Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Policies-8

2.3 Leaves of Absence (Revised as of 1/18/13)

EXCUSED ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY - EMERGENCIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS

After exhaustion of his/her vacation bank, an employee, upon request, may be granted absence without pay, for emergencies and special needs for a period not exceeding twenty (20) consecutive work days. The employee must request the time off from his/her Administrative Head and specify the length of absence and date of return. If the period of time off is to exceed the above time limits, the employee must apply for a Personal Leave of Absence Without Pay.

 PERSONAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY

Eligibility

An employee may be granted a Personal Leave of Absence without pay, upon request and with the approval of their immediate supervisor, for not less than twenty (20) consecutive working days, nor more than one (1) year provided:

  1. He/she has been a regular full-time employee for one year or more.

  2. All accrued vacation has been used.

  3. The Administrative Head of his/her unit has indicated in writing to the Employment Services Department that the employee's present position will be held vacant, or filled with temporary help, until his/her return.

To Return to Work

  1. The employee shall notify the Employment Services Department at least two (2) weeks prior to the anticipated return date so that the necessary paperwork may be processed.

  2. If any of the following conditions arise during the leave, and would affect an employee's ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of his/her position, a "Physicians Report on Illness form must be filled out by the employee's physician and presented by the employee to Employment Services prior to their return to work.

Illness of two (2) consecutive weeks

Surgery

Hospitalization

  1. The University reserves the right to require that the employee provide additional verification as to whether such condition continues to affect his/her ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of his/her position.

 Policy

Wayne State University (WSU) is a covered employer under Title I of The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. The FMLA is a federal law enacted to help employees balance their work and family life and to promote the stability and economic security of families. It allows eligible employees to take job-protected unpaid leave, or substitute appropriate paid leave if the employee has earned it, for up to a total of 12 workweeks during a 12-month period for a family or personal serious health condition which qualifies under FMLA, or a combined total of 26 weeks during a single 12-month period if a service member family leave is taken.

It was intended that the Act accomplish these purposes in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers.

This document describes WSU's FMLA leave policy. It does not alter, amend or diminish any leave provisions that may be provided by any Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) entered into by WSU. WSU will provide leave under and according to whichever statutory provision or CBA provides the greater rights to its employees.

A Third Party Administrator (TPA) will administer WSU's FMLA policy in accordance with these provisions and the applicable provisions of any CBA in effect with WSU. In all instances relating to administering this policy, the TPA acts as the designated representative of WSU.

Full details of FMLA, relevant definitions and the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations can be found at the TPA's website, www.fmlasource.com, or at http://www.hr.wayne.edu/esc.

Employee Eligibility:

Employees who have worked for WSU for a total of 12 months (may have been intermittent) during the seven (7) years prior to the date FMLA leave is to begin, and have at least 1,250 work hours during the 12-month period immediately before the beginning of FMLA leave, are eligible for FMLA.

Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service in the previous 12 months is determined according to the principles established under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for determining compensable hours of work.

The 1,250 hours requirement is counted only for hours actually worked and does not count hours spent on vacation, sick and personal leave, short and long-term disability, workers' compensation, etc.

An exempt employee under FLSA (i.e., bona fide executive, administrative and professional employees), for whom only exception time records are kept, will be presumed to have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months unless WSU can clearly demonstrate that the employee did not meet the 1,250 hour requirement.

WSU uses a rolling 12-month period for all employees to determine whether an employee has worked 1,250 hours in the previous year to be eligible for FMLA leave.

Under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), an employee returning from fulfilling his or her National Guard or Reserve military obligation shall be credited with the hours of service that would have been performed but for the period of military service in determining whether the employee worked the 1,250 hours of service. In order to determine the hours that would have been worked during the period of military service, the employee's pre-service work schedule can generally be used for calculations.

Covered Situations For FMLA Leave:

Employees are entitled to FMLA leave under the following situations:

  1. For the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee, anytime within the first 12 months of the birth of the child.

  2. For the placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee, anytime within the first 12 months of the placement of the child.

  3. To care for an employee's spouse/eligible partner, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition.

  4. Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job.

  5. Because of a qualifying exigency relating to a family member's active military duty or call to active duty status in support of a contingency operation.

  6. For military caregiver leave related to care of a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of either a current covered service member who has, or is recuperating from, a serious illness or injury incurred in military service that renders the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating, or for a veteran who required medical treatment, recuperation or therapy.

Amount of Leave:

For FMLA leave under categories 1 through 5 above, an eligible employee can take a total of 12 workweeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period.

