UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 07-07-02

CATEGORY:              PERSONNEL
SECTION:                  Employee Leave Benefits
SUBJECT:                 Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act for Staff
EFFECTIVE DATE:   March 20, 2013 Revised
PAGE(S):                   3

I.    SCOPE

      This policy establishes family, medical, and military family leaves of absence for staff in

      accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended (the "FMLA"). 

      Regular full- and part-time staff members who have worked for the University for at

      least 12 months and have been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the

      12-month period are eligible for this benefit.  The "12 month period" is determined by

      measuring backward from the date a staff member uses any family or medical leave. 

      Position reinstatement rights may not be available to key employees in certain

      circumstances as defined by the FMLA.

II.   POLICY

      The Office of Human Resources is responsible for administering benefits under the Family

      and Medical Leave Act and will provide information, upon request, concerning staff

      member rights and responsibilities.

      Basic Leave Entitlement

      Eligible staff members are entitled to a total of up to 12 work weeks of guaranteed leave

      without pay during any 12-month period for one or more of the following:

      -     Birth, adoption, or care of a newborn child of the staff member or placement of a foster

            child with the staff member

      -     Care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition or because the

            staff member's own serious health condition renders the staff member incapacitated from

            performing the functions of his or her job

      Immediate family members include parents, biological or adopted children, or spouse.  The

      term parent refers to a biological, foster or adoptive parent, a stepparent, or legal guardian. 

      For medical leave, child means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward,

      or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is under age 18, or age 18 or older and

      "incapable of self-care" as defined pursuant to FMLA regulations.

      Military Family Leave Entitlements

      Eligible staff members are also entitled to up to 26 weeks of unpaid servicemember family

      leave during one 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember if the staff member

      is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin to the covered servicemember.  Such

      servicemember family leave shall only be available during a single 12-month period.
      Combined total leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act is limited to a total of 26

      weeks during the single 12-month period beginning with the first day of use of

      servicemember family leave.

      Covered servicemember means a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the

      National Guard of Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or

      therapy, is otherwise in out-patient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability

      retired list, for a serious injury or illness as defined in the Act.  Covered servicemember also

      includes covered veterans.

      In addition, eligible staff members with a spouse, son, daughter or parent on covered active

      duty or call to covered active duty status in the Regular Armed Services, National Guard or

      Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to

      address certain qualifying exigencies.  Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain

      military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal

      arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment

      reintegration briefings.

      For further details, see: http://hr.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/FMLA%20poster%202013.pdf

      Use of Leave


      Medical leave, to care for oneself or a family member, qualifying exigency leave and

      servicemember family leave may be used on an intermittent basis.  However, leave taken

      for the birth, adoption, or care of a newborn child or placement of a foster child with the

      staff member cannot be taken intermittently.  If a husband and wife are both eligible for

      FMLA leave and are both employed by the University, they are limited to a combined total of

      12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period if the leave is taken for: (1) the birth of the

      employee’s son or daughter or to care for the child after birth; or (2) placement of a son or

      daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care, or to care for the child after

      placement.  A husband and wife who are both employed by the University are limited to a

      total of 26 weeks for servicemember family leave, and if leave taken by the husband and

      wife includes non-servicemember family leave under the FMLA, the non-servicemember

      family leave portion of the leave may also be restricted as described above.

      Notice to the University

      If the reason for requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act is foreseeable,

      the staff member is required to provide not less than 30 calendar days notice of intent to

      take the leave.  If the need for the leave is unforeseeable, notice as soon as is practicable

      is required.

      Medical Certification

      The staff member must submit to the University's third party provider the required

      certification or verification for the type of FMLA leave requested.  Such certification or

      verification must be provided within 15 days of its request by the third party provider.

      If the staff member fails to submit the required certification or verification in a timely

      manner, the staff member may not be approved to use leave under the FMLA, thereby

      jeopardizing the staff member's employment status.  In accordance with provisions of the

      Family and Medical Leave Act, the University reserves the right to obtain additional

      medical opinions.

      Use of Sick, Vacation, and Personal Days

      A staff member must use all accrued sick days, but may elect to use any or all accrued

      vacation and personal days, for all or part of the approved leave period.  Consistent with

      the Act, accrued vacation, personal, or sick days cannot be used to extend the protected

      leave.  While on unpaid leave, the staff member does not accrue vacation or sick time. 

      Similarly, during a month in which the staff member uses accrued leave to receive a full

      month of pay during the leave, the staff member does not accrue vacation or sick time.

      Continuation of Medical Insurance Benefits

      During the approved leave, the University will continue to pay its share of medical insurance

      premiums.  If the staff member does not return to the University at the end of an approved

      unpaid leave, the staff member must repay to the University premiums paid on behalf of the

      staff member.  Recovery of premiums will be made consistent with the Family and Medical
      Leave Act.

      Life and Disability Insurance Benefits

      The staff member may elect to continue life and disability insurance by assuming payment

      of the total premium for the benefit for the duration of the leave.

      Return to Work

      Prior to being restored to employment, a staff member whose FMLA leave was occasioned

      by the employee's own serious health condition, may be required to provide a written fitness-

      for-duty certification signed by his or her health care provider.  Upon return from approved

      leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a staff member will be restored to the

      previously held or an equivalent position with the same benefits and pay effective the

      date of the staff member's return to work.

      Extending a Family or Medical Leave

      A staff member unable to return to work at the end of leave under the Family and Medical

      Leave Act may request an extension of the leave for a period of up to an additional 60

      work days.  The University does not continue to pay its share of medical insurance

      premiums during this extended leave.  In addition, the University does not guarantee a

      staff member's position beyond the maximum leave period provided by the Family and

      Medical Leave Act unless otherwise required by law.  The total leave cannot exceed 120

      days, unless the staff member is legally entitled to a longer extended leave of absence.

III.  REFERENCE

      Procedure 07-07-02, Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act for Staff

      www.cfo.pitt.edu/policies/procedure/07/07-07-02.html