Leave of Absence

Worker's Compensation Injury/Illness and Leave

Employees who are ill/injured due to a work-related situation/incident may be entitled to income security (beyond use of sick, vacation and personal leave accruals) and employer-paid medical care for that illness/injury. The University's Division of Human Resources and the Commonwealth's Division of Industrial Accidents can assist you with questions about Workers' Compensation benefits.

Critical initial steps:

Secure any required emergency medical care

This may entail providing first aid on the job, the employee seeking care at University Health Services or calling 9-1-1 for emergency care.

Refer the to the Commonwealth’s Utilization Review department for pre-approval of medical treatment (or within 24 hours after seeking emergency medical care):
                   
 Telephone: 800.266.7991
 Facsimile: 617.727.7816

Note: after emergency care is secured, all subsequent medical care and related prescriptions must be obtained by a provider that accepts the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation insurance. Medical expenses otherwise incurred will not be paid.

The employing department and the employee must complete and submit a Notice of Injury form for receipt in Human Resources within 48 hours of the illness/injury.

Note: if the employee is unavailable/unableto complete this form with the employing department, the department should submit as complete a Notice of Injury form to Human Resources with the information available.

If the employee is (or will be) out of work for five-or-more calendar days:

Submit a Form 101 to UMass Amherst Human Resources to request income benefits on behalf of the employee and provide the employee a:

         1. Employee Leave Checklist

         2. copy of injured/ill employee's job description

         3. completed FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities form.
 

Retain copies of all documents sent to the employee for submission
 to Human Resources once the employee returns to work.

 Upon receipt of the 101 Human Resources will submit a Personnel Action Form to
 Payroll placing the employee on a Leave of Absence for Workers' Compensation
 and provide a copy the employee's department a copy of the form.

If the employee is out of work for five or more workdays due to a workplace illness/injury, follow the Employee leave due to illness/injury of self or family member process with the following exceptions. Human Resources will:

  • submit any necessary Personnel Action Forms while the employee is on approved WC leave (providing you copies of those)
  • notify you if the WC claim is approved and provide you instructions on how time/attendance should be submitted thereafter.

Securing income:

Until HRD/WC makes a determination on the claim, a benefited employee’s department should submit time/labor using the employee’s accrued time (sick, vacation, personal, compensatory) if he or she is unable to work and unless the employee requests to be on an unpaid leave or has no accrued time to submit. Unless working, non-benefited employees are not paid by the University during this time.

If approved, Workers Compensation income benefits begin effective the 6th calendar day of absence and replace 60% of the average of your earnings over the 12 months preceding your illness/injury (within certain minimum and maximum benefits).  If the employee is disabled for more than 21 days, these benefits will become retroactive to the first day of the employee's absence.

If the employee has received income from the University during a period later covered by Workers' Compensation (eg, by using sick, vacation, personal or compensatory time to secure income) the employee may not retain both payments in full (which would total more than 100% of the employee's normal salary). Human Resources will work with the employee to restore the duplicate payment to the University, restoring the accrued time paid for the employee's future use.

If Workers' Compensation benefits are:

Approved

Human Resources will provide the department instructions on how to submit time/attendance. Typically an employee stops receiving income from the University at this juncture.

Denied

 The employee may appeal this denial. In the interim Human Resources will:

  1. Reverse the PLA/WKC Personnel Action Form
  2. Notify the department that the employee is not on a WC leave & ask that the department follow the standard non-WC medical leave process with the employee, including submitting a Personnel Action Form to HR if continued leave is approved
  3. Instruct the department to submit time/labor as determined by the employee & department

Employees and departmental representatives should reference medical leave for income options and impact on benefits.

 

Medical (Non-Work Related) and Family Medical Leave

Process

When we are ‘on notice’ that an employee may be requesting leave due to his/her own illness/injury or that of a family member, it is the employing department’s responsibility to:

First - request from the employee (or respond to such within 5 working days) a written request for leave outlining:

  1. the anticipated dates of leave
  2. the reason for the leave (eg, heal/seek treatment for own illness/injury; to care for a spouse or parent or child during healing/treatment for an illness/injury)
  3. how the employee would like his/her time/attendance submitted while on leave
  4. if the employee is requesting part-time or intermittent leave, the schedule requested.

Second - obtain from the employee documentation supporting the requested leave. The form required is dependent upon the purpose of the leave:

  1. Certification of Health Care Provider Form for an Employee’s Serious Health Condition
  2. Certification of Health Care Provider Form for a Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
  3. Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember -- for Military Family Leave
  4. Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave

Please refer the employee to the Work/Life Events section of the HR webpage for instructions and important benefits information.

Within five work days of being ‘on notice’ of anticipated leave, provide the employee a completed FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities. While not required, we recommend providing this with a copy of the Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the FMLA document.

Keep copies of all documents and correspondence in a protected file separate from any departmental personnel file. These documents will be submitted to Human Resources upon the employee’s return from leave.

Within five work days of receipt of supporting documentation, the employing department must respond to the employee’s request with a letter:

  1. approving or denying the leave or indicating what additional information is needed in order to consider the leave request (for instance, medical documentation may be missing or inadequate to determine if the situation is FMLA-qualified.)
  2. if the employee is FMLA eligible (as determined when completing the FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities above, providing the employee a completed FMLA Designation Notice.
    1. If the leave is approved and the situation qualifies under the FMLA, list the FMLA-protected dates of leave on the FMLA Designation Notice. Note that the date range may be less than the overall approved leave as the federal FMLA only protects up to 12 weeks of leave per calendar year however the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA) and some University bargaining agreements provide a longer period of protected leave.
    2. If additional information is needed in order to determine if the situation is FMLA-qualified (for instance, medical or legal documentation is missing), do not list the requested dates of leave as protected on the FMLA Designation Notice, rather explicitly outline what additional information is required at the bottom of the form, providing the employee an additional 7 calendar days to supply that information.
      Upon receipt of the supporting documentation, if the leave is approved and the situation qualifies under the FMLA, provide the employee a new FMLA Designation Notice as outlined in 2(a) above within 5 working days of receipt of the supporting documentation.

Keep copies of all documents and correspondence in a protected file separate from any departmental personnel file. These documents will be submitted to Human Resources upon the employee’s return from leave.

Submit a Personnel Action Form (PAF) to HR Admin placing the employee on leave:

  • if the leave is paid and:
    • FMLA-covered, use the code PLA/FML (paid leave of absence / family-or-medical leave).
    • not FMLA-covered, use the code PLA/HEA (paid leave of absence for health reasons)

You will need to pro-actively submit time/attendance for the employee while he/she is on leave.

  • if the leave is unpaid and:
    • FMLA-covered, use the code LOA/FML (unpaid leave of absence / family-or-medical leave)
    • not FMLA-covered use the code LOA/HEA (paid leave of absence for health reasons)

You will only need to pro-actively submit time/attendance for the employee until the PAF has been processed into HR Direct and after the employee’s return from leave.

Note: the employing department remains responsible for submitting the same PAFs while the employee is on leave as would be submitted if the employee were at work. For instance, if the Assignment Completion query indicates that PeopleSoft will insert a termination row for the employee on leave and the employment will continue, the employing department must still submit an updated PAF in a timely fashion. As always, failure to do so will interfere with, likely terminate, the employee’s benefits (health / life / disability insurances, health care spending account, dependent care assistance program, etc.)

Submit time/attendance while the employee is on leave

AFSCME, USA/MTA, Non-Unit, IBPO, NEPBA employees:

  • the employee may use SIC time (or FSK/family sick time) to secure income within the guidelines of the corresponding bargainingg agreement or Non-Unit policy
  • having exhausted his/her own SIC time, PERsonal, VACation and/or compensatory time may be submitted to secure income.
  • if the absence is due the employee’s own illness/injury, income security may be available through a Sick Leave Bank or AFSCME Extension of Sick Leave (Kelly, link)
  • if a leave has been approved and the employee has exhausted his/her paid leave accruals, the NOP (approved, unpaid) code should be used when submitting time/attendance.

PSU/MTA & MSP/MTA employees:

The information above applies with the following exceptions:

  • MSP/MTA employees must apply to the MSP Sick Leave Bank in order to use more than 5 accrued SIC days to care for an ill/injured family member
  • the PSU/MTA and MSP/MTA Sick Leave Banks may also provide income security if the employee is on an approved leave in order to care for an ill/injured family member. Note that the appropriate Certification form must accompany the employee’s Sick Leave Bank request.
  • Non-benefitted employees are unpaid while not at work. As always, submit time/attendance for those hours the employee works (eg, if you have approved part-time leave)

Remain in contact while the employee is on leave to ascertain his/her intention to, and anticipated date of, return to work.

If the leave is due to the employee’s own illness/injury and the employee has been out of work for five or more consecutive workdays you must be in receipt of a document medically releasing the employee to return to perform the essential functions of his/her job before you allow the employee to return to work. If accommodations are medically required the treating provider should explicitly outline those requirements. You may request to be in receipt of those accommodations at least 7 work days in advance of the employee’s anticipated return so you have time to evaluate our ability to provide those accommodations (and to obtain medically required equipment/hardware/software.

