Family and Medical Leave Act
The function of this policy is to provide employees with a general description of their FMLA rights. In the event of any conflict between this policy and the applicable law, employees will be afforded all rights required by law.
For concerns or disputes with this policy, the employee must contact Human Resources in writing.
General Provisions. The College will grant up to 12 weeks (or up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness) during a 12-month period to eligible employees. The leave may be paid, unpaid or a combination of paid and unpaid leave, depending on the circumstances of the leave and as specified in this policy.
Eligibility. To qualify to take family or medical leave under this policy, the employee must meet the following conditions:
The employee must have worked for the College for 12 months or 52 weeks. The 12 months or 52 weeks need not have been consecutive. Separate periods of employment will be counted, provided that the break in service does not exceed seven years. Separate periods of employment will be counted if the break in service exceeds seven years due to National Guard or Reserve military service obligations or when there is a written agreement, including a collective bargaining agreement, stating the employer’s intention to rehire the employee after the service break. For eligibility purposes, an employee will be considered to have been employed for an entire week even if the employee was on the payroll for only part of a week or if the employee is on leave during the week.
The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date when the leave is requested to commence. The principles established under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) determine the number of hours worked by an employee. The FLSA does not include time spent on paid or unpaid leave as hours worked. Consequently, these hours of leave should not be counted in determining the 1,250 hours eligibility test for an employee under FMLA.
The employee must work in a work site where 50 or more employees are employed by the College within 75 miles of that office or work site. The distance is to be calculated by using available transportation by the most direct route.
Type of Leave Covered. To qualify as FMLA leave under this policy, the employee must be taking leave for one of the reasons listed below:
- The birth of a child and in order to care for that child.
- The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for a newly placed child.
- To care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition (Under the FMLA, a “spouse” means a husband or wife as defined under the law in the state where the employee resides, including same-sex marriages in states that legally recognize such civil unions).
- The serious health condition (described below) of the employee.
An employee may take leave because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee's position.
A serious health condition is defined as a condition that requires inpatient care at a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care or as a condition that requires continuing care by a licensed health care provider.
This policy covers illnesses of a serious and long-term nature, resulting in recurring or lengthy absences. Generally, a chronic or long-term health condition that would result in a period of three consecutive days of incapacity with the first visit to the health care provider within seven days of the onset of the incapacity and a second visit within 30 days of the incapacity would be considered a serious health condition. For chronic conditions requiring periodic health care visits for treatment, such visits must take place at least twice a year.
Employees with questions about what illnesses are covered under this FMLA policy or under the College’s sick leave policy are encouraged to consult with Human Resources.
If an employee takes paid sick leave for a condition that progresses into a serious health condition and the employee requests unpaid leave as provided under this policy, the College may designate all or some portion of related leave taken as leave under this policy, to the extent that the earlier leave meets the necessary qualifications.
Qualifying exigency leave for families of members of the National Guard or Reserves or of a regular component of the Armed Forces when the covered military member is on covered active duty or called to covered active duty.
An employee whose spouse, son, daughter or parent has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active military duty or who is already on covered active duty may take up to 12 weeks of leave for reasons related to or affected by the family member’s call-up or service. The qualifying exigency must be one of the following: a) short-notice deployment, b) military events and activities, c) child care and school activities, d) financial and legal arrangements, e) counseling, f) rest and recuperation, g) post-deployment activities, and h) additional activities that arise out of active duty, provided that the employer and employee agree, including agreement on timing and duration of the leave.
Covered active duty means:
- In the case of a member of a regular component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country.
- In the case of a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in Title 10 U.S.C. §101(a)(13)(B).
The leave may commence as soon as the individual receives the call-up notice. (Son or daughter for this type of FMLA leave is defined the same as for child for other types of FMLA leave except that the person does not have to be a minor.) This type of leave would be counted toward the employee’s 12-week maximum of FMLA leave in a 12-month period.
Military caregiver leave (also known as covered service member leave) to care for an injured or ill service member or veteran.
An employee whose son, daughter, parent or next of kin is a covered service member may take up to 26 weeks in a single 12-month period to take care of leave to care for that service member.
Next of kin is defined as the closest blood relative of the injured or recovering service member.
The term covered service member means:
- A member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy or is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.
- A veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation or therapy.
