FMLA - Family & Medical Leave Act

Background

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) became effective in 1993.  FMLA was revised in November 2008 and the updated regulations  became effective January 16, 2009.  The revised regulations issued by the United States Department of Labor clarify and modify current FMLA provisions and established two new FMLA entitlements - military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave.

This information is provided to assist you with your leave planning.  Individual circumstances vary and the policy must be applied within the context of the State leave policy, consistent with the attendance rules and negotiated agreements.

For additional information and guidance please contact Human Resources.

Benefits and Protections

  • During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee's health coverage under any "group health plan" on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.
  • Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
  • Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.

Leaves

Basic Leave Entitlement

Provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
  • To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for the employee's spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition (see definition below); or
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee's job.

Military Family Leave Entitlements

  • Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
  • FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember during a single 12-month period. A covered servicemember is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.

Definition of Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee's job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

Use of Leave

An employee does not need to use this leave entitlement in one block. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.

Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave
Employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. In order to use paid leave for FMLA leave, employees must comply with the employer's normal paid leave policies.

Employee Responsibilities

  • Employees must provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with an employer's normal call-in procedures.
  • Employees must provide sufficient information for the employer to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform job functions, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave.
  • Employees also must inform the employer if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.

Request Process

  • Complete one of the request forms below
  • Submit completed directly to Human Resources (or)
  • Have your health care provider FAX completed form to Human Resources' confidential FAX (607) 777-4947
  • Human Resources will notify you know if you are eligible and provide additional information

FMLA Request Forms

Employee's Serious Health Condition

Family Member's Serious Health Condition

Serious Injury / Illness of Covered Servicemember for Military Family Leave

Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave

Related Information

Confidential Medical Statement -non-work-related

Confidential Medical Statement (CSEA only) non-work-related

U.S. Department of Labor information on FMLA

Contact

Alison Gierlach

Manager of Professional Employment

(607) 777-6625

Sara DeClemente-Hammoud

Associate Director of Human Resources

(607) 777-4939

Last Updated: 1/21/15