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Once it is clear that an eligible individual is out for an FMLA qualifying reason, they should be placed on FMLA leave and the Leave Specialist must provide Department of Labor Form WH 381: Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities to the eligible individual along with any requested certification forms concerning the FMLA-qualifying leave. Whether to request additional documentation, and/or medical certification for the absence is at the unit’s discretion.
All types of University faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and student workers, are eligible for FMLA leave if they meet both of the following conditions.
- They have worked at the University for at least 12 months. These 12 months need not be consecutive; however, if an eligible individual has had a break in University service of greater than seven years, prior periods of employment will not be counted subject to certain exceptions set forth in the federal law.
- They worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding commencement of the leave.
All paid time should be credited for purposes of determining eligibility.
Union-represented eligible individuals are first covered by FMLA language as stated in their respective collective bargaining agreements. Union represented eligible individuals and unit administrators should refer to the provisions in those agreements first when taking or administering FMLA leave.
Protections of FMLA Leave
An eligible individual returning to work following an FMLA leave is able to return to the same position or an equivalent one. The eligible individual is not guaranteed the actual position they held prior to the leave. An “equivalent position” means a job that is virtually identical to the original one in terms of pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.
Use of Paid Leave
Unless otherwise specified, all eligible individuals are required to use, concurrently with the FMLA leave, the following paid leaves in the order listed:
- For all qualifying reasons other than the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption:
- sick leave or salary continuation (including academic disability) that is available for use as defined by the contract, rule, or policy governing the reason for the leave;
- accrued compensatory time, if available; and
- accrued vacation leave in excess of 10 days to which the Eligible Individual is entitled.
- For FMLA leave taken as a result of the birth or adoption of a child, the eligible individual is required to use paid leave as specified in A. above, until such time as the eligible individual elects to take the University’s paid parental leave. At that point, paid parental leave takes precedence over the other types of available paid leave for the duration of the eligible FMLA leave period.
Where the order as specified above is in conflict with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the agreement control.
If the FMLA leave is paid as a workers’ compensation absence, then the eligible individual is not required to use other forms of paid leave.
If an eligible individual does not have applicable paid leave, the eligible individual must take unpaid FMLA leave.
Compliance with Federal Law
The federal FMLA will be followed in all ways in regard to requests, granting, and record keeping for leaves eligible under FMLA. Please note that FMLA does provide additional leave for servicemembers.
Reason for Policy
This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Employee Work-Life and Personal Leaves (PDF). The University provides a family and medical (FMLA) leave in accordance with federal laws and regulations. FMLA is intended to allow eligible individuals to balance their work and family life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for a serious health condition, for the birth or adoption of a child, and for the care of an immediate family member who has a serious health condition or who is called to certain active duty status in the Armed Forces. The Act is intended to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity.