General questions

Benefits and service credit while using PFCB

Vacation and sick accruals while on PFCB


General questions

When did PFCB start?

PFCB became effective on July 1, 2021.

How does PFCB work?

PFCB is a pay option for eligible employees to receive up to 70% of their eligible earnings for up to eight workweeks per calendar year. This option is available when the employee is on an approved block Family and Medical Leave (FML) taken for one of the qualifying reasons listed in FAQ #4 below, and the employee is taking that leave in a block of a minimum of one workweek.

Who is eligible for PFCB?

Any non-represented employee who does not already receive more generous paid leave benefits and is on an approved Family and Medical Leave for one of the qualifying reasons noted in FAQ #5 may opt to receive PFCB during the leave, provided the leave is taken in a block of a minimum of one workweek. The same is true for represented employees in bargaining units that are participating in the program. (Most units are participating. Please refer to the applicable unit’s collective bargaining agreement). For ineligible academic titles, see the APM-700 Series Pay for Family Care and Bonding letter.

What types of leaves qualify for PFCB?

Family and Medical Leaves that qualify for the PFCB option are those leaves taken under the FMLA and/or CFRA for one of the following reasons: 

  • Parental bonding
  • To care for a family member  with a serious health condition
  • Military Caregiver Leave
  • Qualifying Exigency Leave

PFCB is not an available pay option during a Family and Medical Leave for the employee’s own serious health condition or for the employee’s own pregnancy disability.  It is also not available during any other type of leave, including Supplemental Family and Medical Leave.

Are there any restrictions on how PFCB is used?

The option to receive PFCB is only available during qualifying FML block leaves of one workweek or more. If the employee elects to use PFCB, the employee must continue to use PFCB until they either exhaust their full eight workweeks of PFCB for the calendar year or that qualifying FML block leave ends. If their leave ends before they have used the full eight workweeks of PFCB for the calendar year, the remainder is available to use during a qualifying FML block leave later in the same calendar year.

What is the definition of a workweek?

A workweek is any 7 consecutive day period. The 7-day period could run Sunday through Saturday, Wednesday through Tuesday or any other 7 consecutive days. If an employee is on an approved FML block leave for one of the qualifying reasons from Wednesday through the following Tuesday and returns  to work the next day on Wednesday, they may opt to use PFCB during the leave. If the employee  will be taking an approved FML leave for one of the qualifying reasons  on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday and will return  to work on Saturday, they will not be able to use PFCB for that leave.

Can paid leave accruals be combined with PFCB?

No. An employee cannot use paid leave accruals (vacation, sick leave, PTO, CTO) while they are using PFCB in order to receive 100% of regular earnings. However, an employee may be able to use their paid leave accruals before they use PFCB during their approved FML. An employee may also be able to use paid leave accruals after they exhaust their PFCB during an approved FML.

Can an employee utilize PFCB to meet the waiting period for a disability benefit? Or while receiving disability benefits?

No. An employee may not utilize PFCB to meet the waiting period for disability benefit or while receiving disability benefits. Keep in mind that PFCB is never available when the FML is taken for the employee’s own serious health condition or pregnancy disability.

Is PFCB available to employees for their own illnesses?

No. PFCB is never available for leaves taken for an employee’s own illness or pregnancy disability.

How much does an employee receive if they opt to use PFCB during a qualifying FML ?

The PFCB option provides pay calculated at 70% of an employee’s eligible earnings.

What are eligible earnings?

For employees covered by the PPSM 

Eligible earnings include an employee’s base salary payable through the University. Eligible earnings do not include bonuses, perquisites, overtime pay, administrative stipends, shift differentials, uniform allowances, certification pay, specialty pay, emergency response pay, charge differentials, on-call differentials, or any pay that is received in addition to that of the employee’s regular appointment,  including “by agreement”  payments and any other additional cash compensation received that is more than 100% of the base salary of the full-time equivalent of the employee’s regular position. However, if the employee’s only appointment  is a “by agreement” appointment, and the employee meets all other PFCB eligibility criteria, those earnings are considered eligible earnings. 

For employees covered by APM

Eligible earnings include an appointee’s base salary payable through the University.  Base salary includes on-scale, off-scale, and above-scale, and X and X-prime (X’) components for Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP) participants. Eligible earnings do not include pay that is received in addition to the appointee’s regular appointment such as “by agreement”  payments, administrative stipends, honoraria, compensation for extension teaching, summer session teaching, any negotiated Y and Z payments for HSCP participants, and any other cash compensation received that exceeds 100% of the base salary of the full -time equivalent of the appointee’s eligible appointment(s). However, if the appointee’s only appointment is for extension or summer session teaching or is a “by agreement” appointment,  and the appointee meets all other PFCB eligibility criteria, those earnings are considered eligible earnings.

