Policy and Procedure # 12: 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. The City currently offers plans in the following areas for regular, probationary, and special employees:
Part-time Employee Benefits
Regular, probationary, or part-time employees who are employed to work a minimum of 20 hours, but less than 30 hours, per week shall be eligible for the employer paid benefit premiums according to established schedules. Employees working 30 hours or more per week are eligible for the same employer paid premiums as full-time employees.
The enrolled partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law; or a partner in a civil union pursuant to the “Colorado Civil Union Act,” Article 15 of Title 14 (“Spouse”) and eligible children of a regular full-time, regular part-time, or probationary employee, who dies while actively employed will be provided 100% employer paid medical benefits for 90 days. After 90 days, the family may elect COBRA coverage for up to 36 months.
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.
If the deceased employee was eligible to retire and the death is employment-related, health care coverage may be continued for eligible dependent children and surviving spouse as though the employee retired. Such coverage may continue in accordance with provisions of the Medical Summary Plan Description.
Upon retirement, the City will continue to provide, without cost to the employee, group term life insurance of $3,000. Dependent coverage is not available at retirement. Retirement is separation from employment for reasons of age and service or medical condition for which the employee is eligible to receive an immediate pension benefit from a City pension plan. To be considered retired, the employee must also have made an application for retirement prior to the date of separation.
The State of Colorado Employment Security Act provides that a separated employee may apply for unemployment benefits. The State of Colorado determines eligibility and amount of compensation. The City pays the entire cost of this benefit.
Policy and Procedure # 13: 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.
- 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.
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 and Procedure # 23: 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.
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.
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.
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 and Procedure # 9: Holidays
The City of Colorado Springs will make available various employee benefit programs with the goal of attracting and retaining a quality workforce.
40-hour employees shall receive City-observed holidays off with pay, unless designated by the Chief to be credited with 80 hours of additional personal holiday time in lieu of City-observed holidays.
24-hour personnel shall annually be credited with 123.2 hours holiday pay/additional personal holiday time in lieu of City-observed holidays. 64 hours will be paid in cash, 35.2 hours will be added to vacation time and the remaining 24 hours will be added to personal holiday bank.
24 hour personnel injured off duty and who have converted their 56 hour work week to a 40 hour work week light duty assignment, will continue to receive 6.4 hours per holiday while on this work schedule and will observe City holidays in the same manner as Sworn Staff employees.
In addition to the observed holidays, after 12 months of Civil Service employment, all employees eligible for paid holidays shall receive 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. When departments credit 88 hours of additional personal holiday credit time, 8 hours of the 88 constitutes the employee's personal day.
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 Chief Human Resources Officer 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 and Procedure # 10: Vacation
Regular and probationary employees shall accrue paid vacation for years of continuous employment according to one of the following schedules:
Years of Continuous Employment
Hours Accrued Biweekly
0 - 5 years
6 - 10 years
11 - 15 year
16th and subsequent years
0 - 5 years
6 - 10 years
11 - 20 years
21st and subsequent years
Beginning with the 11th year of sworn employment, an employee under either of the above schedules may elect to sell back one time during each calendar year up to 40 hours of vacation in lieu of taking time off.
The sell back election must be made in writing before the beginning of the year when the vacation hours to which the election applies are earned and sold back (i.e. election must be made annually by December 31 to sell hours earned in the following year). This election is irrevocable once it is made. Such sell back is computed on base hourly salary plus longevity pay and cannot be paid out until after hours are accrued during the year to which the election applies.
For Fire Department employees, vacation sell back may not occur more than twice in an 18 month period. For Police Department employees, vacation sell back may not occur within 12 months of the last sell back payout.
Personnel hired prior to January 1, 2011 shall accrue 7.38472 hours bi-weekly for an annual rate of 192.00272 hours, which includes 35.2 hours of holiday time.
Personnel hired on or after January 1, 2011 shall accrue vacation hours that include 35.2 hours of holiday time annually according to the following schedule:
Years of Continuous Employment
Hours Accrued Biweekly
0 - 5 years
6 - 10 years
11 - 20 year
21st and subsequent years
Beginning with the 11th year of sworn employment, an employee assigned to the 24-hour shift schedule shall annually receive an additional 56 hours of pay in lieu of paid time off. Such pay is computed on base hourly salary plus longevity.
Battalion Chiefs accrue an additional 3 shifts of vacation or an annual total of 264 hours.
Employees transferring from 40-hour to 24-hour status will have their current vacation and sick leave multiplied by 1.4. Vacation and sick leave balance for transfers from 24-hour to 40-hour status will be divided by 1.4.
Vacation may be utilized only with the prior approval of the immediate supervisor.
Vacation carry-over into the following year may not exceed the employee's year-end annual entitlement plus 40 hours, or 56 hours in the case of 24-hour employees. An employee not granted vacation due to operational requirements or injury leave resulting from an on-the-job accident, and as a result stands to lose vacation at year's end, may be paid for such vacation hours that will be lost or request permission to carry additional hours over into the following year.
