Leave of Absence
- General: The University will abide by applicable federal and state regulations with regard to the granting of family, medical, military, jury or witness duty leave. The University will also provide reasonable accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Requests for reasonable accommodations should be sent to the Director of Human Resources.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
- Limestone University offers certain leaves of absence to eligible employees. Eligible employees may take a maximum of 84 calendar days (60 workdays) including but not limited to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave and non-FMLA medical leave, per calendar year, as measured from January 2 through December 31.
- The Family and Medical Leave for all employees, including permanent 20-hour-per-week employees, is based upon federal guidelines.
- Faculty Extended Medical Leave Policy
- Extended medical leave for faculty is available when the faculty member expects to be absent for an extended period of time for medical reasons.
- Application for extended medical leave should be made to the Dean and must be approved by the Provost. A physician’s statement may be required.
- A full-time faculty member will accrue 5 days per semester for a maximum of 10 days annually with accrual to a maximum of 60 days. A faculty member employed for 6 or more years will be eligible for up to 60 days paid extended medical leave. For a faculty member employed less than 6 years, paid leave will be prorated accordingly. Benefit plan coverage will continue during the paid leave of absence.
- Paid Sick and Bereavement Leave
- All full-time employees accrue one (1) day sick/bereavement leave with pay per month, cumulative up to sixty (60) days. Sick and bereavement leave is a benefit provided for personal illness and for deaths in the immediate family. Employees are required to notify their immediate supervisor of the nature of the illness or death of family members and estimate the length of absence. In connection with this policy, the University reserves the right to verify illnesses by requiring the employee to furnish a statement from the attending physician. The University also reserves the right to deny pay for injury or illness when such illness or injury is the result of the employee’s own misconduct or when an injury is sustained while the employee is engaged in work for another employer or while gainfully self-employed.
- Of the twelve (12) days per year that are classified as sick/bereavement leave days, a maximum of three (3) days may be used as personal leave days per year. Personal days will be deducted from the employee’s sick/bereavement leave days. “Personal” leave days are intended to allow employees to attend to personal business matters which may arise from time to time.
- Sick/bereavement leave for permanent part-time employees (between 20-29 hours per week) is calculated at four hours per month, cumulative up to thirty (30) days.
On occasion an employee may find it necessary to be away from work while they are ill or caring for a family member. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) permits employees nationwide to be with family members in their time of need. Under the FMLA, eligible employees may receive up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for the University for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months, and if there are at least 50 employees employed by the “company” within 75 miles of the worksite.
Reasons for taking leave: The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to the 12 weeks of leave for the following reasons:
- the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
- the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
- to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
- any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
- Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin to the employee (military caregiver leave).
Advance notice and medical certification: Should employees take time off from work for one of the above reasons, the leave time may be paid or unpaid depending upon the available sick or vacation time accrued by the employee at the time the leave begins. All FMLA guidelines will be followed in this process.
The employee must provide 30 days’ advance notice when the need for the leave is “foreseeable” – for instance, if the medical treatments are planned in advance. If the leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide advance notice as soon as is practicable.
The employee must have a medical certification form completed by the attending health care provider to support a request for leave if the leave is to care for oneself or family members as stated above. A recertification during the leave may also be required. If the employee is on FMLA leave because a serious health condition renders the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her job, a fitness for duty report must be completed by the attending health care provider prior to returning to work.
The employee will be expected to adhere to other notice requirements should he/she take FMLA leave. The Director of Human Resources will explain these additional requirements to the employee.
Failure to return to work upon the expiration of FMLA leave may result in termination.
Job Benefits and Protection: During FMLA leave, employee’s coverage under the group health plan will continue. However, the employee must continue to pay his/her premiums under the group health plan and the Director of Human Resources will explain the deadlines. Failure to make timely premium payments may cause the employee’s coverage to lapse. In addition, should the University make any premium payments on the employee’s behalf, the employee is required to reimburse the University for the entire amount.
Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees will be restored to their same or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
Questions and forms: Should an employee have any questions about FMLA, please see the Director of Human Resources. The employee may be required to complete forms other than those described above to be eligible to take FMLA leave; therefore, employees should go to the Director of Human Resources as soon as they are aware FMLA leave will be needed.