Skidmore Employee Benefits Summary
Leaves of Absence
What is an administrative leave of absence?
The Administrative Leave Program is designed to encourage professional growth and to provide an opportunity to pursue a professional or educational project. The length of leave may vary from several weeks to up to five (5) months. Normally, the College approves no more than four administrative leaves annually. If approved, regular base salary and benefits are continued while on Administrative Leave. This benefit is not an entitlement. Employees who are interested in requesting an administrative leave must submit their request to their Dean or Vice President by January of each year. President’s Cabinet will review requests by February of each year.
Who is eligible for an administrative leave?
Regular full- and part-time exempt employees with a minimum of six years of continuous service are eligible to apply for a paid administrative leave of absence. Policy and procedures may be obtained on the HR website.
What is the duration of bereavement leave?
In the case of death in the immediate family, employees will be permitted a bereavement leave of up to four (4) days with pay. Immediate family includes spouse or qualified domestic partner, child or stepchild, parent or stepparent, guardian, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law or step-mother-in-law, father-in-law or step-father-in-law, grandparents or spouse’s grandparents, grandchildren, or any related person living in the employee's home. Qualified domestic partners have the same status as a spouse.
Who is eligible for bereavement leave?
Regular full- and part-time exempt employees (faculty and staff) and non-exempt employees are eligible as of date of hire.
Blood Donation Leave
Employees who need scheduled work time off to donate blood are eligible for one unpaid leave not to exceed 3 hours per calendar year. This leave should be scheduled in advance with the employee's supervisor. The College may require verification by the blood bank sponsor/organization as to the purpose and length of each such leave requested. Employees may use available vacation time if they wish to be paid for this leave. Employees who participate in a Skidmore-sponsored blood drive will be paid for the time up to 1.5 hours.
Bone Marrow Donation Leave
Employees who need scheduled work time off to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow are eligible for unpaid leaves not to exceed 24 hours combined. This leave should be scheduled in advance with the employee’s supervisor. The College may require verification by a physician as to the purpose and length of each such leave requested. Employees may use available vacation days if they wish to be paid for this leave.
In compliance with the New York Election Laws, the College will allow employees entitled and registered to vote at any statewide election, but who do not have sufficient time outside their working hours to vote, up to 2 hours paid leave between the time the polling place opens and closes, generally at the beginning or end of a scheduled shift. Employees are expected to attempt to vote during non-scheduled work hours. This benefit is available to all employees immediately upon hire; however, employees are required to apply to their supervisors between two and ten days before Election Day. The supervisor may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent.
The College posts a notice about its compliance with the New York Election Law from the tenth working day through the close of polls on Election Day for all covered elections.
Citizenship/Jury Duty Leave
In accordance with New York State laws and with our commitment to promote good citizenship, the College will not discharge or otherwise penalize any employee because of their absence from work to serve on a jury. The employee should present the jury notice to his/her supervisor immediately upon receipt.
If you are able to work three or more hours of your shift, you are required to do so. Jury duty proof of service slips must be submitted to your department weekly to document your time. This benefit is available to all regular full- and part-time employees immediately upon hire.
When a regular full- or part-time employee is required to serve as a juror in a court proceeding, the College will pay the employee’s regular salary. Immediately upon receipt of payment from the government, the employee should submit a copy of the government pay stub to Payroll and reimburse the College for the exact amount of pay received by the government. The employee may keep any reimbursement for mileage or expenses.
Military Spouse Leave
Effective 8/16/2006, New York law grants certain military spouse employees ten (10) days unpaid leave, without retaliation, when their active military spouses are on leave from combat service. Covered employees must work on average 20 or more hours per week.
The employee’s spouse must be serving during a period of military conflict, meaning a period of war as declared by the U.S. Congress or in which a military member or reservist is ordered to active duty pursuant to Sections 12301 and 12302 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. This leave should only be used when the employee’s spouse is on leave from active duty in a combat theater or combat zone. The employee’s spouse must be a member of the U.S. armed forces, National Guard, or reserves.
This provision shall not limit an employee’s rights to use other employee benefits as provided by law.
The College recognizes the need to have a policy that addresses the employment and re- employment rights of full- and part-time employees who serve in the military. It is the policy of the College to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA) as amended, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act of 2008 (HEART Act) and applicable state laws which protect job rights and benefits for veterans and members of the reserves. The law covers all persons serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service commissioned corps, and the reserve components of these services, the National Disaster Medical System and the National Guard.
USERRA and the HEART Act give protections to employees absent from work for active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training (such as drills), inactive duty training, full-time National Guard and/or National Disaster Medical System duty, and a period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any such duty.
Unless precluded by military necessity or circumstances under which the giving of notice is otherwise impracticable or unreasonable, the employee (or an appropriate officer of the uniformed service in which the employee is to serve) must give as much advance written or spoken notice as possible of the need for military leave. It is the employee's responsibility to submit a copy of his or her military orders prior to their leave and, if extended, submit a copy of their extended orders in a timely manner to ensure their position at the College.
