Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Purpose

The College affords eligible employees family or medical leave in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  All rights and obligations under the FMLA and this policy are interpreted according to the law.  All leave of absence, including workers’ compensation, temporary disability and FMLA leaves, will be coordinated and will run concurrently as allowed by law.

The Leave Policy

You may be eligible for a job-protected, unpaid leave of absence for up to twelve (12) weeks each leave year if you:

  1. have been employed by CCS for at least 12 months (the months need not be consecutive);
  2. worked at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months immediately preceding the leave; and
  3. are taking the leave for a qualifying reason.

A leave year is defined as the rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date you first took FMLA leave.  During FMLA leave, you will be entitled to group health benefits as if you were still working.  Upon completion of FMLA leave, you will be restored to your same or equivalent job with the same pay, benefits and conditions of employment.  After 12 weeks, the FMLA provisions regarding job restoration do not apply.  If your leave exceeds 12 weeks, your right to job restoration and/or benefits, if any, will be determined by CCS’s existing policies and any applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Please note that CCS’s short-term and long-term disability plans are income protection plans for eligible employees and do not guarantee a job, or any particular job, following an absence.

Reasons for Leave

FMLA leave may be taken for any of the following reasons:

  1. the birth of a son or daughter and in order to care for such child;
  2. the placement of a child with you for adoption or foster care;
  3. to care for your spouse, child or parent (“covered relation”) with a serious health condition; or
  4. because your own serious health condition renders you unable to perform the essential functions of your position.
  5. because of a “qualifying exigency” arising out of active duty or a call to covered active duty of a covered relation in the Armed Forces or:
  6. to care for a covered relation or next of kin who is a covered service member and has incurred a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves.

FMLA leave may not exceed 12 weeks per leave year, except where the leave is to care for an injured or ill service member, in which case an eligible employee may take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for the service member.  Leave to care for an injured or ill service member, when combined with other FMLA-qualifying leave, may not exceed 26 weeks on a single 12-month period.  A leave to care for a newborn son or daughter or due to the placement with you of a foster or adopted son or daughter must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement.  Spouses who both work for CCS will be entitled to a combined 12 weeks of FMLA in a given leave year when leave is take for the birth of a child, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or care of a parent with a serious health condition.  Similarly, spouses who both work for the College may take only a combined 26 workweeks of leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

A child includes a biological, adopted, foster or stepchild (or legal ward) who is under 18 years old.  Children over 18 who are incapable of self-care because of physical or mental disability are also included.  (However, where leave is due to a qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or a call to active duty or to care for an injured or ill service member, there is no age limit on the child).  A “parent” includes your biological parent or person who stood in the position of parent to you when you were a child.  A parent does not include your spouse’s parent.

“Spouse” as defined in the FMLA, means a husband or wife as defined or recognized in the state where the individual was married and includes individuals in a same-sex marriage or common law marriage.  Spouse also includes a husband or wife in a marriage that was validly entered into outside of the United States if the marriage could have been entered into in at least one state.

A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.  Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.  Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

A “qualifying exigency” means short-notice deployment (notice of seven days or less), military events, child care and school activities, financial and legal arrangements, counseling, rest and recuperation, post-deployment activities, and additional activities where CCS and the employee agree.

“Covered active duty” means, in the case of a member of a regular component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country, and, in the case of a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty.

A “covered service member” is (1)  a member of the Armed Forces, including the National guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise in the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness or (2) a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, at any time during the period of five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.

A “serious injury or illness” is one that was incurred in the line of duty on active duty (or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty) and that may render the service member medically unfit to perform duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.  With respect to a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces at any time during the period of five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, a serious injury or illness means that qualifying injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty on active duty or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Use of Paid Leave

In general, FMLA leave is unpaid.  However, CCS generally requires that you substitute any paid leave (assuming you are eligible for paid leave) for unpaid leave.  Your entitlement to up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave will run concurrently with any workers’ compensation or temporary disability absence as long as the criteria for a serious health condition is met.  You may use any available unused paid time off (PTO) to supplement your worker’s compensation or temporary disability pay, up to 100% of your regular pay.

Notice of Leave

If it is foreseeable that you will need FMLA leave, you must give CCS at least 30 days’ advance written notice.  If your need for FMLA leave, or the timing of the leave, is unforeseeable, you must give CCS notice as soon as practicable, generally within two business days after the need for leave becomes known to you.  You are also expected to comply with CCS’s normal call-in or reporting practices and procedures.  Failure to give the required notice may result in the delay of your leave.  If the leave is due to planned medical treatment, you must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment to minimize disruption to CCS.  Requests for leave must be submitted to Human Resources and forms are available in that office.

