Somerville Public Schools - Employee Leaves

  • Leave of Absence



    The following information is being provided to staff in an effort for the staff member to make an informed decision about their intended leave.  The information serves as guidance to staff.  All staff are welcome to reach out to the superintendent to seek clarification, have questions answered, or meet to discuss the intended leave and have questions answered.  To contact the superintnedent, call the Superintendent's Office to arrange an appointment or email him directly, whichever is your preference. 


    Maternity Disability Leave:

    • Maternity disability leave is a time period where you are legally presumed to be too disabled to work.  However, you can choose to work closer to your expected due date or return to work sooner after delivery, if you are medically able and wish to do so.

    • Maternity disability leave is considered a paid leave.  However, you must have personal illness days and/or personal days in order to be paid.  If you run out of personal illness days and/or personal days, the remaining time will be unpaid.  Days where you are using personal illness and/or personal days, school must be scheduled to be in session.  Any family illness days must be used after the birth of the child.

    • If you do not have enough accumulated sick days to receive pay for all of the time when you are unable to work due to maternity disability, your leave will be without pay after your personal illness and/or personal days are exhausted.  You may, however, qualify for federal beneifts under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

    • All leave dates are centered on the "Expected Due Date", not the date a woman actually gives birth to the baby.  As a result, the window of 30 days before and 30 days after the expected due date does not change and is not reliant on when the baby is actually born.

    • The window for a maternity leave is 30 days before the expected due date and 30 days after the expected due date.

      • An employee may elect to not use the full 30 days before/30 days after expected due date window - that is their choice.

      • The window is the time a woman is considered disabled due to the end of the pregnancy and post delivery.

      • The dates can be extended earlier or later than the window, but must be done so with a physician's certification (doctor's note) as to the need/reason for the extension, and the duration of the additional period of disability.  The Board may require, by a physician of its choice, a second examination to verify the need for an extension of the disability leave, which the Board will assume the cost of those required physician services.  

      • A non-tenured employee may not not exceed the leave of absence beyond the current contract.

    • A maternity leave request letter must include the start and end dates for the maternity leave.

    • For maternity disability leaves, the employee needs to provide notice of the intended leave no later than sixty (60) days prior to the expected due date and include the desired start and leave dates along with a physician's certification (doctor's note) indicating the expected due date.

    • The Board may regulate the commencement and/or termination dates of the disability leave within the parameters of the law when failure to do so would cause interruption to the continuity of student instruction.  Any such involuntary leave so imposed will immediately precede or follow the period of the requested disability leave and will be without pay, but the employee shall not be denied other contractual and statuatory benefits, including payment of the insurance premiums for the involuntary, as well as, voluntary period of the disability leave.


    Childcare Leave:

    • Childcare leave is a time where you are no longer medically disabled, but wish to remain out of work to care for and bond with your new child.  It can commence at the end of your maternity disability leave. 

    • During this leave, you are responsible for the medical contribution toward the premium as if you were actively working while on leave under the FMLA or NJFLA.  The Business Office will send you a bill.

    • FMLA Childcare:

      • Must work for an employer at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the leave.

      • Must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months

    • NJFLA:

      • Must have worked for at least 1,000 hours during the immediately preceding 12 month period of the start of the leave.

      • Must have worked for the NJ employer for at least 12 months.

    • Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

      • Non-Tenured and tenured staff members are able to request a childcare leave during the current contracted school year.

      • Tenured staff members can request an additional extension for the following school year.  



    Sample Letter for Maternity Disability Leave Only 

    Sample Letter for Childcare Leave Only

    Sample Letter for Maternity and Childcare Leave