Summary of Revisions to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy
The university’s FMLA policy, procedures and forms were significantly modified as a result of revisions to the Family Medical Leave Act which became effective, January 16, 2009. The following summary highlights several of the most significant changes to IU’s FMLA policy for Staff and Hourly employees.
Click here for the updated FMLA policy, procedures, and forms.
Do not hesitate to contact Employee Relations at 856-6047 should you have questions about the material.
New FMLA Qualifying Reasons
Described below are two new qualifying reasons for an FMLA leave which have been added to the existing list, both relate to military service. Should an employee request leave under one of these new qualifying reasons, contact the Employee Relations office to learn the details of the new provisions and to determine if their situation qualifies.
- An employee who has a spouse, child, or parent in the Reserves or National Guard who has been called to active duty may be eligible for an FMLA for any of 7 different qualifying “exigencies.” To qualify, the employee must certify the exigency which must be directly related to the call to duty. The exigencies which the law identifies are:
- a notice of 7 calendar days or less of deployment,
- military events and related activities,
- temporary child care arrangements and school activities,
- financial and legal arrangements,
- non-medical counseling,
- rest and recuperation for up to 5 days when the military member is on temporary rest and recuperation leave, or
- post-deployment military activities.
- The second new qualifying reason for an FMLA leave is referred to as military caregiver leave. This is FMLA leave to care for a covered servicemember who has suffered serious injury or illness in the line of active duty. An employee who has a qualified family relationship with the covered servicemember may take up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave during a single 12 month period starting from the date of the leave to provide care to the servicemember. A qualified family relationship is a spouse, child, parent, or next of kin.
Other notable changes in the law and IU policy
- Clarifies what is a “serious health condition” which would qualify a person for an FMLA leave.
- Permits certain individuals to contact an employee’s health care provider to obtain clarification and/or authentication of the medical certification. At Indiana University, this contact must be made by the campus Human Resources office or a person designated by that office. The law prohibits the supervisor from making the contact.
- Establishes a new requirement that an employee must follow a department’s provisions for calling in and for requesting time off or the FMLA request may be delayed or denied.
- Provides a department with 5 work days rather than 2 to inform the employee if he or she is eligible for FMLA leave and if a medical or exigency certification is required.
- States that if an employee has compensatory time, it must be used as part of the FMLA leave. At IU, it must be used first before any other paid time off accruals are used.
- Provides that breaks in employment that exceed 7 years do not have to be counted in determining if an employee meets the 12 months of employment eligibility requirement.
- The university has updated all of its FMLA Forms 1, 2E, 2F, and 3. Be sure to use these forms and discard all old forms.
- The university has chosen to use the U. S. Department of Labor’s forms for the two new military related FMLA leaves. Links to these forms are included in the personnel policy and the forms list on the UHRS Web site. These forms contain much of the details necessary to administer the new military related provisions.
- Depending on your edition of Adobe reader, you may be able to type, save, print, and attach the forms to an email.
The U. S. Department of Labor has issued a new FMLA poster which can be downloaded and printed from its site at www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaen.pdf.
Be sure to replace the old poster with the new one, and post in an area(s) frequented by employees.