Family Leave

Wilkes University in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides family leaves of absence without pay to eligible employees who wish to take time off from work duties to fulfill family obligations relating directly to childbirth, adoption, or placement of a foster child; or to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition or their own serious health condition (Medical Leave #601). For purposes of this policy, serious health conditions or disabilities include inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; continuing treatment by a health care provider; and temporary disabilities associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

Employees may request family leave only after having completed 365 calendar days of service and after having provided at least 1,250 hours of service in a year. Eligible employees should make requests for family leave to their supervisors at least 30 days in advance of foreseeable events and as soon as possible for unforeseeable events.

Employees requesting family leave related to the serious health condition of a child, spouse, or parent are expected to submit a health care provider's statement verifying the need for a family leave to provide care, its beginning and expected ending dates, and the estimated time required. Employees may obtain this form from the Human Resources Development Office and must return it to same office within 15 calendar days of receipt. Any changes in this information should be promptly reported to the employee's supervisor.

Eligible employees may request up to a maximum of 12 weeks of family leave within any 12 month "roll-back" period (the 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any leave under this policy). Any combination of family leave and medical leave (#601) may not exceed this maximum 12-week limit. Employees will be required to first use any accrued vacation leave time before taking unpaid "family" leave, unless the leave is for personal medical reasons. Supervisors should report family leave as vacation leave when reporting employee time and attendance infomation to Payroll.

Married employee couples (e.g. both spouses are employed by Wilkes) may be restricted to a combined total of 12 weeks leave within any 12 month "roll-back" period for childbirth, adoption, or placement of a foster child; or to care for a parent with a serious health condition. Each spouse is entitled to twelve weeks leave for his or her own serious health condition.

An intermittent or reduced schedule leave is permitted only in the case of a serious health condition, either of the employee or a covered family member.

Subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of the applicable plans, Wilkes University will continue

to provide health insurance benefits (the flexible benefits budget portion) for the period of the approved family leave. While on unpaid family leave, the employee is responsible for the same portion of medical insurance premiums prior to such leave. These premium payments must be made in accordance with the University's semi-monthly pay date schedule, as if they would have been made through payroll deduction. Health insurance premiums will not be considered as pre-taxed while on unpaid family leave.

Group Life and Long Term Disability Insurance benefits will continue for the period of the approved family leave. Benefit accruals, such as vacation leave, sick leave and holiday benefits, will not continue during the approved family leave period for which the employee receives less than "full" pay.

Benefit accruals, such as vacation leave, sick leave, and holiday benefits will not continue during any of the unpaid approved family leave period.

So that an employee's return to work can be properly scheduled, an employee on family leave is requested to provide Wilkes University with at least one week advance notice of the date the employee intends to return to work. When a family leave ends, the employee will be reinstated to the same position, if it is available, or to an equivalent position for which the employee is qualified.

If an employee fails to return to work on the agreed upon return date, Wilkes University will assume that the employee has resigned.

Employees may obtain additional information on The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 at the Human Resources Development Office.

Policy No.  602  Effective Date:  3/1/2004  Revision Date:  8/23/2005