The Chief or designee must approve requests for additional vacation carry-over in writing and, if approved, such additional carry-over hours must be utilized in the following year or they will be lost.
Sick Leave during Vacation
Should an employee become 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 Paid At Separation
At separation, employees shall be paid all accrued vacation at the base hourly salary. In the case of death, such accrued vacation shall be paid to 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; or a partner in a civil union pursuant to the “Colorado Civil Union Act,” Article 15 of Title 14 (“Spouse”) or, should there be no surviving spouse, to the employee's estate.
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.
Employees may voluntarily donate their vacation time to the vacation donation pool. Donated vacation hours will be used for employees who have 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 Civilian PPM #20 Vacation Donation.
Last revised: 01/2021 – 20-662
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.
Policy and Procedure # 11: Sick Leave
The City of Colorado Springs provides sick leave for employees to promote health and wellness. It is important to the organization that employees are able to take the time they need to care for themselves or their families during illness or injury. Employees must use paid sick leave for qualifying reasons prior to taking other leave types or leave without pay unless an exception is made by the Department Head and Chief Human Resources and Risk Officer (unless State or Federal laws allow or require differently).
An employee on personal sick leave shall not perform any activities, including other employment, self-employment, sports, hobbies, etc., which may impede recovery from the injury/illness.
Accrual of Sick Leave
Forty-hour regular and probationary employees shall accrue sick leave at the rate of 9.33 hours per month of continuous employment. Sick leave may be accrued to a maximum of 1056 hours, plus current year accrual.
24-hour regular and probationary employees shall accrue sick leave at the rate of 13.07 hours per month of continuous employment. Sick leave may be accrued to a maximum of 1479 hours plus current year accrual.
Employees transferring from 40-hour to 24-hour status will have their current vacation and sick leave multiplied by 1.4. Vacation and sick leave balance for transfers from 24-hour to 40-hour status will be divided by 1.4.
Healthy Families and Workplaces Act
The first 48 hours of sick leave used per calendar year falls under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). Under the HFWA, employees may use sick leave for absences caused by illness, injury, temporary disability (including pregnancy), medical exams or medical treatment, certain reasons related to domestic abuse (reference Policy #23 Leave of Absence), or due to a public health emergency in which a public official has ordered closure of the employee’s place of business or school or place of care of the employee’s child and the employee needs to be absent from work to care for the employee’s child.
This leave may be used for the employee or the employee’s family member including family members related by blood, marriage, civil union, common law marriage, adoption, a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis or a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor, and any person whom the employee is responsible for providing or arranging health or safety related care.
In the event of a public health emergency as defined in the HFWA, employees may be granted up to an additional 80 hours of paid sick leave in accordance with and for the purposes stated in the HFWA.
During the first 48 hours of sick leave during a calendar year, a physician’s statement supporting the use of sick leave and/or the ability to return to work may be required by the employee’s immediate supervisor or manager after the employee has been on sick leave for at least four consecutive work days. A physician’s statement may be required by Human Resources as permitted by FMLA and is not subject to the four consecutive work days limitation mentioned above.
General Sick Leave Policies
After the first 48 hours of sick leave is used in a calendar year, employees may only utilize sick leave for mental or physical illness, injury, serious health condition, temporary disability (including pregnancy), medical exams or medical treatment unless otherwise limited by policy (reference Policy #30 Worker’s Compensation and Policy #26 Family Medical Leave/Family Care Act).
To be eligible for paid sick leave, the intended use of sick leave must be reported to the immediate supervisor a minimum of one hour prior to the start of each scheduled workday or prior to leaving the work site. In the case 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. The Chief, in the case of an extended illness, may grant an exception to this policy.
Sick Leave for Family Care
After the first 48 hours of sick leave is used annually, 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.
An employee’s supervisor or manager may request a physician’s statement supporting the use of sick leave and/or the ability to return to work any time an employee uses sick leave after their first 48 hours of sick leave in a calendar year. The supervisor should consult with Human Resources prior to requesting a physician’s statement for absences to verify use of the first 48 hours of sick leave and to determine whether the absence is FMLA or ADA related.
Options Upon Sick Leave Exhaustion
Employees must use their accrued sick leave for the reasons listed above prior to using any other type of paid leave. When accrued sick leave, accrued vacation, accrued personal holiday time, accrued compensatory time, and award time have been exhausted, the employee may request the following:
- Sick Leave Advance: Up to 240 hours of sick leave with pay may be advanced to full-time and part time regular, probationary and special employees upon the approval of the Department Head and Human Resources. If an employee separates from City employment prior to completing the repayment, the remaining amount will be deducted from the final paycheck or repaid in accordance with arrangements made through the Finance Office. Sick leave advance is not available for Worker’s Compensation leave.
- 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 leave must include a physician’s prognosis and estimated date of return. Prior to return, an employee must provide Human Resources a physician’s statement certifying that the employee is released to resume assigned duties.
- In some circumstances, employees may be eligible for vacation donation upon leave exhaustion. Refer to policy 20 – Vacation Donation, for more information on this topic.
