Policy Statement and Reason  

For the purpose of this policy, employees are California faculty and staff unless otherwise indicated in the sections below. All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern. 

Under California state law, Emerson College is required to deduct a certain amount from employees’ pay to provide State Disability Insurance (SDI). SDI is not a "leave" program, and it does not provide employees with leave beyond that provided in the College’s policies. Instead, SDI is a paid benefits program that provides eligible employees with compensation for lost wages, for up to 52 weeks, when employees cannot work because of non-work-related disability, illness or injury (including those relating to pregnancy and childbirth).

Policy Guidelines


Employees who experience non-work-related disability, illness or injury (including those relating to pregnancy and childbirth) for eight or more consecutive calendar days and as a result experience a loss of wages may be eligible for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits. According to the Employment Development Department of the State of California (EDD), employees who meet the following criteria may be eligible for SDI:

  • Employees are unable to perform their regular job duties due to a non-work-related disability, illness or injury (including those relating to pregnancy and childbirth).
  • Employees must satisfy a seven (7) day waiting period.
  • Employees must have lost wages because of their non-work-related disability, illness or injury.
  • Employees must have earned at least $300 in any calendar quarter from which SDI deductions were withheld during the base period.
  • Employees are under the care and treatment of licensed physicians/practitioners.
  • Employees, along with their physicians/practitioners, must submit completed claim forms to the EDD within 49 days of the date of disability available from EDD or Human Resources.
  • Employees’ physicians/practitioners must submit medical certification of disability, illness or injury to the EDD.

Leaves of Absence and SDI Pay Continuation

Employees are responsible for applying for these benefits themselves and can obtain forms from EDD or Human Resources.  SDI does not provide additional leave, job protection or reinstatement rights beyond those provided by the College’s policies or by applicable state or federal law. Eligible employees who are unable to work due to a non-work related illness or injury must apply separately for leaves of absence through Human Resources.

Sick Time and SDI

The SDI program treats sick leave wages as wages earned. SDI benefits will be reduced by the amount of sick leave wages received and may render the employee ineligible for benefits depending on the amount of sick leave wages received and the employee’s weekly benefit amount.

Other Information

Applying for SDI

To apply for SDI, eligible employees should contact the Employment Development Department at (800) 480-3287 or online

Related Policies

Key Offices to Contact 

Please contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.  

Links to Procedures or Forms

Forms can be obtained from EDD.


Not applicable


The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment.  This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.


Policy Effective Date:  May 2019