Leave of Absence Home

Frequently Asked Questions for LOA, STD and PFL

Why does the company have a leave of absence program?

PG&E wants to make sure you are aware of all the leave and disability benefits available to you when you are ill or injured and receive any job protection if you are off of work for a reason that’s covered under a federal leave law such as the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) or the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), state leave laws such as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), any of the PG&E company leave provisions (including Short-term Disability and Paid Family Leave benefits) or other state leave laws. In addition, the company wants to help you return to work as soon as you are safely released to do so.

Who would follow the leave of absence and disability process?

All PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company employees who will be absent under the below circumstances:

  • Your injury or illness will keep you from work for more than three consecutive days and you will require more than two visits with a health care provider or one visit resulting in a regimen of continuing care;
  • You need time off in order to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition–could be for any length of time;
  • You will be absent for any length of time that is covered under a federal leave law such as FMLA, any of the PG&E leave provisions or a related state leave law;
  • You are called to unformed service;
  • You will become a parent–could be through the birth, adoption or foster placement of a new child.
  • You are a management, administrative and technical (A&T), security (non-union represented), IBEW/SEIU/ESC-represented employee and are absent for seven consecutive calendar days or longer; or
  • You will be absent for more than 10 consecutive workdays unpaid.
  • If you do not follow the process to report and certify an absence in a timely manner, you may disqualify yourself from being able to receive benefits under the various PG&E leave and disability plans. Failure to return requested information may result in delay, denial or termination of a leave and/or affect your pay and employment. In addition, if you are out for an FMLA-related reason and do not report the absence as required, it will not be recorded as qualifying for job protection under FMLA or a related state leave law.

Who administers PG&E leave of absence and disability programs?

Leave of absence (LOA), Voluntary Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefit Plan, and PG&E’s Paid Family Leave and Short- and Long-term Disability administration is handled by Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., a global leader specializing in disability and leave of absence services.

How do I request a leave?

Contact Sedgwick, PG&E’s Leave of Absence and Disability Service Center, at 1-855-732-8217 or go online to viaOne Express (single sign-on capability through PG&E’s network or www.claimlookup.com/pge).

Note: If requesting a company personal, educational or political service leave, do not follow the instructions in this section and contact your supervisor.

What’s new in 2018?

Eligible California Utility employees will automatically be covered under PG&E’s Voluntary Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefit Plan (the “Voluntary Plan”) effective January 1, 2018, unless you reject or opt out of coverage. PG&E’s PG&E’s Voluntary Plan provides better benefits and is offered in place of California State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave plan (the “State Plan”).

Anyone who opts out of the PG&E Voluntary Plan will need to submit claims for benefits directly to the State. A leave of absence will need to be submitted separately through Sedgwick, even for those who remain covered under the State Plan. Visit www.edd.ca.gov for more information on state benefits.

Important: approval of Voluntary Plan benefits is not an approval of leave. Please review the types of leave document for federal, state and local leave laws and company leaves for which you may be eligible.

Click here for details about the Voluntary Plan.

What are the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks (in a 12-month period) of unpaid job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons.

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a state law that is very similar to the FMLA, with the certain exceptions. For example: CFRA does not cover time off related to pregnancy and there are differences with coverage under Military Family leaves and the definition of family members.

Under both laws, with the exception of baby bonding leave, the leave may be taken on a continuous or on an intermittent/reduced schedule basis and run concurrently with STD and/or PFL when applicable.

How is the 12 month period for FMLA/CFRA measured?

PG&E uses a rolling 12-month period. The rolling calendar is used to account for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA) absences during a defined period of time (i.e., rolling year, rolling month and rolling week). Available FMLA and CFRA entitlements will be determined by reviewing any FMLA/CFRA absences taken in the 12 months prior to each new absence reported. The 12 weeks of FMLA/CFRA in a rolling 12-month period is measured backward from the date any FMLA/CFRA is used.

What reasons can I take FMLA/CFRA leave for?

You can take Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave for your own serious health condition; for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of your child, to care for your child under age 18 (or over 18 if child’s condition meets certain requirements defined in the regulations) with a serious health condition; to care for your parent (not parent-in-law or grandparent) with a serious health condition; or to care for your spouse with a serious health condition. Under CFRA, you may also take leave for care of a registered domestic partner and child of your registered domestic partner. Under FMLA, you may also take leave for a qualifying exigency and to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. See the Care of Family Member and Family Military leave section for more information.