For FMLA leave under category 6 above, an eligible employee can take a total of 26 workweeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period. The 26 workweeks of leave are decreased by FMLA leave taken by the employee for other qualifying reasons. In other words, 26 workweeks is the maximum amount of leave available to an employee to care for a covered service member and for all other FMLA reasons.

Spouses employed by WSU can take a combined total of 12 workweeks of leave for categories 1 through 3 during any 12-month period. When spouses use a portion of the combined 12 workweeks for any of categories 1 through 3 above, the spouses can each take the difference between the amount he or she has taken individually and 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for other purposes. For example, if each spouse took 6 weeks of leave to care for a healthy newborn child, each could use the additional 6 weeks due to his or her own serious health condition.

Spouses employed by WSU can take a combined total of 26 workweeks during a single 12-month period for FMLA leave under category 6, with the same limitations as stated above.

Employee Notice Requirements:

The following rules apply in giving notice to WSU of the need for FMLA leave:

  1. Employees must notify their supervisor, business manager or designated person in the unit of the need for FMLA leave in accordance with their unit or department's usual and customary practice. An employee need not share specific personal information (diagnosed illness/injury). An employee calling in "sick" is not sufficient notice of the need for FMLA leave.

  2. Employees must notify WSU's TPA of the need for FMLA leave. This can be done on the TPA's website: www.fmlasource.com, which can also be reached through at link at http://www.hr.wayne.edu/esc.

  3. Once the employee provides WSU with notice sufficient to make it aware that the employee needs an FMLA-qualifying leave, if it is necessary to have more information, WSU will be expected to inquire further of the employee. An employee has a duty to respond to WSU's questions so WSU can determine whether an absence is potentially FMLA-qualifying. Alternatively, the employee can sign a Medical Release so that WSU can obtain the necessary information directly from the applicant's health care provider.

  1. Amount of Notice Required For Foreseeable Leave.

An employee must provide WSU with at least 30 days advance notice before FMLA leave is to begin if the need for the leave is foreseeable. If 30 days' notice is not practicable, such as because of a lack of knowledge of approximately when leave will be required to begin or because of a change in circumstances, notice must be given as soon as practicable.

When planning medical treatment, the employee must consult with his/her supervisor or designated person in the unit or department and make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations, subject to the approval of the health care provider.

The employee shall advise his/her supervisor or designated person in the unit or department as soon as practicable if dates of scheduled leave change or are extended, or were initially unknown.

  1. Amount of Notice Required For Unforeseeable Leave.

If the need for FMLA leave is unforeseeable, notice must be given by the employee as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular case. It generally should be practicable for the employee to provide notice of leave that is unforeseeable within the time required by WSU's usual and customary notice requirements applicable to such leave.

Employer Notice Of Eligibility And Rights And Responsibilities:

When an employee requests FMLA leave, or when WSU acquires knowledge that an employee's leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason, WSU will provide to the employee a Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities. Absent extenuating circumstances, this Notice will be given within five (5) business days of an employee notifying WSU of the need for FMLA leave. This Notice will indicate the following:

  1. Whether the employee is eligible for FMLA leave;

  2. If not eligible, the reason or reasons why the employee is not eligible;

  3. The employee's rights and responsibilities for taking FMLA leave;

  4. The required deadline for providing certification to WSU's TPA.

Employee Certification Requirements:

At the time an employee gives WSU's TPA notice of the need for leave, or within five (5) business days of receiving said notice, WSU's TPA will request that the employee furnish a complete and sufficient certification of the need for leave.

An employee who desires FMLA status must provide the requested certification to WSU's TPA within fifteen (15) days after the request was made, unless it is not practicable under the particular circumstances to do so despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts or unless the employer provides more than fifteen (15) calendar days to return the certification.

Appropriate certification forms are available at: (www.fmlasource.com).

  1. Notification Of Incomplete Or Insufficient Certification.

WSU shall notify the employee whenever WSU finds a certification incomplete or insufficient, and shall state in writing what additional information is necessary to make the certification complete and sufficient. A certification is incomplete if WSU receives a certification, but one or more of the applicable entries have not been completed. A certification is insufficient if WSU receives a complete certification, but the information provided is vague, ambiguous, or non-responsive.

WSU will provide the employee with seven (7) calendar days to cure any deficiency. If the deficiencies specified by WSU are not cured in the resubmitted certification, WSU may deny the taking of FMLA leave.

