University of California, Riverside

Human Resources



UCR Local Procedure 2.210 - Leave of Absence


UCR Local Procedures 2.210: LEAVE OF ABSENCE
October 2017

I.  Related Policies and References
A. Absence from Work Policy 2.210
B. ID - Academic Leave of Absence Guidelines
C. IE - Academic Leave of Absence Form (UPAY) 573
D. Overview of Leaves (FMLA-CFRA-PDL)
E. Definition - Serious Medical Condition
II.  General
A. Reasons for Leave
  Employers are required to grant leave to eligible employees:
  1. Because of a serious health condition, including pregnancy, that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job.
         An expectant mother may take FMLA before the birth of the child for prenatal care or if her condition renders her unable to work.
  2. To care for the employee's spouse, domestic partner, children who are under 18 years of age or incapable  of self-care because of a mental or physical disability (including children of the employee's domestic partner), or parent with a serious health condition (in-laws are excluded).
         The department may require a declaration of relationship for FML
  3. To care for a newborn child (Baby Bonding)
         Leave granted for bonding purposes shall be concluded within 12 months following the birth of the child.
  4. For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care (Baby Bonding)
   

a. The employee may take FML before the actual placement if an absence from work is required for the placement for adoption or foster care to proceed.      

   

b.  Leave granted for bonding purposes shall be concluded within 12 months following the child's placement for adoption or foster care.

 

5.

Military FMLA Caregiver Leave: To care for a covered servicemember with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty - (contact Human Resources for guidance)

 

6.

Military FMLA Exigency Leave: For any "qualifying exigency" that results from a covered family member's active duty or call to active duty in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation, including military events and related activities, childcare, financial and legal arrangements, counseling, post-deployment activities, and other related events - (contact Human Resources for guidance)

B.

Eligibility

 

1.

An employee is entitled up to 12 workweeks of FML/CFRA during a calendar year, provided that:

