Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
In accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the college provides eligible employees with family and medical leave.
FMLA leave may be paid, unpaid, or a combination of paid and unpaid, depending on the circumstances and as specified in this policy. FMLA leave runs concurrently with all other applicable leave, including but not limited to Parental Leave and MA PFML.
In order to qualify for leave under FMLA, you must meet both of the following conditions:
- You must have worked for the college at least 12 months (52 weeks). The 12 months (52 weeks) need not have been consecutive. For eligibility purposes, you will be considered to have been employed for an entire week even if you were on the payroll for only part of a week or if you were on leave during the week.
- You must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date that the leave would begin.
Reasons for Leave
In order to qualify for FMLA leave under this policy, you must be taking the leave for one of the following reasons:
- To care for your child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
- To care for your spouse or registered domestic partner, child, or parent with a "serious health condition";
- To care for your own "serious health condition";
- Due to a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that your spouse, child, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation; or
- To care for a covered service member (who is your spouse, child, parent or next of kin) with a serious illness or injury.
Leave to Care for a Child or a Serious Health Condition
Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; to care for your own "serious health condition"; or to care for your spouse or registered domestic partner, child, or parent with a "serious health condition."
If you require FMLA for your own serious health condition, you can use their accrued sick time and vacation time during FMLA. If you require FMLA to care for your family member’s serious health condition, you may be entitled to charge up to forty (40) hours of absence in any fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to your accrued sick bank. A medical certification may be required for approval. Employees may also be eligible for paid leave under MA PFML.
Leave under the FMLA will run concurrently with all other applicable leave, including but not limited to Parental Leave, Family Leave, and MA PFML.
Military Family Exigency
Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA due to a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that your spouse, child, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, etc.
Employees may use up to 8 weeks of earned sick time during this 12 week period, as well as any earned vacation time. Employees may also be eligible for paid leave under MA PFML.
Military Service Member Illness or Injury
Eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member (who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent or next of kin) with a serious illness or injury. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who had a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty while on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his/her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperative, or therapy; or is in outpatient status, or is on the military’s temporary disability retired list.
Employees may use up to 8 weeks of earned sick time, and 4 weeks of vacation time during the first 12 weeks of this leave. Employees may also be eligible for paid leave under MA PFML.
12 Month Period
The college will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured back from the date you use any leave under this policy. Each time you take leave, the college will compute the amount of leave you have taken under this policy and subtract it from the 12 weeks of available leave, with the remaining balance as the amount you are entitled to take at that time.
Intermittent Leave or a Reduced Work Schedule
For the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child, FMLA leave must be taken over 12 consecutive weeks.
If you are taking leave for your own serious health condition or because of the serious health condition of a family member, you may take FMLA leave in 12 consecutive weeks, use the leave intermittently (take leave as needed over the course of the year), or, under certain circumstances, use the leave to reduce the work week or work day, which would result in a reduced-hour work schedule. In all cases, your FMLA leave may not exceed a total of 12 weeks over a 12-month period (or if it involves a covered injured service member leave situation more than 26 weeks in a single 12 month period).
You and the college must mutually agree to an intermittent leave or reduced-hour schedule where possible. If an agreement is not possible, you must prove that the use of the intermittent leave is medically necessary. The college may require certification of the medical necessity as discussed below.
For intermittent leave that is foreseeable, the college may temporarily transfer you to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the alternative position would better accommodate an intermittent or reduced schedule.
Effect of FMLA Leave on Paid Time and Benefits
While on FMLA leave, you continue to earn personal time. You do not accrue sick leave or vacation, and you are not entitled to recess pay, holiday pay, bereavement leave, or jury duty leave.
While on FMLA leave, you may continue membership in the college's health and welfare benefits programs. The college will continue to pay its contributions during the leave period at the same level and under the same conditions as if you had continued to work. You will be billed for your share of the premiums.
Medical Certification of a Serious Health Condition
If you request FMLA for your own serious health condition, you must submit a medical certification from your health care provider that establishes that you are eligible for FMLA. The certification must be provided as soon as possible, and not later than the date leave begins or within 15 days of the college’s request, whichever is later. Failure to provide the required certification may result in a denial of continuation of leave. Medical certification may be provided by submitting the Attending Physician's Statement form available from Human Resources.
The certification must include the date when the condition began, its expected duration, the diagnosis, and a statement that, because of the serious health condition, you are unable to work or need ongoing medical treatment. The college has the right to ask for a second opinion if it has reason to doubt the certification.
If you request FMLA to care for a family member’s serious health condition, or for a covered service member, the certification must include: (1) verification that the family member has a serious health condition or serious injury or illness, as defined above, and the date such condition began, (2) the probable duration of the condition, (3) an explanation of the amount of care you will be required to provide for their family member or covered service member, and (4) a statement that the condition warrants your participation to provide care. The college reserves the right to contact the health care provider to seek clarification of information in the certification, as needed, and may require recertification, as appropriate.
If you plan to take intermittent leave or work a reduced schedule, the certification must also include the dates and duration of treatment and a statement of medical necessity for taking intermittent leave or working a reduced schedule.
Return to Work Certification
Before returning to work at the conclusion of a leave due to your own serious health condition, you are required to provide a certification from your health care provider regarding your ability to return to work. You can submit the Physician's Approval to Return to Work form, which is available from Human Resources. The college may require that employees be examined by a college-designated physician before returning to work to ensure fitness for duty.
Employment Status after FMLA Leave
If you take FMLA leave, you will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent status, pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The position will be the same or one which entails equivalent skill, effort, responsibility and authority.
For questions regarding FMLA leave, please contact Human Resources.