Commonwealth of MA GIC
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department offers a variety of employee benefits. Many of the benefits are standard to all employees, however, each collective bargaining agreement may have their own unique rules.
All regular employees who work at least 21 hours per week are eligible for health insurance coverage through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission. Qualified employees who want coverage must apply within 10 days of the date of their employment. This deadline is important because employees who fail to apply within the 10-day period may only be enrolled during the open enrollment period held once a year.
Employees interested in joining one of the health plans should contact the Human Resources Division.
A $5,000 life insurance policy is issued to employees who join any of the medical insurance plans. An Optional Life Insurance Plan is also available to employees for an additional premium. Employees interested in additional life insurance should contact the Personnel Division.
All employees who have completed their probationary period and work at least 35 hours per week are entitled to full vacation leave benefits. Those employees who work 21 hours or more per week are entitled to vacation leave on a prorated basis.
To determine your eligibility for vacation leave, and the amount you earn, please refer to your collective bargaining agreement. Employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements should contact their supervisors.
Employment with either Suffolk County or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prior to present employment with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department may be considered in the determination of years of service for vacation purposes. Employees must provide documentation of their prior service to the Personnel Division.
Vacation leave must be approved in advance and can only be carried over from one calendar year to the next with your supervisor’s approval. Please consult your collective bargaining contract for details. At no time can vacation time from a preceding year be carried over beyond March 31st of the present year.
Some employees receive “personal days”. Employees are encouraged to schedule personal days in advance to ensure efficient departmental operations and fairness in the distribution of work. Your collective bargaining contract will indicate your eligibility for this benefit.
Most full-time employees are granted 13 paid holidays. In December of each year, the Personnel Division issues a schedule specifying the date of annual holidays and this schedule will be posted.
New Year’s Day
Authorized sick leave is an employee benefit to be used only for absences caused by: illness, injury, the serious illness of a member of the employee’s immediate family, and illness or disability arising out of or caused by pregnancy, miscarriage or child birth and recovery therefrom.
Employees who are sick must notify their supervisor at least one hour prior to the absence (Please consult your Collective Bargaining Agreement for your Union’s rules). When an employee becomes ill during regular working hours and must leave work, the employee must notify the supervisor prior to leaving. If you are excused for illness after reporting to work, the remaining hours of the day will be charged against your earned sick leave balance.
Employees who are absent may be required to present a physician’s report upon returning to work. All sick leave is subject to the approval of the Sheriff.
You will accumulate sick leave at a monthly rate. The number of sick days you earn is determined by your collective bargaining agreement, however, as a new employee you may not take paid sick leave during your first six months of service. When you have completed six months of service, you will be credited with the number of days earned.
Unlike most of private industry, you are able to accumulate sick leave year after year. This is an especially important benefit in case of long-term illness or disability.
Employees who abuse sick leave shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge under the department’s Managing Attendance Policies. Employees who fail to give proper notice shall be considered absent without authority and shall be subject to disciplinary action under the department’s Unauthorized Absence Policy. Consult your collective bargaining agreement for details.
Sick Leave Redemption
After completing 1 year of service, and subject to the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or compensation plan, if you have used fewer than 5 sick days in the previous year you may redeem sick days in a lump sum cash payment, in accordance with the following schedule:
If you are on the payroll on the last day of the calendar year and have completed at least 6 months service but less than 12 months service, a prorated schedule will be used for payment.
During January, you will be notified by the Personnel Division if you are qualified for redemption options. If you have used 5 or more sick days in the previous year, you are not qualified for redemption options. Any sick days which are redeemed will be deducted from your sick leave balance.
Paid Leaves of AbsencePaid Leaves of Absence will be permitted for the following reasons:
Military leave: If you are a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, you shall be granted a leave of absence with pay during the time of your annual tour of duty, but the leave shall not exceed 17 days. A copy of the military orders must be provided to the Personnel Division prior to the leave.
Jury Duty: If you are summoned for jury duty, you must submit a copy of the summons and notice to your supervisor in order to be granted a leave of absence. The Department will make up the difference between your jury pay and your regular weekly pay, provided you submit a copy of the juror’s compensation statement that you receive from the Trial Court Department.
Bereavement Leave: You may be entitled to receive bereavement leave without loss of pay in the event of the death of a member of your immediate family. Please check your collective bargaining agreement for specific details or consult with your supervisor.
Unpaid Leaves of Absence
Unpaid leaves of absence are generally only granted for medical reasons. Please check your collective bargaining agreement for specific details or consult with your supervisor.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
In compliance with the FMLA, the Sheriff’s Department allows medical leave for eligible employees. Please consult your collective bargaining agreement or with the Personnel Division for further information.
Workers’ Compensation is provided for employees whose injuries or disabilities arose out of or in the course of employment. If you should become injured or disabled, you or your supervisor must file a “First Report of Injury” within 24 hours of the incident.
Workers’ Compensation will pay a portion or your weekly wage pursuant to M.G.L. Ch.152.
For further information concerning this benefit, contact the Workers’ Compensation and Benefits Division.
If you are separated from your position in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Report to the nearest Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training Office to register for work, and file your claim for benefits while you are unemployed.
For a complete list of eligibility requirements and additional information regarding unemployment compensation policies, benefits, and claims, contact the Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training. The downtown Boston office is at the Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford Street, Government Center.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a member of the Massachusetts Retirement System for Public Employees. It is not a member of the Federal Social Security System.
All new employees must contribute 10 percent of their wages into this retirement system.
For more information, contact the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Retirement Board, One Ashburton Place, Suite 1219, Boston, MA at (617) 723-1438.
Deferred Compensation Alternatives
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department employees are eligible to invest pre-tax dollars through payroll deduction through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Deferred Compensation Plan. “Deferred Compensation” permits you to defer up to $12,000 (if 50 years or older $14,000) of your salary from federal and state taxes. Money continues to accumulate tax-free until you withdraw from the plan.
The Deferred Compensation Plan is administered by Aetna Financial Services, which performs the various recordkeeping services. To set up an appointment, call Aetna Financial Services at 1-800-599-8618 or check with the Personnel Division.
Medical or Personal Appointments
Medical or personal business appointments should be scheduled outside normal working hours. If this is impossible, they should be scheduled either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon for minimal interruption of daily work.
It may be possible to use your lunch period for some or all of the appointment time period with the prior approval of your supervisor.
Requests for time off must be approved and submitted in writing to your supervisor prior to the appointment. All time off must be documented, and charged to the appropriate authorized leave.
Questions? Email the HR Department.