Leave of Absence

The University recognizes that it may be necessary for you to be absent from work for an extended period of time depending on the factors outlined below. The University reserves the right to approve or disapprove requests for leaves of absence and replace positions on a case-by-case basis according to operational requirements, except as may be restricted by Federal and/or State Law or Statute or collective bargaining agreement.

A Leave of Absence is defined as an absence from work for a specific period for an illness or injury (serious health condition) with the approval of the Department of Human Resources, and in consultation with the employee’s department. Leaves are taken with the understanding that the employee will return to work at the conclusion of the leave.

Family Medical Leave of Absence


Medical/FMLA leave of absence for self:

For employees taking medical/FMLA leave for self, the maximum leave allowed will be six (6) months, unless the employee has paid time accruals exceeding six (6) months, then the maximum leave time shall be up to twelve (12) months. All Paid sick time accruals must be utilized first, then float holidays and vacation accruals must be used. For employees applying for New Jersey Temporary Disability – only accrued sick time must be used first and exhausted. The statutory 12 week FMLA shall run concurrent with the first 12 weeks of such leave.

Staff members hired prior to January 1, 1983, with accrued sick time exceeding twelve (12) months will be entitled to use all such time.

FMLA leave of absence for family member:

For employees taking FMLA leave to care for a family member for a serious illness, the maximum leave allowed is twelve (12) weeks. Paid leave time must include a maximum of (10) days of accrued sick time (utilized first) and then float holidays and vacation accruals. However, in circumstances where the family member has a catastrophic illness (defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that a licensed physician or certified practitioner certifies as life threatening or terminal), ten (10) sick days must be taken, and then float holidays and vacation accruals. If additional time is required, additional sick days may then be used for the remainder of the twelve (12) week maximum allowed under the terms of this policy.

Note:

According to the Staff Leave Donation Program, Policy 30-01-40-40:20, for employees who receive donated time, such time shall not cause the employee to exceed the maximum leave time allowed by this policy. In addition, all accrued sick, vacation, float days, and compensatory time must be exhausted. Maximum donations shall not exceed twelve (12) months. All donated time is to be used for self or family care medical leave only.

Intermittent or reduced schedule leaves are allowed for medical/FMLA for self and family members only and are not allowed for birth or adoption. The maximum time allowed for intermittent or reduced schedule leaves is 12-weeks within a 12-month period.

FMLA leave of absence for birth or adoption:

An approved leave from employment to enable an employee to provide necessary care due to the birth or adoption of a child by the employee and/or spouse.

The maximum leave allowed for birth or adoption is twelve (12) weeks. Accrued vacation and float holidays must be used; any additional leave required may be unpaid. In either event, leave shall not exceed the allowed twelve (12) weeks within a 12-month period.

If the University employs both spouses, the combined leave period allowed shall not exceed twelve (12) weeks.

Note:

If an employee is applying for medical leave due to pregnancy disability, or for any other reason, the medical leave will be in effect only for the period where there is an inability to work. After a birth, once the employee is medically able to work but requires childcare leave, a family leave can be requested under the birth or adoption provisions of FMLA. Other Provisions:

  1. All medical/FMLA leaves for self or family member, or for birth or adoption, whether paid or unpaid, shall run concurrent within the maximum amount of leave permitted by policy. This provision includes workers compensation leaves, the first twelve (12) weeks of which shall run concurrent with FMLA.
  2. For employees applying for New Jersey Temporary Disability, only accrued sick leave must be used first and exhausted.
  3. If you are on an approved leave of absence and found to be engaged in any employment during the leave period except as allowed by Federal and/or State Law or Statute, you will be subject to immediate dismissal.
  4. An employee will be considered absent without authorization (AWOL) and subject to termination if he/she fails to:
    • apply for a Leave of Absence within the guidelines of this policy; -provide required documentation (medical certification) justifying the leave within the maximum fifteen (15) days of the leave effective date;
    • return to work within three (3) or more days after the leave expiration date and has not applied for an extension;
    • respond to a written communication from the University advising of the leave expiration.
  5. The University may require an employee to obtain a second opinion at the employer's expense. If the provider’s certification does not ultimately establish the employee's entitlement to FMLA leave, the leave shall not be designated as FMLA leave. The University is permitted to designate the health care provider to furnish the second opinion. If the opinions of the employee's and the University designated health care providers differ, the employee will obtain certification from a third health care provider, at the expense of the University. This third opinion shall be final and binding.
  6. Leaves of absence are calculated on a “rolling” 12-month period measured retrospectively from the date an employee begins a leave pursuant to FMLA.

Military Caregiver and Qualifying Exigency Leaves

Under the FMLA, eligible employees can take up to 26 weeks of “military caregiver leave” during a single rolling 12-month period to care for a family member who is a “covered service member” with a “serious illness or injury.” Also, a Qualifying Exigency leave may be taken by eligible employees when the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent is on “covered active duty” in the Armed Forces. Please consult the Medical/FMLA policy #30-01-40-40:00 for details on the eligibility requirements, definitions and pertinent policy provisions.

A Personal Leave of Absence is defined as an approved unpaid absence from work for personal reasons. Maximum length of the leave is thirty (30) days within a rolling twelve (12) month period and may be taken intermittently. Personal leave is discretionary on the part of the Department of Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s department and may be used for awaiting a long-term disability claim for serious illness or ADA accommodation.

An Academic Leave of Absence is defined as an approved unpaid absence from work to pursue a field of study at an accredited college, university or other educational institution. Academic leave may not exceed a total of six (6) months within a rolling twelve (12) month period. It may be taken intermittently. Academic leaves are approved by the Department of Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s department.

Military Leave of Absence -Employees are eligible for paid leave for military training whenever they are required to perform active duty "field training.” Normally, military leave is for a two-week period, however, in some cases, longer or multiple leaves do occur and can be authorized. Maximum time allowed shall not exceed five (5) years total. Leave for attending military school does not qualify for military leave pay. Any questions regarding eligibility should be directed to your Human Resources Generalist.

Contact the Stratford Human Resources department for more information at 856- 566-6159.

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