Fundamentals of FMLA


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n this webinar you will learn how understand the purpose and definition of the Family Medical Leave Act. As well as recognize potential reasons for covered leave and what necessary steps you can take as outlined under FMLA. You will understand the employee and employer responsibilities under FMLA and have the ability to apply compliance guidance to your workplace.

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Fundamentals of FMLA

  1. 1. Fundamentals  of  FMLA   Presented  by:  Bri8any  Cullison,  PHR   G&A  Partners  –  HR  Client  Advisor  
  2. 2. Agenda   •  Purpose  and  definiDon  of  FMLA   •  Covered  employers   •  Eligible  employees   •  Reasons  for  leave   •  CerDficaDon  process   •  Employer  responsibiliDes   •  Employee  responsibiliDes  
  3. 3. Before  we  get  started…   •  I  am  not  an  a8orney   •  This  material  is  not  legal  advice   •  This  presentaDon  is  not  a  subsDtute  for   experienced  legal  counsel  
  4. 4. Poll     •  How  many  FMLA-­‐covered  leave  cases  do  you   address  each  year?  
  5. 5. Family  and  Medical  Leave  Act   •  An  effort  to  balance  the  demands  of   employment  and  the  needs  of  families   •  To  promote  economic  securiDes  of  families   •  To  promote  equal  employment  opportunity  
  6. 6. FMLA  Defined     EnDtles  eligible  employees  of  covered   employers  to  take  unpaid,  job  protected  leave   for  specified  family  and  medical  reasons         Source:  DOL  Fact  Sheet  #28  
  7. 7. Covered  Employers   •  Private  employer  with  50  or  more  employees   •  20  or  more  workweeks  in  current  or  preceding   calendar  year   •  Includes  joint  employer  or  successor  in  interest   •  Public  agencies   •  Regardless  of  employee  count   •  Public  or  private  elementary  school  or   secondary  school   •  Regardless  of  employee  count   Source:  DOL  Fact  Sheet  #28  
  8. 8. Eligible  Employees   •  Works  for  a  covered  employer  and  has  worked   for  the  employer  for  at  least  12  months   •  12  months  does  not  have  to  be  consecuDve   •  If  break  in  service  is  greater  than  7  years,  prior   service  does  not  have  to  be  counted,  unless  leave  is   covered  by  USERRA  or  there  is  a  wri8en  agreement   otherwise   •  Has  worked  at  least  1250  hours  for  the   employer  during  the  preceding  12  months   •  Different  for  airline  flight  employees   •  Works  at  a  locaDon  where  the  employer  has  at   least  50  employees  within  75  mile  radius  
  9. 9. Leave  EnDtlement   •  12  workweeks  of  leave  in  a  12  month  period  for   any  of  the  following  reasons:   •  Birth  of  a  child  or  placement  of  child  with  employee   for  adopDon  or  foster  care;   •  To  care  for  a  spouse,  child  or  parent  with  a  serious   health  condiDon;   •  Due  to  a  serious  health  condiDon  of  the  employee   that  makes  the  employee  unable  to  perform  the   essenDal  funcDons  of  their  job;  or   •  For  any  qualifying  exigency   NOTE:  CalculaDon  of  leave  is  different  for  airline  flight   employees  
  10. 10. Intermi8ent  Leave   •  Leave  can  be  taken  in  weeks,  days,  hours  or   possibly  minutes   •  Determined  by  the  increment  used  in  other   leave  categories  (sick,  vacaDon)   •  For  intermi8ent  leave  less  than  a  week  in   duraDon,  holidays  do  not  count  as  FMLA   leave  
  11. 11. Birth  of  a  Child/Bonding  Leave   •  Both  mothers  and  fathers  are  eligible   •  Same  employer  rules   •  Birth  and  bonding  leave  enDtlement  expires   12  months  aeer  the  date  of  birth   •  Not  required  to  be  offered  as  intermi8ent   leave,  unless  employer  agrees  to  such    
