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Family and Medical Leave

Nov. 3, 2008

By Randall L. Brown

Associate Director of Compensation and Benefits

Since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993, eligible employees* have appreciated the protection that it provides them when they need time away from work because of the following:

*The birth and care of a child;

*The placement of a child for adoption or foster care in the employee's home;

*The care of the employee's spouse, child or parent (not in-laws) with a serious health condition; or

*The employee's serious health condition that renders him or her unable to perform the functions of his or her job.

Under FMLA, employees can receive up to 480 hours (12 work weeks) of protected time.

Baylor faculty appreciate the protection that FMLA provides, especially those who are "tenure track." These individuals are often concerned about how their absence from work will influence their ability to receive tenure, but employees may not be penalized for any absence protected under FMLA.

Since the life events mentioned above can be unplanned events, however, Baylor employees don't always plan in advance how manage their accrued personal time, vacation time, and sick time in order to remain in a paid status while they are away from the office due to one of these events. When such an unplanned event threatens to use up the 480 hours of sick leave provided for by FMLA, Baylor provides its employees with a way to use additional paid time.

Baylor allows employees to donate up to 40 hours of sick leave for the use of fellow employees, as long as the donating employee retains 160 hours after the donation. Recipients of "shared sick leave" may be able to receive up to 320 hours of paid time that would have otherwise not been available to them.

*An eligible employee is one employed by Baylor for at least 12 months that has worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period.

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