The term serious injury or illness means:
- In the case of a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves), an injury or illness that was incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating.
- In the case of a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during a period when the person was a covered service member, a qualifying (as defined by the Secretary of Labor) injury or illness that was incurred by the member in line of duty on an active duty in the Armed Forces (or that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.
Amount of Leave. An eligible employee may take up to 12 weeks for the first five FMLA circumstances above (under heading “Type of Leave Covered”) under this policy during any 12-month period. The College will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any leave under this policy. Each time an employee takes leave, the College will compute the amount of leave the employee has taken under this policy in the last 12 months and subtract it from the 12 weeks of available leave, and the balance remaining is the amount of time the employee is entitled to take at that time.
An eligible employee can take up to 26 weeks for the FMLA military caregiver leave circumstance above during a single 12-month period. For this military caregiver leave, the College will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured forward. FMLA leave already taken for other FMLA circumstances will be deducted from the total of 26 weeks available.
If a husband and wife both work for the College and each wishes to take leave for the birth of a child, adoption or placement of a child in foster care, or to care for a parent (but not a parent "in-law") with a serious health condition, the husband and wife may only take a combined total of 12 weeks of leave. If a husband and wife both work for the College and each wishes to take leave to care for a covered injured or ill service member, the husband and wife may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of leave.
Employee Status and Benefits During Leave. While an employee is on leave, the College will continue the employee's health benefits during the leave period at the same level and under the same conditions as if the employee had continued to work.
Employee Status After Leave. An employee who takes leave under this policy may be asked to provide a fitness for duty (FFD) clearance from the health care provider.
Use of Paid and Unpaid Leave. All paid vacation, personal and sick leave runs concurrently with FMLA leave.
Disability leave for the birth of a child and for an employee's serious health condition, including workers' compensation leave (to the extent that it qualifies), will be designated as FMLA leave and will run concurrently with FMLA.
Intermittent Leave or a Reduced Work Schedule. The employee may take FMLA leave in 12 consecutive weeks, may use the leave intermittently (take a day periodically when needed over the year) or, under certain circumstances, may use the leave to reduce the workweek or workday, resulting in a reduced-hour schedule. I n all cases, the leave may not exceed a total of 12 workweeks (or 26 workweeks to care for an injured or ill service member over a 12-month period).
Certification for the Employee’s Serious Health Condition. The College will require certification for the employee’s serious health condition. The employee must respond to such a request within 15 days of the request or provide a reasonable explanation for the delay. Failure to provide certification may result in a denial of continuation of leave.
Certification for the Family Member’s Serious Health Condition. The College will require certification for the family member’s serious health condition. The employee must respond to such a request within 15 days of the request or provide a reasonable explanation for the delay. Failure to provide certification may result in a denial of continuation of leave.
Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave. The College will require certification of the qualifying exigency for military family leave. The employee must respond to such a request within 15 days of the request or provide a reasonable explanation for the delay. Failure to provide certification may result in a denial of continuation of leave.
Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service Member for Military Family Leave. The College will require certification for the serious injury or illness of the covered service member. The employee must respond to such a request within 15 days of the request or provide a reasonable explanation for the delay. Failure to provide certification may result in a denial of continuation of leave.
Recertification. The College may request recertification for the serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s family member when circumstances have changed significantly, or if the employer receives information casting doubt on the reason given for the absence, or if the employee seeks an extension of his or her leave. Otherwise, the College may request recertification for the serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s family member every six months in connection with an FMLA absence.
Procedure for Requesting FMLA Leave. All employees requesting FMLA leave must provide Human Resources with verbal or written notice of the need for the leave. Within five business days after the employee has provided this notice, Human Resources will provide the employee with the DOL Notice of Eligibility and Rights.
When the need for the leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide the employer with at least 30 days' notice. When an employee becomes aware of a need for FMLA leave less than 30 days in advance, the employee must provide notice of the need for the leave either the same day or the next business day. When the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, the employee must comply with the College’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.
Designation of FMLA Leave. Within five business days after the employee has submitted the appropriate certification form, Human Resources will provide the employee with a written response to the employee’s request for FMLA leave.
Intent to Return to Work from FMLA Leave. The College may require an employee on FMLA leave to report periodically on the employee’s status and intent to return to work.
See Article Leave Forms.