Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(8)    Employment Policies and Benefits

(8A)    EMPLOYMENT OF FACULTY, CONTRACT STAFF, AND CLASSIFIED STAFF

(8B)    NON- DISCRIMINATION AND DIVERSITY POLICY

(8C)    ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

(8D)    CODE OF CONDUCT  

(8E)    EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

(8F)    INSURANCE AND OTHER BENEFITS

(8G)    LEAVES AND SCHEDULED ABSENCES


(8G)    LEAVES AND SCHEDULED ABSENCES

For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to This Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. Academic Leaves

  2. Court Duty

  3. Disability Leave

  4. Family and Medical Leave

  5. Funeral Leave

  6. Parental Leave Policy for Academic Departmental Faculty

  7. Parental Leave Policy for Faculty Who Accrue Sick or Vacation Time

  8. Military Leave

  9. Probationary Period and Leave

  10. Short-term Medical Leaves for Faculty

  11. Sick Leave

  12. Vacation Leave

For additional information concerning leaves and scheduled absences for contract and classified staff, consult the Human Resources chapter of the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures or The Classified Personnel Policy Manual.

I.    ACADEMIC LEAVES

Academic Leaves for faculty are discussed in Chapter 4A: Statement on Faculty Development,  Section III.A: Academic Leave Policy.


II.    COURT DUTY

Faculty and contract staff subpoenaed to serve on a jury or as a witness will be granted the necessary time off with pay.


III.    DISABILITY LEAVE

A.    Faculty

Trinity University will provide protection of remuneration (salary and other benefits) to any full-time employee who through protracted physical or psychological disability is unable to perform the tasks and/or meet the responsibilities normally associated with the duties of his/her position. This protection of remuneration will be for a period of no more than six months from the commencement of the disability. The protection is only for the actual remuneration due under the applicable contract or pay grade classification. Due to the nature of the protection plan, the University will not continue payments for periods beyond the completion of a terminal contract or provide remuneration protection for periods not otherwise covered by the contract (e.g., summer recess for nine-month faculty) even though these periods will be counted toward the six-month limit. An employee who becomes disabled as a result of a work-related injury will have his/her short-term disability payments reduced by any compensation received from the University’s Worker Compensation Insurance Company. During short-term disability leave, all accruals of vacation and sick leave will be suspended. Eligibility for remuneration protection will be based upon clear and convincing medical evidence, and a change to disability status shall be made

1.    at the request of an affected employee by presentation of a request to commence disability status and presentation of such medical evidence as may be necessary to demonstrate the existence of a physical or psychological disability which precludes that individual from performing the tasks or meeting the responsibilities normally associated with the discharge of his/her duties, and that such is expected to be protracted; or,

2.    at the request of the University by presentation to the affected employee of a determination of long-term disability. For faculty members action is to be initiated by the University pursuant to Chapter 3AArticle V: Termination of Tenured or Unexpired Appointments. All of the various due process provisions contained in this Handbook shall apply.

Every effort will be made to assure that disability coverage provided by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity program or other such disability program will become applicable upon the conclusion of the period of remuneration protection; however, in no event will the University’s obligation to provide remuneration protection continue past six calendar months from the commencement of the disability period.

The University’s obligation for remuneration protection will cease effective upon the affected individual’s having obtained another position of employment. Further, the University reserves the right to deduct from any remuneration provided hereunder the amount of earnings received by the affected individual from such employment during the period of disability.

In the event of a request by either the affected faculty member or the University for long-term disability status, the commencement of such disability will be presumed to be the date of a recognizable event that resulted in the disability. In the event of a request by the faculty member, if the University disputes the existence and/or extent of disability, the University may require the affected faculty member to be examined by a physician or other professional of its choosing at the University’s expense.

Where necessary, each faculty member’s contract will be modified to reflect agreement to the foregoing. Additionally, the relevant provisions of this Handbook above will be restated to reflect the foregoing.

