The Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") is a federal law which requires that an eligible employee be granted up to 12 work weeks (or the equivalent of 60 work days) of unpaid, job protected, leave during any 12 month period, for any one or combination of the following reasons:
The FMLA also requires that an eligible employee be granted up to 26 work weeks of unpaid, job protected, leave during a single 12 month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the service member.
The 26 weeks may be taken for the sole purpose of Military Caregiver Leave or in combination with other leaves.
Employees are eligible for leave if they have been employed with the University for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period immediately preceding commencement of the leave.
The 12 month period is calculated as a "rolling" 12 month period, measured backward from the date an employee first uses FMLA leave. That is, when a leave is requested, the University will "look back" over the last 12 months to determine the amount of FMLA taken during that period. The amount of leave already taken during that 12 month period will be deducted from 12 weeks to yield the maximum amount of FMLA leave currently available.
The "single 12 month period" to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness under Military Caregiver Leave is calculated forward, beginning on the first day the employee takes leave to care for the covered service member and ending 12 months after that date.
FMLA leave runs concurrently with other University and State-required leaves. Employees on FMLA leave for their own serious health condition are required to first use all available accrued sick leave, concurrently. On exhaustion of the employee's accrued sick leave, the employee is required to use all available accrued personal, vacation, and floater/holiday leave time, concurrently with the FMLA leave. Employees on leave for any reason authorized under this policy are required to use all available accrued personal, vacation, and floater/holiday leave time concurrently with the FMLA leave.
On exhaustion of all applicable paid leave, the remainder of any FMLA leave will be unpaid. Any combination of paid and unpaid FMLA leave may not exceed 12 work weeks in the 12 month period. If the employee continues to be unable to return to work upon the exhaustion of his/her FMLA leave due to his/her own serious health condition, the employee may request a leave of absence, pursue disability options, or be granted an accommodation. At no point shall any continued leave be counted as FMLA leave unless and until the employee again satisfies the requisite eligibility requirements.
Employees on intermittent or a reduced work schedule accrue leave in proportion to the hours actually worked. Employees do not accrue sick, vacation, personal, or floater/holiday leave while on unpaid FMLA leave, for any reason. Holidays have no impact on FMLA leave. If a holiday falls in a week when an employee is on such leave, the employee does not get "credit" for the holiday; the time is treated as part of the FMLA leave.
If a collective bargaining agreement sets forth a family and medical leave policy, that policy will govern where it is more generous than this policy.
In circumstances where a health care provider determines and certifies in writing that, due to the employee's own or qualifying family member's serious health condition, it is medically necessary to take leave intermittently (in blocks of time) or by reducing the employee's normal weekly or daily work schedule, such leave will be permitted if feasible.
The University will account for the intermittent or reduced leave using increments no greater than the shortest period of time that the University uses to account for use of other forms of leaves (within the employee's classification group) provided that the increment is not greater than one hour and provided further that the employee's FMLA leave entitlement may not be reduced by more than the amount of leave actually taken.
Employees who require intermittent or reduced schedule leave should make a reasonable effort to schedule their leave to minimize disruption of their department's operation. During any period of intermittent leave or reduced schedule, the University reserves the right to transfer the employee to an alternative position for which the employee is qualified and which may better accommodate the periods of leave than the employee's regular position.
When the employee has requested reduced schedule or intermittent leave because the employee has planned medical treatments for his or her own health condition, the employee's medical certification must include the dates on which such treatment is expected, as well as the duration of the treatment.
During FMLA leave, group health benefit coverage will be maintained as if the employee had been continuously working during the FMLA leave period. If the employee's premium payment obligations under the applicable plan are not covered by the employee's paycheck, the employee will have to provide the University with a check or money order in the appropriate amount. Specific questions may be directed to Human Resources. In the event that an employee fails to return from leave, he or she may be required to reimburse the University for any health insurance contributions made during any unpaid period of leave. If, at any time, the employee fails to receive a paycheck, the employee will be expected to make arrangements with a benefits representative in the Human Resources Department to insure payment of the employee's share of the benefit cost.
The following definitions are subject to modification to conform with regulatory change.
Spouse. Spouse means a husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides, including common law marriage in States where it is recognized.
Parent. Parent means a biological, adoptive, step or foster father or mother, or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a son or daughter as defined below. This term does not include parents "in law."
Son or daughter. For purposes of FMLA leave taken for birth or adoption, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition, son or daughter means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is either under age 18, or age 18 or older and "incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability" at the time that FMLA leave is to commence.
(1) "Incapable of self-care" means that the individual requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more of the "activities of daily living" (ADLs) or "instrumental activities of daily living" (IADLs). Activities of daily living include adaptive activities such as caring appropriately for one's grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing and eating. Instrumental activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, using a post office, etc.
