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EIU Office of Internal Auditing

#7.1 - Family and Medical Leave Act

Approved: July 22, 2013

Monitor: President

The Family and Medical Leave Act (hereinafter "FMLA") entitles employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition, and for qualifying military leave.

To be eligible for FMLA coverage, an employee must be employed by the University for at least 12 months and physically work at least 1,250 hours during the twelve-month period immediately preceding the commencement of FMLA leave. An employee is entitled to 12 weeks of leave during any twelve-month period. (Leave for part-time employees is prorated) The twelve-month period will be measured backward from the date an employee's FMLA leave first begins—a rolling twelve-month calendar measured from the day leave is first taken.

Leave taken under FMLA shall be governed by the provisions of the FMLA and associated Regulations, as revised or amended. An eligible employee shall be entitled to FMLA leave for one or more of the following:

  1. Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter.
  2. Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  3. In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition.
  4. Because of the employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her position.
  5. A qualifying exigency leave while the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty in the National Guard or Reserves or is called to active duty in support of a war or national emergency.

Military Caregiver Leave

An eligible employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member with a serious injury or illness will be granted up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for the service member. A covered service member is a current 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.

Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury or physical or mental impairment that involves:

  1. Hospital/inpatient care resulting in an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility;
  2. A period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive days, including any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also involves treatment by a health care provider in-person two or more times within thirty days of incapacity, or in-person treatment at least once which results in a continuing regimen of treatment. 
  3. Pregnancy or prenatal care.
  4. A chronic health condition (may be episodic rather than continuing) which requires periodic visits (at least twice a year) for treatment by a health care provider, and which continues an extended period of time.
  5. A period of incapacity which is permanent or long term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by a health care provider (e.g., Alzheimer’s, severe stroke, or the terminal stages of a disease).
  6. Conditions requiring multiple treatments by a health care provider for care or recovery.

Leave Taken Under FMLA

Eligible employees must exhaust all paid leave (sick, annual, compensatory time balances) before taking unpaid leave under FMLA. The order of paid leave usage for an FMLA related sick leave event is as follows: 1) sick leave, 2) accrued leave, and 3) compensatory time. Any paid leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave. Where the necessity for FMLA leave is foreseeable, the employee shall provide the University with not less than 30 days' advance notice of the employee's intention to take leave. Otherwise, the employee shall provide such notice as is practicable.

The University may require that a request for FMLA leave involving a serious health condition of the employee or the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent be supported by a medical certification substantiating the condition issued by the health care provider of the employee, spouse, son, daughter, or parent, as appropriate, on a form provided by the University or the request may be denied. The employee shall provide the certification to the University within 15 calendar days. The University reserves the right to require the employee to obtain, at the expense of the University, an opinion of a second health care provider designated or approved by the University. The University may request re-certification every 30 days if the circumstances or condition of the illness /injury have changed, and the employee may be required to periodically report on their leave status and intent to return to work. Employees must follow University and departmental requirements regarding call-in procedures.

Any employee planning on returning to work following FMLA leave for their own health condition must present a fitness-for-duty certificate from the employee's health care provider that the employee is able to resume work. Employees on leave other than intermittent leave may not return to work until a fitness-for-duty certificate is provided. Returning employees will be placed in the same (or equivalent) position held when the leave began.

Employees are not permitted to work a secondary job while on FMLA leave from the University.

The Department of Human Resources (Benefits Office) will provide the necessary forms for employees requesting FMLA leave. All requests for FMLA leaves are subject to the approval of the Department of Human Resources. The Department of Human Resources will maintain all official FMLA records.

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