For represented employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement

Eligible earnings are defined in the applicable side letter for each bargaining unit. If there is no side letter, that bargaining unit opted not to participate in the PFCB program. All collective bargaining agreements and associated PFCB side letters are available on the UCnet Bargaining Units and Contracts page

How are eligible earnings determined for an employee utilizing PFCB with an appointment at a fixed percentage?

If the employee has an appointment established at a fixed percentage, PFCB is based on the salary rate in effect during the employee’s leave.

How are eligible earnings determined for an employee utilizing PFCB with an appointment established at a variable percentage?

If a staff employee has an appointment established at a variable percentage or an academic appointee reports time on a variable basis, eligible earnings are an average of the employee’s eligible earnings for the three calendar months  (for an employee paid on a monthly basis) or six pay periods (for an employee paid on a bi-weekly basis) immediately prior to the period in which the leave begins, excluding periods with furlough or approved leave without pay. This average is calculated as follows:

  • For an employee paid on a bi-weekly basis, the sum of hours paid in the six pay periods immediately prior to the period in which the leave begins is divided by 12 to determine the average hours worked per week. The average hours worked per week is then multiplied by 0.7 to determine the number of hours per week the employee is to be paid at 70 percent.
  • For an employee paid on a monthly basis, the sum of the time paid in the three calendar months immediately prior to the period in which the leave begins is divided by three to determine the average time worked per month.  The average time worked per month is then multiplied by 0.7 to determine the time per month the employee is to be paid at 70 percent.

If the consecutive three months or six bi-weekly pay periods immediately preceding the beginning of the leave cannot be used due to furlough or approved leave without pay, the look-back period may be extended up to, but no longer than, one year prior to the beginning of the leave, using the most recent applicable pay periods, not to exceed the term of the appointment.

Are eligible earnings while on PFCB taxable?

PFCB is considered taxable wages. An employee’s normal deductions will be taken from PFCB.

Benefits and service credit while using PFCB

How are health and welfare benefits affected by PFCB?

Health and welfare benefits deductions will be taken from the employee’s paycheck while the employee is receiving  PFCB in accordance with the employee’s benefit elections. Receiving PFCB does not, in itself, affect benefits status or eligibility. However, benefits regulations affecting return to pay status after a leave without pay will apply if an employee returns to pay status by receiving PFCB.

How is employment service credit affected by PFCB?

Employment  service credit is used to determine years of qualifying service for an employee’s vacation accrual rate and for eligibility for service awards. Employees accrue one month of employment  service credit for each month  in which they are on pay status at least 50% time. If receiving PFCB results in a pay status of less than 50% in a given month, an employee will not receive employment  service credit for that month.

How is retirement service credit affected by PFCB?

Retirement service credit (i.e., service earned as a UCRP member or UC Defined Contribution Plan Savings Choice participant) is earned based upon an employee’s covered compensation and their full-time equivalent compensation from a UCRP- eligible appointment. While receiving PFCB, an employee will continue to make required contributions to retirement plans. An eligible employee who is receiving PFCB will receive 70% of the retirement service credit they would have earned in their appointment.  For more information about retirement service credit, employees should go to the My UC Retirement website.

As explained in FAQ #18, employees earn less retirement service credit while receiving PFCB. Can employees purchase UCRP service credit that they did not earn as a result?

For rules applicable to UCRP service credit purchase, please refer to the UCRP Service Credit Purchase Guide.

Vacation and sick accruals while on PFCB

If an employee is utilizing PFCB how would their vacation and sick leave accruals be affected?

Because an employee is paid 70% of eligible earnings when receiving PFCB, vacation and sick leave accruals are calculated as if the employee is on pay status for 70% of their usual earnings.

An employee has been approved to take a qualifying FML and is out of paid leave accruals (vacation, sick, PTO, CTO). They would like to use PFCB and Catastrophic Leave donations for income replacement during the leave. Can the employee use Catastrophic Leave donations while they are using PFCB in order to receive 100% of regular earnings?

No. Catastrophic Leave donations cannot be used at the same time as PFCB.

Is the employee required to use PFCB before using Catastrophic Leave donations?

No. If the employee is eligible for both, the employee may request and use Catastrophic Leave donations first or PFCB first. It is the employee’s option.