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Leave of Absence Programs

Eligible employees may request a leave of absence to address certain family responsibilities, health reasons, personal circumstances or professional obligations.

TCNJ complies with federal and state laws, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission Administrative Code, Board Policy, and contractual obligations in making leave of absence determinations.

Please review the information below regarding the College’s Leave of Absence programs.

If you have any questions, please email the Office of Human Resources at deleona@tcnj.edu; monterol@tcnj.edu; or bishopc@tcnj.edu.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law, provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave that protects you from negative impacts to your job when you take time off or a leave of absence for any of the following reasons:
    • Your own serious medical condition
    • Prenatal medical care or incapacity due to pregnancy and post delivery
    • Time to bond with your new baby or newly placed adopted or foster child
    • Qualifying activities (exigencies) related to a family member’s military active duty
    • A serious injury or illness of a family member who is a current member of the armed forces or a veteran

New Jersey Family Leave and Federal Family and Medical Leave (NJFLA)

  • The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave entitlement to eligible employees for the following reasons:
    • The birth of a child
    • Adoption of a child
    • To care for a spouse/civil union partner, son/daughter, parent, parent-in-law, or a person in a “parental relationship” with a serious health condition.

Maternity or Paternity Leave of Absence

Paid Time off During a Leave of Absence

Possible pay continuation options during leave include:

 

Sick Time Off Accrued leave will be exhausted when leave is due to employee’s health condition
Vacation Time Off Optional
Compensatory Time Off Optional

New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance

  • After exhausting accrued sick time, the employee will no longer be paid by The College of New Jersey.
  • Employees who have exhausted accrued sick time may apply for disability insurance through the State of New Jersey.
  • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) To learn about the eligibility requirements and the application process view the state website, here: State of New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance website page.
  • While on an unpaid leave of absence from The College of New Jersey:
    • Employees will not earn pension service credit
    • Employees will not receive or make pension contributions
    • Employees will not earn vacation or sick accruals.
  • Please note:
    • This process is not managed by TCNJ’s Office of Human Resources.
    • You are required to follow the procedures specified on the State of New Jersey Temporary Disability website or contact a state of NJ customer service representative at 609-292-7060.

New Jersey Family Leave Insurance

  • Family Leave Insurance (FLI): To learn about the eligibility requirements and the application process, please view the state website here: State of New Jersey Family Leave Insurance website.
  • While on an unpaid leave of absence from The College of New Jersey:
    • Employees will not earn pension service credit
    • Employees will not receive or make pension contributions
    • Employees will not earn vacation or sick accruals.
  • Please note:
    • This process is not managed by TCNJ’s Office of Human Resources.
    • You are required to follow the procedures specified on the State of New Jersey Family Leave Insurance website or contact a state of NJ customer service representative at 609-292-7060.

Health Benefits Coverage During an Unpaid Leave of Absence

  • To continue medical, prescription drug, and dental coverage, you are required to pay the premium.
  • The Office of Human Resources will inform you of your premium payments when your leave of absence application is approved.
  • You are responsible for sending payment for your premiums by the first of each calendar month while you are on a leave of absence.
  • Failure to pay the required premium will result in termination of your health insurance.

 

  • Leave of Absence Due to Illness and Family Leave While Under an Approved FMLA Leave of Absence
    • You will be responsible for your usual medical, prescription drug and dental insurance deductions for the six pay periods of leave without pay. During FMLA leave, TCNJ is required to maintain the your health insurance as long as you pay your employee premium.

 

  • For Personal Leave of Absence Without Pay – Leave is not an Approved FMLA or NJFLA Leave of Absence
  • You will be responsible for the entire medical and prescription drug premiums (your share and the employer share) for up to six pay periods. You will not be eligible to continue dental insurance during a personal leave of absence.

 

Continuation of Coverage Under COBRA

  • If coverage with TCNJ ends while you are on leave, continuation of coverage is offered under COBRA for up to 18 months.
  • You will receive a notice about continuation of coverage under COBRA at the time your coverage end.
  • When you return to active status, health coverage will be reinstated so long as enrollment forms are submitted within 60 days of your return to work.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

Notification

  • Please provide at least 30 days’ notice, if you know in advance of your need for a leave of absence.
  • If you learn of your need for a leave of absence fewer than 30 days ahead of your anticipated leave of absence date, please request the leave of absence as soon as you are able.
  • You are not required to inform your supervisor of details associated with your health circumstances, or those of your family member.

Required Documentation

  • If your leave of absence request is for your own health condition, a family member’s health condition, or for the arrival of a new child, you will need to submit a Certification Of Health Provider form.
  • The form must be returned to HR within 15 days of receipt.
  • The form must also be completed no earlier than 30 days before the leave start date. Any submission before 30 days will expire and will need to completed by physician again.
  • Medical conditions can change and sometimes you don’t know how much FMLA leave you will need to take. You and your (or your family member’s) health care provider need to provide the best estimate of the length of time or frequency of absences you will need. If you require more or less leave than you originally thought, you can always provide an updated certification.
  • Please note: If your absence is for a personal leave of absence, then an approval from your supervisor and divisional Vice President are required.

