FMLA Process for Campus Employees
The responsibility for approving FMLA is delegated jointly to the appropriate dean or department head and the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations. The dean, department head, or designee shall be responsible for maintaining accurate records of FMLA leave in the University's centralized resource information system.
Note: All conversations or discussions with the employee about FML eligibility must be documented.
An employee shall follow standard departmental policies or practices for notification of absence(s).
Note: Calling in "sick" without providing more information will not be considered sufficient notice for FMLA.
An employee requesting leave shall submit a completed FMLA application to the dean, department head, or designee in a timely manner (15 calendar days).
It is the responsibility of the dean or department head, or designee, to designate leave as FMLA and to notify the employee that the leave will count towards the employee's 12 week entitlement. This notification shall be made within five working days of the employee's request. The notification may be oral or written. If the notice is oral it shall be confirmed in writing no later than the following payday, unless the payday is less than one week, in which case the notice must be no later than the following payday.
If the department does not initially have enough information to make a determination as to whether the request qualifies as FMLA, the notice of this must be given to the employee within five working days of the time the department determines the request qualifies or does not qualify as FMLA. The employee then has seven working days to turn in additional information.
If the department learns that a leave is for FMLA purposes after the leave has begun, the leave may be retroactively counted as FMLA as follows:
a. If the department did not learn a leave was a FMLA qualifying event until the employee returned to work, the department may retroactively, within two working days of the employee's return to work, designate the leave as FMLA.
b. If the leave taken for a FMLA qualifying event has not been designated as such and the employee wishes to designate the leave as FMLA, the employee shall notify the department within two working days of the employee's return to work, that the leave is FMLA qualifying.
c. A preliminary designation of FMLA may be made if the department knows the reason for the leave, but the information has not been confirmed or the department has requested additional clarification and the clarification has not been received. Upon receiving confirmation or clarification, the preliminary designation becomes final. If the additional information fails to confirm a FMLA qualifying event, the department shall withdraw the designation and provide written notice to the employee.
The department shall send the employee a written notice detailing specific expectations and obligations of the employee and explaining the consequences of failure to meet these obligations. The written notice shall include the following as appropriate:
a. The leave will be counted against the employee's 12 week FMLA entitlement.
b. If the employee is not eligible for FMLA, the notice must state at least one reason why the employee is not eligible.
c. The requirement that the employee provide medical certification of a serious health condition.
d. The requirement that the employee's accrued leaves will be applied as appropriate.
e. The requirement that the employee make any premium payments to the Human Resources Office of Benefits to maintain benefits, and consequences of failure to make payments.
f. Any requirement for the employee to provide a fitness for duty certification to return to work.
g. If the employee is a "key" employee, and potential consequences that restoration to an equivalent position may be denied.
h. The employee's right to restoration to the same or equivalent position.
i. The employee's potential liability to pay health insurance premiums which were paid by the University during the employee's unpaid FMLA, if the employee fails to return to work after taking FMLA.
If a dean or department head has reason to doubt the validity of the certification provided, they may require, at the expense of the department, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second health care provider, designated or approved by the dean or department head (the dean or department head may consult with the UK Medical Center Chief Medical Officer in designating a health care provider).
a. The second health care provider may not be an employee of the University.
b. If the second opinion differs from the first, the dean or department head may require, at the department's expense, a third medical opinion, jointly designated and approved by the employee and the dean or department head.
c. In a case where a third opinion is sought, that opinion shall be considered final and binding for both the employee and department
Employees are responsible for the following actions related to complying with the FMLA:
- Providing the University with sufficient information to determine that an absence is covered by the FMLA, which would be the FMLA application.
- Notifying the University of the anticipated timing and duration of the absence.
- Providing 30 days advance notice of the need for an FMLA covered absence when the need is foreseeable for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or for planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or a family member.
Note: When it is not practicable to provide 30 days notice, or when the need to be absent is not foreseeable, notice must be given as soon as practicable. If an employee does not provide at least 30 days notice of a foreseeable FMLA absence, the employee can be asked to explain the reason for the delay.
Note: Calling in "sick" without providing more information is not sufficient.