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ADMINISTRATIVE RULE NO: 6060-02
RELATED TO POLICY SERIES NO: 6060
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 of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the Oregon Family Leave Act and will be administered in conformance with those regulations.
Leaves will be granted for up to twelve weeks and extended leaves in excess of the FMLA/OFLA guaranteed period shall not exceed a total leave of twelve (12) consecutive months.
The College complies with Oregon and Federal laws that provide unpaid, job-protected, family and medical leave. The leave covers:
- Parental Leave during the year following the birth of a child or adoption or foster placement of a child under 18, or a child 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.
- Serious health condition leave for the employee’s own serious health condition, or to care for a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild with a serious health condition. NOTE: Does not include an employee unable to work due to a compensable Workers Compensation injury.
- Pregnancy disability leave (a form of serious health condition leave) taken by a female employee for an incapacity related to pregnancy or childbirth, occurring before or after the birth of the child, or for prenatal care.
- 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.
- Bereavement leave to deal with the death of a family member.
- 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.
- Oregon military family leave for 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.
ELIGIBILITY FOR LEAVE
Employees who have been employed by the College for at least 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. In addition, employees who have been employed by the College for at least 180 days, averaging at least 25 hours a week are eligible for family leave under Oregon law.
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 20 hours per week, without regard to the duration of employment.
LENGTH OF LEAVE
- Employees are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of family leave within the College’s 12-month leave year.
- A woman using pregnancy disability leave is entitled to 12 additional weeks of leave in the same leave year for any qualifying OFLA purpose.
- A man or woman using a full 12 weeks of parental leave is entitled to take up to 12 additional weeks for the purpose of sick child leave.
- Employees are entitled to 2 weeks of bereavement leave to be taken within 60 days of the notice of the death of a covered family member.
- 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, 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 12-week period of approved absence proves insufficient, consideration may be given to a request for an extension. Employees are required to use any accrued paid leave time before taking unpaid leave. 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 12-MONTH PERIOD
The 12-month period in which family medical leave is measured starts from the date of the leave looking back 12 months.
The employee must exhaust any accrued sick leave, comp time and/or paid leave before taking leave without pay. The uses of accrued leave will run concurrent with FMLA/OFLA. Once an employee is placed on an unpaid leave, it will not be permissible to use accumulated sick or paid leave benefits, placing the employee off and on pay status.
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 this leave, the employee should:
- Submit a Family/Medical Leave Request form to the employee’s supervisor at least 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.
- Discuss the need for leave with his/her supervisor and provide him/her with the signed Family/Medical Leave Request form.
- Supervisor will sign, make a copy and forward the leave request form to Human Resources (HR).
- HR will provide employee with notice of eligibility and (if applicable) work with employee to request medical certification by providing the employee with the Physician Certification form to take to their healthcare provider. The healthcare provider returns the form to HR.
- 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.
- HR will work with employee to complete a personnel transaction form and submit to his/her immediate supervisor. The supervisor will secure the signature of the appropriate administrator and return the signed form to Human Resources.
- HR will provide notice of the employee’s rights and expectations under applicable federal and state laws and collective bargaining agreements.
- HR will notify employee when FMLA/OFLA leave entitlement has been exhausted.
Employees must provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take leave when the need is foreseeable. When 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 12 weeks of the leave, the College will continue to provide health care insurances (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 his/her 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 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 PREMIUMS
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 payment should be discussed with Human Resources prior to when unpaid leave begins. If you elect to make payments, they are due to the College by the first of each month. You have a 30-day grace period in which to make premium payments for each applicable coverage month. If payment is not made within the 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 his/her 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 12 weeks of starting the leave, the employee will be returned to his/her 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
DATE (S) OF REVISION(S): 06/04/15; 12/5/17
DATE OF LAST REVIEW: 06/04/15; 12/5/17