Civilian PPM: Benefits

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Policy # 17: Insurance

The City provides benefit coverage that is designed to be competitive with its labor markets and supports efforts to attract and retain employees. Enrollment, eligibility, participation requirements, plan restrictions, procedures, etc., shall be in accordance with the provisions of the various benefit plans.

Benefit plans are reviewed on a regular basis and subject to change annually.

Employee contributions for benefit plans are paid by payroll deductions. The City currently offers plans in the following areas for regular, probationary, and special employees:

Medical                                                                       Life Insurance

Dental                                                                          Voluntary Term Life

Vision                                                                           Short-term Disability

Long-term Care                                                        Long Term Disability

Flexible Spending Accounts                                      Retirement Health Savings Plan

Employees enrolled in benefit plans should review the Medical Plan Document and contact the City's Benefit section in Human Resources if an employee experiences a family status change.

Part-time Employee Benefits

Regular, probationary, or special part-time employees who are employed to work a minimum of 20 hours, but less than 30 hours, a week shall be eligible for the employer paid benefit premiums according to established schedules. Employees working 30 hours or more a week are eligible for the same employer paid premiums as full-time employees.

Retirement

In order to facilitate the retirement process, employees are encouraged to meet with a representative of Human Resources to determine the status of benefit plans upon retirement.

Deceased Employee

The family of a deceased employee should contact Human Resources to determine the relevant policies regarding continuation of coverage.

PERA Retirement Plan

The City is a member of the State of Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) in lieu of participation in the Federal Social Security System. Membership for all non-sworn employees is mandatory at date of employment.

  • PERA benefits available upon retirement, death, or separation are prescribed by the state of Colorado.
  • The state of Colorado sets the percentage rates of contribution for employer and employee.
  • Rates are based upon the employee's pensionable earnings.

PERA Short-term Disability Insurance Benefit

PERA offers a short-term disability insurance benefit to eligible employees. Availability and receipt of this benefit is not a factor in determining continued employment.

A separated employee who receives PERA short-term disability benefits, and is later (within 22 months) granted full medical retirement from PERA, will be eligible for City retirement benefits, if such employee applied for PERA medical retirement prior to being separated. Retirement benefits will begin the date that PERA awarded the full medical retirement.

Such employee is responsible for notifying the City that they have been awarded full medical retirement within 60 days from the date the employee received notice from PERA. Should an employee fail to make such notification, the City is not obligated to grant the employee retirement benefits.

Concurrent Use of Short Term Disability and Paid Leaves

Employees may supplement short-term disability payments with accrued leave. While on FMLA leave, employees must supplement time not covered by short-term disability with paid time/paid leave.  Under no circumstances will an employee receive a combination of short-term disability payments and accrued leave which exceeds 100% of the employee’s normal gross base pay.  Employees must supplement time not covered by short-term disability with paid time/paid leave until these are exhausted before going on unpaid leave.

Unemployment Insurance

The State of Colorado Employment Security Act provides that a separated employee may apply for unemployment benefits. Eligibility and amount of compensation are determined by the State of Colorado. The City pays the entire cost of this benefit.

Survivor Benefits

The enrolled spouse and eligible children of an employee who is killed in the course and scope of their duties and responsibilities on behalf of the City will be provided 100% employer paid medical, dental and vision benefits for one (1) year.  After one (1) year, the family may elect COBRA coverage for up to 36 months.

Policy # 18: HIPPA Policy and Procedure

The City of Colorado Springs complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) relating to the privacy requirements for Protected Health Information (PHI). This policy defines how Protected Health Information (PHI) obtained by the City during the employment relationship with an employee will be used and who will have access to the information.

Definitions

  • Protected Health Information (PHI): PHI includes individually identifiable health information relating to a specific employee or dependent, that is maintained or transmitted in any form to a healthcare provider, group health plan or to which the City may have access.
  • Privacy Officer: The Director of Human Resources serves as the Privacy Officer in the organization and is assigned to ensure that the City is in compliance with all federal and state laws regarding privacy of PHI. The Privacy Officer may be contacted at 30 South Nevada, Suite 105, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

General Policy

The City understands that medical information about employees and their dependents health is personal and confidential. It is the policy of this organization to limit the use of PHI to the extent necessary to make our benefits effective. Under HIPAA regulations permitted use and disclosure is limited to treatment, payment, or operation (TPO) of the health plan(s). PHI cannot be used or disclosed for any other purpose without prior written authorization by the individual. City Human Resources staff may be exposed periodically to PHI, such as during benefits enrollment, assisting employees with claims processing, plan interpretation or medical leave. The City will, to the extent required by law:

  • Keep medical information that identifies an employee confidential;
  • Disclose or use medical information only for the purpose of treatment, payment or operation of the health plan(s) or if properly authorized to be used for another purpose permitted by law or regulation;
  • Provide employees notice of the City's privacy practices;
  • Train employees exposed to PHI regarding proper handling of the information;
  • Inform employees of their right to inspect and copy medical information; and
  • Require that all business agents that process or have access to PHI comply with the privacy requirements of HIPAA.

Privacy Officer Duties

The Privacy Officer will be responsible for the functions of auditing, training, record keeping, corrective action, and receipt of requests and exercise of employee rights, and receipt of notices from employees and/or enforcement agencies.

