Family Medical Leave Act

Any time an employee will be away from work for an extended period of time (3-5 days), he/she must request and be approved by HR for a leave of absence from the University.

  • FMLA Terms & Definitions
    • Eligible Employee: An eligible employee is defined as any employee (including part-time and temporary) of the University System of Georgia, who has been employed by the University System of Georgia for at least twelve (12) months total (not necessarily the last twelve (12) months), and worked at least 1,250 hours during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the leave.
    • Family Leave: Leave as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act that allows the employees excused absences from their workplace due to: the birth or legal adoption of a child, the employee’s own serious health condition, the serious health condition of a member of the employee’s immediate family, leave due to a call to active duty or caregiver leave to care for a family member in the armed services who is recovering from an injury.
    • Immediate Family: Child, spouse or parent, but not in-laws.
        • Child: The employee’s biological son or daughter under the age of 18, legally adopted son or daughter under the age of 18, and/or foster child, stepchild or ward under the age of 18, legally placed with the employee. Any such child over the age of 18 if the child is incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability.
            • “Incapable of self-care” means requiring active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more basic or instrumental “activities of daily living,” such as grooming & hygiene, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, taking public transportation, etc.
            • A “mental or physical disability” is one that substantially limits one or more major life functions as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
      • Spouse: The employee’s legal husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides.
        • Parent: A biological parent of the employee or an individual who stands or stood “in loco parentis” to an employee by providing primary day-to-day care and financial support when the employee was a child. Coverage does not include parents-in-law. 
    • Continuous & Intermittent Leave: Leave for one’s own serious health condition, or for the care of a family member with a serious health condition, may be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis in increments as small as one hour if medically indicated. Institutions have the discretion to determine whether to allow intermittent leaves for birth, adoption, or foster placement or whether such leaves must be continuous.
    • Intermittent Leave or Reduced Work Schedule:
      • There must be a medical need for leave which can be best accommodated through an intermittent or reduced work schedule.
      • An employee must attempt to schedule leave or reduced work so as not to disrupt the employer’s operations.
      • The employer may assign the employee to an alternative position with equivalent
      pay and benefits that better accommodates the employee’s intermittent leave or
      reduced work schedule.
      • Intermittent leave may include leave periods of an hour or more, up to several
      weeks.
      • Only the amount of leave actually taken is counted toward the 12 weeks of
      eligibility.
    • Rolling 12-month Calendar:
      • The retrospective 12-month period as measured backward from the date the employee began using FMLA leave.
      • To determine if an employee is eligible for FMLA leave during any given work week* on a “rolling year” basis, one looks back over the 12 months immediately preceding that week. If the employee has not utilized the equivalent of 12 weeks of FMLA-qualifying leave in the 12 months prior to the date in question, then the employee is eligible for that week of leave (assuming all other eligibility criteria are met). In utilizing a rolling year, this analysis may be conducted each week to determine continued eligibility.
      *The fact that a holiday may occur within the week taken as FMLA leave has no effect; the week is counted as a week of FMLA leave. If, however, the institution’s business operations have ceased, and employees are generally not expected to report for work for one or more weeks (e.g., during the winter holiday break), those days do not count against the employee’s FMLA entitlement.
  • FMLA Administration Information

    The University of West Georgia uses a rolling 12-month period (rather than a fixed calendar, fiscal, or academic year) to determine eligibility for, and availability of, leave time under FMLA. The 12-month period during which 12 weeks of family leave may be taken shall begin on the first day such family leave is taken. 

    An employee has a right to return to the same position, or an equivalent position in terms of pay, benefits, and working conditions. Certain "key employees" may be denied job restoration if they are among the highest-paid 10% of employees and if such denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the operations of the employer.
  • Authorized Reasons

    Consistent with the provisions of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, an eligible employee may be entitled to up to 12 work weeks of leave during any 12-month period.  An eligible employee is defined as any employee (including part-time and temporary) of the University of West Georgia, who has:

    • been employed by the University of West Georgia for at least 12 months total (not necessarily the last 12 months), and
    • worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave.
    Leave under FMLA may be taken for one or more of the following reasons:
    • The employee's own serious health condition, including an on-the-job injury or occupational disease covered by Worker's Compensation, which causes the employee to be unable to perform the functions of his or her job.
    • The care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition.
    • The birth and care of a newborn child.
    • The legal placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
    •  A spouse, son, daughter, or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Leave may be used for any "qualifying exigency" arising out of the service member's current tour of active duty or because the service member is notified of an impending call to duty in support of a contingency operation.

