Review: January 2016


To enable employees to receive extended time away from work to recover from medical disability or handle compelling personal business.

This policy applies to all employees at ACU.

Leaves of absence without pay may be granted to employees to maintain continuity of service only in instances where unusual or unavoidable circumstances require prolonged absence.  (See IV, Definition, Policy No. 322)  No loss of service credit with the university will occur as a result of the leave of absence, but no benefit credit will accrue toward vacation and sick leave entitlement for the duration of the leave.  The employee will be responsible for paying the entire cost of his/her group health insurance coverage and that of his or her dependents.

Medical Leave.  For employees who do not qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Policy No. 321 (part-time employees and employees who have been employed for less than one year), a medical leave of absence will be granted up to 60 consecutive calendar days when supported by a physician's statement.  Accrued sick leave benefits must be used prior to commencement of the unpaid portion of the leave.

Personal Leave of Absence.  A personal leave of absence to handle compelling personal business may be granted to full-time employees.  Length of a personal leave of absence may range from five to 30 consecutive calendar days.  To be eligible, the employee must have maintained a satisfactory record of employment with the university for a minimum of one year.  Employees must use all accrued vacation before a personal leave of absence commences.

A personal leave of absence is approved at the discretion of the employee's immediate supervisor with the concurrence of one higher level of management.  The employee must be available to return to regular employment on or before the expiration date of the leave.


"Leave of absence" is defined as an excused absence without pay beyond five working days.  An absence involving paid time off (i.e. jury duty, sick leave or bereavement leave) is not considered a leave of absence, nor is personal time off up to five days.


Application and Commencement

  1. Requests for leave of absence or an extension thereof must be submitted in writing to the supervisor two weeks prior to the commencement date, except when medical conditions make such a requirement impossible.  (Use request for leave of absence form, following.)
  2. Extensions of leaves of absence are ordinarily not granted but, under critical circumstances such as an extended medical disability, may be granted.  No extension will be granted beyond 60 days without the President's approval.


  1. Upon return from a medical or personal leave of absence, employees will be reinstated in the following priority of position reassignment:

    prior position, if available
    a comparable position for which the employee is qualified, if available
    a lesser position for which the employee is qualified

  2. If no work is available according to the reassignment priorities listed above, the employee will be separated from employment with the university.
  3. Employees on leave of absence must notify their supervisor at least two weeks prior to end of leave to inform the university of availability for return to work.
  4. The university may require employees to have a physician's release or a physical examination to determine fitness for work prior to return from a medical leave of absence.

An employee's failure to return from leave of absence, or failure to contact his or her supervisor or the Director of Human Resources after the scheduled date of return, will be considered a voluntary resignation.

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Policy No. 322.1   
November 2001
Reviewed July 2004


To provide a military leave of absence (LOA) in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

This policy applies to all faculty and staff employees.

USERRA is intended to minimize the disadvantages that occur when an employee needs to be absent from civilian employment to serve in our country's uniformed services.  USERRA expands the cumulative length of time that such an employee may be absent from work for uniformed services duty and provides for certain employment rights.

USERRA covers any person whose position of employment is interrupted because of uniformed service, either voluntary or involuntary, in the U.S. armed forces, including service in the full-time and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Marin Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard; the commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, or any other category designated by the President of the United States in time of war or emergency.  These absences include active duty, training, weekend drills, summer camp and fitness-for-duty examinations.

Amount of Leave that an Employee May Take
USERRA places a five-year limit on the combined length of an employee's service-connected absences from an employer.  A returning service member is not entitled to reemployment with the person's pre-service employer if the total of the person's military absences from the employer exceeds five (5) years.  Almost all types of military service (exceptions are noted below) are to be counted in computation of the five-year period.

The following categories of service are exempt from the five-year service limitation:

  1. Required training for reservists and National Guard members, including two-week annual training sessions and monthly weekend drills.
  2. Service from which a person, due to no fault of the person, is unable to obtain a release before the expiration of the five-year period.
  3. Service required beyond five years to complete an initial period of obligated service.
  4. Active duty service (other than for training) performed because of a war or national emergency or in support of a critical or operational mission.
  5. Any kind of service other than active duty service if reemployment was initiated before December 12, 1994.
  6. Active duty for training performed by a national Guard member up through December 11, 1994. (However, the balance of the period of duty performed after that date must be counted.)

Continuation of Salary Benefits

  1. For annual training - ACU will pay employee at his/her regular rate of pay, less the amount of military pay which employee may receive, up to 30 working days per calendar year.
  2. for active duty - ACU will pay employee at his/her regular rate of pay, less the amount of military pay which employee may receive, up to a lifetime maximum of 180 days (six months).

Health Insurance and Other Optional Insurances
In accordance with USERRA, for absences of less than 30 days, benefits will continue as if the employee has not been absent.  The employee will continue to pay premiums for dependent coverage while on leave, as well as premiums for any other optional insurances.  For absences of 31 days or more, health insurance coverage stops unless the employee elects to pay for COBRA coverage for a period of up to 18 months.  Health insurance with ACU's group plan will be reinstated the day an employee is reinstated to employment.  (If ACU cannot put the employee back to work immediately upon application, the healthy insurance must be restored immediately.)

Retirement Plan
In accordance with USERRA, upon reemployment of a returning service member, military service must be considered work with an employer for purposes related to ACU's retirement plan.  Both the employee and the employer contributions to the employee's retirement plan will cease during the military service.  Upon reemployment, the employee may make employee contributions over a period of time that is three (3) times the duration of the military service, not to exceed five (5) years.  ACU will fund its resulting obligation under the plan within the same time frame, if and only to the extent the employee makes such contributions to the plan.

