The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (also referred to as FMLA) was adopted by Congress to help employees balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of their families.
Rights, Responsibilities, & Process
FMLA gives eligible employees the right to take job-protected leave for up to a total of 12 weeks in any 12 month period for:
- The birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care
- The employee’s own serious health condition
- The care of an immediate family member due to a serious health condition
All full-time and part-time employees of Wright State University are eligible for FMLA when a qualifying event occurs. This type of leave runs concurrently with any other available leaves (i.e. sick leave, disability leave, worker’s compensation, parental leave).
FMLA is provided for the employee for up to a maximum of 12 weeks, for all leaves in a 12 month rolling calendar period. The 12 month period is defined as the period which begins on the first day of leave.
Leave for the birth or placement of a child may be used at anytime within the 12 months after the birth or placement, but must be completed within that initial 12 months.
Serious Health Condition
The general rule for determining whether an illness or injury constitutes a “serious health condition” is that it involves one of the following four circumstances:
- Illness or injury that involves an overnight hospital stay, or
- Illness or injury that involves a continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that causes more than 3 days of incapacity and two or more treatments by a health care provider, or
- Illness or injury that involves at least one treatment by a health care provider and a regimen of continuing treatment under a health care provider’s supervision, or
- Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal care, or a chronic serious health condition, or a permanent or long-term serious health condition, or to receive medical treatment or restorative surgery for a condition that will likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three days.
Pay and Benefits while on FMLA
Wright State University requires that any available accumulated sick leave (when appropriate) and vacation must be used concurrently with an FMLA qualifying absence.
Health insurance benefits (if not previously waived) will continue during the leave period. If the leave is paid, the premium will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck. If the leave is unpaid, the employee will be responsible to remit the premium to the Department of Human Resources by the 15th of the month in which it is due. Premiums for life insurance, long-term disability, and flexible spending account may also be required during an unpaid FMLA leave. During the portion of the leave that is unpaid, the employee will not accrue sick leave or vacation or receive holiday pay or university closure pay.
Intermittent leave is also available under the Family and Medical Leave Act. It can be taken in blocks of time or as a reduced schedule. In order to take intermittent leave, it must be shown to be medically necessary to do so and the employee must provide a schedule of the leave if at all possible.
Return from leave
If FMLA leave is for the employee’s own qualifying serious health condition, the employee is required to provide a return to work certification prior to returning to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, the employee will be returned to his/her original or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms of employment.
Military Family Leave
Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave because of “any qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation.
An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12 month period to care for the service member. This military caregiver leave is available during “a single 12 month period” during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave. The employee is required to provide appropriate documentation that supports the need for Military Family Leave.
Under FMLA, employee’s are required to:
- Give 30 days notice of the need for leave when the event is foreseeable (pregnancy, surgery, etc.)
- Give notice within 2 days of the need for leave when the event is not foreseeable (accident, emergency, etc.)
- Return the FMLA request form and physician’s certification within 15 days of receiving them from the Department of Human Resources
- If intermittent leave is required, employees must give their employer a schedule of that leave when possible
- In the event the leave is unpaid, the employee must remit the premium for health insurance benefits in order for them to continue
- Provide Human Resources with a return to work certification if the leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition
The FMLA Process
The employee or employee’s representative contact the employee’s supervisor or the Department of Human Resource’s, Leave and Disability Coordinator, Jamie Henne at (937) 775-3844 (please have your U-ID number available)
The Leave and Disability Coordinator sends an FMLA packet to the employee’s home address
The employee has 15 days to return the completed packet to the Coordinator. The Coordinator determines whether or not the leave qualifies, and a notification of the decision is sent to the employee
The department and/or the employee forwards all FMLA usage to the Coordinator for tracking purposes.
FMLA packets along with the Employee Rights and Responsibilities brochure are available in the Department of Human Resources. Questions should be directed to Jamie Henne at (937) 775-3844.