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    Title:

    Medical Separation

    Publication date:

    11/9/2020

    Effective date:

    11/9/2020

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    This policy describes the basis for medically separating an employee from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) employment when the employee can no longer perform the essential functions of the employee's position with or without reasonable accommodation due to a disability and reassignment is not an option under the Reasonable Accommodation policy.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    This policy applies to non-represented employees in Career and Term appointments who have successfully completed a required probationary period and Faculty appointments. Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's Human Resources (HR) Center.

    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to HRpolicies@lbl.gov.

    Title:

    Medical Separation

    Publication date:

    11/9/2020

    Effective date:

    11/9/2020

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    This policy describes the basis for medically separating an employee from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) employment when the employee can no longer perform the essential functions of the employee's position with or without reasonable accommodation due to a disability and reassignment is not an option under the Reasonable Accommodation policy.

    B. Persons Affected

    This policy applies to non-represented employees in Career and Term appointments who have successfully completed a required probationary period and Faculty appointments. Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    C. Exceptions

    Requests that exceed what is allowed under current policy or that are not expressly addressed by current policy are considered exceptions to policy. A request for an exception to policy requires, at a minimum, approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

    D. Policy Statement

    1. General
      1. A non-probationary career or term employee may be medically separated if the employee becomes unable to perform the essential functions of the employee's position with or without reasonable accommodation due to a disability, and reassignment is not an option under the Reasonable Accommodation policy.
      2. Prior to medical separation, Berkeley Lab will engage in the interactive process in accordance with the provisions of the Reasonable Accommodation policy. As part of the interactive process, the employee will be offered the option to explore reassignment, if appropriate. A career employee medically separated under this policy is eligible for Special Reemployment as described in Section D.6 of this policy.
    2. Bases for Medical Separation. There are two circumstances in which medical separation is appropriate: (1) when the interactive process has been exhausted and a determination is made that the employee cannot be reasonably accommodated absent undue hardship; or (2) when the employee has been approved to receive disability payments from a retirement system to which Berkeley Lab contributes.
      1. Medical Separation After Exhaustion of the Interactive Process and Determination that the Employee Cannot Be Reasonably Accommodated. In these circumstances, the medical separation is based on:
        1. A written statement by the employee's supervisor or designee, in consultation with an Integrated Disability and Absence Management Analyst, describing the essential functions the employee is unable to perform; and
        2. A written review prepared by an Integrated Disability and Absence Management Analyst or other appropriate Berkeley Lab representative documenting that the interactive process was exhausted and confirming that no reasonable accommodation could be provided without causing undue hardship per the Reasonable Accommodation policy.
      2. Medical Separation Based on the Employee's Receipt of or Approval to Receive Disability Payments from a Retirement System. In these circumstances, the medical separation is based on:
        1. Documentation establishing the employee's receipt of (or approval to receive) disability payments from a retirement system to which the Berkeley Lab contributes, such as the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) or the California Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS); and
        2. A written review prepared by an Integrated Disability and Absence Management Analyst or other appropriate Berkeley Lab representative, documenting that the interactive process was conducted.
    3. Leave Entitlements Prior to Medical Separation
      1. An employee will not be medically separated under this policy:
        1. While the employee is actively using sick leave;
        2. While the employee is using extended sick leave; or
        3. Prior to the exhaustion of all leave to which the employee may be entitled under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, and/or the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law.
      2. An employee who is a member of the Senior Management Group may be medically separated after exhausting any leave provided to the employee under UC policy, PPSM II-42 (Disability Leave), whether or not the employee still has accrued sick leave.
    4. Supporting Documentation
      1. Berkeley Lab may request that the employee provide documentation from the employee's health care provider to confirm that the employee has a disability and to identify the employee's functional limitations. The employee has an obligation to promptly comply with such requests.
      2. The information in this documentation may be subject to confirmation by Berkeley Lab. When Berkeley Lab determines that such confirmation is necessary, Berkeley Lab may require that the employee be examined by a Berkeley Lab-appointed licensed health care provider. In such circumstances, Berkeley Lab will pay the costs of the examination and reimburse the employee for any reasonable out-of-pocket travel expenses incurred in connection with the examination.
    5. Notices
      1. Notice of Intent to Medically Separate
        1. Berkeley Lab will provide the employee with advance written notice of Berkeley Lab's intention to medically separate the employee. The notice will:
          1. State the reason for the intended medical separation;
          2. Include copies of the statement prepared by the supervisor or designee and any other pertinent material considered, including the written review prepared by the Integrated Disability and Absence Management Analyst or other appropriate Berkeley Lab representative; and
          3. State that the employee has the right to respond orally or in writing within eight (8) calendar days regarding the intended medical separation.
        2. After the employee has responded or after eight (8) calendar days, whichever comes first, management will review the response, if any, and inform the employee of the action to be taken.
      2. Notice of Medical Separation
        1. If Berkeley Lab has determined that proceeding with medical separation is appropriate, Berkeley Lab will provide the employee with advance written notice of the medical separation date and notice of the right to appeal.
        2. The effective date of medical separation will be at least ten (10) calendar days from the date of Berkeley Lab's issuance of the notice of medical separation or 18 calendar days from the date of issuance of the notice of intent to medically separate, whichever is later.
    6. Special Reemployment
      1. To be considered for Special Reemployment, a career employee who has been medically separated must notify Berkeley Lab of their interest and provide documentation from a licensed health care provider that establishes that the former employee has been medically released to return to work, with or without reasonable accommodation.
      2. After such notice and documentation are provided, for a period of one year following the date of a medical separation, Berkeley Lab will assist the former employee in identifying appropriate positions for which the former employee may apply at the same location.
      3. If the former employee receives disability benefits from a retirement system to which Berkeley Lab contributes, the Special Reemployment period will be three years from the date benefits commenced.
      4. If the former employee is reemployed within the allowed period, a break in service does not occur.
      5. In Special Reemployment situations, the employee may be selected for a position without the requirement that the position be publicized, in accordance with the Recruitment and Hiring policy.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Role

