ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE BENEFITS
Attendance and leave policies for M/C employees are specified in the "Attendance Rules for Employees in New York State Departments and Institutions" (Parts 27 through 33 of Title 4 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York) and the accompanying manual to these rules, as administered by the Department of Civil Service. The following paragraphs are brief synopses of the detailed rules and regulations. Please note that these discussions apply only to full-time, annual salaried employees in the classified State service.
The basic workweek for full-time annual salaried employees is 40 hours or an approved equivalent work schedule. Alternative work schedules, including staggered hours, flextime, and compressed schedules, are available in a number of agencies. A 1978 executive order (Executive Order No. 68) encourages agencies to consider implementation of such schedules. An appointing authority may reduce the basic workweek, with approval of the Division of the Budget, to 37 ½ hours. This does not preclude an employee from being directed to work additional hours, whether or not eligible for overtime pay.
The official holidays for New York State employees are:
|New Year's Day||Labor Day|
|Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||Columbus Day|
|Lincoln's Birthday||Election Day|
|Washington's Birthday||Veterans' Day|
|Memorial Day||Thanksgiving Day|
|Independence Day||Christmas Day|
Each fiscal year, the State can designate up to two of these days as floating holidays. State offices remain open on such floating holidays and employees who are eligible to observe holidays will, on each of these dates, receive credit for one day of holiday leave. In recent years, Lincoln's Birthday and Election Day have been so designated.
During the First Through Seventh Years of Service
A new full-time, annual-salaried employee is credited with 6 ½ days of vacation after 13 biweekly pay periods with no break in service of more than one year. After that, the employee accumulates vacation at the rate of one-half day per pay period during each year of service through the first seven years. An M/C employee earns bonus vacation days on his or her vacation anniversary date. The number of bonus days earned equals the employee's completed years of continuous service.
More Than Seven Years of Service
Following completion of seven years of service, an M/C employee earns 20 days of vacation for each 26 pay periods. Employees with 20 or more years of continuous service earn additional vacation credits upon completion of each additional 12 months of service, as follows:
|20 - 24||1|
|25 - 29||2|
|30 - 34||4|
|35 or more||5|
Leave of Absence/Resignation
A leave of absence without pay or resignation followed by reinstatement or reemployment in State service within one year does not constitute an interruption of continuous State service for the purpose of determining vacation credits. Unpaid leave for more than six months, however, will not be counted in determining eligibility for additional vacation credits.
Accrued Vacation Payment
In the event of death, retirement, separation from service, or movement to an unclassified position, an employee (or the employee's estate) is paid in cash for up to 30 days of accrued vacation. Employees who leave State service as a result of disciplinary action or resign following disciplinary charges are not eligible for payment. Agencies may require that employees who voluntarily resign provide two weeks notice prior to the last day of work to be eligible for this payment.
On January 1st of each calendar year, an employee's accrued vacation may not exceed 40 days, although total vacation accruals may exceed this limit at other times during the year. An employee who accumulates more than 40 days of vacation credits in a calendar year must use the amount over 40 days or lose it on the last day of the calendar year.
Earning and Accrual
Sick leave is earned and accumulated by two different methods for M/C employees — one method for employees who are enrolled in the M/C Income Protection Plan (IPP), and another method for those not enrolled in the IPP. (See the Disability Coverage section of this handbook for a discussion of disability benefits under the IPP.)
- For Non-IPP Participants:
Employees not enrolled in the M/C Income Protection Plan earn sick leave at the rate of one-half day each biweekly pay period for a total of 13 days per year. Sick leave may be accumulated to a maximum of 200 days. Employees who do not have enough credits to cover an absence due to illness may be advanced up to five days of sick leave (extended sick leave) for personal illness. These days must be repaid as soon as possible following a return to work. Permanent non-probationary employees who have at least one year of State service are eligible for sick leave at half pay after exhausting all leave credits. For each completed six months of State service, the employee may be eligible for one biweekly payroll check at half pay.
- For IPP Participants:
Employees enrolled in the M/C Income Protection Plan are credited with four days of sick leave each six months for a total of eight days per year. Sick leave may be accumulated to a maximum of 200 days. IPP participants are not eligible for sick leave at half pay or extended sick leave since insured short-term and long-term income protection is provided through the IPP.
Use of Sick Leave
An employee may use sick leave for personal illness and visits to a doctor or dentist or other recognized medical practitioner. Additionally, up to 15 days per year may be used for illness or death in the family. Agencies may require satisfactory medical documentation before approving a charge against sick leave.
There is no provision for cash payment for unused sick leave upon separation from State service. However, an employee who retires directly from State service may use up to 200 days of unused sick leave for retirement service credit on a day-to-day basis and up to 200 days to offset the cost of health insurance in retirement. For the latter, the value of unused sick leave is converted to a monthly credit, which is applied toward paying any contribution the employee makes for health insurance for the rest of his or her life.
