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5.1 Health, Dental, Vision

A.Health Benefit Plans

1. Contribution Amounts

a.  Upon ratification, the employer health benefits contribution for each employee shall be an amount equal to 80 percent of the weighted average of the Basic health benefit plan premiums for a State active civil service employee enrolled for self-alone, during the benefit year to which the formula is applied, for the four Basic health benefit plans that had the largest State active civil service enrollment, excluding family members, during the previous benefit year. For each employee with enrolled family members, the employer shall contribute an additional 80 percent of the weighted average of the additional premiums required for enrollment of those family members, during the benefit year to which the formula is applied, in the four Basic health benefit plans that had the largest State active civil service enrollment, excluding family members, during the previous benefit year.

To be eligible for these contributions, an employee must positively enroll in a health plan administered or approved by CalPERS.

b.  The parties agree to work cooperatively with CalPERS and the health plans to control premium increases.

2. Employees who first become eligible for health benefit enrollment on or after thirty (30) days following ratification of this agreement or who on that date are receiving fifty percent (50%) of the normal employer dependent portion of the contribution, shall be subject to a vesting schedule for the employer health contribution for dependents as follows:

a. 75% of the normal employer dependent portion of the contribution upon initial enrollment; and

b. 100% of the normal employer dependent portion of the contribution upon completion of 12 months of service.

B. Health Benefits Eligibility

1. Employee Eligibility

a. For purposes of this section, “eligible employee” shall be defined by the Public Employees Medical and Hospital Care Act.

2. Permanent Intermittent (PI) Employees

a. Initial Eligibility – A permanent intermittent employee will be eligible to enroll in health benefits during each calendar year if the employee has been credited with a minimum of 480 paid hours in one of two control periods.

For purposes of this section, the control periods are January 1 through June 30 and July 1 through December 31 of each calendar year. An eligible permanent intermittent employee must enroll in a health benefit plan within 60 days from the end of the qualifying control period.

b. Continuing Eligibility – To continue health benefits, a permanent intermittent employee must be credited with a minimum of 480 paid hours in a control period or 960 paid hours in two consecutive control periods.

3. Family Member Eligibility

For purposes of this section, “eligible family member” shall be defined by the Public Employees Medical and Hospital Care Act and includes domestic partners that have been certified with the Secretary of State’s office in accordance with AB 26 (Chapter 588, Statutes of 1999).

C. Dental Benefit Plans

1. Contribution

a. The State agrees to pay the following contribution for dental benefits that went into effect January 1, 2014. To be eligible for this contribution, an employee must positively enroll in a dental plan administered by the California Department of Human Resources.

(1) The State shall pay up to $36.36 per month for coverage of an eligible employee.

(2) The State shall pay up to $63.85 per month for coverage of an eligible employee plus one dependent.

(3) The State shall pay up to $92.51 per month for coverage of an eligible employee plus two or more dependents.

b. The employee will pay any premium amount for the dental plan in excess of the State’s contribution, except that the employee’s share of the cost shall not exceed 25 percent (25%)of the total premium.

b. The employee will pay any premium amount for the dental plan in excess of the State’s contribution, except that the employee’s share of the cost shall not exceed 25 percent (25%) of the total premium.

2. Employee Eligibility

Employee eligibility for dental benefits is the same as that prescribed for health benefits under Section 5.1.B.1 and 2 of this agreement.

3. Family Member Eligibility

Family member eligibility for dental benefits is the same as that prescribed for health benefits under Section 5.1.B.3 of this agreement.

4. Coverage During First 24 Months of Employment

Employees first appointed into State service who meet the above eligibility criteria, will not be eligible for enrollment in the State-sponsored indemnity or preferred provider option plan until they have completed twenty-four (24) months of employment without a permanent break in service, during the 24 month qualifying period. However, if no alternative plan or prepaid plan is available within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s residence, the employee will be allowed to enroll in the indemnity or preferred provider option plan.

D. Vision Benefit Plan

1. Program Description

The employer agrees to provide a vision benefit to eligible employees and dependents. The vision benefit provided by the State shall have an employee copayment of $10 for the comprehensive annual eye examination and $25 for materials.

2. Employee Eligibility

Employee eligibility for vision benefits is the same as that prescribed for health benefits under Section 5.1.B.1 and 2 of this agreement.

3. Family Member Eligibility

Family member eligibility for vision benefits will be the same as that prescribed for health benefits under Section 5.1.B.3 of this agreement.