Right to Inspect and Copy

Employees have the right to inspect and copy PHI maintained by the employer, to the extent required by law. The Privacy Officer will be responsible for maintaining all records of such requests to inspect or copy.

  • Request to Review: Employees must submit a formal request in writing to the Privacy Officer to review Private Health Information. If possible, the type of information requested should be listed.
  • Time of Review: A mutually agreeable time will be set up to review the information in the presence of the Privacy Officer.
  • Copies of Information: A fee of five cents per copy will be charged for all copies of documents requested.
  • Denial: A request may be denied as governed by HIPAA. Upon a denial, the city will inform the employee of the basis of the denial and, if applicable, a statement regarding how to obtain a denial review and a description of the complaint filing procedures.

Right to Amend

An employee who feels that the PHI maintained by the City is incorrect or incomplete may ask to have the file amended for as long as it is maintained. The Privacy Officer will be responsible for maintaining all records of such requests to amend.

  • Request to Amend: This request must be in writing and submitted to the Privacy Officer along with a reason for the request.
  • Denial of Request: A request may be denied as governed by HIPAA. Upon a denial, the City will inform the employee of the basis for the denial. The City will also provide a statement that the individual has the right to submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial and how the statement may be filed. If a statement of disagreement is not filed, the employee may ask the City to provide (1) a copy of the amendment request with any future PHI disclosure; and (2) a description of the complaint procedures used by the City and Health and Human Services.

Violation of Policy

Employees who violate this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge.

Policy # 25: Educational Assistance

The City of Colorado Springs offers limited reimbursement for college level coursework directly related to a core competency specific to the employee's current job assignment. Such courses as foreign languages, humanities, art history, physical education, etc., which are necessary to meet degree requirements, are not covered unless the content is specifically related to the employee's job.

Eligibility

All regular employees of the City of Colorado Springs, whose performance is rated "meets expectations" (or its equivalent, herein incorporated by reference) or higher are eligible for educational assistance.

Financial Limitations and Reimbursement

  • For undergraduate courses, the total reimbursement shall not exceed the current year's University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), undergraduate semester-hour tuition rate minus COF (College Opportunity Fund) Stipend per credit for Colorado residents plus certain UCCS mandatory fees.
  • For graduate courses, the total reimbursement shall not exceed the current year’s University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) graduate semester-hour tuition rate for Colorado residents plus certain UCCS mandatory fees.
  • Reimbursement for employees pursuing undergraduate programs from schools that do not qualify for the COF stipend will still be limited to the UCCS undergraduate semester-hour tuition rate minus the COF stipend per credit for Colorado residents plus certain UCCS mandatory fees.
  • An employee who receives governmental aid or other financial assistance such as grants or scholarships will be eligible for reimbursement for that portion of the approved costs not covered by such assistance.
  • An employee who is otherwise eligible for the COF Stipend but fails to register for the Stipend shall not be reimbursed by the City for the tuition cost normally covered by the Stipend.
  • Depending on availability of funds, reimbursement, as described above, may include all or part of the tuition and mandatory fees. Reimbursement will be made upon satisfactory completion of the course. Satisfactory completion is defined as a C (2.0) or better for an undergraduate course, and B (3.0) or better for a graduate level course. Copies of tuition receipts and the grade reports must be submitted with the request for reimbursement. Classes taken on a Pass/Fail basis do not meet the requirement for satisfactory completion.
  • The number and frequency of courses authorized for an employee may be limited at the discretion of the Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee and, may not exceed 2 courses per semester, or the equivalent expenditure in educational organizations that do not use a semester program.

Coursework Approval

The Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee or designee will review and approve/disapprove an employee's request at least once a semester in advance of the class. Requests should be submitted to the Department/Division Human Resources Liaison three weeks prior to the start of class.

Repayment

An employee who leaves City employment within 12 calendar months after completion of a course shall be required to repay the total amount of the City's reimbursement for approved courses.

Role of Human Resources

Annually, Human Resources will publish the semester hour reimbursement rate for undergraduate and graduate courses. Completed paperwork must be sent to City Human Resources or Department Human Resources (Police and Fire) for final approval.

Policy # 62: The At-will Senior Manager Benefit Program

This policy applies to all managers in salary bands 1 and 2.

Vacation Accrual

At-Will Senior Managers shall accrue vacation according to the following schedule:

 

At Will Vacation Accrual

Hours Accrued

Annual Entitlement
(Days)

1st Year

120

15

2nd Year

128

16

3rd Year

136

17

4th Year

144

18

5th Year

152

19

6th Year

160

20

7th Year

168

21

8th Year

176

22

9th Year

184

23

10th Year

192

24

11th Year

200

25

12th Year

208

26

New hire at-will managers will accrue vacation at the 1st year level. Employees promoted to an at-will manager position will accrue vacation according to the schedule beginning at their current accrual level.

Cap Increase on Leave Accrual

The carry-over allowance of unused vacation time is 2x annual entitlement for eligible at-will managers.

At-Will Sick Leave Payout Upon Retirement

Employees eligible for sick leave accrual on or before 12/31/10: In the event of retirement, eligible at-will managers will receive an employer contribution of half of the accrued sick leave up to a maximum of 480 hours civilian or 720 hours sworn (40 hour employee) to the mandatory Retirement Health Savings (RHS) Plan. .  Contributions can be used for medical premiums upon separation.

