Medical Leaves of Absence
Right of Nursing Mothers to Express Breast Milk
Employees who are nursing mothers are permitted to use reasonable unpaid or paid break or meal time (as applicable) each day for the purpose of expressing breast milk for the employee’s nursing child for up to three years following the child’s birth. Hofstra will make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to your work area, where you may express milk in privacy. Hofstra shall not discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace. For more information, visit the Parental Support page.
New York State Paid Family Leave Policy
Hofstra University is committed to providing eligible employees with leave afforded under New York's Paid Family Leave Law. Effective January 1, 2018, New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides eligible administrative, staff, and student employees with partially paid, job-protected leave in certain qualifying circumstances. Paid Family Leave is entirely employee-funded through a small employee payroll deduction as set by the Paid Family Leave Law.
PFL is available under the following qualifying circumstances as further set forth in the PFL:
- To bond with a new child (biological, adopted, or foster child) within the first 12 months after birth, adoption or placement
- To provide physical or psychological care to a family member with a serious health condition. A serious health condition, as further set forth in the PFL, is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential healthcare facility; or continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a healthcare provider. Continuing treatment means a period of more than three consecutive full days during which a family member is unable to work, attend school, perform regular daily activities, or is otherwise incapacitated due to illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental conditions, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also involves: (a) treatment two or more times by a healthcare provider; or (b) treatment on at least one occasion by a healthcare provider, which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the healthcare provider.
- To address a qualifying exigency when the employee's child, spouse, parent, or domestic partner is called to covered active military service in the United States armed forces. A qualifying exigency is interpreted consistent with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (e.g., attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, and attending post-deployment re-integration briefings).
Where applicable, PFL will run concurrently with Family Medical Leave (FMLA). Employees may take leave in continuous or intermittent full-day increments. Employees may not designate partial days as leave under PFL.
PFL is not available for the employee's own health condition or qualifying military event; employees may not receive PFL and disability benefits at the same time; and the University is not required to provide the same PFL to two or more employees at the same time to care for the same family member.
Employees are not required to exhaust accrued, unused University vacation/leave time when taking PFL, unless the PFL leave runs concurrent with FMLA. Employees may, however, elect to charge all or part of their family leave time to unused, accrued University vacation/leave time and receive their full salary. In such an event, the University is entitled to receive and recoup any New York State PFL payments to which the employee would have been entitled. Employees will not accrue University vacation/leave time while out on Paid Family Leave.
Eligibility is governed by state law. In general, administrative, staff, and student employees who work more than 20 hours per week and have been employed for a minimum of 26 consecutive weeks are eligible for PFL benefits. State law excludes faculty as covered employees. Employees who work less than 20 hours per week become eligible for PFL benefits after 175 days of work. Use of vacation, personal, or sick time counts as workweeks or days of work. Periods of temporary disability taken under Article 9 of the Workers' Compensation Law do not count as workweeks or days of work.
To apply for PFL, an employee must provide the University with at least 30 days advance notice from the requested leave date. Foreseeable qualifying events include, for example, an expected birth, placement for adoption, or foster care; planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of a family member; the planned medical treatment for a serious injury or illness of a covered service member; or other known military exigency. Where such notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and must comply with normal call-in procedures. When an employee becomes aware of a qualifying event less than 30 days in advance, it should be practicable for the employee to provide notice of the need for leave either the same day or the next business day. When an employee takes intermittent PFL (which may not be taken in partial day increments), the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable before each day of intermittent leave.
An employee shall provide notice sufficient to make the University aware of the qualifying event and the anticipated timing and duration of the requested leave. The employee shall identify the type of family leave when providing notice to the University.
To apply, please contact the Office of Human Resources who will provide you with the forms that need to be completed within 3 business days of your providing notice of request for PFL.
Protection of Health Insurance Benefits
While on PFL, an employee's health insurance coverage will be maintained in the same manner as during the employee's active employment status. Employees are responsible for paying their share of health insurance premiums while on leave. If the premiums are raised or lowered during PFL, the employee is required to pay the new premium rates. In some instances, the University may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work from PFL.
The University's obligation to maintain health insurance coverage ceases under PFL if an employee's premium payment during the period of leave is more than 30 days late. The University will provide written notice to the employee at least 15 days before the coverage is to cease, that coverage will end on a specified date at least 15 days after the date of the letter unless payment has been received by that date.
If the employee chooses not to retain health plan coverage during PFL, they may have their health coverage reinstated to the same plan and level of coverage as prior to taking PFL upon return from PFL.
