FMLA Policy

 
FMLA entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave in a 12 month period for specified family and medical reasons. For the purpose of FMLA Employer will use a rolling 12 month period measured backward from the date of your most current request for FMLA leave. For example, if you took 2 weeks of FMLA leave and eight months later you request an additional 12 weeks - a total of 10 weeks would be granted because you already used 2 weeks during the last 12 months.

Employee Eligibility
To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:
  1. work for a covered employer
  2. have worked for the employer at least 12 months:
  3. have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and
  4. work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

Leave Entitlement
A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for any of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  • for the placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition.
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Spouses employed by the same employer are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 work weeks of family leave for the birth and care of the newborn child, for placement of a child for adoption or foster care, and to care for a parent who has a serious health condition.

Leave for birth and care, or placement for adoption or foster care must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement.

Under some circumstances, employees may take FMLA leave intermittently - which means taking leave in blocks of time, or by reducing their normal weekly or daily work schedule.

  • If FMLA leave is for birth or placement for adoption or foster care, use of intermittent leave is subject to the employers approval.
  • FMLA leave may be taken intermittently whenever medically necessary to care for a

seriously ill family member, or because the employee is seriously ill and unable to work.

Employees are required by Employer to take all earned sick leave, vacation leave and any other earned paid days off during the FMLA leave period. Said paid leave must be taken by him/her at the beginning of and during the FMLA leave period, and prior to taking any unpaid leave.

“Serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either:

  • any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e. an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical-care facility, and any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care;
  • continuing treatment by a health care provider which includes any period of incapacity (i.e. inability to work, attend school or perform other regular activities) due to:

    1. A health condition (including treatment therefore, or recovery therefrom) lasting more than three consecutive days and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition that also includes:
      • - treatment two or more times by or under the supervision of a health care provider, or
      • - treatment by a health care provider one time with a continuing regime of treatment;
    2. Pregnancy or prenatal care. A visit to the health care provider is not necessary for each absence;
    3. A chronic serious health condition which continues over an extended period of time, requires periodic visits to a health care provider, and may involve occasional episodes of incapacity (e.g. asthma, diabetes). A visit to the health care provider is not necessary for each absence.
    4. A permanent or long-term condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g. Alzheimer’s, a severe stroke, terminal cancer). Only supervision by a health care provider is required, rather than active treatment; or
    5. Any absences to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery or for condition which would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three days if not treated (e.g. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer).

“Health care provider” means:

  • doctors of medicine or osteopathy authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the state in which the doctors practice; or
  • podiatrist, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists and chiropractors (limited to manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by x-ray to exist) authorized to practice, and performing within the scope of their practice, under state law; or
  • nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives and clinical social workers authorized to practice, and performing within the scope of their practice, as defined under state law; or
  • Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maintenance of Health Benefits
A covered employer is required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken and on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If applicable, arrangements will need to be made for employees to pay their share of health insurance premiums while on leave.

(In some instances, as allowed by law, Employer may recover premiums paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work from FMLA leave.)

Job Restoration
Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to the employee’s original job; or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.

In addition, an employee’s use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FMLA leave, nor be counted against the employee under a “no fault” attendance policy.

Key Employees
Under specified and limited circumstances where restoration to employment will cause substantial and grievous economic injury to its operations, an employer may refuse to reinstate certain highly-paid “key” employees after using FMLA leave during which health care was maintained. In order to do so, the employer must:

  • notify the employee of his/her status as a “key” employee in response to the employee’s notice of intent to take FMLA leave;
  • notify the employee as soon as the employer decides it will deny job restoration, and explain the reasons for this decision;
  • offer the employee a reasonable opportunity to return to work from FMLA leave after giving this notice; and
  • make a final determination as to whether reinstatement will be denied at the end of the leave period if the employee then requests restoration.

A “key” employee is a salaried “eligible” employee who is among the highest paid ten percent of employees within 75 miles of the work site.

Notice and Certification
Employees seeking to use FMLA leave are required to provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable and such notice is practicable.

Employer may also required employees to provide:

  • medical certification supporting the need for leave due to a serious health condition affecting the employee or an immediate family member;
  • second or third medical opinions (at the employer’s expense) and periodic recertification; and
  • periodic reports during FMLA leave regarding the employee’s status and intent to return to work.

When leave is needed to care for an immediate family member or the employee’s own illness, and is for planned medical treatment, the employee must try to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operation.
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