       B. Second Opinion.

If WSU has reason to doubt the validity of a medical certification, it may require the employee to obtain a second opinion at WSU's expense. Pending receipt of the second medical opinion, the employee is temporarily entitled to the benefits of the Act, including maintenance of group health benefits. If the certifications do not ultimately establish the employee's entitlement to FMLA leave, the leave shall not be designated as FMLA leave and may be treated as paid or unpaid leave under WSU's established leave policies or under any relevant CBA.

       C. Third Opinion.

If the opinions of the employee's and the employer's designated health care providers differ, WSU may require the employee to obtain certification from a third health care provider, again at WSU's expense. This third opinion shall be final and binding.

       D. Annual Medical Certification.

Where the employee's need for leave due to the employee's own serious health condition, or the serious health condition of the employee's covered family member, lasts beyond a single leave year, WSU may require the employee to provide a new medical certification in each following leave year. Such new medical certifications are subject to the rules for authentication and clarification set forth above, including second and third opinions.

       E. Request For Additional Certification Where WSU Has Reason To Question The Appropriateness Of Leave Or Its Duration.

WSU may request additional certification at some later date if it later has reason to question the appropriateness of the leave or its duration. The employee must provide the requested certification to WSU's TPA within fifteen (15) calendar days after the employer's request, unless it is not practicable under the particular circumstances to do so despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts, or unless the employer provides more than fifteen (15) calendar days to return the requested certification.

Consequences For Failure To Comply With Notice And/or Certification Requirements:

Where an employee does not notify the supervisor, business manager or designated person in the unit, and no unusual circumstances justify the failure to comply, FMLA-protected leave may be delayed or denied.

WSU may also delay the taking of FMLA leave to an employee who fails to provide a complete and sufficient certification on a timely basis.

It is the employee's responsibility either to furnish a complete and sufficient certification or to furnish the health care provider providing the certification with any necessary authorization from the employee or the employee's family member in order for the health care provider to release a complete and sufficient certification to the employer to support the employee's FMLA request. This provision will apply in any case where an employer requests a certification permitted by these regulations, whether it is the initial certification, a recertification, a second or third opinion, or a fitness for duty certificate, including any clarification necessary to determine if such certification are authentic and sufficient.

For foreseeable leave, where the employee is required to provide at least 30 days notice of foreseeable leave and does not do so, WSU may delay the taking of FMLA. The employee shall explain the reasons why such notice was not practicable upon a request from WSU for such information.

For unforeseeable leave, an employee has an obligation to respond to WSU's questions designed to determine whether an absence is potentially FMLA-qualifying. Failure to respond to reasonable WSU inquiries regarding the leave request may result in denial of FMLA protection if WSU is unable to determine whether the leave is FMLA-qualifying.

Employer Responsibility For Providing Designation Notice:

WSU is responsible, in all circumstances, for determining whether an employee leave from work is an FMLA-qualifying event, and if so, for designating the leave as FMLA and for giving notice of the designation to the employee.

When a requested FMLA leave is approved, WSU's TPA will notify the employee that the requested leave is designated as FMLA-protected and will inform the employee of the amount of leave that will be counted against the employee's FMLA leave entitlement.

If additional information is needed to determine if the employee's FMLA leave request can be approved, WSU's TPA will notify the employee what additional information is requested and the deadline for providing that information.

When a requested FMLA leave is denied, WSU's TPA will notify the employee that the requested leave is denied and the reason for the denial.

Return to Work

WSU may require an employee on FMLA leave to report periodically on the employee's status and intent to return to work. WSU's policy regarding such reports will not be discriminatory and will take into account all of the relevant facts and circumstances related to the individual employee's leave situation.

An employee who takes a leave under this policy will be returned to the same or an equivalent position with the same benefits and terms of employment.

An employee's use of FMLA leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FMLA leave.

Employees returning from a medical FMLA leave may be required, when appropriate, to present medical certification of fitness for duty. Failure to provide a fitness for duty certification may result in a denial of job reinstatement until the certification is provided.

General Information:

        A. Equal Application.

The right to take FMLA leave applies equally to male and female employees. A father, as well as a mother, can take family leave for the birth, placement for adoption, or foster care of a child.

        B. Absolute Right For Qualifying Reasons.

Eligible employees have an absolute right to FMLA leave, which means leave may not be denied for FMLA-qualifying circumstances.