5.2 Employee Assistance Program

A. The State recognizes that alcohol, drug abuse, and stress may adversely affect job performance and are treatable conditions. As a means of correcting job performance problems, the State may offer referral to treatment for alcohol, drug, and stress-related problems such as marital, family, emotional, financial, medical, legal, or other personal problems. The intent of this Section is to assist an employee’s voluntary efforts to treat alcoholism or a drug-related or a stress-related problem so as to retain or recover his/her value as an employee.

B. Each department head or designee shall designate an Employee Assistance Program Coordinator who shall arrange for programs to implement this Section. Employees who are to be referred to an Employee Assistance Program Coordinator will be referred by the appropriate management personnel. An employee undergoing alcohol, drug, or mental health treatment, upon approval, may use accrued compensating time off credits, sick, annual and vacation leave credits for such a purpose. Leave of absences without pay may be granted by the department head or designee upon the recommendation of the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator if all compensating time off, sick, annual and vacation leave have been exhausted, and the employee is not eligible to use Industrial Disability Leave or Nonindustrial Disability Insurance. A list of all Employee Assistance Program Coordinators shall be furnished to CAPS annually.

C. In an effort to keep records concerning an employee’s referral and/or treatment for alcoholism, drug or stress-related problems confidential, such records shall not be included in the employee’s personnel file.

5.3 Medical Monitoring

When required by California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) provisions, the State shall provide medical examinations for employees working in occupations which expose them to health risks. Examinations shall be in accordance with DOSH regulations.

Upon request by CAPS, medical monitoring programs shall be discussed by the appropriate departmental Joint Labor/Management Health and Safety Committee. Recommendations by the Committee will take into account the status of current technology, scientific recommendations for such programs and the need for a specified departmental program.

5.4 Employee Injury on the Job

A. In the event a disabling injury occurs to an employee while on the job, the State agrees to furnish prompt and appropriate transportation to the nearest physician or hospital. The employee’s choice of physician shall be honored in accordance with applicable state law.

B. An employee who is directed by his/her supervisor to accompany or transport an injured employee to a physician or medical facility shall suffer no loss of compensation for the time spent.

C. If the treating physician advises the injured employee to go home or the employee is admitted and remains in a hospital or clinic for treatment, the employee shall be paid for his/her full shift.

D. The State shall not use the Department of Industrial Relations’ Disability Evaluation Unit Advisory Rating form as the vehicle to justify removing a worker from his/her normal work assignments.

5.5 Independent Medical Examinations

A. Whenever the State believes that an employee, due to an illness or injury, is unable to perform his/her normal work duties, the State may require the employee to submit to an independent medical examination at State expense. The medical examination will be separate of any medical services provided under the State’s Workers’ Compensation program.

B. If the State, after the independent medical examination, determines that the employee cannot perform his/her normal work assignments, the State shall give the employee the opportunity to challenge the State’s medical evaluation by supplying his/her personal medical evaluations to dispute the State’s findings.

5.6 Employee Injury or Disability

Employees shall be eligible for Industrial, Enhanced Industrial Disability Leave, and Nonindustrial Disability Leave as provided in Government Code Sections 19869 through 19885 and as described below.

A. IDL

1. Employees who suffer an industrial injury or illness and would otherwise be eligible for temporary disability benefits under the Labor Code will be entitled to Industrial Disability Leave as described in Article 4 of the Government Code, beginning with Section 19869. Industrial Disability Leave will be paid in lieu of temporary disability benefits.

2. Eligible employees shall receive IDL payments equivalent to full net pay for the first 22 work days after the date of the reported injury.

3. In the event that the disability exceeds 22 work days, the employee will receive 66 and 2/3 percent of gross pay from the 23rd work day of disability until the end of the 52nd week of disability. No IDL payments shall be allowed after two years from the first day (i.e., date) of disability.

4. The employee may elect to supplement payment from the 23rd work day with accrued leave credits including annual leave, vacation, sick leave, or compensating time off (CTO) in the amount necessary to match, but not exceed, full net pay. Full net pay is defined as the net pay the employee would have received if he/she had been working and not on disability. Partial supplementation will be allowed, but fractions of less than one (1) hour will not be permitted. Once the level of supplementation is selected, it may be decreased to accommodate a declining leave balance but it may not be increased. Reductions to supplementation amounts will be made on a prospective basis only.

5. Temporary Disability (TD) with supplementation, as provided for in Government Code Section 19863, will no longer be available to any State employee who is a member of either the PERS or STRS retirement system during the first 52 weeks, after the first date of disability, within a two-year period.

