Staff Policies and Procedures Manual
H. Leaves of absence
1. Family medical leave
Family Medical Leave Policy
Reed College will administer this policy in accordance with all legal requirements under federal and Oregon law. In the event that any part of this policy is in conflict with current Oregon or federal law, the Oregon or federal law takes precedence over the conflicting provision of this policy (but all other non-conflicting provisions of this policy will remain in full force and effect).
Employees seeking further information about the Family Medical Leave policy should contact Human Resources . Please also refer to the “Employee Rights and Responsibilities” and Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) notices posted on the Human Resources website as well as in various areas around the campus, which are incorporated here by reference.
- For purposes of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), “family member” is defined as a spouse, parent (biological, adoptive, step, foster, or in loco parentis), or child under the age of 18, or over the age of 18 if he/she is incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability (includes biological, adopted, step, foster, or in loco parentis). A different definition of “son or daughter” applies to Federal “Call to Active Duty” and “Servicemember Family” leaves of absence – please see Human Resources for more information.
- For purposes of OFLA, “family member” also includes a parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, same-gender domestic partner, and parent or child of same-gender domestic partner.
- In loco parentis include those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support the child.
- For purposes of OFLA parental and sick child leave, “child” includes a biological, adopted, foster or stepchild, the child of a same-gender domestic partner or a child with whom the employee is in a relationship of in loco parentis.
Serious Health Condition
“Serious health condition” is defined under FMLA and OFLA as 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; please see Human Resources for more information.
The common cold, flu, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraine, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, and cosmetic treatments (without complications), are examples of conditions that are not generally defined as serious health conditions.
Reasons for Taking Leave
Family Medical Leave may be taken under any of the following circumstances:
- Pregnancy disability: For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or birth.
- Parental Leave: For the birth of a child or for the placement of a child under 18 years of age for adoption or foster care. Parental leave must be completed within 12 months of the birth of a newborn or placement of an adopted or foster child.
- Family Member’s Serious Health Condition Leave: To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Employee’s Serious Health Condition Leave: To recover from or seek treatment for an employee’s serious health condition, including pregnancy-related conditions and prenatal care.
- Sick Child Leave: To care for a child who suffers from an illness or injury that does not qualify as a serious health condition but that requires home care for three (3) or more continuous or intermittent absences. This type of leave does not provide for routine medical and dental appointments or issues surrounding the availability of childcare when the child is not ill or injured. Sick child leave is not available if another family member is able and willing to care for the child. This type of leave is available only to employees who are eligible under OFLA.
- Call to Active Duty Leave: Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain “qualifying exigencies.” “Qualifying exigencies” may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings. This type of leave is available under FMLA only; however, under OFLA, specifically under the Oregon Military Family Leave Act (“OMFLA”), during a period of military conflict, as defined by the statute, eligible employees with a spouse or domestic partner who is a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or military reserve forces of the U.S. and who has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, or who has been deployed, is entitled to a total of 14 days of unpaid leave per deployment after the military spouse or partner has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty and before deployment and when the military person is on leave from deployment.
- Servicemember Family Leave: Eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a “covered servicemember” during a single 12-month period. A “covered servicemember” is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list. Under some circumstances, a veteran will be considered a “covered servicemember” – please see Human Resources for more information. This type of leave is available under FMLA only.
OFLA-To qualify for Oregon Family Leave for a serious health condition or sick child leave, an employee must have been employed for at least 180 days and worked an average of at least 25 hours per week. To qualify for parental leave under Oregon law, an employee must have been employed for at least 180 days (no per-week hourly minimum is required).
FMLA- Employees are eligible for federal Family Leave if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year (which may be based on separate stints of employment), for 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the date leave is to begin.
Part-time Employees: Part-time employees who meet the hourly eligibility requirements for family leave are entitled to a pro-rated equivalent of 12 workweeks of leave during the year during the one-year period defined below. If a part-time employee works a varying schedule, the leave entitlement is based on the average weekly hours worked during the 180 days (for OFLA leaves) or twelve months (for FMLA leaves) prior to the beginning of the leave period.
Leave under state and federal law will run concurrently when permitted. Please contact the Human Resources Department for more information on eligibility.
Length of leave
In any one-year calculation period, eligible employees are entitled to Family Medical Leave within the following limits:
- Twelve weeks of Family Medical Leave (parental leave, serious health condition leave, sick child leave, or call to active duty leave);
- Twelve weeks of leave for an illness, injury or condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that disables the employee; and
- Employees who take the entire twelve weeks of parental leave are entitled to an additional twelve weeks of leave to care for a sick child.
When leave is taken for Servicemember Family Leave, an eligible employee may take up to 26 weeks of leave during a single twelve-month period to care for the servicemember. During the single 12-month period in which servicemember family leave is taken, an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave for purposes of parental leave, serious health condition leave, or call to active duty leave.
One-Year Calculation Period
The “twelve month period” during which leave is available (also referred to as the “one-year leave calculation period”) will be determined by a rolling twelve-month period measured forward from the date an employee uses any Family Medical Leave.
Human Resources will look back over the last 12 months from the date of the request, add all Family Medical Leave time the employee has used during the previous 12 months and subtract that total from the employee’s 12 week leave.
