(A) An employee is eligible for disability leave benefits under this section if the employee has completed one year of continuous state service immediately prior to the date of the disability and if any of the following applies:
(1) The employee is a full-time permanent employee and is eligible for sick leave credit pursuant to division (B) of section 124.382 of the Revised Code.
(2) The employee is a part-time permanent employee who has worked at least fifteen hundred hours within the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of disability and is eligible for sick leave credit under division (B) of section 124.382 of the Revised Code.
(3) The employee is a full-time permanent or part-time permanent employee, is on disability leave or leave of absence for medical reasons, and would be eligible for sick leave credit pursuant to division (B) of section 124.382 of the Revised Code except that the employee is in no pay status due to the employee's medical condition.
(B) The director of administrative services, by rule adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall establish a disability leave program. The rule shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) Procedures to be followed for determining disability;
(2) Provisions for the allowance of disability leave due to illness or injury;
(3) Provisions for the continuation of service credit for employees granted disability leave, including service credit towards retirement, as provided by the applicable statute;
(4) The establishment of a minimum level of benefit and of a waiting period before benefits begin;
(5) Provisions setting a maximum length of benefit and requiring that employees eligible to apply for disability retirement shall do so prior to completing the first six months of their period of disability. The director's rules shall indicate those employees required to apply for disability retirement. If an employee is approved to receive disability retirement, the employee shall receive the retirement benefit and a supplement payment that equals a percentage of the employee's base rate of pay and that, when added to the retirement benefit, equals no more than the percentage of pay received by employees after the first six months of disability. This supplemental payment shall not be considered earnable salary, compensation, or salary, and is not subject to contributions, under Chapter 145., 742., 3307., 3309., or 5505. of the Revised Code.
(6) Provisions that allow employees to utilize available sick leave, personal leave, compensatory time, or vacation leave balances to supplement the benefits payable under this section. The balances used to supplement the benefits, plus any amount contributed by the state as provided in division (D) of this section, shall be paid at the employee's base rate of pay in an amount sufficient to give employees up to one hundred per cent of pay for time on disability.
(7) Procedures for appealing denial of payment of a claim, including the following:
(a) A maximum of thirty days to file an appeal by the employee;
(b) A maximum of fifteen days for the parties to select a third-party opinion pursuant to division (F) of this section, unless an extension is agreed to by the parties;
(c) A maximum of thirty days for the third party to render an opinion.
(8) Provisions for approving leave of absence for medical reasons where an employee is in no pay status because the employee has used all the employee's sick leave, personal leave, vacation leave, and compensatory time;
(9) Provisions for precluding the payment of benefits if the injury for which the benefits are sought is covered by a workers' compensation plan;
(10) Provisions for precluding the payment of benefits in order to ensure that benefits are provided in a consistent manner.
(C) Except as provided in division (B)(6) of this section, time off for an employee granted disability leave is not chargeable to any other leave granted by other sections of the Revised Code.
(D) While an employee is on an approved disability leave, the employee shall be responsible for paying the employee's share of retirement contributions and the employer's share shall be paid by the state.
(E) The approval for disability leave shall be made by the director, upon recommendation by the appointing authority. The director may delegate to any appointing authority the authority to approve disability benefits for a standard recovery period.
(F) If a request for disability leave is denied based on a medical determination, the director shall obtain a medical opinion from a third party. The decision of the third party is binding.
(G) The rule adopted by the director under division (B) of this section shall not deny disability leave benefits for an illness or injury to an employee who is a veteran of the United States armed forces because the employee contracted the illness or received the injury in the course of or as a result of military service and the illness or injury is or may be covered by a compensation plan administered by the United States department of veterans affairs.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9,HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.
Amended by 128th General Assemblych.9,HB 16, §101, eff. 6/30/2009.
Effective Date: 06-15-2000; 07-01-2007