Human Resources Management Policy
Family and Medical Leave
NOTE: THIS POLICY, LIKE ALL OTHER
MUSC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES, IS NOT A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SHOULD
NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. THIS POLICY MAY BE CHANGED AT ANY TIME BY THE
MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
(FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of unpaid
leave each calendar year for birth, adoption, or foster care of a child;
to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition; and
for an employee to attend to his/her own serious health condition. Employers
are required to maintain any pre-existing health coverage during the leave
period, and once the leave period is concluded, to reinstate the employee
to the same or equivalent job.
- Full-time eligible employees are entitled
to 12 weeks (480 hours) of FMLA leave per calendar year.
- Part-time eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks
of prorated leave per calendar year based on the total number of
hours established to work. (i.e., An employee established to work 30 hours
a week is entitled to 360 hours of FMLA leave [30 hours/week x 12 weeks
= 360 hours]).
- FMLA leave will be charged to employees by proper notation on the punch
detail reports (STAR), biweekly time cards or monthly time summaries for
the actual time employees are away from the job. Copies of time cards
and monthly time summaries must be submitted to the Department of Human
Resources Management (DHRM).
- For additional leave information refer to Human Resources Management
Policies No. 18, Annual Leave; No. 19, Sick Leave;
and No. 20, Leave of Absence Without Pay.
- INFORMATION AND PROCEDURES
- FMLA leave may be granted to any employee who has worked for the State
of South Carolina for at least twelve (12) months and has worked
at least 1250 hours (defined as Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA] compensable
hours of work) during the twelve (12) month period preceding the
request for FMLA leave.
- All South Carolina state agencies are considered a single employer
for the purpose of determining FMLA leave eligibility
- Exempt employees are presumed to have met the 1250 hours of service
unless otherwise indicated by work records kept on file.
- MUSC employees previously employed by University Medical Associates
(UMA); the Marriott Corporation; Center for Computing and Information
Technology (CCIT); Charleston Memorial Hospital (CMH); and other affiliated
agencies may be considered for eligibility under the "joint employment"
- Reasons for Using FMLA Leave
- The birth of a child and to care for that child;
- Placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee or
to care for the child after placement;
- To care for the employees spouse, child or parent with a serious
health condition; and,
- A serious health condition that renders the employee unable to work
and/or perform the essential functions of the employees job.
Note: Eligibility for reasons 1 and 2 expires twelve (12)
months after the date of the birth or placement of a child.
- Spouse is a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state
law for purposes of marriage, including a common law marriage in states
where it is recognized. South Carolina recognizes common law marriages.
- Child is a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild,
legal ward or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who
is either under the age of 18 or who is 18 or older and incapable of self-care
because of a mental or physical disability.
- Parent is a biological or adoptive parent or an individual who
stands or stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee
was a child. Parents-in-law are not included.
- Health care providers are: (1) a doctor of medicine or osteopathy;
(2) a podiatrist, dentist, clinical psychologist, optometrist, chiropractor
(limited to treatment consisting of spine manipulation unless the employers
group health plan accepts claims of benefits to other health conditions);
(3) a nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife; or clinical social worker (authorized
under state law and who are performing within the scope of their license);
or, (4) a Christian Science practitioner. A manager or supervisor can
require a second opinion.
- Serious or chronic health condition is an illness, injury, impairment,
or physical or mental condition that involves:
- Any period of incapacity or treatment in connection with inpatient
care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential
medical care facility; or,
- Any period of incapacity requiring an absence from work, school,
or other regular daily activities of more than three consecutive calendar
days, that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision
of) a health care provider; or,
- Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care;
- Continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care
provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable
or so serious that, if not treated, would likely result in a period
of incapacity of more than three (3) calendar days.
- Continuing Treatment: two (2) or more visits, or two (2) or
more treatments by a health care provider; a single visit to a health
provider that results in a regimen of treatment under the supervision
of a health care provider.