Return to Work
Employees returning from PFL leave will be reinstated to the employees' position of employment held when the applicable leave commenced, or to a comparable position with comparable employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. The University may hire a temporary replacement during the employees' leave period.
Right to Waive PFL
Employees whose regular employment schedule is (a) 20 hours or more per week but they will not work 26 consecutive weeks; or (b) less than 20 hours per week and they will not work 175 days in a 52 consecutive week period have the option to waive family leave benefits. In order to waive these benefits, and avoid the corresponding payroll deductions, eligible employees must complete a waiver of benefits form. This waiver is optional. Employees who complete a waiver will not contribute to Paid Family Leave through payroll deductions and will not be eligible to take Paid Family Leave. If the employee's schedule changes and they qualify for Paid Family Leave (e.g., they work 20 hours or more a week and work over 26 consecutive weeks), the waiver is automatically revoked and the employee is responsible for paying any required Paid Family Leave contributions from the first day of employment. Waiver forms are available in the Office of Human Resources.
For more information on PFL, please contact the Office of Human Resources or go to the New York State Paid Family Leave website. All rights and obligations are subject to New York State Paid Family Leave Law.
Short Term Disability Policy
The University’s Short Term Disability coverage provides income protection in the event of a Short Term Disability, where the injury or illness is not work-related. For work-related injuries, please refer to Workers’ Compensation Benefits.
Hofstra University provides Short Term Disability coverage for eligible full-time administrators who have worked 1 year of continuous service and who are unable to work due to illness, pregnancy, or injury resulting in the administrator’s inability to perform the regular duties of his or her employment. As discussed below, eligibility will be determined by the University’s insurance carrier.
The Short Term Disability coverage is subject to the terms of the University’s insurance policy.
University Short Term Disability coverage takes effect on the 8th consecutive day of absence. Administrators with available leave time receive their regular pay for the first 7 days of absence.
Eligible administrators shall continue to receive full pay during the first 6 weeks of incapacitation within a 12-month period. After 6 weeks, pay may be reduced by one-half of the cost of the administrator’s replacement.
Administrators may receive up to a maximum of 6 months of Short Term Disability benefits, after which point, an application may be made for Long Term Disability benefits.
The 12 weeks of job and benefit protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 will run concurrently with the use of Short Term Disability, whenever applicable. The University will not protect an administrator’s position once the 12-week Family Medical Leave is exhausted.
During any period of Short Term Disability, the University is entitled to receive and recoup any New York State disability payments to which the employee would have been entitled.
To be eligible for University Short Term Disability coverage, the administrator must provide medical certification of the disability from a licensed New York medical provider that includes the starting and expected ending date of the disability. The certification must be submitted to the Human Resources Department who will submit the certification and other paperwork as required to our insurance carrier for a determination of benefit qualification. The University may seek independent medical verification of the disability as a condition of receiving benefits.
Return to Work:
Administrators must return to work as soon as permitted by their healthcare provider. In addition, administrators must submit a “Fitness to Return to Duty” clearance to Human Resources, which must state that the administrator is able to return to “full duty.” An administrator whose absence has been designated as “Family and Medical Leave Act” (“FMLA”) leave is eligible for reinstatement under the FMLA.
To be eligible for continued disability benefits, the administrator must not engage in outside employment and is expected to avoid activities that may delay recovery and a return to work.
Long Term Disability Policy
The University’s Long Term Disability coverage provides income protection in the event of a long term disability, where the injury or illness is not work-related. For work-related injuries, please refer to Workers’ Compensation Benefits.
The University provides Long Term Disability coverage at no cost for all full-time eligible administrators. Administrators may elect to pay for their own coverage by payroll deduction to avoid having to pay income tax on any benefits received. Full-time administrators become eligible for benefits once they have worked 1 year of continuous service at the University and have already received 6 months of Short Term Disability. Eligibility for Long Term Disability will be determined by the University’s insurance carrier.
Long Term Disability Coverage provides salary replacement of 66.67% of the administrator’s monthly wage base, with a maximum benefit of $9,000 per month throughout a qualifying disability. The duration of benefits is dependent upon the age of the administrator at the time of the disability. For more information, please contact Human Resources.
Long Term Disability benefits are considered taxable income, pursuant to IRS regulations. Administrators also have the option of paying their own Long Term Disability Insurance premiums on an after-tax basis. Administrators who pay their own insurance premiums will not have to pay income tax on the benefits received under the plan.
After receiving 6 months of Short Term Disability, an administrator may be eligible to receive Long Term Disability. Administrators will receive an application from Human Resources with instructions on how to submit the application directly to the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will then determine whether the administrator qualifies for Long Term Disability.