The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally provides that in certain situations an Eligible Employee is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period, and that in such situations the Contributing Employer is required to continue coverage for the Employee.

In addition, FMLA provides for up to 26 weeks of caregiver leave for an employee to care for a covered family member who incurred a serious physical or mental illness in the line of duty in covered military service. The total FMLA leave for this military service member care, combined with other FMLA leave, cannot exceed 26 weeks.

FMLA leave also includes up to 12 weeks of “qualifying exigency” leave arising out of the following situations affecting a covered family member in military service: (1) certain short-notice deployments; (2) certain military events, programs, or ceremonies; (3) childcare and school activities; (4) financial or legal appointments; (5) counseling; (6) rest and recuperation; (7) certain post-deployment activities; and (8) other activities as agreed upon by the employee and employer.

Determination as to whether a leave of absence is an FMLA leave shall be made by the Contributing Employer, and is subject to review by the Board of Trustees. If requested, an Employee must submit proof acceptable to the Trust that the leave is in accordance with FMLA provisions.

An Eligible Employee is entitled to continue coverage under FMLA if he or she:

  • is employed by a Contributing Employer with 50 or more total employees within 75 miles from the Employee’s work site, or the Contributing Employer is a public agency; and
  • has worked for his or her Contributing Employer for at least 12 months; and
  • has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period preceding the start of the FMLA leave of absence; and
  • is on a FMLA-qualified leave from employment with the Contributing Employer.

In the event that both a husband and wife are covered as Eligible Employees, the FMLA continued coverage may not exceed a combined total of 12 weeks if the FMLA leave is related to the birth or placement of a child or to caring for a parent with a serious health condition. If an Employee is on a FMLA leave on the day coverage is to begin, coverage will nonetheless begin.

If an Employee becomes eligible for both: (a) FMLA coverage due to the Employee’s own disability, and (b) this Plan’s 29-month Extended Benefits for Total Disability, continuation of eligibility will run concurrently until the FMLA leave is exhausted, then the available balance of Extended Benefits for Total Disability will be applied. Continuation of eligibility under FMLA is concurrent with all other continuation options except for COBRA; an Employee is eligible to elect COBRA Continuation Coverage as of the day FMLA coverage

Continuation of coverage under FMLA ends on the earliest of:

  • The day the Employee returns to work;
  • The day the Employee notifies his or her Employer that he or she is not returning to work;
  • The day coverage under the Plan would otherwise end (i.e., Plan maximum has been paid); or
  • The day after coverage has been continued under FMLA for 12 weeks.

Employees should contact their Employer to find out more about Family and Medical Leave and the terms on which an Employee may be entitled to it.

If there is any conflict between these provisions and FMLA, the minimum FMLA provisions shall govern.