This policy applies to all employees of the Research Foundation of The City University of New York unless otherwise provided for in collective bargaining agreements. Unless expressly provided for otherwise, it does not apply to Graduate Research Assistants, students on stipends or on the CUNY College Work Study Program, or to foreign nationals employed outside the United States, its territories, or Canada.
The following definitions and job classifications (as determined by the Personnel Action Form) are essential for understanding applicability of time and leave benefits.
Full-Time Instructional (non-credit bearing courses) and Non-Instructional - employees scheduled to work at least 70 hours per biweekly pay period.
Part-Time Instructional and Non-Instructional - employees scheduled to work less than 70 hours per bi-weekly pay period, including Part-Time A (more than 38 but less than 70 hours per bi-weekly pay period) and Part-Time B (38 or fewer hours per biweekly pay period).
Temporary and On Call Employees
Full-time or part-time employees whose primary reason for employment is to meet the need for temporary, per diem, as needed, seasonal and on-call assignments.
Graduate Research Assistants
Full-time matriculated CUNY doctoral students appointed to sponsored projects.
As used in this policy, "project director" includes the director or administrator of any university and college facility employing Research Foundation personnel as well as directors of individual projects. Project directors share the responsibility for advising employees of time and leave benefits, but must keep accurate records, and make sure all provisions of this policy are uniformly enforced.
Refer to Benefits for Project Employees, Policy No. 507-H for related information.
The Research Foundation's policies provide for annual leave, sick leave (including for family medical care and other reasons set forth in the New York City Earned Sick Time Act Leave policy, below), leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL), child care leave, military leave, military caregiver leave, miscellaneous leave, leave without pay, and holidays under the Operating Guidelines.
At the discretion of the project director, and in consideration of local customs, employees in foreign locations may be granted leave benefits in accordance with the Operating Guidelines. Credit for leave of any type, unscheduled holidays, and compensatory time earned while employed on one project or college earnings account may not be carried over to another project (i.e., different account number) with the exception of up to 56 hours of sick leave accrued pursuant to the provisions of the New York City Earned Sick Time Act if the employee or Graduate Research Assistant is rehired or reappointed within six (6) months of termination. A summary of time and leave benefits follow.
The normal work week for full-time employees consists of five seven-hour days, plus one hour each day for lunch, for a total of 35 working hours, calculated from 12:00 AM Monday through midnight the following Sunday. However, specific schedules are determined by the project director.
The project director may excuse lateness, absence, or early departure due to weather, transportation, or other major public emergencies. In such situations, employees who report to work despite emergency conditions may be granted compensatory time off at the discretion of the project director.
The following time and leave eligibility rules and accrual rates apply to all full-time and part-time Research Foundation employees, unless otherwise provided for in an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Annual and Sick Leave Eligibility Rules and Accrual Rates*
Full and Part Time Employees**
Years of Service
Less than 3 years
3 years or more but less than 8 years
8 years or more
The above accrual rates are based on a 35-hour workweek and are to be pro-rated for part-timers. In order to determine the amount of leave accrued by a part-time employee, multiply the number of hours worked by the appropriate factor (based on years of service). For example, a part-time employee with one year of service who works 20 hours per week (40 hours per pay period) will accrue 2.31 hours of annual leave per pay period (40 hours x 0.057692 hours/hour worked = 2.31 hours). Over 26 pay periods, that part-time employee will accrue 60 hours of annual leave.
* A lapse in employment by the Research Foundation lasting more than four (4) months constitutes a break in service for purposes of leave accrual rates, which results in an employee re-starting at 0 years of service for the purpose of accrual rates.
** Part-Time Instructional, Seasonal, Temporary and On Call employees, and Graduate Research Assistants accrue no annual leave.
*** Graduate Research Assistants are only eligible to accrue 56 hours of sick leave per calendar year, pursuant to the New York Earned Safe and Sick Time Act policy, below.
Credit for accrued leave of any type earned while employed on one project or college earnings account may not be carried over to another project (i.e., different account number) with the exception of up to 40 hours of sick leave accrued pursuant to the provisions of the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act if the employee or Graduate Research Assistant is rehired or reappointed within six (6) months of termination.
Annual Leave is to be used for vacation, personal business, family illness or other family emergencies, religious holidays, days of special observance, etc. It is earned according to the above-referenced table. No annual leave accumulates while an employee is on leave without pay or after the last day actually worked before resignation, retirement, or termination.
Scheduling Annual Leave
The project director shall meet with the employee within 30 days of the employee's appointment or re-appointment start date to schedule the employee's annual leave during the appointment or re-appointment period. The use and scheduling of all annual leave must be approved in advance in writing by the employee's project director. Employees must be scheduled to take all accrued annual leave before their appointment end date unless other arrangements are made for its use or payment. Where the project director requires that the employee work a schedule which makes use of all or part of the employee's annual leave earned within the appointment period not feasible, any accrued and unused annual leave will be paid out within two months of the appointment end date.
If an employee takes all unused leave the month before the termination date, he/she will earn annual leave during that month. However, under no circumstances does an employee earn annual leave after termination. For example, a person with 10 days of accumulated leave as of June 1, who is to terminate June 30, will be advanced the two days additional leave he/she will be accumulating during that last month provided that he/she remains on the payroll until June 30. This would bring to 12 the total number of days to be taken as leave in the month of June.
Carryover of Annual Leave
No more than 175 hours (25 days) of annual leave (including annual leave segregated as accrued reserve) may be carried over from one calendar year to the next. Accrued reserve represents the balance of unused annual leave that an employee accrued on any appointment that expired prior to March 31, 2013.
There is no carryover of annual leave from one project to another and there is no carryover from one project year to the next. In the case where a project is transferred from one CUNY college to another and employees are transferred with the project, the leave accruals will follow the employee.
Charging Time Against Annual Leave
The minimum unit charged against annual leave is one hour, with additional leave charged in multiples of one-quarter hour. Charges of less than one-quarter hour are permitted on the last timesheet of the appointment.
Authorized holidays during a full-time employee's authorized annual leave will not be charged against annual leave. If an employee provides a physician's or hospital certificate supporting a report of illness during his or her authorized annual leave, those days of illness may be converted to sick leave.
Advancement of Annual Leave
To the extent feasible, all annual leave must be approved in advance by the project director. In exigent circumstances, annual leave may be used in lieu of other paid leave, such as sick leave. Upon approval by the project director, in response to a written request from the employee, annual leave may be advanced for special or emergency situations to full-time employees, including religious observances. Annual leave may be advanced up to the amount proportionate to the expected length of appointment.
Where the Research Foundation has advanced payment for annual leave and the individual's employment terminates before he or she accrues the leave advanced, the remaining amount of leave that was advanced and not earned may be deducted from regular pay to the extent permitted by law.
Annual Leave Payouts
Where the project director requires that the employee work a schedule which makes use of all or part of the employee's annual leave earned within the appointment period not feasible, any accrued and unused annual leave must be paid out within two months of the appointment end date. The amount of unused annual leave is to be paid for and charged against the project account number under which it was earned in accordance with Federal Uniform Guidance Section 200.431(3)(I). If there are no funds available from the sponsored project to charge the employee's unused annual leave balances, it is up to the College to determine which earnings account should fund this cost.
PAYMENTS FOR ANNUAL LEAVE NOT TAKEN ARE SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS, SPONSOR REGULATIONS, AND MAY BE FORFEITED IF ARRANGEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN MADE FOR PAYMENT.
RFCUNY recognizes that employees may need days off from work time to time to address their medical needs or the medical needs of a family member. For this purpose, RFCUNY offers a sick/family leave program through which eligible employees receive at least a minimum level of paid time off benefits each year (refer to above table for accrual rates).
New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Leave Act (ESSTA Leave) and NYS Paid Sick Leave Law
The NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) and the NYS Paid Sick Leave law requires that employees be provided with 56 hours of safe and sick leave in a calendar year. The 56 hours of safe and sick leave under ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick Leave can be used for the care and treatment of the employee or for a family member or for other qualifying reason under the ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick Leave law. The law sets 56 hours as the minimum required amount of sick leave an employer can offer to its employees. To comply with ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick Leave law (considering RFCUNY employees accrue more than the minimum required benefit), the first 56 hours of sick leave used by RFCUNY employees are designated as ESSTA Leave and NYS Paid Sick Leave (independent of the reason the safe or sick leave was used - self or family member). ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave will run concurrently with regular sick leave benefits and the RFCUNY Sick Leave Benefit for the Care of a Family Member until all ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave benefits are exhausted. When charging safe or sick leave, the employee's regular rate of pay for the scheduled hours will apply.
Permissible Purposes of Sick Leave (including ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave) Usage
Employees may use accrued sick leave which includes the 56 hours of ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave for absences from work during mandatory hours the employee was scheduled to work within New York State, for the following reasons:
Personal Medical Care: The employee's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or need for preventative medical care;
Family Medical Care: Care of a family member (employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, or child or parent of employee's spouse or domestic partner, any other individual related by blood to the employee, or any other individual whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship) who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, or who needs preventative medical care; or
Ordered Closure Due to Public Health Emergency: Employees may be eligible to use leave in certain circumstances in the event of an ordered closure due to an officially-declared "public health emergency" issued by the NYC Commissioner of Health or NYC Mayor.
