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EIU Office of Internal Auditing

#4 - Benefits - Bereavement Leave, Non-Negotiated Employees

Approved: July 24, 1997

Nomenclature changes: March 13, 2023

Monitor: Vice President for Business Affairs

Only non-negotiated employees eligible to earn benefits, as provided in the Board of Trustees Regulations (II.B.7 and II.C.7a., et al.), will be approved for bereavement leave under this policy.

Bereavement leave policies for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement shall prevail over this bereavement leave policy.

Bereavement leave with pay shall be granted to an eligible employee in the event of the death of a covered family member. A covered family member is defined as an employee's child, spouse, domestic partner1, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, or any other relative within the first degree living in the same household. Child is defined as the employee's biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis. EIU allows for other members to be covered under this policy. Full list includes:

  1. parent
  2. spouse
  3. child
  4. son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  5. grandparent
  6. brother or sister
  7. brother-in-law or sister-in-law
  8. mother-in-law or father-in-law
  9. aunt or uncle
  10. niece or nephew
  11. grandchild
  12. first cousin
  13. a member of the employee's immediate household

Paid bereavement leave shall be limited to three work days per occurrence, to be taken within five consecutive workdays beginning with the date of occurrence. Bereavement leave may be taken in quarter hour increments, but any bereavement leave time shall be used within the 5-day window in accordance with the policy.

Employees shall notify their supervisors of the need for bereavement leave no later than the workday on which the leave is to begin. The supervisor shall record on the employee's time card or positive time roster the name, date of death, and relationship of the deceased to the employee for each approved bereavement leave.

Under special circumstances, bereavement leave beyond the stated amount may be granted upon approval by the employee's supervisor and Director of Human Resources, and will be deducted from either vacation leave or sick leave at the employee's choice, provided an accrual balance is available.

In addition, in accordance with The Family Bereavement Leave Act, an employee may be eligible for extended unpaid leave for "a pregnancy loss, failed adoption or surrogacy agreement, unsuccessful reproductive procedures, and other diagnoses or events negatively impacting pregnancy or fertility." The FMLA also provides additional unpaid leave time after the loss of family members2. When utilizing this benefit, an employee may take up to two weeks (10 working days) of unpaid leave time for any of the abovementioned events. Employees may be entitled up to 6-weeks of leave if they experience more than one event during a 12-month period. The leave must be used within 60 calendar days after the date the employee receives notice of the death or date of the event. Reasonable documentation may be required. Employee must also meet the employment length and hours of service requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Family bereavement leave may not be taken in addition to leave permitted under FMLA and may not exceed leave time allowed under FMLA.

For all other bereavement matters, upon approval of the employee's supervisor and confirmation by the Director of Human Resources, the employee may be granted leave without pay.

1 A domestic partner can be broadly defined as an unrelated and unmarried person who shares common living quarters with an employee and lives in a committed, intimate relationship that is not legally defined as marriage by the state in which the partners reside. The partnership consists of two people of either the same or opposite gender.

2 Covered family member is defined as an employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent or any other relative within the first degree living in the same household.

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