Guideline 11 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

GUIDELINE'S INITIAL DATE: September 30, 1975
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: July 15, 2011

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Eligibility
  • Child Care
  • ....General
  • ....Leave Following Birth or Adoption
  • ....Leave Other Than for Birth or Adoption
  • Family Illness (Partner or Parent)
  • Employee's Own Serious Health Condition
  • Intermittent Leave or Reduced Leave Schedule
  • Notice
  • Medical Certification
  • Membership in University Insurance While on Leave
  • Federal Family and Medical Leave Act Requirements
  • Cross References

  • PURPOSE:

    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.

    ELIGIBILITY:

    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.

    CHILD CARE:

    1. GENERAL - The FMLA mandates that employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in any consecutive 12-month period. University policy, however, provides for additional periods of child care leave. These additional periods are incorporated in sections 2 and 3.

    2. LEAVE FOLLOWING BIRTH OR ADOPTION - Upon request, a leave shall be granted following the birth of a child of the employee or the employee's partner, to continue up to the time the child is one year of age. In the case of adoption, such leave shall be granted from the date the child begins to reside with the employee to continue up to twelve months, unless necessary earlier for extenuating circumstances as described in the law. The first 12 workweeks of leave shall be considered to comply with the requirements of the FMLA.

      Immediately prior to commencement of the leave, the employee may elect to use or not use all or part of accumulated vacation, personal holiday, service days, or compensatory time off, as applicable, during the leave prior to commencement of no-pay status for the balance of the leave.

      If the employee requests to continue on leave after the child care 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 expended for maternity and child care shall be included in calculating the leave-time limit for the new leave in accordance with HR16, Leave of Absence Without Salary.

    3. LEAVE OTHER THAN FOR BIRTH OR ADOPTION - The employee requesting a child care leave shall be responsible for providing a satisfactory explanation to support the request for leave.

      For purposes of this section, the definition of child shall include a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for which an employee is standing in loco parentis, who is under 18, or over 18 and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

      Upon request, a leave shall be granted if a child is placed with the employee for foster care (within one year of placement) or if a child has a serious health condition and the employee is needed to care for such child. During the leave, the employee shall first use all sick family days, accumulated vacation, service days, personal holiday, and compensatory time off, as applicable, prior to commencement of no-pay status for the balance of the leave. Such no-pay status shall not exceed three calendar months.

      A leave without pay of up to three calendar months may be granted if there is an extended breakdown in the arrangements for independent child care, and the employee is needed to care for the child. If such leave is granted, the employee shall first use accumulated vacation, unused service days, personal holiday, and compensatory time off, as applicable, prior to commencement of no-pay status for the balance of the leave.

      Short-term absences for child care should be handled by use of sick family days, accumulated vacation, unused service days, compensatory time off, or personal holiday, as applicable, or "no-pay days" if paid time off is expended.

    FAMILY ILLNESS (PARTNER OR PARENT):

    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.

    EMPLOYEE'S OWN SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION:

    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.

    INTERMITTENT LEAVE OR REDUCED LEAVE SCHEDULE:

    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.

    NOTICE:

    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.

    MEDICAL CERTIFICATION:

    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.

    MEMBERSHIP IN UNIVERSITY INSURANCES WHILE ON LEAVE:

    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:

    1. For a leave taken for the birth of a child of the employee, the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, or the care of a seriously ill family member - for the first 12 weeks of the absence, costs for insurances shall be the employee cost (the amount that is deducted from the employee's paycheck); after the first 12 weeks of the absence, costs for insurances shall be the full cost (employee and University costs). If the employee elects to not return to work at the expiration of the leave, or returns for less than 30 calendar days, the employee will be responsible for the University's share of insurance costs paid during the first 12 weeks of the leave of absence without salary, unless there are extenuating circumstances as described in the law.

    2. For a leave taken for the employee's own serious health condition costs for insurances shall be the employee cost (the amount that is deducted from the employee's paycheck).

    3. For a leave taken for reasons other than those enumerated in 1 or 2 above - costs for insurances shall be the full cost (employee and University costs).

    FEDERAL FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT REQUIREMENTS:

    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:

    1. the birth of an employee's child, including prenatal doctor visits as well as caring for the newborn child;

    2. the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;

    3. the care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent of the employee;

    4. the employee's own serious illness which causes the employee to be unable to perform the functions of his/her position;

    5. a qualifying military exigency; or

    6. the care of a covered servicemember injured in the line of duty.

    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).

    CROSS REFERENCES:

    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


    (Major revisions)

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