Family and medical leave policy

Employees who have been employed by the College for at least 12 months, and who have completed at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave may be eligible for an unpaid family or medical leave pursuant to this policy. The maximum amount of FMLA leave required is dependent upon the reason for the leave.

Eligible employees may be entitled to a total of up to 16 work weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period in the any of following situations:

  • Family Leave - A child is born, adopted or taken into the employee's immediate family for foster care and leave is requested;
  • Personal Medical Leave - The employee becomes unable to perform their job functions due to a serious health condition as defined below;
  • Medical Leave for Family Care - The employee is needed to care for a spouse, child or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition as defined below.

For purposes of this policy, “serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of their job, or prevents a qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy or incapacity due to a chronic condition.

Qualifying Exigency Leave.  An eligible employee also may be entitled to use their 16-week FMLA leave entitlement for certain military-related "qualifying exigencies."  Qualifying Exigency Leave may be available to an eligible employee with a spouse, son, daughter or parent who is (1) a member of the regular component of the Armed Forces and deployed to a foreign country, or (2) a member of the National Guard or Reserves on active duty or called to active duty status and deployed to a foreign country. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative child care, parental care, the military member's Rest and Recuperation leave (subject to a 15 day maximum), addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.

Military Caregiver FMLA Leave.  Eligible employees may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to care for a seriously ill or injured service member or covered veteran who is the employee's child, spouse, parent, or next-of-kin. FMLA leave taken for any reason will reduce the amount of FMLA leave available for this reason.

A covered service member or covered veteran is:

(1) a current member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty (or that existed before the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty) that may render the service member medically unfit to perform their duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list; or

(2) a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who suffered a serious injury or illness while in the line of duty on active duty (or that existed before the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran for which the veteran is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, if the veteran was a member of the Armed Forces at any point during the five years prior to the start of the FMLA leave at issue and was discharged for reasons other than dishonorable.

In cases where the College employs both spouses, family leave may be limited to a combined total of 26 weeks between them for covered service member family leave and all other FMLA-qualifying reasons in a single 12-month period.

FMLA Procedures

Generally, eligible employees are limited to a total of 16 work weeks of leave during a 12-month period, unless leave is needed to care for a seriously ill or injured service member, when up to a combined total of 26 weeks of FMLA leave may be available. The College will calculate this 12-month period by measuring backward from the date an employee uses FMLA leave (i.e. leave is limited to the balance of available leave not used during the past 12 months). All employees may substitute any accrued vacation, sick leave, personal days or other accrued paid leave as part of a family or medical leave of absence (example: an employee with one week of accrued vacation at the time leave is requested may use that week as part of the family or medical leave period). When using paid leave during FMLA leave, employees must comply with the College's paid leave policies. As during any unpaid leave of absence, the accrual of paid leave benefits ceases during FMLA leave.

Requests for a family or medical leave must be submitted to your supervisor. An employee who can anticipate the need for a family or medical leave of absence must provide the College with at least thirty days' notice if practicable or as early as possible thereafter. Failure to request FMLA leave in the required time period may result in a delay in the start of your requested leave or the denial of leave. Employees requesting leave for treatment of a serious health condition must make reasonable efforts to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt the College's operations.

FMLA leave can be taken all at once or, when medically necessary or for a qualifying exigency, on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule. Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time for a single FMLA-qualifying reason.

Please note that employees requesting or using FMLA leave are subject to the same College policies concerning lateness or absences, including notification of such to their departments. An employee on leave is prohibited from engaging in other employment during the period of the leave of absence, unless the employee has received written authorization from the College to engage in such employment. Any employee who commits fraud or makes a misrepresentation in connection with any requested or actual FMLA leave will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

Health insurance will be maintained for any eligible employee on a family or medical leave under this policy on the same terms as would apply if the employee were on active duty (i.e., employees are responsible for paying their portion of health care premiums during leave). Any employee who fails to return to work upon completion of a family or medical leave shall be required to reimburse the College for all benefit premiums paid by it on the employee's behalf during such leave provided the employee's failure to return is not due to circumstances beyond the employee's control.

Except under certain specific circumstances, employees who are on leave pursuant to this policy shall be restored to the same position the employee held when leave commenced, or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. Highly salaried "key" employees may have limited reinstatement rights. Any "key" employees shall be notified of their specific rights and obligations prior to beginning an FMLA leave.

An employee requesting a medical leave for personal or family care under this policy must submit a certification by their health care provider regarding the need for such leave. Certification forms may be obtained from the Human Resources Office. The College reserves the right to require second and third opinions at its own expense relating to an employee's medical certification. Any employee returning to work from a personal medical leave shall be required to submit a fitness for duty certification from their health care provider, stating that he or she is able to resume work. The College also reserves the right to require an employee on family or medical leave to report periodically on the employee's status and intent to return to work.

The employee must submit complete and sufficient medical certification within fifteen (15) days of the request for the leave, or the leave may be denied. If the medical certification is submitted timely but is incomplete, the employee will be given a list of the deficiencies and the information needed to correct the deficiencies. The employee has seven (7) days to correct the deficiencies. Leave can be denied if the employee does not correct the deficiencies within the seven (7) days. Employees may be required to provide periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.

When leave is requested, eligible employees will receive a notice of their rights and responsibilities, and ineligible employees will be informed why they are not eligible for FMLA leave. After an employee submits the required forms, the College will notify the employee if the leave will be designated as FMLA-protected. If so, the notice will include the amount of leave counted against the employee's FMLA entitlement. The College also will notify an employee if the leave is not FMLA-protected.

An employee who requests FMLA leave because their spouse, parent or child is called up for or is on active duty in the Armed Forces will receive an Active Duty Certification form to complete and submit.

Failure to provide the required documentation in the time frame communicated to the employee when the employee requests FMLA leave may result in a delay to begin the requested leave or denial of the request for FMLA leave. When FMLA leave is denied, the protections afforded individuals under the FMLA may be lost, including but not limited to job protection and the continuation of benefits while on leave.

The FMLA prohibits employers from interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of any right provided under the FMLA and from discharging or discriminating against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the FMLA.  An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer for violations of the FMLA. Additional information regarding the FMLA may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor by calling 1-866-4US-WAGE. The FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement that provides greater family or medical leave rights.

This policy shall be administered in a manner consistent with the terms of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended. The College reserves the right to impose any conditions or limitations upon any leave of absence as may be deemed consistent with the provisions of the Act. Any questions concerning this policy should be directed to the Human Resources Office.