1997 Regular Session

To: Fees and Salaries of Public Officers

By: Representative McBride

House Bill 1484



SECTION 1. Section 25-3-91, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

25-3-91. For purposes of Sections 25-3-91 to 25-3-99, the following words and terms shall have the meaning described herein, unless the context requires otherwise:

(a) "Appointing authority" shall mean such person, agency or authority authorized by law to employ individuals in state government.

(b) "Catastrophic injury or illness" means a severe condition or combination of conditions affecting the mental or physical health of the employee that requires the services of a licensed physician for an extended period of time and that forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned by that employee and to lose compensation from the state for the employee.

(c) "Employee" means a person appointed to a position in the state service or nonstate service as defined in Section 25-9-107, for which he is compensated on a full-time permanent or provisional basis, a temporary basis, or a part-time basis.

(d) "Workday" shall mean a day as defined in Section 25-1-98.

(e) "Temporary employment" means the employment of a person in a temporary or time-limited position not to exceed twelve (12) months.

(f) "Part-time employment" means the employment of a person in a part-time position.

(g) "Medical leave pooling plan" means a plan that permits individual employees to transfer portions of accrued personal leave or major medical leave into a "pool" or "bank" the purpose for which is to aggregate transferred benefits for the use of other employees suffering from catastrophic illness or injury.

SECTION 2. Section 25-3-95, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

25-3-95. (1) All employees and appointed officers of the State of Mississippi, except recipients of full-time educational leave, while on such leave, shall accrue credits for major medical leave as follows:

Continuous Accrual Rate Accrual Rate

Service (Monthly) (Annually)

1 month to 3 years 8 hours per month 12 days per year

37 months to 8 years 7 hours per month 10.5 days per year

97 months to 15 years 6 hours per month 9 days per year

Over 15 years 5 hours per month 7.5 days per year

Faculty members employed by the eight (8) public universities on a nine-month contract shall accrue credit for major medical leave as follows:

Continuous Accrual Rate Accrual Rate

Service (Per Month) (Per Academic Year)

1 month to 3 years 13-1/3 hours per month 15 days per

academic year

37 months to 8 years 14-1/5 hours per month 16 days per

academic year

97 months to 15 years 15-2/5 hours per month 17 days per

academic year

Over 15 years 16 hours per month 18 days per

academic year

Part-time employees shall accrue major medical leave on a pro rata basis. There shall be no maximum limit to major medical leave accumulation. All unused major medical leave shall be counted as creditable service for the purposes of the retirement system as provided in Sections 25-11-103 and 25-13-5.

(2) Major medical leave may be used for the illness or injury of an employee or member of the employee's immediate family as defined in Section 25-3-95, only after the employee has used one (1) day of accrued personal or compensatory leave for each absence due to illness, or leave without pay if the employee has no accrued personal or compensatory leave. Provided that faculty members employed by the eight (8) public universities on a nine-month basis may use major medical leave for the first day of absence due to illness. Provided, however, major medical leave may be used, without prior use of personal leave, to cover regularly scheduled visits to a doctor's office or a hospital for the continuing treatment of a chronic disease, as certified in advance by a physician. For the purposes of this section, "physician" means a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dental medicine, podiatry or chiropractic. For each absence due to illness of thirty-two (32) consecutive working hours (combined personal leave and major medical leave) major medical leave shall be authorized only when certified by their attending physician.

(3) An employee may use up to three (3) days of earned major medical leave for each occurrence of * * * death in the immediate family requiring the employee's absence from work. No qualifying time or use of personal leave will be required prior to use of major medical leave for this purpose. For the purpose of this subsection (3), the immediate family is defined as spouse, parent, step-parent, sibling, child, step-child, grandchild, grandparent, son- or daughter-in-law, mother- or father-in-law or brother- or sister-in-law. Child means a biological, adopted or foster child, or a child for whom the individual stands or stood in loco parentis.

(4) Employees and appointed officers of the State of Mississippi having unused, accumulated sick leave or annual leave earned prior to July 1, 1984, shall be credited with major medical leave and personal leave as follows: All unused annual leave shall be credited as personal leave.

Unused sick leave shall be divided between major medical leave and personal leave at rates determined by the employee's sick leave balance on June 30, 1984. The rates of conversion shall be as follows:

Sick Leave Percentage Percentage

Balance as of Converted to Converted to

June 30, 1984 Personal Leave Major Medical Leave

1 - 200 hours 20% 80%

201 - 400 hours 25% 75%

401 - 600 hours 30% 70%

601 or more hours 35% 65%

(5) Upon retirement from active employment each faculty member of one (1) of the eight (8) public universities who is employed on a nine-month basis shall receive credit and be paid for not more than thirty (30) days of unused major medical leave for service as a state employee. Unused major medical leave in excess of thirty (30) days shall be counted as creditable service for the purposes of the retirement system as provided in Sections 25-11-103 and 25-13-5.

(6) Any officer of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol who is injured by wound or accident in the line of duty shall not be required to use earned major medical leave during the period of recovery from such injury.

(7) For the purpose of Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99, the earned major medical leave of each employee shall be credited monthly after the completion of each calendar month and the appointing authority shall not increase the amount of major medical leave to an employee's credit. It shall be unlawful for an appointing authority to grant major medical leave in an amount greater than was earned and accumulated by the officer or employee.

(8) Appointing authorities for state and nonstate agencies and for the eight (8) public universities shall develop and implement a medical leave pooling plan, which shall include but not be limited to the following limitations:

(a) The amount, if any, of pool leave granted for each catastrophic illness or injury will be determined by the director of personnel of the agency or university. The amount cannot exceed one-third (1/3) of the balance of the hours in the pool or forty-five (45) days, whichever is less.

(b) Contributions to the medical leave pool may be converted from hours to dollars in order to allow equitable distribution when the employee contributing to the pool is in a different salary range than the employee receiving from the pool.

(c) Any unused balance of pool leave granted to the employee returns to the pool. The estate of a deceased employee is not entitled to payment for unused pool leave.

(d) Employees must exhaust all earned major medical and personal leave before being eligible for medical leave residing in the pool.

(e) Once leave has been donated to the medical leave pool, it cannot be restored to the individual.

(f) All requests for medical leave pool time for catastrophic illness or injury for the employee must be accompanied by a physician's statement that states the beginning date of the condition, a description of the illness or injury, and a prognosis for recovery and the anticipated date the employee will be able to return to work.

(g) The failure of any appointing authority or the appropriate supervisor of any state or nonstate agency or public university to properly deduct an employee's contribution to the medical leave pool from that employee's earned major medical leave shall constitute just cause for the dismissal of the appointing authority or supervisor.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.