Toolkit FAQ’s

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding Aerospace’s leave of absence benefits. If you have questions that remain unanswered after reviewing the FAQs, please contact the Employee Benefits Service Center (ESBC) at 310.336.2400.

Your Situation

  • You have a serious illness
  • You need to take care of a sick family member
  • You’re pregnant
  • You need to bond with a new child (adoption, birth, or foster care)
  • You’ve been called to active military duty
  • You need to take personal leave

For more information about Paid Parental Leave (PPL), please see the Paid Parental Leave Overview.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the leave process:

What You Need to Do, Who You Need to Contact

I need time away from work. Where do I start?

You should inform your manager of your leave of absence as soon as you become aware of it. If your leave is due to a health condition, you don’t need to provide your manager with any information regarding your diagnosis or treatment. The next step will be to call The Hartford at 888.980.9382 and Employee Benefits Service Center (EBSC) at 310.336.2400. The sooner you start the process, the less likely you’ll experience possible delays in pay or benefits (when eligible).

What is The Hartford?

The Hartford is Aerospace’s third party leave administrator. They collect and process information about leaves of absence on behalf of Aerospace. The Aerospace EBSC works closely with The Hartford and can also answer questions you may have, but only The Hartford can approve a leave of absence.

What can I expect when I call The Hartford?

The Hartford’s representative will ask you for information about your request for leave and provide you with a medical certification for you to give your (or your family member’s) health care provider to complete and sign. The Hartford will not approve your leave until they receive this certification so we recommend you work closely with the doctor (or nurse) to ensure they submit it in a timely fashion. The Hartford will provide you with notifications and seek any additional information needed from you, as appropriate. Please be sure to provide all requested information promptly to avoid potential delays.

Does The Hartford handle all types of leaves?

The Hartford administers all types of leaves, including leaves taken on an intermittent basis. Managers must approve employee requests for Personal Leave of Absence.

Note: Military Leaves are handled by the Employee Benefits Service Center (EBSC) at 310.336.2400.

What happens if I don’t report my leave?

If you know you will need to take leave, you must report that leave to The Hartford within thirty business days of the first day of absence, or on the same or next business day for an unforeseen leave. If the leave isn’t reported to The Hartford, it may be denied. Please note that a family member may report your leave if you are unable to do so.

What if The Hartford denies my leave request?

In the event that your leave is denied, you will receive a letter explaining why. The Hartford will also notify EBSC. After you receive an explanation, you can contact The Hartford for next steps.

Types of Leave

What types of leave does Aerospace offer?

Aerospace offers leaves of absence to employees who are ill or injured, pregnant or have recently welcomed a child into their family, and when a family member is ill or injured. We also offer military leave, bereavement, and personal leave, depending on the circumstances. Aerospace provides all leave that is required by applicable state and federal law.

Leave associated with illness or injury (you or a family member), pregnancy or the arrival of a new child to your family are generally covered by Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and/or Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). These leaves include job and benefits protection.

Whether and how you continue to receive pay during your leave depends on the type of leave you take and in which state you live. If you live in California and are eligible for State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL), or you live outside California and have purchased Short Term Disability (STD) as part of your benefits package, then you may qualify for some wage replacement.  Additionally, if your leave is taken for your own illness or injury (and you qualify for CA SDI or STD), you will be eligible to receive Supplemental Sick Pay from Aerospace. (If you are not eligible for these types of benefits, you have the option of using vacation during your leave. View the types of leave chart).

What are FMLA and CFRA?

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law, and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a California law.  Both laws entitle eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks per year of job-protected leave for specified health and family reasons (26 weeks in certain instances involving an injured military service member).  Neither law entitles you to pay during your leave, but you may be eligible for certain types of income replacement depending on the circumstances and the state you live in.  FMLA/CFRA require that your group health benefits be maintained during your leave.  FMLA and CFRA usually run concurrently (with the exception of maternity leave).

What is Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)?

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) is a California law that provides employees with up to four months of job-protected leave when disabled on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. PDL runs concurrently with FMLA but not with CFRA. California employees usually take PDL and FMLA during pregnancy leave and then immediately after childbirth.  Once the employee has been released by her health care provider, she is eligible to take CFRA (“bonding”).   Employees outside of California refer to baby bonding as Non California Post Pregnancy Leave (NCPPL).

PDL is not paid leave but you may be eligible to receive STD or CA SDI (depending on where you’re employed), and/or supplemental sick during your leave. You may also use vacation time for leave that would otherwise be unpaid. If you work in California, you may also apply for California Paid Family Leave, provided by the state.

What is CA SDI?