Pursuant to Section 73 of the Civil Service Law, agencies are authorized to terminate disabled employees after one year of continuous absence, regardless of remaining leave accruals or eligibility for sick leave at half pay. For non-IPP participants, there is no guarantee that any leave benefits will be payable beyond one year. Under the IPP, employees receiving long-term disability benefits can still be terminated after one year of continuous absence, but long-term disability benefits continue to be payable as long as the disability continues.
M/C employees may participate in the Leave Donation Program. This program permits the voluntary donation and receipt of accrued vacation credits for use as sick leave by other employees who, because of long-term personal illness, have exhausted their leave accruals. Donations across agency lines by the donor employee are permitted. Eligibility requirements to participate are available from agency personnel offices.
Pregnancy and childbirth are treated in the same manner as any other disability and in accordance with the above sick leave provisions. An employee, male or female, must be granted, upon request, a leave of absence without pay for child care purposes for up to seven months following delivery. Leave beyond this period may be granted at the discretion of the appointing authority. In cases of adoption, unpaid child care leave for either parent will be granted for a total of up to seven months. Absences for child care and adoption purposes may be charged to vacation, overtime compensatory time, or personal leave credits. However, use of leave credits does not extend the seven-month period. (See Appendix C for details.)
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires the granting of leave to employees for serious family or personal illness or in connection with the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care. Employees are eligible for coverage if they have been employed by New York State for at least one cumulative year and have performed a minimum of 1250 hours of service during the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the date the leave is requested to begin. FMLA leave is unpaid leave. However, an M/C employee may elect to charge appropriate leave credits pursuant to provisions of the Attendance Rules. Eligible employees may take leave for up to 12 workweeks in a calendar year for the following reasons:
- the birth of the employee's child and to care for the child;
- the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
- to care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
- a serious health condition that renders the employee incapable of performing the functions of his or her position.
Employees are entitled to continuation of health and certain other insurances during any period of FMLA leave.
For further information on the FMLA, to determine whether eligibility requirements are met, or to obtain an application for family and medical leave, employees should contact their personnel office.
An employee is credited upon appointment to State service, and each year thereafter on the anniversary of such appointment, with five days of personal leave. It may be used for such activities as the conduct of personal business or religious holiday observance, and may also be used as vacation. Personal leave not used within a year is forfeited.
It is essential that an employee report any job-related accident immediately to his or her supervisor and/or to the personnel office. Failure to do so could result in loss of benefits available to the employee for absence due to an occupational injury.
Employees who sustain job-related injuries may be eligible for benefits under the New York State Workers' Compensation Law as described in the Disability Coverage section of this handbook. In addition, depending on the date of injury, employees may qualify for benefits provided by New York State as an employer.
Workers' Compensation benefits for accidents or injuries that occurred prior to September 1, 1994 are determined based of the date of injury. For accidents and injuries that occurred on or after September 1, 1994, employees are entitled to use their accrued leave credits from the first day of disability. Subsequently, benefits under the Income Protection Plan or sick leave at half pay or leave without pay may be available as appropriate. The accrued leave credits used will be restored to the employee if the Workers' Compensation Board determines that the period of disability is covered by the Workers' Compensation Law. Any restoration of accruals will be prorated to reflect the wage award issued by the Workers' Compensation Board.
Section 71 of Civil Service Law entitles employees who have suffered a work-related injury or illness to a leave of absence for a cumulative period of one year. For injuries that were sustained as a result of an assault, a leave of absence for up to 24 months is provided.
A detailed explanation of the rights and responsibilities of employees wishing to avail themselves of these benefits is available from agency personnel offices.
Employees are also eligible for leaves for a variety of other purposes, including Civil Service examinations, jury duty, civil defense duty, ordered military duty, bone marrow and organ donation, and professional examinations and meetings.
With respect to attendance at professional examinations, meetings, conferences or seminars, M/C employees may be allowed time off from work without charge to leave credits at the discretion of the appointing authority. This policy neither limits nor guarantees the amount of time that may be approved for such purposes.
The Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule (VRWS) program permits employees to trade a percentage of income for an equivalent amount of time off. Employees may reduce their work schedules and salaries from a minimum of five percent up to a maximum of 30 percent, with agency approval. Participating employees suffer no reduction in benefits for health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, the Income Protection Plan, or survivors' benefits, although leave accruals are prorated. For the purposes of general salary increases and performance advances, the employee's basic annual salary is treated as though it had not been reduced.
Depending upon work schedule and pay basis, employees who work part-time may be eligible for some of the attendance and leave benefits described above. Specific information is available from agency personnel offices.