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Continuation of Benefits/Leave Without Pay An employee is offered continuation of benefits when they enter a leave without pay status with the exception of Family Medical Leave.
When an employee is on leave without pay for a full month and is participating in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the employee only insurance is continued for a maximum of 12 weeks. This leave may run concurrently with disability and workers compensation insurance benefits.
In order to offer continuation of benefits, the employee must be inactive but not terminated and not receiving any paid DCCCD leave for an entire month. The employee is not eligible for the State contribution for employee only insurance.
The employee is eligible to continue all insurance coverage while in a leave without pay status by making the premium payment. These premiums payments are made directly to the Employees Retirement System (ERS).
The employee can choose the coverages that they want to continue. The coverages they do not continue will be cancelled. Disability premiums are waived when an employee is in a full month’s leave without pay, regardless of whether they are receiving disability benefits.
The employee can participate in continuation of benefits for a maximum continuous period of 12 months. If the employee is participating in the TEXFLEX reimbursement account for health care (HCRA), the employee must continue to make their monthly contributions until the plan year ends. They may process claims through their reimbursement account while they are in a leave without pay status. If they participate in the dependent care account (DCRA), they are not eligible to continue their monthly DCRA contributions. Questions regarding TEXFLEX accounts should be directed to ERS by calling 1-800-252-3645.
Holding the PositionThe department supervisor that is responsible for the management of the department may not want to hold the employee’s position while the employee is in a leave without pay status. Employees that are in contractual positions must be held until the contract expires. The District is under no obligation to hold a non-contractual position when a leave without pay status occurs. The department should make a decision concerning the likelihood of the employee returning to work. The American Disability Act must also be a part of the action when making the decision to hold the position. If the department can not sufficiently support the job duties of the leave without pay employee, a decision may be made to terminate the employee. The employee would not be offered continuation of benefits, but COBRA instead.
If the likelihood is that the non-contractual employee will return in a sufficient amount of time, the department may hold position.
Notification of Leave Without PayWhen an employee enters a full-month of leave without pay and/or on FMLA, the location Human Resources office must notify the District Service Center payroll office immediately. This notification should be made to payroll for their office to reconcile insurance benefits. The location Human Resources office should also change the status of the employee in the ERS Peoplesoft system.
The employee must be notified in writing of the following:
An employee in a leave without pay status cannot add coverage or dependents through evidence of insurability or make TEXFLEX changes without an eligible change in family status, or add Voluntary AD&D coverage.
Reinstatement of Coverage when Returning To WorkThe policies for employees returning to work may vary depending on whether coverages were maintained, reduced or cancelled during the leave without pay status.
Continued Coverage, the following applies:
Cancelled or reduced coverage in the same plan year, the following applies:
Cancelled or reduced coverage not in the same plan year, the following applies
Employees on leave without pay September 1 (during Annual enrollment), the following applies if returning to work in a 30-day period after September 1
ERS Automatic Drop NotificationWhen an employee has exhausted the 12 months of leave without pay, ERS will automatically generate a report to let the Benefits Coordinator know that all coverages have been dropped.
In order for an employee to continue coverage, the employee must be offered COBRA under the appropriate qualifying event. All COBRA qualifiers do not necessarily mean termination of employment from the DCCCD. In some instances, the employee will remain an employee of the District in an inactive status.
Employees who do not work in the summer are not considered in a leave without pay status. The types of employees, usually full-time faculty or an employee who has been hired to work less than 12 months, have pre-paid for their insurance optional coverages to be extended into the summer.
Employees on Leave Without Pay the day before and/or the day following the holiday shall not receive compensation for the holiday during such leave.
An employee who is absent without proper authorization on the day before and/or the day following a holiday shall not receive compensation for such holiday.