- Contributions and Plan Comparison
- Medicare Advantage Plans - Winter Guide
- Basic and Voluntary Life Insurance
- Supplemental Insurance
- Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
- Long Term Disability
- Vacation/Sick Time/Holidays/Wellness Leave
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles you to up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave each Benefit Year (September 1-August 31) for specified family and medical reasons. The reasons specified in the act are:
incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition
for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job
for “qualifying exigencies” resulting from a family member being on covered active military duty or called to such duty, or
to take up to 26 weeks of FMLA to care for a covered servicemember.
To be eligible for FMLA benefits you must have worked for the city for at least 12 months and have been physically at work for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the date leave begins. You are required to use your accrued paid leave (vacation or sick time in the case of your own illness) in order to be compensated while on FMLA leave.
For detailed information regarding FMLA, please contact your assigned FMLA coordinator.
If you are a fulltime employee who is NOT a Classified Police Officer, and you meet the Plan’s eligibility requirements of one year participation in the Compensable Sick Leave program, you will be covered under the City of Houston Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan.* This plan is paid for by the city in order to protect the income of employees who become disabled.
If you become permanently and totally disabled, the plan will provide a source of income up to age 65, until death before age 65 or until the disability ends before age 65. There is an elimination period of 180 days after the date of disability during which time benefits are not payable. To qualify for LTD benefits, the plan administrator’s medical director must certify your medical condition as a permanent and total disability.
*In some instances, where a preexisting condition exists, an employee may not become covered by the plan until after two years of employment.
For a more comprehensive description of plan benefits, contact the Benefits Division at 832-393-6000.
|Years of employment||Vacation days accrued per year|
Compensable Sick Leave Plan
The Compensable Sick Leave Plan allows you to accrue sick hours that may be used when you are ill. Sick leave accrual begins immediately for new employees. The plan allows you to accumulate two hours 30 minutes per pay period to a maximum of 65 hours per benefit year. Benefit years begin Sept. 1 and end Aug. 31. At the end of a benefit year, the city will match any sick leave hours that you have accrued during that benefit year and not used. These hours will be added to your accruals for the next benefit year to an accrual of 1,040 hours. After you reach an accrual of 1,040 hours, you will continue to accrue 65 hours each benefit year; however, the city will not match unused accruals after 1,040 hours.
A supervisor may require a doctor’s statement for each absence for which sick hours are used. A supervisor must require a doctor’s statement for all sick hours used in excess of 64 hours in a benefit year.If you use 16 or fewer sick hours during any full benefit year, the plan allows you to receive personal leave days*. You must be employed a full benefit year before you qualify for personal leave days.
|Compensable Sick Leave|
|Sick hours used||Personal leave days earned|
|One minute to eight hours||2|
|Nine to 16 hours||1|
|More than 16 hours||0|
The plan provides up to eight hours for preventive wellness * such as dental or doctor's appointments during a benefit year. Employees are required to provide a doctor's statement documenting that the visit was for wellness purposes. Using these wellness hours does not affect the number of sick leave hours you have accrued.
Employee hired – Feb. 2001
Benefit year starts – Sept. 2001
Employee works a benefit year - Sept. 2001 – Aug. 2002
Wellness becomes available immediately upon employment.
*Important Note: Personal leave hours and preventive wellness hours must be used during the benefit year in which they are awarded. Hours do not accumulate and may not be carried over from one benefit year to another benefit year.
The city grants employees the following 11 paid holidays each year:
|2013 Holiday Schedule|
|New Year’s Day (Observed)||Tuesday, Jan. 1|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||Monday, Jan. 21|
|Memorial Day||Monday, May 27|
|Independence Day||Thursday, July 4|
|Labor Day||Monday, Sept. 2|
|Veterans Day||Monday, Nov. 11|
|Thanksgiving Day||Thursday, Nov. 28|
|Day After Thanksgiving||Friday, Nov. 29|
|Christmas Eve (Observed)||Tuesday, Dec. 24|
|Christmas (Observed)||Wednesday, Dec. 25|
|1 Floating Holiday - per calendar year|
The floating holiday for any year is not available to employees hired on or after July 1st. Those employees will be eligible for floating holidays in subsequent years. The floating holiday must be used by Dec. 31 of each year.
Additionally, employees in the CSL plan who began their employment no later than August 31st are entitled to use up to eight hours of wellness leave during the next benefit year. Wellness leave is to be used for physical examinations and other preventive medical appointments and requires advance notice and documentation from the health provider.
Defined Benefit Plan
A great benefit of working with the City of the Houston is the ability to participate in the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, Houston Police Officer Pension System or the Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund. These plans are all defined benefit pension plans.
For a summary of the pension plans, read the Winter 2007 Benefits Pulse article, "Working today can ea$e your tomorrow."
In addition, employees can participate in the 457 Defined Contribution Retirement plan provided by Great-West Services where they can invest for retirement using pre tax dollars. Employees can elect to participate in this defined contribution savings plan. Contributions to this plan can reduce your taxable income. The plan is similar to a 401(K), but designed for city employees. You may enroll in this plan as soon as you begin employment.