What is a serious health condition under FMLA and CFRA?

See the serious health conditions definitions for complete details. Below are some examples of conditions that would not ordinarily, unless complications arise, meet the definition and qualify as serious health conditions for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leaves:

  • The common cold
  • The flu
  • Ear aches
  • Upset stomach
  • Minor ulcers
  • Headaches other than migraine
  • Routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, etc.

If you are unsure whether your illness or injury qualifies as a serious health condition, please discuss with your health care provider.

What is California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)?

Under California law, if you need time off for prenatal and postnatal care, you are disabled because of pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy and childbirth (includes: doctor-ordered bed rest; gestational diabetes; pregnancy-induced hypertension; preeclampsia; childbirth; postpartum depression; loss or end of pregnancy; or recovery form childbirth), you are entitled to up to four months (equivalent to 88 workdays for full time employees) of unpaid leave, depending on your period(s) of actual disability. All Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) time taken must be related to the actual period of disability caused by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition or for prenatal/postnatal care.

You may also be eligible for a reasonable accommodation due to medical needs or to transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position if medically advisable due to your pregnancy. Please contact the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Team.

There are no service requirements to be eligible for PDL; employees disabled by pregnancy are eligible upon hire.

What’s the difference between a PG&E Company Medical Leave of Absence and FMLA/CFRA medical leave of absence?

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leaves can be taken for a serious medical condition and on a continuous or on an intermittent or a reduced schedule basis for a total of 12 weeks in a 12-month period.

  • You must meet the hours worked and 12 months employment criteria, as well as have available FMLA/CFRA entitlements.
  • The leave must meet the criteria for serious health conditions as defined under the regulations and must be certified by a health care provider, including the duration of leave needed and that you are unable to perform at least one essential function of your job.
  • Covers both work-related and non-work related injuries and illnesses.
  • Leave is unpaid; however, you must use all available paid sick time (with the exception of pregnancy disability) and can, with the permission of a supervisor, use vacation or floating holiday(s).
  • Vacation and floating holiday(s) will be approved based on the availability of the vacation calendar and supervisor approval based on your department’s guidelines.

PG&E Company Medical Leave (CML) may be authorized for periods of more than 10 consecutive unpaid workdays for absences due to non-work-related medical reasons. Receipt of State Plan or Voluntary Plan benefits run concurrently with CML. The CML applies to Management, Administrative, Technical and regular-status ESC-represented employee who have opted out of the Voluntary Plan (i.e. not covered under the PG&E STD Policy) and regular-status IBEW- or SEIU-represented employee.

  • You must meet the length of service or regular status requirements.
  • Medical Certification is required and must be certified by a health care provider with sufficient information to support the duration of requested leave and your essential job duties cannot be performed due to a non-work related injury or illness and there is not an opportunity for a return to work with a reasonable accommodation. Sufficient information includes current work limitations and capabilities, what specific job functions you are unable to perform, planned treatment and the estimated length of disability.
  • Cannot be taken on an intermittent or a reduced schedule basis.
  • Can extend beyond the available 12 weeks of FMLA/CFRA entitlements—CML’s may be granted for up to six months and an extension may be granted for up to an additional six months with sufficient certification and if the circumstances warrant.
  • If FMLA/CFRA exhaust and you have exhausted your available sick time and will remain off work for longer than 10 consecutive workdays unpaid, you must apply and qualify for CML to remain on an approved leave of absence.
  • The maximum length of an unpaid medical leave, including extensions, is 12 consecutive months in combination with all other leaves, excluding a military leave or an educational leave.
  • Leave ends when medical documentation no longer supports the need for leave and an employee is released to return to work, with or without reasonable accommodations.
  • Employee may be denied a request for Company Medical Leave based on history of overall availability. For example, if the granting of leave(s) has not proven effective in increasing an ability to return to work and/or remain at work, additional leave may not be granted.

Please see the Types of Leaves chart or Summary of Benefits Handbook for information regarding eligibility for a PG&E Company leave.