Employees with full coverage insurance provided by a spouse or other employment will be excluded from the mandatory RHS plan.

In the event of death, the employee’s estate will be paid for half of the accrued sick leave up to 480 hours.  Contributions will not be made to the RHS plan for the employee’s estate.

Employees hired or rehired after 12/31/10: These employees are not eligible for at-will sick leave payout upon retirement or death.

Severance Possibility

A paid 30-day notice of termination and the possibility of severance pay and/or benefits up to six months, for an eligible manager terminated without cause is authorized at the Mayor or Appointee's discretion. Any action taken under this program will be reported quarterly to City Council.

Exit Discussion

Although there is no appeal process for at-will employees, an eligible employee under the At-Will Senior Management program who is terminated will be afforded the opportunity to have an exit discussion with his/her Director.

Policy # 16: Holidays

The City of Colorado Springs will make available employee benefit programs with the goal of attracting and retaining a quality workforce, as well as, programs required by law. The employer contribution toward any authorized employee benefit program is determined annually by City Council.

Holidays

The City recognizes the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday following Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

All regular, probationary, and special employees are eligible for 8-hour paid holidays on these days. Holidays that fall on Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday. Holidays that fall on Sunday will be observed on the following Monday (see Policy & Procedures # 11, Shift Work, for shift worker holiday schedule). Non-exempt employees who actually work the holiday shall be provided with additional pay of half time for hours worked.

Division managers may grant an alternative day off in lieu of one of the scheduled holidays, depending on operational needs.

  • When Work Schedule Exceeds 8 Hours per Day on Holidays
  • If the employee’s normal work schedule exceeds 8 hours per day, the additional hours off in excess of the 8-hour holiday shall be charged as vacation, personal holiday, compensatory time off or may be made up on a different day within the same workweek with supervisor approval.
  • If, due to operational requirements, management temporarily changes the employee’s schedule to five 8-hour days for the week containing a holiday, the employee will not be required to charge time as described above.

Personal Day

In addition to the observed holidays listed above, after six months of employment, employees are eligible for one 8-hour personal day each year. The personal day must be taken at a time mutually agreeable to the supervisor and the employee. The personal day may not be carried over to the next year or taken in increments of less than 1 hour.

Part-time Employees

Part-time regular, probationary and special employees shall accrue holiday and personal-day hours on a pro-rata share of the full-time accrual based on the normally scheduled work hours.

Use of holiday and personal day upon resignation or retirement

City holiday and personal day cannot be utilized after the resignation or retirement date.  An employee’s resignation or retirement date is the actual last day that the employee is physically at work unless previously approved by the Human Resources Director due to exceptional circumstances.  For example, an employee submits their resignation with July 4th as their last day of work.  Since the employee was not physically at work on July 4th, a City holiday, their resignation date is July 3rd and the employee will not receive pay for the July 4th holiday in their final paycheck.

Employees are not paid for their unused personal day upon resignation or retirement.  With coordination of the supervisor, employees may take their personal day prior to the resignation or retirement date; but they may not take the personal day on or after their resignation or retirement date.

Policy # 19: Vacation

Vacation Policy

Regular, probationary, and special employees shall accrue paid vacation for years of continuous employment according to the following schedule:

Years of Continuous Employment

Hours Accrued Biweekly

Hours Accrued Annually

Annual Entitlement (Days)

0-5 Years

3.38

88

11

6th Year

3.69

96

12

7th Year

4.00

104

13

8th Year

4.31

112

14

9th Year

4.62

120

15

10th Year

4.92

128

16

11th Year

5.23

136

17

12th Year

5.54

144

18

13th Year

5.84

152

19

14th Year

6.15

160

20

15th Year +

6.46

168

21

 

For purposes of accrual, years of continuous employment will mean combined years of CSU and City employment.

Approval

Vacation may be utilized only with the prior approval of the immediate supervisor. Vacation may not be taken in increments of less than ¼ hour.

Carry-over

Vacation carry-over into the following year may not exceed the employee's annual entitlement plus 40 hours.

Additional vacation carryover requests may be made in the following circumstances:

  • When an employee is not granted time to take vacation due to operational requirements, or
  • An employee is required to take leave as a result of a work-related accident and, as a result, will lose vacation at year-end.

All requests for additional carryover must be approved by the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee. The additional vacation time must be utilized in the following year.

Use of vacation upon resignation or retirement

Vacation cannot be utilized after the resignation or retirement date.  An employee’s resignation or retirement date is the actual last day that the employee is physically at work unless previously approved by the Human Resources Director due to exceptional circumstances.  For example, an employee’s last day of physically being at work is August 10th.  The employee then wants to takes two weeks of vacation until their retirement date of August 24th.  The employee’s last day of being physically at work was August 10th; therefore the employee’s retirement date is August 10th and any unused vacation will be paid in the final paycheck.

Part-time Employees

Vacation accrual for regular, part-time employees shall be a pro-rata share of the full-time accrual, based on actual hours worked within the pay period.

Holidays During Vacation

Holidays observed by the City that fall within an employee's vacation will be treated as a paid holiday for all employees who work an annual minimum schedule of 2080 hours. If the employee's normal work schedule exceeds 8 hours/day, the additional hours off in excess of the 8-hour holiday shall be charged as vacation.

