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Employee Handbook

Leaves of Absence

Jury Duty and Bereavement are benefits available to all staff whether or not they work 1,000 hours or more per year.

Jury Duty
In accordance with state law, First Parish will pay employees their regular salary for the first three days of jury duty. After the third day, First Parish will pay employees the difference between what the employee receives from the state for her/his jury duty and the employee’s regular compensation for up to three weeks. Days off because of jury duty will not be subtracted from the employee’s sick or vacation time.

Bereavement
Up to 3 days per year for a death in an employee’s family, or for the death of another person with whom the employee has had a close familial-type relationship, will be paid.

Family Medical Leave
A family leave of absence is available to an employee who has worked 1 year or more for First Parish and who has worked at least 1,000 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the leave.

A family leave of absence may be granted for:

  • The birth and care of a newborn child of the employee
  • Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  • Caring for an immediate family member (spouse/partner, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
  • Medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition

A serious health condition is defined to be an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

A family medical leave is available for a maximum of twelve weeks. A request for family leave must be made in writing. It is requested that adequate notice be given to ensure a smooth transition for First Parish.

An employee who has worked one year or more for First Parish and who has worked at least 1,000 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the leave is entitled to eight weeks of paid leave that can be used during this period. Prior to going on paid leave, the employee is expected to exhaust all accrued sick and vacation time. If an employee’s sick and vacation time, in combination with the 8 weeks paid leave, does not reach 12 weeks, the remainder may be taken as unpaid leave.

If medical leave is being requested for a serious health condition, the leave may be taken as consecutive weeks, intermittently (e.g., two days a week off), or on a schedule of reduced hours (e.g., working four hours per day), depending upon the recommendation of the health care provider and in coordination with the supervisor. Regardless of how it is taken, it can total no more than 12 workweeks.

To request a medical leave, the employee must provide a doctor’s certification within 15 days of the request. This certification should provide the following information:

  • The date on which the serious health condition commenced
  • The probable duration of the condition
  • The appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider and as allowed by law
  • A statement that the employee is unable to perform the functions of his/her position
  • The expected duration of the leave
  • The dates of treatment, if leave is requested for planned medical treatment

The employee is responsible for paying for the cost of the medical certification and for making sure the certification is provided to First Parish.

While on any type of paid leave, the employee shall continue to accrue benefits (with the exception of additional sick and vacation days) and seniority, and continue to be provided regular health coverage. No benefits are accrued or earned during unpaid leave, but an employee may elect to continue health coverage at his or her own expense for any period of unpaid leave.

Upon returning from a family leave, the employee will be reinstated to a similar position. The placement of the returning employee is at the sole discretion of the Parish Committee.

It is not intended that a family leave of absence be immediately followed by a personal leave of absence or an unpaid summer vacation.

Parental Leave
All full-time employees after 3 months of employment are eligible for up to 8 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or placement of a child under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled, or for adoption. Under this leave, employees are eligible for up to 8 weeks of paid leave. This leave may run concurrently with a family medical leave. If both parents work for First Parish, they shall only be entitled to 8 weeks of leave in the aggregate for the birth or adoption of the same child. While on any type of paid leave, the employee shall continue to accrue benefits (with the exception of additional sick and vacation days) and seniority, and continue to be provided regular health coverage.

Employees must provide at least 2 weeks’ notice of the anticipated date of departure and of the employee’s intention to return. This leave runs concurrently with the Family Medical Leave.

Part time employees working at least 1000 hours in a calendar year should refer to the Family Medical Leave section.

630 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE   ♦   ARLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02476   ♦   781-648-3799

Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

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