Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.

Effective October 1, 2022, New York Life (NYL) handles the administration of FMLA for the University.

Reasons for Leave

Eligible employees may take up to  12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • A serious health condition that causes the employee to be unable to perform the essential elements of his or her job. Full time employees should also apply for  Short Term Disability;
  • To care for the employee's child after birth, adoption, or the state placement of a child with the employee for foster care. Should both parents be employed at the University, the leave allowed is a total of 12 weeks for both parents, not 12 weeks each. All leave following the date of birth or placement must be taken within 12 months following the event. Time off must be taken in consecutive days or weeks. No intermittent leave is available for birth, foster care placement, or adoption events;
  • To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.

An eligible employee may also take up to  26 workweeks of leave during a "single 12-month period" to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness, when the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the servicemember.

Eligibility

In order to qualify, the employee must have been employed by the University for at least 12 months and must have worked 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months. Paid and unpaid leave as well as hours paid under Worker's Compensation are not counted towards the 1,250 hour requirement.

Notice Requirement

The employee must provide NYL and the University with 30 days notice if the absence is foreseeable. If the request for the leave of absence is not reasonably foreseeable, then the employee must notify the University and NYL as soon as possible. Any failure to give a timely notice may cause the leave to be delayed or denied.

Medical Certification

The employee must provide NYL with certification from a health care provider of their serious health condition, or for the family member for whom the leave is required. The employee must provide such certification 15 days in advance of taking leave or the leave may be delayed or denied. A certification form will be provided by NYL.

The employee will be required to furnish NYL with reports on status, intent to return, and re-certification of a serious health condition.

Paid/Unpaid Leave

The University requires that the employee immediately use all available paid leave time available (for example, accrued sick leave (if applicable), accrued vacation, or holidays) as part of the 12-week FMLA leave. If the employee is on leave without pay, they will not accrue holidays, sick leave, or vacation.

Regarding maternity leave, the employee may only use sick leave for the time that the birth mother is under a doctor's care.

Medical Insurance Continuation

While on FMLA, the University will continue to pay the employer's share of medical insurance premiums under the group plan. The employee must continue to pay their share in order to maintain coverage under the plan. Failure to pay premiums will result in a lapse of coverage. If the employee fails to return at the end of the 12-week leave, they will be liable to the University for the employer's share of the health care premiums, which had been paid by the University during the 12-week period.

In addition, while not required by the FMLA, the University will continue to provide long-term disability and life insurance benefits for covered employees who are on FMLA leave.

Return from Leave

If the leave was taken because of the employee's own illness or injury, then they must provide a fitness-for-duty certification from a health care provider before returning to work. Failure to do so may cause a delay in the employee's reinstatement.

Upon the employee's return, the employee will be entitled to reinstatement of his or her current position, or to an equivalent position, with the same pay and benefits.

Fraudulent Leave Requests

An employee who fraudulently obtains FMLA leave from the University is not protected by the act's job restoration and maintenance of health benefits provisions and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including discharge.