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Leaves (HR-400)

HR-407 Family and Medical Leave Act

Summary

In accordance with federal law titled the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA or the Act), the University provides job-protected FMLA leave to eligible employees for up to 12 workweeks of leave (based on FTE) during a 12-month period based on qualifying events. Eligible employees that care for covered service members and veterans are eligible for up to 26 workweeks of leave in a single 12-month period.

Intent to Comply with Law

The provisions of this policy are intended to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended, and any terms used from the FMLA will be as defined in the Act or the U.S. Department of Labor regulations. To the extent that this policy is ambiguous or contradicts the Act or regulations, the language of the Act or regulations will prevail. The University reserves the right to amend this policy from time to time to comply with any changes to the Act or regulations.

Eligibility

An employee is eligible to request a FMLA leave if they have been employed by the University for a total of at least 12 months at the time of the leave of absence, and have actually worked at least 1250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the leave. The 12 months of employment do not have to be continuous. All service will be counted except if the break in service was seven years or more, then only the service since the break will be counted. Special limitations may apply to key employees as defined by the law.

Notice

The University requires a 30-day notice for all types of FMLA leave if the leave is foreseeable. For unforeseen circumstances, the University requires as much notice as is practicable.

12-Week Leave

Subject to the requirements described in this policy, an eligible employee may request and may be granted up to 12 workweeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following events:  

  1. The employee’s own serious health condition, which renders him/her unable to perform one or more essential functions of the employee’s position, as certified by a health care provider.
  2. Birth of an employee’s child(ren), adoption of a child by the employee or official placement of a child with the employee for foster care (leaves for birth or adoption must be taken within 12 months of the event).
  3. The care of the employee’s spouse, Sponsored Adult Dependent, child (including child of Sponsored Adult Dependent) or parent with a serious health condition, as certified by a health care provider.
  4. A qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, Sponsored Adult Dependent, child (including child of Sponsored Adult Dependent) or parent of an employee 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.

Definition of 12-Month Period

Employees are eligible to take up to 12 workweeks of qualifying FMLA leave every 12 months. This 12-month period starts from the most recent FMLA begin date and runs through the next 12 months.

26-Week Leave

Under the military caregiver leave, eligible employees can take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. The employee must be the spouse, Sponsored Adult Dependent, child, (including child of a Sponsored Adult Dependent), parent or next of kin of the covered service member. A covered service member is either:

  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. 

For a current service member, a serious injury or illness is one that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her military duties.  For a veteran, a serious injury or illness is one that rendered the veteran medically unfit to perform his or her military duties, or an injury or illness that qualifies the veteran for certain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs or substantially impairs the veteran’s ability to work.  For veterans, it includes injuries or illnesses that were incurred or aggravated during military service but that did not manifest until after the veteran left active duty.

Military caregiver leave is available to an eligible employee once per service member, per serious injury or illness.

Definition of 12-Month Period for Military Caregiver Leave

The single 12-month period for military caregiver leave begins on the first day the employee takes leave for this reason and ends 12 months later. 

Use of Paid Time Off

Accrued time must be used as part of the FMLA leave. Once paid leave time is exhausted, FMLA leaves are without pay.

Medical Certifications

If the requested leave is because of a serious health condition of the employee, he/she will be required to provide a health care provider’s certification providing information as to the condition and inability to perform one or more essential functions of the job within 15 calendar days after the employer’s request. If the requested leave is to care for a covered family member, the employee will be required to provide, within 15 calendar days after the employer’s request, a health care provider’s certification providing information as to the serious health condition and stating that the employee is needed to care for the family member.

The University may request subsequent re-certifications during the course of the leave in accordance with the limitations set forth in the FMLA regulations.

Records and documents relating to medical certifications or re-certifications of employees or employees’ family members will be maintained as confidential medical records in Human Resources, subject only to the limited exceptions set forth in the FMLA regulations.

FMLA may be denied if requested certifications are not provided within prescribed time limits.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA from requesting or requiring genetic information of employees or their family members. In order to comply with this law, the University asks that health care providers not provide any genetic information when responding to the request for medical information. Genetic information, as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.

Certification for Military Exigency Leave

The first time an employee requests leave because of a qualifying military exigency, the employee must provide a copy of the covered military member’s active duty orders or other documentation issued by the military.  The documentation must indicate that the covered military service member is on active duty or called to active duty status in a foreign country and the dates of active duty service.  The employee will need to supply such documentation again only if requesting leave for a different covered active duty or call to covered active duty status of the same or a different covered military member.

Intermittent and Reduced Leave Schedules

Leaves taken to care for an employee’s covered family member, for the employee’s own serious health condition or to care for a qualified service member may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary, provided a health care provider certifies the expected duration and schedule of such leave. Leave for military exigency may also be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule.

Employees who are approved for intermittent FMLA leave must continue to comply with the normal call in procedures to the extent possible. The employee may be required to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified and that has equivalent pay and benefits and better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employee’s regular position.

Intermittent leave and/or a reduced schedule leave may be taken for the birth or adoption of a child or placement with the employee of a child for foster care if approved by the employee’s direct supervisor and may not extend beyond 12 months after the birth, adoption or placement of a child for foster care.   

If an employee needs leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule for planned medical treatment, then the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.

Benefits

During the leave period, an employee is eligible to continue participation in the University of Missouri System’s employee benefit program (medical, dental, life, vision, accidental death and long-term disability). In order for the coverage to be continued, the employee will be responsible for his/her portion of the cost. 

Return to Work

A health care provider's certification will be required for return to work from the employee's own serious health condition, including birth of a child. The department will return the employee to the same position he/she had before the leave or an equivalent position. The employee will be provided the level of benefits and seniority he/she had before the leave started. 

If the circumstances of the leave change, and the employee is able to return to work earlier than the date indicated previously, the employee will be required to notify the supervisor and/or Office of Human Resources at least two workdays prior to the date he/she intends to return for work.

See Also

HR-402 Vacation, HR-403 Personal Days, HR-404 Sick Leave, HR-407 Family and Medical Leave Act Q&As, HR-408 Leaves of Absence and HR-409 Work-Incurred Injury or Illness.

 

Date Created: 9/26/97

Last Updated: 1/19/17