Leaves of Absence

UB and the state of New York understand that the health and well-being of you and your family, your citizenship and your professional standing can be as important to you as your employment.

YOUR UB AFFILIATION

To view or change your employee profile, log in to the SUNY portal for State with your UBITName and password or the SUNY portal for Research Foundation with your RF account login credentials.

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Research Foundation Leaves

The Research Foundation (RF) offers its employees a variety of leave options. Some are offered as paid leave; others are unpaid. Employment status also affects the availability of leave. The SUNY RF employee portal for Life Events — Leave of Absence is a complete source of information, but don't forget to contact your HR leave expert to initiate certain leaves as well as answer any questions. 

Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act

New mothers returning to the workplace are granted at least 20 minutes of unpaid break time every 3 hours to express breast milk for up to 3 years after the birth of a child. If you are a nursing mother preparing to return to work after birth, discuss your intent to use this benefit with your supervisor. RF employees are allowed to use accrued leave time or work before or after their shifts to make up this time. Departments are expected to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location for mothers to express milk. 

Contact An Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA is a federal law that requires certain employers to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 (under some circumstances 26) weeks of unpaid job-protected leave during a 12-month period for various health and family-related reasons.

Related Policy, Documents, Links

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Jury Service

We recognize that jury duty is a civic obligation of all citizens. RF employees should provide advance notice to their manager of upcoming jury duty.  RF employees will receive the necessary time off with full pay to fulfill that obligation. The jury duty voucher an employee receives at the time of service should be retained and attached to applicable timesheets.

Contact An Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Long Term Disability

Long term disability is a leave available for employees who have worked full-time for a year or longer.  

If you meet this criterion and have been unable to work for more than 26 weeks, you may be eligible. The leave entitles employees who are not able to return after short-term disability leave, a period of income and benefit continuation.

This benefit requires coordination between your local HR expert and RF Central Office in Albany, NY. RF Central sends a disability packet to an eligible employee as soon as his or her absence lasts longer than 26 weeks.

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Military Family Leave (FMLA)

You can take up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave under the FMLA in a single period to care for a covered family member with a serious illness or injury that was incurred in the line of duty while on active duty in the regular armed forces, National Guard or reserves.

Related Policies, Procedures and Links

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Military Leave

If you are called to active military duty, you will be paid for up to 22 work days or 30 calendar days, whichever is greater, during any one calendar year or any continuous period of ordered military service.

Make an appointment with a benefits expert to bring your military service orders to your campus Benefits Office for review prior to commencement of the leave:

            Human Resources
            120 Crofts Hall
            North Campus

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

NYS Paid Family Leave

Get detailed information regarding the New York State (NYS) Paid Family Leave law for Research Foundation employees.

Overview of NYS Paid Family Leave

New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides job‐protection and income replacement to eligible employees who need to be away from work for the following reasons:

  • to take care of a seriously ill family member (spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent‐in law, grandparent, grandchild)
  • to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child in the first 12 months after birth or placement
  • or to attend to family issues related to a qualifying military deployment

When practicable, employees must provide 30 days’ notice when the leave is foreseeable. Private employers in New York State, including the Research Foundation (RF), are required to comply with the law.

Eligibility

RF employees working 20 or more hours per week are eligible for coverage after 26 consecutive weeks of employment. Employees who work less than 20 hours per week are eligible after completing 175 days worked. Employees must work in New York State to be eligible for this benefit. 

Effective Date

The law is effective January 1, 2018 and eligible employees who experience a qualifying event can apply for benefits as of this date even if the qualifying event began before the effective date of the law. For example, an employee who takes a qualifying leave to care for a seriously ill family member beginning December 27, 2017 through January 5, 2018 may apply for PFL benefits for the period January 1 through January 5. In addition, eligible employees can apply for leave to bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child as long as the birth or placement happened within 12 months of the effective date of the law.