Example: Ryan needs 15 weeks of leave for his own medical condition. He is eligible for a full 12 weeks of FMLA/CFRA protected time off. He has no paid sick leave. After he has exhausted his 12-week FMLA/CFRA entitlement, he still needs an additional three weeks off. He can file for an extension of his medical leave under the PG&E company leave and provide the needed company leave certification form to support the additional time requested. Because he used no paid time, his PG&E company medical leave of absence began his first day of absence, the same day that his FMLA/CFRA began.

What are Sedgwick’s hours of operations?

Sedgwick customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday 5 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific time. Sedgwick leave and disability specialists are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. In addition, your leave or disability request status can be obtained anytime through “viaOne® voice,” Sedgwick’s interactive voice response (IVR) system by calling 1-855-732-8217 or through viaOne Express.

You can make new leave requests anytime through viaOne Express or after hours intake by calling Sedgwick at 1-855-732-8217.

What type of capabilities does Sedgwick’s Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system and website (viaOne® Express) offer?

Please review the guides below for details on using Sedgwick’s IVR and website:

What is an intermittent or reduced schedule leave?

Intermittent/reduced schedule leave may be taken when medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member, or because of your serious health condition, including pregnancy.

Intermittent leave refers to an occasional absence where you are certified by your health care provider to miss a few hours or day or two of work. Absences could be planned in the case of an appointment or scheduled treatment or unplanned or unscheduled absences in the case of an exacerbation of your medical condition.

Reduced schedule leave refers to when you are certified by your health care provider to work fewer hours or days than you are normally scheduled (e.g., schedule is reduced to a six-hour workday or to three days per week).

How and when do I report my intermittent absences?

If you have intermittent or reduced workweek hours to report during a regular workday or mandatory overtime shift, you must record the date of absence and the number of hours missed by:

  • Calling Sedgwick, PG&E’s LOA and LTD Service Center at 1-855-732-8217 and say "Absence” or press 2.
  • Access viaOne® Express while logged into the network or here via an external connection to report an intermittent absence.
  • You must also follow your department guidelines for reporting all absences.
  • An unplanned absence for illness or care of a family member must be reported to Sedgwick the same day the absence occurs.
  • A planned absence for treatment or appointments must be reported to your supervisor and Sedgwick 30 days in advance or as soon as the timing is known. You must make a reasonable effort and work with your supervisor to schedule these absences around business needs (i.e., during non-peak work days/hours, before or after work, etc.).
  • The above applies to all employees and if you fail to follow these steps, the time you are away may not be considered for protection under federal or state leave laws or company policy.

Note: You will receive a confirmation number on each successfully reported intermittent absence.

How will I receive notification of decisions made on intermittent absence days?

If you opt into text messages, you will receive notification of your pending absence reported, along with the confirmation number.

If you are reporting your absence on an already approved intermittent leave:

  • If clarification or recertification is needed or your absence is denied, within two-three business days your leave specialist will send you notification in writing.
  • If your absence falls within your approved certification parameters and additional information is not needed, you will not receive a separate notification. For example: If you do not receive notification otherwise, the absence is considered approved.

If you are reporting your absence on a pending intermittent leave:

  • Your absence(s) remains in a pending status until a decision is made on your leave request.
  • If your leave is approved and all absences reported fall within the certification parameters, then your absence(s) would be approved.
  • If clarification is needed, your leave request is denied or individual absence days requested are denied, you will be notified in writing by your leave specialist.

Note: You can always review the status of your absences in viaOne® Express for what may be pending, approved or denied.

What options do I have to submit my paperwork to Sedgwick?

Submit your completed forms by:

Faxing to: 1-866-856-4862
Uploading to: "viaOne® Express" (single sign-on capability through PG&E’s network or www.claimlookup.com/pge)
Mailing to:
Sedgwick
P.O. Box 14495
Lexington, KY 40512

What does it mean to be approved pending confirmation of my first day of absence?

This is a conditional approval. If you have not already taken your first day of absence, Sedgwick will not be able to confirm your eligibility for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA), PG&E's Paid Family Leave or Short-term Disability based on certain eligibility requirements until this date has occurred. For example, they will not be able to confirm you have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding your leave start date or confirm if you have started to lose wages and are eligible for wage replacement until you’ve actually started your leave.

If your approval status changes after your eligibility for leave is confirmed, Sedgwick will provide you with notice of actions to take and any leave options you may have.

How will I receive notification of decisions made on my request for leave, PFL or STD?

