11.02.03.12

.12 Leave of Absence.

A. A leave of absence is an authorized period of nonemployment with the Department during which the employee may be reinstated and be eligible for certain leave and salary considerations in accordance with COMAR 11.02.05.

B. Eligibility. Employees who have satisfactorily completed an original probationary period, or employees who do not serve a probation but have completed 6 months of service with the Department, may be allotted a leave of absence when approved by an appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee.

C. Limitations on the Length of Leaves of Absence. Except as provided in §F of this regulation, an employee may apply for a leave of absence without pay for a period of up to 2 years.

D. Leave of Absence—Illness.

(1) The appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee may approve a medically substantiated request for a leave of absence for temporary incapacitation due to physical or mental illness.

(2) The employee shall submit with the request for a leave of absence—illness, a verification of the illness or injury signed or certified by one of the health care providers specified in Regulation .07G(6) of this chapter.

(3) The employee's request may be referred to the Department's Medical Advisor for review and input.

(4) Continuation of Health Care Coverage.

(a) For the first 60 workdays of the leave of absence, an employee may request the Department to continue the employee's health care coverage.

(b) The Department shall pay the employee's portion as well as the State's subsidy.

(c) Acceptance of this continuation of health care coverage constitutes an agreement by the employee to repay the Department for the cost incurred.

(d) This agreement remains binding even if the employee terminates employment with the Department.

(5) Within the first 6 months of the leave of absence for illness, an individual shall be reinstated in the agency and in the classification the individual held at the time the leave of absence was granted.

E. Leave of Absence—Personal. A personal leave of absence may be approved for any reason acceptable to an appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee.

F. Leave of Absence—Military.

(1) An appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee shall approve a request for a leave of absence for military service.

(2) The duration of a military leave of absence is for the period of time an employee is on an original tour of duty, or on active duty.

G. Leave of Absence—Education.

(1) An employee who has been accepted as a full-time student at an accredited educational institution may apply for an education leave of absence.

(2) The appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee may deny the request for an education leave of absence if it is not in the best interest of the Department.