       C. Paid/Unpaid Leave.

FMLA leave may be paid, unpaid or a combination of paid and unpaid depending upon the circumstances and as specified in this policy or a particular CBA. FMLA leave is concurrent with existing maternity leave, workers' compensation absence due to an on-the-job injury or illness (provided it also qualifies as a serious health condition), and other paid/unpaid leaves of absence taken for FMLA reasons. Unless a CBA provides differently, the following rules apply:

  1. Employees who take leave because of their own serious health condition or to give birth to a child, must use paid leave before being eligible for unpaid leave in the following order:

    1. Accrued Illness Banks

    2. Vacation Banks

    3. Personal Business Time (where applicable)

  2. Employees who take a service member family leave or a leave for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child or to care for a seriously ill spouse, child, or parent, must use all accrued vacation and personal business time respectively before being eligible for unpaid leave.

  3. Sick leave used for short-term illnesses or absences (i.e., less than 3 days) that are not qualifying FMLA events will not be counted as FMLA leave.

        D. Maintenance of Health Benefits.

An employee may continue medical and dental benefits under the same conditions and at the same cost as if the employee had continued to work. Payroll deduction of benefit premiums will continue while the employee is on paid FMLA leave. Benefit premiums due during unpaid FMLA leave will be billed to the employee.

If an employee chooses not to return to work for reasons other than a continued serious health condition, WSU will require the employee to reimburse the university the amount the university paid for the employee's health insurance during the leave.

        E. Holidays.

Holidays will be counted as FMLA leave if the employee is on FMLA leave the entire week in which the holiday falls. If the employee takes FMLA leave for less than a full workweek in which a holiday falls, the holiday does not count as FMLA leave.

Enforcement And Protection:

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to: (1) Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA; or (2) Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.

The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of violations. An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations.

Interaction With Collective Bargaining Agreements And With State And Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Nothing in this policy modifies, affects or diminishes any rights provided to employees under an existing CBA. WSU will provide leave under and according to whichever statutory provision or CBA provides the greater rights to its employees.

Nothing in this policy modifies, affects or diminishes any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

These FMLA leave provisions are wholly distinct from WSU's reasonable accommodation obligations under the ADA or regulations issued under that Act.

ADA's "disability" and FMLA's "serious health condition" are different concepts, and must be analyzed separately. If an employee is a qualified individual with a disability within the meaning of the ADA, WSU will make reasonable accommodations, etc., barring undue hardship, in accordance with the ADA. At the same time, WSU will afford the employee his or her FMLA rights.

Procedure

Responsibility Action
Employee 1. Notify supervisor, business manager or designated person in unit and notify WSU's TPA with sufficient information to indicate need for FMLA-qualifying leave: --at least thirty (30) day notice when illness is foreseeable; --as soon as practicable when illness is not foreseeable; 2. Submit to WSU's TPA a complete and sufficient medical certification within fifteen (15) business days of request for same. 3. When appropriate, provide a "fitness-for-duty" certification to WSU's TPA before returning to work from leave.
Supervisor, Business Manager or Designated Person in Unit 1. Contact TPA if employee is absent from work more than three (3) consecutive work days due to illness. Work days are defined as days an employee is normally scheduled to work. 2. Notify TPA when unit receives notice from employee sufficient to indicate need for FMLA-qualifying leave. 3. Verify employee timesheets are accurately coded in accordance with the information provided in the "Designation Notice" and approve employee time sheets.
Risk Manager 1. Contact TPA and business manager, supervisor or designated person in unit if an employee has been approved for Workers' Compensation.
Third Party Administrator 1. Administer FMLA in accordance with Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, WSU's FMLA leave policy, and/or any applicable CBA. 2. Immediately notify the supervisor, business manager or designated person in employee's unit that employee has applied for FMLA. 3. Review employee certification information. 4. Provide employee with "Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibility FMLA" form within five (5) business days after employee requests FMLA leave, absent extenuating circumstances. 5. Within five (5) business days of receipt of notice, request employee to provide complete and sufficient certification within fifteen (15) business days. 6. Provide employee and business manager with written "Designation Notice" for FMLA leave within five (5) business days of receiving complete and sufficient certification, absent extenuating circumstances. 7. Manage leave in accordance with the parameters outlined in the "Designation Notice".

(Revised May, 2010)

The following definitions were established by the Department of Labor and apply to all FMLA leaves:

 

Active Duty or Call to Active Duty Status

For purposes of exigency leaves, it means duty under a federal call or order to active (or notification of an impending call or order to active duty) in support of a contingency operation.

Adoption

Legally and permanently assuming the responsibility of raising a child as one's own.

As soon as practicable

As soon as both possible and practical, taking into account all of the facts and circumstances in the individual case. When an employee becomes aware of a need for FMLA leave less than 30 days in advance, it should be practicable for the employee to provide notice of the need for leave either the same day or the next business day. In all cases, the determinations of when an employee could practicably provide notice must take into account the individual facts and circumstances.