    a.  The employee has at least 12 cumulative months of university service (all prior university service and military leave granted by the university, including service with and military leave granted by the Department of Energy Laboratories, shall be used to calculate the 12-month service requirement); and
    b.  The employee has worked at least 1,250 actual hours during the 12-months immediately preceding the commencement date of the leave (for employees granted military leave, all hours that would have been worked had the employee not been ordered to military duty shall be used to calculate 1,250 actual hours of work requirement).
  2. An employee is entitled up to 4 months of PDL during a calendar year, provided that there are no eligibility requirements for employees requesting PDL.
  An employee may be granted a Leave of Absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and/or the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) for reasons noted below (in many circumstances, these leaves run concurrently).
III. Procedures
A. The department receives information that a Leave of Absence may be appropriate, such as the employee:
  1. Indicates a need for time away due to a personal medical related situation;
  2. Indicates a need for time away due to a medical related situation involving a family member;
  3. Is hospitalized;
  4. Is unable to work due to pregnancy
  5. Indicates a need for time away for the purpose of baby bonding
B. Within 5 business days, the department shall determine the employees' eligibility and provide the employee with an initial Leave of Absence packet, consisting of a:
  1. Response to Request cover letter which indicates the status of the request and the actions required (links to sample cover letters can be found in Section IV).
  2. Leave of Absence Request Form
  3. The appropriate Certification of Health Care Provider Form - (The department completes the contact information in the introduction and Section I) - not required for Parental/Baby Bonding Leave
    a.  Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Medical Condition
    b.  Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member's Serious Medical Condition
    c.  Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Pregnancy Disability
    d.  Certification of Health Care Provider for Military Caregiver Leave
    e.  Certification of Qualifying Exigency Leave - Leave Arising Out of the Active Duty or Call to Active Duty of a Covered Military Member
  4. The Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities form - (The department completes in its entirety)
  5. The FML Benefits Checklist
  6. The Declaration of Relationship - (The department complete the employee name and department information in the introduction) - to be provided if the leave is to care for a family member or for parental leave.
  Note: Under limited circumstances, FML can be retroactively designated - contact Human Resources prior to establishing a retroactive FML beginning date.
C. Within 15 business days from the date indicated on the initial Leave of Absence packet, the employee shall return all requested documents to the individual listed.
  1. Failure of the employee to respond within 15 days will result in the department forwarding a Certification and/or Declaration Not Received letter, another Leave of Absence Request form, Health Care Provider Certification (if applicable), and Declaration of Relationship form (if applicable) to the employee.
  2. Failure of the employee to respond to the department's second request within 15 business days will result in the department contacting Employee & Labor Relations for further guidance.
D. Once the requested documents are received from the employee, the department shall:
  1. Sign and complete Section II of the Leave of Absence Request Form
  2. Review the medical certification for completeness (if incomplete, contact the Disability Management Coordinator for guidance)
  3. Provide a copy of the following documents to the employee within three (3) business days:
    a.  A Designation Notice Cover Letter (a PDL Certification or Parental Leave Certification letter should be used in lieu of the Designation Cover Letter & Designation Notice when PDL or Parental Leave is requested separately)
    b.  A Designation Notice
    c.  The completed Leave of Absence Request Form
    d.  A Return to Work Certification (if applicable)
  4. Update PPS to reflect paid or unpaid Leave of Absence.
E. Time/Recordkeeping
  1. The UCR Time Record (UPAY 100R) form should be used for timekeeping and to record actual paid and unpaid FML hours while the employee is on an intermittent/reduced schedule FML leave or a continuous FML leave. This includes exempt employees on a reduced schedule or intermittent leave. This form can record partial regular time worked (REG) and partial FML hours (FML) taken.
    If an FLSA exempt employee will be on an intermittent leave or reduced work schedule, the time should be tracked the same as it is for non-exempt employees (e.g., 15 minute increments), an Exempt Employee Workweek Agreement for FML Leaves Taken on a Reduced Schedule or Intermittent Basis form, should be completed and maintained by the department.
  2. In PPS the department should record the period of time the employee is on continuous or intermittent/reduced schedule FML during paid or unpaid leave. This is a source of recordkeeping which allows the department to review a period of time the employee was on FML. This information is also used to record the period of time the employee is entitled to U.C. benefit contributions.
    a.  For continuous leaves, the department needs to record the FML in PPS (specifically the ELVE screen), with the following codes:
         1. 15-Family and Medical Leave without pay
         2. 16-Family and Medical Leave with pay
    b.  For intermittent or reduced schedule leaves, the department needs to record the FML in PPS (specifically the ELVE screen), with the following code:
         16- Family and Medical Leave with pay
  3. Since PPS cannot record partial FML hours and partial regular hours, the department needs to record the FML hours on intermittent or reduced schedule leaves as Family and Medical Leave with pay and record the actual FML and regular hour activity on the Time Record (UPAY 100R).
  4. Once the Time Record is completed the department will have a source of record keeping and verify how many regular hours the employee worked. Once the regular hours are determined based on the Time Record activity the department can update this information in the Time Roster in PPS prior to payroll deadlines.
  5. The home department shall be the "Office of Record" for FML records. FML records must be kept for at least three (3) years and, upon request, be made available for inspection, copying and transcription by representatives of the Department of Labor (DOL). These documents shall be maintained as confidential records in a file separate from the employee's personnel file.
  6. Records that must be maintained are listed below.
    a.  Basic payroll and identifying employee data.
    b. The Leave of Absence Request Form.
    c. The UCR Time Record forms showing dates/hours FML is taken. Leave must be designated in these records as FML. If leave is taken in increments of less than one (1) full day, the hours of the leave must be recorded (including exempt employees).
    d. The Exempt Employee Workweek Agreement for FML Leaves Taken on a Reduced Schedule or Intermittent Basis for Exempt Employees form, if applicable.
    e.  The Declaration of Relationship (for Family In Loco Parentis Medical Leave Purposes) form, if applicable.
    f.  Copies of the employee's notice(s) of leave furnished to the department, if in writing.
    g.  Records and documents relating to health care provider certifications and recertifications.
    h.  Records of any dispute between the employee and department regarding designation of leave as FML.
    I.  Any other records relating to FML, including any and all cover memos.
IV.  Personal Leaves
A. A request for personal leave without pay via submission of a Leave of Absence Request Form must be submitted by the employee to the department head, including proposed dates of, and the reason for leave.
B. The department head determines whether the leave request is appropriate and/or feasible. In granting the leave, the best interests of the university, as well as the interests of the employee shall be considered.  Personal leave may be granted for reasons such as, but not limited, extended illness; need to provide extended care for members of the family; education which will directly increase job effectiveness; or temporary employment outside the university, provided that the outside work is in the interest of public service and/or will be beneficial to the university upon the employee's return.
C. For a personal leave of up to six (6) months, the department head either approves or denies the leave and informs the employee of the decision.
D. For a personal leave of more than six (6) months, or extension of a leave beyond six(6) months, the department head recommends approval or denial of the leave to the organizational unit (i.e., the dean or vice chancellor's office). The organizational unit makes the final decision on approval or denial of the leave, and informs the department head of the decision who, in turn, informs the employee. Total personal leave granted shall not exceed 12 months.
E. It is the department's responsibility to update the employee's Payroll/Personnel Online System data to reflect the leave of absence without pay.
V.  Responsibility
A. Employee
  1. Provide at least 30 days advanced notice of the need for FML, whenever possible. If 30 days notice is not practicable, the employee shall provide notice as soon as possible.
  2. Complete and return all Leave of Absence forms requested by employee's department, within the time period given by the department.
  3. Contact the Payroll Office for the employee's portion of any premiums not fully covered by university contribution during leave.
B. Department
  1. Identify and designate the type of leave (e.g., FML, PDL, Parental, Personal)
  2. Provide the initial leave of absence packet to the employee within five (5) business days of receiving information that a need for a leave of absence may be required.
  3. Record and track all paid and unpaid leave taken.
  4. Maintain all leave-related records in a confidential file, separate from the employee's personnel file.
  5. Ensure records are available for inspection, copying and transcription by the Department of Labor upon request.
  6. Approve personal leaves of up to six (6) months in duration.
  7. Ensure necessary updates to PPS are made to accurately reflect LWP and LWOP.
C. Organizational Units
  Approve personal leaves with a duration of more than six (6) months, but not more than 12 months.
VI. Sample Cover Letters
A. Sample FML/CFRA Cover Letters (except PDL)
  1. Response to Requests Cover Letters
    a.  Employee Not FML Eligible - For All FML Requests, except PDL
    b.  Employee FML Eligible but Leave Entitlement Exhausted - For All FML Requests, except PDL
   