    NDAA creates an additional reason for using family leave and longer job protected
    leave:
    Consistent with the provisions of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993
    and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008, an eligible employee may be
    entitled to up to 26 work weeks of leave during any 12-month period per service member and per injury or illness, for the following reason:

    A spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative caring for a recovering service
    member. A recovering service member is defined as a member of the Armed Forces who
    suffered an injury or illness while on active-duty that may render the person unable to
    perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank or rating. Military service FMLA
    runs concurrent with non-military service FMLA. The maximum leave in a single 12-
    month period is 12 weeks for family/medical or 26 weeks for any family/medical/military
    service combination, of which no more than 12 weeks may be for non-military service
    leave.

  • Supervisor Responsibilities

    It is the responsibility of the University of West Georgia to designate leave, paid or unpaid, as
    FMLA-qualifying. UWG has the right to designate any qualifying time off as FMLA leave, even
    if the time is not specifically requested as FMLA leave per se by the eligible employee. It is also the responsibility of the employee's supervisor to notify the employee that such leave has been designated as FMLA-qualified. Supervisors should review employee absences of 3 days or more days and notify Human Resources.
    The University of West Georgia should provide its employees with information regarding the
    FMLA process. Please obtain a poster to place in your break room or other prominent work
    location.

    • A supervisor should be aware of the employee responsibilities under FMLA. Should a supervisor be unfamiliar with the guidelines related to FMLA policy, they should seek assistance from UWG Human Resources.
    • As soon as possible, a supervisor should provide notice to UWG Human Resources when an employee has been absent at least 3 days and the absence may be designated as FMLA-qualified.
    • UWG Human Resources will then initiate contact with the employee.
    • If you have a question regarding whether an employee's leave should be designated as FMLA-qualified, please contact UWG Human Resources.
    • At some later date, UWG Human Resources may request medical certification if there is reason to question the appropriateness of the leave or its duration. In addition, if UWG has reason to doubt the validity of a medical certification, UWG Human Resources may, at the employer's expense, require the employee to obtain a second opinion.
    •  A supervisor may not directly contact a health care provider to request additional
      information, but he/she should consult with UWG Human Resources if assistance is needed. Arrangements may be made for a health care provider representing the institution to contact the employee's provider for clarification and authentication.
    • UWG Human Resources and the supervisor should maintain contact should there be any change in circumstances for which the leave was taken.
    • UWG Human Resources may request an attending physician to indicate when the
      employee may be able to return to work.
    • Two weeks before an employee has exhausted all annual and sick leave, the supervisor should complete and submit a PAR putting the employee on leave without pay. The purpose of this notification is to help the employee make arrangements to pay for health insurance premiums and other benefits premiums while not receiving a paycheck.
    • Please ensure you have provided information to the employee regarding his/her employee rights and responsibilities.
    • If an employee is not able to return to work by the end of the approved FMLA leave, he/she may be eligible to request additional personal leave under other University System of Georgia policies. In no case may all leaves combined exceed 12 months. If an employee does not return to work and is not granted additional leave, his/her employment will end on the last day of the approved FMLA leave. Human Resources must be  consulted prior to terminating an employee who is unable to return to work following FMLA leave.
  • Employee Responsibilities

    FMLA allows employees to balance their work and family lives by taking reasonable unpaid
    leave for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA seeks to accomplish this in a manner
    that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers, minimizes the potential for
    employment discrimination on the basis of gender, while promoting equal employment
    opportunity for men and women.
    As an employee requesting family leave, you are expected to provide your supervisor with
    appropriate notification and documentation.

