University Proposes Revisions to Family and Medical Leave Act - 01/22/09

The University’s Human Resource Services has updated its FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) policy, procedures and accompanying documents to comply with the revised federal regulations adopted Jan. 16.

Until the policy revisions and other associated documents are released, HRS wants staff to be aware of a few of the changes, which include:

-- Employee/Employer Notice: The amount of time for the employer to provide written notice to the employee has changed from two business days to five business days. This means we now have more time in which to provide the request and notice to the employee. (Typically the Business Office provides the notice.) This change is reflected in the FMLA Request and Notice and can be found on the HRS Web site.

-- Employee/Employer Notice: HRS now has a time limit for informing employees that their leave will be approved as FMLA leave. HRS currently has final approval to designate a leave as FMLA leave, but will need to do so within five business days of receiving all completed FMLA documentation. This change also is reflected in the FMLA Request and Notice and can be found on the HRS Web site.
-- Contact with Employee’s Health Care Provider: HRS may now directly contact the employee’s health care provider to authenticate or clarify the employee’s Medical Certification Form. This means we may obtain information more quickly than did our health care provider/third party administrator. This change will be documented in the updated policy and associated FMLA documents.
-- Military Family Leaves: Two additional reasons for taking FMLA leave include the employee taking leave for a “qualifying exigency” and for military caregiver leave. These leaves apply to employees whose spouse, parent, son or daughter is either a “covered military member” or “covered servicemember” with an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty. These changes were updated in the FMLA Request and Notice in September 2008.

-- Other Changes
    Minor definition changes to terms such as “serious health condition,” to include that two or more treatments by a health care provider must occur within 30 days of the first day of incapacity. Or, if there is only one treatment, that the first, or only, in-person visit must take place within seven days of the first day of incapacity. 
    The term “more than three consecutive calendar days” is now “more than three consecutive full calendar days.”
    New terms, such as: “covered military member,” “covered servicemember,” “son or daughter on active duty or call to active duty status,” and “son or daughter of a covered servicemember,” will be reflected in the updated policy and associated documents.
For more information, please contact Pat D. Russell, ADA/Leaves/CDL program consultant, by phone at 494-0269, or by email at