Family and Medical Leave Act
(FMLA)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Office of Human Resources
Rendleman Hall, Room 3210
May 5, 2014
What is the Family and
Medical Leave Act?
• The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a federal
law designed to help employees preserve their job and
benefits when they need time off from work to deal with
serious health situations involving themselves, a spouse, a
child or a parent.
• FMLA can help employees balance family needs with work
schedules so that they can take care of critical life events
without losing employment and health insurance coverage.
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Why did Congress enact the
Family and Medical Leave Act?
• Number of single-parent and two-parent households where both
parents work is increasing significantly.
• Development of children and family units is important.
• Lack of employment policies to accommodate working parents.
• Inadequate job protection for employees who have serious health
conditions.
• Roles of men and women in our society where primary
responsibility often falls on women to provide care.
• Employment standards that apply only to one gender may create
the potential for an employer to discriminate.
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Employee/Employer Rights
• Entitles an employee on FMLA to continue health benefits while on
leave as if the employee had continued to work instead of taking
the leave.
• Generally gives an employee the right to return to the same or an
equivalent position with equal pay, benefits and working conditions
at the conclusion of the leave.
• Since an employee’s job is protected when they are absent from
work on FMLA leave, no negative employment actions will be taken
against them because of the absence.
• Gives the employer the right to 30 days advance notice from the
employee where practical.
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Eligibility
• To be eligible for FMLA benefits
– Work for a covered employer at a location in the United
States or in any territory or possession of the U.S. where at
least 50 employees are employed within 75 miles.
– Have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months.
– Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12
months.
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FMLA-Qualifying
Illness or Injury
• Employee's own serious health condition that prohibits the
employee from performing all or part of the essential functions of
his or her position within the meaning of the Americans with
Disabilities Act.
• Birth of a child and the care of the child within the 12 months
immediately following birth.
• Placement of a child in the employee's home for adoption or foster
care within 12 months immediately following placement.
• Physical or psychological care due to a chronic or serious health
condition of the employee's immediate family because of a mental
or physical disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities
Act.
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Serious Health Condition
Serious health condition of an employee is defined as:
• A condition that makes the employee unable to perform the
functions of his/her position.
Care of an immediate family member who has a serious health
condition:
• Immediate family member is a legally married spouse, parent, son,
daughter or licensed civil union partner.
• Parent means the biological parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent
of an employee. This does not include “in-laws.”
• Son or daughter means a biological, adopted or foster child,
stepchild or a legal ward of the employee.
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Chronic Health Condition
• An employee claiming a chronic health condition
- Must make 2 in-person visits to a health care provider
each year for the same underlying condition.
- May have episodic rather than a continuing period of
incapacity.
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Intermittent & Reduced
Schedule Leave
• Intermittent leave is leave that is taken in separate blocks of time
for a single qualifying reason.
– Must be “medically necessary”
– Can be planned or unplanned
• Foreseeable intermittent leave should be scheduled to avoid
disrupting the department’s daily operation.
• FMLA also allows for a reduced work schedule if necessitated by an
FMLA-qualifying condition.
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Military Family Leave
• Qualifying Exigency Leave
– Relatives of those called to active duty in the National Guard,
Armed Forces and Reserves can take 12 weeks of leave for
qualifying “exigencies.”
– The qualifying exigencies include:
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•
•
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Short-notice deployment
Military events and related activities
Child care and school activities
Financial and legal arrangements
Counseling
Rest and recuperation
Post-deployment activities
Parental Care
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Military Caregiver Leave
• Relatives of seriously injured or ill service members are
eligible for up to 26 weeks of unpaid FMLA caregiver leave.
• Eligible Relatives include spouses, civil union, parents,
children, and “next of kin”.
• “Next of kin” includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, first
cousins, and any relative so designated by the service
member.
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FMLA Leave
• FMLA runs concurrently with sick leave, vacation, disability,
workers’ compensation and other types of leave.
• The 12-month period for leave entitlement starts the first day
the employee is off work due to a qualifying event. Leave
entitlement is calculated on a rolling year basis.
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Work-Related Injury or Illness
• All Workers’ Compensation time must be designated as FMLA
and deducted from an employee’s FMLA balance.
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Supervisor Responsibilities
When to advise employees of FMLA rights
• Absenteeism issues due to illness
• Disclosure of ongoing medical condition
- Self
- Covered family member
• Visible serious health condition
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Supervisor Responsibilities
Benefits Approved Leave
• Benefits will contact the employee for any needed medical
documentation.
• Benefits will contact department if leave is approved.
• Department must submit to HR all Intermittent and Continuous
FMLA leave.
• Department must notify Benefits at [email protected] of
all leave taken immediately.
• All medical documentation must remain in Benefits department.
– No originals or copies of medical documentation should remain
the department.
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Supervisor Responsibilities
• Ensure that HR is advised and a FMLA Request Form is
completed when:
– An employee requests leave
– An employee is out on sick leave for more than 3 days
– An employee requests intermittent leave or a reduced/altered
work schedule for any of the reasons covered by FMLA
• Review the timesheet of an employee on FMLA leave for
accuracy.
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Who approves and tracks FMLA leave?
• Based on the documentation provided by the employee’s
medical professional, HR will make the final determination if
the leave qualifies for FMLA.
• The department and/or employee will submit the FMLA leave
time to HR at [email protected] immediately.
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Supervisor Responsibilities
Return to Work
• Keep Benefits informed of employees leave status or any
changes to that status.
• Direct employees to Benefits for any updates to their status.
• Benefits will contact departments to approve any restrictions
before an employee can return to work.
• Employee must provide Benefits with a physician’s release
before returning to work.
