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(a) General. It is the policy of the City to grant up to twelve (12) weeks of family and medical leave during any "rolling" twelve (12) month period to eligible employees, as defined in Section 161.01(e), in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). A rolling twelve (12) month period means the twelve (12) month period measured backwards from the date an employee uses the leave. The leave will be unpaid, however, benefits will continue during the leave.
The employee is required to use paid leave benefits, including vacation leave, sick leave and compensatory time during FMLA leave taken for any reason. The use of such paid leave benefits will run concurrently with the use of FMLA and shall not operate to extend FMLA benefits beyond what is provided by law. An employee eligible for disability benefits while on FMLA leave taken for any reason shall take such benefits which run concurrently with the use of FMLA leave and shall not operate to extend FMLA benefits beyond what is provided by law.
All leaves of any kind that are granted, whether paid or unpaid, for purposes which are covered under the FMLA, shall be charged as FMLA leave and shall be subject to the twelve (12) week per year limitation for the length of the FMLA leave, except as otherwise required by the FMLA. Further, the City may designate the type of leave to be substituted if more than one type of leave applies to a leave situation. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(b) Qualification Requirements. In order to qualify to take family and medical leave under this policy, the employee must meet all of the following conditions:
(1) The employee must have worked for the City at least twelve months or fifty-two (52) weeks. The twelve (12) months, or fifty-two (52) weeks, need not have been consecutive. For eligibility purposes an employee will be considered to have been employed for an entire week even if the employee was on the payroll for only part of a week or if the employee is on leave during the week.
(2) The employee must have worked at least one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours during the twelve (12) month period immediately before the date when the leave would begin.
(3) The employee must work in an office or work-site where fifty (50) or more employees are employed within seventy-five (75) miles of that office or work-site.
(c) Covered Leave. In order to qualify as FMLA leave under this policy, the employee must be taking the leave for one of the reasons listed below:
(1) The birth of a child and in order to care for or bond with that child. This leave must be taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately following the birth of the child. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(2) The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care. This leave must be taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately following the placement of the child.
(3) To care for spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(4) The serious health condition of the employee which makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job.
(5) Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces.
(6) In order to care for a covered service member who is the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin because of a serious injury or illness that the service member incurred in the line of active duty in the Armed Forces (hereafter “service member-care leave”). (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(d) Serious Health Condition. A "serious health condition" means all illness, injury, impairment, or a physical or mental condition that involves:
(1) In-patient care (i.e., overnight stay in hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility);
(2) Any period of incapacity requiring absence from work, school, or other regular daily activities of more than three consecutive calendar days and that involves two (2) or more times of treatment by a health care provider or treatment on one occasion resulting in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of a health care provider; (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(3) Any period of incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition that requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, continues over an extended period of time, and may cause episodic rather than continuing periods of incapacity, i.e., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.;
(4) Any period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective, i.e., Alzheimer's, severe stroke, terminal illness, so long as the employee or family member is under the continuing supervision of a health care provider;
(5) Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider either for restorative surgery after accident or surgery, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive days in the absence of medical intervention, i.e., cancer (chemotherapy, radiation), severe arthritis (physical therapy) or kidney disease (dialysis); or
(6) Prenatal care by a health care provider.
The City may require an employee to provide a medical certification of a serious health condition. If an employee takes paid leave for a condition that progresses into a serious health condition and the employee requests unpaid leave as provided under this policy, the City may designate all or some portion of related leave taken as leave under this policy to the extent that the earlier leave meets the necessary qualification. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(e) Leave Time Frame. An eligible employee can take up to twelve (12) weeks of leave under this policy during any twelve-month period. The City will measure the twelve (12) month period as a rolling twelve (12) month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any leave under this policy. Each time an employee takes leave, the City will compute the amount of leave the employee has taken under this policy and subtract it from the twelve (12) weeks of available leave, and the balance remaining is the amount the employee is entitled to take at that time. Leave shall be computed and subtracted from an employee's available leave as indicated above on a day-for-day basis. Intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule may be taken in any size increments, however, such leave shall be computed by the City and subtracted from the employee's available leave on the basis of a minimum of one hour for every one (1) hour of leave or part thereof, in one (1) hour increments.
If spouses both work for the City, and each wishes to take leave for the birth of a child, adoption or placement of a child in foster care, or to care for a parent (but not a parent “in-law”) with a serious health condition, each spouse may only take a total of twelve (12) weeks of leave. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(f) Service Member-Care Leave Extension. For service member-care leave only, the employee is eligible for an extended leave of up to fourteen (14) additional workweeks beyond the initial twelve (12) workweeks during a twelve (12) month period, but in no circumstance is any employee entitled to more than a total of twenty-six (26) workweeks of FMLA leave for any combination of reasons during a twelve (12) month period.
(g) Benefits and Compensation. While an employee is on leave, the City will continue the employee’s health benefits during the leave period at the same level and under the same condition as if the employee had continued to work.
If the employee chooses not to return to work for reasons other than a continued serious health condition, the City may require the employee to reimburse the City the amount it paid for the employee’s health insurance premium during the leave.
If an employee pays a portion of the health care premium for family benefits, then while on leave, the employee must continue to make this payment either in person or by mail. The payment must be received by the first day of each month. If the payment is more than thirty (30) days late, the employee’s health care coverage may be dropped for the duration of the leave.
An employee who takes leave under this policy will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent status, pay, benefits and other employment terms. The position will be the same or one which entails substantially equivalent skill, effort, responsibility and authority.
All and any accrued available paid leave benefits and disability benefits, if applicable, must be substituted for all or any part of unpaid FMLA leave taken for any reason.
(Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(h) Application for Leave. The employee may take FMLA leave in consecutive weeks, may use leave intermittently (take a day periodically when needed over the year), or under certain circumstances may use the leave to reduce the work week or work day, resulting in a reduced hour schedule. In all cases, the leave may not exceed a rolling total of twelve (12) weeks over a twelve (12) month period, unless the service member-care leave extension applies as outlined in Section 161.13(f).
The City may temporarily transfer an employee to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the employee needs intermittent leave that is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment for himself, a covered family member, or a covered service member. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
For the birth, adoption or foster care of a child, the City and the employee must mutually agree to the schedule before the employee may take the leave intermittently or work a reduced hour schedule. Leave for birth, adoption or foster care of a child must be taken within one (1) year of the birth or placement of the child.
If the employee is taking leave for a serious health condition, or because of the serious health condition of a family member, the employee should try to reach agreement with the City before taking intermittent leave or working a reduced hour schedule. If this is not possible, then the employee must provide that the use of the leave is medically necessary.
(i) Required Documentation. The City will require certification of a serious health condition. The employee should respond to such a request within fifteen (15) days of the request, or provide a reasonable explanation of the delay. Failure to provide certification may result in a denial of leave. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
Certification of a serious health condition shall include: the date when the condition began, its expected duration, diagnosis, and a brief statement of treatment. For medical leave for the employee’s medical condition, the certification must also include a statement that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position. For a seriously ill family member, the certification must include a statement that the patient requires assistance and that the employee’s presence would be beneficial or desirable and an estimate of the amount of time the employee is needed to provide care.
If the employee plans to take intermittent leave or work a reduced schedule, the certification must also include dates and the duration of treatment and a statement of medical necessity for taking intermittent leave or working a reduced schedule.
The City has the right to contact the physician who completed the medical certification directly if: (1) the City needs clarification of the medical certification; or (2) The City needs to authenticate the medical certification.
The City has the right to ask a second opinion if it has reason to doubt the certification. The City will pay for the employee to get a certification from the second doctor, which the City will select. If there is a conflict between the original and second opinion, a third opinion will be required with both parties agreeing on a third doctor and the City paying for this opinion. The third opinion is the final option. Except when the leave is not foreseeable, all employees requesting leave under this policy must submit the request in writing to their immediate supervisor, with a copy to the Personnel Department.
(j) Notice and Application. When an employee plans to take leave under this policy, the employee must give the City thirty (30) days notice. If it is not possible to give thirty (30) days notice, the employee must give as much notice as is practicable - normally no later than twenty-four (24) hours after the need for leave is known. An employee undergoing planned medical treatment is required to make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment to minimize disruptions to the City’s operations. If an employee fails to provide thirty (30) days notice for foreseeable leave with no reasonable excuse for the delay, the leave request may be denied until at least thirty (30) days from the date the employer receives notice. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
While on leave, employees are requested to report periodically to the City regarding the status of medical condition, and their intent to return to work.
Employees shall provide at least verbal notice sufficient to make the City aware that the employee needs FMLA-qualifying leave, the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. The City may inquire further of the employee if it is necessary to have more information about whether FMLA leave is to be taken. Except when the leave is not foreseeable, all employees requesting leave under this policy must submit the request in writing to their immediate supervisor, with a copy to the Personnel Department.
If an employee takes leave based on the serious health condition of the employee or to care for a family member, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment as to not unduly disrupt the City’s operations.
The City may seek recertification of FMLA in connection with an absence every six months or as needed.
The City may require a fitness-for-duty certification (“FDC”) for an employee on FMLA leave for his or her own serious health condition. The certification should specifically address the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of his or her job, as listed on the designation notice. For intermittent/reduced leave, the City may require a FDC up to once every 30 days (assuming there were FMLA absences during that period) if “reasonable safety concerns” exist regarding the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties-based on the serious health condition. If the City elects to require a FDC under these circumstances, it will notify the employee at the same time it issues the designation notice that for each subsequent instance of intermittent/reduced leave, the employee will be required to submit a FDC unless one already has been submitted within the past 30 days.
The City may delay restoration of employment until the FDC is provided. Unless the employee provides either a FDC or new medical certification for a serious health condition at the time the employee’s FMLA leave concludes, the employee may be terminated. (Ord. C15-18. Passed 3-20-18.)
(Ord. C47-01. Passed 8-6-01; Ord. C10-09. Passed 2-17-09.)