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Franklin Templeton Building
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
phone: (727) 864-8332
fax: (727) 864-7559
Policies and Procedures
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law in 1993, amended in 2008 to include leave provisions for Military Families. The Department of Labor amended the FMLA again in January 2009 to clarify for both employees and employers their responsibilities and rights under the FMLA. The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines and procedures to be followed in complying with FMLA.
The FMLA law requires that employers with fifty (50) or more employees, such as Eckerd College, provide continuous or intermittent job protected unpaid leave. All full-time and part-time employees meeting the criteria set forth by FMLA are eligible. The Office of Human Resources administers FMLA on a twelve (12) month calendar from the date of commencement of leave.
FMLA may have interactions with other laws and/or policies such as, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Workers' Compensation, and Short Term Disability (STD).
- Employees must be employed by the College for at least twelve (12) months and at least 1,250 hours during the preceding twelve (12) months prior to the date FMLA commences.
- Employee's purpose of leave must be for one of the following reasons:
- To care for a child after birth, adoption, or placement in your home for foster care.
- To care for your spouse, child, parent, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition.
- For your own serious health condition.
- To care for family members who incur a "serious injury or illness" as a result of active military service.
- A "qualifying exigency" arising out of the fact that a family member is called to active military duty.
Notice of FMLA
Foreseeable FMLA leave should be requested with Human Resources and your Supervisor at least thirty (30) days in advance of when the leave is anticipated, using the Employee Request for FMLA Form.
Duration of Leave
Under FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to a maximum of either twelve (12) or twenty-six (26) work weeks in a twelve (12) month period. This leave may be used continuously or intermittently.
- Military Families
Under FMLA, eligible employees of Military Families are entitled to leave as follows:
- Caregiver Leave: Up to twenty-six (26) weeks in a single 12-month period of unpaid job-protected leave for an employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin to care for a covered service member, i.e., undergoing medical treatment for a serious injury or illness.
- Active Duty Leave: Twelve (12) weeks unpaid job-protected leave for employees who have a "qualifying exigency" related to spouse, son, daughter or parent on active duty or notified of an impending call to active duty status.
COMBINED LEAVE TOTAL - Eligible employees may request up to a maximum of 12 work weeks of family or medical leave or 26 work weeks of service member leave within a rolling 12-month period measured from the start date of any family or medical leave.
NOTICE FOR LEAVE DUE TO ACTIVE DUTY OF FAMILY MEMBER - In any case in which the necessity for leave is foreseeable, whether because the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee is on active duty, or because of notification of an impending call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation, the employee shall provide such notice to the employer as is reasonable and practicable.
CERTIFICATION RELATED TO ACTIVE DUTY OR CALL TO ACTIVE DUTY - Eckerd College requires a request for leave be supported by appropriate certification.
Maintaining Pay Status and Insurance Benefits
Leave under FMLA is unpaid, unless the employee has accrued paid leave, such as sick, vacation, and personal days. Any available sick leave must be exhausted while on FMLA. If an employee does not have any paid leave available or if the leave is exhausted during this period, the employee's absence would be unpaid unless he/she is a member of the Sick Leave Pool (SLP) and/or Short Term Disability (STD) qualified.
Once paid leave has been exhausted and the employee is no longer in a pay status from Eckerd, the employee becomes responsible for making timely payments of premiums for insurance benefits (health, dental, life, long-term disability). Contributions to the employee's retirement 403(b) plan will resume when employee returns to pay status. Human Resources will discuss the arrangements for payment with the employee at the onset of disability leave and confirm in writing using the Response to Request for Leave form.
Once FMLA leave has been requested using the FMLA Request Form, the employee will receive the Employer's Response Form and the Health Care Provider Statement from Human Resources.
- The Employer's Response Form is used to approve/deny the employee's leave request, explain the use and duration of paid leave available, and outline a payment plan of benefit premiums currently paid by the employee and the College.
- The Health Care Provider Statement should be completed by the treating Physician and returned to Human Resources within fifteen (15) days from the date of letter.
