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Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave

Policy Number: HR-36
Effective Date: March 2013
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President of Student Life & Administrative Services

PURPOSE

This policy sets forth the conditions under which an eligible Faculty Member and Professional Staff Member may take time off pursuant to the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave Program, in accordance with the provisions of City of Philadelphia Ordinance Bill Number 080468-A, as amended by Bill Number 090660-A (“Ordinance”), and includes the application, certification and approval processes.

 

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible Faculty and Professional Staff Members, including Professional Staff Members affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of Department of Human Resources.  

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Senior Vice President of Student Life and Administrative Services is the Drexel University official responsible for the administration of this policy.

 

POLICY

Effective as of January 5, 2009, the City of Philadelphia adopted an Ordinance, called “Entitlement To Leave Due To Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault,” providing that certain Faculty or Professional Staff Members may take unpaid leave from work to address Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault.  Thus, Drexel provides its Faculty and Professional Staff Members with up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave in a rolling 12-month period in the event of the Faculty or Professional Staff Member becoming a victim to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking. Faculty and Professional Staff members in need of the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave Program should contact the HR Partner.

This policy also applies to the Faculty or Professional Staff Member family or household member who is a victim of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault.

 

DEFINITIONS

Domestic Partner is defined as an individual in a committed relationship with a Faculty or Professional Staff Member of the same gender who is neither married to nor related by blood, adoption or law to the Faculty or Professional Staff Member.

Domestic Violenceis defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood:

  1. Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing
  2. bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, Sexual Assault, statutory Sexual Assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest, with or without a deadly weapon.
  3. Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
  4. The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).
  5. Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including sexual abuse as defined in 23 Pa. C.S. § 6303.

For ease of reference, the definitions of “Domestic Violence” and “Sexual Assault” are summarized in this policy.  It is Drexel’s intent to comply fully with the Ordinance.  Consult the Ordinance for a detailed list of acts and crimes that constitute “Domestic Violence” and “Sexual Assault”.

Faculty Member is defined as an individual employed by Drexel University in a tenured, tenure-track, non-tenured track or adjunct position who teaches at any college, school, center or institute in the University.  A Faculty Member also is deemed to be exempt under the provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Family or household members means: (1) spouses or persons who have been spouses; (2) persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses; (3) parents and children; (4) other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, including persons who share biological parenthood; and (5) current or former sexual or intimate partners and life partners, as that term is defined in the Philadelphia Code.  For purposes of this policy, the term “life partners” includes Domestic Partners.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Sexual Assault means any conduct relating to rape, incest, sexual abuse of children, unlawful contact with a minor, sexual exploitation of children, statutory Sexual Assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault. 

Stalking means either:

  1. engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances, which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or
  2. engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicating to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.

Victim is defined as an individual who has been subjected to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking.

 

PROCEDURES

  1. Request for Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave
    1. A Faculty or Professional Staff Member who is a victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual  Assault, or Stalking or has a relative who is a victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking whose interests are not adverse to the Faculty or Professional Staff Member as it relates to the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking may take unpaid leave from work to address Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking by:
      1. seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries caused by Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking to the Faculty or Professional Staff Member or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member 's family or household member;
      2. obtaining services from a victim services organization for the Faculty or Professional Staff Member or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member 's family or household member;
      3. obtaining psychological or other counseling for the Faculty or Professional Staff Member or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s family or household member;
      4. participating in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the Faculty or Professional Staff Members or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member family or household member who is a victim of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault; or
      5. seeking legal assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the Faculty or Professional Staff Member or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s family or household member, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking.
  2. Notice Requirements
    1. If leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave is granted, the Professional Staff Member must notify his or her immediate supervisor of the impending leave and the expected duration. 
    2. The Faculty or Professional Staff Member shall provide the supervisor with at least forty-eight (48) hours’ advance notice of their intention to take the leave, unless providing such notice is not practicable.
  3. Certifications
    1. When an unscheduled absence occurs, the supervisor may not take any action against the Faculty or Professional Staff Member if the Faculty or Professional Staff Member within forty-five (45) days provides a certification for the leave taken as set forth in this policy
    2. The supervisor  may require the Faculty or Professional Staff Member to provide certification to the employer that:
      1. the Faculty or Professional Staff Member or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s family or household member is a victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking; and
      2. the leave is for one of the purposes enumerated in §9-3202(1).
    3. The Faculty or Professional Staff Member shall provide such certification to the supervisor within a reasonable period forty-five (45) days after the employer requests certification.
    4. The Faculty and Professional Staff Member may satisfy the certification requirement by providing to the supervisor  a sworn statement of the Faculty or Professional Staff Member along with at least one of the following described documents which corroborate the certification:
      1. documentation from a Faculty or Professional Staff Member, agent, or volunteer of a victim services organization, an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or   other professional from whom the Faculty or Professional Staff Member or the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s family or household member has sought assistance in addressing Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault, or Stalking or the effects of the violence; or
      2. a police or court record; or
      3. other corroborating evidence.
  4. Duration of Leave
    1. Eligible Faculty and Professional Staff Members may be entitled to up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Leave during a rolling 12-month period.    
    2. Drexel’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Leave runs concurrently with Family Medical Leave (FML).
  5. Benefits During Leave
    1. During leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave, Drexel will maintain the Faculty and Professional Staff Member’s health insurance under the same conditions that coverage would have been provided if the Faculty and Professional Staff Member had been continuously employed during the entire leave period.  Drexel and the Faculty and Professional Staff Member will each continue to pay their respective portions of the benefit costs.  If the Faculty or Professional Staff Member is no longer in “active pay status,” he or she will be required to submit the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s portion of the benefit costs directly to Human Resources.  Drexel reserves the right to recover the full amount of premiums it pays to maintain health coverage for a Professional Staff Member who fails to return to work following leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave Program.
    2. University-paid life insurance, personal accident insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance and long-term disability insurance will continue in effect for the duration of leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave Program, to the same extent that such coverage would have been provided if the Professional Staff Member had been continuously employed during the entire leave period.
    3. A Professional Staff Member who participates in a dependent-care or health-care reimbursement benefit program at the commencement of leave under this policy may continue to participate in such program(s) during a period of such leave in accordance with applicable plan requirements except that no contributions to such programs may be made while the Faculty or Professional Staff Member is on inactive pay status.
    4. Retirement plan contributions will continue during leave under this policy in accordance with the provisions specified in the respective retirement plan documents, except when the Faculty or Professional Staff Member is considered to be on inactive pay status.
  6. Return from Leave
    1. A Professional Staff Member returning from leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave will be reinstated to the same or equivalent position, with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.  Failure to return to work following the completion of leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave will be considered voluntary resignation from employment. In addition, a Faculty or Professional Staff Member who does not return from leave is responsible for reimbursing the University for all medical benefit premiums paid on his or her behalf during the leave.
    2. A Professional Staff Member who returns from leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave that was taken as a result of his or her own Serious Health Condition must provide Human Resources with a certification from a health care provider documenting his or her fitness to return to work.  A Professional Staff Member who is unable to return to work at the end of the leave must notify MetLife and his or her immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
    3. Except as provided in this policy, a Professional Staff Member’s use of leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that the Professional Staff Member earned prior to commencement of such leave.  Use of leave under the Drexel Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave does not constitute an “occurrence” of absence under Drexel’s Attendance Policy.

 

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.