Thinking about starting a family?
Planning a maternity or paternity leave of absence can sound overwhelming but we can help you prepare for this exciting milestone.
We are also here to help you all year long, just call our office and we will be glad to set up an appointment to discuss questions you may have.
In the meantime, here are a few items you should review first…
A few key items you should know:
- Your Request for Leave letter should be sent to Human Resource 60 days prior to the start of your leave of absence. Note: It is always wiser to take the minimum amount of time and extend your leave of absence.
- Your Request for an Extension of your child rearing leave of absence must be submitted to Human Resources 60 days prior to your return. If you do not return within your 12 week FMLA period, you can not return until the beginning of the next marking period.
- How long can I stay on a child rearing leave of absence? As per contract: “A child rearing leave shall be granted upon request to any tenured employee for a period which shall not extend beyond the second June 30th for twelve (12) month employees, and August 31st for ten (10) month employees, after the date on which the leave is granted. All such leaves shall end on the last day of a marking period, or the last day of the school year in the case of the last marking period.” Please review Article XV-Extended Leave of Absence for complete language. (i.e. if you start your paid disability period prior to or on June 29, that counts for 1 year)
- How many days do you have in your sick day bank? If you are unsure call Lisa Anne Foglia, Payroll & Benefits Dept., at (732) 613-6758. Sick days are used during your disability leave of absence period which is usually 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after (8 weeks for caesarian section). Sick days are applied only toward days that school is in session (do not include non school/workdays, i.e. winter/spring breaks, etc.).
- Physicians Letter – You will be required to submit a letter from your doctor stating your leave of absence period. This letter should included your due date and dates of time period of disability period, or the amount of days within the desability period you want to use.
- Disability Insurance – If you carry Prudential Disability Insurance, contact Prudential Rep. Cindy Cooper at (800) 727-3414 to notify her of your intended leave of absence and with any questions you may have regarding your plan.
- Health Benefits for your child – You only have 30 days after the birth of your child to add them to your health insurance. Failure to report the birth within 30 days will result in loss of health care benefit until the next Open Enrollment period. Contact Lisa Anne Foglia in the Payroll & Benefits dept. at (732) 613-6758 to notify the district as soon as possible after the birth of your child. You will then receive a Group Enrollment/Change Request form* to complete and return. For verification purposes this form should be sent by certified, return receipt mail. Official documentation (copies of birth certificate and social security card), if unavailable, can follow later as long as you initiate the paperwork within the 30 day period.
*This form is also available on the Staff Portal website (staff.ebnet.org) under Financial Services/Benefits Information & Forms/Health Benefits/Health Benefits Enrollment/Change Form
- Heath Benefits for you – a mother’s health care benefits will remain in effect for three months starting the first day of your unpaid leave. Please note: This also counts for summer months for 10 month employees. If you COBRA your benefits you are eligible to return to the district’s health care plan on the first day back from your leave. However, you must complete and return a Group Enrollment/Change Request form* within 30 days of your return to work. Failure to do so will result in loss of health care benefit until the next Open Enrollment period.
Additional information you may not be aware of:
- EBBOE/EBEA Contract – Article XV-Extended Leave of Absence/C. Child Rearing Leave can be found here and on the districts Staff Portal website (staff.ebnet.org)
- Continuation of Health Benefits – Federal law commonly referred to as COBRA requires most employers sponsoring group health plans to offer employees and their families the opportunity to purchase a temporary extension of health benefit coverage. COBRA information if needed is available through the district’s Payroll/Employee Benefits Department.
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Under Federal law you may obtain up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period. During this unpaid leave, you are entitled to the medical coverage provided under the negotiated contract, whether or not you carry the district’s insurance. As per Public Law 2011, C.78, all employees enrolled to receive health benefits must pay for a portion of these benefits. Do not count non work days (spring/winter break or summer for 10 month employees.) You may start in June and then continue this coverage in September (i.e. last 3 weeks in June with the balance 9 weeks starting September 1.)
- NJ Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act (NJFMLIA) – This state law provides up to six weeks of state payment in lieu of salary to employees caring for newborns, newly adopted children or caring for sick family members. This starts the first day of your unpaid leave of absence. Please visit www.nj.gov/labor for additional information about eligibility and the timeline for submitting a claim. (The State distributes these payments to you in one lump sum on a debit card.)
- NEA & NJEA Membership – If you carry a supplemental insurance plan through a NEA or NJEA sponsored carrier (i.e. NEA Insurance plans, Prudential Disability Insurance plans) you may be required to notify NJEA of your non-active status. NJEA will provide you with your obligated dues amount to keep your status active. You may contact NJEA at (609) 599-4561 to find out more information.
Information to Review:
- Sample Letter to Request Maternity Child Rearing Leave
- Sample Letter to Request an Maternity Child Rearing Leave Extenstion
- East Brunswick Public School District Calendar 2017-18, revision 5/25/17
- Maternity Leave – FAQ’s NJ FLIA/Prudential Insurance
- Your Guide to Family Leave Insurance in New Jersey
- Prudential Disability
- New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)
- Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)
- Educators Insurance Services – Prudential Disability Insurance
- NJEA Growing Families – discounts on services and child care available to NJEA members.
Please send your draft of your Request for Leave letter to the EBEA office for review, prior to sending it to Human Resources. We are here to assist you, and to ensure you are understanding your request for a leave of absence correctly.
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