Intermittent or reduced schedule leave may be taken when medically necessary due to the serious health condition of a covered family member or the employee or the serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember. Additionally, Call to Active Duty leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule basis. An employee may be temporarily reassigned to a position that better accommodates an intermittent or reduced schedule; employees covered by OFLA will not be reassigned without their express consent and agreement. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule planned medical treatments so as to minimize disruption of the college operations, including consulting management prior to the scheduling of treatment in order to work out a treatment schedule which best suits the needs of both the college and the employee. Intermittent leave for parental leave is not available.
Employee Responsibilities – Notice
An employee’s eligibility for a medical leave of absence is dependent on timely completion of the proper forms and documentation. All employees requesting a medical leave of absence must submit a leave of request form in writing to Human Resources or to their supervisor. You may obtain the request form from your supervisor or online on the Human Resources website.
Employees must provide at least 30 days advance notice before Family Medical Leave is to begin if the reason for leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care, planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or of a family member, or the planned treatment for a serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember. If 30 days notice is not practicable, such as because of a lack of knowledge of approximately when leave will be required to begin, a change in circumstances, or a medical emergency, notice must be given as soon as practicable.
For Call to Active Duty Leave, notice must be provided as soon as practicable, regardless of how far in advance such leave is foreseeable.
Whether leave is to be continuous or is to be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis, notice need only be given one time, but the employee shall advise Human Resources as soon as practicable if dates of scheduled leave change or are extended, or were initially unknown.
If circumstances change during the leave and the leave period differs from the original request, the employee must notify Human Resources within three business days, or as soon as possible.
Employees who fail to comply with the college’s leave procedures may be denied leave, or the start date of the employee’s Family Medical Leave may be delayed.
Generally speaking, employees must provide sufficient information for the college to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA or OFLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform job functions, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for either Call to Active Duty or Servicemember Family Leave. Employees also must inform the college if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. Additionally:
- Employees requesting serious health condition leave for themselves or to care for a covered family member will be required to provide certification from the health care provider of the employee or the covered family member to support the request.
- Employees requesting sick child leave under OFLA may be required to submit a medical certificate if the employee has requested to use more than three days (i.e., one three-day occurrence or three separate instances) of sick child leave within a one-year period.
Employees must furnish the college’s requested medical certification information within 15 calendar days after such information is requested.
In some cases (except for leave to care for a sick child), the college may require a second or third opinion, at the College’s expense. Employees also may be required to submit subsequent medical verification.
Employees will not be asked for, and they should not provide, any genetic information about themselves or a family member in connection with a FMLA/OFLA medical leave.
If Family Medical Leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee must furnish, prior to returning to work, medical certification (fitness-for-duty certification) from their health care provider stating that the employee is able to resume work.
Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave
Employees are required to use any available sick pay and then vacation pay while on approved Family Medical Leave. If the employee’s sick pay and vacation pay time is exhausted, the leave will be unpaid.
Employees will also be required to use accrued vacation leave for all types of leave. Where accrued paid leave is available, it must be utilized while on family medical leave before any unpaid family medical leave is taken.
Holiday Pay While on Leave
Employees using sick pay or vacation pay during a portion of approved Family Medical leave in which a holiday or designated full-day College Administrative Day occurs will qualify to receive holiday pay. Employees who are on unpaid leave will not qualify to receive holiday pay.
On-the-job Injury or Illness
Periods of employee disability resulting from a compensable on-the-job injury or illness will qualify as FMLA if the injury or illness is a “serious health condition” as defined by applicable law.
OFLA leave will not be reduced by and will not run concurrently with any period the employee is unable to work because of a disabling compensable injury; however, if the injury or illness is a “serious health condition” as defined by Oregon law and the employee has refused a bona fide offer of light-duty or modified employment, OFLA leave will commence.
If the employee’s serious health condition is the result of an on-the-job injury or illness, the employee may qualify for workers’ compensation time-loss benefits.
Benefits While on Leave
Eligible employees on family medical leave will continue to receive benefits, including group health insurance, for up to 12 weeks provided the employee pays his/her portion of the premiums. While on paid family medical leave, the employee’s insurance contributions will continue through payroll deduction. When the employee begins unpaid family medical leave, arrangements must be made with Human Resources to make the monthly payments for continued insurance coverage.
In certain situations, the college reserves the right to recover any premiums paid on the employee’s behalf for group health insurance during the leave. For example, if after a leave an employee decides not to return to work for reasons other than a serious health condition, the college reserves the right to recover those premiums paid on the employee’s behalf for health insurance during the unpaid leave.
An employee on family medical leave may be eligible for additional benefits under the college’s short-term disability plan and/or workers’ compensation. Check with the Human Resources department for more information.
Employees returning to work from family medical leave will be reinstated to their former position. If the position has been eliminated, the employee may be reassigned to an available equivalent position. Reinstatement is not guaranteed if the position has been eliminated under circumstances where the law does not require reinstatement.
Employees are expected to return to work promptly after receiving a release to return to full duty, even if leave was originally approved for a longer period of time. With the exception of employees on leave as the result of an on-the-job injury or illness or otherwise required by law, reinstatement may not be considered if the leave period exceeds the maximum allowed.
The use of family medical leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefits that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.
For employees who are on leave because of a “serious health condition””: Employees who work for other employers during a “serious health condition” leave may be subject to discipline up to and including termination. Additionally, all employees who use Family Medical Leave for reasons other than the reason for which the leave had been granted may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
last revised: 10/11/2012
last reviewed: 10/11/2012