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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 benefits@montclair.edu 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.

Eligibility:

  • 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.

Eligibility:

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

Pay:

  • 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
FMLA Poster (PDF)

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.
NJFLA Poster (PDF)

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.

Families First Coronavirus Response and Emergency Paid Leave Act (FFCRA/EPSLA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Employees of private-sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave Related To COVD-19

An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19, if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

  1. Is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
  3. Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2).
  5. Is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons.
  6. Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Paid Leave Entitlements

Employers covered under the Act must provide employees up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave based on the higher of their regular rate of pay, or the applicable state or federal minimum wage, paid at:

  • 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total
  • 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5 below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.
  • Employees may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5
  • A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
FFRCA Poster (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)?

The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Which employees are eligible for EPSLA?

Full-time employees are entitled to 2 weeks or 10 days of paid sick leave up to 80 hours, subject to a daily and accumulated cap, depending upon the type of leave, as outlined in the Emergency Sick Leave Policy. Part- time employees are entitled to the number of hours equal to the average hours the employee works during a two-week period. Under the Act, special rules apply to Emergency Responders.

When can I use Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

You may only use emergency paid sick leave provided due to:

  • You are unable to work or telework and you require leave because you are subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • You have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical diagnosis;
  • You are caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • You are caring for a son or daughter whose school or child care provider is closed or your child’s child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions;
  • You are experiencing any other substantially similar condition as defined by the Federal Government.

If I elect to take paid leave under the EPSLA is my health coverage maintained?

Yes, your health coverage will be maintained during your EPSLA, subject to your ongoing rate of contribution.

If I take paid sick leave under the EPSLA, does that count against other types of paid sick leave; MSU’s sick leave policy; or applicable collective bargaining agreement? Am I required to use other paid leave before using paid sick leave under the EPSLA?

No. Paid sick leave under the EPSLA is in addition to other leave provided under Federal, State, or local law; an applicable collective bargaining agreement; or our existing sick university leave policy. Eligible employees are not required to use other paid leave banks before using sick leave under EPSLA.

How should I record my paid sick leave under EPSLA on my timesheet?

Any time taken for EPSLA should be inputted through our Workday time entry system. There will be a description titled “covid-19 sick” that should be utilized.

May I take 80 hours of paid sick leave for my self-quarantine and then another amount of paid sick leave for another reason provided under the EPSLA?

No. You may take up to two weeks—or ten days—(80 hours for a full-time employee, or for a part-time employee, the number of hours equal to the average number of hours that the employee works over a typical two-week period) of paid sick leave for any combination of qualifying reasons. However, the total number of hours for which you receive paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.

If I am home with my child because his or her school or place of care is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable, do I get paid sick leave, expanded family and medical leave, or both—how do they interact?

You may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of twelve weeks of paid leave. You may take both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Who is my “child care provider”?

A “child care provider” is someone who cares for your child. This includes individuals paid to provide child care, like nannies, au pairs, and babysitters. It also includes individuals who provide child care at no cost and without a license on a regular basis, for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or neighbors.

Who is a son or daughter?

Under the FFCRA, a “son or daughter” is your own child, which includes your biological, adopted, or foster child, your stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom you are standing in loco parentis—someone with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support a child.

What documents do I need to give my employer to get paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

When requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, you must provide your employer either orally or in writing the following information:

  • Your name;
  • The date(s) for which you request leave;
  • The reason for leave; and
  • A statement that you are unable to work because of the above reason.

If you request leave to self-quarantine based on the advice of a health care provider or to care for an individual who is self-quarantining based on such advice, you should additionally provide the name of the health care provider who gave advice.

If you request leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, you must also provide:

  • The name of your child;
  • The name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that has closed or become unavailable; and
  • A statement that no other suitable person is available to care for your child.

May I take my expanded family and medical leave intermittently while my child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, if I am not teleworking?

Intermittent expanded family and medical leave is permitted only when you and your supervisor agree upon such a schedule.

If I am furloughed on or after April 1, 2020 (the effective date of the FFCRA), can I receive paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

No. If your employer furloughs you because it does not have enough work or business for you, you are not entitled to then take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. However, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. You should contact your State workforce agency or State unemployment insurance office for specific questions about your eligibility. For additional information, please refer to https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/service-locator.aspx.

If my scheduled work hours are reduced, can I use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for the hours that I am no longer scheduled to work?

No. If your work hours are reduced because your department does not have work for you to perform, you may not use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for the hours that you are no longer scheduled to work. This is because you are not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if your reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

If I take paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, does that count against other types of paid sick leave to which I am entitled under State or local law, or my employer’s policy?

No. Paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is in addition to other leave provided under Federal, State, or local law; an applicable collective bargaining agreement; or your employer’s existing company policy.

What is a part-time employee under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?

For purposes of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, a part-time employee is an employee who is normally scheduled to work fewer than 40 hours per week.

New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE)

The New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act), P.L. 2013, c.82, which provides that certain employees are eligible to receive an unpaid leave of absence – for a period not to exceed 20 days in a 12-month period – to address circumstances resulting from domestic violence or a sexually violent offense.

The purpose of the law to is allow employees who are assault victims or are caring for family members who are victims to have time to engage in the following activities associated with the incident without fear of losing their jobs:

  1. Seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries
  2. Obtaining services from victim assistance programs
  3. Obtaining psychological or other counseling
  4. Participating in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other steps to increase the safety of themselves or the victim
  5. Seeking legal assistance
  6. Participating in civil or criminal court proceedings related to the incident of domestic or sexual violence.

Eligibility for NJ Safe Act

  • The employee must work for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked 1,000 hours or more during the preceding 12-month period.
  • Leave under the NJ SAFE Act must be taken within one year of the incident of domestic violence or sexual assault and may be taken intermittently with employer approval in intervals of no less than one day.

The unpaid leave shall run concurrently with any paid vacation leave, personal leave, or sick leave that the employee elects to use during any part of the 20 day period.

New Jersey law prohibits retaliation against employees for the exercise of rights granted by the Act. For further details on the qualifying reasons, eligibility criteria, and employers’ and employees’ notice obligations under the Act, please see the NJ SAFE Act poster.

If you have any additional questions about the NJ SAFE Act, please do not hesitate to contact the benefits office at hr-benefits@montclair.edu.

Paid Time Off During Leave

Possible pay continuation options during leave include:

Sick Time Off May be required
Vacation Time Off Optional
Personal Time Off Optional
Compensatory Time Off Optional

If you will no longer be paid by Montclair State University, 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.

Additional Information

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

Notification

  • 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.

Confidentiality

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.