Family and Medical Leave

Effective February 14, 2003 and April 15, 2003

General Policy Statement

In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, Family and Medical Leave shall be granted to an employee for the birth or adoption of a child; for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition; or when unable to perform the function of his or her position due to a serious health condition.

Employees who have been employed by the University for at least 12 months and who have performed at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period (equivalent to a 60% academic appointment), are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of paid and/or unpaid family and medical leave during each consecutive 12-month period for which eligibility criteria have been met. The initial 12-month period is measured forward from the date the employee first takes FMLA leave. The next 12-month period begins the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12-month period. For example: the first time an employee takes FMLA leave is on September 19 and he/she uses the entire 12 weeks. The next time the employee is eligible for FMLA leave is on September 19 of the following year (year two). However, the employee does not need to take an FMLA leave starting on September 19 of year two, but needs to take one starting on November 23 of year two. The employee uses 4 weeks starting with the November 23 date and then needs to use the remaining 8 weeks in January. The employee has now exhausted their twelve weeks for year two (which started on November 23) and is not eligible to take another 12 weeks until November 23 (year three).

An employee shall be entitled, on return from leave, to be restored to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced, or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other conditions of employment.

Specific Provisions

Entitlement to Leave

Family and Medical Leave shall be granted for the following purposes:

(A) For the birth of a child of the employee, and in order to care for such child. Entitlement expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth.

(B) For placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care. Entitlement expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of placement. If such leave began before the actual placement because absence from work was required for the placement or adoption to proceed, entitlement expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the last day worked.

(C) For care of spouse, child, or parent in case of serious health condition.

“Child” includes biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward, or child of a person standing in loco parentis—who is under 18 years of age, or over age 18 but incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. “Parent” is defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act as biological parent, stepparent, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee. FMLA Leave for a parent-in-law is specifically excluded by the ACT; however, a leave of absence to care for a parent-in-law may be granted to employees under the university's sick leave and other leave policies.

“Serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves (1) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment; (2) a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days that also involves treatment two or more times by a health care provider or treatment which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider; (3) any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care; (4) a chronic condition which requires periodic treatments, continues over an extended period of time, and may cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); (5) a period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective, requiring continuing supervision of a health care provider (e.g., Alzheimer's, sever stroke, terminal stages of a disease); or (6) multiple treatments either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatments, such as cancer (chemotherapy, radiation), severe arthritis (physical therapy), kidney disease (dialysis).

(D) For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her position. “Serious health condition” is defined in (C) above.

Leave Schedule

Leave for birth or adoption shall be taken all at one time, not on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule, unless the employee and supervisor or responsible departmental official agree otherwise in writing. In the case of adoption or foster care, leave may begin before the actual placement or adoption of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement to proceed.

Leave for medical reasons (employee or family) may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis when medically necessary. Under such conditions, the employee may be required to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the transfer better accommodates recurring periods of leave.

“Intermittent leave” is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single illness or injury. A “reduced leave schedule” is a leave schedule that reduces an employee's usual number of working hours per workweek, or hours per workday. The twelve workweeks of Family and Medical Leave to which eligible employees are entitled shall be based on the number of hours in the employee's normal workweek schedule at the percentage of the appointment. (For example, a sixty-four-percent-time employee scheduled to work twenty-four hours per week would be entitled to leave for twelve 24-hour workweeks, or 288 hours.) Only the amount of leave actually taken may be counted toward the 12 weeks of leave to which an employee is entitled. The taking of leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule shall not result in a reduction in the total amount of leave to which the employee is entitled.

The amount of time taken for family and medical leave shall be reported in increments consistent with sick leave reporting. FMLA leave balances shall not accrue or carry over to the next 12-month leave period.

An eligible employee on a flex-year or seasonal leave appointment shall be entitled to leave during those periods when he or she is expected to furnish regular service to the University.

Notice of Leave

In any case in which the necessity for leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth or adoption placement, or based on planned medical treatment, the employee shall provide his/her supervisor with not less than 30 calendar days notice before the date the leave is to begin. If not foreseeable 30 days in advance, the employee shall provide verbal notice within two working days of learning of the need for leave, or as is practicable. If the leave is for planned medical treatment, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the department.

Medical Certification

Certification issued by the employee's or the family member's health care provider shall be required to support a request for unpaid medical leave for a serious health condition. Requests for paid leave shall be handled in accordance with University sick leave policy.

Certification shall include a statement of how the medical facts applying to the patient's condition support the criteria of the definition of “serious health condition”, the approximate date the serious health condition commenced and its probable duration, whether it will be necessary for the employee to work intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule as a result of the condition, and an estimate of the number of any additional treatments that may be required. If leave is required for an employee's own condition, certification shall include whether the employee is unable to perform work of any kind, is unable to perform any one or more of the essential functions of the position, or must be absent from work for treatment. If leave is required to care for a family member, certification shall include whether the patient requires assistance for basic medical or personal needs or safety, or for transportation; or if not, whether the employee's presence to provide psychological comfort would be beneficial. The employee is required to indicate on the form the care he or she will provide and an estimate of the time period. Such certification shall be submitted to the head of the employing department before commencement of the leave, or within 15 calendar days of the notification of the need for leave when the leave is not foreseeable, or as is practicable. Departments may seek assistance from the campus human resources offices regarding the acceptability of the certification provided. Second Opinion: If the medical certification provided is determined to be unacceptable, the employee may be required to obtain the opinion of a second health care provider designated or approved by the University, but not employed by the University.