Sick Leave During Vacation

If an employee becomes ill or injured while on vacation, the employee may exchange vacation hours for sick leave hours. The employee must notify the immediate supervisor at the time of the illness or injury. The immediate supervisor may request that the employee bring a physician's statement specifying the nature of the illness or injury and releasing the employee to return to work.

Vacation Donation

Employees may voluntarily donate their vacation time to another employee when non-job related illness or injury of the employee or their immediate family member has exhausted the recipient's paid sick leave, vacation, personal holiday, etc. Sick leave cannot be donated. Vacation Donation is covered in City of Colorado Springs PPM #22 Vacation Donation.

Concurrent Use of Vacation and Short Term Disability

Employees may supplement short-term disability payments with accrued leave. While on FMLA leave, employees must supplement time not covered by short-term disability with paid time/paid leave. Under no circumstances will an employee receive a combination of short-term disability payments and accrued leave which exceeds 100% of the employee’s normal gross base pay.

References: Policy and Procedure # 4, Separation (Out-Processing)

Employees in the At-Will Senior Manager Benefit Program should refer to Policy #62.

Policy # 20: Vacation Donation

The City allows employees to donate accrued vacation leave to co-workers who are faced with a serious illness or injury to either themselves or an immediate family member and have exhausted their accrued leave.  This policy is not intended for an employee who has a common illness or injury, or has incurred an illness or injury covered by Worker’s Compensation.

Eligibility

Donors

To be eligible to donate vacation an employee must:

  • donate voluntarily to a specific individual; and
  • have accrued vacation leave available. 

Recipients

To be eligible to receive donated vacation an employee must:

  • be eligible to accrue vacation leave;
  • be approved for FMLA leave;
  • must have exhausted all forms of paid leave; i.e., vacation, sick, personal, compensatory time off, or be reasonably close to exhausting all paid leave, and it is clear that such leave will be exhausted;  
  • must expect to need a minimum of 40 hours of vacation donation; and
  • suffer from a serious illness or injury to either themselves or an immediate family member and submit information to substantiate this situation.  “Immediate family member” is defined in the PPM under the City Employee Sick Leave Policy.

Use

  • Donated vacation can only be applied for after FMLA leave is approved.  No advance or retroactive payments will be made.
  • Compensation received under the Vacation Donation program is considered to be taxable to the recipient to the extent required by law. 
  • Donated vacation hours are converted into an equivalent number of sick hours, regardless of differences between participant’s pay rates. 

Restrictions

  • The recipient may use up to 45 days or 360 hours in any 12-month period. 
  • The donor cannot donate more than 80 hours of vacation per calendar year and must donate in whole one-hour increments.  The minimum vacation donation allowable under the plan is 4 hours.  The donor can donate to multiple recipients. 
  • Leave taken using donated vacation may not be counted in the calculation of unpaid leave balances. 
  • Donated vacation may not be used to exceed the recipient’s normally scheduled work hours per pay period.
  • Donated vacation may run concurrently with Family Medical Leave. 
  • The recipient is not eligible to simultaneously receive Worker’s Compensation while receiving vacation donations. 
  • Unused vacation donations in the event of employee’s return to work, retirement or death will be removed from their sick balance and returned to the donor’s vacation balance.  In the event that the hours donated were “use it or lose it” vacation hours, the hours can be donated to an alternate recipient or will be forfeited and will not be returned to the donor.
  • Application may be made prior to the depletion of an employee’s leave, as long as the need for leave is known.
  • The recipient is prohibited from soliciting co-workers for vacation leave.  Donations must be strictly voluntary. 
  •   Employees must supplement time not covered by short term disability with paid time/paid leave. Under no circumstances will an employee receive a combination of short term disability payments and accrued leave which exceeds 100% of the employee’s normal gross base pay. Short-term disability recipients applying for vacation donation must also comply with vacation donation policy requirement to have exhausted, or be reasonably close to exhausting, all forms of paid leave including vacation, sick, personal and compensatory time.

Responsibilities:

Recipients

  • Recipient must submit a signed Vacation Donation Recipient Agreement to be able to be eligible for vacation donations. 
  • Recipient must be approved for FMLA leave through the Human Resources department.

Donors

  • Donors must sign a Vacation Donation Donor Agreement to donate time to a recipient    and submit the form to the Payroll Supervisor for processing. 

Manager of Recipient

  • The Manager must meet with the recipient individually to review the guidelines, eligibility, and obtain a signed Vacation Donation Recipient Agreement.
  • If the request is approved, the Manager will inform co-workers of the need for donations via approved email and/or posted notices.  Information about the nature of the illness or injury will remain confidential if the recipient requests it to be so. 
  • The manager will turn in a time card to the payroll department each pay period, reporting all hours not worked due to the illness or injury as sick time (SCK). 

Human Resources

  • Human Resources must verify the Vacation Donation Recipient Agreement and forward it to the Payroll Supervisor.   

Payroll

  • The Payroll Supervisor will collect all Vacation Donation Recipient Agreements. 
  • The Payroll Supervisor will collect all Vacation Donation Donor Agreement forms and deduct donated hours from the donor’s vacation leave balance (VDN) and pay out the donated hours as sick leave (SDN) as it is needed to the recipient.  Unused donations will be returned to the donor’s balance as long as they are not “use it or lose it” vacation hours.  If the hours are “use it or lose it”, the hours can be donated to an alternate recipient or will be forfeited and will not be returned to the donor.
  • Payroll will monitor donations to make sure that donations do not exceed the limitations set forth in the policy. 