c.  Employee FML Eligible - For Leave for Employee's Serious Health Condition

    d.  Employee FML Eligible - For Leave for Family Member's Serious Health Condition
  2. Designation Letter - For all approved and denied FML requests, except approved requests for combined PDL & Parental Leave
B. Sample Pregnancy and Baby Bonding Cover Letters
  1. Response to Requests Cover
    a.  Employee FML Eligible - For combined PDL and Parental Leave
    b.  Employee FML Eligible - For requests limited to PDL
    c.  Employee FML Eligible - For requests for Parental Leave only
    d.  Employee Not FML Eligible - For requests for PDL only
    e.  Employee FML Eligible but Leave Entitlement Exhausted - For requests for PDL only
    f.  Letter for Change in End Date of PDL - For approved combined PDL and Parental Leave
  2. Confirmation Letters
    a.  PDL Only Confirmation Letter - Employee not FML eligible or employee FML eligible but leave entitlement exhausted
    b.  Parental Leave Only Confirmation Letter
  3. Designation Letter - For approved combined PDL and Parental leave
C. Additional Sample Cover Letters
  1. Certification and/or Declaration Not Received - For all FML leaves
  2. Certification Incomplete or Insufficient - For all FML leaves
  3. Recertification - For leave for employee's or family member's serious health condition

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