COVID-19 Child Vaccination Leave: An employee who is a parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 18, or the parent of an older child who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, shall be entitled to four hours of COVID-19 child vaccination leave per vaccine injection, for each such child, for an absence from work due to any of the following reasons associated with such child’s COVID-19 vaccination: (i) accompanying such child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine injection; or (ii) caring for such child who cannot attend school or childcare due to temporary side effects from a COVID-19 injection.
Safe Time: Employees may use ESSTA leave to address “safe time” issues, when the employee or employee’s family member (employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, or child or parent of employee's spouse or domestic partner, any other individual related by blood to the employee, or any other individual whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship) has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking for the following reasons:
To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking;
To participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking;
To meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding, including but not limited to, matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing or consumer credit;
To file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;
To meet with a district attorney's office;
To enroll children in a new school; or
To take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.
Advanced Notice of Leave Required
In order to use accrued sick leave including the 56 hours of ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave, employees must provide reasonable notice of the need to use safe or sick leave. If the need for safe or sick leave is foreseeable, the employee should provide notice as soon as possible in advance. Employees must give at least seven (7) days advance notice when the need for safe or sick leave including the 56 hours of ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave is foreseeable. If the need for such leave is not foreseeable at least seven (7) days in advance, the employee must give notice as soon as feasible or practicable.
When the need for use of safe or sick leave including ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave is foreseeable, the employee must submit notice at the request to use such leave in writing to the employee's supervisor in advance.
If an employee requests use of safe or sick leave including the 56 hours of ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave for absences of up to three (3) consecutive work days, the employee must submit written confirmation of the purpose for which the leave was used. Medical documentation is not required, except as required by law. For absences of more than three (3) consecutive work days relating to Personal Medical Care or Family Medical Care, as described above, the employee must provide documentation signed by a licensed health care provider, a licensed clinical social worker, or a licensed mental health counselor verifying that the leave was used for an authorized purpose and verifying the need for the amount of leave taken. For absences of more than three (3) consecutive days relating to Safe Time, as described above, the employee must provide documentation verifying that safe time was used for an authorized purpose and verifying the need for the amount of safe time taken, such as documentation signed by an employee, agent, or volunteer of a victim services organization, an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or other professional service provider from whom the employee or the employee’s family member has sought assistance in addressing family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking and their effects; a police or court record; or a notarized letter from the employee explaining the need for such time.
All medical documentation should be forwarded to the Leaves Administration team in the Human Resources Department. The RF will not ask employees to provide details about the medical condition that led the employee to use sick time or the personal situation that led the employee to use safe time, and any information received about an employee’s use of sick/safe time will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed with anyone without the employee’s written permission or as required by law.
The calendar year will run from January 1 to December 31. If an employee has accrued ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave remaining on December 31, the unused ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave will be carried over to the next year, up to a maximum of 56 hours. Regardless of the number of hours an employee carries over from the previous calendar year, an employee may only use up to 56 hours in a calendar year as ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave. Upon separation from employment, for any reason, any accrued but unused ESSTA and NYS Paid Sick leave will not be paid out.
No employee who requests to use or uses ESSTA or NYS Paid Sick leave for purposes authorized under this procedure will be subject to retaliation. No employee who makes a good faith complaint regarding any alleged violation of this procedure will be subject to retaliation.
RFCUNY Sick Leave Benefit for the Care of A Family Member
Employees may use up to 56 hours of sick leave in a calendar year to care for a qualifying family member. A family member is defined as the employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, or child or parent of employee's spouse or domestic partner.
Extended Sick Leave
If an employee is absent from work for six (6) or more consecutive working days because of his or her own mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition he or she should call the Leaves Management Administrator for information on filing for New York State Short-Term Disability. This should be done whether the employee is on leave with pay or on leave without pay.
A certification from a health practitioner must be presented by an employee after an absence of six consecutive days of sick leave based on his or her own mental or physical illness, injury or health condition. The employee should forward the certificate to the Foundation's Department of Human Resources. A certification from a health practitioner may be required for an absence of one or more days in cases of documented excessive absenteeism. In such instances, the project director should consult with the Department of Human Resources. For FMLA qualifying absences for medical reasons, employees' should consult the Foundation's FMLA procedure.
A mandatory leave of absence shall not be required unless individual medical or job characteristics so necessitate. Where a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition results in absence from work beyond the sick leave allowance, an employee may take time from earned Annual Leave.