If you agree to receive emails:

  • You’ll receive email notifications at your personal email address once a decision is made. With any approval, a copy of the letter will be attached to the email.
  • With any denial or request for clarification, you’ll receive email notice that action may be needed and to log into viaOne® Express to view the letter (which will also be mailed to your home). This includes notification if an intermittent absence day is denied—details of any denial will not be sent you by email or text message.
  • Your supervisor will receive and separate email notifications with decisions—they will not be copied on the emails you receive.

If you agree to text messages, an approval notification will be sent by text message as well.

If you do not agree to either email or text messages, you will be mailed a letter with all of the decisions on your leave request.

What’s available through text messaging?

If you agree to receive text messages, you’ll receive text messages with real time information and proactive reminders. You’ll be notified by text when:

  • A new leave or disability claim has been requested for you with your associated claim number.
  • Documentation is received.
  • Documentation has not been received with a reminder of the due date.
  • If your leave specialist is trying to reach you.
  • Your leave is approved and the approved start and end dates.
  • Your continuous leave is expected to end with a reminder of your return to work date.
  • Your reported intermittent absence is pending review.

What happens if I do not return my documentation by the due date?

Your request for leave and benefits, if eligible, will be denied. If documentation is later received and you remain eligible for leave or disability benefits, it may be considered on a moving forward basis.

When I review my available leave and what leave I have used in viaOne® Express, it’s showing in weeks versus hours—how’s this calculated?

If you take full week of leave under FMLA or CFRA, a full week will be deducted from your available 12 weeks of leave. If you take a partial week of leave, only the percentage of the work week will be deducted from your available 12 weeks of leave.

For example:

  • If you are schedule to work 40 hours and you are absent for 8 hours of leave, you will have taken leave for 1/5 (20%) of your work week.
  • If you are schedule to work 48 hours (including mandatory overtime) and you are absent for 8 hours of leave, you will have taken leave for 1/6 (16.67%) of your work week.

If I have any time coding questions relating to my employees leave of absence, who should I contact?

You will continue to send questions to the PGELeaveteam@pge.com.

Will I still have access to check emails from time to time while on leave?

No. When on Leave of Absence (LOA), your electronic access permissions will be disabled (including Citrix, VPN and mobile mail), as required by Human Resources and Law. Access to the SAP Portal, PG&E@WorkforMe, will remain enabled, however, so you can obtain tax details and other important information. Upon return from LOA, STD or PFL, electronic access will be re-enabled when your Personnel Change Request (PCR) has been completed by your Supervisor via PG&E@Work for Me > My Staff.


Short-term Disability Questions

All questions in this section are applicable for Utility Management, Administrative & Technical (A&T) and ESC-represented employees only.

Which employees are eligible for the STD policy?

You are eligible if you are Utility Management, Administrative & Technical (A&T), and ESC-represented employee with a date of disability of 1/1/17 or later. For qualifying events beginning on or after January 1, 2018, for employees who work in California, you are eligible for PG&E’s STD Wage Continuation benefits if you are covered under the Voluntary Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefit Plan (Voluntary Plan).

If you are an eligible employee and you opt out of the VP:

  • You will continue to follow the process for using your capped sick time and follow the leave of absence process with Sedgwick to request a company medical and/or leaves provided under the FMLA, CFRA, PDL or local leaves, if eligible.
  • You will need to apply for CA SDI through the Employment Development Department (EDD). Payments for CA SDI benefits will be made directly by the EDD and via a debit card.

If you are an intern, hiring hall, temporary or intermittent employee who has not attained regular status, you are eligible for Voluntary Plan benefits (55% benefit) and are not eligible for PG&E STD wage continuation benefits/leave or PG&E’s company leaves. Voluntary Plan is a wage replacement benefit only; you may be eligible for a leave of absence under the FMLA, CFRA, or other similar state or local leave law.

If you are an eligible employee and work outside of California, PG&E’s STD Wage Continuation supplements any state disability and paid family leave program for which you may be eligible.

How does PG&E’s short-term disability (STD) wage continuation interact with Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI)?

As an eligible California Utility employee, you’re automatically covered under the Voluntary Plan beginning in 2018 unless you opt-out. The PG&E STD policy is comprised of three components: capped sick time and wage continuation benefits that supplement voluntary plan benefits. If you opt-out of the VP benefits, you will not receive the wage continuation benefits. Capped sick time will still apply. Any absences over seven consecutive calendar days will still follow the STD process and require medical certification.

