Leave of Absence
Bowling Green State University understands the importance of the health and well-being of employees and their families. Should an employee find it necessary to take a leave to address serious health conditions for themselves or their eligible family members, remember that the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is available for those that qualify. The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 work weeks of leave during a rolling 12-month period.
Any medical leave of absence that is over three days in duration, requires hospitalization or is related to a chronic, re-occurring condition will run concurrently with the FMLA, as long as proper documentation is provided.
Requesting Family and Medical Leave
If you plan on taking Family and Medical Leave, you should notify your supervisor or Department Chair. In addition, you must complete the required forms and return them to the Office of Human Resources, Huntington Building, 1851 N. Research Dr. These forms must be completed regardless of the type of time you are taking (sick leave, vacation, compensatory time or leave without pay).
The following forms are available:
- Request for Family Medical Leave (to be completed by employee)
- Request for Parental Leave - Staff (to be completed by employee)
- Request for Parental Leave - Faculty (follow Collective Bargaining Agreement Procedure)
- Certification for Family and Medical Leave (to be completed by Health Care Provider)
- Leave Tracking For for Reduced Work Schedule or Intermittent Leave (to be completed by employee)
- Return to Work form (to be completed by health care provider)
- Leave to care for covered Military Service Member
- Leave to Care for Veteran with serious health condition
Benefits while on Leave
If an employee has elected to participate in the BGSU group benefit plans, BGSU will continue to pay its share of the premium payments to maintain his/her coverage during an approved leave. If an employee is in a paid status, deductions for benefits will continue to be taken from his/her paycheck. If an employee is in an unpaid status, they will be required to submit a personal check for the amount of their normal payroll deductions for the benefit plans on a monthly basis. If BGSU does not receive the amount owed within 30 days, the benefit coverage may be terminated.
To be eligible for Family Medical Leave, the following criteria must be met:
- Have worked at least 12 months for BGSU; and,
- Have worked at least 1250 hours for BGSU during the 12 months prior to the beginning date of the leave.
Circumstances that may qualify for FML
Family Medical Leave may be granted for one or more of the following reasons:
- Birth of a child, to care for the newborn;
- Placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
- To care for an immediate family member (employee’s spouse, child*, or parent) who has a serious health condition; and/or
- Military Service members and family.
Family members are defined by the FMLA to include the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent (but not a parent “in-law”]. A son or daughter is a *child under 18 who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. A parent is any individual who assumed day to day and financial responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child.
Serious Health Condition
A serious health condition is defined as
- An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves a period of incapacity or treatment following in-patient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical facility;
- A period of incapacity requirement more than three days absence from work and continuing treatment by a health care provider;
- Continuing treatment by a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is so serious that, if not treated would likely result in incapacity of more than three days;
- Pre-natal care;
- Absences to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery or for a condition which will likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three days if not treated.
Length of Leave
If eligible, an employee may use up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any rolling 12-month period. FML may be taken all at once, intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule. Intermittent time away from the job may be taken hourly or daily. Arrangements for intermittent leave, once approved by the Office of Human Resources, should be coordinated with the employee’s supervisor to prevent the least amount of disruption as possible to the work schedule.
Employees are limited to a maximum of 12 work weeks of leave (except Military) for any of the qualifying reasons. The 12-week maximum per rolling 12 months is for any FML approved time, and not per case. If FML is for birth, adoption, or foster care placement, the leave must be completed within weeks of the date of birth or placement.
Please note that any Worker's Compensation leave will run concurrent with FML.
Using Accrued Paid Time Off
An employee may elect to substitute accrued unused sick leave, personal leave, vacation or compensatory time during approved Family Medical Leave, but is not required to do so. Scattering of time (using some leave without pay along with sick or vacation pay) can extend an employee's paid status during approved leave.
An Employee's Obligation to Provide Notice and Medical Certification
When requesting Family Medical Leave, an employee must provide the Office of Human Resources with:
- 30 days advance notice of the need to take leave, if the leave is foreseeable. If the leave is not foreseeable, or 30 days is not possible under the circumstances, notice should be given as soon as practical (within one or two days of when the employee becomes aware of the need for leave).
- Medical certification supporting the need for leave due to a serious health condition (within 15 days of notice).
- Periodic reports from provider (as BGSU may deem appropriate or necessary) regarding status and intent to return to work.
Exhaustion of FMLA Leave
If employee is unable to return at the exhaustion of his/her FMLA entitlement, he/she may have other leave options that will cover the absence after the 12 week period (except Military) and are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources regarding those options. In accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act, the employee's job may be released, depending on the needs of the department, or if all accrued time to cover the absence has been exhausted.
Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Information
In 1993, the Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 107, which changed how Ohio workers' compensation injuries are treated for state funded employees. House Bill 107 established procedures for delivery of medical services to injured employees under the Health Partnership Program (HPP). Effective March 1, 1997, medical services must be managed by an Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) certified Managed Care Organization (MCO).
Please note that all Worker's Compensation leaves of absence will be run concurrent with FMLA.
Sedgwick is the managed care administrator for BGSU. Below is an Injury on the Job fact sheet that includes an identification card that you should carry with you at all times. Please print the sheet and cut out the card. If a work-related injury should occur, follow the steps noted on the sheet.
Should you have questions concerning workers' compensation or this procedure, please call the Office of Human Resources at 419 372-8421. You may also contact Sedgwick direct at 1-888-627-7586, they are available 24/7.
For additional information, please visit the following Web sites:
Time Away from the Job (if not eligible for Family Medical Leave)
If an employee does not qualify for Family Medical Leave, but may need time away from the job due to an immediate family member's or his/her own serious health condition, he/she will need to contact the Office of Human Resources regarding other University leave policies that may apply.
Employees should recognize that Family Medical Leave is only intended to cover serious health conditions - generally those which involve more than three days incapacity from work or school, hospitalization, or chronic long-term, incurable conditions. Employees who wish to take leave to care for family members with non-serious health conditions are not covered by this policy. Employees can use their sick leave, vacation or personal leave for non-serious health conditions, subject to the requirements of those policies, including scheduling and increments of leave. The granting of unpaid leave for non-serious health conditions is covered in the employee handbooks.
For faculty leave of absence information, please refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.