  12. 12. Child  Placement  and  Bonding   •  Mothers  and  fathers  are  both  eligible   •  Leave  can  be  taken  before  the  actual   adopDon  for  related  acDviDes   •  Bonding  leave  enDtlement  expires  12   months  aeer  the  date  of  placement   •  Not  required  to  be  offered  as  intermi8ent   leave,  unless  employer  agrees  to  such  
  13. 13. Serious  Health  CondiDon   •  For  employee  or  employee’s  family  member   •  Parent   •  Spouse   •  Child   •  In  loco  parenDs   •  Can  be  taken  intermi8ently  
  14. 14. Serious  Health  CondiDon   •  Illness,  injury,  impairment  or  physical  or  mental   condiDon  that  involves:   •  any  period  of  incapacity  or  treatment  connected  with   inpaDent  care  (i.e.,  an  overnight  stay)  in  a  hospital,   hospice,  or  residenDal  medical  care  facility;  or   •  a  period  of  incapacity  requiring  absence  of  more  than   three  calendar  days  from  work,  school,  or  other   regular  daily  acDviDes  that  also  involves  conDnuing   treatment  by  (or  under  the  supervision  of)  a  health   care  provider;  or   •  any  period  of  incapacity  due  to  pregnancy,  or  for   prenatal  care;  or  
  15. 15. Serious  Health  CondiDon   •  Illness,  injury,  impairment  or  physical  or  mental   condiDon  that  involves:   •  any  period  of  incapacity  (or  treatment  therefore)  due  to  a   chronic  serious  health  condiDon  (e.g.,  asthma,  diabetes,   epilepsy,  etc.);  or   •  a  period  of  incapacity  that  is  permanent  or  long-­‐term  due   to  a  condiDon  for  which  treatment  may  not  be  effecDve   (e.g.,  Alzheimer's,  stroke,  terminal  diseases,  etc.);  or,   •  any  absences  to  receive  mulDple  treatments  (including   any  period  of  recovery  therefrom)  by,  or  on  referral  by,  a   health  care  provider  for  a  condiDon  that  likely  would   result  in  incapacity  of  more  than  three  consecuDve  days  if   lee  untreated  (e.g.,  chemotherapy,  physical  therapy,   dialysis,  etc.).  
  16. 16. Serious  Health  CondiDon   •  The  following  condiDons  are  excluded,  unless   inpaDent  care  or  complicaDons  develop  that   would  meet  the  above  criteria:     •  cosmeDc  treatments   •  common  colds   •  Flu   •  ear  aches   •  upset  stomach   •  minor  ulcers   •  headaches  other  than  migraine   •  rouDne  dental  or  orthodonDa  problems   •  periodontal  disease  
  17. 17. Qualifying  Exigencies   •  Covered  acDve  duty  definiDon   •  Family  member  includes  spouse,  son,  daughter  or  parent   •  Qualifying  exigencies  include:   •  Responding  to  short-­‐noDce  deployment,   •  A8ending  military  events  and  related  acDviDes,   •  A8ending  to  childcare  and  school  acDviDes,   •  Receiving  counseling,   •  A8ending  to  financial  and  legal  ma8ers,   •  Periods  of  rest  and  recuperaDon,   •  Post-­‐deployment  acDviDes,     •  Parental  care  (military  member’s  parent),  and     •  Other  acDviDes  agreed  to  by  the  employee  and  the   organizaDon.    
  18. 18. Qualifying  Exigencies   •  Childcare  and  parental  care   •  The  eligible  employee  does  not  need  to  be   related  to  the  parent   •  The  eligible  employee  must  be  related  to  the   military  member  (spouse,  child  or  parent)   •  The  military  member  should  be  related  to  the   child  or  parent  
  19. 19. Qualifying  Exigencies   •  Periods  of  rest  and  recuperaDon   •  Changed  from  5  days  to  15   •  ConDnuous  or  intermi8ent   •  Must  be  during  Dme  specified  on  R&R  orders  
  20. 20. AddiDonal  Leave  EnDtlement   •  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.    
  21. 21. POLL     •  Have  you  ever  had  an  employee  take  military   caregiver  FMLA  leave?  
