Family Medical Leave Act
Under federal law, employees are entitled up to 12-weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons, and up to 26-weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a family member of the armed services. Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they have worked for a covered employer for one (1) year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles.Unpaid leave must be granted for any of the following reasons:
- To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; or
- To care for the employee's spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
- For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the employee's job; or
- To use for any 'qualifying exigency' arising out of the fact that a National Guard or Reserves member is on federal active duty or called to federal active duty in support of a contingency operation; or
- To care for the employee's spouse, son or daughter, parent, or 'next of kin' with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty on active duty.
Military Family Leave: Eligible employees are entitled up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a covered service member with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty. A covered service member is defined as an employee's spouse, son or daughter, parent, or 'next of kin' on federal active duty in the Regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves.
Qualifying Exigency: Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to use for any 'qualifying exigency' when a National Guard or Reserves member is called to federal active duty. A qualifying exigency is defined as (a) short-notice deployment; (b) military events and related activities; (c) childcare and school activities; (d) financial and legal arrangements; (e) counseling; (f) rest and recuperation; (g) post-deployment activities; and (h) additional activities not encompassed in the other categories, but agreed to by the employer and employee.
Advance Notice and Certification: The employee may be required to provide advance notice and medical certification. Leave may be denied if all requirements are not met by the employee. The employee must provide 30 days advance notice or soon as possible when a leave is 'foreseeable.' If a 30 day advance notice is not provided, the delay may result in time not counted towards FMLA leave. Also, Athens Technical College may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition and may require a second or third opinion (at ATC's expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work. Contact Human Resources to request leave information.
Job Benefits and Protection: For the duration of the FMLA leave, the employee's health coverage under any group health plan will be maintained as long as the employee contributions are being made. Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.
Unpaid Leave: FMLA leave shall be unpaid except where an employee chooses to use available annual or sick leave and/or short-term disability benefits, which shall be included in the FMLA leave period.
Length of Leave: Eligible employees may take up to twelve (12) weeks of FMLA leave in a twelve (12) month period. Athens Technical College measures the twelve (12) weeks using a 'rolling' twelve months measured backwards from the date you use any leave under FMLA.
Return from Leave: When an employee has been cleared by his/her physician to return to work from medical leave, he/she must notify Human Resources within one (1) working day. Additionally, a fitness for duty certification must be provided prior to your return to work.