Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital’s (NVRH)policy complies with the Federal and Vermont Family and Medical Leave Acts (FMLA). NVRH employees are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family/medical leave within any 12-month period and be restored to the same or an equivalent position upon return from leave provided the employee has: (1) worked for NVRH for at least 12 months: and (2) has worked at least 1250 hours in the last 12 months.
The Acts provide leaves for up to twelve (12) weeks in a twelve-month period for family and personal illness reasons. The Act also provides absences for a short duration, up to four (4) hours in any 30-day period, for attending your child’s teacher conference, personal or family medical appointments or to respond to a personal or family related medical emergency.
Employees may take family/medical leave for any of the following reasons: (1) the birth of a son or daughter and in order to care for such son or daughter; (2) the placement of a son or daughter with you for adoption or foster care in in order to care for the newly placed son or daughter; (3) to care for a spouse, son, daughter, (includes those children under 18 years and older who are unable due to mental or physical disability to care for themselves), or parent with a serious health condition; or (4) because of your own serious health condition which renders you unable to perform an essential function of your position.
Leave because of reasons “1” or “2” must be completed within the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth or placement. In addition, spouses employed by NVRH who request leave because of “1” or “2” or to care for an employee’s parent with a serious health condition may only take a combined total of 12 weeks during any 12-month period.
A continuous leave is when an employee is taking family and medical leave to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition, or for their own serious health condition are entitled to a total of twelve (12) work weeks of leave during any twelve (12) month period. An intermittent leave is when employees taking family and medical leave to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition, or for their own serious health condition, may take their leave on an intermittent basis or may request a reduced work schedule (i.e., reduced work week or reduced work day), when medically necessary. The total days of intermittent leave, or partial days for a reduced work schedule, when combined, cannot exceed twelve (12) work weeks during any twelve (12) month period.
In addition, an employee shall be entitled to take Short Term Family Leave unpaid not to exceed four hours in any 30-day period and not to exceed 24 hours in any 12-month period. This leave must be taken in a minimum of two-hour segments and may be taken for any of the following purposes:
· To participate in preschool or school activities directly related to the academic educational advancement of the employee’s child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the employee such as a parent-teacher conference.
· To attend or to accompany the employee’s child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the employee or the employee’s parent, spouse or parent-in-law to routine medical or dental appointments.
· To accompany the employee’s parent, spouse or parent-in-law to other appointments for professional services related to their care and well-being.
· To respond to a medical emergency involving the employee’s child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the employee or the employee’s parent, spouse or parent-in-law.
An employee shall make a reasonable attempt to schedule appointments for which leave may be taken under this section outside of regular work hours. In order to take leave under this section an employee shall provide the employer with the earliest possible notice, but in no case later than seven days, before leave is to be taken except in the case of emergency. In this subsection, “emergency” means circumstances where the required seven-day notice could have a significant impact on the family member of the employee.
Notice of Leave
If your need for family/medical leave is foreseeable, you must give NVRH at least 30 days prior written notice. If this is not possible, you must at least give notice as soon as practicable (within 1 to 2 business days of learning of your need for leave). Failure to provide such notice may be grounds for delay of leave. Additionally, if you are planning a medical treatment you must consult with NVRH first regarding the dates of such treatment. Where the need for leave is not foreseeable, you are expected to notify NVRH within 1 to 2 business days of learning of your need for leave, except in extraordinary circumstances.
If you are requesting leave because of your own or a covered relation’s serious health condition, the relevant health care provider must supply appropriate medical certification. Employee’s will need to contact the Human Resources Manager to obtain the Certification of Health Care Provider form. The Human Resources Manager will notify you of the date when the medical certification is due (at least 15 days after you request leave). Failure to provide requested medical certification in a timely manner may result in denial of leave until it is provided.
To validate the need for a Family Medical Leave, NVRH may require that the employee obtain a second opinion from a hospital designated physician. Should the second opinion conflict with the employee’s physician, NVRH may require a third opinion–jointly approved NVRH and the employee–whose decision shall be final and binding. (The physician designated for the second and third opinion may not be employed by the NVRH and the costs for such opinions shall be paid by NVRH.) NVRH may require the employee to obtain subsequent recertification by his/her physician during the leave-such certification shall be at the employee’s expense.
Reporting While on Leave
If you take leave because of your own serious health condition or to are for a covered relation, you must contact the Human Resources Manager monthly regarding the status of the condition and your intention to return to work.