- Needed to care for: because of a serious health condition an
employee is "needed to care for" a family member who is unable
to care for his/her own basic medical, hygienic, or nutritional needs
or safety, or is unable to transport himself/herself to a health care
- Includes providing psychological comfort and reassurance to a covered
family member receiving inpatient or home care.
- Includes filling in for others who routinely care for the covered
family member or making arrangements for changes in care.
- Health and Dental Coverage
- Health and dental coverage shall be maintained on an eligible
employee during any FMLA leave period.
- Employees must continue to pay the employees portion of health
and dental insurance premiums even when in an FMLA leave of absence without
- Scheduling FMLA Leave
- An eligible employee requesting FMLA leave should give thirty
(30) days advance notice to the supervisor/manager when the need for the
leave is foreseeable.
- When the need for the leave is not foreseeable, such notice must be
given as soon as practical.
- When planning medical treatment, every effort should be made to schedule
leave so as not to disrupt a departments operation.
- The use of FMLA leave shall be subject to verification. An employees
request for FMLA leave to care for the employees seriously ill spouse,
child or parent, or due to the employees own serious health condition,
must be supported by certification issued by the health care provider.
- Medical Certification
- All medical documents must be kept separate from employee personnel
- Employees requesting FMLA leave shall furnish a medical certification
form from the health care provider within fifteen (15) days of a request
from the supervisor/manager.
- A supervisor/manager may request recertification at any reasonable interval,
but not more often than every thirty (30) days unless:
- The employee requests an extension of leave;
- Circumstances described by the original certification change significantly;
- The supervisor/manager receives information that casts doubt upon
the continuing validity of the certification; or
- When an employee is unable to return to work after FMLA leave.
- The supervisor/manager has a right to request a second and, if necessary,
third medical opinion and will be responsible for any charges incurred
by the requests.
- Leave does not have to be granted if the second and third opinions
say the employee does not need time off from work.
- The supervisor/manager may choose the health care provider for the
- The supervisor/manager and employee must agree on the health care
provider for the third opinion.
- The third opinion shall be final and binding.
- Birth/Adoption/Foster Care
- FMLA leave for the birth of a baby may begin prior to the birth for
prenatal care, or if the expectant mothers health condition renders
her unable to work.
- FMLA leave may begin before the actual placement for adoption of a child
if an absence from work is required for counseling sessions, court appearances,
lawyer visits, etc.
- Annual leave or leave without pay shall be used for the purpose of foster
- The use of sick leave for birth or adoption is addressed in the Human
Resources Management Policy No. 19, Sick Leave.
- Spouses Employed By The Same Employer
- Spouses employed by MUSC or another State agency are limited
to a combined total of 12 weeks or 480 hours (prorated for part-time employees)
of FMLA leave per calendar year for the birth or adoption of a
child or the placement of a foster care child.
- Spouses employed by MUSC or another State agency are not limited
to a combined total of 12 weeks or 480 hours (prorated for part-time employees)
to care for themselves, spouses, and/or children due to a serious health
- Declaring FMLA Leave For Eligible Employees
- It is the supervisor's/managers responsibility to declare
absences as FMLA leave based on information provided by the employee.
- The supervisor/manager may verbally declare an absence as FMLA leave
(pending eligibility) within two (2) business days upon determining that
the leave qualifies as FMLA leave.
- The supervisor/manager must confirm in writing to the eligible
employee that the leave requested has been designated as FMLA leave. This
must occur no later than the employee's next pay day (unless the pay day
is less than one (1) week after the oral notice, in which case the written
notice must be no later than the subsequent pay day).
- FMLA leave may not be declared retroactively if the supervisor/manager
fails to declare in writing the leave as FMLA prior to the eligible
employee beginning the leave, or at the time the supervisor/manager has
sufficient information to make a determination that the leave is for an
- An eligible employee who uses leave for an FMLA reason and whose
supervisor/manager has not declared in writing the absence as FMLA leave
is protected under the law, but the time used may not be deducted
from the employee's twelve (12) week entitlement.
- An eligible employee's FMLA leave allowance shall be charged
for the actual time an employee is away from the job.
