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Family Medical Leave Act

Procedure Memoranda
Reference VI-13, Short Term Leave

Eligible employees may request time off without pay for limited time periods for family and medical leave with job and health insurance protection in compliance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

Under FMLA, the term "family or medical leave" means an approved absence potentially available to eligible employees for up to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during an applicable 12-month period under the following circumstances:

  • When the employee is unable to perform the functions of his or her position because of a serious health condition of the employee ("health of employee leave"),
  • Because of the birth of the employee's son or daughter, and in order to care for such son or daughter ("birth leave"),
  • Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care ("placement leave”),
  • In order to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition ("health of relative leave").

When the need for leave is foreseeable, such as a birth leave, placement leave or planned medical treatment, the employee must provide reasonable prior notice to the College. When not possible to give a 30-day notice, notice must be given to the College as soon as practicable, which means within two business days after the need for leave becomes known to the employee. Where the need for health of relative leave or health of employee leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee must also make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt College operations. While on health of employee leave, the employee will be required to report periodically on his or her leave status and intention to return to work.

The term "serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care;
  • continuing treatment by a health care provider for an incapacitating condition requiring absence from work, school or other daily activities for more than three calendar days or which would likely result in such an absence if not treated by a health care provider;
  • continuing treatment by a health care provider.

The College requires medical certification from a health care provider to support a request for health of employee leave or health of relative leave. For a health of relative leave, the certification also must state that the employee is needed to care for his or her son, daughter, spouse or parent and must include an estimate of the amount of time the employee is needed to provide such care.

Health of relative leave and/or health of employee leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule basis if such basis is certified by the health care provider to be medically necessary. If leave is requested on such a basis, however, the College may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an alternative position, having equivalent pay and benefits, which better accommodates recurring periods of absence or a part-time schedule. Birth leave and placement leave may not be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule basis unless the employee and College mutually so agree.

Depending on the type of leave requested under FMLA, paid leave must be substituted for leave without pay.

Servicemember Family and Medical Leave: The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take leave for a covered family member's service in the Armed Forces. Servicemember FMLA provides eligible employees unpaid leave for any one or for a combination, of the following reasons:

  • A "qualifying exigency" arising out of a covered family member's active duty or call to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency plan: and/or
  • To care for a covered family member who has incurred an injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces provided that such injury or illness may render the family member medically unfit to perform duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating.

When Leave is due to a qualifying exigency, an eligible employee may take up to 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period. When leave is to care for an injured or ill servicemember, an eligible employee may take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for the servicemember. Leave to care for an injured or ill servicemember, when combined with other FMLA-qualifying leave, may not exceed 26 weeks in a single 12-month period.

Servicemember FMLA runs concurrent with other leave entitlements provided under federal, state, and local law. The College's policy is to comply with Nebraska State law in any circumstance where it applies to the employees of Metropolitan Community College.

HR contact: Julie Nohrenberg, 531-622-2232