FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
Please carefully review this information and refer any questions to your supervisor or to Kathi Lee in Human Resources.
- Employee Eligibility: A UW-Eau Claire employee is covered by the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if that person has been employed by the state for at least 12 months, and has worked for the state at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months.
- Reasons for Leave: Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for: the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child (leave must be concluded within 12 months following birth); or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care (leave must be concluded with 12 months following placement); or to care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent (but not parent -in-law) with a serious health condition; or for the employee's own serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her position. A serious health condition is: A physical or mental illness, injury, impairment or condition involving inpatient care, or outpatient care that requires continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
- Notice of Need for Leave: Employees are required to give their supervisor as much notice as possible of the need to take FMLA leave (30 days is required for scheduled events.). Failure to provide timely notice as required may result in an employee's request for leave being denied until at least 30 days after the date notice is provided.
- Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid FMLA Leave: Under Wisconsin law, an employee may choose to substitute any paid leave, including sick leave, for up to six weeks of FMLA leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Thereafter, under Federal law, the employee may choose or the employer may require staff members to substitute vacation, personal holiday, legal holiday, or compensatory time for FMLA leave. Under Wisconsin law, the employee may choose to substitute any paid leave, including sick leave, for up to two weeks of unpaid FMLA medical leave. Thereafter, under Federal law, the employee may choose or the employer may require staff members to substitute paid leave for unpaid FMLA medical leave. Under no circumstances will employees be entitled to FMLA leave in excess of the authorized 12 weeks as a result of the substitution of paid leave. Any leave, paid or unpaid, that is designated as leave under FMLA will count against the employee's FMLA entitlement. Employees should check with Kathi Lee (715)836-5262 in Human Resources in case of disagreement as to whether leave should be designated as FMLA leave.
- Intermittent leave or leave on a reduced work schedule: must be given only when there is a medical need for such leave which can best be accommodated through an intermittent or reduced leave schedule; and the leave is being used for the employee's own serious health condition, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition; may be given, at the discretion of the appointing authority, when taken for the birth of the employee's child, or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
- Benefit Continuation
- Group Health Insurance: For employees on paid leave (e.g., annual leave or sick leave) under FMLA, group health insurance will continue as with any paid leave. For leave without pay under FMLA, the employee's insurance will continue as if the employee had been continuously employed.
Payroll and Benefits staff will advise employees of their individual eligibility for continuation of group health insurance under FMLA. Employees are required to pay the employee portion of health insurance premiums, if applicable, during unpaid leave under FMLA. Coverage will be terminated for employees who do not pay their portion of the cost of coverage.
In the event an employee's coverage is terminated due to non-payment while on leave, the employee may re-enroll upon return to work in whatever coverage was in effect prior to taking leave under FMLA. Coverage will be effective the first day the employee returns from leave under FMLA.
In the event an employee does not return to work for reasons other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition which would entitle the employee to leave under FMLA, or other circumstances beyond the employee's control, the agency will collect from the individual the employer portion of cost of coverage payments incurred during the leave.
- Benefits Accrued Prior to Leave: Employees will not accumulate sick leave during leave without pay under FMLA. Sick leave or personal holidays which are not substituted for FMLA leave will be available to the employee upon return from leave.
- Continuous Service: Employees will continue to accrue continuous service for seniority purposes while on leave under FMLA. The time an employee is on FMLA leave (either paid or unpaid) will be treated as continuous service for purposes of vesting and eligibility to participate in the retirement plan. However, the time an employee is on unpaid FMLA leave will not be counted as creditable service for purposes of calculating retirement annuities.
- Return from FMLA Leave: When returning from leave taken under FMLA, an employee will be returned to the same or equivalent position. However, an employee has no right under FMLA to return to the same position. If state law or a collective bargaining agreement governs an employee's return to work, those provisions shall be applied. Employees will be required to provide a fitness-for-duty certification signed by the employee's health care provider before returning to work from FMLA leave taken for the employee's own serious health condition. Failure to provide a fitness-for-duty certification upon request may result in denial of reinstatement until the required certification is provided.
- FMLA and Other Leave Benefit Provisions: FMLA entitlement is coordinated with the provisions of the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA), as well as leave benefits provided under administrative rules of the Secretary of DER or the applicable collective bargaining agreement. Leave qualifying under both laws will be counted against the employee's entitlement under both the federal and state laws, as well as towards the employee's entitlement under administrative rule or the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Questions regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act should be referred to Kathi Lee, Human Resources, Schofield Hall room 220.
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