Leaves of Absence & Pay Continuation

A leave of absence is when an employee needs to be away from work for an extended period of time (five sick days or more) due to personal medical conditions, welcoming a new child, family care, military service, or personal reasons. Employees may be eligible to take a continuous or intermittent leave of absence.  

A continuous leave of absence is up to 20 consecutive weeks of time out of the office based on your specific needs, while an intermittent leave is sporadic time out of the office due to chronic personal medical conditions or family/military care.  Medical or military documentation is required to determine the length of your leave of absence for both types of leaves.  Please review applicable leave-related policies.

All leave requests will be submitted to (Click here for instructions) and adjudicated by Lincoln Financial Group.

Once Human Resources receives notification of your request for a leave of absence, the Leaves Administrator will reach out to you with information specific to your leave of absence including pay continuation details, use of paid time off, and expectations for you and your manager.

Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group administers all of Emerson’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (MAPFML) leaves of absence.

All eligible employees can file for an unpaid FMLA leave of absence, which runs concurrently with other paid state benefits that an employee may file for (i.e. MAPFML, Connecticut PFML,  or California State Disability Insurance). If the need for a leave is foreseeable, Lincoln Financial recommends filing for a leave up to 30 calendar days in advance. 

Work-Related Illness or Injury

Employees who sustain a work-related illness or injury must notify their department manager who will then contact Human Resources. To file a first report of injury, please submit a ticket to HR within 24 hours of notice of your employee’s illness or injury. 

For emergencies, please call 911 or contact Emerson College Police Department at 617-824-8888.

Pay Continuation While on Leave

Employees receiving paid benefits while on leave have the ability to supplement paid time off to accommodate for the difference between the state benefits, short term disability pay (if applicable), and their normal Emerson pay each pay period. 

When an employee returns from leave, Human Resources will reconcile pay between their pay while on leave and their normal Emerson pay. 

If, at any time, an employee is unpaid by Emerson while on leave, they are responsible for the cost of their benefits.  

Massachusetts Employees

Any employee on an approved MAPFML leave will receive payments from Lincoln Financial on a weekly basis. The employee will continue to receive pay from Emerson on their usual pay schedule with any short term disability pay (if applicable) and any paid time off the employee elected to use to supplement their Lincoln Financial payments. 

  • The first five (5) business days of a PFML leave are the elimination period. This is before the PFML payments will begin where you can elect to use 36.25/40 hours of paid time off to supplement your usual Emerson pay.
  • (If applicable) The first 10 business days of a leave of absence (both FMLA and PFML) are the elimination period for short term disability pay. You can elect to use paid time off to supplement the difference from PFML payments and your usual Emerson pay.
  • After the elimination period(s), you can elect to use paid time off to supplement any remaining difference between your leave pay and your usual Emerson pay.
  • Benefits paid by Lincoln Financial are not eligible for the 403(b) employee and employer contributions.

California Employees

California employees will file for an FMLA leave through Lincoln Financial and then apply for California State Disability Insurance to receive pay while on leave. California employees will go unpaid through Emerson until they return from leave. 

Once they return, they will provide pay receipts from California and have the ability to supplement their sick time for the duration of their leave to make up the difference between the California pay and their normal Emerson pay. 

Extension of a Leave Beyond PFML and FMLA

If an employee requires more time for their leave beyond the PFML or FMLA benefits, eligible employees have the ability to apply for an extension of short term disability pay through Emerson. An employee must complete accommodation form A and have their medical provider complete accommodation form B. Completed forms need to be submitted to Human Resources to be reviewed for approval. 

If the forms are approved, short term disability pay can be approved for up to an additional six weeks of 60% of their Emerson pay. Employees have the ability to utilize paid time off to supplement the remaining amount of their Emerson pay.

Please reach out to Human Resources if you require more leave time after the additional six weeks of short term disability pay to discuss applying for long term disability benefits.

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