How Does It Work?: Policies and Procedures
No. Human Resources will determine eligibility for FML protection. Once the Leave of Absence Request form and any other supporting documentation is received from your office, Human Resources will then determine eligibility and mail the initial eligibility letter to the employee. This initial letter may include additional required documentation to support the request for FML protection.
No. If the employee is eligible and approved for FML, they must be allowed to take the leave.
Designation of absences as FML leave should occur as soon as possible. For this reason, it is important that you are working with Human Resources to determine that the employee is eligible and that the absence qualifies for FML leave. Sometimes, because information has not been shared in a timely manner, the absence cannot be designated as FML leave until the employee actually returns to work.
Yes. If the employee is eligible for FML and is taking time off for a covered situation, the University can designate the time off as FML, even if the employee did not request it.
No. However, FML leave approval could be delayed or denied if the employee fails to submit the required paperwork.
Ask the employee. First, the employee must follow your department’s call-in procedure for absences (e.g., when to call, whom to call). Second, when the employee calls in, you need to ask the employee whether the absence is for a FML-covered reason. The employee must answer your questions that are reasonably directed to determine whether the absence is covered. You do not need a lot of information, but you do need to know enough to determine whether the absence is FML related (e.g., “are you out today for an FML reason?” or “I understand you are unable to work today – is this related to your FML leave?”).
Contact Human Resources. It may be necessary to have the employee recertify the FML condition if the number or frequency of absences is not consistent with what the healthcare provider suggested. Human Resources will not be aware of the amount of absences unless you let them know. Once notified, HR will send a recertification request to the employee.
While on FML leave, the employee is required to furnish the supervisor with periodic reports of status and intent to return to work. In addition, the employee must contact his/her supervisor at least two weeks prior to the end of the approved leave with notification of their intent to return to work. Failure to do so will be considered as a voluntary resignation.
No, all groups of employees have the same rights under the FMLA. However, the University leave policies that outline how employees may use paid leave during their time off may differ depending on the employee category (e.g., PTO vs Sick/Vacation).
The FMLA covers the employee assuming he/she meets the eligibility criteria as defined in the policy. FMLA governs leaves of absence from the time the employee would otherwise be working – the 9-month appointment. FMLA would not cover the three months the employee is on summer break. If the employee is paid by the University and continues to perform services for the University during the summer, seek clarification from Human Resources as to whether the FMLA may apply for the employee in such a situation.
For birth or care of a baby (or placement of a child through foster care or adoption), leave must be taken and completed within the first year of the birth (or placement). Even though the baby was born in June, the employee may still use FML when the appointment commences in August.
Yes, if the employee is eligible for FML leave. However, the University leave policies that describe how employees may be paid during their time off may differ. For instance, under the Traditional Plan (sick and vacation) during maternity leave, up to six weeks of accrued sick leave must be taken, if available. However, sick leave may not be used to extend maternity leave beyond 90 calendar days. Paid sick leave will not normally exceed six weeks during maternity leave. Thereafter, the employee may take accrued vacation. If the purpose of the leave is to care for the employee's spouse who is recuperating from childbirth, adoption or the foster care placement of a child, up to six weeks of accrued sick leave may be taken, if available. Thereafter, the employee may take accrued vacation.
In the case of PTO, maternity leave or leave for the care of the employee's spouse who is recuperating from childbirth, the employee will be required to first use 40 hours of PTO. Thereafter, PTO use is voluntary. However, employees may not use PTO hours (if available) to extend maternity leave beyond 90 calendar days.
If the purpose of the leave is to care for a seriously ill family member, the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a newborn child or the foster care placement of a child; due to the active duty status of a family member, or to provide care of a covered service member, you must use PTO.
Each eligible employee shall have to 12/26 weeks of FML leave independent of each other except for the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a foster child, or to care for a service member who was injured or became ill in the line of duty. In those exceptions, they share the 12/26 weeks. For example, both employees could take 6 weeks to care for their newborn, for a total of 12 weeks. While no additional time can be taken under the FML for the newborn, each employee has 6 weeks of eligible leave remaining to use for other FML covered situations.
The Department is responsible for tracking the employee’s absences and knowing when the FML leave will expire. The Department needs to maintain contact with Human Resources regarding absences and leave. The supervisor should receive the employee’s FML return-to-work release before the employee returns to active employment. If the release requires work restrictions, please contact Human Resources to discuss the restrictions.
No. FML leave should begin as soon as you know the employee needs leave for a covered reason, even if the employee has paid leave available. Do not wait for the employee to exhaust the paid leave. FML leave runs concurrent with paid leave.
The University is required to designate and track absences as FML even if the employee has sufficient sick/PTO leave to cover the leave of absence. Remember, the sick/PTO leave and FMLA run concurrently.
No, not if the employee has paid leave available to use. Please review the University’s leave policies in the Staff Employee Handbook which outline how employees are paid during their time off.
As the supervisor, you are responsible for tracking an employee’s FML absences. It is extremely important that the tracking is accurate. This is particularly important when an employee is using intermittent FML leave. Human Resources will need this information for reference to determine current and future FML eligibility.