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(a) Purpose. In accordance with Federal law, the City will provide up to 12 work weeks of leave to eligible employees for the family or medical reasons described below.
(1) As provided by the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), all eligible full-time and part-time employees of the City who have completed one full year of service (at least 1,250 hours) shall be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during any 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. An eligible employee shall be entitled to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability list, for a serious injury or illness. Workers who contract to provide services to the City are not eligible for this leave.
(2) An eligible employee shall be entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a rolling 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
A. Birth of the employee's child, and to care for the newborn child (but leave must be concluded within 12 months after the birth).
B. Placement of a child for adoption or foster care (but leave must be concluded within 12 months after the adoption or placement).
C. Need to care for the employee's spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition.
D. The employee's own serious health condition that makes him or her unable to perform the functions of the employee's job.
(3) A serious health condition (See Addendum I) shall be defined as an illness of a serious and long-term nature resulting in recurring or lengthy absences. Treatment of such an illness would occur in an inpatient situation at a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, or would consist of continuing care provided by a licensed health care provider. A detailed certification issued by the health care provider of the person who is ill must be provided.
(c) Type of Leave. Leave taken because of a birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care must be taken in one continuous period of time. Leave taken when needed to care for a sick family member or for the employee's own serious health condition may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule only when that type of leave is medically necessary. For intermittent or reduced leave schedule, the City may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified and which better accommodates the employee's leave. The alternative position will have equivalent pay and benefits, although it may not have equivalent duties.
(d) Pay and Benefits During Family and Medical Leave.
(1) Leave taken under this policy is unpaid. However, the City may, and in most cases will, require that unused vacation or sick time be substituted for unpaid leave as part of the 12 weeks of leave permitted under this policy. All qualifying events will be recorded under FMLA, therefore employees are required to designate the reason for sick time when utilizing it.
(2) During family and medical leave, the employee will be able to continue participation in the benefits program, including medical, dental and prescription benefits. If the employee is enrolled in family coverage, the employee must make arrangements with payroll to continue paying the employee's portion of the health care cost.
(e) Notice, Reporting and Medical Certification.
(1) The employee must provide the City at least 30 days advance notice before family and medical leave is to begin if the need for the leave is foreseeable. If 30 days notice cannot be given, for example, if there is an unexpected change in circumstances or a medical emergency, the employee must give notice "as soon as practicable". ("As soon as practicable" generally means at least verbal notice to the employer within one or two business days of learning of the need to take FMLA leave.) The notice is to be a written request, (See Addendum II for a form which can be used to submit individual requests) which explains the following:
A. The reason(s) for the requested leave;
B. The anticipated duration of the leave;
C. The anticipated start of the leave.
For planned medical treatment, the employee must consult his or her department head to schedule the treatment so as to minimize disruption to operations.
(2) If the employee requests family and medical leave to care for the employee's seriously ill family member, or because of the employee's own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position, the employee's request must be supported by a detailed certification issued by the health care provider for the person who is ill. The medical certification is to be provided within 15 days of the employee's request for leave. Subsequent recertifications of a serious health condition may be required by the City. A medical certification form will be provided to the employee, if required.
(3) While the employee is on family and medical leave, the employee must make periodic reports to his or her department head or other designated City representative(s) concerning the employee's status and the employee's intent to return to work. If the employee's leave is taken as a result of the employee's own serious health condition, the employee must present certification from his or her health care provider that he or she is unable to resume work before the employee will be permitted to do so.
(f) Return to Work.
(1) When the employee's family and medical leave ends, the employee is entitled to return to the same position the employee held when the leave began, or to an equivalent position with equal benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
(2) There are certain circumstances under which the employee may not be reinstated to employment. If the employee would otherwise not have been employed at the time for reinstatement (e.g., if there has been a layoff which would have affected the employee if the employee had been working), the employee is not entitled to be returned to employment. In addition, certain "key employees" may not be reinstated to employment if that action is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the City's operations. If the City determines that the employee is such a "key employee", the employee will be so notified, either when the employee applies for the family and medical leave, or as soon thereafter as the City has made its good faith determination based on the circumstances of the particular case.
(g) Further Information. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Director of Human Resources for the City.
(Ord. 62-02. Passed 3-11-02; Ord. 149-08. Passed 10-27-08.)