Policy 1300.1

Title: Leaves of Absence  
Section Leaves of Absence
Policy #: 1300.1
Modified 05/27/2015 12:49 AM
Procedure:


A. Generally

Leaves of absence for any reason other than those outlined in the following sections are generally not available at PRO. Individual requests for a leave of absence that do not fall under the following parameters will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the CEO. All requests for a leave of absence should be presented to the CEO.

B. Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Requesting a Leave of Absence

An employee seeking a leave of absence must submit a written request for leave to the Director of Administration. The request for leave must include:

Name of employee

Name of supervisor

Date of request

Reason for leave (please provide specifics)

Anticipated timing and duration of leave

Signature of employee

Employees must provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take a leave of absence when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable, which should be on the same day or next business day of the date the employee becomes aware that the leave is needed.  In all cases, employees taking a leave of absence are expected to comply with PRO’s normal call-in procedures for taking time off.  Employees who provide less than 30 days notice are required to provide an explanation as to why they were unable to do so.  Employees who fail to meet these notice requirements may be denied leave.

Employee Obligations During a Leave of Absence

Employees on a leave of absence are required to report to PRO periodically regarding their status and intention to return to work.

Employees on a leave of absence are not permitted to hold outside employment or consulting jobs without the written permission of PRO.

An employee returning from a leave of absence due to a serious health condition will be required to present a fitness-for-duty certificate prior to being restored to work.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave

Eligibility for FMLA Leave

Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they have worked for PRO for at least one year, for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if at least 50 employees are employed by PRO within 75 miles.

Types of FMLA Leave

Eligible employees can take FMLA leave for the following reasons:

-Parental Leave

Employees may take FMLA leave for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth.  Such leave may also be used to care for the employee’s child after birth, or after placement with the employee for adoption or foster care.

-Leave due to the Employee’s Own or a Family Member’s Serious Health Condition

Employees may take FMLA Leave for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.  Employees may also take FMLA leave to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition.

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.  Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

-Qualifying Exigency Leave

Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use FMLA leave to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.

-Military Caregiver Leave

Eligible employees may take FMLA leave to care for a covered servicemember who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the employee.  A covered servicemember is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.

Length of FMLA Leave
Employees may take up to 26 weeks of Military Caregiver leave during a single 12-month period.

For all other types of FMLA leave, each employee may be granted leave for a period up to twelve weeks (during any twelve month period).  In determining eligibility for leave, a “rolling” twelve-month period is used, measuring backward from the date the employee uses any FMLA leave.

In circumstances where both spouses work for the Company, the employees may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave for parental leave or for leave to care for the employee’s parent with a serious health condition, or to a combined total of 26 weeks of military caregiver leave.

Required Certifications

Employees seeking leave due to a family member’s serious health condition will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition” form.    Employees seeking FMLA leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition” form.

In all cases of leave due to the employee’s or a family members serious health condition, the Company reserves the right to request a second medical opinion at Company expense and further medical opinion, where appropriate.  Periodic recertification also may be required for requested extensions of medical leave, lengthy leaves of absence and other appropriate circumstances.

Employees seeking Qualifying Exigency Leave will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave” form.

Employees seeking Military Caregiver Leave will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember” form.  In lieu of the form, the employee may provide invitational travel orders (ITOs) or invitational travel authorizations (ITAs).

Compensation During FMLA Leave

Employees on FMLA leave are required to apply any accrued paid time off while taking FMLA leave.  Employees must comply with the Company‘s normal policies for use of accrued paid time off.

If an employee does not have any accrued paid time, and is not eligible for other benefits, such as workers’ compensation payments the FMLA leave will be unpaid.

Any work absence that would be eligible for FMLA will be counted as such. Any other leave of absence for which the employee is eligible will run concurrently.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act of 2008 (GINA)

The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by law. To comply with this law, PRO asks that employees not provide any ‘genetic information,’ as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic test, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.

To comply with this law, PRO will not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information.
‘Genetic information,’ as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.

If you have any questions, please call the Director of Administration

Benefits During FMLA Leave

An employee on FMLA Leave will be retained on the Company’s health plan on the same condition as active employees, except that the employee must make arrangements with Director of Administration for timely payment of the employee’s portion of the premium in order to continue such coverage, and if any premium payment is more than thirty days late, coverage may be lost during the remainder of the leave. In circumstances where an employee is on paid leave, the appropriate deductions will be made in the same manner as the employee’s regular paycheck.

Arrangements also may be made with Director of Administration for the continuation of certain other benefits during the period of leave. The employee will not be entitled to the accrual of seniority or earn additional employee benefits during the period of the leave. However, any FMLA leave will be treated as continued service for purposes of the Company’s pension and other retirement plans.

An employee on an FMLA leave of absence will be eligible for holiday pay during a designated holiday observed during the leave.  If a holiday falls during a full week of FMLA leave, the holiday will count towards the employee’s annual FMLA total.  If the employee is taking less than a full week of FMLA leave, the holiday will only count as FMLA leave if the employee would have been scheduled and expected to work on the holiday.

In the event that an employee fails to return from leave, the employee may be liable for the employer’s share of the insurance premiums unless:  (1) the employee’s failure to return to work stems from the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition of the employee or a family member; or (2) the failure to return stems from circumstances beyond the control of the employee.

Reduced Work Schedule/Intermittent FMLA Leave

For all types of FMLA leave except Parental leave, an employee does not need to use the leave entitlement in one block.  Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary.

Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the Company’s operations.  Further, where a reduced work schedule or intermittent leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the Company reserves the right to temporarily transfer the employee to a position that better accommodates the employee’s recurring periods of leave.

Company Notifications Regarding FMLA Leave

Employees requesting leave will be notified regarding whether they are eligible under FMLA.  If they are, the notice will specify any additional information required as well as the employees’ rights and responsibilities.  If they are not eligible, the Company will provide a reason for the ineligibility.

The Company will inform employees if leave will be designated as FMLA-protected and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s leave entitlement.  If the Company determines that the leave is not FMLA-protected, the employee will be notified.

Return From FMLA Leave

Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment term, except that the employee will not be entitled to any employment rights or benefits, greater than those he or she would have had in the absence of taking such a leave.

Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.
Employee Protections Under the FMLA

If an employee is unable to return from FMLA leave on the date set forth in the leave request and/or certification of healthcare provider, the employee is expected to contact PRO prior to the anticipated return to work date. If an employee fails to return from FMLA leave when scheduled, and does not contact PRO in advance, the employee may be deemed to have resigned.

Employee Protections Under the FMLA

Provisions to include in other non-FMLA Policies which impact FMLA Rights and Obligations:

Provisions regarding how paid time off is accrued and used, including whether employees accrue PTO during leaves of absence, and whether there are limits on use of certain types of PTO (e.g., can an employee use sick time for things other than the employee’s own illness)

Procedures for calling in an absence, e.g., whether you have to call a certain person, when the call must be made, what information you provide, etc.

Whether employees on a leave who fail to pay premiums will have their coverage discontinued retroactively

That employees can be terminated for use of illegal drugs and alcohol

D. Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

Full-time employees who are not eligible for parental leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), may still be eligible for eight (8) weeks of unpaid parental leave under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Statute. To be eligible, you must have completed at least three consecutive months of employment, and you must provide at least two week’s written notice of your date of departure and intention to return to work following the leave. Leave may only be taken for the purpose of giving birth, for adopting a child under the age of eighteen (under the age of twenty-three if the child is mentally or physically disabled), or for placement of a child under the age of eighteen (under the age of twenty-three if the child is mentally or physically disabled).

Employees on Parental leave may, but are not required to, apply unused PTO towards the leave period. However, no paid leave will accrue during the leave. Health coverage will continue on the same basis as before the leave.

Upon returning to work, you will be restored to your position, or a similar one with the same status and rate of pay, unless economic or business conditions during the leave period would have resulted in a lay-off had leave not been taken

E. Small Necessities Leave Act

Employees who are eligible for leave under the Company’s Family and Medical Leave Policy are also eligible for leave under the Massachusetts “Small Necessities Leave Act” (SNLA). During any twelve (12) month period, eligible employees may take up to twenty-four (24) hours of leave for the following reasons:

to participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of your child, such as parent-teacher conferences or interviewing for a new school (“school” includes licensed day-care centers);

to accompany your child to routine medical or dental appointments, such as check-ups or vaccinations; or

to accompany an elderly relative to routine medical or dental appointments or other appointments for professional services related to the elder’s care, such as interviewing at nursing or group homes.

Where SNLA leave is foreseeable, you must provide PRO at least seven (7) days advance written notice. Where leave is not foreseeable, you must notify PRO as soon as practicable. You must provide an Employee Form Certification (which can serve as notice), for each period of leave taken pursuant to this policy:

The available 24 hours of SNLA leave does not need to be taken all at once. Rather, leave may be taken intermittently, in minimum increments of one hour. You are required to substitute accrued vacation time and/or sick leave towards SNLA leave. Once paid leave is used up, SNLA leave is unpaid.

F. Bereavement Leave

If you are a full-time employee and a death occurs in your family, you will be compensated for time lost from your regular work schedule. In the event of the death of your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-parents and step-children, or legal guardian, you will be granted up to three (3) scheduled days (up to 40 hours paid) off from work with pay following the death, but not beyond the day after the funeral.

Requests for bereavement leave should be made to the Director of Administration.

G. Jury and Witness Duty Leave

If you are a full-time or part-time employee who is summoned to jury duty, PRO continues your salary during your active period of jury duty for up to three scheduled working days per calendar year. You are also permitted to retain the allowance you receive from the court for such service. If you are not a full-time or part-time employee, you are given time off without pay while serving jury duty.

All employees are allowed unpaid time off if summoned to appear in court as a witness. Employees may use accrued paid time off hours during this period or take the time off without pay.

If you are summoned to appear in court as a witness pursuant to a case that arose in the course of your employment, PRO will compensate you for the time spent in court.

To qualify for jury or witness duty leave, you must submit a copy of the summons to serve to the Director of Administration as soon as it is received. In addition, proof of service must be submitted to the Director of Administration when your period of jury or witness duty is completed. PRO will not attempt to have your service on a jury postponed except when business conditions necessitate such action.

As soon as you are excused from jury service or witness duty you will be required to notify dispatch and return to work.

H. Military Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence without pay for military or Reserve duty are granted to full-time regular and part-time regular employees. If you are called to active military duty or to Reserve or National Guard training, or if you volunteer for the same, you should notify the CEO and submit copies of your military orders to him or her as soon as is practicable. You will be granted a military leave of absence without pay for the period of military service, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. If you are a reservist or a member of the National Guard, you are granted time off without pay for required military training. Your eligibility for reinstatement after your military duty or training is completed is determined in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.