Medical and Family Certificates

If you request leave because of your own or a covered relation’s serious health condition, you and the relevant health care provider must supply an appropriate medical certification to CCS.  You may obtain Medical Certification forms from Human Resources.  Generally, for foreseeable leave, any required medical certification must be provided to Human Resources before your leave begins, unless it is impractical to do so, in which case a medical certification must be provided as soon as possible. Also, if the leave is for the birth, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or care of a covered relation, CCS may require you to provide reasonable documentation or a statement confirming the family relationship.  In addition, if you are requesting leave for a qualifying exigency related to military service, you may be required to provide an appropriate certification.  Failure to timely provide the requested medical certification or other documentation may result in a delay or denial of your leave.

CCS may, at its discretion and expense, require an examination by a second health care provider designated by CCS.  If the second health care provider’s opinion conflicts with the original medical certification, CCS may require a third, mutually acceptable health care provider to conduct an examination and provide a binding opinion.  (Second and third opinions will not be requested for a covered service member’s serious injury or illness, however.)

Notice:  The Genetic Information nondiscrimination act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law.  To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to requests for medical information.  “Genetic information” as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.

Reporting During Leave and Upon Return From Leave

If you take an FMLA leave due to your own or a covered relation’s serious health condition, CCS will require you to provide medical re-certifications, at reasonable intervals during your leave, generally not more than every 30 days. While on an FMLA leave, you must periodically report on your status and intent to return to work.  If the circumstances precipitating the need for an FMLA leave change while you are on leave, you must promptly notify the Human Resources office in writing of those changes, generally within two (2) business days.

CCS will require you to provide a certificate of fitness to return to work, which may address your ability to perform the essential functions of your job, at your expense, when your leave was due to your own serious health condition. A fitness to return to work certificate will not be required if the leave was taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. Failure to timely provide the above status reports, re-certifications or fitness to return to work certificates may result in the delay or denial of leave, or restoration to your position.

Medical and Other Benefits During Leave

During an approved FMLA leave, CCS will maintain your group health benefits as if you continue to work. All other benefits will be maintained in accord with CCS established policies.  Paid time off (PTO) days do not accrue during leaves of absence, including FMLA and temporary disability absences (except during the time period that the leave is being covered by PTO).

If you normally pay a portion of your group health or other elective benefit premium, and if you are on a paid leave, CCS will deduct your portion of the health plan premium as a regular payroll deduction.  If your leave is unpaid, you must pay your portion of the premium to the Human Resources office by the 20th day of the month prior to the month the premium will cover.  Failure to timely pay your portion of the premium may result in termination of coverage, provided you are notified in advance that coverage will lapse.  If CCS pays your portion of any elective benefit premium or group health premium during your leave, CCS will seek reimbursement from you when you return to work.

If you do not return to work at the end of the leave period, you will be required to reimburse CCS for its share of the premiums paid for maintaining your group health benefits during any unpaid leave, unless you cannot return to work due to a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond your control.

Intermittent and Reduced Schedule Leave

Leave may be taken intermittently (in separate blocks of time due to a single health condition) or on a reduced leave schedule (reducing the usual number of hours you work) when medically necessary.  Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt CCS’s operations.  Leave for qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.

If your leave is unpaid, CCS will reduce your salary as permitted by law based upon the amount of time actually worked.  In some situations, while you are on an intermittent or reduced schedule leave, CCS may temporarily transfer you to an available alternative position (with equivalent pay and benefits) that better accommodates your leave request.  Intermittent or reduced schedule leave to care for a newborn child or child placed with you for adoption or foster care requires prior consent of CCS (unless the leave is due to a serious health condition).

Special FMLA Rules Applicable to Instructional Employees

The FMLA contains special rules for instructional employees who seek intermittent leave or a leave near the end of an academic term.  “Instructional employees” include, for example, faculty members. Generally, teacher assistants and counselors are not considered instructional employees.  The purpose of the special rules is to avoid undue disruption to students.  If the special rules apply to you, CCS may require you to remain on leave until the end of the semester.  If you have requested intermittent or reduced schedule leave, CCS may require that you take leave in a block of time or it may temporarily transfer you to another position.  If you have any questions regarding these special FMLA rules and whether they apply to you, contact Human Resources.

Additional Information

The FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the existence of any right provided under the FMLA or 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.  An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.  FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede and State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.  If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Human Resources.

CCS reserves the right to modify this policy when circumstances warrant modification, or to change any provision of this policy as determined by CCS in its discretion, consistent with the FMLA and any other applicable law.

Policy Contact

Work Phone: 313.664.7882
Categories: Human Resources

EFFECTIVE DATE
December 13, 2016

LAST UPDATED DATE
September 1, 2019

APPROVING OFFICE
Administration and Finance