Payroll will use the donated hours in the following manner:  “use it or lose it” hours will be given to the recipient first; the remaining donations will be given to the recipient, as they are needed in the order received.  Payroll will only fund a maximum of 80 hours of vacation donation per pay period to the recipient in the equivalent number of sick hours.

Policy # 21: Sick Leave

Sick leave may be used for absences caused by illness, injury, temporary disability (including pregnancy), medical exams or medical treatment of the employee or the employee's immediate family.

Sick Leave Eligibility

To be eligible for paid sick leave, the intended use of sick leave must be reported to the immediate supervisor prior to the start of each scheduled workday or prior to leaving the work site. In the cases where treatment, surgery, or other regimen are scheduled in advance, at least 30 days notice must be given to the supervisor, or as soon as practicable. If the employee is unable to contact the supervisor in the case of an emergency, every effort should be made to have another party contact the supervisor. An employee who fails to give proper notification may be subject to disciplinary action. An exception to this policy may be granted by the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee in special circumstances or in the case of an extended illness.

Physician's Certification

A physician's statement supporting the use of sick leave and/or the ability to return to work may be required by the immediate supervisor.

Accrual of Sick Leave

Full-time regular, probationary, and special employees shall accrue sick leave for hours worked at the rate of 8 hours per month of continuous employment. Part-time regular, probationary, and special employees shall accrue sick leave as a pro-rata share of the full-time accrual, based on actual hours worked within the pay period.

Sick leave may be accrued to a maximum of 960 hours plus current year accrual (to a maximum of 1056 hours).

An employee may not give sick leave with pay to another employee.

Sick Leave For Family Care

Employees may utilize up to 12 weeks of accrued sick leave per calendar year for the care of an immediate family member’s illness, injury, serious health condition, temporary disability (including pregnancy), medical exams or medical treatment.  Immediate family is defined as spouse, parent, guardian, child, brother, sister, grandparents, or grandchild, as well as these relatives in-law, step or half, or any other family member residing in the employee's household.   Employees married under common law rules are required to have an approved common law affidavit on file with Benefits and Wellness in order to utilize sick leave to care for common law family members.

Options Upon Sick Leave Exhaustion

Employees shall use their accrued sick leave for illness prior to using any other type of paid leave.  When accrued sick leave and accrued vacation are exhausted, the employee may request the following:

  • Sick Leave Advance: Up to 240 hours of sick leave with pay may be advanced to an employee upon the approval of the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee. Such an advance may be made only after accrued sick leave and vacation has been exhausted and must be repaid by the employee through future sick leave accruals. If an employee terminates prior to completing the repayment, the remaining amount will be deducted from the final paycheck or shall be repaid in accordance with arrangements made through the Finance Office.
  • Sick Leave Without Pay: Sick leave without pay may be granted when illness, injury, or convalescence has exhausted all paid leave. An employee request for such a leave must include a physician's prognosis and estimated date of return. Prior to return, an employee must provide to the immediate supervisor a physician's statement certifying that the employee is released to resume assigned duties.

After considering the specifics of the employee's request and the impact of the employee's continued absence on the operations, the employee's supervisor may approve the request or separate the employee, subject to FMLA requirements. Managers are encouraged to consult with Human Resources for guidance concerning granting requests for unpaid sick leave.

Reassignment After Sick Leave Without Pay

Employees returning from a period of sick leave without pay, who cannot perform the essential functions of their position, should refer to the Policy and Procedure Manual # 34, Americans with Disabilities Act, and follow the outlined procedures.

Holidays During Sick Leave

For all employees who work an annual schedule of 2080 hours, holidays observed by the City that fall within a period of sick leave shall not be charged as sick leave. In cases where the length of the employee's normal workday exceeds that of the holiday, the hours in excess of the holiday shall be charged to sick leave.

Unused Sick Leave upon Retirement or Death

Employees eligible for sick leave accrual on or before 12/31/10:  In the event of retirement, the employer will make a contribution to the Retirement Health Savings (RHS) Plan for half of the accrued sick leave in excess of 480 hours if he or she is eligible to retire on the date of separation.  However, the retirement eligible employee may then defer actually taking the retirement until a later date. Employees with full coverage insurance provided by a spouse or other employment will be excluded from the mandatory RHS Plan and will be paid out for half of the accrued sick leave in excess of 480 hours if he or she is eligible to retire on the date of separation

In the event of death, the employee's estate will be paid for half of the accrued sick leave in excess of 480 hours.  Contributions will not be made to the RHS Plan for the employee’s estate.

Employees hired or rehired after 12/31/10: These employees are not eligible for payout of unused sick leave upon retirement or death.

Employees in the At-Will Senior Manager Benefit Program should refer to Policy #62.

Policy # 22: Leave of Absence (Paid)

Personal Job-Related Business Leave

An employee may utilize work time to conduct personal job-related business, such as changing payroll deductions, reviewing personnel records, or counseling with the Equal Opportunity Programs Administrator or Human Resources. Such business must be scheduled at a time mutually agreeable to the employee and the supervisor. The employee need not reveal the nature of such personal business.

Jury Leave Policy

An employee who is called to jury duty shall be granted jury leave-of-absence. Upon return to work, the employee must submit the Juror Service Certificate (or other appropriate proof of jury service) in order to ensure proper completion of payroll records.

