Procedures and Benefits Relating to Leaves of Absence
All requests for leaves of absence for medical reasons require submission of medical documentation
Available Leave Time
Upon application by an employee for medical leave, the Benefits Office in the Division of Human Resources will request an earned Leave Balance Status from the Payroll Office. The Payroll Office calculates the number of earned and allotted sick, vacation, and administrative days available to the employee. The Benefits Office will inform the employee of his/her options concerning the leave time.
New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)
If an employee is temporarily disabled due to illness or non-work related injury and has exhausted all earned sick leave, he/she may apply for temporary disability insurance (TDI). This claim must be filed within 30 days of the start of the disability. The employee's eligibility and benefit payment are determined by the New Jersey Department of Labor. Payment is made after the first eight consecutive days of each period of disability (waiting week). The waiting week becomes compensable when the disability benefits have been paid for all or some part of each of the three weeks immediately following the waiting week. The payment of TDI is limited to 26 weeks.
Brochures and applications for Temporary Disability Insurance may be obtained in the Benefits Office in the Division of Human Resources.
Family Leave Insurance (FLI)
Family Leave Insurance is a program that provides up to six (6) weeks of benefits to covered individuals to care for designated family members incapable of self-care or to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. The program will be administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Temporary Disability Insurance. Employees whose employment is covered under the NJ Unemployment Law are covered for FLI and claims can be filed starting July 1, 2009.
Long-Term Disability (LTD) (ABP)
Employees enrolled in the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) for at least one year may apply for Long-Term Disability (LTD) against lost or future loss of income in instances where they have been determined to be totally disabled. There is a six-month waiting period from the time the participant becomes disabled. The monthly benefit may be paid by the carrier up to age 70 as long as the participant remains disabled or up to the time the participant elects to retire and receive a retirement annuity or cash distribution. Please refer to the Alternate Benefit Program Retirement Section for the benefits offered while on Long-Term Disability. Under LTD, there is no stipulation that earned sick leave must be applied in advance of receiving the benefit.
Ordinary Disability Retirement (PERS, TPAF, PFRS)
Employees may apply for Ordinary Disability Retirement if they are considered totally and permanently incapacitated and are enrolled in one of the following three pension plans: Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), and Police and Fireman's Retirement System (PFRS). Employees become eligible for this benefit after 10- or more years of pension enrollment in PERS and TPAF and after four or more years in PFRS.
If the employee normally pays a portion of the premiums for health care coverage, while on a paid leave the health insurance premium will be deducted through normal payroll deductions. While on an unpaid leave, the employee would be responsible for making arrangements with the Benefits Office in advance to pay the employee portion of the health insurance premium.
During an unpaid leave, members of the Public Employees Retirement System, Teacher Pension Annuity Fund, and Police and Fire Retirement System are eligible to purchase credit for up to a maximum of two years for authorized medical leaves. There is no such provision for the Alternate Benefit Program.
Group life insurance coverage will continue for up to two years while on an official leave of absence for personal illness. No contributions will be required from employees covered by contributory life insurance to continue their insurance.
Maternity Leave (Pregnancy Disability)
An employee going on maternity leave must submit medical documentation in the same manner as employees on other types of medical leave. An employee, under normal circumstances, is considered disabled four weeks prior to and six weeks after the birth of the baby (eight weeks for cesarean section). Sick leave can only be used during the time the employee is actually considered disabled.
New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance
When an employee is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy and has exhausted all earned sick leave, she may apply for temporary disability insurance (TDI). Eligibility and amount of paid benefit are determined by the New Jersey Department of Labor. Payment is made after the first seven consecutive days of each period of disability (waiting week). The waiting week becomes compensable when the disability benefits have been paid for all or some part of each of the three weeks immediately following the waiting week.
Brochures and applications for Temporary Disability Insurance may be obtained in the Benefits Office in the Division of Human Resources. (TDI)
Members of the Public Employees Retirement System, Teacher Pension Annuity Fund, and Police and Fire Retirement System are eligible to purchase credit for up to a maximum of two years for authorized medical leaves. There is no such provision for the Alternate Benefit Program.
Group life insurance coverage will continue during pregnancy disability. No contributions will be required from employees covered by contributory life insurance to continue their insurance.
