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APPENDIX III

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE POLICY

The University is in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA").

FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks* of unpaid, job-protected leave in any 12-month period for the following reasons:

  • the birth of a son or daughter of an employee and to care for the newborn child
  • the placement of a son or daughter with an employee for adoption or foster care
  • to care for the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of an employee, if the family member has a serious health condition
  • an employee is unable to perform the functions of the position because of the employee's own serious health condition

*University defines up to one (1) academic semester to a maximum of 15 weeks for faculty employees.

The University will define the 12 month period as rolling 12 months measured from the date the employee's first FMLA leave begins. Generally, FMLA leave cannot be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule for the birth or placement of a son or daughter. However, intermittent or reduced leave can be taken in cases of a serious health condition, either an employee's own or that of a family member, when medically necessary.

Spouses employed by the University are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 weeks of family leave for the birth or placement of a child with an employee, or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition.

Eligibility

The FMLA defines eligible employees as employees who:

  • have worked for the University for at least 12 months before the leave request
  • have worked at least 1250 hours in the previous 12 months
  • work at a worksite which employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the employee's worksite

Notification/Certification

Employees who want to take FMLA leave ordinarily must provide the University at least 30 days notice of the need for leave, if the need for leave is foreseeable. If the employee's need is not foreseeable, the employee should give as much notice as is practicable. In addition, employees who need leave for their own or a family member's serious health condition must provide medical certification of the serious health condition before approval could be granted. The medical certification must include:

  • the date the serious health condition commenced
  • the health care provider's best medical judgment concerning the probable duration of the condition
  • a diagnosis of the serious health condition
  • a brief statement of the regimen of treatment prescribed for the condition
  • an indication of whether hospitalization is required

Also, when the leave is a result of the employee's own serious health condition, the health care provider's certification must include either a statement that the employee is unable to perform work of any kind or a statement that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the employee's position. The University also may require a second or third opinion (at the University's expense), periodic recertifications of the serious health condition, and, when the leave is a result of the employee's own serious health condition, a fitness for duty report to return to work is required. The University may deny leave to employees who do not provide proper advance leave notice or medical certification. The University also may deny job restoration until an employee submits a certification to return to work.

 

Benefit Coverage/Job Reinstatement

Employees taking leave under the FMLA are entitled to receive medical benefits during the leave at the same level and terms of coverage as if they had been working throughout the leave. In addition, the University will reinstate an employee returning from FMLA leave to the same or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.

 

If the employee fails to return to work after his/her FMLA leave entitlement has been exhausted or expires, the University requires full payment of its share of all benefits, including medical benefit premiums unless exempted by law. Under these circumstances, the date of termination will be the date all paid time off is exhausted.

If an employee unequivocally advises his/her supervisor and the Director of Human Resources that he/she does not intend to return to work, the employment relationship is deemed terminated and the employee's entitlement to reinstatement, continued leave, and/or benefits ceases.

Denied Job Reinstatement

Certain highly compensated key employees (as defined by law) may be denied reinstatement when necessary to prevent "substantial and grievous economic injury" to the University operations. It is important to recognize that the determination focuses on whether the restoration of the employee to employment will cause substantial and grievous economic injury and not whether the absence of the employee will cause such substantial and grievous injury.

The question of reinstatement of a "key employee" will be determined by the supervisor, the appropriate Dean, and the Director of Human Resources. If reinstatement of a "key employee" is denied, the Director of Human Resources will provide written notice to the employee at the time the FMLA leave is requested or when the FMLA leave commences, whichever is earlier, indicating that he or she qualifies as a key employee. The Director of Human Resources will also provide written notification of the potential consequences with respect to reinstatement and maintenance of benefits if the University determines that substantial and grievous economic injury will result if the employee is reinstated from FMLA leave.

Recording Time Off

The employee's use of FMLA leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of the employee's leave. However, the employee must first use the accrued time during a FMLA leave in the following order: vacation, personal, and sick days. An employee may, however, submit a written request to their supervisor if a change in the order is necessary. The request should include the basis for the request. The supervisor will evaluate the request in consultation with the appropriate Vice President and the Director of Human Resources to determine if the request should be granted.

Miscellaneous

Any employee who fraudulently obtains FMLA leave from the University is not protected by the FMLA's job restoration or maintenance of health benefits provisions. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

The FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination or supersede any state or local law which provides greater family or medical leave rights.

It is illegal for the University to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by the FMLA, or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for being involved in any proceeding under or relating to the FMLA.

The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve employee complaints of violations of the FMLA.

 

Glossary of Terms

Family Member - Spouse, son, daughter, or parent of an employee.

Intermittent or reduced leave schedule - a leave that reduces an employee's usual number of hours per workweek or hours per workday.

Revised 07-01-02
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