Binding Third Opinion: In any case in which the second opinion differs from the opinion provided by the employee's provider, the opinion of a third provider may be required. The third provider shall be designated or approved jointly by the University and the employee. The opinion of the third provider shall be considered final and shall be binding on the University and employee. Each campus shall develop procedures for the review of medical certification and referral for second and third opinions. Departments should contact the appropriate human resources office for assistance with medical certification questions and problems. Any expenses associated with obtaining second and third opinions shall be the responsibility of the employing department. An employee on leave may be required to obtain subsequent recertifications on a reasonable basis. An employee's failure to provide required certification within 15 calendar days may result in delay or denial of leave. If the supervisor has acquired knowledge that the leave is being taken for an FMLA required reason, the supervisor may designate the leave as FML leave and must notify the employee within two business days (absent extenuating circumstances). If the notice is verbal, it shall be confirmed in writing, no later than the following payday (unless payday is less than one week after the verbal notice, in which case the notice must be no later than the subsequent payday).

Return from Leave

Ordinarily, an employee who has been absent for Family and Medical Leave shall be restored to the position of employment held by the employee when the leave commenced; or an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. Restoral to the same or equivalent position shall be contingent on the University's policies governing reappointment and the expected continuation of the appointment.

A returning employee shall be entitled to certain rights and benefits, e.g., salary adjustments and fringe benefit enhancements, to which the employee would have been entitled had he/she not taken the leave.

An employee on leave may be required to report periodically to the supervisor or department head on his/her status and intention to return to work. Civil Service Staff employees returning from Family and Medical Leave are expected to contact employing departments at least 30 calendar days in advance of the anticipated date of return from leave, in order to permit departments to plan for reinstatement.

An employee who has been absent for medical reasons may be required to obtain a statement from a health care provider that the employee is able to resume work, in accordance with University policies that apply to return from Disability Leave.

Benefits While on Family and Medical Leave

  • Health Insurance:

    Coverage of group health and dental insurance shall be continued by the University at the same level that coverage would have been provided if the employee had remained in employment continuously. Employees are responsible for paying the employee-paid portion of their health insurance premiums, as well as dependent coverage premiums. If required payments are not made by the employee during the leave period, insurance coverage may be discontinued.

  • Extension of Other Insurance Coverage:

    An employee may continue insurance coverage in excess of the University's contribution by contacting the Benefits Center within thirty (30) days following the last day of paid employment to make arrangements for premium payments.

  • State Universities Retirement System Benefits:

    To determine the effect of leave on the accumulation of service time for retirement and to assure continuation of contributions, the employee should contact the State Universities Retirement System.

  • Recovery of Premiums:

    The University may recover the premiums paid for maintaining coverage for the employee if the employee fails to return from leave for a reason other than continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition (employee or family), or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee. Certification of such conditions may be required by the University.

  • Disability Benefits:

    In the case of an extended disability due to a serious health condition, an employee may qualify for disability benefits through the State Universities Retirement System. Employees may request an Application for Disability Benefit from the human resources offices.

  • Accrual of Vacation and Sick Leave:

    While on unpaid leave under the terms of this Act, an employee will not accrue additional vacation/personal or sick leave.

  • Seniority:

    Civil Service Staff employees will continue to accumulate seniority in accordance with State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules 250.120. An employee may accrue seniority up to 30 days while on unpaid Family and Medical Leave for care of a seriously ill family member or for care of a child following birth or adoption. Seniority will accrue beyond 30 days while an employee is on unpaid Family and Medical Leave for personal illness or pregnancy.

Use of Accrued Sick Leave and Vacation and Personal Leave

  • Birth or Adoption:

    For care of a child following birth or adoption, an employee may elect to substitute accrued paid leave toward the 12-week period, in accordance with University leave provisions and Policy and Rules-Nonacademic. Any portion of the 12-week period for which accrued leave is not substituted shall be without pay. Accrued leave used for this purpose will be counted toward the 12-week FMLA entitlement.

  • Serious Health Condition, Family Member

    For care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, leave is provided under the terms and conditions of University sick leave policy.

    In addition, an employee may elect to substitute accrued vacation and personal leave toward the 12-week period. Any portion of the 12-week period for which accrued leave is not substituted shall be without pay. Accrued leave used for this purpose will be counted toward the 12-week FMLA entitlement.

  • Serious Health Condition, Employee

    If an employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition, leave is provided under the terms and conditions of the University's sick leave policy. An employee may elect to substitute accrued vacation and personal leave toward the 12-week period. In addition, employees who exhaust their accrued sick leave balances may be eligible to receive disability benefits through the State Universities Retirement System. Any portion of the 12-week period for which accrued sick leave, disability leave, or accrued vacation and personal leave are not substituted shall be without pay. Accrued leave used for this purpose will be counted toward the 12-week FMLA entitlement.

Extension of Leave Beyond Twelve Weeks

Benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Policy expire after twelve weeks. An employee seeking approval of leave beyond the 12-week Family and Medical Leave entitlement shall present a written request to his/her supervisor, which shall be acted upon pursuant to departmental procedures and in accordance with University policies related to leaves of absence without pay and other leaves. The request shall state information as to the nature, duration, and justification for the requested leave.

Employing a Replacement While Employee is on Leave

For information or assistance regarding the procedures for employing a replacement while an employee is on leave, departments may consult the Office of Academic Human Resources, 333-6747.

Effective Date of Act August 5, 1993

Questions

Interpretation of specific requirements of the Family and Medical Leave policy are subject to provisions contained in the full text of the Act. Questions regarding the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Department of Labor.

Regulations for its implementation should be directed to the Office of Academic Human Resources, 333-6747.

FMLA Form (PDF) https://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/pdf/leave/fmla_app.pdf
FMLA Medical Certification (PDF) https://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/pdf/leave/fmla_medcert.pdf
FMLA Usage Report (PDF) https://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/pdf/leave/fmla_usage.pdf