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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

In This Guide

Qualifying for FMLA

Have you been employed at Baylor for at least 12 months?
Have you worked 1,250 hours in the previous 12 month period?
If you answered 'yes' to both questions, you may qualify for FMLA.

Quick Facts

FMLA eligible faculty and staff may receive up to 480 hours of protected leave time during any 52 week period.

Family and Medical Leave is "protected time," which means that eligible faculty or staff members on leave will not lose their position, suffer a demotion, or have a decrease in salary because of using Family and Medical Leave.

Baylor reduces the amount of eligible FMLA granted by any previously used weeks in the prior 12 month period. Faculty and staff granted FMLA must use available paid leave benefits: paid parental leave and accrued sick, vacation, and personal leave, after which remaining FMLA will be a non-compensated leave of absence.

Reasons to Use FMLA

Adoption

Adoption
Adoption of a child, and care for the adopted child within one year of placement

Birth or Care for a Child

Birth or Care for a Child
Birth of a child, or care for a newborn within one year of birth

Exigency Leave

Exigency Leave
Available to qualified employees with eligible family members in the Armed Forces

Care for a Family Member

Care for a Family Member
Care for a qualifying family member with a serious health condition

Care for an Active Duty Military Member

Care for an Active Duty Military Member
Qualified spouse, child, or parent is a military member on covered active duty

Foster Care

Foster Care
Placement of a child into foster care of a faculty or staff member's home

Steps to Apply for FMLA

An individual's need for FMLA may be planned or unplanned. When practical, an individual should submit the FMLA Request/Action Form to their supervisor at least thirty (30) days prior to the start of their FMLA. The following steps will guide you through this process.
  1. Read the FMLA Policy
  2. Submit the FMLA Request and Action Form to supervisor.
  3. Provide the Health Care Provider(s) with a copy of Baylor's FMLA Policy and the Certification of Health Care Provider Form
  4. The Health Care Provider(s) should return the completed Certification of Health Care Provider Form directly to Human Resources.
  5. Human Resources will review the FMLA Request/Action Form and the Certification of Health Care Provider Form(s).
  6. Human Resources will notify the individual and their supervisor that their FMLA Request has either been approved or denied.
  7. If the FMLA request is approved:

    Faculty members will be paid in accordance with their contract. 
    Staff members should review their leave accrual balances (sick, personal, vacation) to determine if they have accrued enough paid time to cover the period of time that they will be on FMLA. Shared Sick Leave may also be available.
  8. While a faculty or staff member is on FMLA, they will be responsible for providing periodic updates on their leave status to Human Resources. The frequency of such updates will be specified on the approval notification that is sent to the faculty or staff member. The FMLA Leave Tracking form should be used for tracking the number of FMLA hours used and reporting that information to Human Resources.
  9. Prior to returning to work, the faculty or staff member on FMLA will be required to provide Human Resources with a statement from their Health Care Provider that specifies the date that they will be released to return to work, and if applicable, restrictions and duration of the stated restrictions. (Note: It is possible for a faculty or staff member to return to work, and continue to be covered under FMLA on an intermittent basis.) The Fitness for Duty Certification form may be used for reporting the Health Care Provider's statement.

Using FMLA

Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is 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 faculty or staff member from performing the functions of their job, or
    • prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

A faculty or staff member's serious health condition is based on:

  • more than 3 consecutive calendar days of incapacity plus 2 visits to a health care provider. The first visit to the provider must occur within 7 days of the initial date of incapacity, and the second visit to the practitioner must occur within 30 days of the initial day of incapacity.
  • more than 3 consecutive days of incapacity plus a "regimen of continuing treatment", the employee must visit a healthcare provider within 7 days of the onset of the incapacity.
  • "periodic visits to a health care provider" for a chronic serious health condition, the employee must make at least 2 visits to a health care provider per year.
Intermittent Scheduling

FMLA may be taken intermittently when medically necessary for one's own, or an immediate family member's, serious health condition. With approval from a supervisor, a birth mother may use reduced schedule and intermittent FMLA to transition back to a full-time schedule.

If Both Spouses Work for Baylor

For spouses who work for the same employer, some FMLA-eligible reasons for leave are subject to a combined limitation. Faculty and staff with spouses working for Baylor are limited to a combined 12 weeks for the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child, and care for the newborn in the first year of life
  • Placement of a child into foster care, or adoption of a child, and caring for placed child within one year
  • Care for a parent with a serious health condition
Tenure Review & FMLA

Tenure-track faculty members may receive or request an extension of the time limit for tenure review. See the Tenure Policy (BU-PP 704), Sections III (F).

Benefit Contributions

If faculty or staff elect to continue benefits while on FMLA leave, they will still be required to pay benefit contributions. If they elect to cancel benefits while on FMLA leave, they must notify HR. After FMLA leave ends, the faculty or staff member has 30 days to reinstate coverage.

Determining FMLA Time

Baylor reduces the amount of eligible FMLA granted by any previously used weeks in the prior 12 month period. Faculty and staff granted FMLA must use available paid leave benefits: paid parental leave and accrued sick, vacation, and personal leave, after which remaining FMLA will be a non-compensated leave of absence.

Adoption and Foster Care

A faculty or staff member may take FMLA prior to the adoption or placement of a child for adoption or foster care if required. Employees may need to:

  • attend court proceedings
  • participate in counseling sessions
  • complete a physical examination
  • travel internationally to complete adoption

Documentation by the court is required for foster care of adoption cases.

Notice of Decision

Baylor will notify the faculty or staff member of the eligibility of FMLA leave within five (5) business days after the FMLA Request and Action Form and Certification of Health Care Provider Form are reviewed.

Dates to Consider When Requesting FMLA

Care for a newborn or recently placed foster child:

30 day written notice to the supervisor is required to determine the start of the leave period. If notice is not foreseen, notify as soon as possible.

Notice from a health care provider is needed for care of a newborn.

Planned medical treatment or care for serious health condition:

30 day written notice to the supervisor is required to determine the start of the leave period, or minimally within 2 working days of learning of the need to take leave.

If caring for an eligible family member with a serious health condition, a health care provider’s statement must be provided to the supervisor with an estimation for the amount of leave required for care.

Updates to a Supervisor

Provide update every 30 days regarding status and intent to return to work upon conclusion of leave.

A return-to-work certification from a healthcare provider is required.

Recertification

'Lifetime' conditions may be re-certified a minimum of every six months, or earlier if circumstances have changed (questionable continuous Monday or Friday absences, increase in time missed, etc.)

'Unknown' duration conditions may be recertified a minimum of every 30 days, or earlier if circumstances have changed.

Resources-FMLA