The University will require a medical release before the employee returns to work. This action will be taken to certify that the employee is capable of returning to work and performing normal duties. Should the University require a second opinion, this will be at the University’s expense.

Once the six-month disability benefit has been used and if the employee later returns to work, he/she must work for two years before a similar benefit can again be used.

If the faculty member is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, such leave will be taken concurrently with any disability leave.

Failure to apply for disability leave in a timely manner will not extend the six-month period.

B.    Contract Staff

All full-time contract staff will accrue disability leave on the basis of two months (44 working days) for each full year of full-time employment up to a maximum of six months (l30 working days). All permanent part-time contract staff will accrue disability leave in the same proportion that their percent of time worked relates to that of a full-time employee. Disability leave will only be paid when the duration of the illness is expected to extend beyond six months.

The accrued disability leave will be paid at the rate of 100 percent of the employee’s base salary.

The University will require a medical release before the employee returns to work. This action will be taken to certify that the employee is capable of returning to work and performing normal duties. Should the University require a second opinion, this will be at the University’s expense.

An employee who becomes disabled as a result of a work-related injury will have disability leave payments reduced by any compensation received from the University’s Worker Compensation Insurance Company.

Once the six-month disability benefit has been used and if the employee later returns to work, he/she must work for two years before a similar benefit can again be used.

If the employee is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, such leave will be taken concurrently with any sick leave and/or disability leave.

Disability leave will extend no longer than six months after the employee ceases to be in an active work status. Sick leave will be charged concurrently until exhausted. Failure to apply for disability leave in a timely manner will not extend the six-month period.


IV.    FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires covered employers to afford eligible employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid family and/or medical leave annually.

Employees who have completed twelve months of benefits-eligible employment and work at least twenty hours a week may request a maximum of twelve weeks unpaid family leave during any twelve-month period. Family leave may be granted for

  1. the birth or care of a child; 

  2. the adoption of a child or the placement of a child in the employee’s home for foster care; 

  3. the care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or 

  4. the employee’s own serious health condition.

  5. Military Exigency Leave to deal with a qualifying exigency related to or affected by the active military duty or call to active military duty in the Armed Forces, National Guard, or military reserves of the employee's spouse, child, or parent.

  6. Military Caregiver Leave to care for a spouse, child, parent, or next of kin who is a member or former member of the Armed Forces and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is on outpatient status, or is on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious illness or injury that was incurred in the line of duty while on active duty and incurred within five years prior to the treatment, recuperation, or therapy.

Requesting FMLA Leave

Employees must submit a written request to the appropriate administrative supervisor at least thirty days prior to the commencement of leave in cases where the leave is foreseeable and make reasonable efforts in scheduling leaves to avoid disrupting the work unit. Family and medical leave requests must be documented by a physician or, in the case of adoption, a copy of the adoption papers. Medical certification forms are available from the Office of Human Resources.

Salary and Benefits During Leave

Employees will be required to use Vacation and Sick Leave for any part of the twelve-week Family and Medical or FMLA Military Leave. During an approved leave, the employee remains eligible to continue medical, dental, life, and disability premiums. The University will continue to contribute its portion of the total premium, and the employee will pay the remaining balance on a schedule agreed upon by the University and the employee. Using paid leave will not extend the maximum amount of leave available. When paid leave is exhausted, the remaining leave is unpaid. Sick leave and vacation benefits will continue to accrue only during the portion of leave during which an employee is receiving sick leave or vacation pay.

Return To Work

Employees returning from Family, Medical, or FMLA Military Leave will be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position with no loss in pay or benefits accrued prior to the leave. However, an employee is considered to have resigned voluntarily if:

  1. The employee does not return to work after the end of the approved leave period.
  2.  The employee has accepted other non-military employment during the leave period.

For details on Family, Medical, and FMLA Military Leave, please contact the Office of Human Resources.


