Washburn University Board of Regents
SUBJECT: Reinstatement of Benefits for Returning Employees
At the request of Staff Council, the Benefits Committee undertook an examination of the question whether an employee who leaves Washburn and later returns should be eligible for reinstatement of personal leave accrual rate and uncompensated sick leave at the time of departure. Personal leave is compensated at the time of departure and is not considered in this study.
Former employees are only rehired because they bring value and productivity to the employee/university relationship. They are certainly trained to the university culture and have exhibited known work habits and skills highly valued by the university. Allowing them to resume personal leave rates at the rate they left without a "start over" penalty recognizes the value of the returning employee. Likewise allowing a returning to "reacquire" a portion of the uncompensated sick leave they left behind also recognizes the value of returning employees to the university.
To accomplish these changes, the Business and Financial Affairs Handbook (BAFAH) should be amended:
New section 126.96.36.199 "Years of service for personal leave purposes shall include all previous years of service in a benefits eligible status whether or not employment has been continuous." Current section 188.8.131.52 should be changed to 184.108.40.206a.
As currently worded, section 220.127.116.11 provides that an employee who leaves Washburn will not be compensated for unused sick leave and will "not receive credit for previously accumulated sick leave if rehire after an interruption of employment." This proposal would add the words "of more than five years" to the end of the previous quotation. Thus, any employee who returns after an interruption of more than five years would still not be given any credit for previously accumulated sick leave. Employees rehired in a sick leave eligible status with interruptions in service of five years or less are divided into three groups, based on length of interruption. Those with an interruption of less than a year would be credited with 100% of the previously accumulated sick leave. Those with an interruption of one to three years would get 50% of previously accumulated sick leave, and those with an interruption of three to five years would get 25% of previously accumulated sick leave.
This policy change would take effect the date of Board approval for all events following and specifically will not be retroactive.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: There will be very small productivity issues (someone with more personal leave will likely use them). A long-term illness could result in the need to backfill a position. A position from which a person leaves with accumulated personal leave which requires compensation will not be filled until that salary requirement is met from the existing budget for that position. In the past two years there have been six individuals who have returned to Washburn following an absence of less than five years. There are no budgetary implications.
RECOMMENDATION: President Farley recommends that the Board of Regents approve the recommended changes to the BAFAH as outlined herein.
(date) Jerry B. Farley, President