Family and Medical Leave Policy
March 09, 2008
The Family and Medical Leave policy states that an employee is eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family/medical leave within any 12-month period and be restored to the same or an equivalent position upon the employee’s return from leave provided he/she: (1) has worked for the company for at least 12 months, and for at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 calendar months; and (2) is employed at a worksite that has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. It covers Reason for Leave, Notice of Leave, Medical Certification, Reporting While on Leave, Unpaid leave, Medical and Other Benefits, Exemption for Highly Compensated Employees, as well as Intermittent and Reduced-schedule Leave. This policy may be varied in order to comply with applicable law.
Subject: Family and Medical Leave
Example of: Standard Policy
You are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family/medical leave within any 12-month period and be restored to the same or an equivalent position upon your return from leave provided you: (1) have worked for the company for at least 12 months, and for at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 calendar months; and (2) are employed at a worksite that has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.
Reason for Leave
You may take family/medical leave for any of the following reasons: (1) the birth of a son or daughter and in order to care for such son or daughter; (2) the placement of a son or daughter with you for adoption or foster care and in order to care for the newly placed son or daughter; (3) to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent (“covered relation”) with a serious health condition; or (4) because of your own serious health condition that renders you unable to perform an essential function of your position. Leave for either of the first two reasons must be completed within the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth or placement. In addition, in cases where a married couple are employed by the same company, the two spouses together may take a combined total of 12 weeks’ leave during any 12-month period for reasons (1) and (2), or to care for the same individual pursuant to reason (3).
Notice of Leave
If your need for family/medical leave is foreseeable, you must give the company at least 30 days’ prior written notice. If this is not possible, you must give notice as soon as practicable (within 1 to 2 business days of learning of your need for leave except in extraordinary circumstances). Failure to provide such notice may be grounds for delay of leave. Additionally, if you are planning a medical treatment, you must consult with the Company first regarding the dates of such treatment. The Company has Request for Family/Medical Leave forms available from the Human Resources Department. You should use these forms when requesting leave.
If you are requesting leave because of your own or a covered relation’s serious health condition, you and the relevant healthcare provider must supply appropriate medical certification. You may obtain medical certification forms from the Human Resources Department. When you request leave, the Company will notify you of the requirement for medical certification and when it is due (no more than 15 days after you request leave). If you provide at least 30 days’ notice of medical leave, you should also provide the medical certification before leave begins. Failure to provide requested medical certification in a timely manner may result in denial of leave until it is provided. The Company, at its expense, may require an examination by a second healthcare provider designated by the Company, if it reasonably doubts the medical certification you initially provide. If the second healthcare provider’s opinion conflicts with the original medical certification, the Company, at its expense, may require a third, mutually agreeable, healthcare provider to conduct an examination and provide a final and binding opinion.
The Company may require subsequent medical recertification. Failure to provide requested certification within 15 days, except in extraordinary circumstances, may result in delay of further leave until it is provided.
Reporting While on Leave
If you take leave because of your own serious health condition or to care for a covered relation, you must contact the Company on the first and third Tuesday of each month regarding the status of the condition and your intention to return to work. In addition, you must give notice as soon as practicable (within 2 business days if feasible) if the dates of the leave change or are extended or were unknown initially.
Leave Is Unpaid
Family medical leave is unpaid leave (although you may be eligible for short- or long-term disability payments and/or workers’ compensation benefits under those insurance plans). If you request leave because of birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, any accrued paid vacation [personal leave or family leave] will first be substituted for unpaid family/medical leave. If you request leave because of your own serious health condition, or to care for a covered relation with a serious health condition, any accrued paid vacation [personal leave, family or medical/sick leave] will first be substituted for any unpaid family/medical leave. The substitution of paid leave time for unpaid leave time does not extend the 12-week leave period. Furthermore, in no case can the substitution of paid leave time for unpaid leave time result in your receipt of more than 100 percent of your salary. [Employers may elect to make leave paid or unpaid. The bracketed material must be modified depending on whether the Company provides paid personal, family, or medical/sick leave and under what circumstances these paid leaves may be used.] Your family/medical leave runs concurrently with other types of leave, i.e., paid vacation.
Medical and Other Benefits
During an approved family/medical leave, the Company will maintain your health benefits as if you continued to be actively employed. If paid leave is substituted for unpaid family/medical leave, the Company will deduct your portion of the health plan premium as a regular payroll deduction. If your leave is unpaid, you must pay your portion of the premium through [employers should specify the method they wish to use]. Your healthcare coverage will cease if your premium payment is more than 30 days late. If your payment is more than 15 days late, we will send you a letter to this effect. If we do not receive your co-payment within 15 days after the date of this letter, your coverage may cease. If you elect not to return to work for at least 30 calendar days at the end of the leave period, you will be required to reimburse the Company for the cost of the premiums paid by the Company for maintaining coverage during your unpaid leave, unless you cannot return to work because of a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond your control. The Company must decide what, if any, other benefits will continue to accrue during leave periods. There is no obligation to continue to provide or accrue any benefits other than health care under FMLA.
Exemption for Highly Compensated Employees
Highly compensated employees (i.e., highest-paid 10 percent of employees at a worksite or within a 75-mile radius of that worksite) may not be returned to their former or equivalent position following a leave, if restoration of employment will cause substantial economic injury to the Company. (This fact-specific determination will be made by the Company on a case-by-case basis.) The Company will notify you if you qualify as a “highly compensated” employee if the Company intends to deny reinstatement, and of your rights in such instances. [This exception is so difficult to satisfy, employers may wish to delete reference to it.]
Intermittent and Reduced-schedule Leave
Leave because of a serious health condition may be taken intermittently (in separate blocks of time due to a single health condition) or on a reduced-leave schedule (reducing the usual number of hours you work per workweek or workday) if medically necessary. If leave is unpaid, the Company will reduce your salary based on the amount of time actually worked. In addition, while you are on an intermittent or reduced schedule leave, the Company may temporarily transfer you to an available alternative position that better accommodates your recurring leave and which has equivalent pay and benefits.
This policy may be varied in order to comply with applicable law.