Policy 1426 – Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Effective Date:: 1993

Responsible Office: Department of Human Resources

Reference: Federal Law

General Circular No. 1126–State of Louisiana, Department of Civil Service and Board
of Supervisors Manual, University of Louisiana System. The contents of this circular
apply to all full-time System employees.

The purpose of this General Circular is to inform all state agencies of the latest
pertinent information we have obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor concerning
the application of the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This act allows
employees to claim leave under four major circumstances:

  • For the birth of a child
  • For the placement of a child, for the adoption of a child, or for the foster care
    of a child
  • In order to care for a parent, child, or spouse with a serious health condition
  • Because of the employee’s own serious health condition

To understand the details of each condition, the Federal Regulations governing the
act and the Act itself must be referred to.

  1. The U.S. Department of Labor has strongly indicated that the State will be treated
    as one employer. Therefore, we are taking the position that all classified employees
    are covered by this Act.
  2. A covered employee is entitled to twelve weeks of leave in a “year.” The Act requires
    the “employer” to choose one of four options as the “year.” Because of the needs of
    our 24-hour institutions, we are designating that all agencies use a “first usage”
    year. This 12-month period begins with an employee’s first usage of FMLA leave.
  3. Employees must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    1. Employed for 12 months by the State and for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months
      preceding the start of FMLA leave. The employee must have actually worked the 1,250
      hours. Leave time is excluded.
    2. The 12-month period required for employment need not be continuous. If an employee
      has worked any part of each of 52 weeks, the 12-month employment requirement is considered
      met. These 52 weeks must have been within a reasonable time period.
  4. The following are some salient points that need to be addressed:
    1. An agency can place an employee on FMLA leave (paid or unpaid) even if the employee
      has not requested leave under FMLA. However, the employer should always require the
      employee to use paid leave first. This usually simplifies the problem with paying
      medical insurance premiums.
    2. The employee may utilize paid leave during FMLA leave and after exhaustion of sick
      leave, may use annual leave when the employee cannot work because of illness or injury.
    3. While an employee may be terminated for exhaustion of sick leave under Civil Service
      Rule 12.6, if that employee has not used all of the 12 weeks of FMLA leave, the employer
      will be in violation of the Act. Therefore, the employee should not be terminated
      unless FMLA leave has also been exhausted.
    4. The employer may designate absences as FMLA leave where the reason for the absence
      is covered by FMLA and the employee may demand to use appropriate paid leave during
      FMLA leave. In either case, the employer must advise the employee in writing with
      notice of the employee’s rights and obligations when such designation is made.
    5. The employee must give 30 days’ notice of the need for FMLA leave, or if not practicable,
      as much notice as is practicable.
    6. The leave is a 12-week only entitlement.
    7. Sick leave can still only be used for the employee’s illness and may not be used for
      taking care of a family member.
    8. Use of straight time compensatory leave is not prohibited for FMLA leave; however,
      use of time and one-half compensatory leave is not allowed.
    9. All medical records submitted to the employer for verification of leave must be treated
      as confidential.
    10. The “key employee” provision of the act should not be used.
  5. Notice to employees
    1. Notice of rights containing at least those on the attached notice must be posted prominently.
    2. If the agency has a formal written policy or handbook covering leave and benefits,
      FMLA rights must be included within that policy or handbook.
  6. Please use the resources available to you to become familiar with FMLA, as we expect
    that we will frequently deal with the rights and obligations created by the Act. In
    addition to the above issues, other important areas are:

    1. Eligibility of employee
    2. Causes for FMLA leave
    3. Definitions in the Act
    4. Medical certifications
    5. Maintenance of health and life insurance
    6. Record keeping
    7. Notices to employees