Leave Of Absence & Insurance Continuation
There may be times in an individual’s professional life when they must take a leave of absence from work. Lake County Schools policy states: An Extended Leave occurs when an employee is absent from work for a minimum of 11 consecutive days, regardless if paid or unpaid. All extended leave without pay shall be without fringe benefits except as noted under Family and Medical Leave. The employee may continue insurance benefits during the leave period, when applicable, by paying the total cost of such benefits. (Board Policy 6.501)
- An employee is considered on a “Paid Leave of Absence” if they have enough Sick Leave or Annual Leave to sustain the missed work days. Insurance Benefits will continue for this employee as if they were at work, as their paychecks and deductions will continue uninterrupted. Once the Sick/Annual Leave days have been exhausted, and if the employee is still out of work, the leave becomes “Unpaid Leave of Absence”.
- An employee is considered on an “Approved Unpaid Leave of Absence”when they are on a board approved leave but they do not have Sick or Annual Leave to sustain their pay. When an employee is on an “Approved Unpaid Leave of Absence” they may elect to continue their insurance benefits by paying the full share (including the school board benefit) of the premiums.
- The employee may elect to continue all or parts of their current insurance products
- If the employee cancels their health, dental, or vision insurance they may reapply for coverage. The insurance will resume on the first day of the month following a 30 day waiting period.
- If the employee cancels their disability, life, or AFLAC insurance they must reapply for coverage by completing a new application; the application may or may not be approved by the provider.
- If an employee expects they will need to miss more than 10 days of work it behooves them to speak to the Employee Relations and Compensation, Family Medical Leave Act contact. The FMLA contact can provide the employee with all necessary paperwork and information to complete so that their health insurance board benefit continues (if approved for FMLA).
- Once an employee is approved for “FMLA Leave of Absence” the school board will continue to pay the board benefit and the employee is only obligated to continue their normal deductions, as can be found on their payroll stub.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As approved by the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Lake County Schools will require the employee to repay the employer’s share of the premium payment if the employee fails to return to work following the FMLA leave unless the employee does not return because of circumstances that are beyond the employee’s control, including a FMLA-qualifying medical condition. Medical proof will be required.