(2) "Physical or mental disability" means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Regulations at 29 CFR 1630.2(h), (i), and (j) issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., define these terms.
(3) Persons who are "in loco parentis" include those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child, or, in the case of an employee, who had such responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child. A biological or legal relationship is not necessary.
Next of kin of a covered service member. "Next of kin of a covered service member" means the nearest blood relative other than the covered service member's spouse, parent, son or daughter, in the following order of priority: Blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the covered service member by court decree or statutory provisions, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the covered service member has specifically designated in writing another blood relative as his or her nearest blood relative for purposes of military caregiver leave under the FMLA. When no such designation is made, and there are multiple family members with the same level of relationship to the covered service member, all such family members shall be considered the covered service member's next of kin and may take FMLA leave to provide care to the covered service member, either consecutively or simultaneously. When such designation has been made, the designated individual shall be deemed to be the covered service member's only next of kin.
Adoption. "Adoption" means legally and permanently assuming the responsibility of raising a child as one's own. The source of an adopted child (e.g., whether from a licensed placement agency or otherwise) is not a factor in determining eligibility for FMLA leave.
Foster care. Foster care is 24-hour care for children in substitution for, and away from, their parents or guardian. Such placement is made by or with the agreement of the State as a result of a voluntary agreement between the parent or guardian that the child be removed from the home, or pursuant to a judicial determination of the necessity for foster care, and involves agreement between the State and foster family that the foster family will take care of the child. Although foster care may be with relatives of the child, State action is involved in the removal of the child from parental custody.
Son or daughter on active duty or call to active duty status. "Son or daughter on active duty or call to active duty status" means the employee's biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stood in loco parentis, who is on active duty or call to active duty status, and who is of any age.
Son or daughter of a covered service member. "Son or daughter of a covered service member" means the service member's biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the service member stood in loco parentis, and who is of any age.
Parent of a covered service member. "Parent of a covered service member" means a covered service member's biological, adoptive, step or foster father or mother, or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the covered service member. This term does not include parents "in law."
Documenting relationships. For purposes of confirmation of family relationship, the employer may require the employee giving notice of the need for leave to provide reasonable documentation or statement of family relationship. This documentation may take the form of a simple statement from the employee, or a child's birth certificate, a court document, etc. The employer is entitled to examine documentation such as a birth certificate, etc., but the employee is entitled to the return of the official document submitted for this purpose.
Leave because of a qualifying exigency. Eligible employees may take FMLA leave while the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent (the "covered military member") is on active duty or called to active duty status as defined for one or more of the following qualifying exigencies:
Serious health condition. An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves the following:
a. Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility.
b. Continuing treatment by a health care provider. A serious health condition involving continuing treatment by a health care provider includes any one or more of the following:
i. A period of incapacity for more than three consecutive calendar days and treatment that involves:
a. Treatment two or more times by a health care provider within the first 30 days,
the first visit occurring within the first 7 days, or
b. Treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regiment of continuing treatment.
c. A period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.
d. A period of incapacity or treatment due to a chronic serious health condition, which:
i. Requires periodic visits (defined as at least twice a year) for treatment by a health care provider,
ii. Continues over an extended period of time, and
iii: May cause episodic rather than continuing periods of incapacity.
e. A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. Examples include: alzheimer's, a severe stroke or terminal stages of a disease.
f. A period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider or by the provider of healthcare services under orders of or on referral by a health care provider, either for restorative surgery after an accident or injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity for more than three consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment, such as cancer, severe arthritis or kidney disease.
Note: Unless complications arise, the common cold, the flu, ear aches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraines, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, etc., are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition, thus do not qualify for FMLA leave. Mental illness or allergies may be serious health conditions, but only if all the conditions of this section are met.
Health Care Provider . A health care provider is defined as:
Note: The federal law places restrictions on specific purposes under which chiropractors and Christian Science practitioners may be health care providers; an employee should check with Human Resources for further clarification on the use of such practitioners
Covered Active Duty. Covered active duty for members of a regular component of the Armed Forces means duty during deployment of the member of the Armed Forces to a foreign country. "Covered Active duty" for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces (members of the U.S. National Guard and Reserves) means duty during deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty in a contingency operation.
Covered Service member. A member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the Armed Forces and a veteran of the Armed Forces , who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious illness.
Outpatient Status with respect to a covered service member, means the status of a member of the Armed Forces assigned to:
Serious Injury or Illness for a service member. In the case of a member of the Armed Forces including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, means an injury or illness incurred by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating.
Key Employee. A person is a key employee if reinstatement after leave would cause "substantial and grievous economic injury" to University operations. Those employees must be salaried and paid in the highest 10% of all employees in the company.