Pursuant to the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO), any employee who has been employed at the University for at least six (6) months and who regularly works eight (8) or more hours per week on a regular basis in the city of San Francisco may request, in writing, a flexible or predictable working arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities for the following:
- A child or children under the age of 18
- A person or persons with a serious health condition in a family relationship with the employee
- A parent of the employee, aged 65 or older
Please submit the written request, using this Request Form, to the Leave Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Leave Manager will meet with the employee within 21 days of receiving the written request. Within 21 days of that meeting, the University will provide a written response to the employee. USF will determine if a flexible arrangement can be made that meets both your needs and the needs of the University. The employee may request reconsideration if the request is denied.
An unpaid personal leave of absence may be granted if business conditions permit and provided there are sufficient reasons such as:
- An employee has an illness or injury that exceeds the time granted by University policy or required by law
- An employee must care for a family member who is not covered by University policy or law
- An employee needs or wants to stay home with a newborn or newly adopted child beyond the period allowed by PDL or FMLA/CFRA
- An employee is not eligible for family medical leave
- An employee’s personal reasons
Requesting an Unpaid Personal Leave of Absence
Employees can initiate a request for an unpaid personal leave of absence through USFWorks - available from your myUSF dashboard. Employees must also submit a Leave of Absence Request Form (available on the HR Forms web page) to the human resources' leave manager. Please note:
- Sick and vacation time must be exhausted before applying for an unpaid personal leave of absence.
- An unpaid personal leave of absence may be granted in the event of physical or mental disability, pregnancy, adoption, education, or other extenuating circumstances.
- Employees must reimburse USF for their health insurance contribution in order to continue receiving benefits.
- Supervisors, department heads, and appropriate Vice Presidents/Deans must approve or deny the request.
- If the leave is due to medical reasons, employees must submit a physician's verification of illness, disability, and ability to return to full duty to their supervisor and to the human resources’ leave manager.
- If the leave is granted, employees may or may not be reinstated in their former positions, subject to the availability of those positions. If reinstatement is not possible, they may apply for other positions for which they may be qualified.
Vacation/Sick Leave and Benefits
Unless otherwise required by law, vacation accruals and sick leave, if appropriate, must be exhausted before employees apply for a personal leave of absence without pay. If the desired leave extends beyond the vacation and sick leave accruals, employees may request an unpaid personal leave of absence in writing to their supervisor. An unpaid personal leave is granted at the discretion of management, and all requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Although benefits coverage remains intact for employees on vacation or sick leave, employees on an unpaid leave of absence must contact the benefits team at email@example.com to continue their benefits, which will be paid for by employees themselves. If benefits coverage ends, employees may be eligible to continue insurance coverage under COBRA.
The number of employees on unpaid personal leaves of absence at any one time shall be subject to the operational needs of the University with respect to its efficient and orderly operation. Benefits and service credit will not be accrued towards vacation or sick time for the duration of the leave. Employees returning from a leave of absence during the course of a calendar year will receive only a pro-rated portion of vacation or sick time benefits for the duration of that year. Employees who fail to report for work at the end of an approved unpaid personal leave may be deemed to have voluntarily resigned.
Bereavement leave may be granted to employees due to the death of an immediate family member (i.e. spouse, RDP, legacy LDA, children, parents, sisters, brothers, legal guardians, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, grandchildren, or any other relative living in the family household) as follows:
- Up to three (3) days with pay, unless there are unusual business needs or staffing requirements.
- Up to five (5) days with pay, if employees are required to travel out of Northern California to attend a funeral.
- Bereavement leave will be based on the regularly scheduled hours worked per pay period.
After notifying and discussing arrangements with their supervisors, employees should report the time appropriately in USFWorks. Employees do not need to submit any additional forms to initiate bereavement leave. For detailed instructions on how to report bereavement leave, visit the USFWorks training web page.
Employees may take additional vacation time or an unpaid leave of absence if approved by their supervisor. Employees who wish to take an unpaid leave of absence after the approved bereavement leave should contact the Leave Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org and submit a Leave of Absence Request Form (available on the HR Forms web page).
Jury duty leave includes jury duty service in addition to the preliminary examination and interviews that are required prior to such service.
Regular, full-time employees, including those in their probationary period, will receive their regular rate of pay for the first ten (10) regularly scheduled workdays each time that they report for jury duty service. Employees may request to use accrued vacation time or leave without pay for jury duty service that lasts beyond ten (10) workdays. When asked by the court as to how many days the University will pay for jury duty, employees should state that the University policy allows payment for ten (10) workdays only.
Employees may retain jury duty pay provided by the courts as reimbursement for their out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., mileage, parking, meals, etc.). Employees can record the time that they spent in jury duty service in USFWorks (visit the USFWorks training web page for detailed instructions). Additionally, employees reporting for jury duty must provide a copy of the summons to their supervisors.
On any regularly scheduled workday that employees on jury duty status are not required to report to the court, they are required to report to their regular place of work.
Union employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for information on jury duty leave.