VPDI pays 60% of your pre-disability weekly wage rate.. STD wage continuation supplements this VPDI amount, so that together your benefits will add up to an after-tax equivalent of 70% of your pre-disability basic wage rate.

How will PG&E’s STD policy work beginning in 2018?

If you are certified as qualifying for STD benefits, you must use any available capped sick time until it is exhausted (provides 100% income replacement). Once capped sick time has exhausted, STD wage continuation provides supplemental income replacement, when added to the VPDI benefit, up to an after-tax equivalent of 70% of basic wage rate prior to disability. You may be eligible for up to 52 weeks of STD benefits/leave.

An application for benefits will need to be made through the leave and disability administrator, Sedgwick, for STD benefits, including capped sick time over 7 days.

For example if an employee is off for a total of 12 weeks and has 120 capped sick time hours:

Absence Capped Sick time Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI) PG&E STD Wage Continuation
3 weeks X
9 weeks X X

How do you get to the “after-tax equivalent” or “net” benefit?

The PG&E STD wage continuation benefit is taxed at the same rate as regular pay. In order for you to receive the after-tax equivalent to 70% of pre-disability pay, the wage continuation will be “grossed up”. You do not pay taxes on the VPDI benefit.

Important: VPDI and STD wage continuation are weekly benefits. Your monthly pay will be converted to a weekly amount in order to calculate these benefits (monthly pay x 12 / 52 = weekly base pay amount).

Example:
You have been certified and approved for VPDI and STD wage continuation benefits for 8 weeks. You use your remaining capped sick time to cover the first 2 weeks. Your base monthly pay is $8,333.00 per month (or $1,923.00 per week). In this example, your tax rate is 30% (Note: Your tax rate is specific to you and may differ from this example).

Capped Sick Time One Week Two Weeks
$1,846.00/week $1,923.00 $3,846.00
30% tax - $576.90 - $1,153.80
Net Pay $1,346.10 $2,692.20

Under the PG&E STD policy, after capped sick time ends, you’re eligible for 70% after-tax (net) of your pre-disability weekly basic wage rate of $1,923.00, or $1,346.10 per week, in combination with VPDI and wage continuation benefits. Since you are eligible to receive $1,153.80 per week in VPDI benefits (60% of your weekly basic wage rate), your weekly wage continuation benefit amount will be calculated as follows:

70% of Basic Weekly Wage Rate VPDI per week STD Wage Continuation per week
70% of $1,923.00 = $1,346.10 $1,153.80 $1,346.10 - $1,153.80 = $192.30

6 weeks of STD Wage Continuation benefits of $192.30 is $1,153.80 ($192.30 x 6 weeks = $1,153.80).

With your tax rate of 30%, you pay this 30% on your six weeks of STD wage continuation benefit, which is approximately $494.50 in taxes. The $1,153.80 will be grossed up to $1,648.30 so that after taxes, you will receive the estimated $1,153.80, less any applicable deductions (e.g., benefit premiums, union dues, etc.).

STD wage continuation payments
6 weeks of wage continuation grossed-up Gross $1,648.30
30% tax = - $494.50
$192.30 x 6 weeks After-Tax/Net $1,153.80

Below represents your total of 8 weeks of STD benefits through the receipt of capped sick time, VPDI and STD Wage Continuation benefits.

STD Estimated Benefits
Capped Stick Time (2 weeks) $2,692.20
VDI payments (60% no tax weekly benefit (6 weeks)
$6,922.80

STD Wage Continuation (70% after tax weekly benefit (6 weeks))
+ $1,153.80
$8,076.60
Total estimated after-tax STD benefits for 8 weeks (Capped Sick, VPDI and Wage Continuation benefits) $10,768.80

When and how will STD benefits be paid?

Capped sick time, VPDI and STD wage continuation benefit payments will be made on your regularly scheduled payroll cycle. The pay cycle in which payments are made in dependent upon the date on which your claim decision is made. You will receive two separate checks/direct deposit from PG&E: VPDI benefits and STD Wage Continuation (supplemental) benefits. For example: If you are a monthly-paid employee and your claim decision is made on the 25th of the month, your benefits will be paid according to your normal pay cycle the following the month.