Consecutive Leave

A consecutive FMLA leave is taken in one continuous block of time from the start of the leave until the end of the leave.

Covered Military Member

The employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation.

Covered Service Member

A current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious illness or injury, or who is assigned to a military medical facility as an outpatient, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating.

Family Member

"Family member" includes the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent (but not a parent "in-law"). A "spouse" means a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law. A "son" or "daughter" is a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is either under age 18, or age 18 or older and "incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability" at the time that FMLA leave is to commence. A parent is a biological, adoptive, step or foster father or mother, or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a son or daughter as defined above.

Foster care

Twenty four (24) hour care for children in substitution for, and away from, their parents or guardian. Such placement is made by or with the agreement of the State as a result of a voluntary agreement between the parent or guardian that the child be removed from the home, or pursuant to a judicial determination of the necessity for foster care, and involves agreement between the State and foster family that the foster family will take care of the child. Although foster care may be with relatives of the child, State action is involved in the removal of the child from parental custody.

Health Care Provider

A "health care provider" is:

  • A doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery (as appropriate) by the State in which the doctor practices;

  • Podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, and chiropractors (limited to treatment consisting of manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by X-ray to exist) authorized to practice in the State and performing within the scope of their practice as defined under State law;

  • Nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives and clinical social workers who are authorized to practice under State law and who are performing within the scope of their practice as defined under State law;

  • Physician's assistants who are licensed and are performing within the scope of their practice as defined by State law

  • Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts; and

  • Any health care provider from whom the University's health care plans will accept certification of the existence of a serious health condition.

Hours Worked

FLSA defines "hours worked" as ordinarily all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer's premises, on duty, or at an assigned workplace.

Incapable of Self-Care

The individual requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more of the "activities of daily living" (ADLs) or "instrumental activities of daily living" (IADLs). Activities of daily living include adaptive activities such as caring appropriately for one's grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing and eating. Instrumental activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, using a post office, etc.

Intermittent Leave Or Reduced Leave Schedule

Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. Leave must be taken in at least one hour increments.

A reduced schedule leave is FMLA leave for a single qualifying reason that reduces an employee's usual number of working hours per workweek, or hours per workday. A reduced leave schedule is a change in the employee's schedule for a period of time, normally from full-time to part-time.

Intermittent leave or reduced scheduled leave may be taken because of one's own serious health condition, to care for a parent, son, or daughter with a serious health condition, or to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. There must be a medical need for leave, and it must be that such medical need can be best accommodated through an intermittent or reduced leave schedule.

Intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave after the birth of a healthy child or placement of a healthy child for adoption or foster care may be taken only with the employer's approval.

Employees needing intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave for foreseeable medical treatment must work with their supervisor or designated person in the unit or department to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operation, subject to the approval of the employee's health care provider. In such cases, the employer may transfer the employee temporarily to an alternative job with equivalent pay and benefit that accommodates recurring periods of leave better than the employee's regular job.

Military Caregiver Leave

Leave may be taken for a covered service member with a "serious injury or illness" that is incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating, or for a veteran that meets the "serious injury or illness" definition. Leave can be taken for a covered service member (a) who is on the temporary disability retired list, (b) who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for the serious illness or injury; or (c) who is assigned to a military medical treatment facility as an out-patient or is otherwise receiving out-patient care at a unit established for members of the armed forces. This FMLA leave does not apply to care for former members of the armed forces who are on the permanent disability list.

"Needed to Care For"

Means that because of a qualifying reason, the family member or covered service member is unable to care for her/his own basic medical, hygienic, or nutritional needs or safety, or is unable to transport him/herself to the doctor. The term includes both physical and psychological care. The term also includes providing psychological comfort and reassurance which would be beneficial to a family member or covered service member with a serious health condition who is receiving inpatient or home care.

The term also includes situations where the employee may be needed to cover for others who normally care for the family member or covered service member, or to make arrangements for changes in care, such as transfer to a nursing home. The employee need not be the only individual or family member available to care for the family member or covered service member.

Next of Kin Of A Covered Service Member

Generally, the nearest blood relative, other than the service member's spouse, parent, son, or daughter in the following order of priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the service member; brothers and sisters; grandparents; aunts and uncles; and first cousins.

Outpatient Status

With respect to a covered service member, the status of a member of the Armed Forces assigned to either:

 

a. A military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or

b. A unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the Armed Forces receiving medical care as out-patients.

Physical or Mental Disability

Means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual (as defined under the ADA).