6. If the employee remains disabled after the IDL benefit is exhausted, then the employee will be eligible to receive Temporary Disability benefits as provided for in the Labor Code, except that no employee will be allowed to supplement Temporary Disability payments in an amount which exceeds the employee’s full net pay as defined above.

7.  All appeals of an employee’s denial of IDL benefits shall only follow the procedures in the Government Code and Title 2. All disputes relating to an employee’s denial of benefits are not grievable or arbitrable. This does not change either party’s contractual rights which are not related to an individual’s denial of benefits.

B. EIDL. The following classifications in Unit 10 shall be eligible for Enhanced Industrial Disability Leave (EIDL), as described below:

CODE CLASS NAME
BH70 Environmental Scientist
BH 74 Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist)
BH94 Hazardous Materials Specialist
BH93 Associate Hazardous Materials Specialist
BH92 Senior Hazardous Materials Specialist (Technical)
SW80 Examiner I, Laboratory Field Services
SW75 Examiner II, Laboratory Field Services
IC61 Assistant Industrial Hygienist
IC62 Associate Industrial Hygienist

 1. An employee in the above enumerated classifications who loses the ability to work for more than 22 work days as the result of an injury incurred in the official performance of his/her duties, may be eligible for financial augmentation to the existing industrial disability leave benefits. Such injury must have been directly and specifically caused by an assault by an inmate, ward, or parolee under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a client of the Department of Developmental Services, patient of the Department of State Hospitals or a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

2. The EIDL benefits will be equivalent to the injured employee’s net take home salary on the date of occurrence of the injury. EIDL eligibility and benefits may continue for no longer than one year after the date of occurrence of injury. For the purposes of this Section, “net salary” is defined as the amount of salary received after federal income tax, State income tax, and the employee’s retirement contribution have been deducted from the employee’s gross salary. The EIDL benefit will continue to be subject to miscellaneous payroll deductions.

3. EIDL will apply only to serious physical injuries and any complications directly related medically and attributable to the assault, as determined by the department director or designee. This benefit shall not be applied to either presumptive, stress-related disabilities, or physical disability having mental origin.

4. The final decision as to whether an employee is eligible for, or continues to be eligible for EIDL shall rest with the department director or designee. The department may periodically review the employee’s condition by any means necessary to determine an employee’s continued eligibility for EIDL.

5. Other existing rules regarding the administration of IDL will be followed in the administration of EIDL.

6. This Section relating to EIDL will not be subject to the arbitration procedure of this MOU.

5.7 FlexElect Program

A. Flexible Benefit Program

The State agrees to provide a Flexible Benefits Program under Section 125 and related Sections 129, 213(d), and 105(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. All participants in the FlexElect Program shall be subject to all applicable Federal statute and related administrative provisions adopted by CalHR. All eligible employees must work one-half time or more and have permanent status or, if a limited-term or TAU appointment, must have mandatory return rights to a permanent position.

B. Permanent Intermittent Eligibility

Permanent Intermittent (PI) employees may only participate in the Pre-Tax Premium and/or the Cash Option for medical and/or dental insurance. PIs choosing the Pre-Tax Premium must qualify for State medical and/or dental benefits. PIs choosing the Cash Option will qualify if they work at least one-half time, have an appointment for more than six months, and receive credit for a minimum of 480 paid hours within the six month control period of January 1 through June 30 of the plan year in which they are enrolled.

C. This Section is not grievable or arbitrable.

5.8 Pre-Tax of Health/Dental/Vision Premiums

Employees who are enrolled in any health, dental and/or vision plan which requires a portion of the premium to be paid by the employee will automatically have their out-of-pocket premium costs taken out of their paycheck before federal, state and social security taxes are deducted. Employees who choose not to have their out-of-pocket costs pre-taxed must make an election not to participate in this program.

5.9 Benefits Advisory Committee

The California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) agrees to participate in the Benefits Advisory Committee established by the California Department of Human Resources.

5.10 Pre-Retirement Death Continuation of Benefits

The State employer shall, upon the death of an employee while in State service, continue to pay employer contributions for health, dental, and vision benefits for a period not to exceed 120 days beginning in the month of the employee’s death. The surviving spouse, if any, shall be advised of all rights and obligations during this period regarding the continuation of health and dental benefits as an annuitant by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The surviving spouse shall also be notified by the department during this period regarding COBRA rights for the continuation of vision benefits.