  22. 22. Covered  Servicemember   •  Current  Servicemember:   •  A  current  member  of  the  Armed  Forces,  NaDonal   Guard  or  Reserves  and  is     •  undergoing  medical  treatment,  recuperaDon  or   therapy,  or  is  in  outpaDent  status,  or     •  is  on  the  temporary  disability  reDred  list,  for  a  serious   injury  of  illness  
  23. 23. Covered  Servicemember   •  Covered  Veterans:   •  Member  of  the  Armed  Forces,  NaDonal  Guard  or   Reserves;   •  Discharged  or  released  from  service  under   condiDons  other  than  dishonorable  and   •  Discharged  within  the  five-­‐year  period  before  the   start  of  military  caregiver  leave  and     •  Undergoing  medical  treatment,  recuperaDon,  or   therapy  for  a  qualifying  serious  injury  or  illness  
  24. 24. Serious  Injury  or  Illness   •  Current  Servicemember   •  Incurred  in  the  line  of  duty  and  may  cause   servicemember  to  be  medically  unfit  to  perform   the  duDes  of  the  servicemember’s  office,  grade,   rank,  or  raDng   •  Includes  injuries  or  illnesses  that  existed  prior  to   acDve  duty  that  were  aggravated  by  service  in  the   line  of  duty  
  25. 25. Serious  Injury  or  Illness   •  Covered  Veterans   •  a  conDnuaDon  of  a  serious  injury  or  illness  that  was  incurred  or   aggravated  when  the  veteran  was  a  member  of  the  Armed   Forces  and  rendered  the  servicemember  unable  to  perform  the   duDes  of  the  servicemember’s  office,  grade,  rank,  or  raDng;  or   •  a  physical  or  mental  condiDon  for  which  the  veteran  has   received  a  U.S.  Department  of  Veterans  Affairs  Service-­‐Related   Disability  RaDng  (VASRD)  of  50  percent  or  greater,  and  the   need  for  military  caregiver  leave  is  related  to  that  condiDon;  or   •  a  physical  or  mental  condiDon  that  substanDally  impairs  the   veteran’s  ability  to  work  because  of  a  disability  or  disabiliDes   related  to  military  service,  or  would  do  so  absent  treatment;  or   •  an  injury  that  is  the  basis  for  the  veteran’s  enrollment  in  the   Department  of  Veterans  Affairs  Program  of  Comprehensive   Assistance  for  Family  Caregivers  
  26. 26. 12  month  period  for  Military  Caregiver  Leave   •  Single  12  month  period  begins  the  day  of  leave   and  ends  12  months  later   •  Not  always  the  same  as  the  12  month  period   available  for  other  FMLA  leave  reasons   •  Eligible  employee  limited  to  combined  total  of   26  workweeks   •  Military  caregiver  leave  available  once  per   servicemember,  per  serious  injury  or  illness   •  Eligible  employee  can  care  for  more  than  one   covered  servicemember  at  a  Dme  during  leave  
  27. 27. Next  of  Kin   •  a  blood  relaDve  who  has  been  designated  in   wriDng  by  the  servicemember  as  the  next  of   kin  for  FMLA  purposes   •  blood  relaDve  who  has  been  granted  legal   custody  of  the  servicemember   •  brothers  and  sisters   •  grandparents   •  aunts  and  uncles   •  first  cousins  
  28. 28. Employee  ResponsibiliDes   •  Eligible  employees  may  be  required  to   provide:   •  30  days  advance  noDce  for  foreseeable  leave   •  NoDce  as  soon  as  pracDcable  when  not   foreseeable   •  Sufficient  informaDon  for  the  employer  to   understand  why  the  leave  is  needed   •  Timely  noDce  of  leave  being  FMLA  qualifying  if   not  addressed  prior  to  absence    
  29. 29. Employee  ResponsibiliDes   •  And  if  requested,  employee  should:   •  Provide  cerDficaDon  requests  in  a  Dmely  manner   •  Provide  periodic  status  reports   •  Submit  fitness  for  duty  upon  return  to  work  
  30. 30. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  Post  a  general  noDce  explaining  rights  and   responsibiliDes  (WH  PublicaDon  1420)   •  Posted  for  all  worker  to  see  in  common  area   •  Must  be  in  plain  view   •  Provided  in  other  languages  when  porDon  of   workforce  is  not  fluent  in  English   •  Provides  informaDon  regarding  filing  a  complaint   •  May  be  assessed  a  fine  for  not  posDng  
  31. 31. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  Provide  wri8en  FMLA  policy   •  Best  place  is  in  an  employee  handbook   •  Contains  same  informaDon  as  in  poster,  at   minimum   •  Best  pracDce  to  include  further  detail  
  32. 32. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  Provide  eligibility  noDce     •  Must  state  whether  the  employee  is  eligible,  and   if  not  eligible,  the  reason  why   •  Provided  within  5  business  days   •  Only  provided  once  in  a  12  month  period  unless   the  FMLA  qualifying  reason  is  different  or   eligibility  has  changed   •  Form  WH-­‐381  