Employees taking family medical leave will not receive salary or wages during this leave. Employees may however use earned time upon commencement of the leave until such is exhausted. The use of earned time will not extend the twelve work weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Medical and Other Benefits
During an approved family/medical leave, NVRH will maintain your health benefits, as if you continued to be actively employed. If paid leave is substituted for unpaid family/medical leave, NVRH will deduct your portion of your benefits as a regular deduction. If your leave is unpaid, you must pay your portion of the premium, by the 15th of the month. Employees are required to repay NVRH for the cost of health insurance coverage paid by NVRH if the employee fails to return to work following the leave, unless the failure to return to work is due circumstances relating to the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition of the employee, a spouse, a child or a parent; or other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.
No Work While on Leave
The taking of another job while on Family/Medical Leave or any other authorized leave of absence is grounds for immediate termination.
Reinstatement After Leave
Upon return from a family medical leave, an employee will return to the position held immediately prior to the leave or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and benefits (unless such position has been eliminated). Any salaried employee, who is among the highest paid 10% of NVRH’s employees, may be denied reinstatement in order to meet the operational needs of NVRH. Upon return, an eligible employee will retain all employee benefits accrued prior to the start of the leave. Employees returning from a leave for their own health conditions must provide a physician’s Work Status Form to return to duty.
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
The National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) expanded the FMLA for certain family members of covered service members. The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final regulations, which became effective in January 2009.
Qualifying Exigency Leave
Under the NDAA, an eligible employee of a covered employer may take leave for a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation. 29 U.S.C. §2612(a) (1)(E). Specifically, the statute defines “active duty” as a duty under both a “call or order to active duty” and under a provision of law referred to in 10 U.S.C. 101(a) (13) (B). 29 U.S.C. §2611(14).
The DOL regulations make clear that military law refers only to duty under a “call or order to active duty” by 3 members of the Reserve components and the National Guard, and to certain retired members of the Regular Armed Forces and retired Reserve. Thus, exigency leave is not available to family members of a person in the Regular Armed Forces on active duty status because of the Regular Armed Forces either do not serve “under a call or order to active duty” or are not identified in the provisions of the law referred to in the NDAA. The final rule also provides that a “call or order to active duty” for purposes of leave taken because of a qualifying exigency refer to a Federal call to active duty, as opposed to a State call to active duty. Calls to active duty by the state government are not covered unless the President of the United States orders it.
Military Caregiver Leave
An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member is entitled to a total of 26 work weeks of leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for the service member. The statute defines a “covered service member” as a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, cooperation, or therapy, is otherwise in “outpatient status,” or is otherwise the temporary disability retired list, for a “serious injury or illness.” 29 U.S.C. 2611(16).
The new regulations provide that an eligible employee may take FMLA leave to care for a covered service member with a “serious injury or illness” incurred in the line of duty on active duty for which the service member is (1) undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or (2) otherwise in outpatient status; or (3) otherwise on the temporary disability retired list. This section incorporates the NDAA’s statutory definition of a “covered service member” and clarifies that the definition of a “covered service member” includes current members of the Regular Armed Forces, current members of the National Guard and the Reserves who are on the temporary disability retired list. Under the final regulations, former members of the Regular Armed Forces, former members of the National Guard and Reserves, and members on the permanent disability retired list are not considered covered service members.
Please contact Chris Allsop, Benefits Manager to obtain the appropriate forms
Full and part time employees with at least three months of continuous service are allowed up to five days leave with pay following the day of death of a spouse or partner; and three days of leave with pay following the death of another immediate family member, including parents, brothers and sisters, brother and sister-in-law, mother and father-in-law, children and any other relative who had been residing in the same household at the time of their death. There may be instances where others are considered to be members of the immediate family due to special circumstances. Additional time off, as Earned Time or without pay may be granted at the discretion of the manager.
Bereavement leave should be taken in consecutive days, unless there is a delay in burial services due to the time of year.
Full and part time employees may be allowed a maximum of one day’s leave with pay to attend the funeral of a grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, aunt or uncle. Additional time off as earned time or without pay may be granted subject to the discretion of the department manager.
If a funeral falls on a day an employee does not normally work, funeral time does not apply. Funeral days will be paid only for hours regularly scheduled for the day of the funeral.
When paid funeral days are granted for the death of a member of the immediate family and they fall within the employee’s scheduled paid earned time vacation, the employee may replace these earned time days with the number of funeral days allotted. The vacation days replaced by funeral days may be scheduled at another time.