§ 33.23  FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE.
   (A)   The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, being 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq., provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the following:
      (1)   The employee’s own serious illness;
      (2)   The birth or adoption of a child;
      (3)   The care of a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent; or
      (4)   A qualifying exigency for military family leave. A QUALIFYING EXIGENCY includes:
         (a)   SHORT-NOTICE DEPLOYMENT, defined as a call/order to active duty seven days prior to the date of deployment (limited to seven calendar days of leave beginning the date the military member is notified of deployment);
         (b)   Military events and activities related to call to active duty;
         (c)   Childcare and school activities;
         (d)   Make or update financial and legal arrangements;
         (e)   Counseling;
         (f)   Rest and recuperation (limited to five days per leave, up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period, to spend with military member on short-term leave);
         (g)   POST-DEPLOYMENT ACTIVITIES, defined as up to 90 days following termination of active duty status; and
         (h)   Additional activities (must be agreed to by both employer and employee).
            1.   Where applicable, there must be a relationship between the reason(s) for leave and the active duty or call to active duty.
            2.   Further details regarding leave for a qualifying exigency, including certification requirements can be obtained from the Human Resources Department.
   (B)   The FMLA also provides up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees to care for a seriously injured or ill covered service member. A COVERED SERVICE MEMBER is 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 retired list, for a serious injury or illness. Veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness that occurred during the five years preceding the date of treatment are also covered service members. A serious injury or illness is limited to an injury or illness incurred by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating. In the case of a veteran of the Armed Forces, a serious injury or illness means a qualifying injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran. Other types of FMLA leave are included with this type of leave totaling 26 weeks. A husband and wife who both work for the town may take leave to care for a seriously injured or ill service member, but may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of leave. Service member FMLA runs concurrent with other leave entitlements provided under federal, state, and local law, such as state military family leave.
   (C)   An employee may request to use his or her accrued banked compensatory time for an FMLA reason. If the hours are used, they will not be counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. If an employee has elected benefits through the town’s sponsored short-term disability carrier, the employee may determine how and when he or she wishes to have his or her accrued sick, vacation, and floating holidays paid as to not hinder the payment of his or her short-term disability benefits. However, if the employee is not enrolled in the town’s sponsored short-term disability benefits, the town requires that accrued sick, vacation, and floating holidays be used concurrently with any FMLA leave.
   (D)   For an employee to be eligible for family and medical leave, he or she must have been employed by the town for a total of 12 months and worked 1,250 hours within the previous 12-month period.
   (E)   In addition, any employee who completes a period of leave will be returned either to the same position the employee was in prior to the leave, or to a position equivalent in pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
   (F)   For purposes of calculating employee entitlement for subsequent FMLA leaves, the “12-month period” is measured from the date when the employee’s previous FMLA leave began. For example, under this method an employee would be entitled to 12 weeks of leave during the year beginning on the first date FMLA is taken (e.g., March 7, 2000); the next 12-month period would begin the first time leave is taken after completion of the 12-month period ending (e.g., March 6, 2001).
   (G)   When an employee plans to take family or medical leave under the Act, the employee is required to give the town 30 days’ written notice or, if this is not possible, as much notice as is practical.
   (H)   An employee undergoing planned treatment is required to make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment to minimize disruptions to town operations.
   (I)   The town may require an employee to report periodically during the leave period on the employee’s leave status and the employee’s intention to return to work. The employer may consider an employee’s failure to report to work at the end of the leave period as an employee resignation. (See division (N) below concerning additional leave).
   (J)   Upon a request for leave, the town will provide the employee with a medical certification form to be completed by the proper healthcare provider. The town reserves the right to require a second medical opinion from an independent medical provider. The town will pay for the second opinion and will designate a provider who is not an employee of the town. If the two opinions conflict, the town will pay for a third opinion. The opinion of the third provider is final and binding on both the town and the employee.
   (K)   If leave was due to an employee’s own serious health condition, prior to returning to scheduled work the employee must provide a physician’s fitness-for-duty certification indicating whether the employee may return to work with or without restrictions.
   (L)   The provisions of this policy and any leave taken pursuant to this policy shall be governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended. All requests for leave of absence must be submitted in writing to the department head on forms provided by the Human Resources office.
   (M)   Accruals for benefit calculations, such as vacation, floating holiday, sick leave, or holiday benefits, will not be affected by taking family and medical leave.
   (N)   (1)   If an employee is unable to return to work after completing 12 weeks, or 26 weeks when leave is to care for an injured or ill service member, of approved FMLA leave, he or she must notify the town in writing and provide medical certification to support his or her request for additional leave at least five days prior to the date the employee is scheduled to report to work. The request for additional leave time and the medical certification form will be presented to the Board of Works. (The employee will need to provide an authorization for release of information form to Human Resources prior to any medical information being released to the Board of Works.) If the proper medical certification has been submitted and the employee has remaining sick time, the Board of Works shall grant the leave until such accrued time has been exhausted, pursuant to I.C. 36-8-5-2.
      (2)   If an employee has exhausted all of his or her accrued sick and/or benefit time prior to or after completing the 12/26 weeks of approved leave and needs additional leave time, the leave must be approved by the Board of Works after a hearing conducted under I.C. 36-8-8-12.7. The leave shall continue until disability benefits are paid. However, the leave may not continue for more than six months.
      (3)   While on leave, the employee must submit a physician/practitioner certification every 30 days as recertification of the conditions for which the leave was granted.
      (4)   If such leave is approved:
         (a)   Holiday pay and the accrual of sick, vacation, and floating holiday benefit time will cease. Upon return from approved leave, the employee will receive his or her allotted vacation time as outlined by the town. Floating holidays will be received if the floating holiday(s) (as designated by the Board of Works) have not already passed within the current calendar year.
         (b)   The employee’s town paid life insurance policy will terminate on the last day of the month that his or her 12 weeks of approved leave ended. The employee will be offered a conversion policy that must be paid in full by the employee.
         (c)   The employee may continue his or her medical, dental, and/or vision insurance by paying the active employee premium. Premium payments will continue to be payroll deducted if the employee has remaining benefit time to be paid out to them. Otherwise, premium payments are due the first of every month for coverage for the following month (i.e., for coverage for the month of February, payment must be made by January 1) Payment must be submitted by check or money order and made payable to the town. If an employee fails to provide payment within 30 days of the due date his or her coverage will be cancelled, provided the town notifies him or her in writing at least 15 days before the date the employee’s coverage will lapse. Please see § 33.26 regarding insurance continuation benefits.
         (d)   No PERF.