Return to Work Certification
If the FMLA leave has been approved for the employee's own serious health condition, a Return to Work Certification must be completed by the treating Physician and presented to Human Resources and Supervisor.
American with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Allows employer to provide reasonable accommodations requested by all qualified employees with documented disabilities.
Parental Leave – An employee's entitlement to leave for the birth or placement of a child expires 12 months after the birth or placement.
Worker's Compensation - Please refer to Worker's Comp Policy (Section 1-17)
Short Term Disability (STD) - Please refer to STD Policy (Section 4-6)
Serious Health Condition- A serious health condition includes treatment for a serious chronic condition which, if left untreated, would likely result in an absence from work for more than three consecutive days. A serious health condition is intended to cover those conditions which affect one's health to the extent that in-patient care is required or continuing treatment by a health care provider is necessary on a recurring basis for treatment or recovery. Examples of serious health conditions include heart attacks, heart conditions, cancer, conditions requiring extensive therapy or surgical procedures, strokes, respiratory conditions, appendicitis, pneumonia, emphysema, severe nervous disorders, injuries caused by serious accidents, complications of pregnancy, severe morning sickness, need for prenatal care, childbirth, and recovery from child birth.
Treatment of substance abuse may be included under FMLA where a stay at an in-patient treatment facility is required. However, absences because of an employee's use of a substance without treatment do not qualify for family leave.
The term "serious injury or illness", in the case of a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, means an injury or illness incurred by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating.
Continuing treatment – treatment of two or more times by a Healthcare Provider and must take place within a 30-day period.
Chronic condition – requires periodic visits which must take place at lease twice a year.
Employee - a full-time or part-time employee of the college
Employee's spouse, meaning husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for the purposes of marriage in the state where the employee resides, including common law marriage in states where such is recognized.
Employee's child means a biological, adopted, foster child, or a stepchild. The child must be under age 18 or age 18 or older and incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability.
Employee's parent means a biological parent or an individual who had day-to-day responsibility to care for and financially support the employee when the employee was a child.
Domestic Partner – an individual who shares the same regular and permanent residence in a committed personal relationship
Health Care Provider – can include, but is not limited to, a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the state where he or she practices, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.
Intermittent Leave – Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary for planned and/or unanticipated medical treatment of a related serious health condition by or under the supervision of a health care provider, or for recovery from treatment or recovery from a serious health condition. It may also be taken to provide care or psychological comfort to an immediate family member with a serious health condition.
Intermittent leave may be taken for a serious health condition which requires treatment by a health care provider periodically, rather than for one continuous period of time, and may include leave of periods from 15 minutes or more to several weeks. Examples of intermittent leave would include leave taken on an occasional basis for medical appointments, or leave taken several days at a time spread over a period of six months, such as for chemotherapy.
Active Duty - The term "active duty" means duty under a call or order to active duty.
Covered Servicemember - The term "covered servicemember" means a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness. The term also includes veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for serious injury or illness that occurred at any time during the five years preceding the date of treatment.
Outpatient Status - The term "outpatient status", with respect to a covered servicemember, means the status of a member of the Armed Forces assigned to:
(A) military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or
(B) unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the Armed Forces receiving medical care as outpatients.
Next of Kin - The term "next of kin", used with respect to an individual, means the nearest blood relative of that individual.
Qualifying Exigency - A non-medical activity that is directly related to the covered military member's active duty or call to active duty status. For an activity to qualify as an exigency, it must fall within one of the following seven categories or be mutually agreed to by the employer and employee.
- Short-notice deployment (leave permitted up to seven days if the military member receives seven or less days' notice of a call to active duty)
- Military events and related activities
- Certain temporary childcare arrangements and school activities (but not ongoing childcare).
- Financial and legal arrangements
- Counseling by a non-medical counselor (such as a member of the clergy)
- Rest and recuperation (leave permitted up to five days when the military member is on temporary rest and recuperation leave)
- Post-deployment military activities
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