Leaves of Absence
Leaves of Absence are job and benefits protected leaves resulting from inability to work due to:
- An employee's own serious or recurring illness or injury
- The need to care for a family member with a serious or recurring illness or injury
- Birth of a child or placement of a child with an employee via adoption or foster care
- Need to care for a covered US military service member with a serious illness or injury (a covered service member is the employees spouse, child, parent or next of kin)
- A qualifying exigency resulting from an employee’s family member being called to, or on, active duty status in the US military
Paid time off may be used to secure income while on an approved leave (as allowed under the collective bargaining agreement) and runs concurrently with Leave of Absence entitlements under federal law, state law, University policy and the collective bargaining agreements.
Employees must complete the Leave of Absence application process thirty (30) or more days prior to the requested leave or as soon thereafter as practicable.
While on approved leave employees may be eligible to secure income in an number of ways:
Paid Leave Accruals
Employees on an approved leave may be eligible to secure income replacement from the university by use of accrued time (sick, vacation, personal and/or compensatory time) and should submit request to use paid leave to their leave administrator as part of their written leave request.
Paid time accruals differ by employment type and the collective bargaining agreement under which a faculty or staff member's position falls. Please select the option that applies to your position:
- AFSCME Unit A
- AFSCME Unit B
- PSU/MTA Unit A
- PSU/MTA Unit B
- Benefited Non-Unit (position eligible for overtime)
- Benefited Non-Unit (position exempt from overtime)
Benefited MSP Faculty and Librarians
PostDoctoral Employees HYPERLINK HERE
University Sick Leave Banks
University Sick Leave Banks (SLB) have been established to secure income for members who are on an approved, qualifying leave where there is a reasonable expectation that the member will return to perform the essential functions of the job from which they became disabled. SLBs do not provide income replacement for periods which may be covered by workers' compensation. Prior to drawing from any SLB an applicant must first secure an approved leave from their department by following the University's leave application process.
Please reference the Sick Leave Banks webpage for more information.
AFSCME Extension of Sick Leave
Employees covered by the AFSCME Unit A collective bargaining agreement may be eligible for income security under the AFSCME Extension of Sick Leave program five working days after exhaustion of all sick leave, vacation leave and personal leave. Please reference the AFSCME Extension of Sick Leave webpage for the eligibility criteria and application process.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Long-term disability insurance (LTDI) provides partial income replacement to a covered individual who is disabled from working due to illness or injury. LTDI benefits have a monthly maximum income replacement and can be offset by receipt of income from other income sources. Please note: an LTD insurance company can deny benefits based on not having filed a claim timely.
Please refer to the LTDI webpage for more information.
Workers’ Compensation provides income replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. When University work results in an employee’s illness or injury a Notice of Injury must be filed with UMass Amherst Human Resources for receipt within 48 hours so a Workers’ Compensation claim can be initiated on behalf of the employee. Please refer to the Workers' Compensation webpage for more information and detailed instructions.
Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML)
The Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) provides eligible employees:
- Job and benefits-protected leave for qualifying circumstances. PFML leave entitlements run concurrent with leave entitlements under federal law, state law, University policy and the collective bargaining agreements.
- The ability to apply for, and receive, partial income replacement from the MA Department of Family Medical Leave (DFML) while on a PFML-covered leave. PFML income can begin as early as the 8th day of covered leave. Time paid by the DMFL is unpaid leave from the University and has a corresponding impact on benefits.
Employees seeking income security from the PFML while on leave from the University must:
- Follow the University's leave application process including clearly identifying in writing the dates for which they wish to be paid by the University and the dates for which the University should process unpaid leave.
- File an application for PFML income replacement directly with the Massachusetts Department of Paid Family Medical Leave.
Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave (MESL)
Massachusetts law entitles most workers to earn at least one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours per year.
Benefited University employees earn more sick time than granted under the Massachusetts earned sick leave law (please refer to vacation and sick time accrual schedules).
Non-benefited faculty and staff & student employees performing work during summer break. For more information please reference the Massachusetts website on the Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave law. Please reference the University’s vacation and sick time accrual schedules website for more information about MESL.
Other Income Sources
Employees may be purchasing short- (or long-) term disability insurance through a private insurance company or under a union’s plan, may be eligible for income replacement through Social Security Disability Insurance (based on work performed for another employer), through a vehicle insurance plan or through other sources.