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FMLA - Procedures and Resources

STEP ONE - Employee Request/Notice Requirements

An employee must make a request for FMLA leave to his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator and provide the anticipated timing and duration of the continuous, intermittent, or reduced work schedule leave.

When the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, an employee must give his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator at least 30 calendar days’ advance notice of the need for leave, if practicable, and complete the Employee Request for Family and Medical Leave form. If 30 calendar days’ notice is not possible, then the employee must at least give verbal notice to the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator no later than the next business day after the employee becomes aware of the need for leave and then immediately submit a completed Employee Request for Family and Medical Leave form to his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator.

When the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, such as for a medical emergency or other unforeseen events, an employee must provide at least verbal notice as soon as practicable to his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator. The employee must submit a completed Employee Request for Family and Medical Leave form to his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator as soon as possible but no later than 15 calendar days following the request for leave, absent extenuating circumstances.

An employee must provide additional notice and complete and submit a new Employee Request for Family and Medical Leave form to his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator within the same timelines described above when:

  • Circumstances of the initial leave change;
  • When the employee requires an extension of FMLA leave; or
  • When the employee makes a new request for FMLA leave.

The supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may require the employee to provide periodic updates on his or her status and intent to return to work.

If an employee fails to meet the notice requirements described above, the start of the FMLA leave may be delayed and any absences during the delay may be counted as non-FMLA absences and may be subject to departmental attendance policy or practice.

STEP TWO - Eligibility Notice

Within 5 business days following an employee’s request for FMLA leave, his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will determine if the employee is eligible (meets eligibility requirements, appears to have a qualifying reason for taking FMLA leave, and has an available balance of the applicable FMLA Leave Entitlement) to take FMLA leave and will give eligibility notice to the employee, absent extenuating circumstances. The supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may verbally notify the employee of his or her eligibility to meet the 5-day timeline but must confirm eligibility in writing with a completed Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities form.

STEP THREE - Certification

When the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator provides the eligibility notice as described above, he or she will indicate whether the employee is required to provide a completed certification using one of the following University certification forms, as applicable:

A supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may request certification at a later date if the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator has reason to question the appropriateness of the leave or its duration.

The employee must return a complete and sufficient certification to his or her supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator within 15 calendar days following the supervisor’s or Designated Leave Coordinator’s request.

If a supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator requires a certification for a leave request that is due to the employee’s own serious health condition, then the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator should provide the employee with a job description or statement of the essential functions of the employee’s position for the employee’s health care provider’s review. The health care provider must then use the job description or statement to specify what functions the employee is unable to perform and what limitations, if any, the employee may have and for what duration.

Upon receipt of an employee’s certification, the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will determine if the certification is complete and sufficient. The employee may be required to remedy any deficiencies in the documentation within 7 calendar days. Human Resources may assist the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator with clarification or authentication of the medical certification; however, under no circumstances will the employee’s supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator contact the employee’s health care provider.

The supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may require recertification when an employee requests an extension of leave, when the circumstances described by the previous certification have changed significantly, when the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator receives information that casts doubt upon the reason for the absence or the continuing validity of the previous certification. In all cases, a supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may require recertification of a medical condition every 6 months in connection with an absence by an employee.

If the employee fails to provide the required certification or recertification, or fails to remedy any deficiencies in the certification absent extenuating circumstances, then the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may deny FMLA leave until the employee produces sufficient certification.

STEP FOUR - Designation Notice

When the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator has determined that the employee has provided complete and sufficient certification for a FMLA leave, the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will notify the employee whether the leave will be designated and counted as FMLA leave by providing the employee a completed Designation Notice form within 5 business days of making such determination, absent extenuating circumstances.

If the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will require the employee to present a fitness-for-duty certification in order to be restored to employment following a FMLA leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition, the Designation Notice will include this requirement. If the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will require that the fitness-for-duty certification address the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position, then the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will indicate this requirement on the Designation Notice and will include a list of essential functions of the employee’s position.

STEP FIVE - Reinstatement/Return to Work

An employee must return to work on the first scheduled workday after the last day of approved FMLA leave or request additional leave on or before the last day of approved FMLA leave. When an employee returns to work on or before the expiration of FMLA leave, the employee’s department will reinstate the employee to the same position the employee held when the leave commenced or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.

If the FMLA leave was due to the employee’s own serious health condition and the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator required the fitness-for-duty certification in the Designation Notice, then the employee must provide such certification from his or her health care provider on or before the date the employee is scheduled to return to work. If the employee fails to provide this fitness-for-duty certification by that time, then the supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator may delay the employee’s restoration to employment until the employee submits the required certification.

If the employee’s position or appointment will end/terminate prior to the expiration of FMLA leave, such as due to layoff, non-renewal, then the employee will not be entitled to reinstatement as long as the employee’s position or appointment would have terminated irrespective of the employee’s use of the FMLA leave.

If an employee requires additional leave from work beyond the basic leave entitlement or military family leave entitlement, the employee may request to use any remaining accrued paid time or request an unpaid leave, subject to approval by the supervisor, Designated Leave Coordinator, or responsible administrator. Supervisors or Designated Leave Coordinators should consult with their HR Consultant in the Division of Human Resources prior to finalizing a decision on such a request.

An employee who requires reasonable accommodation for a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (as amended), including any extension of leave following an FMLA leave, should make a request for reasonable accommodation through the University’s Disability Resource Center as soon as he or she believes that such an accommodation may be required.

Voluntary Termination

 An employee on FMLA leave will be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment if he or she:

  • Advises the University of his or her intention not to return to work either after the expiration of approved FMLA leave or during any approved FMLA leave; or
  • Fails to return to work upon the expiration of FMLA leave, unless the employee has requested and been granted:
    • 1) the use of any remaining accrued paid leave;
    • 2) an unpaid leave; or
    • 3) a leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Recordkeeping

An eligible employee’s use of approved FMLA leave will be recorded on the employee’s official time records and counted toward the employee’s basic leave or military family leave entitlement until the available leave entitlement is exhausted. Use of FMLA leave may be tentatively entered into the eligible employee’s official time record while awaiting sufficient information or certification to confirm a FMLA-qualifying reason exists.

The supervisor or Designated Leave Coordinator will promptly provide copies of the employee’s completed Employee Request for Family and Medical Leave form, the supervisor’s or Designated Leave Coordinator’s completed Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities and Designation Notice forms, and all certification forms to the Human Resources Benefits Administration Team. These forms will be kept in the employee’s department and University records; however all medical certifications or related FMLA leave documentation will be maintained as confidential medical records in separate files, apart from employee personnel files.

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