  33. 33. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  Provide  Rights  and  ResponsibiliDes  noDce   •  Qualified  leave  may  be  designated  and  counted  against   annual  leave  enDtlement   •  Requirements  of  cerDficaDon  of  the  need  for  leave   •  SubsDtuDon  of  paid  leave   •  Premium  payments  to  maintain  benefits   •  “Key  Employee”   •  Maintenance  of  benefits  during  leave   •  Job  restoraDon   •  Employee  potenDal  liability  of  health  insurance  premiums   if  employee  fails  to  return  to  work  aeer  leave   •  Other  informaDon   •  Form  WH-­‐381  
  34. 34. CerDficaDon  of  Leave   •  Medical  CerDficaDon  for  serious  health   condiDon   •  Employer  must  allow  15  days  to  be  completed   •  Employee  responsible  for  any  costs   •  If  incomplete  or  insufficient,  provide  wri8en   noDce  to  employee  to  cure  (7  calendar  days)   •  WH-­‐380-­‐E,  WH-­‐380-­‐F   •  Employer  representaDve  can  authenDcate  and   clarify  cerDficaDon  (not  direct  supervisor!)   •  Employer  can  request  second  opinion  at   employer  cost  
  35. 35. CerDficaDon  of  Leave  Request       •  Qualifying  Exigency   •  Copy  of  orders   •  Statement  of  facts   •  Approximate  Dmes  of  leave   •  Contact  informaDon  for  third  parDes   •  Proof  of  relaDonship   •  Cannot  request  second  or  third  opinions   •  Cannot  require  recerDficaDon     •  Must  allow  15  days  to  complete   •  Form  WH-­‐384  
  36. 36. CerDficaDon  of  Leave  Request   •  Military  Caregiver   •  Completed  by  authorized  health  care  provider   •  DOD,  VA,  DOD  TRICARE,  Non-­‐military   •  For  veterans:   •  VASRD  raDng  document  acceptable;  may  sDll  require   confirmaDon  of  family  relaDonship  and  documentaDon  of   discharge  date   •  For  current  servicemembers:   •  ITO  or  ITA   •  Second  or  third  opinions  only  for  non-­‐military   affiliated  HCP   •  Must  allow  15  days  to  complete  
  37. 37. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  DesignaDon  NoDce   •  Employer  is  responsible  for  designaDng  leave  as   FMLA  leave   •  NoDce  should  be  provided  within  5  business  days   •  Should  be  provided  for  each  qualifying  reason  per   applicable  12  month  period   •  Employer’s  determinaDon   •  Any  concurrent  use  of  paid  leave  requirements   •  Any  fitness  for  duty  requirements   •  Provides  amount  of  leave  counted  against   enDtlement   •  Form  WH-­‐382  
  38. 38. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  Recordkeeping   •  Dates,  documents  and  records  of  FMLA  leave   •  Hours  if  intermi8ent   •  No  less  than  three  years   •  Medical  informaDon  must  be  maintained  in  a   confidenDal  manner  
  39. 39. Employer  ResponsibiliDes     •  Maintenance  of  Employee  Benefits   •  Employer  maintains  payment  of  their   contribuDon  to  premiums   •  Employee  must  pay  their  premium  porDon   •  Same  condiDons  applied  as  if  the  employee  were   conDnuously  employed  
  40. 40. Employer  ResponsibiliDes   •  Employee  Reinstatement   •  Same  posiDon,  or  to  an  equivalent  posiDon  with   equal  pay,  benefits  and  other  terms  and   condiDons   •  Pay  includes  bonuses,  uncondiDonal  pay   increases,  pay  premiums  and  opportunity  for   overDme   •  Benefits  include  insurance,  paid  Dme  off,   pensions,  educaDonal  benefits   •  Other  terms  and  condiDons  may  include  duDes,   condiDons,  responsibiliDes,  schedule,  locaDon  
  41. 41. In  closing   •  Employers  cannot  interfere  with,  restrain  or   deny  employees’  FMLA  rights   •  It’s  prohibited  to  retaliate,  discriminate,   discharge  or  otherwise  consider  a  negaDve   factor  against  an  employee  for  exercising   FMLA  rights  
  42. 42. HRCI  Cer)fica)on  Credits:     "This  webinar  has  been  pre-­‐cerDfied  for  1  hour  of  general  recerDficaDon  credit   toward  PHR,  SPHR  and  GPHR  recerDficaDon  through  the  HR  CerDficaDon  InsDtute.       We  will  send  out  a  confirma)on  e-­‐mail  to  all  those  that  are  confirmed  as   a:ended  with  the  program  ID  code  to  note  on  your  HRCI  recer)fica)on   applica)on  form.       The  use  of  this  seal  is  not  an  endorsement  by  the  HR  CerDficaDon  InsDtute  of  the  quality  of  the   program.    It  means  that  this  program  has  met  the  HR  CerDficaDon  InsDtute's  criteria  to  be  pre-­‐ approved  for  recerDficaDon  credit."   QUESTIONS?   G&A  Partners   (800)  253-­‐8562   *This webinar has been recorded and will be posted on the G&A website by Friday