Submit a Personnel Action Form to HR Admin returning the employee from leave using the code RFL/RFL (return from leave / return from leave)

After the employee has returned from leave, submit the leave application/FMLA paperwork to Human Resources/Benefits. The package must include:

1. copies of:

  • the written request for leave
  • the written approval of leave
  • the FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities provided to the employee
  • the FMLA Designation Notice provided to the employee (if applicable)

2. the original supporting medical or legal documentation

Leave Entitlements

AFSCME, USA/MTA, Non-Unit, IBPO, NEPBA and Non-Benefitted employees: the period of leave entitlement is defined by eligibility under the FMLA.

MSP/MTA and PSU/MTA employees: the period of leave entitlement is defined by eligibility under the FMLA, however the bargaining agreement may provide a greater entitlement.

The Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Briefly, the FMLA provides an eligible employee up to 12 weeks of job & benefits-protected leave per year.

FMLA eligibility requires that an employee has worked:

  • for the University for 12 or more months, and
  • no fewer than 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave.

In all cases qualifying leaves under the FMLA, MMLA, University policy and University bargaining agreements run concurrent.

 

Parental Leave

Process

When are ‘on notice’ that an employee may be requesting leave due to birth/adoption/placement of a child in foster care, it is the employing department’s responsibility to:

First - request from the employee (or respond to such within 5 working days) a written request for leave outlining:

  1. the anticipated dates of leave (this may include leave in preparation for birth/adoption/placement)
  2. the reason for the leave (eg, to provide care for a newborn)
  3. how the employee would like his/her time/attendance submitted while on leave
  4. if the employee is requesting part-time parental leave, the schedule requested. Note that neither federal/state law nor bargaining agreements entitle an employee to part-time parental leave. As such you may grant such a leave but are not required to do so.

Second - obtain from the employee documentation supporting the requested leave:

  1. medical documentation of anticipated date of birth, or
  2. legal documentation of adoption/placement of a child in foster care.

Unlike other FMLA-type leaves, a Certification of Health Care Provider Form may be used but is not required. Why? Birth of a child is a clearly qualifying event while more detailed information is needed in order to determine if an illness/injury qualifies under the FMLA.

Please refer the employee to the Work/Life Events section of the HR webpage for instructions and important benefits information.

Within five work days of being ‘on notice’ of anticipated leave, provide the employee a completed FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities. While not required, we recommend providing this with a copy of the Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the FMLA document.

Keep copies of all documents and correspondence in a protected file separate from any departmental personnel file. These documents will be submitted to Human Resources upon the employee’s return from leave.

Within five work days of receipt of supporting documentation, the employing department must respond to the employee’s request with a letter:

  1. approving or denying the leave or indicating what additional information is needed in order to consider the leave request (for instance, medical or legal documentation may be missing)
  2. if the employee is FMLA eligible (as determined when completing the FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities above, providing the employee a completed FMLA Designation Notice.
    1. If the leave is approved and the situation qualifies under the FMLA, list the FMLA-protected dates of leave on the FMLA Designation Notice. Note that the date range may be less than the overall approved leave as the federal FMLA only protects up to 12 weeks of leave per calendar year however the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA) and some University bargaining agreements provide a longer period of protected leave.
    2. If additional information is needed in order to determine if the situation is FMLA-qualified (for instance, medical or legal documentation is missing), do not list the requested dates of leave as protected on the FMLA Designation Notice, rather explicitly outline what additional information is required at the bottom of the form, providing the employee an additional 7 calendar days to supply that information.
      Upon receipt of the supporting documentation, if the leave is approved and the situation qualifies under the FMLA, provide the employee a new FMLA Designation Notice as outlined in 2(a) above within 5 working days of receipt of the supporting documentation.

Keep copies of all documents and correspondence in a protected file separate from any departmental personnel file. These documents will be submitted to Human Resources upon the employee’s return from leave.

Submit a Personnel Action Form (PAF) to Human Resources placing the employee on leave

  • if the leave is paid, use the code PLA/MAT (paid leave of absence/maternity – the “MAT” code is used for both male and female employees on parental leave). You will need to pro-actively submit time/attendance for the employee while he/she is on leave.
  • if the leave is unpaid, use the code LOA/MAT (unpaid leave of absence/maternity). You will not need to submit time/attendance while the employee is on leave and after the PAF has been processed into HR Direct.