Advancement of Sick Leave
Sick leave may be advanced up to an amount proportionate to the expected length of employment. For example, if full-time employment of six months is anticipated, up to 10 days of sick leave may be advanced. If at termination, the employee has not earned sufficient sick leave to cover this advance, the project director will charge the remaining balance against unused annual leave or, to the extent permitted by law, the amount of sick leave advanced may be deducted from regular pay.
Maximum Accrual of Sick Leave
Sick Leave may be accumulated up to 160 work days, 1120 hours.
Carryover of Sick Leave
There is no carryover of sick leave from one project to another with the exception of up to 56 hours of sick leave accrued pursuant to the provisions of the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) and the NYS Paid Sick leave law. In the case where a project is transferred from one CUNY college to another and employees are transferred with the project, the leave accruals will follow the employee.
One-Time Cash Payment on Retirement (Option B)
Employees eligible for the Research Foundation Retirement Benefit have the option of receiving a one-time cash payment equal to one-half of their accumulated, unused sick leave balance as of the last day actually worked. The maximum payment permitted is six days for each 12 full months of continuous service, not to exceed a maximum payment of 80 days. No such payment will be made when an employee is terminated or resigns. Refer to Benefits for Retirees, Policy No. 508-H for options and details.
Holidays are scheduled annually for the fiscal year. There are usually 18 holidays each year, including unscheduled holidays (below). If an employee is on leave without pay both the day before and the day after a holiday, he or she is not entitled to receive pay for any of those days including the holiday. Terminating employees are not paid for any holiday that occurs after the last day actually worked. Eligibility for paid holidays is determined by classification based on work scheduled as follows:
Full-time employees earn at least two unscheduled holidays each fiscal year (July 1st - June 30th), according to the annual holiday schedule issued by the Research Foundation each fiscal year. These days can be used for vacation, personal or family business, religious or other special observance, etc. To be eligible, an individual must have been employed full-time on the same Research Foundation account for three (3) consecutive months prior to the first day of the month of the calendar quarter. If an individual is transferred from one Research Foundation account to another without a 30-day break in service, an additional three-month waiting period is not required. Unscheduled holidays are to be authorized in advance by the employee's supervisor and must be taken during the fiscal year in which they were earned and before the date of termination or else forfeited.
Alternate Scheduled Holidays
If an employee works on a Research Foundation scheduled holiday because the project director required his/her services, the employee is entitled to both regular pay for the time worked and a substitute day off which may be taken at any time during employment under that Research Foundation Account as arranged with the project director.
Miscellaneous leave with pay shall be granted full-time and part-time exempt employees for the purposes listed below. The project director may request evidence of the need for such leave.
A copy of the jury notice must be shown to the project director and sent to the Research Foundation Department of Human Resources before the date of jury duty. Compensation received for jury duty, except for reasonable travel expenses, must be turned over to the project director to be sent to the Research Foundation. Employees on jury duty during annual leave or on holidays shall not be required to remit any compensation to the Foundation. Part-time employees may be permitted, at the discretion of the principal investigator and consistent with the needs and resources of the project, to make up on another day those lost work hours spent serving on jury duty. In no event, however, will the first forty dollars ($40) of such part-time employee's wages be withheld during the first three days of jury service.
Court Attendance Under Subpoena
(Provided employee does not have an interest in the case.) A copy of the subpoena must be shown to the project director and sent to the Foundation's Department of Human Resources.
Death in Immediate Family
Spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or a relative residing in the household
Health Department Quarantine
A copy of the Department of Health notice must be sent to the project director to be forwarded to the Foundation's Department of Human Resources.
Employees are eligible for up to four (4) hours of paid leave in a calendar year for cancer screening, provided the screening is performed during regular work hours. This leave is not cumulative and shall be deemed forfeited if not used in a particular calendar year. An absence for this purpose beyond four hours must be charged to the employee’s sick leave accruals, annual leave accruals and if no accruals are available the time off will be without pay. The RF may require medical documentation to verify that the employee’s absence was for the purpose of a qualifying cancer screening.
An Employee must:
Eligible employees may take up to 12 work weeks of leave, paid or unpaid, during any 12-month period. However, in no event will the 12 work weeks of leave extend employment beyond an employee's appointment end date. The 12-month period is a rolling period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. The leave can be used for one or more of the following reasons: birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care (all such leave must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement); to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition; to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition and absence is expected to continue or has extended beyond three (3) calendar days. FMLA leave may also be used for Military Caregiver Leave or Qualifying Exigency Leave, as outlined below in Section "H".
For additional information, refer to the FMLA web page.
New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides wage replacement to employees to help them (i) bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child, (ii) care for a family member with a serious health condition, or (iii) help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.
