Administrative Rule No: 6060-02

Title: Family and Medical Leave

To assure compliance with state and federal statutes governing family and medical leaves. To define terms of eligibility and the process for accessing family and medical leave.

Family and medical leaves of absence will be granted for those employees meeting the qualifying guidelines under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), and/or Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) and will be administered in conformance with those regulations. Entitlements will run concurrently where applicable. Family and Medical Leaves will be granted for up to twelve (12) weeks in a one-year measurement period. Some protected leave entitlements may grant extensions beyond the twelve (12) weeks. Requested leaves over FMLA, OFLA, and PLO entitlement periods shall be considered pursuant to AR 6060-01, Personal Unpaid Leave of Absence.

The College complies with Oregon and Federal laws which provide unpaid and/or paid, job-protected, family and medical leave. Qualifying reasons include:

  1. Parental (bonding) Leave during the year following the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child under eighteen (18), or adoption or foster placement of a child eighteen (18) or older if incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. Parental leave includes leave to effectuate the legal process required for foster placement or adoption. (FMLA/OFLA/PLO)
  2. Leave for the employee’s own serious health condition, or to care for a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or other qualified family member with a serious health condition. The definition of a qualifying family member may vary under each entitlement. (FMLA/OFLA/PLO)
  3. Pregnancy disability leave (a form of serious health condition leave) taken by an employee for an incapacity related to pregnancy or childbirth, occurring before or after the birth of the child, or for prenatal care. (FMLA/OFLA/PLO)
  4. Sick child leave taken to care for an employee’s child with an illness or injury that requires home care but is not a serious health condition. (OFLA)
  5. Bereavement leave to deal with the death of a family member. (OFLA)
  6. Federal military family leave for eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation. (FMLA)
  7. Oregon military family leave for the spouse or same-gender domestic partner of a service member who has been called to duty or notified of an impending call to duty or is on leave from active duty during a military conflict. (OFLA)
  8. Safe Leave for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking. (PLO)
  9. Active public health emergency for sick child leave for school/child care closures. (OFLA)

Eligibility for Leave

  1. Employees who have been employed by the College for at least twelve (12) months and who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the leave are eligible for coverage under Federal law (FMLA).
  2. Employees who have been employed by the College for at least 180 days, averaging at least twenty-five (25) hours per week are eligible for family leave under Oregon law (OFLA).
  3. Employees who have earned at least $1000 during the previous twelve (12) calendar months are eligible for PLO. No work time requirement, but must have worked ninety (90) days to have job protection. (PLO). 

Exception 1: For parental leave, workers are eligible after being employed for 180 calendar days, without regard to the number of hours worked.

Exception 2: For Oregon Military Family Leave, workers are eligible if they have worked at least an average of twenty (20) hours per week, without regard to the duration of employment.

Exception 3: Employees working only in a position classified as Work Study are not eligible for PLO.

Length of Leave

  1. Employees are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of family leave within the employees' 12-month leave measurement period.
  2. An employee using pregnancy disability leave is entitled to twelve (12) additional weeks of leave in the same leave-year for any qualifying OFLA purpose.
  3. Under OFLA, an employee using a full twelve (12) weeks of parental leave is entitled to take up to twelve (12) additional weeks for the purpose of sick child leave.
  4. Under OFLA, employees are entitled to two (2) weeks of bereavement leave to be taken within sixty (60) days of the notice of the death of a covered family member. Full-time employees may be eligible for paid bereavement leave as outlined in AR 6060-04, Bereavement Leave.
  5. Under FMLA, a spouse or domestic partner of a service member is entitled to a total of 14 days of leave per deployment after the military spouse has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty and before deployment and when the military spouse is on leave from deployment.

Where allowed by law, federal family medical leave, Oregon family, parental or pregnancy leave, workers’ compensation leave, and leave for a non-work related injury or illness may all run concurrently and are counted against the employee’s annual family leave entitlement.

If the initial twelve (12) week period of approved absence proves insufficient, consideration may be given to a request for an extension. The College may not require an employee to substitute other accrued leave for a workers’ compensation injury which also qualifies for, and has been designated as, a family medical leave.

Military Family Leave Entitlements

Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings. 

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is (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 otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness; or (2) a veteran who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable at any time during the five year period prior to the date the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran, and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.

Definition of Twelve (12) Month Period

The twelve (12) month period in which family medical leave is measured begins on the first day of leave and looks forward twelve (12) months. 

Pay During Leave

Employees may use their accrued sick leave, comp time, and/or paid leave benefits when available for all absence designated as FMLA, OFLA, or PLO, which may run concurrently.

Employees receiving PLO benefits may use their accrued sick and/or paid leave benefits to supplement PLO up to 100% of their regular pay.  Employees may use accrued leave to cover pay for time missed, as appropriate, in addition to their PLO benefit.

The employee must exhaust all of their accrued sick leave, paid leave, comp time, PLO benefits, and/or donated sick leave if applicable, before approval of unpaid leave.

