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FMLA stands for Family Medical Leave Act and provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to eligible employees under certain circumstances, and up to 26 weeks for military caregiver leave.
FMLA provides employees with 12 weeks for the following events:
- The birth of a child and to care for a newborn child within one year of birth,
- The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for a newborn with the newly placed child within one year of placement,
- A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job, including incapacity due to pregnancy and for prenatal medical care,
- To care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition, including incapacity due to pregnancy and for prenatal medical care;
- Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.
FMLA also provides employees with up to 26 weeks for the following event:
- For a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the service member (referred to as military caregiver leave).
The Inter-University Council (IUC) of Ohio Purchasing Group approved Unum as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) vendor effective January 1, 2020. Unum is the university’s current vendor for life insurance, short, and long-term disability benefits.
To be eligible for FMLA, you must meet two conditions:
- You must have at least one year of service with Wright State; and
- You must have worked at least 1,250 hours at Wright State during the 12-month period immediately before the date the FMLA is to start.
When should an employee contact Unum regarding a need for FMLA?
- An overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility (includes any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with the overnight stay),
- Conditions (health, accident, injury) requiring multiple treatments or that would result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition,
- Chronic conditions that may cause episodic and/or continuing periods of incapacity,
- Permanent or long-term conditions.
- Family Member: For the purposes of this policy, a family member is defined as a parent, son, daughter, or spouse of the employee; “child” includes biological, adopted, step-child, foster or legal ward son or daughter (up to age 18, except in the cases where the child is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability), or the person who stands in for a parent (“in loco parentis,” meaning the employee provides daily care and financial support to the child).
- Paid Leave: The use of all accrued leave is required prior to going on unpaid status. Once sick leave is exhausted, vacation and or compensatory time must be used.
- Serious Health Condition: An injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either:
- Inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential mental care facility, and any period of incapacity or treatment connected with the inpatient care; or
- A period of incapacity requiring absence of more than 3 consecutive calendar days that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider); or
- Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care; or
- Any period of incapacity (or treatment therefore) due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g. asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); or
- A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g. Alzheimer's, stroke, terminal diseases, etc.); or
- Any absences to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery therefrom) by, or on referral by, a health care provider for non-chronic conditions that likely would result in incapacity of more than 3 consecutive days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment, such as cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.), severe arthritis (physical therapy), and kidney disease (dialysis). Ordinarily, unless complications arise, the common cold, the flu, earaches, upset stomach, etc. are examples of conditions that do not generally meet the definition of a Serious Health Condition.
- Unpaid Disability Leave: A leave of absence where the employee has exhausted all sick time (and vacation and or comp time if applicable) and there is still a need for additional leave. Collective bargaining members should refer to their respective contracts in regards to disability leave.
- Intermittent FMLA Leave: An absence taken in non-consecutive blocks of time rather than one continuous period.
- Reduced Work Schedule under FMLA: A reduction in the usual number of working hours per day or week for a period of time for reasons related to the approved FMLA.
Employee contacts supervisor and Unum
Employee notifies supervisor of the need to request FMLA including dates of leave and duration.
Employee contacts Unum to begin leave process via phone, web, or app. Unum works with the employee to collect information for the leave process.
UNUM will notify HR that the employee has initiated an FMLA request and HR will notify supervisor.
Employee submits required documentation
If eligible for FMLA, Unum provides the employee with the required FMLA paperwork. The employee has 15 calendar days to submit documentation directly to UNUM.
After submission, UNUM reviews documentation and provides a decision within five calendar days.
Unum sends approval or denial notification to the employee.
Unum will notify HR of the decision and HR will notify supervisor.
Intermittent and Continuous Leave
Continuous Leave: The employee and/or department is required to enter absence into the timesheet/leave report.
Intermittent Leave: The employee will be responsible for contacting both Unum and their supervisor to report FMLA-related absences. If the employee does not contact Unum, the absence may not be protected under FMLA. The Unum Customer App is a quick and simple way report an intermittent absence.
The employee and/or department is required to enter intermittent absences into the timesheet/leave report as the absences occur.
Employee should remain in contact with supervisor regarding your pay during FMLA leave
Return to Work Process for Continuous Leave
Unum will call the employee 5-7 days before their return to work to verify the return date and discuss any changes.
The employee must submit a Return to Work Certification (provided by Unum) to HR at least two business days prior to their return date. If the certification is not received within two business days prior to returning, the day of return may be delayed.
HR will notify the supervisor and Unum of the employee’s expected return to work date.
Continuous Leave: Employees are required to record your absence (sick leave/vacation/comp time) on your timesheet/leave report with appropriate FMLA reporting language in the comment box; otherwise, the absence may not be reported properly.
For timekeeping purposes, you are required to record your FMLA hours in WINGS Express within your timesheet or leave the report’s comment section for your leave.
Intermittent Leave: Contact your supervisor. Employees must continue to comply with normal call-in procedures for their department.
In addition, you will now need to notify Unum regarding all intermittent leave. All intermittent absences must be reported to Unum; otherwise, your absence may not be protected under FMLA. The Unum Customer App is a quick and simple way to report an intermittent absence.
And as you have done in the past, you’re required to record your absence on your timesheet/leave report with appropriate FMLA reporting language in the comment box; otherwise, the absence may not be reported properly.
FMLA runs concurrently with the use of other paid leaves. FMLA may be unpaid leave unless the employee has accrued sick leave and/or vacation hours and/or compensatory hours which he/she is eligible to use for the purpose of the leave. Employees are required to use all their accrued and available leave during an FMLA leave. Sick leave may not be used under the FMLA to care for a newborn or for adoption or foster care placement, or for military exigency leave. Such FMLA leaves will be paid by vacation hours and/or compensatory hours or will remain unpaid.
Upon expiration of FMLA leave, an employee who is still unable to return to work due to his/her own serious health condition may apply for disability benefits (if applicable).
During any period of unpaid FMLA leave, an employee who has medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, and/or short term disability coverages, and/or a flexible spending account, is eligible to continue these coverages provided that the employee continues to pay the employee’s share of such coverages. Failure to pay the employee contribution amounts may result in cancellation of such coverages or, should the university choose to make such payments on the employee’s behalf during any unpaid leave in order to keep coverages in place, the employee’s obligation to repay such amounts upon return to work. When an employee who has elected to discontinue one or more of his/her medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, or short term disability coverages and/or a flexible spending account during his/her FMLA leave and returns to work after the leave, those benefits will be restored to the level of coverage available at the time the leave began. Any outstanding premiums may be deducted from the employee’s pay upon return to work.
During any period of unpaid FMLA leave, the university will not pay salary or wages, holiday pay, winter leave, or university closure pay, or contribute toward retirement benefits or health savings account, or provide for the accumulation of sick leave or vacation leave.
Prior to your return, a Return to Work Certification must be completed by your attending physician. This should be submitted to HR at least two business days prior to your return to work on a regularly scheduled workweek. If returning on a reduced work schedule or returning with work restrictions, a new physician’s note will be required. If certification is not received within two business days prior to returning, the day of return may be delayed.
Upon return from an FMLA-covered leave, the employee will be returned to his/her original position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment (subject to certain exceptions permitted by law).