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Employee Responsibilities
Return to Work
• Notify Benefits and Department of return date.
• Submit written physician release to Benefits prior to return.
• Report to work on anticipated return date.
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Leave Extension
• If leave needs extended, medical documentation must be
provided prior to the original release date with an explanation
and a new expected return date.
• Failure to return or provide physician documentation could
result in discipline.
• Ongoing intermittent FMLA must be medically recertified
every 6 months as needed.
– Employees/Departments must monitor the end date of ongoing
intermittent FMLA situations. HR will not provide a reminder at the
end of the intermittent FMLA leave.
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Scenario 1
• Jamie has just learned that she is pregnant with her first child.
She's excited about starting a family, but knows she needs to
continue working after the baby is born. She doesn't know
what's available to her and what she needs to do. Now what?
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Answer
• Pregnancy is covered under FMLA so Jamie is eligible for 12 weeks of leave
and entitled to return to her job. She should visit the HR Benefits website
to get information about FMLA leave.
• When Jamie is ready to share the news with her department, she should
– Fill out the FMLA Request indicating that she needs time off
– Notify her supervisor and have him/her sign her FMLA request
– Have her physician fill out and sign the appropriate Medical Certification
form located on the HR Benefits website
– Forward the completed FMLA request and Medical Certification forms to
the Benefits Department.
– Jamie may use accrued sick or vacation leave until her physician
releases her back to work. After her release, vacation may only be
used for the remainder of her approved leave.
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Scenario 2
• Sara just learned that her mother had a stroke. She needs to
travel out of state to take care of her mother and make longterm care arrangements if necessary. Is Sara eligible for
FMLA?
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Answer
• Sara is eligible for up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave to
care for her mother. Using the FMLA Request form, she needs to
request the leave from her supervisor and contact HR Benefits as
soon as possible.
• She will need to provide medical certification for her mother's
health condition within 15 days.
• If Sara has to take time to move her mother to a care facility, that
will also be covered by the FMLA.
• Sara must use vacation time since her mother does not live in her
household. Sick leave can only be used if she makes a formal
request to the Director of Human Resources and it is approved.
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Scenario 3
Kim has worked for SIUE for 12 months and has always
worked 20 hours per week. Based on the length of service
and hours worked, Kim is eligible for FMLA leave.
True or False?
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Answer
FALSE!
•
SIUE employees must have worked at least 12 months and
must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the
previous 12 months to be considered eligible for FMLA
leave.
•
Kim worked 20 hours a week for 52 weeks of employment
or 1,040 hours.
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Scenario 4
• George is out for a full week with strep throat. He went to the
doctor and got a prescription for an antibiotic. Is this a serious
health condition covered by FMLA?
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Answer
Yes!
• George was treated by a physician only once but was under
continuing supervision because he was taking a prescription
medication.
• If his physician had not prescribed antibiotics, his time off
would not be protected by FMLA, but he may be eligible to
use sick leave.
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Scenario 5
• Tamika's daughter has food allergies which are sometimes so
serious she has to stay home with her and which require
frequent physician appointments. Are these frequent
absences covered by FMLA?
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Answer
• After requesting the time off using the FMLA Request form and
providing the appropriate Medical Certification required, Tamika
learns from HR that her daughter's allergies qualify as a serious
health condition and she is entitled to use Intermittent FMLA.
– HR Benefits will inform her supervisor when she has been approved
for Intermittent FMLA leave.
– Tamika must also inform her supervisor when she is taking leave
intermittently for this medical reason only.
– The department must inform HR Benefits immediately of any
intermittent leave taken. This can be accomplished by emailing
[email protected] to accurately track the authorized leave.
This email should only be used to track Intermittent FMLA leave.
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Scenario 6
• John is having cardiac complications. His doctor wants to
perform surgery next week. He will need to take 2 days off for
the surgery (prep and surgery) and then 3 weeks off for
recovery. After that, he will have follow up appointments for
the next 6 months. Will John’s leave be covered under FMLA?
If so, does John have to be absent for 3 days before FMLA
applies?
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Answer
YES and NO!
• John’s condition would be considered a serious health
condition.
• As long as his leave is tied to either treatment or recovery of
his condition, then he would be eligible for up to 12 weeks of
leave under FMLA.
• John is not required to be absent 3 days as his condition is a
chronic condition and/or he is receiving in-patient care at a
hospital.
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Scenario 7
• Nick has been approved for Intermittent FMLA leave for
debilitating migraine headaches. His department has asked
him to bring a medical certification each time he is out with a
migraine. Is this policy consistent with FMLA regulations?
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Answer
No!
• HR may request a medical recertification for Intermittent
FMLA no more than six months from the date the Intermittent
FMLA was approved. The employee must also be given 15
calendar days to produce it.
• An employer may not request recertification in less than the
period specified, unless
– An extension of the leave is requested
– Circumstances described by the previous certification
have changed
– The employer receives information that casts doubt on the
reason for the employee’s absence.
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Scenario 8
• Sherrie dropped a computer monitor on her foot while at
work. She has applied for worker’s compensation benefits
since she broke several toes and is unable to work. Is Sherrie
eligible for FMLA leave?
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Answer
Yes and No!
• FMLA does not distinguish between work-related and non
work-related injuries.
• If the employee is eligible for leave under FMLA and the injury
is considered a "serious health condition," the worker’s
compensation leave is treated under FMLA.
• Any on-the-job injury that requires an employee to take leave
to seek inpatient care or continuing treatment likely will be
covered by the FMLA.
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Contact Information
• For further information or questions about FMLA, please visit:
http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/benefits/leaves/fmla/index.shtml
Email:
Phone:
Fax:
[email protected]
618-650-2190
618-650-2646
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FMLA - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville