Family Medical Leave
In accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, employees are provided unpaid family and medical leave. To be eligible, one must have worked at the college for at least 12 months and a minimum of 1,250 hours during the year preceding the beginning of the leave. FMLA leaves of absence will be granted for the following reasons:
- Employee’s own serious health condition or pregnancy;
- Father’s attendance at birth of child;
- Parent’s care of child following birth;
- Placement of a child with a staff member for adoption or foster care;
- Care of an employee’s spouse, child less than 18 years or older if disabled, or parent with a serious health condition.
Employees must give their supervisors 30 days advance notice of the need to take leave unless unforeseen events occur; then notice must be given as soon as practicable. Employees requesting leave must complete an application for leave and provide appropriate documentation, as may be requested, to verify the need for the leave, including reason for the leave, the start date and the planned date for return to work.
Any request for FMLA leave based on a serious health condition (requiring an absence of three or more consecutive days, treatment of two or more times, or a regimen of continuing treatment), whether it involves the employee or a family member, must be supported by the appropriate medical certification. Recertification by a health practitioner will be required if there is a change in the initial request for leave. In all cases of leave for serious health conditions of the employee, the college may request other medical opinions at the college's expense.
Documentation confirming family relationship, adoption or foster care may be required. If notification and appropriate certification are not provided in a timely manner, approval for leave may be delayed.
Length of Leave
Employees may be granted FMLA leave for a period of up to 12 weeks per year (a 12-month period measured backward from the date leave was last used.). When both husband and wife work for the college, they are limited to a combined total of 12 weeks for birth or placement of a child or the care of a parent with a serious health condition. If the leave is necessitated by the serious health condition of the employee, spouse, or child, this combined limitation does not apply.
Reduced Work Schedule/Intermittent Leave
Although most leaves will be taken in a single block of time, in certain medically necessary circumstances (e.g., care of a sick family member, medical appointments, chemotherapy, recovery periods), the employee may be permitted to work reduced schedules or take their leave in separate blocks of time. This time off will be treated in the same manner as other FMLA leave. In these special cases, the college may transfer the employee to another position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates the employee’s periods of leave. Only the time actually taken will be charged against the employee’s family and medical leave entitlement.
Substituting Paid Leave
Paid leave can be used during the 12 weeks of FMLA leave. In some cases, employees may be required to use all earned paid vacation, sick leave and supplemental sick leave during FMLA.
Benefits During FMLA Leave
Employees on FMLA leave will receive the same benefits during the leave as they received prior to the leave, with the exception of retirement benefits, which are based on paid salary. Employees will be required to set up an automatic draft from their bank account to pay their portion of the benefit costs.
In the event that an employee is able but does not return from FMLA leave, or returns but stays less than 30 days, the employee will be obligated to reimburse the premiums paid by the college to maintain the insurance coverage during the leave.
Vacation and sick leave benefits will not accrue during unpaid FMLA leaves. However, seniority and years of service will not be affected.
Return from Leave
An employee returning from FMLA leave will be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position. If an employee was on medical leave, medical certification will be required verifying ability to return to work. Failure to return to work after the expiration of the leave may result in termination of employment.