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Employee on Leave of Absence

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by TravelTime, May 11, 2019.

  1. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I am wondering if I can get some TUG input. For those of you who have run your own small businesses...If an employee takes a leave of absence and does not return to work, what happens to their benefits that might have vested while they were not working? Are they still entitled to vesting?
     
  2. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    This is a legal question, and always remember that free legal advice is worth exactly as much as you paid.

    This is a question that varies greatly with locale. You need to speak with someone who is knowledgeable in labor law in your locale.
     
    mpumilia and TravelTime like this.
  3. x3 skier

    x3 skier TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Agree this is a question for a qualified attorney but actually free legal advice is sometimes worth much less that what you paid:(

    Cheers
     
  4. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I agree with above. Every state is different. Definitely you need to check into this with an attorney or maybe you can find the answer on line on your state's website.
     
  5. elaine

    elaine TUG Member

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    You might also have a state employment office that can give you general guidance.
     
    wackymother likes this.
  6. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    long time employee, never an owner...

    if the person is on Medical Leave, and I could afford it, I would give them the benefits.

    I am on med leave and received Team Bonus, the full one, even tho I did not work the full year in which it was earned. I also got 401k match whenever I was paid.

    Personally, if it were my business, I would go with the specific case. What impact did this employee have on your business, how long were they there, etc. I would be generous with long time employees or those who really helped the effort even if short time there.

    I did not make 5 years on the job but no vesting so can't say what would have occurred when they termed me after a year of FMLA. If at all possible, make yourself a rule that will apply to the next case. I do not know what you would base it on, but some combo of length of service, level in the company, performance reviews, and possibly reason for leaving. Critical illness presents many problems, which I know very well now, and I would have been grateful had my employee been a bit kinder in their treatment of me. As it is, I will never again patronize their business and have nothing nice to say about them. Your reputation enters into this!
     
  7. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It depends on the benefits. I am so far removed from being an employer that I have forgotten the various laws in California for this.

    SHRM is usually pretty reliable and this is as close to it as I found in a 5 second search...

    https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandto...r-benefits-when-taking-leaves-of-absence.aspx
     
    TravelTime likes this.
  8. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    Thank you, VacationForever. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have been researching this question all week and could not find it spelled out this clearly. Even my 401K company, a $3+ billion company, did not give me an answer after consulting with their legal counsel. They told me to research it myself! Such an unacceptable answer for a basic plan question.
     
    clifffaith likes this.
  9. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Don't forget that California laws are likely different and over and above Federal laws. FEHA has always been more stringent than EEOC.
     
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  10. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I looked at my Employee Manual and it makes it clear that when employees go on leave of absence, they become inactive employees and are ineligible for vesting and benefits. My employee manual was written by an external agency based on the state of California HR laws. So I think I now have answer to my OP.
     
    VacationForever likes this.
  11. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Yep. We had all of those spelled out in our employee manual and covered during orientation.
     
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  12. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Best not to deviate from your manual as next time if not applied the same you could be sued for it.
     
    mentalbreak likes this.
  13. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    Thank you for the great advice.
     

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