Requesting, Approving, and Placing Employees on FMLA Leave
NOTICE OF NEED FOR FMLA - QUALIFYING LEAVE
Faculty and staff members have the obligation to provide timely notice to their supervisors about the need for FMLA-qualifying leave. Where the need for leave is foreseeable, such as for an expected birth or adoption or foster care placement or planned medical treatment, 30 days notice is to be provided to the supervisor before the leave is to begin. If 30 days notice is not feasible, then notice must be given as soon as practicable. The employee advises the supervisor as soon as practicable if the dates of a scheduled leave change, are extended, or become known.
When planning medical treatment, an employee consults with the supervisor prior to the scheduling in order to work out a treatment schedule which best meets the needs of the employee and the work unit. If an employee fails to consult regarding scheduling, the responsible administrator/supervisor may require that the employee attempt to make different arrangements subject to health care provider approval.
Where the need for leave is unforeseeable, an employee provides notice to the supervisor as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular situation. The employee, absent unusual circumstances, should provide notice of the need for leave in keeping with any unit work rules for calling in sick or reporting an absence. This notice may be given by another responsible person if the employee is unable to do so personally.
An employee’s notice about the need for leave should be sufficient to make the supervisor aware that it is for an FMLA-qualifying reason and should include the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. If the leave is due to an FMLA-qualifying reason for which the employee previously had FMLA leave, then the employee needs to mention the need for FMLA leave or the qualifying reason when providing notice. An employee has the obligation to respond to requests from the responsible administrator/supervisor for additional information to determine whether an absence is potentially FMLA-qualifying.
If an employee fails to provide proper notice of the need for an FMLA-qualifying need, then FMLA coverage may be delayed for a period of time dependent on the facts and circumstances of the particular situation.
CERTIFICATION OF FMLA-QUALIFYING LEAVE
The supervisor/responsible administrator requests certification of the FMLA-qualifying leave from the employee when notice of the need for leave is given or within five business days thereafter. For unforeseeable leaves, certification should be requested within five business days after the leave commences. Certification may be requested later if any reason arises to question the appropriateness of the leave or its duration.
Employees provide complete and sufficient certification within 15 calendar days after the request unless it is not practicable under the particular circumstances despite the employee’s diligent, good faith efforts or if the supervisor/responsible administrator permits more than 15 calendar days.
Complete and sufficient certification means that the applicable entries on the certification form are completed and are not vague, ambiguous, or non-responsive. If the certification is incomplete or insufficient, then the supervisor/responsible administrator will advise the employee in writing about what additional information is necessary. An employee has seven calendar days to provide the additional information unless it is not practicable under the circumstances. Otherwise, if the additional information is not provided, the FMLA leave may be denied until required certification is provided.
DESIGNATION OF FMLA-QUALIFYING LEAVE
The supervisor/responsible administrator provides notice to the employee that the leave is designated as FMLA-qualifying leave within five business days after complete, sufficient certification is provided or, where certification is not requested, within five business days after sufficient information is provided indicating an FMLA-qualifying leave is needed.
If the reason for leave is FMLA-qualifying, but the employee does not meet the eligibility requirements to take such a leave, then the supervisor/responsible administrator provides notice to the employee about the anticipated date for FMLA eligibility.
DOCUMENT PROCESS INSTRUCTIONS
Use of paid and unpaid FMLA leave should be recorded as usual on the VSL computerized or hard copy vacation/sick leave record.
Paid and unpaid leave is to be documented within Human Resource Management System (HRMS).
Summary of Responsibilities
- Notify the supervisor/responsible administrator of a need for foreseeable FMLA-qualifying leave with at least 30 days notice whenever possible, so as not to unduly disrupt the work unit’s operations.
- Notify the supervisor/responsible administrator of a need for unforeseeable FMLA leave as soon as practicable. This notice should be in keeping with any unit work rules for calling in sick or reporting an absence.
- Consult with the supervisor/responsible administrator prior to scheduling medical treatment during work hours in order to work out a treatment schedule which best meets the needs of you and the work unit.
- Provide medical or other certification to the supervisor/responsible administrator within 15 calendar days from any request or by a later specified due date.
- If the supervisor/responsible administrator advises that certification is incomplete or insufficient, provide the additional requested information within seven calendar days of the request or by a later specified due date.
- Provide any requested recertification or certification of fitness for duty in a timely manner.
- Before the anticipated end date of a leave, communicate with the supervisor/responsible administrator regarding return to work or the medical necessity of additional leave beyond 12 workweeks.
- Consult with the supervisor/responsible administrator or human resources if you need additional information regarding a leave. Also be aware of the Disability Resource Center as a resource regarding disabilities and medical conditions.
- Within five business days after the employee’s notice of need for a leave or a leave commences, provide University Form 1516 FMLA: Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities to the employee with any appropriate requested certification forms (allowing at least 15 calendar days for completion).
- Upon receipt, review certification forms to ensure applicable entries are completed and responses are not vague, ambiguous, or non-responsive. Consult with human resources as needed.
- If the employee does not return requested certification forms or information in a timely manner, consult with human resources regarding denying or delaying the employee’s leave.
- If the certification form is incomplete or insufficient, advise the employee in writing about what additional information is necessary and when it must be received (allowing at least seven calendar days). You may use University Form 1700 FMLA: Designation Notice for this purpose.
- If any additional information is not provided within seven calendar days of a request or by a later specified due date, consult with human resources regarding denying or delaying the employee’s leave.
- Within five business days after receiving complete, sufficient certification or, if no certification was requested, after sufficient information is provided indicating a need for FMLA-qualifying leave, provide University Form 1700 FMLA: Designation Notice to the employee. If indicated, consult with human resources regarding obtaining a second or third opinion medical certification at the work unit’s expense.
- Consult with human resources regarding any requests for recertification or certification of fitness for duty.
- Before the anticipated end date of a leave, if you have not heard from the employee, try to communicate with the employee to confirm the return to work. Consult with human resources if there is any question of medical necessity of additional leave beyond 12 workweeks. Also be aware of the Disability Resource Center as a resource regarding disabilities and medical conditions.
- Keep appropriate documentation in accord with the terms of this policy.