At JetBlue, we know that situations may arise when you need to take time away from work. Understand how to take personal time off, sick time or a longer leave of absence and how it relates to your benefits.
Take a leave
Determine why you need to take time off from work.
You may take PTO or sick days for any number of reasons that require you to miss work for short periods of time: illnesses, vacations, appointments, personal matters, etc.
Certain health and family reasons may qualify you for a Leave of Absence. These include:
- Having a baby, adopting a child or caring for a newly placed foster child
- Injury or long-term illness
- Caring for a sick family member
- Going on active military duty
- Caring for someone returning from active military duty
Learn about the type of leave that applies to your situation.
Depending on why you need time off, there are different types of Leaves of Absence:
- Disability Leave—if you’re unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury or hospitalization, or due to pregnancy and childbirth.
- Family Medical Leave—available for you to take care of a variety of family-related matters, such as caring for a new baby or a sick family member.
- Parental Leave—if you need time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.
- Personal Leave—to take care of a personal matter. Be sure to check guidelines for more details as the provisions for Personal Leaves do vary by Workgroup and location. For more, visit the Crewmember Blue Book.
- Military Leave—when you’re on active military duty.
Notify your Crewleader.
Let your Crewleader know as soon as you can that you’d like to take a leave of absence so your work can be rescheduled appropriately.
Notify Sedgwick (MetLife for Pilots).
Pilots going on Disability Leave need to contact MetLife by calling 1-888-343-6889.
When you file a claim, you will need your:
- Personal information: Your name, address, telephone number, Crewmember ID number and job title.
- Job information: Workplace location, work schedule and date of hire.
- Sickness/Injury information, if applicable: Due date or date of pregnancy complications or early delivery, and approximate date you anticipate returning to work.
- Treating physician’s information, if applicable: Name, address, telephone number and fax number for each treating healthcare provider.
- Authorization to release your medical information, if applicable.
- Family member information (e.g., birth certificate) supporting your relationship, if applicable.
Check your mail and email for a welcome letter from Sedgwick (MetLife for Pilots) that has instructions on managing your claim and returning to work, as well as additional information you may need.
Continue your benefits through Direct Bill if your leave lasts longer than one pay period.
If your leave lasts longer than one pay period, you will need to pay your required benefit contributions directly to Optum Financial through Direct Bill. This process begins the pay period immediately following the start date of your leave.
Benefits will be terminated during your leave if payments are not paid and reinstated after returning to work.
Complete the steps for returning to work when you’re ready.
When it’s time to come back to work, contact your Sedgwick (MetLife for Pilots) case manager and Crewleader to discuss your plans. Confirm your date and complete any necessary forms, such as the Return-to-Work Authorization Form (if returning from Disability Leave). You will not be allowed to return to work and will not be reinstated to active payroll status until this medical release is provided to Sedgwick (MetLife for Pilots) and your Crewleader.
Disability Leave is available to Crewmembers enrolled in Voluntary Short Term Disability (VSTD) coverage. It begins after you’ve been off work for more than seven consecutive calendar days due to illness, injury, hospitalization, pregnancy or childbirth. You may use PTO if you wish to supplement pay during this time. Disability Leave lasts up to 26 weeks.
During this leave, your salary from JetBlue stops. Because you’re enrolled in VSTD, you’ll receive benefit payments directly from Sedgwick (MetLife for Pilots). The benefit amount depends on the VSTD option you’re enrolled in.
While on this leave, your benefits will continue. If your leave lasts longer than one pay period, you will need to pay your required contributions through Direct Bill.
If you live in a state or commonwealth that provides disability benefits, your VSTD benefits will be offset by your state/commonwealth benefits.
Family Medical Leave (FML).
If you’ve worked at least 1,250 hours (504 for Pilots and Infight) for JetBlue in the 12 months leading up to the start of your Family Medical Leave, you can take time off:
- To care for a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed foster child.
- To care for a family member (your spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition (meaning they’re unable to perform essential functions of his or her job or own healthcare and is under a doctor’s care).
- To care for a covered family member who is in the regular Armed Forces, the National Guard or the Reserves. (A “covered servicemember” means a current member of the Armed Forces who has a serious injury or illness that happened in the line of active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties.)
- If you’re unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury or hospitalization and not enrolled in VSTD coverage.
- If you’re unable to work due to pregnancy or childbirth and not enrolled in VSTD coverage.
If you’re taking FML for child bonding, to care for a sick family member or because of illness, injury or hospitalization, your leave lasts up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for all FML reasons combined.
Pilots and Inflight may take up to 72 days in a 12-month period. The entitlement is based on a uniform six-day work week for all airline flight Crewmembers regardless of hours worked or paid.
