Family Medical Leave Act
Time Teaching Faculty, and
Administrative Staff with Faculty Rank, and
Academic Support Staff with Faculty Rank
A. The Family Medical Leave Act
The Family Medical Leave Act allows employees to balance their work and family life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The Family Medical Leave Act seeks to accomplish these purposes in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers, and minimizes the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of gender, while promoting equal opportunity for men and women.
The Family Medical Leave Act, which became effective on August 5, 1993, requires all employers with 50 or more employees to give employees up to 12 workweeks of job-protected leave per rolling 12-month period.
To be eligible for leave, an employee must have worked for the employer at least 12 months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months.
The specific situations for which one can request a leave are:
• the birth of and care for an infant child;
• the adoption of a child;
• the placement of a foster child in your home;
• to care for your spouse, eligible child or parent with a serious health condition; and
• A serious health condition that makes you unable to work.
A serous health condition is defined as an injury, impairment or mental condition that involves either:
• In patient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
• Continuing treatment by a health care provider. Examples of categories of “continuing treatment by health care provider” include a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days involving treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion that result in a regimen of continuing treatment under the health care provider’s supervision. Pregnancy and prenatal care qualify even if an employee does not receive treatment or even if the care does not last more than three days. A chronic health condition qualifies as a serious health condition even if an employee does not receive treatment and it does not last more than three days (e.g., asthma, severe morning sickness). Health conditions that generally do not qualify for FMLA include: uncomplicated cold, flu, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches, other than migraine, routine physical, eye, dental or orthodontia exams.
Basic Regulations and Conditions of Leave
When a leave is requested to care for oneself or an eligible relative, a form must be completed (available in the office of human resources) to support the request for leave. The university may require a second opinion and periodic re-certification. If the first and second opinions differ, the university may require a third opinion of a health care provider that is jointly selected by the employee and the university. If the employee takes a leave to attend to his/her own serious medical condition, the institution requires that the employee’s health care provider certify that the employee is able to return to work.
Leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule if the employee, his/her spouse, eligible child or parent has a serious health condition and it is medically necessary for the employee to do so. If leave is requested on this basis, however, the university may require the employee to transfer to an alternative position which better accommodates recurring periods of absence, or to a part-time schedule, provided that the position has equivalent pay and benefits.
Notification and Reporting Requirements
Whenever possible, employees must provide the office of human resources with 30 days’ advance notice of the need for the leave of absence. When it is not possible to give 30 days’ notice for foreseeable leave, or if the leave is not foreseeable, notice should be given as soon as practicable (generally within one or two business days of when one knows there is a need for leave). This allows the university time to develop a plan to work around an employee absence.
If employees are absent for an FMLA reason and the university does not learn the reason for the absence until the employee returns to work (e.g., where the employee was absent for only a brief period), the university ay, upon return to work, promptly (within two business days of the return to work) designate the leave as FMLA retroactively with appropriate notice to the employee. If the leave is taken for an FMLA reason and has not been so designated by the university, but the employee desires that the leave be counted as FMLA leave, the employee must notify the university within two business days of returning to work that the leave was for an FMLA reason. In the absence of such timely notification, the employee may not subsequently assert FMLA protections for the absence.
Status of Employee Benefits during Leave of Absence
Employees who are granted an approved leave of absence under this policy and are not paid during their absence are responsible for paying the premium contributions for group health insurance coverage if enrolled in the plan.
Employees are required to use accrued sick leave and encouraged to use accrued vacation to assure salary continuation for as long as possible during approved leave. Leave is generally described as unpaid, although the employee may elect of the employer may required an employee to substitute accrued paid leave, including vacation and sick pay, for any part of the leave provided under the act. Neither vacation nor sick leave is earned during leave approved under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Employees may not be employed elsewhere while on leave from the University.
Upon returning from an approved leave, an employee will be entitled to return to the same position held when the leave commenced or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, duties, and other terms and conditions of employment at the university’s discretion.
The university may deny job restoration if an employee fails to provide the appropriate certification from his/her physician.
G. Administration and Interpretation
The office of human resources will administer the university’s FMLA policy.
The university retains the right to interpret or revise its FMLA policy at any time without prior notice.
The university shall, in its sole discretion, determine each employee’s eligibility and the regulations and conditions of all approved leaves.
This policy does not pre-empt a state law that contains more generous provisions than the provisions set forth herein and the provisions of this policy shall coordinate with all applicable state laws and other university policies and may, in certain circumstances, supersede other university policies.
Employees with questions concerning the Family Medical Leave Act should contact the office of human resources. Forms requesting a leave under FMLA are available in the office of human resources.