In the event a pregnancy does not fall within the normal disability guidelines and an employee is required by her physician to begin disability leave earlier than the four weeks before or extend beyond the six to eight weeks after the birth, refer to the section on Medical Leaves for procedures.
Family Leave and Medical Leaves of Absences under Federal and State Law
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employee may take a leave of absence for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care. In such cases, the leave must be taken within one year of the birth or placement. Leave may also be taken to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition or the employee's own serious illness. The employee is entitled to take a leave for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period. Employees may also take leave to care for a covered current servicemember. In such instances, the employee may take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of leave per servicemember or per injury/illness during a twelve month period, beginning on the first day of leave.
The calculation of the 12-month period shall begin with the commencement of the family or medical leave. This leave may be taken at a reduced or intermittent schedule with the appropriate approvals. Authorized leave time, such as administrative, vacation, and sick leave, does not accrue while in non-pay status.
To qualify for leave under the FMLA, an employee must have worked for 12 months and at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the leave.
The FMLA does not supersede any provisions of the state law that provide greater rights than those provided under the FMLA. Moreover, the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) does not diminish rights under the FMLA. (See University Policies/ Regulations: Section VI for more information.)
Employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent (i.e., the "servicemember") on active duty or call to active duty in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use leave to address certain qualifying exigencies arising out of the active duty or impending active duty.
Examples of qualifying exigencies include attending certain military events, arranging or providing for alternative child care or school, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, addressing issues arising from short-notice deployment, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
An employee whose family member is on active duty or call to active duty as a member of the Regular Armed Forces is not eligible to take leave because of a qualifying exigency.
Amount of Leave: An employee may take up to twelve (12) weeks of leave per year
Injury or Illness
Employees may also take leave to care for a covered current servicemember ("the servicemember") who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her own duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.
In order to care for the covered servicemember, the employee must be the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the servicemember.
Amount of Leave: An employee may take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of leave per servicemember or per injury/illness during a twelve month period, beginning on the first day of leave.
For classified employees, a written request for a personal leave must be submitted to and approved by the employee's supervisor(s), the divisional vice president, and the Division of Human Resources. For unclassified employees, a written request for personal leave must be submitted and approved as for classified employees and up to and including the President or his/her designee.
-Application of Earned Vacation and Administrative Leave
An employee approved for a personal leave may apply earned vacation and administrative time, or take a leave of absence without pay. Should the employee request to use earned vacation and administrative time, the Benefits Office in the Division of Human Resources will request an Earned Leave Balance Status Statement from the Payroll Office. The Payroll Office will calculate the number of earned vacation and administrative days available to the employee
Health benefits coverage remains intact for an employee on vacation or administrative leave. When an employee takes a leave of absence without pay for personal reasons, health benefits coverage will terminate in accordance with the NJ State Health Benefits termination timetable. The employee may then elect to continue his/her health coverage during a personal leave of absence at the group rate through the University for nine months (payable in a lump sum) and then through COBRA for nine months for a maximum of 18 months.
Service and salary credit for pension purposes are earned in the state retirement systems while in pay status only. For periods during which leave is taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, an employee may be able to obtain pension credit depending upon the compensation received during the coverage periods involved. Members of the Alternate Benefit Program must receive at least 50 per cent of their base salary to make contributions to their account.
Members of the Public Employees Retirement System, Teachers Pension Annuity Fund, and Police and Firemen’s Retirement System may only purchase service credit for three months for a personal leave of absence. The Alternate Benefit Program does not have such a provision.
Group life insurance coverage will continue for up to 93 days while on approved leave for personal reasons. In this case, contributions are required from employees covered by contributory insurance to continue coverage under the contributory plan. Group life insurance coverage will continue for up to one year for employees on approved leaves to fulfill residency requirements for advanced degrees and for employees enrolled as full-time students at institutions of higher education. In these instances, contributions are necessary from employees covered by contributory insurance to continue coverage under the contributory plan.
An unauthorized leave occurs when an employee has charged time or used time that has not been approved by his/her supervisor. Unauthorized leave may be cause for disciplinary action. After five consecutive days of unauthorized leave, an employee will be deemed to have abandoned the job.