Penn State - Human Resources
GUIDELINE'S INITIAL DATE: September 30, 1975
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: July 15, 2011
To outline an employee's rights for time off (paid and unpaid) necessitated by illness or family care in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and additional provisions granted by the University.
This policy applies to regular faculty and staff members classified as Executive, Administrator, Academic Administrator, Academic, and Staff. Policies affecting employees represented by a union are found in the appropriate Agreements.
Upon request, a leave shall be granted for 12 weeks if the employee's partner or parent has a serious health condition and the employee is needed to care for such family member. During the leave, the employee shall first use all sick family days, accumulated vacation, personal holiday, service days, and compensatory time off, as applicable, prior to commencement of no-pay status for the balance of the leave.
A serious health condition is one which involves either inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. Parent is the biological parent of an employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.
If, in the 12-month period immediately preceding the requested leave, the employee has been absent without pay for the purposes of child care, family illness, or due to the employee's own illness, such absence shall be included in calculating the three-month-leave-time limit outlined in this section above.
If the employee requests to continue on leave without pay after the family illness leave has expired, such request for additional leave shall be considered on the same basis as any other request for leave for personal reasons, and the conditions applicable to such general personal leaves shall apply. If the additional time is granted, any immediate prior leave time shall be included in calculating the leave-time limit for the new leave in accordance with HR16, Leave of Absence Without Salary.
The FMLA mandates that employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in any consecutive 12-month period because of an employee's serious health condition. University policy, however, provides for additional periods of sick leave without pay depending upon length of service. This additional time is outlined in HR16, Leave of Absence Without Salary.
Upon request, a leave shall be granted when an employee is unable to perform his/her duties due to a serious health condition as described in the law. During the leave, the employee shall first use accumulated sick leave, as applicable, following which the employee shall have the option to use or not use all or part of accumulated vacation, personal holiday, service days, or compensatory time off, as applicable , prior to commencement of no-pay status for the balance of the leave.
When medically necessary due to the employee's own serious health condition, to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent of the employee, for a qualifying military exigency, or for military caregiver leave, an employee is permitted an intermittent leave or a reduced leave schedule. Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single illness or injury, rather than for one continuous period of time, and may include leave of periods from an hour or more to several weeks. A reduced leave schedule reduces an employee's usual number of hours per workweek and/or per workday.
An employee granted an intermittent leave or a reduced leave schedule may be required to temporarily transfer to an alternative position during such leave. Such alternative position shall be at the same salary as the employee's regular position. Whenever possible, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt operations.
The taking of leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule shall not result in a reduction in the total amount of leave to which the employee is entitled. Only the amount of leave actually taken may be counted toward the total amount of legally mandated leave time. For example, if a full-time employee works four-hour days on a reduced leave schedule, the employee would use one-half week of leave each week. The amount of leave to which a part-time employee is entitled is determined on a pro rata or proportional basis by comparing the new schedule with the employee's normal schedule.
Employees shall provide at least 30 days advance notice if the need for the leave is foreseeable. If 30 days notice is not practicable because of a situation outside of the employee's control, notice must be given as soon as practicable. Except in extraordinary circumstances, employees are expected to give notice within no more than one or two working days of learning of the need for leave.
If an employee fails to give 30 days notice for foreseeable leave with no reasonable excuse for the delay, the University may deny the taking of leave until at least 30 days after the date the employee provided notice.
More information, including forms can be found in The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act Guide.
The University requires a medical certification form for FMLA absences related to illness or injury for the employee's own serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or for military caregiver leave. For FMLA absences related to military exigency leave a copy of the military member's active duty orders will be required.
Requests for recertification may be made on a reasonable basis, but not to exceed once per month unless there are extenuating circumstances.
The University may require, at its own expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second healthcare provider designated by the University (but not employed by the University). If the second opinion conflicts with that of the employee's healthcare provider, the University may require, at its own expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a third healthcare provider designated jointly by the University and the employee. The opinion of the third healthcare provider shall be final and binding.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that employees and health care providers not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. 'Genetic Information' as defined by GINA includes an individual's family medical history, the results of an individual's or family member's genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual's family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual's family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.
An employee who is absent from work but receiving pay (using sick leave, vacation, etc.) shall continue to have the employee cost for all group insurance plans in which enrolled deducted from his or her paycheck.
An employee on leave of absence without salary shall be eligible to continue membership in all group insurance plans in which enrolled prior to commencement of the leave. Costs for such insurances are as follows:
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) mandates that a qualifying employee be eligible for a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave, 26 weeks for military caregiver leave, during any consecutive 12-month period. As outlined in the preceding sections, all University policies equal or exceed that 12-week provision. FMLA leave may be for one or more of the following:
Absences may be of an ongoing nature or, when medically necessary, may be taken as an intermittent leave or on a reduced leave schedule. Whenever possible, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule any medical treatment visits so as not to unduly disrupt operations.
For purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act, an eligible employee is a regular or nonregular employee who has worked for the University for at least 12 months, and has worked at least 1,250 hours within the 12-month period immediately prior to the leave.
An employee who is absent under the provisions of the FMLA:
1) must record the absence as such
2) who elects not to continue membership during such leave in a group insurance plan in which enrolled prior to the commencement of the leave, and subsequently elects to resume participation immediately following return to work, shall not be required to meet any qualification requirements imposed by the plan (e.g., pre-existing condition, waiting period).
Any questions on the FMLA provisions or this policy should be referred to the appropriate Human Resources Representative or the Employee Relations Division (814-865-1412).
Other Policies in this Manual should also be referenced, especially:
HR05 - "Regular" and "Nonregular" University Employees
HR16 - Leave of Absence Without Salary (Other Than For Extended Active Military Service)
HR54 - Continuation of Group Insurance After Age 60, Age 65, and After Retirement or Death
HRG05 - Use of "No-Pay" Days in Lieu of Short-Term Leave of Absence
HRG07 - Absence From Work Resulting From Pregnancy or Childbirth