  • Full-time Employees: Full-time regular, probationary, or special employees who are called to jury duty shall be granted jury leave-of-absence and shall be compensated for scheduled hours not worked the first 3 days on jury duty. Such compensation will continue for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter provided jury pay received from the court is surrendered to the Finance Department.
  • Part-time Employees: Part-time regular, probationary, or special employees who are called to jury duty shall be granted jury leave-of-absence and shall be compensated for scheduled hours not worked for the first 3 days on jury duty. For the fourth day of service and each day thereafter, the employee may choose either the jury pay provided by the court or their regular pay. If the employee elects to receive regular pay, the jury pay received from the court must be surrendered to the Finance Department.
  • Hourly Employees: An hourly full-time or part-time employee who is called to jury duty shall be granted jury leave-of-absence for County and District Court and shall be compensated for scheduled hours not worked for the first three days not to exceed $50 per day. Jury service on the fourth and subsequent days shall be charged as jury leave-of-absence without pay.
  • Jury duty by hourly employees in Municipal Court shall be considered jury leave-of-absence without pay.
  • Shift Workers: In the case of a shift worker called for jury duty, the immediate supervisor shall make an appropriate accommodation to the employee's work schedule when, in the supervisor's judgment, performing both jury service and the normal work schedule would affect the employee's ability to properly perform such jury service or job duties.
  • Standby Jury Duty: If an employee is placed on standby by the Court for possible call to jury duty that employee shall report to work, and the immediate supervisor will make accommodations if necessary for the employee to be near a phone and have ready access to personal transportation if called to jury duty.
  • Release from Jury Duty: Employees released from jury duty during the normal work schedule must return to work.

Funeral Leave Policy

A regular, probationary, or special employee shall be granted a funeral leave-of-absence with pay for the purpose of making funeral arrangements,attending a funeral and/or bereavement, not to exceed 40 hours, in the event of the death of a member of the immediate family (spouse, parent, guardian, child, brother, sister, grandparents, and grandchild, including these relatives in-law, step or half, or any other family member residing in the employee's household).

A Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee may authorize funeral leave for employee attendance at funeral services for special circumstances including deceased employees.

An employee who attends a funeral for other than the above may be granted vacation, compensatory time, personal holiday, or funeral leave-of-absence without pay.

Court Leave

If the City requires testimony in a job-related matter, or participation in a court matter that is within the terms of employment, the employee will be granted court leave with pay. Any witness fees received must be turned over to the City.

The City will not pay an employee for any absences associated with an action brought by the employee against the City and/or any of its employees.

Council Meeting Attendance

An employee will be allowed time off with pay to attend a regular or special meeting of City Council when an item affecting the terms or conditions of employment is on the agenda. Operational requirements may require the Division Manager, Deputy Chief or Council/Mayoral Appointee to limit the number of employees who may attend such meetings or the amount of time away from the job.

National Guard/Reserves

A regular, probationary, or special employee who is a member of the Colorado National Guard or any branch of the United States Military Reserves shall be granted military leave-of-absence with pay, when ordered by the proper authority to active duty or training, for a period not to exceed 15 calendar days (120 hours of regularly scheduled work time) per calendar year. Military compensation is retained by the employee.

Personal Leave

A regular employee may be granted a leave-of-absence without pay for personal reasons. Personal leaves must be consistent with effective organizational operations and should be requested 30 days in advance or as soon as practicable before the leave.

Administrative Leave

An employee may be placed on administrative leave with or without pay at the discretion of the Mayor, Department Director, or Council/Mayoral Appointee.

Policy # 23: Leave of Absence (Unpaid)

Leaves-of-absence with or without pay shall be approved in advance by the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee.

Court Leave

An employee who is called as a participant in a non job-related legal proceeding shall be granted vacation, personal holiday or court leave-of-absence without pay at the employee's discretion.

Military Leave

When ordered by the proper authority, a regular, probationary, or special employee who is called to active duty or who enters active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States shall be granted military leave-of-absence without pay. The City will comply with any state and federal requirements concerning military leave-of-absence and job reentry.

  • Proof of Service: Employees returning to the City for employment after active duty must provide a Form DD214 as proof of military service.
  • Years of Service Credit: Time spent in the military shall be used in computing employee seniority with the City. Upon return from active duty, vacation and years of service credit will be calculated utilizing both the years of military service and City service. The employee shall not be eligible to accrue or receive benefits during the period of military service.

Educational Leave

A regular employee may be granted an educational leave-of-absence without pay to pursue personal educational objectives that are career related and serve the best interest of the City.

Personal Leave

A regular employee may be granted a leave-of-absence without pay for personal reasons. Personal leaves must be consistent with effective organizational operations and should be requested 30 days in advance or as soon as practicable before the leave. The employee must return all City issued property prior to the start of the leave period.

Administrative Leave

An employee may be placed on administrative leave with or without pay at the discretion of the Mayor, Department Director Council/Mayoral Appointee.

Domestic Abuse Leave

An employee who has been employed with the City for twelve months or more is entitled to take three days leave from work in any twelve-month period if the employee is the victim of domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault as set forth in §24-34-402.7, leave is taken for purposes outlined in this state statute and the employee meets all other requirements of the Statute. Employees may use paid leave of absence, including vacation and sick leave, if they meet the eligibility requirements for that particular leave. If no paid leave of absence is available, the leave of absence shall be without pay.

Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Leave Without Pay

An employee who works a full time schedule may take 18 hours of leave (“parental leave for involvement in K-12 education”) from work in any academic year for the purpose of attending an academic activity for his or her child, so long as the leave is taken in accordance with the criteria outlined in § 8-13.3-101, Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.), and the employee meets all other requirements of the statute.  An employee who works less than a full time schedule will be eligible for a pro-rata share of the leave as outlined in the statute.

Nothing prevents the City from invoking any and all limitations of parental leave as outlined in the statute, including but not limited to, requesting that an employee obtain written verification of the activity from the school and limiting leave in cases of emergency or other situations that may endanger a person’s health or safety or in a situation where the absence of the employee would result in a halt of service or production.

Employees who take parental leave will be required to use paid leave time if they otherwise meet the eligibility factors for the particular paid leave of absence.  If the employee does not qualify for paid leave of absence or the employee does not accrue paid leave, the leave of absence shall be without pay.

Benefits During Leave of Absence Without Pay (Excluding FMLA)

If the leave is no longer than 30 days, employer benefit contributions are continued. If the leave extends beyond 30 days, employer benefit contributions will stop as of the 31st day of the unpaid leave period. Before commencing leave, the employee should meet with Payroll to arrange for payments relating to benefits and PERA notification.

  • Health and life plans may be continued at the employee's expense.
  • The employee should meet with Payroll to set up an arrangement to protect PERA benefits.
  • Commencing with the first day of leave, regardless of the length, there will be no accrual of sick leave or vacation.
  • An employee will not be compensated for holidays, vacation, sick leave, or normal paid leaves during a leave of absence without pay.

Maximum Duration of Leave of Absence Without Pay

Depending on the operational needs of the Unit, a leave-of-absence without pay, including extensions, may not exceed 12 months. No employee's total time on leave-of-absence may exceed 12 months in any 24-month period.

Payroll Processing

  • Leave of 30 days or less: Record by processing the necessary time slips.
  • Leave of 31 days or more: Prepare and process a PAF.

Policy # 24: Family Medical Leave Act/ Family Care Act

The City complies with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and Colorado’s Family Care Act (FCA).  FMLA/FCA provides job protection and maintenance of benefits while employees are out on certain types of leave.  The provisions of the City's existing leave policies continue to apply and will run concurrently with FMLA/FCA leave. This policy contains an overview of FMLA/FCA; however, the specific provisions, requirements, and definitions of FMLA and FCA and the related Department of Labor (DOL) regulations will be followed in applying this policy.

Eligibility

To be eligible for leave under FMLA, employees must meet the following conditions:

  • The employee must have been employed by the City at least 12 months, and
  • The employee must have worked for the City at least 1250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave, and
  • Need leave for one of the following reasons:
    • Birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child within 12 months of birth or placement, or
    • To care for a serious health condition of the employee's partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law,, child, or parent, or
    • A serious health condition of the employee that renders the employee incapable of performing the functions of the job, or
    • A qualifying exigency arising out of the covered active duty or call to the covered active duty status in the Regular Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves of the employee’s partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law, son, daughter, or parent of an eligible employee, or
    • Military caregiver leave for an eligible employee who is the employee’s partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered service member or veteran with a qualifying serious injury or illness.

Supervisors will inform employees requesting leave whether they are eligible under FMLA.  If they are, the notice will specify any additional information required as well as the employees’ rights and responsibilities.  If they are not eligible, the City will provide a reason for the ineligibility.  Supervisors shall also notify the employees whether or not the leave qualifies as FMLA, if the leave will be designated as FMLA-protected and the amount of leave counted against the employees’ leave entitlement.  If it is determined that the leave is not FMLA-protected, the supervisor will notify the employee.

Duration of Leave

Eligible employees are entitled to a maximum of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in any 12-month period.  The 12-month period is calculated as a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any FMLA leave.  If the leave is military caregiver leave, eligible employees are entitled to a maximum of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period.  The 12 month period for this leave is calculated from the first day the leave is taken.

The total FMLA leave that may be taken during a 12 month period (alone or in combination with other FMLA leave) is 26 workweeks.  Mandatory overtime will count toward an employee’s FMLA time for all types of leave.  Any leave beyond FMLA leave will be subject to the City's other leave policies.

Combined Leave

If both partners in marriage, whether pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law, are employed by the City and have met the tenure and hours worked requirements under FMLA, the husband and wife may be limited to combined FMLA leave periods in accordance with DOL regulations.

Leave Taken on an Intermittent or Reduced Schedule

FMLA leave may be taken on either a consecutive, intermittent, or reduced basis as provided by FMLA. Such a schedule must be needed for medical reasons and approved by a healthcare provider.  Leave due to qualifying exigencies or military caregiver leave may also be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave basis.  However, FMLA leave may not be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child unless approved by the Division Manager. The organization may temporarily transfer an employee who is taking FMLA on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis if the alternative position better accommodates the leave, and the leave is foreseeable and based on planned medical care. The alternative position must be equal in pay and benefits. Reduced schedule leave will not affect the status of "exempt" employees.

Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave

Employees are required to use accrued leave to the extent they qualify for that leave in the following order unless previously approved by Human Resources:

  • The employee must first draw from available sick or family sick balances as appropriate until exhausted,
  • The employee must next draw from compensatory time, vacation, and personal holiday balances in any order until exhausted,
  • The employee may then use leave without pay for the remainder of the FMLA leave.

When an employee is receiving worker's compensation payments or disability payments under a disability plan, the employee may not elect, nor may the City require the employee to substitute any form of paid leave for any part of the absence covered by these payments.

Disability leave for the birth of a child and for the employee's serious health condition, including workers' compensation (to the extent it qualifies), will be designated as FMLA leave and will run concurrently with FMLA leave.

Advance Notice

If the leave is foreseeable, the employee is required to provide 30 days notice and make a reasonable effort to schedule time off, so that it is least disruptive to the operations of the employer. Otherwise, the employee is required to give as much notice as practicable.

Certification Requirements

Employees are required to provide certification of their need for FMLA leave.  There are four certification forms specific to each type of leave:  Employee’s Serious Health Condition, Family Member’s Serious Health Condition, Qualified Exigency, and Military Caregiver Leave.  The forms can be obtained from your supervisor, City HR Benefits and Wellness, or the HR Benefits and Wellness Intranet site.  Failure to provide complete and sufficient certification may be grounds for discipline and/or denial of the leave.

Certification regarding the health condition of employee, , employee’s partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law, child, parent, or covered servicemember requires health care provider statements.  Certification for a qualified exigency requires facts supporting the leave request including any supporting documentation.   Documentation confirming family relationship, adoption or foster care may be required.

The City may require second and third medical opinions at the City’s expense.  Employees also may be required to provide periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.

If an employee takes leave for a reason that later qualifies as approved FMLA leave, the City may designate all or some portion of the earlier leave taken as leave under this policy.

Benefits During FMLA

When already in effect, immediately prior to FMLA, employer contributions to insurance benefits will continue during FMLA leave to a maximum of 12 workweeks or a maximum of 26 workweeks if the FMLA leave is military caregiver leave.  Employees must make prior arrangements with HR Benefits and Wellness to pay the required employee contribution for such benefits while on leave if leave is without pay.

If you choose to make premium payments during your unpaid FMLA, there will be a 30-day grace period after the agreed upon date during which time you must make your premium payments.  If you fail to make the required payment, the City has the option to cease coverage on the date the grace period ends as long as it has given you 15 days notice.

Merit Pay Increases

An employee's pay increases will not be reduced due to time off that qualifies as Family Medical Leave.

Failure to Return to Work

An employee who does not return to work upon expiration of FMLA leave may be discharged regardless of remaining sick leave accrual.  An employee who fails to return from FMLA leave will be required to refund all employer benefit contributions paid during the unpaid portion of the leave, unless the failure to return results from the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition, or something beyond the employee's control.

If an employee is unable to perform an essential function of the position because of a physical or mental condition, including the continuation of a serious health condition, he or she should consult with Human Resources regarding the City’s ADA process.

Return to Work

Upon return to work from FMLA leave, most employees will be restored to the same position or to one equivalent in pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. 

If FMLA is based on a personal serious health condition, the employee must provide medical certification that they are able to resume the essential functions of their position when they return to work.

Definitions

  • Covered Active Duty:
    (A) in the case of a member of a regular component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country; and
    (B) in the case of a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13)(B) of Title 10.
  • Covered Service member:
    (A) a member of the 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; or
    (B) a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
  • Next of Kin:
    The nearest blood relative of the injured or recovering servicemember.
  • Serious Injury or Illness for Military Caregiver Leave:
    (A) in the case of a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves), means an injury or illness that was incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating; and
    (B) in the case of a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during a period when the person was a covered servicemember, means a qualifying (as defined by the Secretary of Labor) injury or illness that was incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.
  • Qualifying Exigency:
    Specific and exclusive list of reasons defined by the Department of Labor for which an eligible employee can take leave arising out of the fact that an employee’s partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call to covered active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves or Regular Armed Forces.  Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
  • Serious Health Condition: As defined by the FMLA, including an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that may involve any of the following:
  • Inpatient care (overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility;
  • Continuing treatment by a health care provider with incapacity of more than 3 calendar days that also involved treatment by a health care provider two or more times within 30 days.  The first visit must take place in person and within seven days of the first day of incapacity; OR
  • Treatment on one occasion that results in a regimen of continuing treatment (i.e. antibiotics). (Generally, the common cold or flu does not quality as a serious health condition.) The treatment must take place in-person and within seven days of the first day of incapacity;
  • Pregnancy or prenatal care;
  • Chronic condition requiring periodic visits for treatment such as asthma.  Visits for treatment must take place at least twice a year and certification form must be turned in twice a year;
  • Permanent/long term incapacity (severe stroke, Alzheimer's)
  • Absences to receive multiple treatments by or under the supervision, orders or referral of a health care provider and any period of recovery related to the treatments.

Unlawful Acts

FMLA makes it unlawful for the City to:

  • Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA;
  • Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.

Enforcement

  • An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against the City.
  • FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any state or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.

Family Care Act Leave

Eligible employees may be provided up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their Civil Union partners as such are defined pursuant to the “Colorado Civil Union Act,” Article 15 of Title 14; or domestic partner if registered with the municipality in which the person resides or with the State, if applicable, who have serious health conditions.  Generally, leave under the Family Care Act is administered consistent with FMLA regulations.