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Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA")

Nov. 26, 2012

Federal law permits all employees of Baylor, both faculty and staff, to take up to 12 work weeks of job-protected leave time in a 12 month period for certain qualifying events under the FMLA, and up to 26 work weeks for certain military exigencies for immediate family members. While the FMLA provides that the leave may be uncompensated, under Baylor policy, the leave may be compensated depending on an individual's unused leave time (vacation, personal and sick) and available shared sick leave.

Initially, to be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must first have worked for Baylor for at least one year, for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. Upon eligibility, faculty and staff members may be entitled to 12 workweeks of job-protected leave in a 12-month period for a "serious health condition" under the FMLA. A "serious health condition is defined as "an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee's job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities." Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

Examples of qualifying events are:

•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; or

•any qualifying exigency arising out of a faculty or staff member's spouse, son, daughter or parent being a covered military member on covered active duty.

Employees may also be entitled to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member's spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.

Employees who plan to be out for any of these qualifying events should notify his or her supervisor at least 30 days before the start of the leave. Likewise, if a supervisor learns of a possible qualifying event for a supervisee, that supervisor should notify HR, who will in turn notify the employee that the absence may be eligible for FMLA. If an employee is absent for 3 consecutive days due to illness, the supervisor should contact HR to report a potential qualifying event. If the

Once an employee has requested FMLA leave, the employee must provide certification to Baylor of the serious health condition from a qualified health care provider and the anticipated duration of the leave. The leave may be in a continuous block of time or it may be taken intermittently over a 12 month period. Baylor will notify an employee if the leave request qualifies under FMLA.

During certified FMLA leave, an employee may not be terminated or suffer any other adverse employment action, discrimination or retaliation, and may not be denied or reduced in benefits during the leave period.

For more information, see BU-PP 408 and the Human Resources FMLA resource site. Additional questions should be directed to Human Resources or Office of General Counsel.