Samford University

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Family and Medical Leave Act

Basic Leave Entitlement

FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth
  •  To care for your child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  •  To care your spouse, son or daughter*, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
  • For a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform the employee's job
    • The definition of “son or daughter” is limited to children under the age of 18 or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

Military Family Leave Entitlements

Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies.  Qualifying exigencies may include:

  • Attending certain military events
  • Arranging for alternative childcare
  • Addressing certain financial and legal arrangements
  • Attending certain counseling sessions
  • Attending post-deployment reintegration briefings

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember during a single 12 month period.  A covered servicemember is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability list. 

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for FMLA leave you must meet the following conditions: 

  • You have worked at least 1,250 hours during the twelve (12) month period prior to the date of the commencement of the leave
  • You have worked at least a total of twelve (12) months for Samford University
  • You have provided medical certification for leave, when requested
  • You have provided us with at least thirty (30) days advance notice if the leave is due to the birth of a child and as soon as possible in the event the leave is due to a serious health condition 

If you meet these conditions, you are eligible for up to twelve (12) weeks of family and medical leave during a rolling 12 month period

Intermittent FMLA

Under certain circumstances, you may take FMLA leave intermittently: This means you may take leave in blocks of time, or by reducing your normal weekly or daily work schedule. FMLA leave may be taken intermittently whenever medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member, or because you, the employee, are seriously ill and unable to work.

Samford Paid Leave Policy  

For employees who have at least 12 months of full time employment at Samford:

  • The first portion of the 12 weeks of leave will be paid by utilizing any accrued sick, vacation, and personal leave in accordance with sick, vacation, and personal leave policies.
  • In the event that accruals have been exhausted, you may be eligible for sick leave donation, in accordance with Samford University policy 3.24, or the remainder of the leave may be without pay.
  • In the event that you reach your two-year employment anniversary while out on FML, there will be no prorated amount of leave with pay granted.

For employees who have at least two years of continuous employment at Samford:

  • The first 6 weeks of the leave period will be leave with pay. (For intermittent leave please see Intermittent FML section)
  • Time taken beyond the 6 paid weeks will be paid utilizing any accrued sick, vacation, and personal leave in accordance with sick, vacation, and personal leave policies.
  • In the event that accruals have been exhausted, you may be eligible for sick leave donation, in accordance with Samford University policy 3.22, or the remainder of the leave may be without pay.

Employee's Responsibility

You must give 30 days' notice before taking FMLA leave, unless your leave is unforeseen.  If your leave is unforeseen, you must notify us as soon as practicable.  If you fail to do so, you must explain why.  If you take unforeseen FMLA leave, you must follow the standard notification procedures, such as calling in when you will be absent from work.  You must fully explain the reason for the leave so that we may determine FMLA eligibility.  If you simply call in sick, we may deny FMLA leave.  If you are on leave for chronic ongoing conditions and are at work, you will be required to provide new medical certification every twelve (12) months.  If you are absent from work, new medical certification will be required every six (6) months.   If we believe that your medical certification is incomplete or insufficient, we will notify you in writing to describe the missing information.  You will then have seven (7) calendar days to fix the problem.

Return to Work

If your leave is completed within twelve (12) weeks, you will be eligible to return to your former position or an equivalent position, unless you would have been transferred, or terminated had you not been absent.  If you are out for more than twelve (12) weeks and wish to return to work, every effort will be made to place you in an equivalent position within a reasonable period of time.  Restoration of your job after being out for more than twelve (12) weeks is not guaranteed.  If you are out for more than twenty-four (24) weeks, cannot or do not return to work and are not approved for Long Term Disability; your employment will be terminated. 

US Department of Labor Employee Rights and Responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

For the forms to apply for FMLA, please contact Human Resources.  

FMLA Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay for my benefits while out on FMLA?
During any paid FMLA leave, Samford will continue to make payroll deductions for health insurance premiums as if you were at work. You must contact the Human Resources Department as far in advance as possible to make arrangements for any required monthly premium contributions during any period of unpaid leave.

What is a rolling 12 month period?
It is used to determine your eligibility for FMLA by looking back in the past 12 months prior to your current FMLA start date to see if any FML was taken in that period. If FML was taken in the past 12 months prior to your current start date, your current FML allotment will be reduced by the amount taken previously because you are only allowed a total of 12 weeks of FML in a rolling 12 month period.

I will reach my two years of service while I am out on FML. At that time will my FML change over to paid FML?
No. You must have completed your two years of continuous service prior to taking FML in order for it to be paid FML. There will be no prorated amount of leave with pay.

Define a serious health condition.
A serious health condition is defined as a physical or mental condition that involves:

  •  Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility.
  •  Incapacity requiring absence from work, school, or other regular daily activities for more than three calendar days that also requires continuing treatment or supervision of a health care provider.
  •  Continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider for a chronic or long term condition that is either incurable or is so serious that if treatment does not occur, it may result in incapacity for more than three days.

My spouse is having a baby. I would like to take intermittent FML after the birth. Is this allowed?
No. You cannot take FML intermittently for the birth of a child.

My spouse and I both work here at Samford and we are having a baby. Can we both take FMLA for the birth of the child?
Yes, you and your spouse can both take FML for the birth of the child; however you are limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of FMLA for the birth of the child.

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