Family and Medical Leave Act and Medical Leaves
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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 establishes guidelines for the mandatory granting of leave of absences from work for specific qualifying reasons, and NYIT follows these federal guidelines. To be eligible for a leave under FMLA, you must be a regular, full-time employee for a minimum of 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period. Your eligibility is calculated based on the date your leave begins. NYIT calculates eligibility for FMLA by using a rolling 12-month period measured backwards from the date that the FMLA would begin. NYIT provides a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12-month period for the following situations:
- Childbirth and/or care for a newborn (within the first 12 months of birth).
- Child care needs resulting from an adoption or foster care arrangement (within the first 12 months of the adoption or arrangement).
- Care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition.
- The eligible employee's inability to perform essential job functions due to a serious health condition.
For this purpose, a serious health condition is one that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical facility, or that requires continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. You are required to provide the benefits unit of the Office of Human Resources with certification from the healthcare provider that you are needed to care for the family member, as well as an estimate of the leave time needed. In the case of your own illness, you must provide documentation from your healthcare provider stating that you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job as a result of the condition. Any leave you take to care for a newborn, adopted, or foster child as described above must be taken all at once. If you take leave to care for a family member or for your own illness as described above, you may take the time on an intermittent or reduced-time basis, but only if the medical condition necessitates this type of schedule.
Eligible employees as outlined above are eligible to apply for up to 12 weeks of leave due to any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation. Eligible employees who are the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of active duty is eligible to apply for up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for the service member.
This military caregiver leave is available during a "single 12-month period" during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave.
You may use any accrued paid leave time (vacation or personal, or, in the case of the employee's own illness, sick time) to provide you with pay during all or part of the 12-week leave period. You must file a written request with the Office of Human Resources in order to receive such pay during your period of absence. If your leave is due to pregnancy, childbirth or personal illness, you are required to file a claim for Short-term Disability benefits, even if you are planning to use accrued paid leave time during the period of absence. In the case of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and personal illness, the 12 weeks includes the disability period and, if applicable, the leave period for newborn care.
You are required to contact the benefits unit of the Office of Human Resources to request the required paperwork to apply for leave under FMLA. You will be required to complete a Request for a Family Medical Leave and a Certification of Healthcare Provider form within 15 calendar days from when the forms are sent to you. You will then receive an Employer Response form, which will outline if you are eligible for the leave, what the requirements are for periodic updates, and that you must contact the benefits unit a minimum of two weeks prior to the end of the leave to confirm the date you are scheduled to return to work and provide appropriate documentation.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, NYIT is required to return you to your previous position, or to an equivalent position, when your leave period ends. If you do not return to work immediately upon the expiration of your leave, as agreed upon at the beginning of the period of absence, NYIT will be unable to hold your position open. NYIT will continue to provide your benefits in effect prior to the leave (i.e., medical, dental, life insurance, and long-term disability) for the duration of any leave to which you are entitled under the FMLA.
In the case of your own illness, NYIT may grant at its discretion a medical leave longer than required by the FMLA, up to six months from the original date your leave begins, subject to continued medical certification of disability. NYIT will continue to provide your benefits throughout the leave period (up to six months), but there will be no guaranteed reinstatement past the period required by the FMLA. If you do not return to work prior to six months from the original date of your leave, your employment will end and your record will reflect that you voluntarily resigned your position.
A leave under FMLA will run concurrently with Paid Family Leave, if eligible. For information on FMLA and Paid Family Leave, please see the following links:
If your leave is unpaid, pre-tax flexible spending contributions, health savings account contributions (for those enrolled in the High Deductible Health plan), and retirement plan contributions will not continue (including NYIT's contribution). If you use vacation/personal/sick time during your leave, the flexible spending, health savings account contributions (for those enrolled in the High Deductible Health plan) and retirement plan contributions will continue while you are being paid by NYIT. Sick time and vacation time accruals do not continue during your leave.
A copy of the Family and Medical Leave Act is on file with the Office of Human Resources and is available for your review.