V.    FUNERAL LEAVE

The University grants eligible employees a paid funeral leave for death in the immediate family (spouse, child, parent, sister or brother, grandparent, grandchild, or corresponding in-law relationships; exceptions must be approved by the Office of Human Resources). A maximum period of three days will be granted to those employees who experience a death in their immediate families. A temporary employee is not entitled to funeral leave. Funeral leave will be allowed proportionately for an employee on part-time status provided he/she is employed at least twenty hours per week. Full-time employees serving a probationary period are entitled to funeral leave privileges.


VI.    PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY FOR ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTAL FACULTY

1.    This policy applies to full-time tenure track and tenured academic faculty on nine-month appointments who do not accrue vacation or sick leave.

2.    The purpose of this policy is to minimize disruption to students and to give parents time to bond with and adjust to life with their new child. In accordance with these purposes, eligible faculty members who will be the primary caregiver for a newborn or adoptive child under the age of five are eligible for up to eight consecutive weeks of paid leave on or near the date that the child is born or adopted.

3.    Simultaneous adoptions or multiple births--such as twins or triplets--count as one leave event.

4.    When, according to the needs of the parent on or near the date that the child is born or adopted, six or more of these eight weeks fall within one semester, the eligible faculty member, at the discretion of the University, may be relieved of teaching responsibilities during the entire semester in which the child is born or adopted.

5.    If the faculty member is granted relief of teaching responsibilities during the entire semester in which the child is born or adopted, the faculty member will resume non-teaching responsibilities such as advising and committee assignments during the portion of the semester not covered by the leave.

6.    As in the case with other types of leave, the faculty member should make a request for the leave in writing to his or her departmental Chair, who will forward it to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs for review.  To the extent appropriate, the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs will consult with Human Resources to make a final determination.  As part of the leave request, the faculty member will be required to attest in writing that he or she will be the primary caregiver for the newborn or adoptive child during the leave period. When both parents are faculty members at Trinity University, only one parent can qualify as the primary caregiver, for the purposes of receiving paid benefits under this policy. 

7.    It is the responsibility of the faculty member to notify his or her departmental Chair regarding the anticipated birth or adoption. In the case of birth, the faculty member shall notify the departmental Chair no fewer than four months prior to the anticipated due date. In the case of adoption, the faculty member shall notify the departmental Chair upon receipt of an anticipated date of adoption or upon the date adoption proceedings begin, whichever is earlier. It is the responsibility of the departmental Chair to work with the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, in consultation with the faculty member, to make the necessary staffing arrangements that will take place in the absence of the faculty member requesting parental leave.

8.    When the leave allows for advance planning, the curricular obligations of the faculty member on leave should be accommodated by creative scheduling such as team teaching, rescheduling classes, course load adjustment, or cancellation of classes. When curricular responsibilities remain after all of the options listed above are utilized, part-time faculty may be hired to cover those responsibilities. Future course reductions for departmental colleagues who take on a significant portion of the teaching duties of the faculty member should also be considered.

9.    An eligible faculty member who becomes a new parent but is not the primary caregiver may be eligible for two weeks of paid leave, providing that the faculty member is able to make the necessary staffing arrangements. Requests for such leaves should follow the procedures outlined in paragraphs 6 and 7 above.

10.    The departmental Chair and the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs will address any conditions not covered herein, such as an adoption whose date is not anticipated, in consultation with the faculty member.

11.    All parental leaves will run concurrently with leaves taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

12.    For probationary faculty members who are the primary care-giver, the timetable toward tenure review will be extended by one year, unless a written request is received to waive the extension. (See also Chapter 3A, Article IV.D).

Also refer to Sick Leave and Vacation Leave in the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures.


VII. PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY FOR FACULTY WHO ACCRUE SICK OR VACATION TIME

1.    This policy applies to full-time faculty who accrue vacation or sick leave. Examples are library faculty and faculty members of the Administration above the position of academic departmental Chair.