Persons "In Loco Parentis"

Include those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child, or, in the case of an employee, who had such responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child. A biological or legal relationship is not necessary.

Qualifying Exigency

The amendments to the FMLA introduce a new type of leave which has nothing to do with a person's serious health condition or the birth or adoption of a child, but instead is for "qualifying exigencies" arising out of the military service of a covered family member. This leave is limited to 12 weeks in the normal FMLA 12 month period. Certification is required for leave taken due to a qualifying exigency.

"Qualified exigencies" are now defined to include the following:

1. Short-notice deployment. Issues that arise from the fact that a covered military member is called to active duty with notice of seven days or less prior to deployment. This leave can be taken during the seven-day period only.

2. Military events and related activities. Leave to attend official military events related to active duty, or to attend family support or assistance programs and informational briefings related to the call to active duty.

3. Childcare and school activities. Leave to arrange for alternative child care for a child (as defined by the FMLA) of a covered service member, to provide childcare on an emergency basis (but not a routine, regular, or every day basis), to enroll a child of a covered service member in school, or to attend school meetings for the child of a covered service member which the leave is necessitated by the active duty or call to active duty of the covered service member.

4. Financial and legal arrangements. Leave to make financial or legal arrangements to address the covered service member's absence for military duty, or to act and the covered service member's representative for purposes of obtaining military service benefits. Leave can only be taken to obtain military service benefits while the service member is away on active duty or within 90 days of termination of that active duty.

5. Counseling. Leave to attend counseling by someone other than a health care provider for the employee, the covered service member, or a child of the covered service member, provided that the need for counseling arises from the military service.

6. Rest and recuperation. Leave to spend time with a covered service member who is on a short-term, temporary, rest and recuperation leave during the period of deployment. This leave is limited to five days for each military rest and recuperation visit.

7. Post-deployment activities. Leave to attend post-deployment functions, such as arrival ceremonies or reintegration briefings, that occur within ninety (90) days following the termination of active duty status, or to address issues that arise from the death of the covered service member, such as making funeral arrangements.

8. "Additional activities". These are not defined by either the FMLA or the regulations. The regulations state that such leave is allowed "to address other events which arise out of the covered military member's active duty or call to active duty status provided that the employer and the employee agree that such leave shall qualify as an exigency, and agree to both the timing and duration of such leave". In other words, granting leave for "qualified exigencies" for purposes other than those stated under "Qualified Exigencies" is at the discretion of the employer, though employers should keep in mind that courts and the DOL will give eligible employees the benefit of the doubt in coverage and enforcement disputes.

For "qualifying exigencies" leave, employers may not seek second or third opinions, demand recertification, or seek authentication or clarification as they can with traditional medical certification. For military caregiver leave, employers may seek authentication and/or clarification of the certification form, but may not seek second or third opinions or recertifications.

Where the employee's "qualifying exigency" involves meeting with a third party, such as for counseling, the employer may contact the third party without the employee's permission to verify the appointment and the nature of the meeting. The employer may also contact the Department of Defense, again without the employee's permission, to verify the employee's family member's active duty or call to active duty status.

Reduced Schedule

A reduced leave schedule is an intermittent FMLA leave that reduces an employee's usual number of working hours per workweek, or hours per workday. The reduced hours are considered intermittent FMLA leave and are counted against the 12 weeks annual leave available under FMLA for a family or personal serious health condition or against the combined total of 26 weeks for a service member family leave taken during a 12 month period.

Rolling 12-Month Period

Calculate available leave by determining the amount of leave used by an employee for the 12 months prior to each day for which leave is requested and subtracting that number from the total number of days equal to 12 work weeks. This is referred to as the "rolling" method of calculation.

Serious Health Condition

An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves:

  1. Inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity (for purposes of this section, defined to mean inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities due to the serious health condition, treatment therefore, or recovery there from), or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care; or

  2. Continuing treatment by a health care provider. A serious health condition involving continuing treatment by a health care provider includes any one or more of the following:

