Disability Allies Leave Policy

Leave Policy

  1. Benefit Year

The benefit year for DAI begins on January 1 of each year. All leave for all employees is calculated on an annual basis.

  • Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act covers all employees in the United States, and sets standards with regard to wages and overtime pay. However, certain employees are exempt from its provisions. Exempt employees are bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.  Under our current structure, our full-time employees in our East Brunswick office are considered exempt, and our Direct Support Professionals and part-time Saturday employees are considered non-exempt. DAI provides different leave packages for exempt and non-exempt employees.

  • Vacation Policy for Exempt Employees

All full-time salaried exempt employees accrue up to ten vacation days per calendar year on a pro-rata basis, at the rate of one vacation day per month worked. Employees do not accrue vacation days while on unpaid leaves of absence. Employees may not carry unused vacation days forward to the next calendar year. Vacation requests must be filed with your supervisor at least two weeks in advance. To ensure that DAI’s staffing and operational needs are met at all times, DAI reserves the right to grant vacation requests at its discretion.  DAI will not pay for any unused, accrued vacation upon termination of employment. 

  • Personal and Sick Leave for Exempt Employees

All full-time salaried exempt employees accrue up to ten days per year that can be used for personal leave, sick leave, or for any of the following activities:

(1) time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee;

(2) time needed for the employee to aid or care for a family member of the employee during diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or during preventive medical care for the family member;

(3) absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, if the leave is to allow the employee to obtain for the employee or the family member: medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence; services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; psychological or other counseling; relocation; or legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence;

(4) time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee, by order of a public official due to an epidemic or other public health emergency, or because of the issuance by a public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the employee, or a member of the employee’s family in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others; or

(5) time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function or other event requested or required by a school administrator, teacher, or other professional staff member responsible for the child’s education, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability.

Five of these days, pursuant to the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, accrue to exempt salaried full-time employees at the rate of one hour per thirty hours worked. Employees can carry up to five unused days forward to the next calendar year, consistent with state law and regulations. DAI will not offer or pay employees reimbursement for any unused days under the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act at the end of the year. The other five days accrue at the rate of one day per month workedDAI will not pay for any unused, accrued sick or personal leave upon termination of employment.

At the end of the calendar year, all exempt salaried full-time employees may carry up to four vacation and/or personal days forward to the next calendar year. All days carried over must be used by March 31 of the next calendar year, or they will expire.

  • Vacation Policy for Non-Exempt Employees

DAI does not provide vacation benefits for any part-time or non-exempt employees.

  • Personal and Sick Leave for Non-Exempt Employees

All part-time non-exempt employees accrue up to five days per year that can be used for personal leave, sick leave, or for any of the following activities:

(1) time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee;

(2) time needed for the employee to aid or care for a family member of the employee during diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or during preventive medical care for the family member;

(3) absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, if the leave is to allow the employee to obtain for the employee or the family member: medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence; services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; psychological or other counseling; relocation; or legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence;

(4) time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee, by order of a public official due to an epidemic or other public health emergency, or because of the issuance by a public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the employee, or a member of the employee’s family in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others; or

(5) time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function or other event requested or required by a school administrator, teacher, or other professional staff member responsible for the child’s education, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability.

These five days, pursuant to the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, accrue to non-exempt part-time employees at the rate of one hour per thirty hours worked, to a maximum of forty hours per year. Employees can carry any unused days forward to the next calendar year, consistent with state law and regulations. DAI will not offer or pay employees reimbursement for any unused days under the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act at the end of the year.

Part-time non-exempt employees may only use paid personal and sick leave days to replace hours that they were scheduled to work, and did not work due to illness or other activities as described above. For example, if an employee is scheduled to work 20 hours in a given week, and works for only 15 hours that week due to illness, the employee is only allowed to take 5 hours or sick or personal leave, regardless of how long the employee was unable to work because of illness or other activity. If the employee worked the full 20 hours, they would not be able to utilize any personal or sick leave for that week. Employees that are not currently working with a customer, or who are on unpaid leave, can neither accrue nor use personal and sick leave hours. All personal and sick leave must be properly recorded on the employee’s timesheet.