FML will automatically run concurrent during disability, on the job injury (OJI) and any state-specific leave offering child bonding, care of an eligible family member and military exigency.
You can take approved Intermittent FML time off of less than one-week increments to care for an eligible family member, servicemember caregiver or your own serious illness or injury. Pilot and Inflight can take a minimum of one day; all other Crewmembers can take a minimum of one hour.
Note for child bonding leave: Crewmembers who want to take baby bonding time in periods of less than 12 weeks will be limited to a maximum of two periods of continuous FML leave in the 12 months following the birth, adoption or placement of the child.
If you’re taking servicemember caregiver leave, your leave lasts up to 26 weeks during a single 12-month period.
Since your salary from JetBlue stops while on an FML leave, you may choose to use PTO to supplement your income while on leave. Your benefits will continue, but if your leave lasts longer than one pay period, you will need to pay your required contributions through Direct Bill.
Once you’ve met your department’s eligibility requirements, you can request Parental Leave for time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. Parental Leave must begin on the date of your child’s birth or adoption and will run concurrently with any other approved leave. You’ll need to give 30 days advance notice. Parental Leave is based on operational need and Crewleader approval, and how long you stay out is determined by your department.
Your salary from JetBlue stops while on Parental Leave. You may choose to use PTO to supplement your income while on leave. Your benefits will continue, but if your leave lasts longer than one pay period, you will need to pay your required contributions through Direct Bill.
You’re eligible to take time off to take care of a personal matter if you’ve worked for JetBlue a minimum of 90 continuous days of employment. You’ll need to give 30 days advance notice, once approved by your Crewleader, and the leave can last between eight and 90 consecutive days (based on your department).
Your salary from JetBlue stops while on a Personal Leave. You may use PTO to supplement your income while on leave. Your benefits will continue, but if your leave lasts longer than one pay period, you will need to pay your required contributions through Direct Bill. Direct Bill ends after two years on a Personal Leave. Crewmembers on a Personal Leave will not be eligible for flight privileges during the affected time-period unless it’s for an approved medical reason.
Crewmembers who are members of the United States uniformed services or a state’s National Guard can take Military Leave when on active duty. Leave starts when you begin military duty. As long as you are on military duty, your leave can last typically up to five years.
Your salary from JetBlue stops while on a Military Leave. Your benefits continue, as long as you pay Direct Bill at active rates for up to 2 years. If you or your family members are eligible for health care coverage through the military, you can drop your JetBlue coverage.
If your Military Leave is 30 days or less, you will continue to accrue PTO. You’ll also continue to accrue seniority, and your leave will count as service credit. You cannot contribute to the Crewmember Stock Purchase Plan (CSPP) or the 401(k) Plan while on Military Leave. Your JetBlue benefits automatically resume when you return to work.
For leaves under 30 consecutive days, provide your station with any applicable notification or documentation to adjust your schedule. Crewmembers must report absences and return dates to Sedgwick within seven days. For leaves over 31 consecutive days, provide your station with advance notice and report leave time to Sedgwick. When you’re ready to return to work, provide Sedgwick with your military orders, any applicable rest time and the actual return to work date at least one week prior to returning.
If you work in and have pay deductions for disability coverage in New York, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island or Puerto Rico and you’re unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury or hospitalization for more than seven consecutive days, your disability benefits will come from your state/commonwealth.
Approval of a state disability claim may take several weeks, with benefits paid retroactively to your 8th day of disability. Here’s a look at how long benefits last:
|State/Commonwealth||Duration of benefits|
|New York||Up to 26 weeks|
|New Jersey||Up to 26 weeks|
|California||Up to 52 weeks|
|Rhode Island||Up to 30 weeks|
|Puerto Rico||Up to 26 weeks|
|Washington||Up to 12 weeks|
|District of Columbia||Up to two weeks|
Your salary from JetBlue stops while on a disability leave. You’ll receive benefit payments directly from your state if approved. Your state benefit amount depends on what your eligible earnings are at JetBlue. Here are the maximum and minimum weekly benefits you could receive:
|District of Columbia||
If you’re enrolled in VSTD coverage, your VSTD benefits are offset by your state disability benefits. Crewmembers in California, Rhode Island, Washington, District of Columbia or Puerto Rico must file with the state directly in addition to contacting Sedgwick. State correspondence must be sent to Sedgwick as proof of benefits for the duration of the claim. Crewmembers based in New Jersey must file disability claims with MetLife and Family Medical Leave through Sedgwick.
Did you know?
You can donate your PTO!
The PTO Donation Policy allows Crewmembers to donate accrued PTO hours to assist a fellow Crewmember in need of paid leave because of their own serious health condition, disability or that of an immediate family member.