PPS Table of Contents :  HR Questions :  Official University Policies & Procedures :  UC Irvine 

PERSONNEL PROCEDURES FOR UC IRVINE STAFF MEMBERS


ABSENCE FROM WORK
Procedure 43: Leaves Related to Life Events


Revised: May 2012

A. References

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

California Family Rights Act (CFRA) UCI Information Packet: Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)


B. Authority and Responsibility

The employee is responsible for giving 30 days advance notice of the need for a leave of absence. If 30 days notice is not practicable (i.e., medical emergency, accident), notice is given as soon as practicable. Failure to provide advance notice may result in postponement of the leave.

The supervisor is responsible for notifying the employee when the leave of absence may qualify for Family Medical Leave or Supplemental Family and Medical Leave, and the department is authorized to designate whether a leave of absence will be applied against those leave entitlements.


C. Definitions

Curtailment Leave - Leave without pay may be granted when the University, at the discretion of the Chancellor, elects to curtail its operations for periods of specific duration, including but not limited to periods of time for energy/cost savings; transitional, seasonal, or holiday periods in the academic calendar; or the occurrence of emergency situations that adversely affect normal University operations.

Family Members

Parent - Biological, foster or adoptive parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child.

Child - Biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or child for whom an employee stands in loco parentis, who is under 18 years of age or an adult dependent child. An adult dependent child is an individual who is 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. Incapable of self-care means that the individual requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in several of the "activities of daily living" (ADLs). ADLs include adaptive activities such as caring appropriately for one's grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, using a post office, etc.

Spouse - A husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage.

Domestic Partner - Member of a domestic partnership established when both persons file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership as defined in California Family Code section 297.

Other Family Members - An employee may be eligible to take other types of leave to care for other family members, including domestic partners, who are not covered by Family and Medical Leave. (See Absence From Work Policy, Vacation, Sick Leave, Personal Leave and Senior Management Personnel Policies, Policy II-43, Personal Leave.)

Health Care Provider - An individual who is licensed in California or is duly licensed in another State or jurisdiction to hold either a physician's and surgeon certificate or an osteopathic physician's and surgeon's certificate, or who is duly licensed as a podiatrist, dentist, clinical psychologist, optometrist, chiropractor (limited to the treatment of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by x-ray to exist), nurse practitioner or nurse mid-wife performing within the scope of their duties, Christian Science practitioner, or any health care provider that the employee's health plan carrier recognizes for purposes of payment.

Intermittent Leave - Leave due to a single illness or injury, as determined by the health care provider, which is taken in separate periods rather than in one continuous period of time. Leave may include periods from an hour or more to several weeks. Examples of intermittent leave would include leave taken on an occasional basis for medical appointments, or leave taken several days at a time spread over a period of six months, such as for chemotherapy.

Intermittent leave is to be reported to the nearest quarter hour, including for exempt employees.

Leave Banks - Leave accrued within the University system as sick leave, vacation, compensatory time and/or TRIP bonus time (PTO).

Parental Leave - Leave taken for the birth of the employee's child or the placement within the employee's home of an adopted or foster child. Parental leave is not required to be taken in one continuous period. The usual minimum duration of the leave shall be two weeks; however, leave may be granted for less than two weeks on any two occasions. Parental leave shall be concluded within one year of the birth or receipt of the child.

Personal Leave - Leave without pay for personal reasons. Leave does not have to be associated with a serious health condition.

Reduced Work Schedule - A work schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek, or hours per workday, of an employee for reasons outlined under intermittent leave. An employee may elect to or be required to use sick leave, vacation, compensatory time, or TRIP bonus time to cover the time off, or may elect or be required to take the time off without pay. Exempt employees on a reduced work schedule may be included in the calculation of leave usage to the nearest quarter hour.

Serious Health Condition - An illness, injury (including on the job injury), impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

NOTE: Routine preventive physical examinations are excluded.

Unpaid Leave - Period of leave not covered by any type of University salary. Payment from disability insurance is not considered University salary.


D. Guidelines

Employees should refer to Absence From Work Policy, before following these guidelines.

  1. Use of accrued sick leave - When the leave requested is for the employee's own health condition or pregnancy, the employee has the option to use accrued sick leave to cover all or a portion of the leave.

    When the leave requested is for a family illness not covered by FMLA, use of accrued sick leave is limited to 30 days in a calendar year; for illness coered by FMLA sick leave is limited to 12 weeks in a calendar year (see Absence From Work Policy).

    Only sick leave accruals on the University system as of the beginning date of the leave of absence may be used during that leave of absence. Any sick leave time earned while on a leave of absence may not be used during that leave of absence.

  2. Use of accrued vacation - When the leave requested is for the employee's own health condition or pregnancy, the employee has the option to use accrued vacation to cover all or a portion of the leave.

    When the leave requested is for any reason other than the employee's own pregnancy or illness, or for family illness or parental leave, the University shall require use of accrued vacation prior to leave without pay unless otherwise requested by the employee and approved by the department head (see Absence From Work Policy).

