Benefits For Active Employees
Family & Medical Leave Military Family Leave
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), Public Law 110-181, amended Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave in the applicable 12-month period for any "qualifying exigency" arising out of the active duty or call to active duty status of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent.
The NDAA also amended the FMLA to allow eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of job-protected leave in a "single 12-month period" to care for a covered servicemember/veteran with a serious injury or illness.
Leave with or without pay that is used for an FMLA-qualifying reason will be counted against the annual FMLA entitlement of 12 or 26 workweeks leave. Leave for employees who work less than full-time will be pro-rated. All accrued sick leave and vacation leave shall be used prior to the use of leave without pay for all leave that meets FMLA criteria.
The use of intermittent leave or reduced leave may be taken for a qualifying exigency arising out of the active duty status or call to active duty of a covered military member; or whenever medically necessary to care for a covered servicemember/veteran with a serious injury or illness. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations. An employee returning from FMLA leave will be returned to the same or equivalent position, including the same shift or equivalent schedule. Benefits accrued prior to leave will be retained at the same levels upon return to work.
Eligibility for FMLA Military Family Leave
An employee is eligible for leave under FMLA if he or she:
- has been in pay status for any part of a week for at least 52 weeks, including any period of paid or unpaid leave during which other benefits or compensation were provided by PSU; and
- has worked for the state at least 1,250 hours in the 12 month period immediately before the beginning of the leave designated as FMLA.
Military Family Leave Entitlements
An employee is entitled to use leave under FMLA when taken:
- for certain qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on active duty status, or notification of an impending call or order to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation;
- for a covered servicemember*/veteran** recovering from a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty or incurred because service on active duty aggravated an existing or preexisting injury if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin*** of the servicemember/veteran.
Qualifying exigencies include one or more of the following:
- To address any issues arising from a covered military member's short notice deployment (i.e., deployment on seven or less days of notice) for a period of seven days from the date of notification;
- Military events and related activities, such as official ceremonies, programs, or events sponsored by the military or family support or assistance programs and informational briefings sponsored or promoted by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross that are related to the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member;
- Certain childcare and related activities arising from the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member, such as arranging for alternative childcare, providing childcare on a non-routine, urgent, immediate need basis, enrolling or transferring a child in a new school or day care facility, and attending certain meetings at a school or a day care facility if they are necessary due to circumstances arising from the active duty or call to active duty of the covered military member;
- Making or updating financial and legal arrangements to address a covered military member's absence;
- Attending counseling provided by someone other than a health care provider for oneself, the covered military member, or the child of the covered military member, the need for which arises from the active duty or call to active duty status of the covered military member;
- Taking up to five days of leave to spend time with a covered military member who is on short-term temporary, rest and recuperation leave during deployment;
- Attending to certain post-deployment activities, including attending arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and other official ceremonies or programs sponsored by the military for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered military member's active duty status, and addressing issues arising from the death of a covered military member;
- Any other event that the employee and employer agree is a qualifying exigency.
* A covered servicemember is defined as a current 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.
** A veteran is defined as undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness as long as the veteran was a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves within 5 years of requiring care.
** Next of kin is defined as the nearest blood relative, other than the covered servicemember's/veteran's spouse, parent, son, or daughter, in the following order of priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the servicemember/veteran by court decree or statutory provisions, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the covered servicemember has specifically designated in writing another blood relative as his or her nearest blood relative. When no such designation is made and there are multiple family members with the same level of relationship to the covered servicemember/veteran, all such family members shall be considered next of kin.
Requesting FMLA Military Family Leave
You must give 30 days notice or as much notice as feasible if family and medical leave is to begin in less than thirty (30) days.
To request FMLA leave due to a qualifying exigency, you must complete a FMLA Leave Request Form and a Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave.
To request FMLA leave due to a serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember/veteran, you must complete a FMLA Leave Request Form and a Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember for Military Family Leave. Section II of this certification must be completed by a United States Department of Defense ("DOD") Health Care Provider or a Health Care Provider who is either:
- a United States Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA") health care provider; or
- a DOD TRICARE network authorized private health care provider; or
- a DOD non-TRICARE authorized private health care provider.
Failure to provide the required information within fifteen days would result in denial of FMLA and absence would not be protected. HRS will advise the employee of deficiencies in the information and will provide a reasonable opportunity (an additional fifteen days) to provide the information.
Human Resource Services will review requests for family and medical leave to determine if the request is for an FMLA-qualifying absence. You will be notified after your request is reviewed. If your request is not approved, you may appeal in writing to the Appointing Authority.
Health Insurance & FMLA Leave
If you are on either leave with pay or without pay for an FMLA-qualifying reason, your group health insurance will continue as if you were actively at work.
If you are on leave with pay (using sick leave, vacation leave or comp time), premiums will continue to be deducted from your paycheck if the paycheck is sufficient to take the deduction.
If you are on authorized leave without pay for an FMLA-qualifying reason or if your check is not sufficient to cover the premiums, the following will apply:
- HRS will send a letter at your home address requesting payment of the premium. The letter will include the cost of coverage, the pay period for which the premium is due and the due date for the premium to be paid to HRS.
- If the premium is not received within 15 days of the due date, group health insurance coverage will be terminated on the first day of the month that payment was due.
- If you return to work and your coverage was terminated because of non-payment of premiums, you may reenroll in your previous coverage. You will not have a pre-existing condition waiting period. Coverage will be effective the first day of the month following your return to active employment.
- If you do not return to work for reasons other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition which would entitle you to family and medical leave or other circumstances beyond your control, you must pay PSU the "agency portion" of your group health insurance premium during your leave.