Leave of Absence

If you are considering taking a leave of absence, please review the following information.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Human Resources Department if you have additional questions or need clarification.

My To-Do List
  • Notify my supervisor or manager and contact Human Resources within 2 business days for unplanned serious health conditions or within 30 days prior to the start of my leave for a planned event.
  • Complete a request for Family/Medical Leave or Leave of Absence form and return to Human Resources as soon as possible
  • Follow up with your physician or family member’s physician to make sure the FML medical certification as well as the Aetna physician statement has been completed. Make sure the FML medical certification has been returned to Human Resources within 15 days of your FML rights notice or your leave may be denied. Also, be sure to have your physician fax the Aetna physician statement to the Aetna Disability Service Center (fax number: 1-866-667-1987)
  • If injury is work related you must contact Occupational Health immediately
  • Call Aetna at 1-866-326-1380 to initiate a short-term disability claim (Policy number 283790)
  • Contact your manager and Human Resources at least once every 30 days while you are on leave. If you are unable to return to work on your expected return to work date, contact your manager and Human Resources immediately.
  • Contact Human Resources for self pay for benefits, PTO supplemental pay and PTO donation program while on leave.
Leave of Absence

If you have been employed at least twelve months and actually worked at least 1250 hours during the past 12-month period, you may be eligible for Family/Medical Leave (FML). FML allows you to take up to 12-weeks of paid and/or unpaid time off from work and maintain your same job and benefit levels when you return. If the leave is unplanned please contact Human Resources as soon as possible or within 2 business days. If the leave is a planned leave you need to notify Human Resources and your manager 30 days prior to the start of your leave or your leave request may be denied. A FML Packet is posted on the hospital intranet under the Human Resources Forms Section. The packet includes forms and policies related to FML.

If you do not qualify for Family/Medical Leave, you may still be eligible for an Unpaid Leave of Absence. Medical, Personal, and Military Leaves are available. Contact Chelsea Johnston, LOA Transaction Specialist at 828-262-4116 for additional information and eligibility requirements.

Paid Time Off

If you are a full time employee you will need to use PTO for the first week of absence. Full time employees may supplement short term disability income with remaining PTO balances after the first week of absence. The amount employees may use is determined by HR. Employees with the voluntary STD policy will need to use regular scheduled hours of PTO for the first two weeks of absence and may supplement STD income with PTO while on leave after two weeks of absence. Part time employees without voluntary STD policy will need to use normal scheduled hours of PTO while on leave. Full time employees with Disability Leave Banks must exhaust all DLB hours prior to receiving short term disability income replacement funds. Employees in need of PTO may participate in the PTO donation program. The PTO donation program application is in the FML packet on the intranet.

Disability Income

If you are a full time employee you are enrolled in the group short term disability plan. You will be eligible for income replacement once your claim is approved on the 8th day of illness or injury. You can start your short term disability claim by calling Aetna at 1-866-326-1380 to initiate a short term disability claim. The STD policy number for ARHS is 283790. If you are a part time employee and you have voluntary short term disability insurance, Human Resources will be able to assist you with filing this claim.

Employees with remaining Disability Leave Benefit balances (from previous paid time off programs) must exhaust their balance before STD or LTD benefit can commence. Maximum benefit period is 12 weeks for illness/ injury or 8 weeks for pregnancy using a combination of either disability hours or STD from Sun Life Financial. Any remaining STD benefits will begin after all Disability Bank hours have been depleted or until a total 12/8 weeks have been used. i.e., employees with 80 hours (2 weeks) in their disability bank will have 10 weeks of STD benefits remaining for a total of 12 weeks of eligibility or employees using the 8 weeks of STD benefits for pregnancy will have 6 weeks of benefits remaining.

Health Insurance & Other Voluntary Benefits

You may continue your health insurance and other benefits while on FML or approved other leave. If you choose not to supplement STD income with PTO you will need to make arrangements to self pay for your benefits while on leave in order for your benefits to continue. You will need contact Human Resources at 828-262-4116 to make self pay arrangements if needed.

Future Concerns

Once you have been disabled for three months or more you may be eligible to apply for Long Term Disability if you are a full time employee. You will be eligible for income replacement for 50% of your current monthly income (maximum benefit amounts apply). Employees who purchased the additional buy up option will have 60% income replacement. Please contact Human Resources at 828-262-4116 for more information. If you have already filed a short term disability claim Aetna will assist you with transitioning to a Long Term Disability Claim.

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Quick Links

Benefit Vendors:

▸ Aetna: Term Life, AD&PL, Supplemental Life

▸ Allstate: Cancer

▸ Community Eye Care: Vision

▸ Delta Dental: Dental

▸ Optum Bank: HSA

▸ OptumRX: Prescriptions

▸ Principal: Retirement

▸ Trion: Critical Illness

▸ UMR: Health Insurance

▸Unum: Accident, Short-Term Disability, Whole Life


Most Used Forms:

Medical Insurance Claim Form (EZ Claim)

Prescription Mail Order Form

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