    Only vacation accruals on the University system as of the beginning date of a leave of absence may be used during that leave of absence. Any vacation time earned while on a leave of absence may not be used during that leave of absence.

  3. Use of accrued compensatory time - Use of accrued compensatory time may be requested by the employee or may be required by the University.

    Note: If accrued compensatory time is used to cover a leave of absence, that portion of the leave of absence shall not be charged against the employee's entitlement under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

  4. Use of accrued curtailment leave - Use of accrued curtailment leave shall be granted at the discretion of the Chancellor.
  5. FMLA  / CFRA Provisions
    1. For purposes of family care and medical leave, entitlement under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are combined.
    2. The FMLA applies to leaves of absence for pregnancy, parental leave, personal medical leave, and family medical leave.
    3. The CFRA applies to leaves of absence for parental leave, personal medical leave and family medical leave. CFRA does not apply to leaves of absence due to pregnancy or a medical condition related to the pregnancy.
    4. Leaves of absence covered by the FMLA and the CFRA run concurrently except in the case of pregnancy or a medical condition related to the pregnancy.

    5. A leave of absence for pregnancy is covered by the FMLA for a maximum of 12 weeks or until the employee's physician has released the employee to return to work, whichever is less. The employee is then entitled to request the use of CFRA for parental leave. If the employee did not use all of the 12-week entitlement of FMLA for the pregnancy and wishes to continue the leave (parental leave) after being released by the physician, the balance of the FMLA entitlement will run concurrently with CFRA leave.

    6. A leave of absence due to a work-incurred injury shall be applied toward an employee's FMLA/CFRA entitlement if the employee is eligible for the entitlement. For a leave of absence due to a work-incurred injury refer to Absence From Work Policy, Section D.9, Work-Incurred Illness and Injury.

  6. Military Spouse/Domestic Partner Leave, Military Caregiver Leave, Qualifying Exigency Leave - Consult with Human Resources if you receive a request for these leaves under FMLA.
  7. Supplemental Family and Medial Leave - The following conditions apply to Supplemental Family and Medical Leave.
    1. When feasible, an employee requesting such leave shall provide their supervisor with at least ten business days' notice of the need for such leave.
    2. An employee requesting such leave shall have their health care provider complete the University's Certification Form (located in UCI Information Packet) prior to commencement of the leave and periodically during the leave, as requested by the University.
    3. If the University questions the authenticity or sufficiency of the medical documentation submitted by the employee, the University may require the employee to sign an Authorization for Release of Medical Information, permitting their health care provider to discuss the employee's health condition with a representative of the Human Resources Consultant.
    4. The leave may be granted on a reduced schedule basis, at the discretion of the University.

  8. Personal Leave - A personal leave of absence without pay may be granted at the department's discretion and may be limited to 30 days duration. An extension beyond the original 30 days may be approved, at the department's discretion.

E. Procedures

  1. Employee notifies supervisor of the need for a leave of absence and expected length of absence. Employee may be required to provide notification in writing.
  2. If a scheduling conflict occurs for a planned leave of absence (i.e., planned surgery), the supervisor works with the employee to reschedule the leave to a time that does not produce a scheduling conflict.
  3. Supervisor and employee complete any forms necessary.
  4. Employee provides certification of the need for a medical leave of absence (personal or family) from the health care provider. Note: Certification from a health care provider is not required for a parental leave of absence or for a personal leave of absence.
  5. The leave of absence is entered into the University's payroll/personnel system by the department's on-line payroll/personnel processor.

  6. Employee is referred to the Benefits Office for counseling for all leaves of absence.
  7. If a reduced work schedule, intermittent leave, and/or light duty is requested by the employee, the supervisor contacts the department's Human Resources consultant for counseling.
  8. If the leave of absence is extended beyond the original return to work date, the employee notifies the supervisor as soon as the need for extension is known. Certification by the employee's health care provider is required except in the cases of parental or personal leave.
  9. The extension of the leave is entered into the University's payroll/personnel system by the department's on-line payroll/personnel processor.
  10. If an extension of a leave is approved, the employee is referred to the Benefits Office for further counseling.
  11. When the employee returns to work, a Return to Work Certification is required from the health care provider.
  12. If reinstatement to the same or similar position is not possible, the supervisor contacts the department's Human Resources consultant.

F. Effect on Benefits and Retirement Plan Membership

Questions regarding the effect on the UC Benefits and Retirement Plan membership that are not answered by the Absence From Work Policy, should be directed to the Benefits Office in Human Resources.


G. Applicability

All staff members, except employees who are in a bargaining unit which has an exclusive representative (union) and are covered by the applicable provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. Absence From Work Policy (Personal Leave) and (Accrued vacation use prior to a leave without pay) do not apply to Senior Managers.



 PPS Table of Contents :  HR Questions :  Official University Policies & Procedures :  UC Irvine