Returning to Work At the End of a Leave of Absence

  • If your leave is for your medical condition, you will be required to provide a Medical Release Certification.
  • A release to return to work is not required if the Leave of Absence is for a family member’s health condition.
  • Any change in dependent status that occurred during the leave or layoff must be reported:
    • Within 60 days of your return if you did not continue your benefits during your leave or Within 60 days of the event if you did continue your benefits during your leave.

Voluntary Furlough Program

Employees wishing to participate in the Voluntary Furlough Program may do so by completing the appropriate paperwork and obtaining the approval of their administrative or academic department.

All forms should be forwarded to Human Resources for processing.

  • Application Procedures
    • Employees who want to apply for a voluntary furlough should submit an Employee Request for Voluntary Furlough Form to his/her immediate supervisor.
    • The request should be specific as to the time period and the type of furlough, i.e., hours of the workday, days of the week, and weeks of the month.
    • Requests for voluntary furloughs must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the desired start date.
    • All requests will be processed on a first come, first served basis.
    • The immediate supervisor will review the furlough request and forward it, along with a recommendation for approval or denial, to the second level supervisor. (Every consideration will be given to approve requests for furlough, except in instances when the employee’s absence would be detrimental to the operation of their particular area of responsibility, or would result in the need for temporary help or overtime.)
    • Denials of furlough requests by a supervisor must be supported by a written explanation to the second level supervisor.
    • The second level supervisor will review the furlough request and the immediate supervisor’s recommendation. He/she will indicate approval or denial of the request and forward it to the appropriate executive staff person for final determination.
    • Upon approval for the voluntary furlough request, a copy of the request will be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources. The copy should contain all of the specific times that the furlough will be in effect.
  • Please note:
    • If there is any change in the details of the furlough, it is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor to notify the Office of Human Resources in writing of any modifications.
    • The Office of Human Resources will maintain records of all authorized voluntary furloughs in the employees’ personnel files.
    • For more information on the Voluntary Furlough Program, see Fact Sheet 60.
    • Specific questions regarding the voluntary furlough program can be directed to the Office of Human Resources.

Donated Leave Program 

The Donated Leave Program is a voluntary program that enables employees to help co-workers affected by a catastrophic health condition or injury, or to assist employees who are caring for a family member with a catastrophic health condition, by donating sick or vacation days.

To be eligible for donations, an employee must obtain Human Resources approval and the donated time must be for a health condition that has an anticipated absence of at least 60 work days.

The maximum that may be donated to any one employee, from all sources, is 260 days.

Medical verification from a physician or other licensed healthcare provider describing the nature, severity, and the anticipated duration of the illness must be provided on the appropriate Donated Leave Program Application Form.

To donate accrued paid time off, please download the form, here:  Donated Leave Program Donor Transfer Certification.

Once you download the form, you will be  able to update the document electronically.

Donated Leave Recipient Eligibility

  • An employee shall be eligible to apply for donated leave provided he/she meets the following criteria:
    • TCNJ employment of at least one year of continuous service.
    • Exhaustion of all accrued leave time including compensatory time, sick leave, vacation leave and administrative leave.
    • An employee suffers from catastrophic health condition or injury which requires absence from work for a period of at least 60 work days.
    • An employee is needed to care for an immediate family member who is suffering from a catastrophic health condition or injury.
    • An employee requires absence from work due to the donation of an organ.

Donated Leave Donor Eligibility

  • A leave donor must meet the following criteria and requirements:
    • An irrevocable donation of one to 30 days to any one recipient in whole days.
    • Donor must have available (after donation of leave time) at least 20 days of accrued sick leave and 12 days of accrued vacation leave.
    • Certification that no solicitation and/or acceptance of any money, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value or compensation of any kind has been provided, directly or indirectly, to the donor.

Donated Leave Procedures

  • Requests are subject to approval via the Recipient Affidavit and Donor Transfer Certification Form.
  • In the event the employee is unable to complete the Recipient Affidavit Form, the employee’s designated family may complete the form on behalf of the employee. A supervisor may also initiate this process on behalf of the employee.
  • Once approved, the donor’s leave account will be reduced by the number of days that are donated via the Donor Transfer Certification Form.
  • The eligible recipient’s leave account will be credited with the donated time upon approval of the Recipient Affidavit Form.
  • Any unused, donated leave time shall be returned to the leave donor, on a prorated basis, upon the leave recipient’s return to work.
  • Recipients are not eligible to receive Temporary Disability Insurance while participating in the Donated Leave Program.

Notes on the Donated Leave Program

  • Once an employee has exhausted all benefits from the Donated Leave Program, the employee may apply for New Jersey temporary disability insurance.
  • More information regarding the Donated Leave Program may be found under N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1.22.
  • If you have any questions regarding the Donated Leave Program, please contact hr@tcnj.edu.

Bereavement Leave 

  • Employees who need to take time off from work to attend the funeral of an immediate family member may use sick leave to be paid for the time off.
  • Please notify your supervisor if you are in need of bereavement leave.