    Responsibility

    Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

    Has the functional responsibility for this policy

    Employees

    Have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy

    HR Department

    Has the responsibility to advise management and employees on how to comply with this policy

    Health Services

    Has the responsibility to follow procedures in support of this policy

    Managers and supervisors

    Have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    Disability

    (1) A physical disorder or condition that limits a major life activity; (2) a mental or psychological disorder or condition that limits a major life activity; (3) a Medical Condition that is (a) a cancer-related physical or mental health impairment from a diagnosis, record, or history of cancer; or (b) a genetic characteristic that is known to be a cause of a disease or disorder that is associated with a statistically increased risk of development of a disease or disorder, though presently not associated with any disease or disorder symptoms; and (4) any other condition recognized as a disability under applicable law.

    Extended Sick Leave

    Leave provided to an eligible employee who has exhausted accrued sick leave and is unable to work due to a work-incurred injury or illness (See the Workers' Compensation policy).

    Interactive Process

    The process by which Berkeley Lab and the employee engage in a dialogue about the employee's functional work limitations due to a disability and any accommodation that can be provided that would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the position.

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    Role

    Responsibility

    Health Services

    Maintains records of the reasonable accommodation process. Additionally, treats any associated medical documentation as a confidential medical record for purposes of record storage.

    Human Resources

    Places copies of the notice of intent to medically separate and the notice of medical separation in the employee's personnel file.

    H. Implementing Documents

    For additional information, see the Integrated Disability & Absence Management Services website.

    I. Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's Human Resources (HR) Center.Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to HRpolicies@lbl.gov.

    J. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By Whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) Affected

    Change Type

    1/2/2012

    1

    M. Bello

    Rewrite for wiki

    All

    Minor

    11/9/2020

    2

    W. Crosson

    Revised to align with UC policy PPSM-66: Medical Separation

    All

    Minor

    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Medical Separation

    Document number

    02.12.002.000

    Revision number

    2

    Publication date:

    11/9/2020

    Effective date:

    11/9/2020

    Next review date:

    11/9/2023

    Policy Area:

    Separation

    RPM Section (home)

    Human Resources

    RPM Section (cross-reference)

    Chapter 2.21(E)

    Functional Division

    Human Resources

    Prior reference information (optional)

    RPM Chapter 2.21(E)

    Source Requirements Documents

    University of California Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) 66, Medical Separation

    Implementing Documents

     

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