In accordance with the Veterans Reemployment Rights Act and state law, the University of San Francisco honors and respects the rights and obligations of its employees to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States and will allow for employees to serve in that capacity. Total military leave time may not exceed five years during employment, except in special circumstances.
Employees who enter the Armed Services or attend extended training as part of a Reserve or National Guard obligation may be paid for any accrued vacation time during their service time. When employees receive orders for any active military duty (including any call to active duty), they must advise their supervisor and Human Resources immediately of the pending absence, unless military necessity requires otherwise or if providing notification would be impossible or unreasonable. In such an event, employees must advise their supervisor and Human Resources of the need for military leave as soon as possible after becoming aware of the need for the leave. Employees on military leave may elect to continue their health plan coverage at their own expense for up to 24 months or during the period of service, whichever is shorter. Supplemental military pay for Reserve or National Guard active duty or training will be paid by the University for up to two (2) weeks in a twelve (12) month period.
Reservists are allowed two weeks per year for training. Differential pay may be paid for up to two weeks of annual reserve active duty. Differential pay is the difference between employees’ basic salary and the total base pay from their military unit. As an option, employees may charge time for active duty training to accrued vacation and thereby retain their full military pay. Employees cannot take differential pay and vacation pay.
Employees who enter into active duty are entitled to return to their previously held positions following discharge or release from active duty, with no loss of seniority, status, or pay (subject to the exceptions and qualifications set forth in the law). Employees who enter the Military Reserve components or National Guard for initial training of not less than twelve (12) consecutive weeks or who are called into active duty service will be granted a leave of absence and will be entitled to reinstatement to their positions with no loss of seniority, status, or pay. Subject to the exceptions and qualifications set forth in the law, employees who are members of a Military Reserve component or the National Guard shall be excused from work (if scheduled) to perform weekend duty.
Reinstatement from Military Leave
In order to be eligible for reinstatement at USF, employees must have followed the above procedures (i.e. provided advance notice of the military obligation) and have completed their service honorably. In general, employees returning from military leave will be reemployed in the position and seniority level that they would have attained had there been no military leave of absence. If necessary, USF will provide training to assist employees in the transition back to the workforce.
Employees will accumulate seniority for the period of service in the Armed Forces and retain previously accumulated benefits, subject to the rules and regulations of those plans. During any period of paid leave, the University will continue normal contributions toward the cost of benefits. When military leave is unpaid, the cost of benefits will be paid by the employees. In addition, employees will be eligible for any general increases in pay or any approved benefits that occurred during their absence. Employees returning from military leave are entitled to any unused, accrued vacation benefits that they had at the time the military leave began. Upon reinstatement, employees will accrue vacation benefits at the rate that they would have attained if no military leave had been taken.
Employees who are absent from work 30 days or less or who are absent to take a fitness exam must report to work at the beginning of the first regularly scheduled workday following eight hours or more after returning home. If employees have served 31 to 180 days, they must apply for re-employment within 14 days after completing service. If employees have served 181 days or more, they must apply for re-employment within 90 days after completing service. As with other leaves of absence, failure to return to work or to re-apply within applicable time limits may result in loss of reemployment rights. Temporary employees may not be eligible for reinstatement following military leave and reinstatement may not be required for other employees in some circumstances.
The University encourages all employees to fulfill their civic responsibilities, which includes voting in official public elections. All employees should be able to vote either before or after regularly assigned work hours. In the event that employees do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote in a statewide election, employees may take off enough working time to enable voting. Under these circumstances, in accordance with state law, employees will be permitted up to two hours of paid time at the beginning or end of the work day to vote on the Election Day. Employees shall give at least two days’ notice to their supervisor that time off to vote is needed.
The University recognizes and values the importance of a healthy and safe home environment for all of its employees and their families. USF prohibits discrimination or retaliation against an employee if they are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault and if the employee takes time off from work to help ensure the employee’s health, safety, or welfare, or that of the employee’s child by obtaining: a temporary restraining order, a restraining order, or other court assistance. In addition, employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault may take time off to:
- Seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault;
- Obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault;
- Obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence or sexual assault; or
- Participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence or sexual assault, including temporary or permanent relocation.
Unless notice is not feasible, a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault is requested to give USF reasonable advance notice of the intention to take time off for any of the above purposes. An employee can use any accrued vacation while on leave.
In the event that an unscheduled event or emergency occurs which requires your immediate absence, please notify Human Resources before leaving USF premises. When such an event occurs, the employee, within a reasonable time after the absence, is expected to provide USF with one of the following:
- A police report indicating that the employee was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault;
- A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator of an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting attorney that the employee appeared in court; or
- Documentation from a medical professional, domestic violence advocate or advocate for victims of sexual assault, health care provider, or counselor that the employee was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting from an act of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Confidentiality of the situation will be maintained to the greatest extent possible if you request time off for these reasons. For more information, please contact the Leave Manager at email@example.com.
