Family Medical Leave
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:
Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
For more information visit the United States Department of Labor
FMLA leave can be continuous, part of a reduced leave schedule, or it may be intermittent. For example, if you need to see a physical therapist weekly. It may also be a combination of these types.
You are eligible if you have worked for at least 12 months and have 1,250 hours of service in the previous 12 months. The 12 months of employment to not have to be consecutive.
Benefits and Protections
During FMLA leave, your NUFlex health coverage will not change. Upon returning from FMLA leave, you must be restored to your original, or an equivalent position, with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms. The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefits accrued prior to the start of your leave.
You must give 30 days advance notice to take FMLA leave when the leave is foreseeable. When it is not, you must provide notice as soon as practicable. You will be required to provide a certification and possible recertification supporting the need for leave. Download the FMLA request form.
Return to Work
On your first day back at work you must provide your supervisor with a fitness-for-duty medical certification from your physician that confirms you are able to return to work and includes any special restrictions or instructions. If you fail to submit the return to work certification you will not be allowed to return that day.
University Sick Leave Policy
Up to a maximum of five working days per illness may be granted when illness or injury to a member of the employee’s immediate family demands the employee’s presence.
Immediate family includes spouse or qualified adult designee, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, guardian, ward, sibling, daughter or son-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter or persons having the same relationship to the spouse or adult designee.
When an absence because of illness or injury to the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family exceeds three working days, the employee may be asked to submit a doctor’s statement substantiating the illness. Absences of more than three days may begin the FMLA process.
Sick Leave Policy and FMLA Regulations
If you have enough sick leave you may use it as explained in the University sick leave policy (see above). After the allotted paid sick leave time has been used you can continue your leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act up to a maximum of 12 work weeks. The additional FMLA time would be paid as vacation or would be unpaid time. The amount of sick leave you may use is directly related to the doctor’s certification.
Maternity Leave and FMLA Regulations
For maternity, an average of six to eight weeks of paid sick leave is allowed for convalescence to recover from the birth of a child. Sick leave is allowed for a longer period of time if the employee has to leave work early due to complications of pregnancy or has a longer recovery period as certified by a physician. FMLA provisions allow up to 12 weeks of protected time and unpaid leave or vacation may be used (with department approval) to extend maternity leave for convalescence and bonding with a newborn.
UNO allows eight weeks of sick leave time. Male employees may be eligible for the eight weeks of paid sick leave.
Follow normal procedures and communication channels in the department
Obtain additional information and clarification from the employee and from Human Resources as necessary
Sign the Request for Family Medical Leave Form for department approval
Track and document all leave hours taken in relation to this approved FMLA leave
Provide Human Resources with a copy of the Return to Work (Fitness for Duty) certification when your employee returns to work
Tracking FMLA Leave
It is important to track all leave that is subject to FMLA. As an employee’s supervisor you are responsible for tracking all paid and unpaid leave in SAP and keeping a separate tally of FMLA leave.
It is often a challenge to track the hours taken by your employee as part of intermittent leave. Download a tracking spreadsheet to help record and reconcile FMLA leave. The spreadsheet has two tabs – one for continuous leave and one for intermittent leave.
Your feedback on this tracking sheet is valuable to us. Please contact Esther Scarpello at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.554.3660 to provide suggestions or get more information about the spreadsheet or the tracking of FMLA Leave.