    • To be entitled to FMLA leave, employees must give at least a 30-day advance notice for foreseeable leave, or as much notice as is possible and practical. For unforeseeable leave, you must provide notice as soon as possible.
    • You must document the need for leave by completing and submitting one of the
      appropriate forms listed on the FMLA page. You must provide the requested
      certification (if needed) within the time frame requested (the institution must allow at least 15 calendar days after its request), unless it is not practical to do so despite the employee's diligent, good-faith efforts.
    • Medical re-certification may be required for prolonged illnesses.
    • For a personal serious health condition, you may be required to present a fitness-for-duty clearance from your health care provider before being reinstated to active duty.
    • If you are out of annual and sick leave, you must make arrangements to pay your health insurance premiums. Please contact UWG Human Resources to make these arrangements.
    • You must notify your supervisor of any change of circumstances for which your leave is being taken.
    • You are expected to return to work by the end of the approved FMLA leave. If you do not return, and if failure to return is not due to a continued or newly  documented qualifying serious health condition, we cannot guarantee protection of your position.
    • Once you have reviewed your responsibilities, please consult with UWG Human
      Resources if you have further questions. Please review your FMLA rights and benefits.
  • FMLA and Health Insurance

    Whether utilizing paid or unpaid time, employees may continue their insurance benefits during
    FMLA leave by paying their portion of the premiums. Below is an example of how FMLA can
    impact the payment of your health care premium.

    Definitions
    University Contribution: The portion of your health insurance cost the University of West
    Georgia pays as a benefit for you
    Premium: The portion of your health insurance cost you are required to pay after the UWG
    contribution

    Other Benefits While on FMLA
    Employees on FMLA without pay may also continue participation in other benefits (for example, dental, life, LTD, AD&D) by making arrangements to pay the premiums while not receiving a paycheck.

    If you have any questions about your insurance as it relates to Family & Medical Leave, please contact UWG Human Resources at 678-839-6403.

  • Births and Adoptions

    Intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule may be granted for well-child care after the birth, adoption, or placement of a child.

    Spouses employed by the University of Georgia are jointly entitled to a combined total
    of 12 work weeks of family leave for the birth and care of a newborn child, for the
    placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or for the care of a parent who has a
    serious health condition.

     Entitlement to this feature of FMLA leave expires at the end of the 12-month period that
    began on the date of the birth or placement. Any such FMLA leave must be concluded
    within this one-year period.

 Military Leave

  • What is Military Leave?

    An employee who receives orders for active military duty shall be entitled to absent himself or
    herself from his or her duties and shall be deemed to have a leave of absence with pay for the
    period of such ordered military duty, and while going to and returning from such duty, not to
    exceed a total of eighteen (18) workdays in any one (1) federal fiscal year (October 1 -
    September 30). After an employee has exhausted his/her paid military leave, an institution may pay the employee for his/her accumulated annual leave. At the expiration of the maximum paid leave time, continued absence by the employee shall be considered as military leave without pay.

    The employee shall be required to submit a copy of his or her orders to active military duty.
    Notwithstanding the foregoing leave limitation of eighteen (18) days, in the event the Governor
    declares an emergency and orders an employee to State active duty as a member of the National Guard, such employee while performing such duty shall be paid his or her salary or other compensation as an employee for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days in any one (1) federal fiscal year.

  • Employee Responsibilities and Rights

    Upon receiving military activation orders, an employee must advise his/her employer.
    Unless precluded by military necessity, advance notice must be provided. Employees are
    encouraged to provide documentation of military duty prior to activation.

    Upon re-employment, an employee will be required to present the institution with a copy
    of his/her completion of military assignment orders that specify the dates/duration of
    ordered military service.

    Generally, benefits will continue while an employee is on full time ordered military duty.
    However, such action constitutes a qualifying event and permits an employee to make a
    change in his/her healthcare plan coverage. While an employee is on a paid leave status,
    to include military leave pay and payment of accrued annual leave, employee and
    employer retirement plan contributions should continue to be paid.

  • Returning to Work

    The cumulative length of time that a returning service member may be absent from work for
    military service, and retain his/her re-employment rights is five years. A returning service
    member is to be reemployed in the position that he/she held, or that he/she would have attained had he/she not been order to active military duty.

    USERRA regulations specify return to work or re-employment time frames that an employee
    must follow upon completion of active military service. They are:

    •  Less than 31 days: An employee should return to work the first day following the
      completion of his/her active military service.
    • 30 – 180 days: An employee must request reinstatement of employment within fourteen (14) days following the completion if his/her active military service.
    • Over 180 days: An employee must request reinstatement of employment within ninety (90) days following the completion if his/her active military service.
    • A service member convalescing from injuries during military service or in training may have up to two (2) years to return to his/her position.

Extended Leave and Funding for Replacement