CA SDI (State Disability Insurance) is a program run by the State of California to provide wage replacement for California employees who are temporarily disabled.  You must file a claim with the California Employment Development Department (EDD) in order to receive this benefit. The process for some types of leave, particularly those that are administered by the state, can take longer. We suggest you start the claim process immediately to minimize delays in pay and health benefitsFile your SDI claim – after your 2nd day on leave—and no later than 49 days—after the first day your disability begins. To expedite the process, we encourage you to submit your claim online on the EDD website.

What is STD?

STD is an employee-paid insurance benefit that provides wage replacement for time off work for employees outside California who are on a doctor-certified disability due to illness or injury.  STD is administered through The Hartford.

What is Paid Parental Leave (PPL)?

Paid Parental Leave (PPL) is an Aerospace benefit that provides you with a maximum of four weeks paid leave taken within the first twelve months of birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. This leave can be taken continuously or intermittently, in conjunction with available state-mandated paid family benefits.

What is Supplemental Sick Pay?

Supplemental Sick Pay is an Aerospace benefit that provides you with the difference between your normal salary and the amount you receive from CA SDI or STD.  If you reside outside of California and did not elect STD coverage, you can receive supplemental sick benefits but not STD benefits.

What is Paid Family Leave? 

California Paid Family Leave is an income replacement program available through the state for eligible California employees who take leave to care for an ill family member.

If I have unlimited occasional sick as an exempt employee, or a large bank of occasional sick time as a non-exempt employee, why do I need to apply for leave? Why can’t I just take occasional sick time instead? 

Occasional sick time is for brief illnesses or injuries that don’t require an employee to be away from work for an extended duration. Once you have been away from work due to an illness or injury for more than seven calendar days (including weekends, holidays and RDOs), you must apply for FMLA/CFRA and CA SDI or STD. 

More Questions and Answers about FMLA/CFRA

What are the reasons for taking FMLA/CFRA leave?

You may take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child(ren) or placement of a child(ren) with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • To care for and limited to, the employee’s spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, child, child of a spouse or domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling
  • For a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform the essential functions of your job
  • For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, child, or parent is a military member on covered active duty, or called to covered active duty
  • You may also take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if you are the spouse, child, parent, or next of kin of the service member

What qualifies as a serious health condition?

A “serious health condition” refers to an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • Any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility
  • A period of incapacity requiring absence of more than five calendar days from work, school, or other regular daily activities and involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider
  • Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care
  • Any period of incapacity (or treatment therefore) due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.)
  • A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g., Alzheimer’s, stroke, terminal diseases, etc.)
  • Any absences to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery) by, or on referral by, a health care provider for a condition that likely would result in incapacity of more than three consecutive days if left untreated (e.g., chemotherapy, physical therapy, dialysis, etc.)

Does FMLA/CFRA only apply when you need to care for a family member or can I use it when I’m sick or injured myself?

FMLA/CFRA also apply when you are sick or injured.  However, your illness or injury could qualify you for STD, CA SDI, and/or supplemental sick payments.  

Does FMLA/CFRA have to be taken all at once, or can it be used for shorter absences over a period of time?

FMLA/CFRA may be taken on a continuous, intermittent or reduced schedule basis. 

Are FMLA/CFRA paid leaves?

FMLA and CFRA are unpaid job-protected leaves provided you have worked for Aerospace at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1250 hours. You may use vacation time while on FMLA/CFRA leave.

What do I do if I need to take FMLA/CFRA on an intermittent basis?

You first need to call The Hartford to apply for the leave. Once the leave is approved, you must report each incidence of absence or schedule associated with that claim.

Note: In order for the intermittent leave to be approved, a valid medical certification is required.  Additional certification is not required for each instance of absence, as long as it falls within the guidelines established by the initial medical certification.

What happens when FMLA/CFRA is exhausted?

The Hartford will send you a letter when your FMLA/CFRA leave is exhausted. 

What do I need to do when returning to work after an FMLA/CFRA leave of absence?

You must contact Employee Benefits at least two business days in advance of returning to work and provide a Return to Work Certification to the Aerospace Employee Benefits Service Center (EBSC).  Once received, the EBSC will notify your management team and Payroll of your Return to Work verification.

What happens if I don’t return to work after an FMLA/CFRA leave and I don’t get an approval for an extension of my leave?

You must notify The Hartford of any changes to your return to work date. If you don’t return to work following the expiration of an approved leave, and no extension or other leave of absence has been approved, Aerospace may presume that you do not plan to return to work and that you have voluntarily terminated your employment.

Is additional leave ever granted as a reasonable accommodation for a disability?

Yes. If you need additional leave after exhausting FMLA/CFRA because of a disability, please contact the EBSC and we will work with you, your management, and Employee Relations to determine an appropriate reasonable accommodation.