  • Paid Leave for Federal Holidays

Full‐time exempt employees are eligible for paid leave for each of the following federal holidays per year as follows:

New Yearʹs Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.ʹs Birthday

Presidentʹs Day

Memorial Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veteranʹs Day

Thanksgiving Day

Christmas Day

Additionally, full-time employees are eligible for a holiday the Friday after Thanksgiving. Employees wishing to take religious holidays may substitute a religious holiday for one or more of those listed above, with advance approval from their supervisor and the Chief Executive Officer.

Part-time non-exempt employees and temporary employees are not required to work on holidays, consistent with customer need and schedules, but are ineligible for paid leave for holidays and may not claim paid time off for those dates. In those years when Independence Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Yearʹs Day fall on Saturday or Sunday, Disability Allies will designate the work day that will replace the weekend holiday, consistent with the federal holiday calendar. Additionally, the Chief Executive Officer, at his discretion, may designate additional days as holidays.

  • Inclement Weather
  1. Day Program and Corporate Office. In the event of inclement weather, the COO, at his sole discretion, will make the decision on opening or closing for both the Community Inclusion Center and Disability Allies corporate office. The COO may decide to close both offices, keep both offices open, or announce a delayed opening. This decision will be announced no later than 7:30 AM. If the COO is not available, the COE will make the decision. This decision will be based on factors such as whether local government offices are open, whether local schools are open, whether Access Link is running, and whether our contracted transportation providers are open. We will not require day program staff to come in and allow corporate staff stay home, or vice versa.
  2. Working from Home. In the event of a closure or a delayed opening, all employees are encouraged to work at home to the extent practical.
  3. Leave. In cases where the COO determines that the office will be open despite inclement weather, and where staff determine that it would be unsafe to go to work, staff may request vacation or personal leave on an immediate basis. Staff may also request to work from home. Such requests will be granted on a case-by-case basis by supervisors, consistent with work-from-home policy.
  4. Direct Support Professionals. Direct support professionals working with customers outside the East Brunswick office should use their discretion in traveling to the residence of those customers, and in traveling with those customers, in potentially hazardous conditions, and should work with the consumers to reschedule such hours. Paid leave for inclement weather will not be provided to part-time non-exempt employees, except where required by state law.
  1. Meetings and Conferences

Full-time employees may be given permission by the Chief Executive Officer to participate in educational opportunities related to the employeeʹs current or anticipated work with Disability Allies. An employee serving as an official representative of Disability Allies at a conference or meeting is considered on official business and not on leave, and will be paid for any work days spent at the conference or meeting. The Chief Executive Officer will have discretion to provide reimbursement or sponsorship of educational expenses, tuition, travel costs, or meals. Part-time employees will not be provided with any assistance for educational opportunities.

  • Attendance Policy

DAI employees are expected to be present for work, on time, every day. Regular attendance and punctuality are important to operate our programs and services. Arriving late, being tardy, or absence causes disruptions to the provision of services. Excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness will not be tolerated.

Day Program: Due to the nature of the day program and the necessity of providing adequate coverage to comply with Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) mandates, absenteeism poses a specific threat to DAI’s ability to provide services. Day program employees must provide notice of absence, whether paid or unpaid, at a minimum of one hour before the day program opens. If an emergency situation makes it impossible to provide adequate notice, employees must provide notice as soon as practical, consistent with employee safety.