2.    Faculty members who accrue sick or vacation time and will be the primary caregiver for a newborn or adoptive child under the age of five are eligible for up to eight consecutive weeks of leave on or near the date that the child is born or adopted. The first four weeks will be paid parental leave. The remaining parental leave, up to a maximum of four additional weeks, may be taken utilizing accrued sick or vacation time.

3.    Simultaneous adoptions or multiple births--such as twins or triplets--count as one leave event.

4.    As in the case with other types of leave, the faculty member should make a request for the leave in writing to his or her supervisor, who will forward it to the VPIR or the VPFSA for review. To the extent appropriate, the VPIR or the VPFSA will consult with Human Resources to make a final determination. As part of the leave request, the faculty member will be required to attest in writing that he or she will be the primary caregiver for the newborn or adoptive child. When both parents are faculty members at Trinity University, only one parent can qualify as the primary caregiver, for the purposes of receiving paid benefits under this policy.

5.    It is the responsibility of the faculty member to notify his or her supervisor regarding the anticipated birth or adoption. In the case of birth, the faculty member shall notify the supervisor no fewer than four months prior to the anticipated due date. In the case of adoption, the faculty member shall notify the supervisor upon receipt of an anticipated date of adoption or upon the date adoption proceedings begin, whichever is earlier. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to work with the appropriate Vice President (VPIR or VPFSA), in consultation with the faculty member, to make the necessary staffing arrangements that will take place in the absence of the faculty member requesting parental leave.

6.    An eligible faculty member who becomes a new parent but is not the primary caregiver may be eligible for two weeks of paid leave. Requests for such leaves should follow the procedures outlined in paragraphs 4 and 5 above.

7.    The supervisor and the appropriate Vice President (VPIR OR VPFSA) will address any conditions not covered herein, such as an adoption whose date is not anticipated, in consultation with the faculty member.

8.    All parental leaves will run concurrently with leaves taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

9.    For probationary faculty members who are the primary care-giver, the timetable toward tenure review will be extended by one year, unless a written request is received to waive the extension. (See also Chapter 3A, Article IV.D).

Also refer to Sick Leave and Vacation Leave in the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures.


VIII.    MILITARY LEAVE

Members of the National Guard or of the official militia of the State of Texas or members of the armed forces reserves are subject to annual call for temporary active duty. These employees may be granted a leave of absence without pay. A copy of the military orders must be presented when requesting leave. Employees who are absent from work for duty in the uniformed services will be granted an unpaid military leave and reinstatement rights in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and state law.

Please contact the Office of Human Resources for additional details regarding military leave.


IX.    PROBATIONARY PERIOD AND LEAVE

Refer to Sick Leave and Vacation Leave in the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures.


X.    SHORT-TERM MEDICAL LEAVES FOR FACULTY

There is no established University policy for medical leaves for most faculty. In the event that a faculty member must take a short-term medical leave of absence, it is understood that the following guidelines will govern the arrangements for the leave.

When the leave allows for advance planning, the curricular obligations of the faculty member on leave should be accommodated by creative scheduling such as team teaching, cancellation of classes, rescheduling classes, or course load adjustment. When curricular responsibilities remain after all of the options listed above are utilized, part-time faculty may be hired to cover those responsibilities. Since advance planning is essential to minimize curricular disruption, it is essential that there be consideration of the appropriate duration of the leave, where possible. 

The leave will be negotiated by the faculty in consultation with his or her Chair and department and approved by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. If a satisfactory arrangement cannot be designed, the faculty member may involve the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs in the negotiations. Information on the curricular arrangements for previous medical leaves will be on file in the Office of Academic Affairs.


XI.    SICK LEAVE

Refer to Sick Leave and Vacation Leave in the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures.


XII.    VACATION LEAVE

Refer to Sick Leave and Vacation Leave in the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures.


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This page was last modified on 05/24/12

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