There are two Family and Medical Leave Acts that apply to employment at Gallaudet University: the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The Acts are essentially the same (exceptions are noted below) and assure employees job-protected, unpaid leave for several specific purposes as long as certain conditions are met. Appropriate paid leaves are substituted for unpaid leave. Where there are differences in the Acts, Gallaudet must provide the employee with the provisions that are the most liberal. In general, however, Gallaudet's leave benefits are even more generous than what is required by the Acts. Employees should refer to the following leave policies/guidelines:
This webpage does not cover every aspect of the Acts. For additional information, contact Human Resources.
PURPOSES OF LEAVE
Eligible employees are granted at least unpaid leave for any of the following reasons:
DURATION OF LEAVE
The Federal FMLA (FFMLA) provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period; the D.C. FMLA (DCFMLA) allows employees 16 weeks over a two-year period. Accordingly, an employee may be entitled to take 16 weeks one year under the DCFMLA and 12 weeks the next year under the FFMLA (but not vice versa). An employee is not eligible for 28 weeks in a single year. A year is defined as a calendar year.
Employees who have been employed, at the time the leave commences, for at least 12 months and who have worked for at least 1,000 hours (1,250 hours under the FFMLA) during the previous 12 months are eligible for the provisions under the FMLA.
A family member includes:
Reasonable documentation may be required to confirm a family relationship.
SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION
A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. The FMLA does not apply to routine medical examinations, such as physical, or to common medical conditions, such as an upset stomach, unless complications develop.
For all conditions “incapacity” means inability to work, including being unable to perform any one of the essential functions of the employee’s position, or perform other regular daily activities due to the serious health condition, treatment of the serious health condition, or recovery from the serious health conditions. The term “treatment” includes but is not limited to examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition.
Inpatient care is described as an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility and it includes any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with the overnight stay.
Incapacity plus treatment is a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition that also involves:
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE POSITION
An employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the position if the health care provider finds that the employee is unable to work at all or that the employee is unable to perform any one of the essential functions of his or her position. An employee who must be absent from work to receive medical treatment for a serious health condition is considered to be unable to perform the essential functions of the position during the absence for treatment.
USE OF PAID LEAVE IN LIEU OF LWOP
Appropriate paid leaves are substituted for unpaid leave.
Employees are expected to give reasonable prior notice, preferably 30 days. Leave must be recorded and designated as FMLA leave on the appropriate leave request or documentation form.
Gallaudet may require medical certification for the employee’s own serious health condition or for the serious health condition of a family member. Medical certification should be provided in advance if possible. When this is not possible, the employee is expected to provide the certification to Human Resources within 15 calendar days of their request. A form is provided for this purpose.
Supervisors may not request additional information. However, Human Resources may contact the employee’s health care provider, with the employee’s permission, for the purposes of clarification and authenticity of the medical certification.
Gallaudet may require recertification from a health care provider at regular intervals while the employee is on leave; however, not more often than every 30 days unless: (1) the employee requests an extension of leave; (2) circumstances have changed regarding the illness or injury; or (3) the supervisor receives information which casts doubt upon the continuing validity of the most recent certification. The requested information must be provided within 15 calendar days. Periodic status reports from the employee may be obtained more frequently.
If an employee fails to provide certification, the University may deny the employee continuation of leave.
SECOND AND THIRD OPINION
Gallaudet may, at its expense, seek a second or even a third opinion on the status of an employee’s health condition. The second opinion may not be given by a health care provider employed on a regular basis by the University, and the University cannot regularly contract or otherwise regularly use the services of the provider. If the opinions of the University’s and the employees’ health care provider differ; the University can require a third opinion at its expenses. The third opinion should be from a health care provided agreed to by the employee and the supervisor: the third opinion is final and binding.
INTERMITTENT LEAVE OR LEAVE ON A REDUCED SCHEDULE
Unless the supervisor and the employee agree, leave for the birth or adoption of a child or the placement of a child in foster care may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule. Leave taken for the serious health condition of an employee or family member may be taken intermittently or on a reduced time basis when medically necessary. The use of LWOP for partial days does not affect the exempt status of an employee if the leave is for FMLA purposes
Employees are expected to make a reasonable effort to arrange intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule at times that do not unduly disrupt the department’s operations. Supervisors cannot require that leave be taken in increments larger than one hour. The supervisor can require the employee to transfer temporarily to a different job with equivalent pay and benefits.
MILITARY CAREGIVER LEAVE
Employees eligible for leave under the FMLA may use their leave entitlement for Military Family Leave. Military Family Leave provides you with unpaid leave for the following reasons:
For more questions regarding to Military Caregiver and Exigency Leave, please contact Human Resources.
SPECIAL RULES WHICH APPLY TO EMPLOYEES OF SCHOOLS
Special rules apply to instructional employees of local education agencies whose principal function is to teach and instruct students (auxiliary personnel such as teacher aides and counselors are excluded). Local education agencies include public school boards and elementary and secondary schools under their jurisdiction, and private elementary and secondary schools. The rules do not apply to colleges and universities. The special rules include limitations on the taking of intermittent leave or leave on a reduced leave schedule, taking leave near the conclusion of an academic term, and restoration to an equivalent position.
During an approved FMLA leave, Gallaudet will maintain your (and your dependents’, if applicable) health care benefits as if you continued to be actively employed for the duration of your approved leave. If your FMLA is paid, Gallaudet will deduct your portion of the health care premiums from your pay as normal. If your leave is unpaid, you must pay your portion of the premiums directly to Gallaudet. Arrangements for payment of premiums should be made with the Payroll Office.
If you elect not to return to work for at least thirty (30) calendar days at the end of the FMLA leave period (or an additional approved leave, such as DCFMLA), you will be required to reimburse Gallaudet for the cost of the health care benefit premiums paid by Gallaudet for maintaining coverage during your leave, unless you cannot return to work because of a serious health condition (yours or the covered family member’s) or other circumstances beyond your control.
The Acts require Gallaudet to restore an employee to the position held when the leave commenced or to restore the employee to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. The Acts do not provide for the accrual or enhancement of seniority or employment benefits during the period of leave.
You are expected to return to work at the conclusion of the approved FMLA leave period. If you take leave because of your own serious health condition (except if you are taking intermittent leave that is still within the approval for intermittent leave), you are required to provide medical certification that you are fit to resume work prior to returning.
Failure to return to work when your FMLA leave period expires may be considered a voluntary resignation.
If an employee has a serious health condition and is unable to perform any one of the essential functions of the job, the employee is not required to accept light duty or a reasonable accommodation during the FMLA period.
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