An employee who is provided health insurance by his or her employer is entitled to the continuation of that group health insurance coverage during Paid Family Leave on the same terms as if he or she had continued to work. The employee must continue to make any normal contributions to the cost of the health insurance premiums while on PFL.
PFL benefits are generally paid for by employees via automatic payroll deductions. Employees taking leave under the PFL must continue to make contributions during the PFL leave.
The Research Foundation deducts a percentage of your weekly wages to fund PFL benefits. The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) sets the deduction rate, which changes each year. For 2021 and 2022, the deduction rate is 0.511% of each employee’s weekly wages.
PFL benefits are provided by an insurance carrier and details regarding terms and conditions of PFL benefits are described in the PFL certificate of insurance.
PFL will phase in over four years with a gradually increasing benefit amount and duration, as depicted below.
Maximum Length of Paid Leave
Amount of PFL Benefits (expressed as % of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW))
Maximum Amount of PFL Benefits Payable (expressed as % of the NY AWW)
January 1, 2018
January 1, 2019
January 1, 2020
January 1, 2021- Present
If the DFS modifies any of the increases described above, the Research Foundation reserves the right to modify the benefit schedule in accordance with applicable law. Employees may take the maximum benefit length in any given 52-week period.
Eligible employees may request PFL for a single block of time or on an intermittent basis, in at least full-day increments. If more than one family member works for the Research Foundation, the Research Foundation may limit PFL usage so that more than one employee cannot use the same period of PFL to care for the same family member at the same time. In that circumstance, employees may be required to stagger their PFL usage, but all employees will retain their full PFL entitlement.
Use of Accruals under PFL
Employees may exercise an option to charge all or part of their unused Annual Leave accruals in partial-day increments in order to supplement their PFL benefits and receive full salary. Any such Annual Leave will run concurrently with the approved PFL leave, such that employees will not be permitted to make more than 100% of their full pay during leave. Employees wishing to use Annual Leave in connection with a qualified leave under the PFL must follow the requirements set forth in the Research Foundation’s Time and Leave Benefits for All Research Foundation Employees procedure. In the event the employee uses Annual Leave in connection with a PFL absence, the employee will receive a check from the PFL insurance carrier for the statutory PFL benefit, and will receive a separate check from the Research Foundation for the Annual Leave the employee uses. Employees cannot use Sick Leave to supplement PFL benefits.
Interaction Between PFL and Other Types of Leave
If an employee takes PFL leave for an event that also qualifies as leave under the FMLA, the employee’s PFL leave will run concurrently with available FMLA leave and deplete both leave banks at the same time. If an employee takes PFL leave for an event that also qualifies as leave under the Research Foundation’s Child Care Leave procedure, the employee’s PFL leave will run concurrently with the Child Care Leave. Employees cannot use PFL and short-term disability benefits at the same time, but can use them consecutively. Employees are also limited to a maximum of 26 weeks of disability and PFL benefits combined in a rolling 52week period. For more information on FMLA, go to the FMLA web page.
PFL Leave to Bond with a Child
Employees with a new child, whether by birth, adoption or placement into foster care, with proper documentation, may be eligible the take PFL to bond with the child. PFL only begins after birth and is not available for prenatal conditions. PFL is also available to eligible employees for pre-adoption or placement into foster care for events required to effectuate adoption or placement in foster care. A parent may take PFL during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.
Caring for a Close Relative with a Serious Health Condition
Employees may use PFL to care for a family member with a serious health condition. A qualifying family member includes: Spouse, Domestic Partner, Child, Parent, Parent-in-law, Grandparent, or Grandchild. Effective 1/1/2023, siblings will become eligible family members. Sibling means a biological or adopted sibling, a half-sibling or stepsibling. A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider. For example, an employee may need one or more full days to care for his/her mom when she undergoes chemotherapy; or his/her dad is having surgery followed by extensive recuperation; or his/her child is undergoing intense psychotherapy and is unable to attend school for a period of time. An employee may not take leave under the PFL to address their own serious health condition.
Active Duty Deployment
PFL is available for leave due to a “qualified exigency,” as defined by the federal Family Medical Leave Act.
(FMLA), when a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent of the employee is on active military duty or has been notified of an impending call or order of active duty. An employee may not take leave under the PFL to address their own qualifying exigency.
How to Apply for PFL
Employees must notify their employer 30 days prior to leave, when foreseeable. If the employee cannot foresee the need for PFL leave 30 days in advance, then the employee must give the Research Foundation notice as soon as practicable. Claim forms are available on the Research Foundations’ website, but can also be obtained by contacting the Leaves Management Administrator.
