Welcome to a presentation on the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA, and the Inner workings of the Law. I am Derek Hughes, student in the U Mary HR Management class.
Leaves of absence are infrequent occurrences for employees, so it’s important to know your rights when they do occur. Protected leaves of absence are often broken apart into overlapping laws and coverage. The focus of this presentation, though, will be only on the Family & Medical Leave Act portion, or FMLA portion, regarding leaves of absence.
FMLA is an employee’s right and provides job protection during leaveLegal Action for this law include:Being signed into law on August 6, 1993An amendment to add exigency and military care leaves in January 28, 2008And in 2010, an amendment to the additional items from 2008FMLA must be offered by companies with 50+ employees within a 75 mile radius of the worksite
So who qualifies for FMLA? There are three qualifiers:An employee of an employer offering FMLAEmployee has worked 1+ year(s)Employee has worked 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.
FMLA provides job-protected leave time for specific qualifying events.FMLA provides twelve work weeks of leave in a 12-month period for any of the following qualifying events:the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” (DOL)orMilitary caregiver leave provides twenty-six work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin to the employee. (DOL)Please note, the definition of a “Serious health condition” is provided on the next slide.
As depicted in the cartoon, long-term or terminal illnesses are examples of qualifying serious health conditions. Other examples include injuries, impairments, and physical or mental conditions that involve an overnight stay and/or continuous treatment.
FMLA is a rule of three. FMLA is available to qualifying employees, with a qualifying reason, after 3 consecutive days of absence. Employees should contact Human Resources as soon as possible, and if the leave is foreseeable they should contact HR at least 30 days prior to the leave. An example of a foreseeable leave is the birth of a child which is anticipated for nine-months. The employee then completes a series of forms with HR to ensure the leave is provided.
Ideally, paperwork and documentation for the leave is furnished as follows. However, extenuating circumstances commonly interfere with the noted timeline. I’ve left these off to prevent the list from becoming too exhaustive, but please note the law accounts for extenuating circumstances to prevent exclusion from coverage.HR initially notifies employee if they are eligibleHR provides the employees a notice of their rights and paperwork for doctor to completePaperwork is returned HR and doctor’s certification determines the amount of FMLA leave time permitted. EXCEPTION – birth, adoption or foster care where parents can elect to take up to the full 12-weeks.HR reviews and confirms whether sufficient medical documentation has been provided.HR confirms the dates of absence with the supervisor and provides a sheet for the supervisor to track the leave. HR does not disclose the nature of the leave to the supervisor as this is confidential medical information protected by HIPAA.Regular follow-up should be established with the employee, and if necessary, a new doctor certification should be provided monthly
Since employees are only provided 12 or 26 weeks for leave during a twelve month period there is a chance they could run out of leave time. The employers are responsible for determining how employees earn back the time they used for leave and consistently apply it.The first method is the Calendar Year basis, where employees’ FMLA leave time banks are refilled in January. The fixed-year basis method is similar to the calendar year only it sets different dates for renewal like an employees’ anniversary date or a fiscal year.Common issues with methods 1 and 2 are they can enable back-to-back leaves if the leave overlaps the refill date. This causes leave time totaling to longer than intended lengths of leave time.The 12-months from the date used essentially means employees receive full FMLA banks after twelve months from the date FMLA was initially used.Last, the rolling 12-months method is probably the most common, but also the most difficult to manage. Think of the Price is Right Range Finder game as an example. In the picture shown, if the red zone is 12 months, then leave taken on January 1, 2011, is earned back on January 1, 2012. Time is earned back one-day at-a-time as it was used 12-months prior. With the integration of complex ERP and HRMS systems it is much less time intensive to now manage these leaves.
Other employee Entitlements include:Returning to a position with:Equal pay and benefitsEqual job dutiesEqual shift or hoursAlso, employers may permit or require use paid leave concurrently with FMLA leave. Please reference your company policy.Examples include: sick, vacation, salary continuation, and possibly others
Supervisors have limited responsibility in the process:Contact HR with early noticeTrack leave time of absenceSupervisors see the employee and know when they are present (or not)Remain in contact with the employee.Be supportiveAssist with accommodations where capable
If you have any questions please contact me or your HR Department. Thank you for your time.
Derek Hughes Fmla
Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)The Inner Workings of the LawHR ManagementMGT 505Derek Hughes
Leave of Absence Leave of Worker’s ADA FMLA Compensation (ADAAA) Absence
Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) • FMLA is an employee’s right and provides job protection during leave • Legal Action: – Law August 6, 1993 – Amended January 28, 2008 – Amended in 2010 • FMLA must be offered by companies with 50+ employees within a 75 mile radius of the worksite
Who qualifies for FMLA?• An employee of an employer offering FMLA• Employee has worked 1+ year(s)• Employee has worked 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.
Qualifying Reasons & Coverage • Provides employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12 month period – Birth, adoption, or foster care of a child – Family member’s serious health condition* – Employee’s serious health condition* – Exigency Leave (covered family member active duty) • Provides employees up to 26 weeks unpaid leave in a 12 month-period – Military Caregiver Leave (covered service member) *Serious health condition defined on next slide.
Serious Health Condition• Long-term/terminal illness• Injury• Impairment• Physical or mental condition that involves: – Overnight stay as an inpatient – Continuous treatment
FMLA Begins… • After 3 consecutive days of absence – Foreseeable leaves must be reported 30 days prior to the leave. • Contact Human Resources • Employee needs to complete paperwork
Paperwork & Documentation (Ideally) 1. HR initially notifies employee if they are eligible. 2. HR provides the employees a notice of their rights and paperwork for doctor to complete. 3. Paperwork is returned HR and doctor’s certification determines the amount of FMLA leave time permitted. EXCEPTION – birth, adoption or foster care where parents can elect to take up to the full 12-weeks. 4. HR reviews and confirms whether sufficient medical documentation has been provided. 5. HR confirms dates of absence with supervisor. HR does not disclose the nature of the leave. 6. Regular follow-up should be established with the employee, and if necessary, a new doctor certification should be provided monthly.
Earning Back Time• Employers determine how employees earn back used time. 1. Calendar Year 2. Fixed-year basis 3. 12-months from the date used 4. Rolling 12-months• Rolling – think of Price is Right Range Finder – Earned back after the “red” zone passes
Other Employee Entitlements• Return to a position with: – Equal pay and benefits – Equal job duties – Equal shift or hours• Use paid leave concurrently with FMLA leave (reference company policy) – Examples: • sick, vacation, salary continuation, etc.
Supervisor Responsibilities • Contact HR with early notice • Track leave time of absence – Supervisors see the employee and know when they are present (or not) • Remain in contact with the employee – Be supportive – Assist with accommodations where capable
ReferencesFMLA References:N.a. (2011). Family and Medical Leave Act. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/Pictures used in presentation:• FMLA Gavel – http://www.axisinsurancegroup.com/?page_id=1087• Groundhog Day – http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/g/groundhog_day.asp• iPhone – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_3G• Pondering Face – http://www.info.insitesoft.com/Insite-Software- Blog/bid/68077/Pondering-an-Open-Source-Ecommerce-Platform-Read- This• Range Game – http://bigjonpcgames.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4411&start=1170&st =0&sk=t&sd=a, http://i49.tinypic.com/1snmed.png