Sick leave and paid leave are not accrued for the duration of the unpaid leave, nor shall the unpaid leave be considered in determining the rate of paid leave or sick leave to be accrued by the employee after returning to employment. 

Process for Requesting/Taking Family and Medical Leave

To initiate leave, the employee should:

  1. Submit a Family/Medical Leave Request form to the employee’s supervisor at least thirty (30) days in advance of foreseeable events, and as soon as possible for unforeseeable events. Failure to provide notice of a foreseeable leave may lead to disciplinary action and/or a potential reduction in benefits paid from a PLO claim. Requests for PLO must be submitted through our designated equivalent plan provider, approval will be designated through the equivalent plan provider. Other elements of leave designation will be coordinated with Human Resources (HR)
  2. Discuss the need for leave with their supervisor and provide them with the signed Family/Medical Leave Request form.
  3. Supervisor will sign, make a copy and forward the leave request form to HR.
  4. HR will provide employees with notice of eligibility and (if applicable) work with employees to request medical certification by providing the employee with the Physician Certification form to take to their healthcare provider. The healthcare provider or the employee must return the form to HR within the applicable timelines.
  5. HR will provide the employee with notice of approval/denial of FMLA/OFLA leave and details regarding approximately how much leave will be counted toward their 12-week entitlement.
  6. HR will work with the employee to complete a personnel transaction form and submit it to their immediate supervisor. The supervisor will secure the signature of the appropriate administrator and return the signed form to Human Resources.
  7. HR will provide notice of the employee’s rights and expectations under applicable federal and state laws and collective bargaining agreements.
  8. HR will notify employees when FMLA/OFLA leave entitlement has been exhausted.

Medical Certification

Employees must provide thirty (30) days advance notice of the need to take leave when the need is foreseeable. When thirty (30) days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with the department’s normal call-in procedures. Employees must provide sufficient information for the College to determine if the leave may qualify for leave protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the job, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. 

Employees also must inform the employer if the requested leave is for a reason for which OFLA/FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. Employees may be required to submit certification from a healthcare provider verifying the need for a family leave, its beginning and expected ending dates, and the estimated time required. Recertification of the employee’s own serious health condition or the serious health condition of the employee’s family member may be required periodically.

Effect on Benefits

For the first twelve (12) weeks of the leave, the College will continue to provide health care insurance (medical, dental, and vision) for the employee as outlined by the employee’s group plan. If the employee currently has dependent health care coverage, and continues to pay their percentage of the insurance premium(s), the College will continue to pay its percentage of the dependent premium(s) as well.

When the leave exceeds twelve (12) weeks, and all sick and paid leave accruals have been exhausted, employee and/or dependent healthcare insurance coverage may be continued under federal COBRA entitlement. Employee-paid optional life and long-term care insurance may be continued through portability options. Dependent healthcare coverage will be reinstated based upon the rules governing the length of the employee’s leave.

Benefit accruals, such as vacation, sick leave, or holiday benefits, are suspended during unpaid leave and resume upon return to active employment.

Paying Your Portion of Medical Premium

If you normally pay a portion of the premiums for your health insurance, these payments must continue during the period of family and medical leave. If you continue to receive a paycheck (i.e.: sick leave, vacation, etc.), these premiums will automatically be deducted from your paycheck. 

If the leave is unpaid, arrangements for payments should be discussed with Human Resources before the unpaid leave begins. If you elect to make payments, they are due to the College by the first of each month. You have a thirty (30)day grace period in which to make premium payments for each applicable coverage month. If payment is not made within the thirty (30) day grace period, coverage will be dropped.

Intermittent or Reduced Schedule

If medically necessary, family or medical leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule. An employee may be offered and may accept temporary reassignment to an alternative position that better accommodates intermittent or reduced schedule leave. Any decision about an employee’s placement in or continuation in a job is based on the same consideration that governs all such decisions, i.e., the employee’s ability to satisfactorily perform the essential duties of the position in question.

Periodic Medical Reports

While on leave, the employee may be required to furnish periodic reports of their status and intent to return to work.

Returning to Work

Employees on family leave are requested to provide the College with at least two weeks advance notice of the date the employee intends to return to work. A return to work release may be required from employees returning from a leave for the employee’s own serious health condition. If the required documentation is not received, the employee’s return may be delayed until it is provided.

Where leave has been approved, the commencement or termination dates thereof may be further extended or reduced upon application by the employee to his or her supervisor. These adjustments will be made with the understanding that such extension or reduction would not substantially interfere with the administration of the college and/or with the education of the students.

If the employee returns from leave within twelve (12) weeks of starting the leave, the employee will be returned to their former position if the job still exists, even if it has been filled during the employee’s leave, unless the employee would have been bumped or displaced even if he/she had not taken leave. 

Rights to family and medical leaves and reinstatement shall be governed by Federal and Oregon law and applicable bargaining unit provisions with the College; failing such provisions, Board policies shall apply.

Date of Adoption: 11/16/11
Dates of Revision: 06/04/15; 12/5/17; 5/6/21; 1/5/2024
Date of Last Review: 06/04/15; 12/5/17; 1/5/2024