Effective Date: 1/1/2014
Related Policy: Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy; Sick Days (Faculty) Policy; Sick Pay (Executive Staff, Senior Staff, and Staff) Policy; Paid Parental Leave Policy; Adoption Leave Policy
Goal: To allow employees to attend to pressing personal and family medical affairs in a non-threatening and supportive environment. This procedure includes two distinct policies. The supervisor's role is to ensure that he/she effectively communicates the type of leave, administers the leave through the Employee Relations Office, and complies with the requirement to document and monitor leave time. The amount of time off for personal medical (including Workers’ Compensation), family medical, or parenting reasons is covered in Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy. The paid time allowance during a leave is a different issue and is covered in Sick Days (Faculty) Policy or Sick Pay (Executive Staff, Senior Staff, and Staff) Policy, or the Paid Parental Leave Policy.
For Staff: Supervisor with Employee Relations Office
For Faculty: Department Chair, Dean or Provost with the Employee Relations Office
- An employee must provide notice of the need for FMLA leave to their supervisor. When an employee questions the opportunity for an approved leave or identifies a need for a leave, the supervisor is to explain to the employee the procedure for requesting time off.
- The supervisor and/or employee is to obtain and complete a request for leave of absence form as soon as the need is identified. The completed leave form must be forwarded to Employee Relations for approval and processing. Failure to submit a LOA form can result in an overpayment to the employee. If the employee is not available or has been out longer than five days, the supervisor must complete the LOA form as soon as possible. The employee is expected to provide the supervisor with thirty (30) days' notice of the need for a leave for a smooth work transition when the leave is foreseeable; if 30 days' notice not possible, the employee is expected to provide notice as soon as practicable after learning of the need for a leave.
- The department supervisor or the Employee Relations Office will work with the employee in determining whether the request falls under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy. Absent extenuating circumstances, the department supervisor or the Employee Relations Office must notify the employee orally within five (5) business days of the leave request of the employee’s eligibility for FMLA leave. Employee Relations will also provide the employee with the FMLA Rights and Responsibilities form at that time.
- The supervisor is to work with the employee to determine whether the leave must be taken in continuous days or on an intermittent basis or reduced leave schedule to reduce the work day or work week. The supervisor is responsible for insuring that every effort is made to accommodate an interrupted work schedule. Intermittent leave time must be tracked (usually in hours) both by the department and in People Soft (HCM).
- The supervisor then determines whether the leave time is paid or unpaid. The allowance for paid time during the personal medical leave is shown in Sick Days (Faculty) Policy or Sick Pay (Executive Staff, Senior Staff, and Staff) Policy. If the employee does not have a sick day balance, they are not denied the leave but will have to take all unused vacation days and commence an unpaid leave for as long as medically certified. Employees have the option of using up to twelve (12) sick days annually for an approved family medical leave or family military service member leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (minus any sick days they may have taken for bereavement, parenting for foster care or family illness not covered by FMLA leave). Employees must use all unused vacation days prior to commencing an unpaid leave. See Paid Parental Leave Policy for paid time allowances for FMLA parenting leaves. Supervisors are required to track and adequately document an employee's leave in People Soft (HCM). Time taken will be deducted from the employee's sick day balance and vacation day balance as recorded by the supervisor.
- The employee is to provide documentation required by the Employee Relations Office to support all personal medical, family medical, and parenting leaves, and family military service member leave requests due to serious illness or injury, and the anticipated length of the leave. For parenting leaves, proof of childbirth or placement of child is required. For family military service member exigencies, documentation from the United States government for the family member with the details of the call to active duty is required. Employee Relations will provide a determination as to whether the leave is FMLA-qualifying within five (5) business days of receipt of sufficient information and/or medical certification, absent extenuating circumstances.
- The employee must be given work time to meet with the Employee Relations in order to finalize details regarding benefits continuation.
- The Employee Relations Office will send Case Western Reserve University’s Response to Employee Request for Family or Personal Medical Leave Form to the employee within five (5) business days of receipt of sufficient information to provide this Response, absent extenuating circumstances.
- Employees are entitled to have their benefits maintained for twelve (12) weeks while on a paid or unpaid FMLA leave except in the case of employees on a family leave for serious illness or injury of a military service member incurred in the line of duty while on active duty who will have their benefits maintained for a combined total of twenty-six (26) weeks according to Benelect plan provisions. During a paid leave, the employee’s contributions towards their benefits will be deducted from their paychecks. Upon commencement of an unpaid leave, the employee’s contributions towards their benefits will not be deducted; when the employee returns to work, any payments made by the university on the employee’s behalf will be deducted from their paychecks. See the Case Western Reserve University Response to Employee Request for Family or Medical Leave form for details.
- Employees who do not return to work after a personal medical, family medical, parenting, or family military service member leave will be responsible for the costs of any premium payments made by Case Western Reserve University to continue their Benelect coverage during the leave period, unless the reason for not returning is because of:
- the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition of the employee or family member; or
- other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.
- The employee is to communicate any changes in the leave terms to the supervisor immediately upon learning of them.
- The supervisor will notify the Employee Relations Office of these changes. In the event that the employee contacts the Employee Relations Office first, then Employee Relations will notify the supervisor immediately.
- The supervisor is to confirm with the employee one week prior to the employee's return that the estimated return date is valid.
- Upon the employee's return to work, the supervisor is to complete the bottom portion of the leave form (Return to Work section) to be turned in to the Employee Relations Office along with a copy of the employee’s fitness for duty certification from his/her health care provider to return to work. This signed copy authorizes resumption of payroll and full benefits administration.
- If the employee is returning to work on a reduced workweek, the supervisor will provide corrected information on the bottom portion of the leave form (Return to Work section) indicating if the reduced hours are medically necessary.
- If the employee fails to return to work on the agreed upon date, the supervisor is to notify the Employee Relations Office prior to taking any action. Normally, but not always, failure to return to work is treated as voluntary termination but specific procedural details must be checked first.
- The supervisor is responsible for holding the position, or an equivalent position, of an employee on approved, leave for twelve (12) weeks (except for highly compensated employees). Temporary replacements, within the first 12 weeks, may be coordinated through the Employment Office. If the employee returns before the expiration of twelve (12) weeks, the employee must be returned to the same (or an equivalent) position. If, after twelve (12) weeks, the supervisor chooses to replace the employee on leave, the supervisor is to follow the regular employment process described in the Employment Planning and Responsibilities Policy. If the supervisor has proceeded with a replacement, the Human Resources Department will attempt to assist in placing the employee in a comparable position when the employee is able to return to work. However, Human Resources cannot guarantee that the employee will be placed in any position after twelve (12) weeks of leave.
- The supervisor is responsible for holding the position or an equivalent position, of an employee a family military service member leave to care for a military service family member’s serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, for twenty-six (26) weeks. Temporary replacements within the twenty-six (26) weeks may be coordinated through the employment office. If after twenty-six (26) weeks the employee does not return, the supervisor may choose to replace the employee on leave.
Download the Appropriate Certification:
- Personal Medical Certificate of Health Care Provider
- Family Medical Certificate of Health Care Provider
- Service member Family Medical Certificate of Health Care Provider
- Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave
- Download Certification by a Health Care Provider for Returning to Work