Can I receive vacation or other paid time, while also receiving STD benefits?

No.

I have been off for medical reasons since 2017, am I eligible under the STD policy that takes effect on January 1, 2018?

You will remain eligible under the 2017 STD policy based on your date of disability being in 2017. This means you would be eligible for capped sick time (if available), and CA SDI with wage continuation. You are not eligible for VPDI benefits for a disability period that began in 2017.

I was hurt at work, can I still file for STD?

You can file a claim for STD benefits; however, you cannot be paid workers’ compensation, VPDI and wage continuation benefits for the same period of time except in limited situations. For example, you may be paid interim STD benefits if you’ve filed a claim for workers’ compensation and these payments are denied or delayed.

If you do receive VPDI benefits while your workers’ compensation case is pending, a lien will be filed to recover those benefits when you resolve your workers’ compensation case. In some cases, this could still result in an overpayment of VPDI benefits. If you received capped sick time or wage continuation during this time, you will be required to repay any overpayment resulting from these payments.

What happens to my job if I am off work under the STD policy?

If you are on an approved absence, you have job protection for up to one year from your first day missed due to disability and are eligible to receive capped sick time or wage continuation benefits. When you are able to return to work, you are generally able to return to your former or equivalent classification and headquarters.

If you have opted to remain covered under the State Plan, please see the types of leaves document for additional information on leaves for which you may qualify.

Note: If a position is eliminated, you have no greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if you had been continuously employed (working) during any leave or disability period.

What happens to my other PG&E benefits if I am off work and receiving STD benefits?

  • During your STD leave period, health and welfare benefits for yourself and your covered dependents, if applicable, will continue as if you were still at work (with the exception of the Dependent Care FSA). Your health and welfare premium contributions will remain the same as when you were working.
  • These premiums will be deducted, without any action on your part (i.e., deductions will be automatic), while you are receiving capped sick time or PG&E’s STD wage continuation (supplemental) benefits payments.
  • When you’re on leave, the premiums that you pay for your health and welfare benefits will not be automatically deducted from your Voluntary Plan (VP) wage replacement pay. Please see the Voluntary Plan page for more information about electing to continue to have health and welfare premium deductions “redirected” from the VP wage replacement benefits.
  • You are eligible for full vacation, incidental sick time and holiday time accrual for the first 480 cumulative hours (12 weeks) of your STD leave period , which begins your first day of absence, including when using capped sick time (or incidental sick time, if used during the benefit waiting period), per calendar year. (See the vacation and sick time section on mypgebenefits.com for details and limitations).
  • While approved to receive capped sick time (and incidental sick time, if used during the benefit waiting period) and STD wage continuation benefit payments, 401(k) contributions and company match will continue at your current designation unless you elect otherwise pursuant to normal 401(k) election procedures.
  • If you are eligible for the Short-Term Incentive Plan (STIP), you will receive STIP credits during the first six months of your STD leave period per calendar year.

Questions on health and welfare benefits should be directed to the PG&E Benefits Service Center at 1-866-271-8144.


IBEW and SEIU-Represented Employees covered under the Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI):


If you are a Utility employee working in California, you are eligible for coverage under the Voluntary Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefit Plan (Voluntary Plan or VP).

VPDI is a wage replacement benefit only; you may be eligible for a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/ California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) other similar state or local leave law or PG&E’s company medical leave.

How do VPDI benefits work for IBEW and SEIU-Represented employees?

Once sick leave has been exhausted, Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI) provides income replacement up to a non-taxable amount of 60% of your basic wage rate prior to disability.

If you are a hiring hall, outage, temporary additional, summer hire, intern or probationary-intermittent employee, VPDI provides income replacement up to a non-taxable amount of 55% of your basic wage rate prior to disability. See the Voluntary Plan page for more information on how benefits are calculated and length in which you may be eligible for benefits. An application for benefits will need to be made through Sedgwick, using the same process that exists today—one call is needed for Voluntary Plan and any other leave for which you may be eligible and qualified. Meaning, if you will be out for a planned absence, you need to call Sedgwick 30 days in advance of your leave start date. If you will be out for an unforeseeable event, you need to call as soon as the need for leave is known. This includes calling for absences covered under federal and state leave provisions (i.e. if you will be absent for four or more days for your own condition, a leave of absence should be initiated with Sedgwick).

