Policy I4
Policy Name: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Responsibility for Maintenance: Human Resources 

Date of most recent changes: June 17, 2014

I. Policy Statement 

Onondaga Community College complies with the provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The purpose of this policy is to provide employees with a general description of requirements under the Act and College policy. In the event of any conflict between this policy and the applicable law, employees will be afforded all rights required by law.

Eligibility Requirements – To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have been employed by the College for at least 12 months or 52 weeks, and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately prior to the time the leave will begin. Hours calculated will be based on actual hours worked, including any applicable overtime. Special rules for employees returning from military service require crediting the hours of service that would have been performed but for the period of military service in determining FMLA eligibility. The 12 months an employee must have been employed by the College need not be consecutive. The College will determine employee eligibility at the time of a leave request.

Basic Leave Entitlement – The College will grant an eligible employee job protected leave for up to 12 work weeks during a 12-month period, if the procedures as specified herein are followed and the leave is requested for any of the following reasons:

  • for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth;
  • to care for the employee’s child after birth, or for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
  • for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.

Military Family Leave Entitlement – Eligible employees whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies such as attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings; or to care for a military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care when the care is necessitated by the member’s covered active duty. Such care may include arranging for alternative care, providing care on an immediate basis, admitting or transferring the parent to a care facility, or attending meetings with staff at care facility.

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is: (1) a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness, or (2) a veteran who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable at any time during the five-year period prior to the first date the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran, and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy of a serious injury or illness.

Definition of 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.

Employee Responsibilities – Employees must provide 30 days’ notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days’ notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with the College’s normal call-in procedures. The employee’s supervisor and a Human Resource representative should be promptly notified.

Employees must provide sufficient information to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform job functions; the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. Employees also must inform the employer if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA was previously taken or certified. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic re-certification supporting the need for leave.

A Human Resource representative will issue the appropriate FMLA documents including a Certification of Health Care Provider form which should be completed by the appropriate health care provider and returned to the Office of Human Resources.

II. Reason for Policy 

The Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. 

III. Applicability of the Policy 

This policy applies to all eligible College employees.

IV. Related Documents

V. Contacts 

Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Questions regarding FMLA Human Resources  Vice President, Human Resources (315) 498-2516   [email protected]

VI. Definitions 

Term Definition
Serious health condition means an illness, impairment or mental condition that involves: (i) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, or (ii) continuing treatment by a health care provider.
Health care provider means: (i) a doctor or medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the state in which the doctor practices, or (ii) any other person determined by the Secretary of the Department of Labor to be capable of providing health care services.
Other definitions as provided by the FMLA and applicable regulations.

VII. Procedures 

Requesting FMLA Leave - Employees seeking FMLA leave should contact the Office of Human Resources for the necessary application forms and eligibility requirements. Employees who are eligible for FMLA leave are entitled to leave time, continuation of health benefits, and job restoration after leave and protection against harassment. Eligible employees who qualify for Worker’s Compensation or disability benefits due to a serious health condition are placed on FMLA.

Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave - Job protected leave is unpaid unless the employee has paid leave available. An employee may request to use certain kinds of paid leave in substitution of unpaid leave during the FMLA leave. Please see the policies governing those types of leave for further details. At the College’s option, employees may be required to utilize applicable paid leave in conjunction with FMLA. Use of paid leave does not extend the FMLA period.

Non-Retaliation - The College will not tolerate any retaliation against any employee because he or she requested or used FMLA leave or complained in good faith under this policy. Any individual who feels he or she has been discriminated or retaliated against due to his or her request for or use of FMLA leave should use the reporting procedures set forth in the Non-Harassment/Non-Discrimination Policy. 

Posting and Employee Notices - The College posts the mandatory FMLA Notice outside the Office of Human Resources as well as in conspicuous areas in various campus buildings. Upon hire, the College also provides all new employees with notices required by the U.S. Department of Labor on Employee Rights and Responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

VIII. Forms/Online Processes

The United States Department of Labor’s website --  www.dol.gov -- contains the following forms which may be used in the application process: 

The College may utilize and/or require the utilization of other forms, and may require that additional clarifying information be provided, as appropriate.

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006

Revised and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 2, 2008

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 17, 2014