The University prohibits discrimination against an employee who wishes to take time off from work for the purpose of attending certain judicial proceedings. USF will allow an employee to be absent from work in order to attend judicial proceedings related to a crime if that employee is:
- A victim of a crime
- An immediate family member of a victim (including spouse, child, stepchild, brother, step-brother, sister, step-sister, mother, step-mother, father, and step-father)
- A registered domestic partner of a victim
- The child of a registered domestic partner of a victim.
Before an employee may be absent from work for this purpose, the employee must give USF a copy of the notice of each scheduled proceeding that is provided to the victim by the agency responsible for providing notice, unless advance notice is not feasible. When advance notice is not feasible, the employee must provide USF with documentation evidencing the employee’s attendance at a judicial proceeding within a reasonable time after the absence. Documentation may come from any of the following:
- The court or government agency setting the hearing
- The district attorney or prosecuting attorney's office
- The victim/witness office that is advocating on behalf of the victim
An employee may elect to use accrued vacation.
No employee will be discharged or in any manner discriminated against in compensation or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment, including, but not limited to, the loss of seniority or precedence because of an absence protected by this law.
An employee working in California, who is a registered volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer or emergency rescue personnel, is allowed to take a temporary unpaid leave of absence to perform emergency duty.
If you are a registered volunteer firefighter, reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel who intends to perform emergency duty during work hours, please alert your supervisor and the Leave Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org so USF is aware of the fact that you may have to take time off to perform emergency duty. Employees may use, at their option, any accrued vacation while on this leave. Employees are expected to make their supervisor aware of their need for time off as soon as feasible so accommodations can be made.
In addition, employees who are volunteer firefighters may be permitted to take a temporary leave of absence up to 14 days per calendar year to engage in fire or law enforcement training. All time off for these purposes is unpaid or vacation leave can be used.
An employee who is the parent or guardian of a child in kindergarten or grades 1 through 12, or attending a licensed daycare facility, is allowed up to 40 hours off per calendar year, not exceeding 8 hours in any calendar month, for the purpose of participating in activities of the school or licensed daycare facility. Employees are required to provide reasonable advance notice of the planned absence to their supervisor and/or Human Resources. Employees may use any accrued vacation time to cover this time off. In accordance with federal, state, and local law, if an employee does not have accrued vacation, the time off may be unpaid. USF, in its sole discretion, may require documentation from the school or licensed day care facility as proof that the employee participated in the activity on a specific date and at a specific time.
Employees who are parents or guardians of a child who has been suspended from school is allowed time off if they are requested to appear at the school in connection with that suspension. Employees are required to provide reasonable notice of the requested appearance to their supervisor. Employees wishing to take such leave may utilize accrued vacation or take the time unpaid.
USF will make reasonable accommodations for any employee who reveals a literacy problem and requests that USF’s assistance in enrolling in an adult literacy program unless it would create a hardship for USF. USF will also assist employees who wish to seek literacy education training by providing employees with the location of local literacy programs.
USF will take reasonable steps to safeguard the privacy of any employee who identifies themselves as an individual with a literacy problem. The employee can contact the Leave Manager at email@example.com for assistance. An employee who is performing satisfactorily will not be subject to termination of employment because they have disclosed literacy problems. While USF encourages employees to improve their literacy skills, USF will not reimburse employees for the costs incurred in attending a literacy program.
Employees in California are eligible for a paid leave of absence for organ or bone marrow donations. For organ donations, an employee is entitled to a leave not exceeding 30 days in any one-year period for the purpose of donating his/her organ to another person. For bone marrow donations, an employee is entitled to a leave not exceeding five days in any one-year period for the purpose of donating his or her bone marrow to another person.
These leaves are not a break in service for the purpose of salary adjustments, sick leave, vacation, annual leave or seniority. USF will continue any coverage under a group health plan for the employee during the leave of absence. Employees returning from donor leave will be reinstated to the position held before the leave began, or a position with equivalent seniority status, benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. USF may refuse to reinstate an employee if the reason is unrelated to the exercise of rights under the donor leave.
For questions about how to use and report leave related to organ or bone marrow donation, please contact the Leave Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USF encourages employees with drug or alcohol abuse problems to seek needed counseling and treatment. Employees who are unable to find assistance may contact the Leave Manager at email@example.com to receive information about finding help. Any communications initiated by an employee and not as a result of a violation of this policy will be treated as confidentially as is possible.
USF will reasonably accommodate any employee who wishes to voluntarily enter and participate in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, provided that this reasonable accommodation will not create an undue hardship for USF. Any such leave shall be unpaid except that, to the extent that employees have accrued sick or vacation leave, they must use it. Sick or vacation leave will not accrue while an employee is on Rehabilitation leave, nor will the employee receive holiday pay.
Requesting assistance for substance abuse does not relieve the employee of his/her responsibility to meet performance, safety, and attendance expectations. Rehabilitation expenses will be paid by the employee unless coverage is provided under a health insurance policy. Satisfactory participation in and completion of a rehabilitation program approved by USF is a condition of continuing employment.