Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy Updates

Summary

  • Change the calculation period from a calendar year to a 12-month rolling look-back period. Employees who are currently on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or who will be taking FMLA during the remainder of this year, will use whichever method is more advantageous for the 2021 calendar year (look-back method or the calendar year). For example,  if John used 12 weeks of FMLA from September to November 2020 and needs additional time in March 2021, he would use the calendar year method which provides up to 12 additional weeks instead of the 12-month rolling look-back method which would allow no additional time until next September.
  • Clarify the way health insurance coverage is handled for an employee on unpaid FMLA. The employer will continue to pay the employer cost for all tiers of health and dental coverage while the employee is on FMLA. The employee will be billed for their cost for employee and dependent coverage they elect to continue. This was not a change but a clarification of the process since the previous language was unclear and implied that the employee would be required to cover both employee cost plus employer cost for dependent coverage. 
  • The revised FMLA policy was approved by the Unified Personnel Board on October 7, 2020 to be effective January 1, 2021. 

Updates

Statement of Policy (page 2):

While on FMLA leave the County will continue to pay for its portion of the employee insurances. The employee will be responsible for paying the employee portion of the employee premium employee contribution as well as any dependent or voluntary coverages they wish to maintain.

General Provision (page 3):

In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), related Federal regulations and the provisions of this policy, family and medical leave will be granted up to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks per rolling 12 month look-back period calendar year to eligible employees for reasons numbered 1 – 5 stated below (NOTE: Up to twenty six (26) weeks in a 12 month period will be granted for Servicemember Family Leave):

D. Benefits During Leave (page 8):

During unpaid FMLA leave, the County will also continue to pay its portion of the employee’s insurance premiums. Employees are responsible for paying the employee portion of for any dependent premiums, if they wish to continue such coverage. Failure to do so may result in termination of coverage. The actual terms of payment of the premiums must be agreed upon and put in writing prior to commencement of leave or as soon thereafter as is reasonable within 15 calendar days of receiving notice if leave is unforeseeable. Employees must pay their portion of any premium for their own coverage. Failure to do so may result in termination of coverage.

I. Compensation During Leave (page 9):

FMLA allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year rolling 12 month look-back period; or solely in the case of servicemember family leave, 26 weeks in a 12-month period.

10/29/20