     

    a. Incapacity and treatment. A period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities due to the serious health condition, treatment therefore, or recovery there from) of more than three (3) consecutive, full calendar days, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also involves: i. Treatment two or more times within 30 days of the first day of incapacity, unless extenuating circumstances exist, by a health care provider, by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider, or by a provider of health care services (e.g., physical therapist under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider); or ii. Treatment, by a health care provider, on at least one occasion, which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider. A regimen of continuing treatment includes, for example, a course of prescription medication or therapy requiring special equipment to resolve or alleviate the health condition (e.g., oxygen); b. Pregnancy or prenatal care. Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care. Both the mother and father are entitled to FMLA leave for the birth of their child. The mother is entitled to FMLA leave for incapacity due to pregnancy, for prenatal care, or for her own serious health condition following the birth of the child. The husband is entitled to FMLA leave if needed to care for his pregnant spouse who is incapacitated or if needed to care for her during her prenatal care, or if needed to care for the spouse following the birth of a child if the spouse has a serious health condition. Both a mother and father are entitled to FMLA leave if needed to care for a child with a serious health condition. FMLA leave to care for a pregnant woman is not available to a boyfriend or fiancé who is the father of the unborn child. c. Chronic conditions. Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition. A chronic serious health condition is one which: i. Requires periodic visits (at least twice a year) for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider; and ii. Continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and iii. May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); or d. Permanent or long-term conditions. A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider. Examples include Alzheimer's, a severe stroke, or the terminal stages of a disease; or e. Conditions requiring multiple treatments. Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period recovery there from) by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider, either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive, full calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment, such as cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.), severe arthritis (physical therapy), or kidney disease (dialysis). For purposes of Section 2 above, treatment by a health care provider means an in-person visit to a health care provider. The first in-person treatment visit must take place within seven (7) days of the first day of incapacity. Whether additional treatment visits or a regimen of continuing treatment is necessary within the 30-day period shall be determined by the health care provider.
  3. Absences attributable to incapacity under paragraphs (b) (pregnancy or prenatal care) or (c) (chronic conditions) of this section qualify for FMLA leave even though the employee or the covered family member does not receive treatment from a health care provider during the absence, and even if the absence does not last more than three consecutive full calendar days. For example, an employee with asthma may be unable to report for work due to the onset of an asthma attack or because the employee's health care provider has advised the employee to stay home when the pollen count exceeds a certain level. An employee who is pregnant may be unable to report to work because of severe morning sickness.

Serious Injury or Illness "“ Covered Service Member

In the case of a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, an injury or illness incurred by a covered service member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating. Covered service member does not include individuals retired or discharged from service, unless they are placed on the temporary disability retired list.

Son or daughter on Active Duty or Call to Active Duty Status

An employee's biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stood in loco parentis, who is on active duty or call to active duty status, and who is of any age.

Son or Daughter of a Covered Service Member

A covered member's biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the covered service member stood in loco parentis and who is of any age.

Treatment For Purposes Of A Serious Health Condition

Includes, but is not limited to, examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition. Treatment does not include routine physical examinations, eye examinations, or dental examinations. A regimen of continuing treatment includes, for example, a course of prescription medication (e.g., an antibiotic) or therapy requiring special equipment to resolve or alleviate the health condition (e.g., oxygen). A regimen of continuing treatment that includes the taking of over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, antihistamines, or salves; or bed rest, drinking fluids, exercise, and other similar activities that can be initiated without a visit to a health care provider, is not, by itself, sufficient to constitute a regimen of continuing treatment for purposes of FMLA leave.

Conditions for which cosmetic treatments are administered (such as most treatments for acne or plastic surgery) are not serious health conditions unless inpatient hospital care is required or unless complications develop.

Unable To Perform The Essential Functions Of One's Position

Means the health care provider finds the employee is unable to work at all or is unable to perform any one or more of the essential functions of her/his position within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). WSU has the option to provide a statement of the essential functions of the employee's job for the health care provider to review.

ILLNESS LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY (Revised 1-18-13)

 Eligibility

 An employee with a continuing appointment (see Section 1.2) may, upon approval from his/her department head, take an Illness Leave of Absence Without Pay, at the completion of a Family/Medical Leave for personal serious illness, for the period of his/her continued illness for up to one (1) year provided:

  1. The employee has been a regular full-time employee on active pay status for one (1) year or more.
  2. The Illness Leave of Absence Without Pay starts immediately after the completion of the Family/Medical Leave taken by the employee.
  3. All accumulated illness, personal and vacation days have been used.
  4. He/She submits a Physician's Statement to the Director of Employment Services certifying his/her condition and estimated length of time off.

 To Return to Work

  1. The employee shall Notify the Employment Services Department at least two (2)weeks prior to  the anticipated return date so that arrangements may be made for a return to work physical examination, if deemed necessary by the University.
  1. Have a "Physician's Report of Illness" form filled out by his/her physician and present it to the Employment Services Department prior to the anticipated return to work date.
  1. The University reserves the right to require that the employee provide additional verification as to the continued existence of the condition necessitating the request for leave of absence, and as to whether such condition would affect the employee's ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of his/her position.