Eligibility for Reemployment
In accordance with USERRA, a returning service member is entitled to reemployment with ACU if the following conditions are met:

  1. the person left ACU in order to serve in uniformed service.  If a person left a job for reasons unrelated to military service and then subsequently decided to enter a uniformed service, then he/she would not be eligible for reemployment
  2. The person's pre-service job was for more than a brief, non recurrent period and was reasonable expected to continue for a significant length of time.
  3. Advance written or oral notice of military service was given to ACU, unless giving of notice was impossible or unreasonable due to military necessity or other circumstances.
  4. The combined length of the person's military service absences from ACU does not exceed five (5) years (excluding exempt periods of service noted above).
  5. The person reported back to work or applied for reemployment within USERRA's required time limits.  (USERRA's return-to-work requirements are described below.)
  6. Termination of the person's military service was under honorable conditions.
  7. The person is qualified or can become qualified without undue hardship to ACU for a position within the reemployment time frame applicable to that person.  (The reemployment time frames are described below.)
  8. There was no change in ACU's circumstances that would make reemployment impossible or unreasonable.


  1. The employee must notify his/her supervisor either in writing or orally prior to going on duty, unless precluded by military necessity.
  2. The supervisor must notify Human Resources in order to ensure compliance with USERRA.

Notice Required by a Returning Service Member
In accordance with USERRA, timely reporting for work is the only "notice" required for employees returning from military service of 30 or fewer days or from a fitness-for-service examination.  Employees returning from military service of 31 or more days must submit a timely application for reemployment.

  1. Service of 1 to 30 days/fitness examinations.  The employee must report for work by the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work day that falls eight (8) hours after the employee returns home.  If timely reporting is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, the employee must report to work as soon as possible.
  2. Service of 31 to 180 days.  The employee must submit an application for reemployment no later than 14 days after completion of military service.  If submission of a timely application is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, the application must be submitted as soon as possible.
  3. Service of 181 or more days.  The employee must submit an application for employment no later than 90 days after completion of military service.

The reporting and application deadlines described above are extended up to two (2) years for employees who are hospitalized or convalescing because of a service-connected injury or illness.  If timely reporting within the two-year period is impossible or unreasonable due to circumstances beyond the employee's control, the period is extended by the minimum time required to accommodate those circumstances.

In accordance with USERRA, returning service members will be placed as follows:

  • Service of 90 or fewer days.  A person returning from military service lasting 90 or fewer days must be promptly re employed in a job in the following order of priority:
    • Position 1.  The job the person would have held had the person remained continuously employed, so long as the person is qualified for the job or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the person.
    • Position 2.  If the person cannot become qualified for Position 1: the person's pre-service job, so long as the person is qualified for the job or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the person.
    • Position 3.  If the person cannot become qualified for either Position 1 or Position 2: any other job that the person is qualified to perform and that is next best to the job the person would have held if the person had never left for military service or, if no such position is available, the person's pre-service job.
  • Service of 91 or more days.  Persons returning from military service lasting 91 or more days must be promptly re employed in a job in the following order of priority:
    • Position 1.  The job the person would have held had the person remained continuously employed, or a position of equivalent seniority, status and pay, so long as the person is qualified for the job or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by ACU to qualify the person.
    • Position 2.  If the person cannot become qualified for Position 1: the person's pre-service job, or a position of equivalent seniority, status, and pay, so long as the person is qualified for the job or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by ACU to qualify the person.
    • Position 3:  If the person cannot become qualified for either Position 1 or Position 2: any other job that the person is qualified to perform and that is next best to the job the person would have held if the person had never left for military service or, in no such position is available, the person's pre-service job.

The foregoing procedures in this Section IV are those currently stipulated by USERRA and will be modified from time to time to always comply with the then current procedures stipulated by USERRA.

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Policy No. 323   
Responsible Department: Human Resources
Responsible Administrator: Director of Human Resources
Effective Date: January 1, 1994
Reviewed Date: January 2012
Date of Scheduled Review: January 2016


To provide a means for employees to secure limited time off when such time is needed for important personal reasons.

This policy applies to employees at ACU.

The university may grant to regular employees unpaid time off for substantial personal reasons, provided such time off does not materially affect the normal conduct of the university, customer service or operating costs.

  1. Duration.  The duration of personal time off ranges from a few hours to five days.  Beyond five days, a leave of absence will be used.  (See Policy No. 322 Leaves of Absence Without Pay)
  2. Conditions.  In considering an employee's request for personal time off, the seriousness of the matter prompting the request will be taken into consideration by the supervisor.  Such requests should be in response to serious personal needs rather than for occasional time off to rest of relax.  Employees must make an effort to schedule ordinary personal and business affairs outside working hours.

Examples of needs considered to be reasonable uses of unpaid personal time off include: extensive legal affairs or funeral of a friend or relative.

Examples of causes not considered to be reasonable uses of unpaid personal time off include: chronic automobile trouble, non-emergency financial problems, visiting relatives, other employment (moonlighting), or seeking employment outside the university. 



  1. The requesting employee's performance record and previously granted time off will be taken into consideration by the supervisor before granting a time off request.
  2. When the need for absence from work is known in advance, the employee must notify the supervisor immediately.
  3. Employees will continue to be covered under all insured benefit plans while they are on approved personal time off.
  4. Unpaid personal time off will be recorded on the employee time sheet using the lost time code 145.

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Policy No. 324   
Responsible Department: ACUPD
Responsible Administrator: Chief of Police
Effective Date: September 28, 2009
Reviewed/Updated Date: September 1, 2013
Date of Scheduled Review: July 2017