Family Medical Leave of Absence
This policy supplements the College’s policy with regard to medical leave for employees and is intended to implement the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
PURPOSE: The purpose of the Family Leave policy is to define the protection of employment status and the time limitations for persons on leave from work for (1) the birth of a child, (2) the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, (3) the serious health condition of a spouse, child or parent of an employee, or (4) the employee’s own serious health condition preventing the employee from working.
SCOPE: The policy applies to all employees of the College who have completed one year of service at the College and who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the requested leave.
PRACTICE:A Family Leave may be granted to an employee for the birth of a child, the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, the serious health condition of a spouse, son or daughter or parent of the employee, or the employee’s own serious health condition preventing the employee from working.
- A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury impairment or physical or mental condition that involves (1) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility or (2) continuing treatment by a health care provider.
- A “parent’ is the biological parent of an employee or any individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child.
- A “child” is defined to include a biological, adopted or foster child, a step child, a legal ward or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.
- A “spouse” is defined as a husband or wife.
Length of Leave
Employees with a least one year of full-time service at the College and who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the requested Family Leave are entitled to a Family Leave totaling 12 weeks in any single 12-month period. The 12-month period is measured forward from the date the Family Leave first begins. If medically necessary, in situations involving a serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s spouse, parent or child, the Family Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule which reduces the usual number of scheduled hours per workweek or hours per workday of the employee during the Family Leave.
In situations in connection with the birth of any employee’s child or because of the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, the leave may not be taken by an employee intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule unless the employee and the College agree to such a leave. Such leave must be taken within one year of the birth or adoption of the child.
Where the husband and wife are both employees of the College, the aggregate number of work weeks of leave to which the couple is entitled during the 12-month period is twelve. An exception is granted if one employee experiences a serious illness, in which case the spouse may be entitled to a full term (12 weeks) Family Leave to care for the husband or wife.
Compensation During Family Leave
Employees are required to use any accrued vacation, personal or sick leave as part of the 12-week Family Leave, and other than the use of accrued vacation, personal or sick leave, Family Leave is unpaid. Thus, for example, when a Family Leave is taken for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, or the serious health condition of a spouse, child or parent of an employee, Family Leave taken beyond any accrued paid vacation, personal and/or sick days will be unpaid.
In situations of pregnancy or personal illness or injury, an employee may be eligible to receive short-term medical leave payments under the Medical Leave of Absence policy as long as the employee satisfies the terms for those payments. Such paid time, however, counts as part of the time of the Family Leave for this policy. In other words, in situations of pregnancy or personal illness or injury qualifying for a Family Leave, the Family Leave will run concurrently with the Medical Leave of Absence.
Eligible employee’s health insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance and life insurance benefits will be continued during the period of Family Leave. The College will continue to pay premiums for these benefits on the same basis it does for all employees. The employee will be responsible for continuing the contributions at the same level as all eligible employees. If an employee voluntarily fails to return from Family Leave, the College may recover from the employee all insurance premiums paid by the College for the employee during the period of the unpaid portion of Family Leave. Benefits such as holiday pay, death-in-family payment, etc. will not be paid during a Family Leave.
Family Leave accumulation is not earned income and no payment is made for it at retirement or termination of employment.
Procedures for Requesting Family Leave
Procedures for Family Leave are administered by the Personnel Office. Employees requesting a Family Leave for the employee or to care for a family member because of a serious health condition are required to submit a statement from a health care provider of the person with the condition stating (1) the date on which the serious health condition commenced, (2) the probable duration of the condition, (3) the appropriate medical facts regarding the condition within the knowledge of the Health care provider, and (4) a statement regarding the need for the employee to care for the sick family member. In the case of a request for intermittent leave or leave on a reduced leave schedule for planned medical treatment, the College may require the certification state (1) the dates on which such treatment is expected to be given, (2) the duration of such treatment and (3) that the intermittent or reduced leave schedule is medically necessary. The employee must also state the relationship of the individual to the employee. The College, at its discretion, may require that the employee obtain a second opinion from another health care provider, at the College’s expense. In the event of a conflict between two opinions, the College may require, at its own expense, a third opinion, which will be binding upon the College and the employee. The third opinion is to be obtained from a health care provider selected jointly by the employer and the employee.
The College may require the employee to obtain subsequent medical re-certifications on a reasonable basis as well as report periodically to the Personnel Office on the status and intention to return to work.
To the extent foreseeable and practicable, employees must provide the College with at least a 30-day notice of their intent to take a Family Leave. The employee is also required to make every reasonable effort to schedule personal medical treatment or medical treatments for the family members so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the College.
In situations in which the employee requests intermittent leave or a reduced leave schedule based upon planned medical treatment of a family member, the College may require the employee to accept a temporary transfer to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified. In such cases, the alternative position must have equivalent pay and benefits and must better accommodate the recurring leave periods than the employee’s regular position.
In the case of a Family Leave in connection with the birth of a child or adoption or foster care placement, the employee must submit a statement documenting the event.
Return to Work
At the completion of the Family Leave, the employee will be given the same or an equivalent position as that held when the Family Leave commenced. Equivalency is based on employment benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
Salaried employees who are among the highest-paid 10% of the College’s employees may be denied restoration to the position that they held before the period of Family Leave if (1) the denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the operations of the College, (2) the employee is notified when requesting the leave of the College’s intent to deny restoration if the employee takes a family leave, and (3) in any case in which the leave has commenced, the employee elects not to return to employment after receiving the notification.