Family and Medical Leave (FML)(Procedure 2.2200)

Based on board policy number and Florida Statutes: Family Medical and Leave Act of 1993, as amended; National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2008, 2010; College Policy 1.020
Effective Date: 01/01/94; Rev. 1/22/97; 10/2013
Date of Review: 05/09; 08/11; 12/2012

Purpose

The College provides leaves of absence for eligible employees pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, as amended, including Military Family Leave Provisions.

Definitions

Covered Service Member means (1) a current member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is in outpatient status, or is on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness; or (2)  a veteran of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) discharged within the five-year period before the family member first takes Military Caregiver Leave to care for the veteran and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a qualifying serious injury or illness. A veteran who was dishonorably discharged does not meet the FMLA definition of a Covered Service Member.

Covered Active Duty means (1) for members of the Regular Armed Forces, duty during deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country1; or (2) for members of the Reserve components of the Armed Forces (members of the National Guard and Reserves), duty during deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country1 under a call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation.

1 Deployment to a foreign country includes deployment to international waters.

Procedure

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for Family and Medical Leave, including Military Family Leave, an employee must have been employed at the College for 12 months, and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the leave. Beginning January 1, 1994, the FML year will be defined as a "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any FML.

  1.  Family and Medical Leave (not related to Military Family Leave)
    1. An eligible employee will be granted a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave, with job protection and no loss of accumulated service, during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
      1. To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care. Leave must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement, and may be taken by either parent (see Spouse’s Joint Leave below.)
      2. To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent, who has a serious health condition.
      3. To take a medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
    2. Spouse's Joint Leave: Husbands and wives employed by Seminole State College (the College) are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 workweeks of FML for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or for each to care for their own parent (but not a parent "in-law") with a serious health condition.
    3. Husbands and wives employed by the College are each entitled to 12 workweeks of FML to care for the employee's own serious health condition or that of their spouse or child.
  2. Military Family Leave
    1. Military Caregiver Leave: An eligible employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a Covered Service Member will be granted a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave, with job protection and no loss of accumulated service, during a single 12-month period, to care for a covered service member with a serious health condition.
    2. Qualifying Exigency Leave: An eligible employee will be granted a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave, with job protection and no loss of accumulated service, during any 12-month period for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a Covered Service Member who is on active duty or has been called to active duty status.

NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY AND RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES (FMLA)
Once Seminole State College acquires knowledge that an employee is using leave for a FML qualified reason, the College will promptly notify the employee, using the Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities form that the leave is designated as and will be counted as FML.

  1. Application for Family and Medical Leave and Advance Notice
    1. The Application for Family and Medical Leave must be signed by the employee, acknowledged and signed by the immediate supervisor, and approved by the Office of Human Resources.
    2. Advance Notice - Ordinarily, an employee must provide 30 days advance notice when the use of FML is "foreseeable," and should notify his/her supervisor and the Human Resources Office of their need. When notified by the employee or the employee’s department, the Human Resources Office will prepare a packet for the employee with all of the appropriate forms.
  2. Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition is required when leave is requested for the employee‘s serious health condition. Certification of a Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition is required when the employee requests leave to care for a spouse, child, or parent. The College may request additional medical opinions and periodic re-certifications (at the College’s expense) before approving or continuing to approve FML.
  3. Other Certification - Employee must provide appropriate documentation, such as military orders or medical certification, when applying for Military Caregiver or Qualified Exigency Leave.
  4. Leave of Absence Form – Family and Medical Leave – Employees must submit this form to their supervisor and, if more than 37.5 hours of leave are required, to the next level supervisor. FML should be recorded on the form in the appropriate category. A copy of the form, with the appropriate approvals, should be submitted to both the Human Resources Office and Payroll Services.  In addition, the department timekeeper will continue to submit time electronically to Payroll Services.
  5. Intent to Return to Work from Medical Leave of Absence form, which includes a Fitness for Duty Certificate, completed by the employee's licensed physician or health care provider, is required before an employee, who has been on FML for their own serious health condition, may return to work. This form must be submitted to the Human Resources office at least two (2) days prior to approval of the employee’s return to work. The Human Resources Office will review the Fitness for Duty Certificate, and in coordination with the department, will determine whether the employee can return to work. Human Resources will notify the department when the employee is authorized to return to work.
  6. Use of Paid Leave
    1. FML is unpaid leave.  In order to be paid for this time off, employees will need to use accrued sick leave or annual leave, or sick leave pool if applicable.
    2. It is the responsibility of the employee, or their supervisor if the employee is unable, to record FML on the appropriate leave of absence form that is submitted to the employee’s department for Payroll Time and Labor purposes.
    3. The minimum amount of time increment provided for FML is a quarter hour.
    4. Copies of all FML related leave of absence forms must be sent to the Office of Human Resources.
    5. While on paid leave status, employees will continue to earn sick or vacation leave, per College Sick Leave Procedure 2.2000 and Vacation Leave Policy 2.111. The use of FML will not result in the loss of benefits earned or accrued prior to the start of FML.

DESIGNATION OF FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE
Upon receipt of the Application for Family/Medical Leave, with appropriate signatures and other required forms, the Manager of Employee Benefits or designee will send the employee a Designation Notice informing the employee that the leave has been approved, disapproved, or is pending  attending physician’ s certification. Appropriate levels of supervision up to the VP and the Payroll Services Office will be copied on this notice.

JOB PROTECTION UNDER THE FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
If approved for FML, an employee will be entitled to be returned to the same position held when the leave commenced, or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment as long as they return to work on the duty day after being released by their medical provider or one duty day after exhausting the 12 weeks of FML, whichever comes first. If the employee has been on approved FML for their own serious health condition, they must provide a Fitness for Duty Certificate from their medical provider prior to returning to work.

An employee returning from FML has no greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee had been actively at work during the FML period.  If an employee was hired for a specific term or only to perform work on a distinct project, the College has no obligation to restore the employee if the employment term or project is over, and the College would not otherwise have continued to employ the employee. If the employee’s position was eliminated as a result of a reorganization or reduction in force, then the previously held position would not be available.

EMPLOYEE COVERAGE IN THE COLLEGE'S GROUP HEALTH, DENTAL AND TERM LIFE INSURANCE PLANS (REFERRED TO AS COLLEGE-PROVIDED INSURANCES)
For the duration of authorized FML, Seminole State College will continue to pay the College-provided insurances.  

Dependent Coverage in the College's Group Health Insurance and Supplemental Life Insurance
Employees, who have the College's group health insurance for their dependents and/or the College's group term supplemental life insurance, must continue to pay the premiums for these policies while on FML. Failure to make these payments results in loss of these insurance benefits. 
 

Recommended by Executive Team Date 10/2013
Approved: President, E. Ann McGee Date 10/2013

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