A. Employees in this unit who are members of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) will be covered under the Fifth Level of the 1959 Survivor’s Benefit, pursuant to Government Code Section 21574.7, which provides a death benefit in the form of a monthly allowance to the eligible survivor in the event of death before retirement. This benefit will be payable to eligible survivors of current employees who are not covered by Social Security and whose death occurs on or after the effective date of the memorandum of understanding for this section.

B. Pursuant to Government Code section 21581(c), the contribution for employees covered under this new level of benefits will be $2 per month as long as the combined employee and employer cost for this program is $4 per month or less per covered member. If the total cost of this program exceeds $4 per month per member, the employee and employer shall share equally the cost of the program. The rate of contribution for the State will be determined by the PERS Board, pursuant to Government Code Section 21581.

5.11 Accidental Death/Dismemberment Benefits – Department of Fish and Wildlife

A. In addition to the benefits described in Labor Code Sections 4701 and 4702, effective July 1, 1999, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) agrees to provide $50,000 air travel insurance for Unit 10 employees in the classes listed below required to fly as a passenger in other than regularly scheduled passenger aircraft to fulfill his/her work duties.

Schem Code

Class Title

BH70

Environmental Scientist

BH74

Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist)

IC61

Assistant Industrial Hygienist

IC62

Associate Industrial Hygienist

B. The benefit is payable to the employee, employee estate, or his/her designated beneficiary in the event of accidental death or dismemberment.

C. In the event of a dispute regarding appropriate designated beneficiaries, the life insurance benefit shall not be paid until the disputants legally verify that they have settled the dispute or a court of competent jurisdiction resolves the matter for the parties.

5.12 Rural Health Care Equity Subsidy Program

The State and the Union agree that the provisions of this Section shall not extend beyond the sunset date of the Rural Health Care Equity Program (RHCEP), as defined in Government Code 22877.

Should future legislation be chaptered that provides funding for the RHCEP, the State agrees to meet and confer to discuss implementation of the legislation for Unit 10.

5.13 Health Promotion Activities

A. The State, in an effort to increase morale and productivity, to reduce absenteeism, injuries and illness, and to contain rising health care costs, encourages departments and employees to participate in health promotion and injury prevention activities.

B. Departments may, based on operational needs, allow employees up to one full-hour of administrative time-off (ATO) per month, to participate in State-sponsored on-site health promotion activities.

C. State-sponsored on-site health promotion activities may include but are not limited to the following activities held at the work site: seminars, demonstrations, exercise or physical fitness classes, educational forums, blood drives, and flu immunizations.

5.14 Organ and Bone Marrow Donation

In accordance with Government Code section 19991 .11, employees who donate organs or bone marrow are eligible for paid leave. The following leave is extended to those employees who become an organ or bone marrow donor:

A. Employees who donate an organ(s) to another person shall be granted up to thirty (30) workdays of paid leave (Donor Leave) in any one year period. Employees who donate bone marrow to another person shall be granted up to five (5) work days of paid leave (Donor Leave) in any one year period.

B. The one-year period is the twelve (12) month period measured forward from the date an employee’s first leave begins.

C. The one-year period for an organ donor is separate from the one-year period for bone marrow donation.

D. An employee must first exhaust all sick leave balance to qualify for Donor Leave.

E. Employees without a sick leave balance, including employees in the annual leave program, are immediately eligible for paid leave (Donor Leave).

F. Employees must provide written verification to the appointing power that a medical necessity exists for the donation.

G. Donor Leave taken for donations is not a break in continuous service, relative to salary adjustments, leave accrual, or seniority normally accrued on paid leave.

H. Employees wishing to become a donor may be required to undergo medical, psychological or other tests. Absences for such purposes must be requested in advance in the same manner as required to use sick or vacation/annual leave. The time an employee is approved to be absent for such purposes shall be deducted from the employee’s accrued leave balance.

I. If the donor employee is temporarily unable to return to work after exhausting Donor Leave, the employee may, subject to medical verification, use any paid or unpaid leave available to the employee until able to return to work. Such leave may include, but is not limited to, sick, vacation, annual, personal, CTO, Family Medical, catastrophic, and medical leave.

J. If the donor employee is permanently unable to return to work following the donation, the employee will be separated and paid for any leave balances including but not limited to vacation. annual leave and/or CTO current balances. The payment for such balances shall be computed by projecting the accumulated time on a calendar basis as though the employee were taking time off. If during the period of projection, the employee is able to return to work. the employee will have a mandatory right to be reinstated to his/her former position.