Note: the employing department remains responsible for submitting the same PAFs while the employee is on leave as would be submitted if the employee were at work. For instance, if the Assignment Completion query indicates that PeopleSoft will insert a termination row for the employee on leave and the employment will continue, the employing department must still submit an updated PAF in a timely fashion. As always, failure to do so will interfere with, likely terminate, the employee’s benefits (health / life / disability insurances, health care spending account, dependent care assistance program, etc.)

Submitting time/attendance while the employee is on parental leave

AFSCME, USA/MTA, Non-Unit, IBPO and NEPBA employees:

  • the first 10 working days immediately following the birth/adoption are paid leave that does not reduce the employee’s accruals. Use the code ALT when submitting time for these days. Note if both parents are employed by the University these 10 days are shared between the parents, who may choose any allocation of these days they wish.
  • if the employee has given birth, you may use SIC time to secure income for up to 12 weeks following the birth
  • if the employee has not given birth, or has given birth and exhausted her own SIC time, PERsonal, VACation and/or compensatory time may be submitted to secure income.
  • if a leave has been approved and the employee has exhausted his/her paid leave accruals, the NOP (approved, unpaid) code should be used when submitting time/attendance.

PSU/MTA employees:

  •  approved parental leave are eligible for 10 paid workdays that do not reduce his/her own accruals. These days may be used at any time within 12 months following the birth/adoption in full-day increments. Submit time/attendance using the ALT code for those days. Note if both parents are employed by the University these 10 days are shared between the parents, who may choose any allocation of these days they wish.
  • may use their accrued SICk, PER and VACation time to secure income during their approved leave.
  • Many PSU/MTA employees are eligible for continued income security through the PSU/MTA Sick Leave Bank while on approved parental leave (eligibility outlined in the PSU/MTA SLB Guidelines). If your employee has been approved for SLB benefits the Bank Administrator provides the employing department additional instructions on how to submit time/attendance.

MSP/MTA employees:

  • may use his/her accrued sick time (SIC) to secure income while on an approved parental leave
  • tenured and tenure-track MSP/MTA members on an approved parental leave in the semester immediately prior to, semester of, or semester immediately following birth/adoption/placement may use time from the MSP Sick Leave Bank to secure income after exhausting his/her own accrued sick time (SIC). After exhausting all accrued sick time (SIC), the department should use the SBSNA time/attendance code for the remaining reportable days when the employee is on approved parental leave. No application for this benefit is required beyond the MSP Parental Leave Application
  • Other MSP members may be eligible for parental leave benefits through the MSP Sick Leave Bank. Please refer to the MSP bargaining agreement for details.
  • Non-benefitted employees are unpaid while not at work. As always, submit time/attendance for those hours the employee works (eg, if you have approved part-time leave)

Remain in contact while the employee is on leave to ascertain his/her intention to, and anticipated date of, return to work

Submit a Personnel Action Form to HR Admin returning the employee from leave using the code RFL/RFL (return from leave / return from leave)

After the employee has returned from leave, submit the leave application/FMLA paperwork to Human Resources/Benefits. The package must include:

1. copies of:

  • the written request for leave
  • the written approval of leave
  • the FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities provided to the employee
  • the FMLA Designation Notice provided to the employee (if applicable)

2. the original supporting medical or legal documentation

Leave Entitlements

AFSCME, USA/MTA, Non-Unit, IBPO, NEPBA and Non-Benefitted employees: the period of leave entitlement is defined by eligibility under the FMLA.

MSP/MTA and PSU/MTA employees: the period of leave entitlement is defined by eligibility under the FMLA, however the bargaining agreement may provide a greater entitlement.

The Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Briefly, the FMLA provides an eligible employee up to 12 weeks of job & benefits-protected leave per year.

FMLA eligibility requires that an employee has worked:

  • for the University for 12 or more months, and
  • no fewer than 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave.

The Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA)

Briefly, the MMLA provides an eligible employe up to 8 weeks of job & benefits-protected leave per child born/adopted/placed in foster care. The University provides this benefit to both male and female employees. Leave beyond 8 weeks applies if more than one child is born, adopted or placed in foster care.

Leave may be requested in preparation for the birth/adoption/placement and for primary care birth/adoption/placement.

In all cases qualifying leaves under the FMLA, MMLA, University policy and University bargaining agreements run concurrent.

 

Professional Improvement or Sabbatical

Please contact the Provost's Office with questions about Sabbaticals and Labor Relations regarding Professional Improvement Leave for exempt/"professional" staff.