Employee Family Medical Leave (FMLA) is for an eligible employee to care for their own Illness, Injury, Maternity or Paternity Leave. This leave provides an eligible employee 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month rolling calendar period.
Step 1: Eligibility Requirements
To be considered eligible, employees must have worked 1 year (need not be continuous) and 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.
Step 2: Obtain the following paperwork from the staff member and review for completeness
Obtain the following paperwork:
- Leave of Absence Request Form
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee Serious Illness/Injury
Review for completeness:
- Confirm the duration of the absence.
- Allow the staff member at least 15 days from the date of application and the employee's request to submit health care certification unless it is not practicable under the particular circumstances to do so despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts.
- If the information is still insufficient provide an additional 7 days to cure any deficiency. If the employee does not correct it within the cure period, leave can be denied.
- Recertification may be requested every 6 months when associated with a leave. A recertification can also be required at any time if an extension to a leave is requested, circumstances described in the last certification have changed (such as a pattern of absences around an employee's scheduled days off), or the employer receives information casting doubt on the employee's stated reason for an absence or the continuing validity of the last certification (such as an employee observed engaging in 10 activities that are inconsistent with a need for time off due to the certified condition). Again allowing at least 15 days from the date of the request for recertification.
Step 3: Determine if absence is an FMLA qualifying event
Qualifying Events Include:
- Overnight Inpatient Facility
- Absence Plus Treatment
- Pregnancy and/or prenatal visits
- Chronic Conditions Requiring Treatments
- Permanent/Long-term Conditions Requiring Supervision
- Multiple Treatments (Non-Chronic)
Step 4: Determine how FMLA will be taken - Consecutive or Intermittently
The way in which FMLA is taken will depend on medical guidance provided by the staff member's health provider and, if necessary, confirmed by Employee Occupational Health and Wellness.
Consecutive Leave (Full-time for a consecutive 12 week period):
Eligible staff members may take up to 12 weeks (the staff member's normal work week) or 480 hours of unpaid FMLA in a rolling 12-month period. Eligible FMLA hours are prorated based on a regular work schedule.
If leave is intermittent, the department must manually track the number of hours used in a 12 month rolling period. The following tools are provided to assist in doing so:
Intermittent leave is leave taken on a reduced work schedule by decreasing the number of hours in a workday or workweek. It is irregularly based on medical needs, caregiver demands, appointments, etc. *Duke University and Health System Policy does not allow intermittent leave for adoption and paternity leave.
If Intermittent Leave is Disruptive to Operations:
- Management may temporarily transfer the staff member to an alternate position for which the staff member is qualified and receives equal pay and benefits.
- Consult Human Resources, Staff and Labor Relations prior to making such a transfer.
*NOTE: Recertification from health-care provider may be requested every 30 days when associated with an absence (or missed scheduled work time) allowing at least 15 days from the date of the request for recertification.
Step 5: Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibility
If the employee does or does not meet the requirements for FMLA, the payroll representative/supervisor will provide the Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities to the employee within 5 days of when the employee submitted the FMLA paperwork.
If the employee is eligible then the department manager forwards a copy of the Request Leave of Absence Form to the department payroll representative.
Step 6: Payroll Notification
The department payroll representative notifies Corporate Payroll by filling out Payroll Leave of Absence Form.
Direction on how to complete the HR Payroll LOA form can be found here.
Step 7: Designation Notice
Department Representative will provide the employee with Designation Notice to Employee of FMLA Leave for the following reasons:
- Employee needs to provide additional clarification to determine if the event qualifies under FMLA
- The employee has met the eligibility requirements and provide additional information to the employee regarding the time off.
- The event does not qualify for FMLA
Step 8: Record Keeping
The department keeps the Request Leave of Absence Form, Health Care Provider Certification and any other FMLA related information including attendance records in a secure and confidential location and not in the personnel file.
The following forms are maintained in a confidential file and NOT sent to Corporate Payroll:
- Personal Leave of Absence Request
- Certification of Healthcare Provider
- Eligibility and Rights Notice
- Designation Notice
Step 9: Upon Staff Member's Return from Leave
If the staff member was out on leave for either the birth of a child (maternity) or the staff Member's own serious health condition, please ensure receipt of a "release to work" from the staff member's health care provider. This should be obtained prior to the staff member's first day back to work.
After obtaining the doctor's release, complete the Payroll LOA form, returning the staff member from leave.
How to complete the Payroll LOA form:
- Check if the employee is exempt (monthly) or non-exempt (bi-weekly) in the box at the top right hand corner.
- Complete the RETURN from LOA effective date (this is the first day the employee returned to work), by filling out the "LOA Effective date" box.
- Insert First, Last Name information, as well as Duke Unique ID, Pay Point, Position Number information
- Check the "Return from Leave" box
- Process the necessary Payroll LOA form to transition the staff member to a non-FMLA leave.
- If not returning to work, the staff member should be informed that they will be considered to have resigned their position voluntarily. Process a Termination Form, and send the staff member a letter notifying them of this action.
Step 10: If the Employee Does Not Return From Leave
Sign the form and have it authorized by appropriate departmental personnel It is advisable that you contact the staff member. If they intend to return to work, but need to be out of work for a period longer than the 12 weeks allotted to them by FMLA, the staff member should be informed that their leave will have to be transitioned to another type of non-FMLA leave (personal or Worker's Compensation). You can consult the following Personal Leave policy to determine which leave would apply.