 Short Term Disability

Non-Exempt Staff

Upon completion of a minimum of five years of full-time University service, a staff member shall qualify for continued partial earnings during a short-term disability period upon exhaustion of all accrued illness and vacation days, instead of being placed on illness leave without pay.

The short-term disability income payment is equal to 50% of the staff member's base salary in effect on the date of disability, up to a maximum of $400 per month through the 89th calendar day of disability and $750 per month from the 90th calendar day through the 180th calendar day of disability.

Short-term disability benefits end following the 180th calendar day of disability after which the employee may be eligible for long-term disability.

The University reserves the right to require that the employee provide additional verification as to the existence of the condition necessitating the request for short-term disability.

Exempt Staff

Upon completion of six or more years of service a staff member is entitled to receive full pay through the sixth month of continuous absence due to illness or accident, if all illness and vacation days were exhausted during the sixth month. For example, a staff member who is absent beginning January 14 and exhausts all illness and vacation on July 7 will receive full pay through the month of July. The total benefit, when combined with illness days utilized, cannot exceed seven months' pay in any twelve month period. If a staff member is approved for Long-Term Disability, those benefits begin the first of the month following six months of disability.

For all staff members, regular payroll deductions (e.g. University insurance program coverages, University Retirement Plan contribution taxes, etc.) will be withheld from the salary received during the short- term disability period. Illness and vacation days are not accrued during the period in which the short-term disability income benefit is provided.

The University reserves the right to require that the employee provide additional verification as to the existence of the condition necessitating the request for short-term disability.

 MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Short-Term

If the period of absence is 17 calendar days or less, the Employee shall have the option of charging such absence to the vacation bank, if available, or requesting the University to pay the difference between the military pay and the employee's regular salary during the period served.

Before leaving his/her assignment, the employee must notify the supervisor of the dates of military duty, and submit a request to be absent from employment for that period. Should the employee elect to request University pay for the difference between the military pay and the regular University salary, the employee must present his/her military orders to the Payroll Office before leaving for duty. Upon return from duty, the employee shall present the military pay voucher to the Payroll Office.

Extended Service

Upon application, a military leave of absence (without pay) will be granted to employees who are employed in other than temporary positions. This applies to employees who are inducted through Selective Service or voluntary enlistment, or if the employee is called through membership in the National Guard or reserve component into the Armed Forces of the United States. A position "other than temporary" is one that at the time of hire was expected to be continuous for an indefinite term and was not limited to a specific, brief, and non-recurrent period.

Reinstatement and rights after reinstatement are governed by applicable federal laws.

 ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR LEAVES OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY

Maintenance of Insurance Benefits

An employee on a Family/Medical Leave may continue medical and dental benefits under the same conditions and at the same cost as if the employee had continued to work. If the employee chooses not to return to work for reasons other than a continued serious health condition, WSU will require the employee to reimburse the University the amount it paid for the employee's health insurance during the leave.

Employees on an Illness Leave of Absence Without Pay (other than Family/Medical Leave) may continue to carry their group medical and/or dental insurance coverage provided they pay the full premium prior to the first day of the month to be covered. All payments must be received by the University prior to the first day of the month. Employees who fail to pay the full insurance premium by the first day of the month will have their insurance coverage terminated.

Employees on a leave of absence may continue to carry their group life insurance coverage provided they pay the full premium (without University subsidy) prior to the first day of the month to be covered. Employees who fail to pay their full employee portion of the group insurance portion by the first day of the month will have their insurance coverage terminated.

Once group medical, dental, or life insurance coverage has been terminated it cannot be reinstated until the employee has returned to work.

University Service

Official leave time for personal or illness reasons is deducted from University service when computing eligibility for Disability Income Programs and Retirement.

Return Rights

Return Rights must be formally established by the affected department prior to the granting of approval of a Personal Leave of Absence. Within the year, the employee shall have the right to return to his/her position, or a similar one, provided he/she is able to meet the necessary standards of health and competence and provided either that the employee may perform the duties of the position without accommodation or that he/she may be reasonably accommodated by the University without undue hardship. In the event he/she is unable to meet the necessary standards of health and competence, or his/her condition may not be reasonably accommodated by the University without undue hardship, he/she shall be considered for other jobs for which he/she may be qualified with reasonable accommodation. The determination that an employee may or may not be reasonably accommodated shall be made in consultation with the Human Resources Division.

Outside Employment

In no event will a Leave of Absence be granted for the purpose of employment elsewhere.