Family and Medical Leave
This website provides information to assist Fredonia employees with understanding their family and medical leave options. For additional assistance or to request consult, please contact Human Resources at 716-673-3434.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees the right to take unpaid leave (or paid leave if charged to appropriate leave credits) for various health and family-related reasons. Employees cannot exceed a combined total of 12 workweeks of FMLA leave per calendar year for all qualifying reasons combined (excluding military caregivers).
Employees and supervisors must notify Human Resources when an absence (continuous or intermittent) falling under one of the qualifying categories is expected to last five or more days, regardless of whether accruals will be charged. Prompt notification is essential for Human Resources to notify employees of their FMLA status and advise on available leave options. Per New York State policy the first 12 weeks of a qualifying absence in a calendar year will be designated as FMLA leave for eligible employees.
Benefits provided through the FMLA do not replace or reduce benefits otherwise available under the Attendance Rules and negotiated agreements. When authorized, FMLA entitlement runs concurrent with other leave benefits provided by the Attendance Rules and negotiated agreements (i.e. sick, Workers' Compensation, pregnancy, childcare, etc.). Employees who are not eligible under the FMLA may still be eligible for non-FMLA leave benefits in accordance with the Attendance Rules and applicable negotiated agreement policies. Employees are encouraged to contact the Assistant Director of HR to discuss available leave options.
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Click HERE for a printable version of the Family & Medical Leave Guidelines
CATEGORIES OF FMLA LEAVE
- Birth of a son or daughter, and to bond with the newborn child;
- Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and to bond with that child;
- Provide care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition (spouse, child, or parent – but not a parent “in-law”);
- Medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
- Military family: exigency or caregiver
- To be eligible, employee must have completed 12 cumulative months of NY State service; AND must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 52 weeks immediately prior to the start of leave. Hours actually worked include overtime but do not include holiday, vacation, sick and other paid or unpaid leave.
- Employees not eligible for FMLA leave may have other options available subject to provisions of the Attendance Rules and applicable Bargaining Agreement.
When a leave is qualified under FMLA, Fredonia employees are entitled to:
- Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave entitlement per calendar year (26 weeks for military caregiver)
- Leave can be paid if employee elects to charge appropriate leave accruals.
- Maintenance of health benefits
- If leave is paid, premiums will continue to be deducted from paycheck
- If leave is unpaid, premiums will be billed at the same cost as active employees
- Restoration to original or equivalent position upon return from FMLA leave
- Absences expected to last 5 days or longer (continuous and intermittent) due to a medical or family event requires employees to complete a Leave Request Form and submit to their immediate supervisor a minimum of 30 days before leave begins. For emergency leave, employee and supervisor should notify HR as soon as possible.
- HR will make a determination regarding eligibility and approval for FMLA.
- Medical Certification is required to support FMLA absences and the use of sick leave accruals.
- Absence due to reasons stated above may be designated as FMLA leave by Human Resources even when medical leave is not requested by employee.
- Workers' Compensation leave runs concurrent with FMLA entitlement.
RETURN TO WORK
- No less than 24 hours PRIOR to reporting for work, an employee on medical leave must submit to HR documentation from their health care provider stating they are cleared to work without restrictions, including the date.
- Employees unable to return to work as anticipated must provide updated medical documentation to Human Resources.
- Employees may take FMLA time unpaid OR charge leave accruals to remain in paid status.
- For intermittent leave and leave for chronic/lifetime conditions, updated medical Certification must be provided to HR every 6 months in which leave is required.
- During approved leave, employees are responsible for:
- Contacting HR and Payroll prior to electing unpaid leave or exhausting leave accruals
- Informing their immediate supervisor when an absence is FMLA and record all FMLA absences accurately on attendance records.
- Continuing to follow department time off request and call-in procedures.
- Informing their supervisor and HR of all status changes (i.e., early return, extended absence, etc.)
Annual FMLA Entitlement:
- Runs per calendar year, January 1-December 31.
- 37.5 hour employees are entitled to no more than 450 hours (37.5 hours x 12 weeks).
- 40 hour employees are entitled to no more than 480 hours (40 hours x 12 weeks).
- Part-time (PT) employees have their maximum entitlement prorated based on FTE (weekly hours x 12 weeks).
- If annual FMLA entitlement is exhausted, non-FMLA leave options may be available (subject to provisions of the Attendance Rules and applicable Bargaining Agreement).
Charging accruals (for paid leave):
- Accruals must be charged to maintain pay status during FMLA leave.
- Employees on continuous FMLA leave must charge in full business week increments (5 days) to remain in full-pay status.
- Employees on intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave, only charge the amount of leave actually taken.
- When a holiday falls during a week in which an employee is taking the full week of FMLA leave, the entire week is counted as FMLA leave.
- When a holiday falls during a week when an employee is taking less than the full week of FMLA leave, the holiday is not counted as FMLA leave unless the employee was scheduled and expected to work on the holiday and used FMLA leave for that day.
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Click HERE for a "Quick Guide", which details the process pictured below
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- Family & Medical Leave Request Form
- Certification for Employee's Serious Health Condition (WH-380E)
- Certification for Family Member's Serious Health Condition (WH-380F)
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- Classified Staff Leave Regulations (CSEA employees)
- CSEA Guide to Leave Benefits
- FMLA Frequently Asked Questions
- Health Benefit Information for NYS Employees on Leave Without Pay
- Professional Leave Regulations (UUP employees)
- UUP Family Leave Guide
- Workers' Compensation Leave
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