Benefits

The New York PFL benefit for 2018 is set as follows:

  • 50% of your average weekly wage (AWW), not to exceed 50% of the New York State AWW, which is currently $1,306, for a maximum of 8 weeks

The benefit is set to increase each year for the following three years, as follows:

  • 2019 55% of your AWW, not to exceed 55% of the New York State AWW for a maximum of 10 weeks
  • 2020 60% of your AWW, not to exceed 60% of the New York State AWW for a maximum of 10 weeks
  • 2021 67% of your AWW, not to exceed 67% of the New York State AWW for a maximum of 12 weeks

Eligible employees may use appropriate accruals while on leave and should discuss this option with your campus Human Resources representative.

Program Funding

The state has mandated that all employees will pay for the new coverage through payroll deduction at a rate of 0.126% of weekly wages, not to exceed 0.126% of the statewide AWW, which is expected to increase each year. As of right now, that average is $1,306, which means your deduction will not exceed $1.65 per week. Deductions will begin in your December 8, 2017 paycheck.

Waiver Options

Employees whose appointment meets (or is expected to meet at the time of hire) the eligibility criteria cannot opt out of the program and payroll deductions. In rare circumstances, employees may opt out of the program if they will never meet the eligibility criteria. If you do not believe you have met, or will ever meet, the eligibility criteria listed above, then you may submit a waiver form to opt out of the program and payroll deductions. Waivers will be reviewed and approved by the campus Human Resources Department. If you opt out of payroll deductions and subsequently meet the eligibility criteria, then payroll deductions that were missed will need to be paid retro‐active to December 1, 2017 or date of hire, whichever is later.

PFL and FMLA

The federal FMLA provides job‐protected leave for many of the same reasons as paid family leave (PFL). Because the new law shares many of the same requirements and definitions as the FMLA, in most cases the two leave of absence programs will be applied concurrently, not one after the other.

Changes to FMLA

Effective January 1, 2018 the RF will use a look back method for determining FMLA availability. For those who are eligible, this means that the RF will look back over the last 12 months prior to the effective date of an FMLA request. Any FMLA used during that period will be deducted when determining the balance available for the current request. For the period November 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, employees will have the option of using whichever methodology is more advantageous to them. In addition, effective January 1, 2018, eligible employees will be able to take intermittent FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child.

PFL and Disability

PFL will never run concurrently with New York State mandated disability benefits (DBL), which provide a benefit when you need to miss work because of your own disabling illness or injury. PFL only comes into play when you need to miss work to care for someone else. Eligible employees can use a maximum of 26 weeks PFL and disability in a 52 week period. 

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Pregnancy, Childbirth and Childcare Leave

Taking time off for pregnancy, child birth or child placement is something all new parents consider. The Research Foundation (RF) offers leaves that speak to all employees needs.   

Maternity leave is initially treated as New York State (NYS) short-term disability. This leave allows employees to remain out six to eight weeks postpartum, based on the type of delivery.   

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an available leave for eligible employees.  It begins the same day as NYS disability and allows the employee a total of twelve weeks of leave.

Additionally, the RF offers six month child care.  This leave begins on the date of the baby’s birth and goes for a total of 6 months.

Accrual usage, as well as income and benefit continuation during these leaves is different for everyone.   Contact your benefits expert for information that is specific to your situation as well as the required paperwork.

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Short Term Disability

When a physician certifies that you are unable to work for a period of time due to illness or injury, your absence may qualify you for New York State short-term disability. 

Under this definition, you have rights and entitlements to income replacement (when sick time has exhausted) and benefit continuation. After  your sick time has exhausted, there is also an opportunity to supplement with additional accruals at a reduced rate.

The RF is also fortunate to offer a voluntary short term disability plan that allows employees to ensure their income is not depleted during recovery from illness or injury.

Contacting your HR expert in this area will ensure that you have all of your questions answered and that you are provided the direction you need to maintain your income and benefits during this time.

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Workers' Compensation

All Research Foundation (RF) Employees are eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits and the RF pays the full cost of coverage. If you are unable to work because of an injury or illness directly caused by your job, you have a variety of options regarding the use of leave accruals and Workers' Compensation benefits.

Contact an Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

Contact a Research Foundation Leave Expert

Zachary Jenney

Zachary Jenney

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu

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