Jury Duty

  • Employees shall be granted leave with pay for the time required to attend jury duty that is scheduled during work hours. Time required for jury duty includes actual time spent in commuting.
  • Employees who are required to attend jury duty during the work shift immediately preceding or following his or her scheduled work shift for the same day shall be excused from the scheduled work shift.
  • Employees shall be granted up to their normal number of work hours in any one day to attend jury duty.
  • Employees are required to submit written verification of attendance signed by a representative of the court.

Military Leave

The College of New Jersey provides Military Leave of Absence for non unit staff members, classified Civil Service employees and unclassified employees.

Classified Civil Service employees must consult their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements regarding additional provisions for military leave.

Military leave is granted to eligible employees who have been called to active duty aside from their regular annual training obligations.

  • Military Leave for Active Duty – Organized Militia and National Guard
    • Any full time or temporary employee who has been employed at The College of New Jersey for one year or more, and who is a member of the organized militia or National Guard of the military, shall be entitled to a leave of absence with pay up to 90 work days in the aggregate in any calendar year for all days which he or she is engaged in any State or Federal active duty.
    • Active duty shall not include inactive duty training such as weekend drills.
    • Any Active Duty Leave for a full-time employee that has been an employee for less than one year shall be without pay.
  • Military Leave for Reservists (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine or Coast Guard, National Guard of any states other than New Jersey)
    • Any full time or temporary employee who has been employed at The College Of New Jersey for one year or more, and who is a member of the organized militia or National Guard of the military, shall be entitled to a leave of absence with pay up to 30 work days in the aggregate in any calendar year for all days which he or she is engaged in any Federal active duty.
    • Federal active duty shall not include inactive duty training such as weekend drills.
  • Employee Responsibility
    • Employees must produce their official military orders to the Human Resources Department immediately upon receipt to ensure the leave/payroll information is processed in a timely manner.
    • A copy of the orders must be given to the employee’s manager within one week of receipt of orders from the military.
    • Employees who have military obligations for training exercises and/or annual drills must submit an annual schedule to their manager by December of the previous year.
    • Changes to the annual/drill schedule must be submitted within 45 days in advance of the proposed change.

Sabbatical Leave Policy

  • Sabbatical Leave Overview
    • The sabbatical leave program at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is intended to provide full-time faculty members and librarians with the opportunity to grow professionally as accomplished and engaged teacher-scholars and librarian-scholars.
    • It is designed to foster the broad range of activities in which teacher-scholars and librarian-scholars engage, such as scholarship, teaching, advising, and service, as well as to support new directions or a shift in the focus of the applicant’s academic career.
    • A sabbatical enables a faculty member or librarian to take leave from her or his normal duties of teaching or librarianship, scholarship, academic advising, and service for a period of either one semester or one academic year.
    • The purpose of a sabbatical leave, as defined in the most recent American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union contract, is to enable the faculty member or librarian to pursue “a substantial project designed to yield publishable results and/or enhance competency as a scholar or teacher.
    • Sabbatical leaves may also be granted for the pursuit of an accredited terminal degree program in an appropriate field of study” (Article XXVII).
  • Sabbatical Eligibility
    • All full-time tenured faculty members (including Demonstration Teachers and Demonstration Specialists at the A. H. Moore School) and librarians who, as of June 30 prior to the year for which the leave is requested, have completed a period of six (6) or more consecutive years of service at a College/University, shall be eligible to apply for a sabbatical leave.
    • Sabbatical leaves are granted no more frequently than once every seven (7) years.
  • Terms of Sabbatical Leave
    • Half-year leaves shall be at the rate of full salary.Full-year leaves shall be at the rate of three quarters (3/4) salary.
    • For librarians, half-year leaves shall be five (5) months, and full-year leaves ten (10) months.
    • The period of the leave shall be credited for increment purposes, where such credit is relevant.
    • A faculty member or librarian on sabbatical leave shall be entitled to the continuation of pension and insurance programs benefits as provided in the applicable plans.
    • Each faculty member or librarian accepting a leave must sign a written statement obligating him or her to continue to serve for at least one (1) year after expiration of the term of the leave, unless waived by the President of the College/University.
    • Faculty members or librarians on such leave are permitted to receive additional compensation in the form of fellowships, government grants, and honoraria for purposes related to the leave and part-time employment directly related to the project at an institution where they are in residence for the purpose of study and research in addition to the partial salary from the College/University, provided that total compensation from all sources does not exceed such faculty members’ full salary at the College/University. The leave may not be used to accept paid employment during the period of the leave except as provided above.
    • Faculty or librarians on sabbatical leave may engage in outside employment if it does not conflict with the purpose of the sabbatical leave or N.J.A.C. 9: 2-10.1 et seq. and the faculty member report the outside employment before going on leave.
    • Additional information pertaining to the Sabbatical Leave Process can be found on the Academic Affairs website: http://www.tcnj.edu/~academic/research/.

Contact

Human Resources
Administrative Services Building, Room 101
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

609.771.2282
hr@tcnj.edu
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