Employees requesting leave under the PFL must complete and submit a Request for Paid Family Leave Form (PFL-1) to the Leaves
Management Administrator in the Department of Human Resources. Employees must obtain supporting documentation for PFL (birth certificate, military deployment certification, etc.) and submit their claim form and supporting documentation to the Leaves Management Administrator, who will provide such documents to the Research Foundation’s PFL insurance carrier.
Once the Research Foundation’s insurance carrier receives a completed request for PFL leave with the necessary certification and supporting documentation, the insurance carrier will either pay or deny the claim within 18 days of receipt of a completed claim, in its sole discretion.
Employment Continuation under PFL
Any eligible employee who takes PFL shall be entitled, on return from such leave, to be restored to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced, or to be restored to a comparable position with comparable employment benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. In no case will PFL exceed the project or Personnel Action Form expected termination date of the employee.
An employee’s use of PFL leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefits that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s PFL leave (unless such accrued benefits, such as Annual Leave, were used during PFL leave). The employee, however, will not accrue any additional benefits or seniority during any period of PFL leave that is not paid through use of accrued leave benefits, unless otherwise required by law.
Option to Waive PFL Benefits for Ineligible Employees
Employees who do not expect to become eligible for PFL benefits, because they fall into one of the following categories, have the option of waiving PFL benefits:
Employees who are eligible to waive PFL benefits and wish to do so must file a waiver form with the Department of Human Resources. Employees who file a waiver form will not make any contributions for PFL benefits and will not be eligible to receive PFL benefits. If the schedule of an employee who has waived PFL benefits changes such that it is anticipated that the employee will become eligible to receive PFL benefits, the waiver will be revoked and the employee must start making contributions on a going forward basis and must pay retroactive contributions to the employee’s date of hire.
Granting of Leave
Extended Temporary Disability Leave is permitted for illnesses that necessitate a lengthy absence from work. It is granted for up to three months from the first day of disability to any full-time employee with 12 months of uninterrupted service (14 months for employees on a 10-month academic schedule). A certificate from a health practitioner must be presented to the project director, and a claim for New York State Disability should be filed through the Foundation's Department of Human Resources. If the employee is unable to return to work within the three-month period, termination will be effected. However, if the disability continues beyond this period and proper medical documentation is presented to the project director and Research Foundation's Department of Human Resources, up to an additional three months leave may be granted. In no case will Extended Temporary Disability Leave exceed the project or Personnel Action Form expected termination date of the employee.
Leave With or Without Pay
Extended Temporary Disability Leave may be with or without pay, depending on the amount of available accrued leave on the current project. When all available accrued leave is exhausted, the employee will be on leave without pay for the rest of the approved Extended Temporary Disability Leave period.
Time and Leave Benefits and Extended Temporary Disability Leave
When an employee uses available accrued leave earned on a current project, he or she continues to accrue leave benefits (annual leave, sick leave and holidays). After an employee has exhausted all available leave earned on the project, no additional leave benefits accrue during the remaining time spent on Extended Temporary Disability Leave; nor does this time count toward salary benefits.
Insurance Coverage During an Authorized Extended Temporary Disability Leave (With or Without Pay)
The Research Foundation will continue insurance coverage for up to the first three months of an approved Extended Temporary Disability Leave, with or without pay. Should the disability continue and the leave be extended beyond three months, benefits will be provided as follows:
Child Care Leave (which may include sick leave for the period of a certified disability and/or annual leave) is unpaid leave granted for a period of up to six months from an infant's date of birth. It may not extend beyond the project or Personnel Action Form expected termination date.
To be granted this leave, the employee (male or female) must have legal responsibility for the care and/or support of the child, have been employed full-time by the Foundation for at least one year before the requested leave, and apply in writing to the project director for such leave. Documentation of legal responsibility may be required.
During a period of approved Child Care Leave without pay, fringe benefits may be retained, not to extend the leave period, if the employee pays the Foundation for costs of continued coverage. The employee should contact their Benefits Coordinator to arrange payment for benefits. Refer to Benefits for Project Employees, Policy No. 507-G for details. Child Care Leave will run concurrently with any available PFL or FMLA leave
During such a period where there is leave without pay, annual and sick leave and holidays will not accrue, nor will more than 30 days in this status be credited toward salary increases.
Members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance squads may be granted an unpaid leave of absence when they act as first responders during a declared state of emergency. To qualify for the leave, the employee must have previously submitted written documentation from the head of the fire department or volunteer ambulance service to the project director, notifying them of the employee's status as a member of the volunteer service. Leave is available only during the time that an emergency exists following a declaration of a state or local emergency. This occurs when either a "Local State of Emergency" is declared by a county executive, town supervisor, village or city mayor, or a "State Declaration of Disaster Emergency" is declared by the governor. The employee may request leave from employment only while engaged in the actual performance of his or her duties as a member of the volunteer service and when such duties are related to the declared emergency. When these circumstances exist, leave will be granted unless the employee's absence from work would impose an undue hardship on the operations of the project. Employees may choose whether to use available annual leave or take the leave as unpaid leave. Upon the employee's return to work, the employee may be required to provide a notarized statement from the head of the volunteer service, verifying the period of time the employee responded during the declared emergency.
In accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, employees may take military leave without pay provided such duty does not go beyond the project or Personnel Action Form expected termination date.
Employees on military leave may, but are not required to, substitute their accrued paid leave time for unpaid leave.
The Foundation will continue benefits for a period up to 30 days during such leave, beyond which employees may elect to continue coverage at their own expense, the premium to be calculated in the same manner as that required by COBRA, for up to 24 months.
Upon reinstatement, a returning employee is entitled to reinstate the health coverage that he or she had prior to the military leave.
During the time that an employee is on leave for qualified military service, pension contributions, benefits and service credit will be provided in accordance with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code.
A copy of military orders must be presented to the project director and sent to the Research Foundation Department of Human Resources before the scheduled date of duty.
A returning employee whose military service was for 30 days or less must return to work on the next regularly scheduled workday. A returning employee whose military service was for more than 30 days must submit an application for reemployment within 14 days after the completion of their service and provide documentation within two weeks of his/her return showing that (i) the notice of or application for reemployment was timely; and (ii) he or she received a certificate of completion of military service under honorable conditions. A returning employee generally has a right to return to the same position he or she held prior to the leave or to a position with like status and pay that the employee is qualified to perform, provided that the appointment period from which the employee took military leave has not ended.
In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (NDAA), an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (nearest blood relative) of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month rolling period to care for the service member. This military caregiver leave is available during a single 12-month rolling period during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave.
Effective October 28, 2009, FMLA leave for qualifying exigencies is available to employees whose spouse, child or parent is in the Reserves or National Guard and who is ordered to active duty as part of a contingency operation and to members of the regular Armed Forces on active duty and who is deployed overseas. Qualifying exigencies include, but are not limited to, time to prepare for short notice deployment, arranging for child care, updating financial or legal arrangements, attending counseling, time for rest and recuperation, and post-deployment activities.
This leave may be granted at the discretion of the project director, up to three months, for any reasons not covered under existing leave benefits. Such leave may not go beyond the completion of a grant or contract, or the expected termination date of employment. Annual and Temporary Disability Leave and holiday benefits will not accrue while an employee is on leave without pay, nor will such leave of more than 30 days be credited toward salary increases. Insurance coverage by the Foundation will normally be cancelled, unless it is continued at the employee's expense by arrangement with the Department of Human Resources. Refer to Benefits for Project Employees, Policy No. 507-G for details. The project director should notify their Benefits Coordinator, in writing, before the start of a project employee's leave without pay, stating the reason for such leave. This information is essential to give proper coverage to eligible employees and to prevent unnecessary depletion of benefit funds by paying insurance premiums for ineligible employees.
Exempt Employee- Exempt employees are salaried employees whose job duties, position and salary place them outside the scope of the FLSA (i.e. exempt from overtime provisions). [Exception: Employees in Exempt Instructor or Teacher titles may be paid on a non-salaried basis (hourly) and still remain classified as Exempt.] Exempt employees are paid the same predetermined salary each week AND earn a weekly salary that is not less than the legally mandated minimum weekly salary, whether full-time or part-time. [Currently, the minimum salary is $825.00 per week. Effective December 31, 2017, the minimum salary will increase to $975.00 per week. Effective December 31, 2018, the minimum salary will increase to $1,125.00 per week.]
Non-Exempt Employee- Non-Exempt employees are employees whose position and salary place them within the coverage of the FLSA (i.e. eligible for overtime). Note: All employees who are paid an hourly wage or earn less than the legally mandated minimum weekly salary for Exempt employees, whether full-time or part-time, regardless of position, will be classified as NonExempt.
Position- A position is classified as Exempt or Non-Exempt by matching the actual work performed by the employee with the job descriptions established by the Research Foundation. The Research Foundation's job descriptions indicate whether the position is either Exempt or Non-Exempt.
Work Week- The work week begins at 12:00 a.m. on Monday morning and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night. Although employees are normally scheduled to work a 35 hour work week (not including unpaid time for a meal period of not less than thirty (30) minutes each working day in which an employee works six (6) consecutive hours or more), overtime payments do not commence until an employee exceeds 40 hours actually worked in a work week. Non-Exempt employees will receive their straight time rate of pay for any hours worked between 35 and 40 hours in a work week.
