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Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.

I am an occupational therapist/physical therapist. What are my retention rights for taking a leave? Do I have the right to return to my school after my leave is over?

As a result of the 2018 DOE-UFT contract, occupational therapists/physical therapists on a leave have the right to return to their school if the leave is for one year or less. A therapist on a leave should reach out to their supervisor at some point during their leave to confirm their approved return date or whether they will be changing the date of their return (in that case, they will also need to modify their leave). The supervisor then must enter the member’s name and employee ID as a transaction in Sharepoint (Cybershift timekeeping) in order to get re-staffed and back on payroll in a timely fashion.

Can I take time off work to donate blood? Will it count against my CAR/sick time?

mployees who wish to donate blood off-site during working hours are to be granted up to three hours unpaid leave on an annual basis. Requests for time off must be made in advance and in writing. Approval must be granted by the principal or his/her designee, as long as such request does not substantially disrupt the normal operation of the office/school.

In the event that the office head or principal determines that the number of requests would cause a substantial disruption, then the office head or principal can limit the granting of such excused leave to a reasonable number of staff requesting it on the same day and deny the other requests until a more appropriate time.

Such time off shall not be considered paid leave and cannot be charged against any leave the employee is entitled to.

If I need to get screened for cancer, do I need to use my sick time/CAR days? If I need to leave work for a cancer screening, is is paid or unpaid time?

Leaving work for the purpose of cancer screening for up to four hours per year is considered paid leave.

Accommodations shall be made for employees requesting time off for the purpose of cancer screening. Requests for such time off must be made in advance and in writing. Approval must be granted by the principal or his/her designee, as long as such request does not substantially disrupt the normal operation of the office/school.

In the event that the office head or principal determines that the number of requests would cause a substantial disruption, then the office head or principal can limit the granting of such excused leave to a reasonable number of staff requesting it on the same day and deny the other requests until a more appropriate time.

What is considered a "non-attendance" day?

There are certain reasons that a member may be absent from work but still be paid, and without being required to use a CAR day, that are called “non-attendance” days. Here are the reasons you may be able to apply for a non-attendance day:

- appearance for jury duty or jury qualification/selection
- death of family member
- funeral of an associate
- receiving a degree or a graduation ceremony
- appearance on official business
- appearance as disinterested witness
- extraordinary transportation delay
- legislative hearing
- military duty
- quarantine
- requirement of the school system
- religious observance
- school visits and meetings within New York City

To see or download the OP-201 form needed to apply for a non-attendance day absence, go to the UFT website at: https://www.uft.org/sites/default/files/attachments/op201.pdf.

I am applying for a sabbatical for the spring semester of 2020. When can I expect to receive a decision?

The final date for the Superintendent's decision for the Spring 2020 semester is 12/4/19. To apply for a sabbatical, you must use the SOLAS online form, which can be found here: https://dhrnycaps.nycenet.edu/Solas/. For more information about sabbatical leaves, go to the UFT website at: https://www.uft.org/news/you-should-know/sabbatical-leaves

How can I find out more about the different options for parental/maternity leave?

Attend a "Pathways to Parenthood" workshop given by the UFT. Dates are held throughout the year at all 5 UFT borough offices. These sessions give participants the information they need about maternity leave, paid parental leave, and health insurance matters. Participants will also be guided through the process of using the DOE's SOLAS online system used to apply for a leave. Note: these workshops are not only for women or those currently expecting a baby. To see the current dates and to register, visit the borough office closest to you:

Bronx
Brooklyn
Manhattan
Staten Island
Queens

How do I request time off on Election Day so I can vote?

Under the New York State Election Law, an employee must be allowed on Election Day, without loss of pay, for up to three hours, to take off so much working time as will enable the employee to vote at an election. 

If an employee requires time off to vote, the employee must notify his/her administrator by completing a Voting Leave Request form no less than two working days before the day of the election, setting forth the amount of time they require to vote.

An employee's assertion that they are registered to vote and reside in a district having an election shall be sufficient in most cases, however, a supervisor may also request confirmation from an employee. 

Unless otherwise mutually agreed, the employee shall be allowed time off only at the beginning or end of his or her working shift. Any time taken off that exceeds three hours must be charged to CAR/personal business days. 
 

How may I use my CAR/sick days?

CAR days can be used for an employee’s personal medical condition; 3 of the 10 self- treated sick days each year can be used for personal business or to care for a sick family member.

How can I find out how many days are left in my CAR/sick day bank?

See your payroll secretary in your school, who can advise you as to how many days you have remaining in your sick bank. Your paycheck/pay stub also contains that information, which can be found on the DOE payroll portal (https://payrollportal.nycboe.net).

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Who is eligible to take paid parental leave?

New parents – including by birth, adoption and foster care - who are in titles represented by UFT are eligible to apply for Parental Leave, and meet the following criteria:
• You must be either:
- A full-time employee or
- An H-bank/non-pedagogical employee who works a regular schedule of 20 hours or more per week
• You must have been an employee and on payroll for a minimum of 12 calendar months from your most recent date of hire.
• You must have been in active status for the 12 calendar months immediately prior to the covered event.

F-status and per diem employees are not eligible for paid parental leave.