OLPM

USY.V  Personnel Policies
(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "USY.V.C.19.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)

C. Employment

19.   Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This policy outlines the eligibility criteria for requesting a FMLA leave and the obligation of the institution and the faculty/staff member in order to comply with FMLA regulations.

19.1   Eligibility. To be eligible for leave under this policy a faculty/staff member (status or non-status) must have been employed within USNH for at least 12 months in total and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period preceding the commencement of the leave.

19.2   Definition. A family and/or medical leave of absence shall be defined as an approved absence available to eligible faculty/staff members for up to 12 weeks per year. A year is defined as a "rolling" 12 month period measured backward from the date a faculty/staff member uses any FMLA leave. Leave may be taken: Upon the birth of a faculty/staff member's child; upon the placement of a child with the faculty/staff member for adoption or foster care; when a faculty/staff member is needed to care for a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition; or when the faculty/staff member is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position because of a serious health condition. A faculty/staff member who assumes the role of in loco parentis to a child, regardless of the legal or biological relationship, is eligible for FMLA leave to care for the child. (For military-related FMLA, see USY V.C.19.7).

19.2.1   In order to be considered for a FMLA leave, the faculty/staff member must notify her/his supervisor of the request for the leave and provide appropriate documentation to the Human Resources Office (see USY V.C.19.4). Human Resources will notify the faculty/staff member within 5 days if the facult/staff member meets the eligibility requirements for FMLA leave and informs her/him of her/his rights and responsibilities under the leave.

19.2.2   In order to have the leave considered FMLA, the Human Resources Office must receive medical documentation, makes the determination and must notify the faculty/staff member in writing within five days after receipt of the medical documentation. If the designation of FMLA leave is not made or notice given, the leave cannot be retroactive and cannot be applied after the faculty/staff member returns to work.

19.2.2.1   Exceptions. Notification can be done retroactively if the determination is made because medical documentation supporting FMLA was received by Human Resources after the faculty/staff member returned to work, or when Human Resources did not learn the reason for a faculty/staff member’s leave until her/his return to work.

19.2.3   All requests which meet eligibility criteria will be granted for up to 12 weeks. In cases of absence from work which qualify under FMLA and are covered by other paid leave(s), such as workers' compensation or interim disability, the FMLA leave will be concurrent with the other paid leave(s) for a period of up to 12 weeks or for the duration of the other leave(s) if it expires prior to 12 weeks.

19.3   Conditions of Leave. USNH will require medical documentation, and documentation for in loco parentis as needed, sent to the Human Resources Office to support a claim for leave for a faculty/staff member's own serious health condition or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent. Such documentation will be maintained in a separate file in the Human Resources Office and released only on a need-to-know basis. For the faculty/staff member's own medical leave, the documentation must include a statement that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the position. For leave to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent, the medical documentation must include an estimate of the amount of time the faculty/staff member is needed to provide care. At its discretion, USNH may require and pay for a second medical opinion and/or periodic documentation. If the first and second opinions differ, USNH (at its own expense) may require the binding opinion of a third health care provider approved jointly by USNH and the faculty/staff member.

19.3.1   Intermittent Leave. If medically necessary for a serious health condition of the faculty/staff member or the spouse, child or parent, leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced service schedule. If leave is requested on this basis, however, the USNH may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an alternative position that better accommodates recurring periods of absence or a part-time schedule, provided the position has equivalent base salary rate and benefits./p>

19.3.2   In cases of leave for the faculty/staff member's own illness/injury, the faculty/staff member will be required to use established/accrued paid leave policies (includes any leave accrued during an FMLA Leave); however, the faculty/staff member has the option to retain up to the equivalent of 10 Earned Time/vacation days.

19.3.2.1   For status exempt faculty/staff, paid leave includes use of accrued sick leave, interim disability leave if applicable, then accrued vacation/personal leave (see USY V.A.4.11).

19.3.2.2   For status hourly staff, paid leave includes use of accrued Earned Time and Sick Pool (see USY V.A.4.10).

19.3.3   For leaves taken to care for family members, a faculty/staff member may use Family Leave for up to 10 days (see USY V.A.4.10 for Earned Time use and USY V.A.4.12 for vacation/personal leave use); further usage will require that the faculty/staff member use accrued Earned Time/vacation days; however, the faculty/staff member has the option to retain up to the equivalent of 10 Earned Time/vacation days.

19.3.4   The mandatory use of accrued leave time is not applicable if the absence is due to a workplace injury/illness and is compensated under workers' compensation. However, an employee may elect to supplement workers' compensation with accrued leave.

19.4   Responsibility. The component institutions shall adopt such institutional procedures as are necessary to meet the administrative requirements of this USNH policy.

