What is considered a Serious Health Condition?
An illness, injury, impairment or physical/mental condition that involves:
- An overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with the inpatient care; or
- Continuing treatment by a health care provider, including:
- incapacity of more than three consecutive full calendar days and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition that involves treatment two or more times by a health care provider; and
- treatment that results in a regimen of treatment under the provider’s supervision. Examples of a continuing regimen of treatment include physical therapy relative to the condition and prescribed medication.
What is Military Family Leave?
Eligible Texas A&M University employees may use FMLA leave for “exigency” time off resulting from a family member having been called to active duty. Eligible employees are allowed 26 weeks of FMLA benefits (referred to as “caregiver leave”) to care for a covered service member who is suffering from an injury or illness while on active duty. Read more about FMLA Exigency and Caregiver Leave here.
What are my responsibilities as an Employee?
Employees have certain responsibilities to fulfill if the leave taken is to be granted or designated as FMLA leave. In general, employees must:
- provide 30 days’ advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need for leave is foreseeable;
- provide sufficient information (usually a certification form) in a timely manner so that the department may review for FMLA eligibility;
- inform their HR Liaison if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified;
- provide re-certification of condition if requested by HR Liaison; and
- maintain appropriate contact with your department regarding your return-to-work status.
An employee’s failure to provide information in a timely manner may result in the delay or denial of FMLA leave.
What are my responsibilities as a Supervisor?
Supervisors are an important first step in the FMLA leave process. Specifically, supervisors will need to notify their HR Liaison when an employee’s absence “triggers” a potential need for FMLA leave. This need could be evident when an employee:
- notifies the supervisor of their own or a spousal pregnancy, that his/her family will be adopting a child, or that the family will be receiving a child from foster care;
- misses more than 3 (three) continuous days of work;
- misses work due to a chronic health condition (i.e. diabetes, migraine headaches, etc.);
- is placed in a hospital or day care facility for any length of time; and/or
- is needing to care for a covered member of the armed forces, or is having to be absent from work due to a covered member’s being called to active duty.
Remember that the triggers listed above will include an employee’s missing work to care for a child, spouse, or parent suffering from a serious health condition. Your HR Liaison must be notified immediately if any one of the instances listed above occurs so that the leave can be reviewed for FMLA eligibility. FMLA law mandates that we act in a timely manner after one of the triggers above has become evident.
Who do I contact?
Employees and supervisors can contact their unit’s HR Liaison, or the Division’s FMLA Administrator directly, to report an FMLA event or if they have any questions about FMLA.
Division FMLA Administrator
What documentation will I need to provide?
Once your FMLA Administrator is notified of a potential need for FMLA, you will receive an FMLA packet to include:
- FMLA Cover Letter – to be signed and returned to show your acknowledgment and understanding of next steps.
- FMLA Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Certification of Health Care Provider Form – to be completed by your (or your family member’s) physician and returned directly to your FMLA Administrator by either fax, mail, email, or in person.
- Employee Position Description (if FMLA is for your own condition-to be provided to your physician, along with the above form, to help the physician to determine the nature of your job and any necessary restrictions upon returning to work.)
- Military Family Leave Forms (only if requesting military exigency or caregiver leave.)
Employees can choose to receive the FMLA Packet by:
- Email – You will have 24 hours to respond acknowledging receipt of the email.
- Certified mail – If unable to use email communication.
- Emailed to your unit HR Liaison – (this option for CMP employees only – to print out FMLA documents on the employee’s behalf)
- Pick up – You can request to pick up your FMLA packet at the Donald L. Houston Building, front desk.
Employees will have 15 calendar days, from the date of receipt, to sign and return the FMLA Memo and Certification of Health Care Provider form to ensure that leave may be designated accordingly. An exception to the 15-calendar rule will apply only in the event of a pregnancy (or notice of spouse’s pregnancy). The employee can return the Certification of Health Care Provider Form after the next scheduled prenatal visit.
I am a very private person and I do not want anyone to know about my condition.
The nature of your medical condition will never be discussed or shared with your supervisor or unit. The only information that the FMLA Administrator will share with your supervisor and HR Liaison is your need for FMLA leave, the expected return to work date, and any restrictions that have been documented on the Certification of Health Care Provider form.
Although my leave/condition would qualify for FMLA, I’d rather not hassle with the paperwork.
FMLA leave provides you with coverage of your state contribution to your benefits plan, protects you against discrimination, and prevents administrative action against you for extended absences due to an illness or injury. Providing the necessary FMLA paperwork will always be in your best interest.
How do I submit my leave as FMLA?
Your paid or unpaid leave will need to be coded as an FMLA event. When submitting a leave request in LeaveTraq, you must use your current eligible leave accruals (such as Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, or Comp. Time), or you should select “leave without pay” if you do not have available leave accruals. Once the leave is entered, you will need to indicate below the description that your leave qualifies as an FMLA event.