  • Unpaid Leave

DAI provides unpaid leave to full-time exempt and part-time non-exempt employees under the following circumstances:

Military Leave: Employees who are inducted into or enlist in the Armed Forces of the United States or are called to duty as a member of a reserve unit may take an unpaid leave in accordance with applicable law. The employee must provide advance notice of his or her need for a military leave and Disability Allies will request a copy of the employee’s orders, which will be kept on record by Disability Allies. The time an employee spends on military leave will be counted as continuous service for the purpose of determining eligibility and accrual for various benefit plans and policies. For military leaves extending 30 days or less, Disability Allies will continue to provide the same level of benefits as it was paying before military leave began, consistent with the employee paying his or her portion of any applicable premiums during this period. For military leaves extending beyond 30 days, the employee will have the option to continue his or her insurance coverage, if any, at the employee’s cost. Upon return from military leave, employees will be reinstated as required by law and benefits will be reinstated with no waiting periods.

Jury Duty: Disability Allies believes in the civic responsibility of its employees and encourages this by allowing employees time off to serve jury duty when required. For time served on jury duty, Disability Allies will pay employees the difference between his or her salary and any amount paid by the government, unless prohibited by law, up to a maximum of ten days. If an employee is required to serve more than ten days of jury duty, Disability Allies will provide the employee with unpaid leave. Employees must provide Disability Allies a copy of proof of service received by the court in which they serve.

Bereavement Leave: Full-time exempt employees shall be entitled to bereavement leave with pay of five (5) days in the event of a death in the employee’s immediate family (spouse/life partner, child or parent) and three (3) days for grandparent, sister or brother, father‐in‐law, mother‐in‐law, or grandchildren. If an employee wishes to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member, the employee should notify his or her supervisor, the HR Manager, or the Chief Executive Officer immediately. Approval of bereavement leave will occur in the absence of unusual operating requirements. A full-time exempt employee may use, with the Chief Executive Officer’s approval, available paid leave for additional time off as necessary and in accordance with operating needs.

Other Unpaid Leave: Full-time exempt employees who have been employed by Disability Allies for at least 90 days may apply for additional unpaid leave if they have exhausted vacation and personal leave. Any such leave time is unpaid and is discretionary with the management of Disability Allies, subject to compliance with state and federal law. When considering a request for a personal leave, Disability Allies will consider factors such as the employee’s position, the employee’s length of service, the employee’s performance record including attendance, the purpose of the leave, the needs of the department in which the employee works, the effect of the leave on other employees, and Disability Allies’s general business needs. Such leave can include any unpaid leave required by federal or state law, including, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the NJ SAFE Act, or the New Jersey or federal family leave acts.

Unexcused Absences: Full-time exempt employees, consistent with the attendance policy, are expected to request paid or unpaid leave in a reasonable time frame. Instances where an employee does not attend work and does not provide a leave request consistent with the leave policy, may be considered by DAI, at its sole discretion, to be unexcused absences.

Employees that accrue two unexcused absences in any three-month period will receive counseling regarding the importance of attendance and may, at DAI’s sole discretion, be reprimanded. Additionally, DAI may, at its sole discretion, counsel and/or reprimand any employee for excessive and recurrent tardiness, or any other abuse of the leave system. Any unexcused absences that take place within six months after a reprimand will result in immediate termination.

  • Work From Home Policy

Non-exempt Disability Allies staff who are working with consumers in the field are not allowed to work from home. Exempt Disability Allies staff may be allowed to work from home in conditions of inclement weather. Otherwise, exempt Disability Allies staff members are not allowed to work from home unless they have prior approval from a supervisor. Day program staff are not allowed to work from home except for limited instances where they are working on specific projects that do not involve direct care services. All employees who are working from home must document the activities that the employee has completed while working from home on their timesheet, and must be able to communicate with employees working in the office by phone and e-mail. The supervisor will use the following factors to determine if a request to work from home is reasonable or not:

  1. The employee’s reasons for working from home (for example: home repair issues, emergency childcare issues, excessive workplace noise due to construction, etc.);
  2. Whether the employee has work to do that can be done at home in an effective and reasonable way;
  3. The employee’s diligence and reliability as a worker;
  4. The number of requests for working from home in the last month, and
  5. Whether the employee has been effective in working from home previously.