19.4.1   Faculty/Staff Member's Responsibility. When the need for leave is foreseeable, such as the birth or adoption of a child, or planned medical treatment, the faculty/staff member must provide 30 days notice. Appropriate documentation (e.g., physician's statements and adoption papers) must be included with the request and sent to the Human Resources Office. In cases of illness, the faculty/staff member will be required to report periodically to Human Resources on his or her leave status and intention to return to work.

19.4.1.1   Reinstatement. Faculty/staff members must notify their immediate supervisor and the Human Resources Office 30 days prior to the expiration of the leave of intent to return to work.

19.5   Benefits During Leave. (Applicable to faculty/staff members participating in a medical and/or dental plan prior to leave.)

19.5.1   Duration of Leave. USNH will continue its usual level of contribution to the staff member's benefits for the duration of the 12-week period. For those benefits that require employee contributions, the faculty/staff member will be billed for that portion of the premium.

19.5.2   Benefits eligible faculty and staff members on an unpaid Family and Medical leave do not accumulate vacation/personal leave, sick leave or Earned Time and are not eligible to receive compensation for jury duty, bereavement leave, holidays, short-term military leave or tuition waiver benefits for themselves. (See Leave Without Pay policy, USY V.C.16.3)

19.5.3   Failure to Return from Leave (or returns, but fails to stay 30 calendar days). In the event that a faculty/staff member elects not to return to work, or returns but fails to stay 30 calendar days upon completion of an approved paid and/or unpaid leave of absence, USNH may recover the cost of any payments made to maintain the employee's benefit coverage, unless the failure to return to work was for reasons beyond the faculty/staff member's control.

19.6   Compassionate Donation Program

19.6.1   Definition. A USNH institution may establish a compassionate donation program which provides a means for status employees who earn vacation leave or Earned Time to voluntarily and anonymously donate annual leave or Earned Time to another employee (1) whose absence is due to his or her own serious health condition or that of an immediate family member, or to care for a newborn or a new adopted/foster child, or for Military-Related leave, as defined under the FMLA; (2) who is anticipated to be absent from work for this reason for a minimum of thirty consecutive calendar days; and (3) who has exhausted, or will exhaust, her/his applicable paid leave time. Compassionate donations do not apply to intermittent FMLA situations. Donations are made directly to an employee, not to a leave bank. While the maximum total leave period for an employee is six months, the maximum donated time is 20 days (150 hours for staff working 37.5 hours per week/160 hours for those working 40 hours per week). This donated time is converted to the monetary value of the receiver's hourly or daily rate for the hours/days donated, and is not considered earnings for purposes of benefit deductions. This program will be coordinated by the campus Human Resources Office and may include the establishment of a campus oversight committee. Confidentiality of medical information for those receiving donated days will be maintained.

19.6.2   Other conditions. The role of the institution is to facilitate the administration of the compassionate donation program, not to encourage or discourage participation in the program, nor disseminate information about those employees in need of donations of time. No employee may coerce, threaten, intimidate, or promise financial benefits for donations of leave time.

19.6.3   Eligibility. To be eligible to receive donated time, a status employee must earn vacation leave or Earned Time, must have completed the initial introductory period, must anticipate an absence from work for a minimum of 30 calendar days (including at least 5 days of unpaid leave), must provide information concerning his or her own serious illness or that of an immediate family member as defined under the FMLA, and must be planning to return to work for at least 30 calendar days following the FMLA leave. The number of compassionate donation hours/days an employee may receive per 12-month period will be limited to a maximum of 20 work days per 12-month period. If otherwise eligible, employees are not eligible for compassionate donations if: (1) they are receiving USNH disability or Workers' Compensation benefits, or (2) they are on a probationary status.

19.6.4   Donations of Time. Operating Staff may donate their Earned Time in minimal increments of 4 hours from their Earned Time accrual, and exempt employees may donate vacation/personal time in minimal increments of 0.5 days from their vacation/personal leave accrual. No Sick Pool or sick leave may be donated. After donating leave, a donating employee must have a minimum balance of one week (e.g. 37.5 or 40 hours/5 days) of Earned Time/vacation time. Time may be donated to a status employee in any department and status employee type covered by this policy. Donated time does not count towards minimum usage requirements. Donations may be made to more than one employee. Each campus will determine a maximum donation per employee, not to exceed 12 days (90/96 hours) of Earned Time/vacation time in total per fiscal year, with the maximum pro-rated for percent-time employees. A campus may establish provisions for allowing retroactive donations, provided the donations are made no more than thirty days after the employee's return to work. No compassionate donations may be made outside the employee’s home institution.

19.6.5   Use of Donated Compassionate time. An employee receiving compassionate donations will not accrue Earned Time/vacation/personal/sick time on compassionate donation time days. The recipient's home department will pay the cost of the employee's salary that is covered by compassionate donations. Compassionate donations do not delay the formal start of an unpaid leave of absence for the recipient. Use of compassionate donations cannot extend beyond the end of the employee's appointment period.

