Leaves of Absence
What You Need to Know
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are laws that provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave in a 12-month period for:
- Care of oneself or one’s family member with a serious health condition
- Disability due to pregnancy, child birth, or related medical condition (does not apply to CFRA)
- Bonding/caring for a new born baby, or adopted or foster child
- Military Family Leave
Eligibility – To be eligible for FMLA/CFRA you must have worked for the City for at least 12 months, and worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the start of the leave of absence. If you are not eligible for FMLA/CFRA and you are pregnant, you are likely still eligible for Pregnancy Disability Leave.
During your leave – While you are on leave, you are encouraged to stay in touch with your supervisor or manager, particularly if there are any foreseeable changes to your return to work date.
Returning to work – Before returning to work from medical leave, you may be required to provide a medical release from your healthcare provider (your return to work certification should include any and all limitations, if any). You may also be eligible for modified duty or reasonable accommodation if you are returning to work with limitations. Modified duty is a temporary modification to the work assignment to help you transition back to regular duty.
For more information, please read the City's FMLA/CFRA Policy and review this Medical Leave Summary.
Understanding the Difference Between Job Protection and How You are Paid
There are two aspects of leave that are important to understand: job protection and non-work income replacement. How you are paid depends on your own leave balances (sick, vacation, etc.), as well as your eligibility for income replacement through:
- Worker's Compensation (WC), if the injury occurred on the Job - See the City's Workers Compensation Policy or contact Rhonda Castellucci at (415) 485-3474 for specific Workers Compensation related questions.
- California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI), if illness or injury is not job related
- Paid Family Leave (PFL), for illness or injury of family member
- Long Term Disability (LTD) - Check your MOU for more information. You must be disabled for 90 days before benefits may be payable.
State Disability (SDI) - SDI provides affordable, short-term (up to one year) benefit to eligible workers who suffer a loss of wages when unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, or due to pregnancy or childbirth. SDI does not pay for the first 7 calendar days of the disability. If SDI approves your claim, you will receive up to 55% of your weekly salary for a maximum of 52 weeks. Benefits may be generated within 15 to 21 days after submitting the SDI claim, assuming all the necessary information is provided.
Paid Family Leave (PFL) – PFL was established for workers who suffer a loss of wages when they need to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. It pays up to six weeks of benefits.
Participation in SDI/PFL is determined by bargaining unit and is an employee-paid benefit. Currently, only members of SEIU, SEIU-Child Care, WCE and PEU Local 1 Confidential contribute to SDI. However, employees who do not contribute through their City employment may have SDI “credit” based on any employment prior to or outside of your employment with the City of San Rafael.
Tutorials on How to Register and File a Claim for SDI or PFL
- SDI Online Tutorial Claimant Registration
- Filing a Disability Claim
- Filing a Paid Family Leave Care Claim
- Filing a Paid Family Leave Bonding Claim
- Paid Family Leave Brochure
Other Questions? Ask EDD.
Long Term Disability (LTD) - This insurance is administered through CIGNA and pays benefits only if you are unable to work for 90 days or more. LTD pays up to a maximum percentage of pre-disability income as established in your MOU. Benefits may be reduced by other payments you receive, such as SDI, sick leave or other salary continuation.
Integration of Disability Benefits
Integration is a method of combining your paid time off (accruals) with disability benefits during a medical leave of absence. State Disability Insurance (SDI), Paid Family Leave (PFL), and Workers' Compensation (for non-safety employees) all provide partial wage replacement during a medical leave of absence. It is unlawful to receive disability benefits AND a full paycheck. Your total compensation (paycheck + disability) CANNOT exceed 100% of your standard base salary.
As soon as you receive a notice of benefits for SDI and/or PFL (statement and/or debit card), you must provide a copy of your statement to Payroll for the purpose of integrating funds with leave accruals. *Typically you will receive a new statement biweekly or monthly, so this will be a recurring responsibility during your leave of absence. *