Grad students sitting around

Leaves of Absence

This information is intended to help you understand the types of leaves of absence that may be available to you, as well as provide information about benefits availability while you are on a leave of absence without salary.

Contact the Benefits team to discuss your options at if you are considering a Leave of Absence. If you email, please do not include confidential information.

Types of Leaves of Absence

Maternity / Paternity Leave

Maternity and paternity leaves fall under the policies and procedures for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New Jersey Family Medical Leave Act (NJFLA). You are eligible for FMLA and NJFLA if you have worked for the University for one year and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months prior to requesting leave.

Special Sick Leave

For eligibility requirements, please refer to the AFT collective negotiations agreement. If an employee is medically unable to work full time, but is capable of working a reduced load, the employee may be permitted to work at such reduced load, receive full pay, and use pro rated earned sick leave to make up the difference between the reduced workload and the regular full-time workload. Earned sick leave used in this manner shall be deemed Special Sick Leave. The President or his/her designee may require appropriate medical documentation that the employee can work part time but not full time. Additionally, the President or his/her designee may consider operational needs in deciding whether the employee may work on a part-time basis. An employee’s request to use Special Sick Leave shall not be unreasonably denied.

Extended Medical Leave

An Extended Sick leave is a University policy that allows five or more consecutive days to be taken by an employee who has a serious health condition or to care for an immediate family member with serious health condition. This is distinct from the use of sick time on an incidental basis.


  • Family Medical Leaves have been exhausted and additional time is requested
  • Does not meet the FMLA/NJFLA requirements

Personal Leave

A leave of absence without pay for personal reasons.


  • Must be a full or part-time employee at the University
  • Does not include temporary employees and Faculty


  • Without pay only
  • Employees will not earn pension service credit, will not receive or make pension contributions, and will not earn vacation or sick accruals while on unpaid leave.
Family and/or Medical Leave (FMLA/NJFLA)

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law, provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave that protects you from negative impacts to your job when you take time off or a leave of absence for any of the following reasons:

  • Your own serious medical condition
  • Prenatal medical care or incapacity due to pregnancy and/or delivery
  • Time to bond with your new baby or newly placed adopted or foster child
  • Qualifying activities (exigencies) related to a family member’s military active duty
  • A serious injury or illness of a family member who is a current member of the armed forces or a veteran

New Jersey Family Leave and Federal Family and Medical Leave (NJFLA)

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave entitlement to eligible employees for:

  • The birth or adoption of a child;
  • The care for a spouse/civil union partner, son/daughter, parent, parent-in-law, or a person in a “parental relationship” with a serious health condition.

Eligibility for FMLA/NJFLA

The University determines when to designate a leave as “FMLA/NJFLA” based on the facts of each individual situation. When we know facts that indicate your leave of absence might be covered under FMLA/NJFLA, we are required to inform you of your rights under this law. You are responsible for providing enough information so that the University can make the appropriate determination.

You may be eligible for FMLA/NJFLA if you:

  • Have worked for the University for at least 12 months as of the start date of your requested time off or leave of absence
  • Have worked for at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to your first day of leave

Intermittent Leave

An employee does not need to use this leave entitlement in one block. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.

Paid Time Off During Leave

Possible pay continuation options during leave include:

Sick Time Off Must exhaust all of your accrued sick time first
Vacation Time Off Optional
Personal Time Off Optional
Compensatory Time Off Optional

After exhausting all of your accrued sick time, you will no longer be paid by Montclair State University but you have the following options through State of New Jersey disability programs:

Note: While on an unpaid leave of absence from Montclair State University, employees will not earn pension service credit, will not receive or make pension contributions, and will not earn vacation or sick accruals.

If you don’t have enough accrued paid time off, you may qualify for the Donated Leave Program. Criteria for shared leave eligibility are different than those for FMLA.

Health Benefits Coverage During Leave

To continue medical, prescription drug and dental coverage, you must pay required premiums.

While On Unpaid Leave

The Benefits Enrollment section of Human Resources will bill you for medical, prescription drug and dental coverage.

For Leave of Absence Due to Illness and Family Leave

You will be responsible for your usual medical and/or prescription payroll deductions for the six pay periods of leave without pay. During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.

For Personal Leave of Absence Without Pay

You will be responsible both yours and the University’s premiums up to six pay periods.

Continuation of Coverage Under COBRA

If coverage with the University ends while you are on leave, continuation of coverage is offered under COBRA for up to 18 months

  • You will receive a notice about continuation of coverage under COBRA at the time your coverage ends
  • When you return to active status, health coverage is reinstated if enrollment forms are submitted
Requesting a Leave of Absence


  • Give at least 30 days’ notice, if you know in advance of your need for a leave of absence.
  • If you learn of your need for time off or a leave of absence less than 30 days ahead of time, request it as soon as you are able.

You do not need to tell your supervisor any specifics about your health circumstances or those of your family member. However, you do need to provide enough information so that your supervisor can understand that your absence may be covered by the FMLA.

Submitting Your FMLA Request

Employees may request a leave of absence within Workday. View Workday Resources for instructions on how to enter a leave of absence request.

Required Documentation

If your absence is for your own, or a family member’s health condition, or for the arrival of a new child, you will need to submit a health-care provider certification form, supporting your need for a leave of absence. Medical documentation is not required for Bonding Leave (if using vacation time).

  • The form must be returned to HR within 15 days of receipt. Because the information is so time sensitive, it must be completed 30 days from the leave start date. Any submission before 30 days will expire and will need to completed by physician again.

Medical conditions can change and sometimes you don’t know how much FMLA leave you will need to take. You and your (or your family member’s) health care provider need to provide the best estimate of the length of time or frequency of absences you will need based on what is known at the time. If you require more or less leave than you originally thought, you can always provide an updated certification.

If your absence is for a personal leave of absence, an approval of supervisor, and Vice President of division is required.


The Office of Employee Benefits will keep confidential all medical information relating to requests for a medical leave. This information will be used only to make decisions in regards to the provisions of the policy.

  • You should not disclose your own or your family member’s medical diagnosis to your supervisor or department.
  • Any required certification should be submitted directly to the benefits department, where it will be kept confidential and separate from your personnel file. Do not submit any medical documentation to supervisor.
Returning to Work

If your leave is for your medical condition, you will be required to provide a Fitness for Duty Certification. This release is to include any restrictions or limitations you have in performing your job. A release to return to work is not required if the Leave of Absence is for a family member’s health condition.