19.6.6   Reporting. The institution shall establish a process to ensure that the donor and recipient time/leave are correctly recorded on appropriate time cards/leave records.

19.6.7   Termination of Leave. An employee's eligibility to use compassionate donations ends when one or more of the following occur: the employee returns to work; the maximum amount of compassionate donation has been used; medical documentation for the employee, spouse, child, or parent releases the employee to return to work; the employee terminates employment; there are no more donations of leave time to the employee.

19.7   Military-Related FMLA Leave. FMLA leave approved for a faculty/staff member to (1) care for a member of the US Armed Forces who incurred a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the US Armed Forces; or to (2) deal with a "qualifying exigency" arising out of a family member's active duty service or call to active duty in the US Armed Forces; or any combination of the two, is considered military-related FMLA leave.

19.7.1   Eligibility. To qualify for a military-related FMLA leave, the faculty staff member must be eligible for FMLA leave (see USY V.C.19.1). To qualify for leave to care for a service member, the faculty or staff member must be the spouse, parent, (or serve as in loco parentis)child, or "next of kin" (nearest blood relative) of a member of the US Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves. (Contact the Human Resources Office for specifics concerning "next of kin".) To quality for exigency leave, the National Guard Reservist, or retired member of the Armed Forces must be the spouse, son, daughter or parent (or serve in loco parentis) of the faculty or staff member.

19.7.2   In order to be considered for a FMLA leave, the faculty/staff member must notify her/his supervisor of the request for the leave and provide appropriate documentation, such as documentation for in loco parentis as needed, to the Human Resources Office (see USY V.C.19.4).

19.7.3   All requests which meet eligibility criteria will be granted for up to 12 weeks for "qualifying exigency" leave and for up to 26 weeks for leave to care for a member of the US Armed Forces. The combination of FMLA leave that includes leave to care for a family member in the US Armed Forces and other types of FMLA leave may not exceed 26 weeks in a 12-month period.

19.7.4   During such leave, a faculty/staff member may use Family Leave for up to 10 days (see USY V.A.4.10 for Earned Time use and USY V.A.4.12 for vacation/personal leave use); further usage will require that the faculty/staff member use accrued Earned Time/vacation days; however, the faculty/staff member has the option to retain up to the equivalent of 10 Earned Time/vacation days.

19.7.5   Responsibilities during FMLA leave. See USY V.C.19.4.

19.7.6   Conditions of FMLA leave to care for a family service member with a serious injury or illness. Such leave may extend up to 26 weeks in a twelve-month period. It may be taken full-time or on an intermittent or reduced work schedule. Medical documentation to support the leave request must be sent to the Human Resources Office. Such documentation will be maintained in a separate file in the Human Resources Office and released only on a need-to-know basis.

19.7.6.1   Benefits During Leave. (Applicable to faculty/staff members participating in a medical and/or dental plan prior to leave.)

19.7.6.1.1   Duration of Leave. USNH will continue its usual level of contribution to the staff member's benefits for the duration of the 26-week period. For those benefits that require employee contributions, the faculty/staff member will be billed for that portion of the premium.

19.7.6.1.2   Benefits-eligible faculty and staff members on an unpaid Family and Medical leave do not accumulate vacation/personal leave, sick leave or Earned Time and are not eligible to receive compensation for jury duty, bereavement leave, holidays, short-term military leave or tuition waiver benefits for themselves. (See Leaves Without Pay policy, USY V.C.16.3)

19.7.7   Conditions of FMLA leave due to "qualifying exigency" arising from a family member in the National Guard or Reserve, or a retired member of the regular armed forces or the reserve, being called to active duty service in the military. A qualifying exigency is a circumstance such as short-term notice of deployment, military events and related activities, child care, financial and legal arrangements, or post-deployment activities. Such leave may extend up to 12 weeks and may be taken on an intermittent or reduced-leave schedule. A copy of the family member's active duty orders or other reasonable documentation to support the leave will be sent to the Human Resources Office.

19.7.7.1   Benefits During Leave. (Applicable to faculty/staff member's participating in a medical and/or dental plan prior to leave.)

19.7.7.1.1   Duration of Leave. USNH will continue its usual level of contribution to the staff member's benefits for the duration of the 12-week period. For those benefits that require employee contributions, the faculty/staff member will be billed for that portion of the premium.

19.7.7.1.2   Benefits-eligible faculty and staff members on an unpaid Family and Medical leave do not accumulate vacation/personal leave, sick leave or Earned Time and are not eligible to receive compensation for jury duty, bereavement leave, holidays, short-term military leave or tuition benefits for themselves. (See Leave Without Pay policy, USY V.C.16.3)

19.8   Complaints concerning the application of FMLA leave should be addressed to the Human Resources Office or the US Department of Labor.

19.9   Collective Bargaining Agreements. All provisions of this policy shall prevail except as modified by any applicable collective bargaining agreements.

 

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This page last updated January 3, 2014. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.



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