Overtime- Non-Exempt employees are eligible to receive overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their regular pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
Compensatory Time for Non-Exempt Employees- In special circumstances, there may be a need for a Non-Exempt employee to work hours beyond the employee's regular schedule. In that event, in lieu of being paid for such hours the employee may be granted compensatory time off ("comp time"). Comp time must be scheduled, with prior approval, within two (2) weeks of when the extra hours were worked.
Compensatory Time for Exempt Employees- Exempt employees do not receive overtime or compensatory time off for working additional time on regularly scheduled work days. However, should they work on Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays or other days when an office is normally closed, they may be granted comp time equal to the time worked. Comp time is to be taken with the approval of the Project Director before their appointment end date.
Upon entering employee hiring data into the PAF system, the Project Director selects the Research Foundation position that most closely represents the work the employee is actually performing, as described in the most applicable job description. The classification of either Exempt or Non-Exempt is designated in each job description. Both the position and the weekly salary level are considered to determine the overtime pay practices applicable to each employee.
Guidelines that Pertain to Non-Exempt Employees
The project director must compensate the employee at the employee's straight time rate of pay for work up to forty (40) hours in a week.
For work over forty (40) hours in any given week, payment must be made at time and one-half (1.5) the employee's straight time rate of pay. Note: the 40 hours must be time actually worked, not merely hours paid (which might include annual leave, temporary disability leave, compensatory time or holidays).
For non-exempt employees who have multiple appointments where the combined hours total more than 40 hours in one week, overtime will be paid and charged to the grant and respective encumbrance(s) that contributed to and, therefore, caused the total hours worked to exceed 40 hours in one (1) week. The allocation of the overtime premium will be assigned to each contributing grant based on the proportion of the grant's actual hours submitted for the week.
Except for ESSTA Leave, leave accruals are earned on the hours worked up to and including seventy (70) hours per pay period. Leave accruals (other than ESSTA Leave accruals) are not earned on hours worked over 70 hours in a pay period. Leave accruals (other than ESSTA Leave accruals) are not earned on "FLSA" hours.
Guidelines that Pertain to Exempt Employees
Exempt employees do not receive overtime or compensatory time off for working additional time on regularly scheduled work days. However, should they work on Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays or other days when an office is normally closed, they may be granted comp time equal to the time worked. Comp time is to be taken with the approval of the Project Director before their appointment end date.
With a few exceptions, Exempt employees must be paid their regular salary for a particular day as long as they work any amount of time on that day. [Contact the Department of Human Resources for more information.] On those partial days worked, the hours not worked should be charged in accordance with the time and leave policies of the Research Foundation (i.e., charges should be made to accrued leave). Please note that deductions (e.g., leave without pay) may not be made from an Exempt employee's salary for a partial day of absence. Accordingly, if there is no available accrued leave, an Exempt employee must be paid in full for the day. Such hours will be assigned by the time and leave system as "FLSA" hours. However, leave accruals are not earned on such FLSA hours.
For absences of one or more FULL DAYS for personal or medical reasons, once all sick and annual leave has been exhausted, the Research Foundation has the right to make full-day salary deductions (e.g., leave without pay). The Research Foundation reserves the right to require Exempt employees to take full days off (instead of partial days).
Timesheets for Exempt employees will be used to record "time and effort" for Grants & Contracts reporting purposes and to manage accruals ONLY.
Guidelines that Pertain to Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees
All overtime worked must be pre-approved by the Project Director. Employees who work unauthorized overtime may be subject to discipline. However, Non-Exempt employees who do work overtime, whether authorized or not, must be compensated in accordance with this policy.
Except for ESSTA Leave, leave accruals are earned on the hours worked up to and including seventy (70) hours per pay period. Leave accruals (other than ESSTA Leave accruals) are not earned on hours worked over 70 hours in a pay period. Leave accruals (other than ESSTA Leave accruals) are not earned on "FLSA" hours.
All hours worked by Exempt and Non-Exempt employees should be recorded on the timesheet in accordance with the provisions of this policy and the processes of the Foundation's electronic timekeeping systems.
The project director is responsible for accurately recording days worked, and annual leave, sick leave and other leave used by employees in the Time and Leave system. The cumulative balances for the various types of leave should be checked after each pay period. The Time and Leave system contains the official records that are the basis for certifying time worked and leave taken by an employee on a project.
Termination includes a change from one Research Foundation account to another even if there is no break in employment, as well as resignation, retirement, termination of grant/contract, scheduled termination of employment, or involuntary termination.
The provisions of this policy were updated on July 21, 2021.
The benefits or policies stated herein are not intended to be contractual in nature. They do not confer any right or privilege, but are informational only. RFCUNY retains the absolute right to amend or terminate any benefit or policy at any time.