PURPOSE / SCOPE:
ICOM shall comply with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that provides eligible employees the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave for qualifying circumstances. ICOM will not interfere with, restrain, nor deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA, nor will ICOM 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.
- Serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. This can include conditions with short-term, chronic, long-term or permanent periods of incapacity.
- Child means a biological, adopted or foster child, a 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.
- Parent means 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 child. This term does not include parents "in law."
- Qualifying exigency includes short-notice deployment, military events and activities, childcare and school activities, financial and legal arrangements, counseling, rest and recuperation, post-deployment activities, and additional activities that arise out of active duty, provided that the employer and employee agree, including agreement on timing and duration of the leave.
- Covered active duty for members of a regular component of the Armed Forces, means duty during deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country. For a member of the Reserve components of the Armed Forces, means duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a federal call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation, in accordance with 29 CR 825.102.
- The next of kin of a covered service member is the nearest blood relative, other than the covered service member's spouse, parent or child in the following order of priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the service member by court decree or statutory provisions, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the covered service member has specifically designated in writing another blood relative as his or her nearest blood relative for purposes of military caregiver leave under the FMLA.
- Covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is receiving medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, or is in outpatient status or on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness.
- Serious injury or illness is one that is incurred by a service member in the line of duty on active duty that may cause the service member to be medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating. A serious injury or illness also includes injuries or illnesses that existed before the service member's active duty and that were aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty.
POLICY AND PROCEDURE:
Per federal regulation, ICOM will grant up to 12 weeks (or up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness) during a 12-month rolling period to eligible employees. FMLA leave time is unpaid, though available MTO, FTO and PTO leave balances may run concurrently with FMLA leave time, thus making some of the leave time eligible to be paid.
Employees are eligible for Family Medical Leave is they have worked for ICOM for at least 12 months or 52 weeks. Such time does not have to be consecutive, breaks in employment are permitted if they do not exceed seven years, unless such break is exceeded due to military service. In addition, employees must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave. Such hours do not include time spent on paid or unpaid leave.
Purpose of Leave
Employees may request a Family Medical Leave for the following reasons:
- the birth of a child or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
to care for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition;
for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, child or parent is a military member on covered active duty or on call to covered active duty status; or
to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.
Amount of Leave
Employee: An eligible employee may take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period. ICOM will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses FMLA leave.
Military Caregiver: An eligible employee can take up to 26 weeks for the FMLA military caregiver leave during a single 12-month period. For the military caregiver leave, ICOM will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured forward. FMLA leave already taken for other FMLA circumstances will be deducted from the total of 26 weeks available.
Spouses: Eligible spouses who both work for ICOM may only take a combined total of 12 weeks of leave for the birth of a child, adoption or placement of a child in foster care, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition. Both may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered injured or ill service member (if each spouse is a parent, spouse, child or next of kin of the service member).
Intermittent Leave or a Reduced Work Schedule
Employees may take FMLA leave in one consecutive block of time, may use the leave intermittently (take a day periodically when needed over the year) or, under certain circumstances, may use the leave to reduce the workweek or workday, resulting in a reduced hour schedule. In all cases, the leave may not exceed a total of 12 workweeks (or 26 workweeks to care for an injured or ill service member) in a 12-month period.
ICOM may temporarily transfer an employee to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the alternative position would better accommodate the intermittent or reduced schedule, in instances when leave for the employee or employee's family member is foreseeable and for planned medical treatment, including recovery from a serious health condition or to care for a child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care.
For the birth, adoption or foster care of a child, ICOM and the employee will mutually agree to the schedule before the employee may take the leave intermittently or work a reduced-hour schedule. Leave for birth, adoption or foster care of a child must be taken within one year of the birth or placement of the child. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt operations.
Employee Notice Requirement and Leave Designation
Employees requesting FMLA leave must provide verbal or written notice of the need for leave to their Chair, Dean, direct supervisor or to Human Resources. When the need for the leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide at least 30 days' notice. When an employee becomes aware of a need for FMLA leave fewer than 30 days in advance or when the need is not foreseeable, the employee is expected to provide notice the same day the need for leave is discovered, the next business day or as soon as reasonably possible.
Within five business days after the employee has provided notice, Human Resources will complete and provide the employee with a Notice of Eligibility and Rights and request a medical certification or other supporting documentation as necessary. Within five business days after the employee has submitted the required certification or other documentation, Human Resources will provide the employee with a written response to the employee's request for FMLA leave using the FMLA Designation Notice.
Employee Status and Benefits During Leave
ICOM will continue an employee's health benefits during the leave period at the same level and under the same conditions as if the employee was continuously at work. For any portion of the leave that is paid, ICOM will continue to take payroll deductions to collect the employee's share of insurance premiums. For any portion of the leave that is unpaid, the employee will make payment arrangements with Human Resources. If an employee’s payment is more than 30 days late, the employee’s health coverage may be dropped for the duration of the leave.
If the employee chooses not to return to work for reasons other than a continued serious health condition of the employee or the employee's family member or a circumstance beyond the employee's control, ICOM will require the employee to reimburse the company the amount it paid for the employee's health insurance premiums during the leave period.
Employee Status After Leave
An employee who takes leave under this policy may be asked to provide a fitness for duty clearance from a health care provider. This requirement will be included in the response to the FMLA request. Generally, an employee who takes FMLA leave will be able to return to the same position or a position with equivalent status, pay, benefits and other employment terms. The position will be the same or one that is virtually identical in terms of pay, benefits and working conditions. ICOM may choose to exempt certain key employees from this requirement and not return them to the same or similar position when doing so will cause substantial and grievous economic injury to the College’s operations. Key employees will be given written notice at the time FMLA leave is requested of his or her status as a key employee.
Use of Paid and Unpaid Leave
An employee who is taking FMLA leave because of their own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member will use all of their FTO (Flexible Time Off) and their PTO (Paid Time Off) balances prior to being eligible for unpaid leave. FTO and/or PTO leave run concurrently with FMLA leave. Disability leave will also be designated as FMLA leave and will run concurrently with FMLA.
An employee who is using military FMLA leave for a qualifying exigency or for an employee using FMLA military caregiver leave, MTO, PTO and FTO (if applicable) leave balances must be used prior to being eligible for unpaid leave.
Intent to Return to Work from FMLA Leave
On a basis that does not discriminate against employees on FMLA leave, ICOM may require an employee on FMLA leave to report periodically on the employee's status and intent to return to work.
PRIMARY POLICY OWNER:
VP of Human Resources & Organizational Development