Williams College Employee Handbook
Short-term Disability for Support Staff
Leave of Absence Policy
Support staff in regular or term positions working at least 1,300 hours is eligible for short-term disability leave. Short-term disability provides pay at 60% for up to a maximum of six months for a medical condition. This may be supplemented with earned leave or unpaid time. Check with the benefits office to determine amount of available earned leave. Short-term disability begins on the eleventh day of an extended absence for personal medical reasons. During the first ten days an employee must use earned sick leave. This can also be supplemented by earned vacation and personal time.
Medical authorization is required at the onset of an injury, illness, or disability and must be submitted to the Benefits Administrator. Requests for additional verification may be required periodically throughout the leave period. Employees are expected to cooperate fully with requests from the College for independent medical examinations or requests for additional information regarding the nature of the short-term disability. Should information on the nature of the illness or prognosis be needed, the Benefits Administrator or a nurse case manager on behalf of the College will contact the patient's physician for information once the employee signs a medical release. The information sought will be strictly work-related, and confidentiality and privacy of the information will be maintained.
Return to Work Authorization
Prior to the return to work from a leave for illness or disability the employee's physician must provide a written statement authorizing the employee's return to work at regular duty or light duty (see Job Security, below, for temporary light duty assignment information). This verification should be sent to the Benefits Administrator.
If Relapse or Second Disability Occurs
If only a portion of the short-term disability pay has been used at one time, and the employee suffers a relapse or a second disability, the balance of the short-term disability pay may be used after two continuous weeks of absence.
Once an employee has used the entire short-term disability benefit, short-term disability will cover a second incident only after the employee has returned to work full-time and at full duty for twelve months.
Service, Paid Leave, and Insurance Continuation
Short-term disability leave under this policy, within the six-month limit, is not regarded as a break in service. However, paid vacation, personal, sick leave or holidays will not be earned during the period of the leave. Staff should contact the Benefits Office for information about continued insurance coverage during the leave.
During the six-month short-term disability period, the College will make an effort to keep the employee's job available. If it is apparent that the employee will not by the end of the six-month period be able to perform the essential functions of the original job in the near term, the position may be filled. Employees on short-term disability leave are encouraged to return to work as soon as medically possible. Temporary light duty assignments to accommodate medical limitations may be arranged following review with the department head and the Benefits Administrator. If the College is unable to hold the position, rehire will be subject to availability of positions for which the employee is qualified, and the needs of the College.