- Declaring Employees Ineligible For FMLA Leave
- It is the supervisors/managers responsibility to
declare an employee ineligible for FMLA leave if the employee does not
meet the eligibility requirements described in section II. A. of this
- The supervisor/manager must inform the employee verbally within two
(2) business days of receiving the employees request for leave that
the employee does not qualify for FMLA leave.
- The supervisor/manager must confirm in writing to the ineligible
employee that the leave requested has been denied due to the employee
not meeting the eligibility requirements of FMLA. This must occur no later
than the employees next pay day (unless the pay day is less than
one (1) week after the oral notice, in which case the written notice must
be no later than the subsequent pay day).
- An employee who requests or uses leave for a qualifying FMLA reason
will be considered eligible for FMLA leave and protected under the provisions
of the law if the supervisor/manager does not comply with the above procedures.
- Use of Paid and Unpaid Leave
- An eligible employee who is unable to work due to a serious health
condition is required to use all accrued sick leave before requesting
annual leave or leave without pay.
- An eligible employee who is unable to work due to the serious
health condition of a spouse, child, or parent is required to use all
available family sick leave (8 days [64 hours] per calendar year)
before requesting annual leave or leave without pay.
- FMLA leave shall run concurrently with other leave and all leave taken
shall be charged against appropriate leave balances.
- Intermittent or Reduced Schedule Leave
- Whenever medically necessary employees are entitled to intermittent
or reduced schedule leave to care for a seriously ill family member or
because of the employee's own serious health condition.
- Intermittent or reduced schedule leave may be taken for the birth of
a child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the
- Intermittent leave is medical leave taken in separate blocks
of time and may include periods from one (1) hour or less to several
weeks at a time.
- Reduced schedule leave reduces an employee's work hours per
day/week to a number fewer than the employee's normal work schedule.
- Reinstatement from FMLA Leave
An eligible employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to be restored to
the same position the employee held when the leave started or to an equivalent
position with like benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.
- EMPLOYER'S RIGHT TO REFUSE LEAVE OR REINSTATEMENT
- Supervisors/managers may refuse to provide FMLA leave or reinstatement
to eligible employees:
- If an employee fails to provide the requested medical certification
within the specified time frame;
- If an employee fails to provide a requested statement from the health
care provider stating the employee is fit to return to work; and,
- If an employee unequivocally advises the supervisor/manager, in writing,
that he/she does not intend to return to work.
- An employee has no right to benefits and conditions of employment greater
than he/she had prior to FMLA leave.
- An employee who fraudulently obtains FMLA leave is not protected by FMLA's
job restoration or maintenance of health/dental benefits provisions and
may be subject to disciplinary actions up to and including termination.
- FMLA LEAVE RECORDS
- FMLA leave records must be kept separate from employee personnel files.
- Leave records will be maintained by DHRM for each employee covered under
the provisions of the FMLA. Supervisors/managers should forward the following
- Copies of all memoranda or letters sent to employees declaring the use
- Copies of completed medical certification forms;
- Copies of leave request forms; and,
- Copies of time summaries or time cards, if applicable, with exact FMLA
hours clearly noted.
- In addition to the information above, the Department of Human Resources
Management, as required by federal law, will record and maintain all required
information to include:
- The number of FMLA leave hours each employee is eligible for
in the current calendar year;
- The total number of FMLA leave hours (designated as sick leave, annual
leave, holiday leave or leave without pay) used by each employee in the
current calendar year and previous years; and,
- The number of hours in each employee's official work week.
- TRANSFER OF FMLA LEAVE
- Reassignments between departments will not change FMLA leave availability.
- When transferring to or from another state agency, total FMLA leave used
for the current calendar year may be transferred.
- When transferring to or from a temporary grant position, FMLA leave eligibility
will not change.
The Family and Medical Leave Act makes it unlawful for any
supervisor/manager to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any
right provided under this federal law.
All supervisors and managers acting, directly and indirectly,
in the interest of the Medical University of South Carolina can be held personally
liable for failure to adhere to the guidelines of the Family and Medical Leave
|Robert C. Gallager
Vice President for Finance & Administration
Human Resources Development and Performance Management