When and how will VPDI benefits be paid?

Sick pay and VPDI benefit payments will be made according to your normal pay cycle and the method of payment you’ve elected through PG&E’s payroll department (i.e. direct deposit or live check). VPDI benefit payments will be issued on a separate paycheck from any other pay type and issued according to your current pay designation (direct deposit or live paycheck).

Can I receive vacation or other paid time while also receiving VPDI benefits?

No.

If I am out for medical reasons beginning in 2017 and my leave continues into 2018, will I be eligible for the VPDI benefits?

No. In order for you to be eligible for the VPDI benefits effective January 1, 2018, your date of disability needs to be on or after January 1, 2018. You will remain eligible under the 2017 policies with respect to such leave.

If you have sick time, you will continue to use and exhaust this balance and apply for disability insurance benefits through the State of California.

I was hurt at work, can I still file for VPDI?

You can file a claim for VPDI benefits. However, you cannot be paid workers’ compensation and VPDI for the same period of time except in limited situations. For example, you may be paid interim VPDI benefits if you’ve filed a claim for workers’ compensation and these payments are denied or delayed.

If you do receive VPDI benefits while your workers’ compensation case is pending, a lien will be filed to recover those benefits when you resolve your workers’ compensation case. In some cases, this could still result in an overpayment of VPDI benefits. You will be required to repay any overpayment resulting from these payments.

What happens to my job if I am on an approved leave and receiving benefits under the VPDI policy?

If you are receiving Voluntary Plan benefits, you have job protection if you are also on an approved leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA), California Pregnancy Disability Leave CA PFL), other federal/state leave laws, or Company leave policy. The length of your job protection will be dependent on what leave law or policy for which you are eligible.

Please see the leaves of absence section on mypgebenefits.com for additional information on leaves for which you may qualify.

What happens to my other PG&E benefits if I am on an approved leave and receiving VPDI benefits?

During your medical leave period, health and welfare benefits for yourself and your covered dependents, if applicable, will continue as if you were still at work (with the exception of the Dependent Care FSA). You are not eligible to participate in the Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) while you are not actively at work. Your health and welfare premium contributions will remain the same as when you were working.


Paid Family Leave Questions

Which employees are eligible under PG&E’s policy in 2018?

You are eligible if you are Management, Administrative & Technical (A&T), IBEW-, SEIU- or ESC-represented employee, or PG&E Corporation Employees (including PG&E Corporation Support Services, and PG&E Corporation Support Services II, Inc.) and you meet the other eligibility criteria described in the types of leave document.

For qualifying events beginning on or after January 1, 2018, for Utility employees who work in California, you are eligible for PG&E’s PFL Wage Continuation benefits only if you are covered under the Voluntary Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefit Plan (Voluntary Plan or VP).

If you are an eligible employee and you opt out of the VP:

  • You will continue to follow the process to request a leave provided under the FMLA, CFRA, local leaves or company leave, if eligible.
  • You will need to apply for CA PFL through the Employment Development Department (EDD). Payments for CA PFL benefits will be made directly by the EDD and via a debit card.

If you are an intern, hiring hall, temporary or intermittent employee who has not attained regular status, you are eligible for Voluntary Plan benefits (55% benefit) and are not eligible for PG&E PFL wage continuation benefits/leave or PG&E’s company leaves. Voluntary Plan is a wage replacement benefit only; you may be eligible for a leave of absence under the FMLA, CFRA, or other similar state or local leave law. See the Voluntary Plan page for additional details on benefit calculations.

If you are an eligible employee and work outside of California, PG&E’s PFL Wage Continuation supplements any state disability and paid family leave program for which you may be eligible.

What are the reasons I may be eligible for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits?

  • If you need to care for a seriously ill family member, including your child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, parent-in-law, or registered domestic partner; or
  • To bond with your new child or the child of your registered domestic partner, within one year of the child’s birth/adoption or foster care placement.

What is the PG&E PFL benefit effective January 1, 2018?

If you are certified as qualifying for PFL benefits, the Voluntary Paid Family Plan (VPFL) provides 60% benefits, and PG&E’s PFL wage continuation policy supplements these benefits so that in total, you receive a PFL benefit of 100% (pre-tax) of your basic wage rate in effect prior to your leave. The PG&E PFL policy offers up to eight (8) weeks of benefits.

