Medical Separations

Medical Separation Procedures

University Policy and Contractual Agreements

University policy and all collective bargaining agreements with the University of California allow for the separation of a career employee when the employee is deemed by a medical professional to be unable to physically and/or mentally perform the usual and customary requirements of his or her staff position. This type of separation process differs from the standard separation, layoff, retirement, or dismissal of a career employee. Only after the employee’s case has been thoroughly reviewed by the Human Resources Department and appropriate documentation has been presented by the employing department, is an employee eligible for medical separation. Medical separation allows for future re-employment assistance should the employee’s condition improve. Each medical separation case is unique and department managers/supervisors are encouraged to work closely with the Human Resources Department in the assessment of potential medical separation action.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

An employer must make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the operation of business.

As you prepare your Medical Separation packet, please keep in mind our legal requirements. The following are useful definitions outlined by the ADA which will be useful to help you prepare the enclosed Medical Separation packet.

1. Reasonable Accommodation: Any modification or adjustment to work environment or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enables an applicant or employee to perform the essential functions of that position.

Some examples of Reasonable Accommodation may include:

a) Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
b) Job restructuring (modifying a job so that a person with a disability can perform the essential functions of the position, i.e., eliminating non-essential elements of the job, re-delegating assignments, exchanging assignments with another employee, and re-designing procedures);
c) Initiating part-time or modified work schedules;
d) Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
e) Appropriately adjusting or modifying employment examinations, training materials or local practices;
f) Reassigning a disabled individual to an active vacant position if all attempts to implement other reasonable accommodations have been unsuccessful.

2. Undue Hardship: Any action which would impose significant difficulty or expense to the operation of UCSD Healthcare considered in light of the following facts:

a) The nature and cost of the accommodation;
b) The overall financial resources of UC San Diego Health System
c) The number of persons employed;
d) The effect on expenses and resources, or the impact of the accommodation on business operations;
e) The type of operation or operations of the organization including the composition, structure and functions of its workforce; and
f) The impact of the accommodation upon the operation of UC San Diego Health System, including impact on the ability of other employees to perform their duties and the impact on the organization’s ability to conduct business.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA of 1993 provides for leave of absence for an eligible employee’s serious health condition, the serious health condition of the employee’s child, spouse, or parent, or to care for the employee’s newborn, adopted, or foster child. The FMLA entitles an eligible employee to up to 12 workweeks of family and medical leave during any 12-month period. An employee who has been granted a family and medical leave will be reinstated to the same position or at the department’s discretion, an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment, provided the employee returns to work immediately after the leave.

Eligibility for the use of FMLA requires that an employee have more than one year of continuous University service and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave.

Managers/supervisors should be aware of the type of leave the employee is requesting in order to maintain proper documentation. Employees being considered for possible medical separation may have requested FMLA to cover all or a portion of leave used during their illness or recovery from injury. Any FMLA leave will need to be noted when preparing a Request for Medical Separation.

The Request for Medical Separation

To begin the Medical Separation process, a Request for Medical Separation form (Attachment I Parts A & B) will need to be carefully completed. Please attach any medical documentation or accommodation information you feel is relevant to the request. If you require assistance completing any portion of the Request for Medical Separation, please contact:

Linda Morgan, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Phone 619-543-7709
Fax 619-471-9332

As a means of ensuring consistency and compliance with union contracts, the Benefits Unit will be issuing the Notice of Intent to Medically Separate and the Notice of Medical Separation. A copy will be sent to you. Additionally, Human Resources Benefits Unit will separate the employee from the UC system. Therefore, a PAR form will not be required by your office.

If you any questions on the procedures for medical separation, please contact Linda Morgan at 619-543-7709.

Request for Medical Separation Form