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, in consultation with Human Resources, may approve the request or separate the employee, subject to FMLA or other legal requirements. Managers are required to consult with Human Resources for guidance concerning granting requests for sick leave without pay.
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 Policy #34, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Pregnancy Accommodations, and follow the outlined procedures, if applicable.
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.
Payment For Unused Sick Leave Upon Termination, Retirement, or Death
Employees eligible for sick leave accrual on or before 12/31/10: Upon retirement the employer will make a contribution to the Retirement Health Savings Plan (RHS) for accumulated sick leave, not to exceed 720 hours, or 1008 hours for a 24-hour employee. Retirement is separation from employment for reasons of age and service or medical condition for which the employee is eligible to receive an immediate pension benefit from a City pension plan. To be considered retired, the employee must also have made application for retirement prior to the date of separation.
For employees who elect to receive a deferred vested pension and who have at least 20 years of covered service, the following will occur upon termination:
- The employer will make a contribution to the Retirement Health Savings (RHS) plan for accumulated sick leave, not to exceed 720 hours or 1008 hours for a 24-hour employee.
- Employees will be eligible to start using the RHS on the date that they are retirement eligible. Employees with full coverage insurance provided by a spouse or other employment will be excluded from the mandatory RHS plan.
- Cash payments shall be made at the rate of base pay at the date of termination or retirement and shall not include longevity or other extra compensation. No pension fund deductions shall be made.
In the event of death, the employee’s estate will be paid for eligible accrued sick leave. 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 unused sick leave upon termination, retirement or death.
Last revised: 01/2021 – 20-662
Policy and Procedure # 14: Leave of Absence (Paid)
Leaves-of-absence shall be approved in advance by the Chief/Deputy Chief.
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 and probationary 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 Controller's Office.
- 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.
- Part-time Employees
Part-time regular or probationary 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 Controller's Office.
- 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 or probationary employee shall be granted a funeral leave-of-absence with pay for the purpose of making funeral arrangements, attending a funeral, and/or for bereavement, not to exceed 40 hours or 3 shifts (Fire), in the event of the death of a member of the immediate family (partner in marriage pursuant to the provisions of the “Uniform Marriage Act, “Part 1 of Article 2 of Title 14 or Colorado common law; or a partner in a civil union pursuant to the “Colorado Civil Union Act,” Article 15 of Title 14 (“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). The Chief or designee 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, personal holiday, or funeral leave-of-absence without pay.
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 absence associated with 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 Chief to limit the number of employees who may attend such meetings or the amount of time away from the job.
A regular or probationary 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 or 120 hours of regularly scheduled work time per calendar year. The employee retains military compensation.
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.
An employee may be placed on administrative leave with or without pay at the discretion of the Chief, so long as it does not conflict with Civil Service rules.
Policy and Procedure # 15: Leave of Absence (Unpaid)
Leaves-of-absence with or without pay shall be approved in advance by the Chief/Deputy Chief.
Types of 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. In this circumstance, witness fees do not need to be turned over to the City.
When ordered by the proper authority, a regular or probationary 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. Whenever feasible, the employee should provide a copy of the orders and meet with the department's Human Resources to discuss benefits prior to departure.
- 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.
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 Department.
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.
An employee may be placed on administrative leave with or without pay at the discretion of the Chief, so long as it doesn't conflict with Civil Service rules.
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.
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.
- 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 retiree 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 department, 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.
- 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 and Procedure # 16: 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 provisions, requirements, and definitions of FMLA and FCA and the related Department of Labor (DOL) regulations will be followed in applying this policy.
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
- 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
- A serious health condition of the employee that renders the employee incapable of performing the functions of the job
- 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
- 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 servicemember 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 employee’s 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, supervisors 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.
If both partners in marriage 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 basis for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child unless approved by the Deputy Chief. 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 (sick, family sick, vacation, comp time, personal holiday) until exhausted and then may use leave without pay, for the remainder of 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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 Servicemember:
(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
- 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
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
- 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.
Policy and Procedure # 17: Benefits Upon Reinstatement
Upon reinstatement, the benefits of a regular employee who resigns from employment and who is subsequently reinstated, in accordance with the Rules of the Colorado Springs Civil Service Commission for the Municipal Police and Fire Forces, shall be determined as follows:
Prior service credit will be used to determine longevity pay and vacation accrual rates. Available sick leave balance at time of resignation will be reinstated. Retirement benefits shall be determined in accordance with either the alternate Police Pension Fund or the alternate Firemen's Pension Plan.
Policy and Procedure # 18: Benefits Upon Transfer from Civilian
The employee will retain any accrued sick leave balance. Such balance will be transferred to the Police/Fire Department for use by the employee in accordance with established guidelines. Accrued vacation will be paid off effective the date of transfer. The vacation accrual rate will be based on the employee's total years of continuous sworn employment with the City. The Police/Fire Department seniority date will rule when determining eligibility to bid for vacation, shifts, etc. Longevity will be based on continuous Civil Service seniority. Retirement eligibility will be based on the individual's entry date into the appropriate Police/Fire Pension Fund. Service awards will be based on original hire date with the City.