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Family Medical Leave Act 1. Purpose The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) entitles eligible employees to take twelve weeks of unpaid, job protected leave.

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Presentation on theme: "Family Medical Leave Act 1. Purpose The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) entitles eligible employees to take twelve weeks of unpaid, job protected leave."— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Medical Leave Act 1

2 Purpose The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) entitles eligible employees to take twelve weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage. 2

3 Eligible Employee Has worked for at least 12 months ( but not necessarily consecutive) and Has at least 1250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave. 3

4 Employee Responsibilities Provide sufficient and timely notice of the need for leave If requested by the employer: – Provide certification to support the need for leave – Provide periodic status reports – Provide fitness-for-duty certification 4

5 Qualifying Reasons for Leave The birth of a son or daughter or placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care; To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; For an employee’s serious health condition that makes he employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; or For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call covered active duty status. 5

6 Intermittent Leave Under some circumstances, employees may take FMLA leave on an intermittent basis. That means an employee may take leave in separate blocks of time. Examples of intermittent leave include: Periodic treatment and medical appointments Prenatal exam, morning sickness, and other pregnancy related conditions Time off to recover from a serious illness Time off for flare-ups of a chronic condition 6

7 Substitution of Paid Leave “Substitution” means paid leave provided by the employer - runs concurrently with unpaid FMLA leave and normal terms and conditions of paid leave policy apply W&M requires substitution of accrued paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave Employee remains entitled to unpaid FMLA if procedural requirements for leave are not met 7

8 Serious Health Condition Illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition involving: Inpatient Care, or Continuing Treatment by a Health Care Provider 8

9 Incapacity of more than 3 consecutive full calendar days, plus treatment of 2 times within 30 days or 1 time and regimen of continuing treatment Pregnancy or pre-natal care Chronic conditions – requires periodic visits (2x per year) for treatment and continues over an extended period of time Permanent/long-term conditions - A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective Absence to receive multiple treatments - For conditions that, if left untreated, would likely result in incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days. 9

10 Non-qualifying conditions Ordinarily, unless complications arise, the common cold, stomach bugs, ear aches, headaches, other than migraines, routine dental or orthodontia problems, are examples of problems that do not meet the definition of serious health condition and do not qualify for FMLA leave. 10

11 Examples of Serious Health Condition Pneumonia Surgery Broken bones Asthma Diabetes Epilepsy Alzheimer’s Stroke Severe arthritis Flu – in some cases 11

12 Certification HR (not employee’s direct supervisor) may contact health care provider to: – Authenticate: Verify that the information was completed and/or authorized by the health care provider; no additional information may be requested – Clarify: Understand handwriting or meaning of a response; no additional information may be requested beyond what is required by the certification form Second and third opinions (at employer’s cost) – If employer questions the validity of the complete certification, the employer may require a second opinion – If the first and second opinions differ, employer may require a third opinion that is final and binding 12

13 Re-Certification Recertification –No more often than every 30 days and with an absence If the minimum duration on the certification is greater than 30 days, the employer must wait until the minimum duration expires In all cases, may request every six months with an absence –More frequently than every 30 days if: the employee requests an extension of leave, or circumstances of the certification change significantly, or employer receives information that casts doubt on the reason for leave Consequences of failing to provide certification –Employer may deny FMLA until certification is received 13

14 Eligibility Notice Within five business days of leave request (or knowledge that leave may be FMLA- qualifying), provide notice of eligibility Eligibility determined on first instance of leave for qualifying reason in applicable 12-month leave year New notice for subsequent qualifying reason if eligibility status changes Provide a reason if employee is not eligible 14

15 Notice of Rights and Responsibilities Notice must include: Statement that leave may be counted as FMLA Applicable 12-month period for entitlement Certification requirements Substitution requirements Arrangements for premium payments (and potential employee liability) Status as “key” employee Job restoration and maintenance of benefits rights 15

16 Summary If there is any chance that an employee’s medical condition might meet the definition of serious health condition under the FMLA, it is important to issue the notification and certification forms to the employee and let health care provider make the determination whether a serious health condition exists. 16

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