If you are hiring hall, outage, temporary additional, summer hire, intern or probationary-intermittent employee, VPFL provides a 55% benefit of your basic wage rate in effect prior to your leave. You are not eligible for PG&E’s PFL wage continuation benefits described here.

How does PG&E’s PFL policy work?

An application for benefits will need to be made through PG&E’s third-party leave and disability administrator, Sedgwick, for both VPFL and PFL wage continuation benefits—one call is needed for VPFL, PG&E PFL wage continuation and any other leave for which you may be eligible and qualified.

Can I receive vacation or other paid time while also receiving PG&E’s PFL benefits?

No.

Is there a waiting period for PFL wage continuation and VPFL benefits?

No. There is no waiting period for PFL benefits.

Am I required to take leave under the FMLA and CFRA at the same time I am receiving PFL benefits?

Yes. If you are eligible and qualified under FMLA, CFRA, other local state, local leave laws or company leave, VPFL and wage continuation benefits all run concurrently with and do not extend leave under federal, state, local leave laws or company leave policies.

Do I need to take all 8 weeks of PG&E’s PFL wage continuation at one time?

No. PFL benefits can be used on an intermittent basis, when certified to do so, so long as you are suffering a wage loss. You may also break up the leave periods to bond with your new child (Note: there are certain minimum leave length requirements for bonding leaves under other federal, state and company provisions that govern here).

For example, you might be certified to take occasional days off work to care for an eligible family member with a serious health condition or might take three separate two week periods to bond with a new child.

My spouse also works for PG&E. Are we both covered under PG&E’s PFL policy?

Yes, both parents who work for the company are eligible for leave and benefits under the VPFL and PFL wage continuation program.

The sharing comes in to play for parents both taking leave for bonding under the federal and state leave laws (FMLA/CFRA). The sharing of leave is minimal in this regard as any time the mother has on FMLA leave for her pregnancy is not shared. If this is 10 weeks, then those 10 weeks are not shared. Assuming the father is also eligible for FMLA, he would get 10 weeks of FMLA. In addition, if you are both eligible, you both may take leave under the company child care/bonding leave.

What happens to my other PG&E benefits if I am on leave and receiving PG&E’s PFL benefits?

During your PFL/bonding or family care leave period, your health and welfare benefits for yourself and your covered dependents, if applicable, will continue as if you were still at work (with the exception of the Dependent Care FSA). Your health care premium contributions will remain the same as if you were working for the first three calendar months of your PFL/bonding or family care leave. See the Parental Leave section and FAQ’s for additional information and examples.

If you remain off work beyond three calendar months, starting in the fourth calendar month, you will be responsible for paying the full premium for the medical, dental and vision plans, depending on your status. The first partial month is the month in which your first day of PFL leave begins. Your PFL period runs concurrently with FMLA/CFRA and/or the company’s Child Bonding or personal leave.

All eligible employees:

  • Health and welfare premiums (if applicable) will be deducted automatically while you are receiving PG&E’s PFL wage continuation benefits payments. You are not eligible to participate in the Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) while you are not actively at work.
  • When you’re on leave, the premiums that you pay for your health and welfare benefits will not be automatically deducted from your Voluntary Plan (VP) wage replacement pay. Please see the Voluntary Plan page for more information about electing to continue to have health and welfare premium deductions “redirected” from the VP wage replacement benefits.
  • While approved to receive VPFL and PG&E PFL wage continuation benefit payments, 401(k) contributions and company match will continue at your current designation unless you elect otherwise pursuant to normal 401(k) election procedures.

Management, A&T and ESC-represented employees:

  • You are eligible to continue to accrue vacation, incidental sick time and company holidays during the 8-week PG&E PFL benefit period. (See the vacation and sick time section for details and limitations)
  • If you are eligible for the Short-Term Incentive Plan (STIP), you will receive STIP credits during your eight-week PG&E PFL leave period per calendar year.

IBEW- and SEIU-represented employees:

You are eligible continue to accrue vacation during periods of PFL leave in accordance with current rules for unpaid leaves of absence (see your respective labor agreement or the Summary of Benefits Handbook for additional details and limitations for vacation accrual during period of leave).

Questions on health and welfare premiums should be directed to the PG&E Benefits Service Center at 866-271-8144.