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Any regularly appointed teacher may apply for a leave of absence. Leaves of absence with partial pay include military leaves and sabbatical leaves for study and for restoration of health.
There are also leaves of absence without pay available for those who meet specific criteria and require time for the adjustment of personal affairs. Any situation requiring your full-time attention, such as child care, taking care of a sick family member or your own illness, would apply.
Types of leaves
Parental leave: Eligible UFT-represented employees of the DOE or New York City may take up to six weeks of paid leave following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child (these are all referred to as covered events). Birth mothers may choose between two options.
Option A is to take the traditional maternity leave including any applicable right to borrow days and/or use a grace period.
Option B is the new parental leave. Under Option B, immediately following the birth of a child (the day of the birth), the delivering parent may use available CAR days. (No one has to use CAR days.) A birth mother may choose to use up to six weeks of CAR days for a vaginal birth and may use up to eight weeks of CAR days for a C-section birth. But you do not have to use any of them. Following the use of CAR days for up to six or eight weeks, the birth mother can use parental leave for a period of up to an additional six weeks — for a total of 12 to 14 weeks.
A non-delivering parent is eligible for up to six weeks of parental leave, to commence upon the covered event. During this time, either parent will be on an unpaid leave from the Department of Education or the city, and the UFT Welfare Fund will pay them their regular salary while they are out. The city will continue to provide health insurance while on parental leave.
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Regularly appointed employees and regular substitutes, if eligible, may apply for a leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of health benefits, commencing with the first consecutive absence, during maternity leave (even if CAR days have been exhausted) and childcare leave. All other FMLA leaves are unpaid, such as care of a child under age 1, adoption, the start of foster care, caring for an ill family member or treating a serious personal health condition. You are eligible if you have worked for a total of at least 12 months as of the date the leave commences (the months need not be consecutive) or for 1,250 hours (equivalent to one school year under DOE regulations) over the previous 12 months. The leave can be intermittent or involve reducing your work schedule, such as if you need to go for medical treatments. There is a specialist in each UFT borough office who can answer your questions regarding FMLA leaves.
- Leave of absence without pay for restoration of health: Medical circumstances could lead you to apply for a “leave of absence without pay for restoration of health.” Maternity leave is considered a restoration of health leave, however, this type of leave may also be used for treatment of and recuperation from a serious illness. In the case of a serious illness, once you have exhausted your sick bank, your borrowed days (optional) and have been carried on payroll for a calendar month without pay, you must apply for a leave without pay for restoration of health. You must apply on SOLAS and submit medical documentation verifying the information. If your application for a medical leave is denied, medical arbitration may be appropriate. Please call your UFT Borough Office for assistance.
- Child care leave: Child care leave may be used by either parent but not both. This leave normally begins six weeks after the birth of the baby (but may begin eight weeks after for C section births) and can last up to four years from the next September term following the baby’s birthday. A child care leave for an adoptive parent ends at the same time.
There are other additional leaves without pay that an appointed pedagogue may be granted, such as for teaching at CUNY or SUNY, service in the Peace Corps, or acceptance of a supervisory or teaching position in a foreign country. Please call your UFT Borough Office to discuss other types of leaves.
Online leave applications
Non-supervisory educators including teachers, guidance counselors, school secretaries, social workers and psychologists are now required to use the Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS) to apply for maternity leaves, restoration of health leaves, health sabbatical leaves and non-medical leaves. Your school's designated leave secretary also now has access to SOLAS to verify timekeeping. For more information, see the DOE’s SOLAS FAQ.
Both pedagogues and administrative staff must provide acceptable certification by a physician or other health care provider for their own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a covered family member within fifteen (15) calendar days of the request for leave, where practicable. Please see Personnel Memorandum No. 54, 1995-1996 for further information.
Payroll secretaries no longer will be required to submit 1054 forms for employees on the administrative and pedagogical payrolls if the 1054 is for a job-related event, such as a SLOAC or FMLA leave. However, they must still file this form for paraprofessionals.
Pedagogues and paraprofessionals use this form to apply for a retirement leave of absence. For every two days in the employee’s sick bank, one day of terminal leave is granted. The form must be filed 30 days in advance of the leave. The leave can only cover up to one term and cannot extend from one school term to another. See page 2 for guidelines. In order to go on a terminal leave, paraprofessionals must be members of the Teachers' Retirement System.
This form is used by all pedagogues to apply for medical certification for absence up to 20 consecutive school days, for requests to borrow sick days and for excuse of absence due to children’s diseases. Rules and instructions are on Page 2.
Upon an employee’s return from a leave of absence without pay, the payroll secretary must submit an OP 255 form to the Bureau of Salary Differentials and Status.
Administrative staff may apply for a medical leave of absence without pay only when they have exhausted all sick leave and/or annual leave days. This application must be completed, signed and submitted to HR Connect for approval. Documentation and/or statement of particulars must be submitted with the form.
This memo, dated Dec. 13, 2002, details the Department of Education's policy regarding the city's Extended Military Benefits Package.
Regulations governing leaves of absence for maternity and/or child care for administrative (non-pedagogical) staff. Page 1 of this document is Heads of Bureau Circular #15, 1975-1976, which amends a section of Circular #11.
The purpose of this memorandum is to describe the benefits and eligibility requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).