Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – What is it?
FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks during a leave year of unpaid, job-protected leave to "eligible" employees for specified family and medical reasons. Ball State University is a covered employer. The university defines the "leave year" as a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any Family and Medical Leave (FML). A new "leave year" is calculated each time FML is used.
The law contains provisions on employer coverage, employee eligibility for the law's benefits, entitlement to leave, maintenance of health benefits during leave, job restoration after leave, notice and certification of the need for FML, and protection for employees who request or take FML. The law also requires employers to keep certain records.
Employee Eligibility – Am I covered?
To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:
Leave Entitlement – For what reason can I request leave?
Ball State University will grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a leave year for one or more of the following reasons:
Leave for birth and care or placement for adoption or foster care must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement. Ball State University will grant an eligible employee up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a leave year for the following reason:
Serious Health Condition—What is it?
"Serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
1. Hospitalization and Subsequent Treatment—Any period of incapacity involving an overnight stay in a hospital or residential medical care facility, and any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care; or
2. Absence plus Treatment—A period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities) for more than three consecutive calendar days and also involves either:
3. Pregnancy and Prenatal Care—Any period of incapacity. A visit to a health care provider is not necessary for each absence.
4. Chronic Conditions—Any period of incapacity due to a chronic condition which:
5. Permanent/Long Term Condition—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.
6. Conditions requiring Multiple Treatments—Any period of incapacity for restorative surgery or for conditions that if left untreated would result in incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days.
Ordinarily, the common cold, ear aches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraine, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, etc., are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition and do not qualify for FML.
Intermittent Leave – Can I take Intermittent Leave?
Under some circumstances, employees may take FML intermittently – which means taking leave in blocks of time, or by reducing their normal weekly or daily work schedules.
FML may be taken intermittently whenever medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member or because the employee is seriously ill and unable to work.
When intermittent leave is needed to care for an immediate family member or the employee's own illness and is for planned medical treatment, the employee must try to schedule leave so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operation.
Paid Leave – What about Vacation and Sick Leave?
For Faculty, Professional, and Staff Personnel, only the employee's remaining balance of sick leave for the care of a family member (5 days per year) may be substituted for the unpaid FML when the FML is for the care of a family member. Under university policy, accrued sick leave will be applied during the FML; however, using accrued vacation during the FML is the employee's option .
University Service Personnel (Bargaining Unit) may use scheduled PTO (Paid Time Off), accrued time from their IPB (Income Protection Bank), or unpaid leave (or any combination of the three options) for any FML for their own serious health condition. Service Personnel may use scheduled PTO (Paid Time Off), or use unpaid leave (or a combination of the two) for any FML taken for the care of a family member during the family member's serious health condition, for the care of a newborn child, newly adopted child, or a newly placed foster child. If your disability continues for more than 8 calendar days, you may be eligible for Short-Term Disability Pay (STDP); contact Cigna at 1-800-362-4462 to apply.
Maintenance of Health Benefits – Will my Health Insurance be Continued?
Ball State University is required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FML whenever such insurance was provided immediately before the leave is taken and on the same terms as if the employee continued to work during the leave. If applicable, the employee must make arrangements with the Office of Payroll and Employee Benefits to pay his or her share of health insurance premiums while on leave. In some instances the university may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work from FML.
Job Restoration – Will I be Able to Return to my Same Job?
Except for certain employees designated as "key" employees, an employee must be restored to his or her original job or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment upon return from FML.
In addition, an employee's use of FML cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FML.
Notice and Certification – What Type of Notice am I Required to Provide?
An employee seeking to use FML is required to provide 30-day advance notice of the need to take FML when the need is foreseeable and such notice is practicable (i.e., a planned inpatient surgery).
When the need for leave (an absence from work) is unforeseeable, the employee must give notice as soon as practicable.
Ball State University may also require an employee to provide:
Contact your supervisor or University Human Resource Services (765-285-1036) if you have questions or would like to request Family and Medical Leave.
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