If an employee is a member of one of the reserve units noted above, and is required to attend training or annual two-week encampment, or any other type of military exercise, the employee may elect to take vacation, if sufficient earned days of vacation are available, or to take a military leave of absence.
If an employee is absent from work due to active military service, the College will grant the employee a leave of absence for the duration of such period of service up to the maximum required by USERRA.
Employment and Pay
If military leave of absence is elected under either an inactive- or active-duty assignment, “makeup pay” for a period of ten (10) work days or fourteen (14) calendar days, whichever is greater, in a twelve- month period will be granted. The “makeup pay” will be the difference between the normal base salary/wage for the period of time lost and the military pay (exclusive of travel and similar allowances) earned while at the encampment or training. To receive “makeup pay,” each employee will be responsible for furnishing proof of participation in military training and a statement of government pay received. Employees may elect to use paid leave time in lieu of military leave or a combination of paid leave and military leave.
Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994, as amended, an employee is entitled to reemployment by Skidmore College upon separation from military service, provided the employee:
Gave advance written or verbal notice of service;
Was separated from the service with an honorable or qualifying discharge;
Was employed in a position for which there was an expectation of continued employment;
Has not been absent for duty in the uniformed services for longer than a cumulative period of five (5) years unless involuntarily retained in the uniformed service; and
Reported to work or notified his or her supervisor of an intention to return to work, at the proper time, as indicated in the following table.
|Period of Service||Action Employee Must Take||When Action Must Be Taken|
|1–30 days||Report to work||The next regular, full work day after return home|
|31–180 days||Notify his or her supervisor||Within 14 days after the completion of service|
|181+ days||Notify his or her supervisor||Within 90 days after the completion of service|
An eligible employee will be reinstated to his or her former position and benefits, the position and benefits he/she would have attained if he/she had not been absent due to military service, or, in some cases, a comparable position.
Benefit Continuation and Reinstatement
The following benefit policies pertain to periods of military service qualifying under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
- Health Care: The College provides employees with limited health coverage during military leave. For an employee on active duty for fewer than 31 days, the College provides health care coverage as if he or she had not taken leave. Those on active duty for 31 or more days may elect to continue employer-sponsored health care for themselves and covered dependents up to twenty four months while in the military. As with other extended leaves, the College may require employees electing coverage to pay up to 102% of the full premium.
Even if the employee does not elect to continue coverage during military service, the employee has the right to be reinstated in the college’s health plan upon reemployment, generally without any waiting period or exclusions (e.g., pre-existing conditions) except for service-connected illnesses or injuries.
- Pension Plan: Upon the employee’s return to work, the College will give service credit for pension accrual and contributions to those who go on active duty to the same extent as for similarly situated employees who were not absent on military leave.
- College’s 403(b) Plan: Employees participating in the College’s 403(b) Plan may make up any contributions missed due to being on leave when they return to work. Although the requirements for making retroactive contributions are complex under the controlling law, and we will advise you of your specific rights and obligations upon your reemployment, you should understand that returning employees may take up to three times the length of military service, to a maximum of five years, to make up contributions which were not made during military leave. Moreover, makeup contributions are not subject to the annual limitations on plan contributions.
- Other Benefits: The coverage provided by insurance plans such as group life insurance and long-term disability insurance will be reinstated, with no waiting period, when the employee returns to active employment with the College.
Dependents of employees who are eligible or become eligible for tuition remission benefits and course-fee waiver benefits will retain this eligibility during the time the employee is on military leave.
Employees reemployed following military leave will receive seniority and other benefits determined by seniority that the employee had at the beginning of the military leave, plus any additional seniority and benefits the employee would have attained, with reasonable certainty, had the individual remained continuously employed. In addition, an employee’s time spent on active military duty will be counted toward their eligibility for FMLA leave once they return to their position.
This policy may not address all issues concerning your rights during military leave. Insofar as issues arise that are not addressed in this policy, the College will abide by USERRA and any controlling state law. Should you have any questions or require further information, please see your Human Resources Department for further information regarding military leave.
What is the duration of an unpaid leave of absence?
The College will consider requests for unpaid leaves of absence for up to 12 months for eligible employees.
When will leaves be approved?
The College will consider unpaid leave requests for educational or personal reasons. Approval will be based on departmental and budgetary needs.
However, in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a request for unpaid leave of absence for up to twelve (12) weeks will be granted for any of the following reasons: (1) birth of a child in order to care for that child; (2) placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly paced child; (3) care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition (described in plan document); (4) serious illness (described in plan document) of an employee; (5) a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the armed forces; (6) to care for an injured or ill service member.
Please refer to the Family Medical Leave Policy for further details. Under the FMLA, employees may be required to provide thirty (30) days advance notice before taking leave for foreseeable events. When this is not practical, notice must be given “as soon as practicable.” Ordinarily, this means within one or two business days of learning of the need for leave. Medical certification may be required.
Who may apply for an unpaid leave of absence?
Regular full- and part-time exempt employees (faculty and administrative/professional staff) and non-exempt employees (support staff) are eligible to participate in this program if they have worked for the College for at least one year and for at least 1,250 hours over the previous twelve months.