Faculty Family and Medical Leave Policy

The University of Notre Dame recognizes the difficulty many faculty face balancing the demands of the workplace with their needs and the needs of their families. The University permits eligible faculty to take leave for their own serious health condition; for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child; and to care for a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition. All leaves are consistent with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

See also Extension of Appointment for Primary Caregiver

Eligible Faculty:

1) Family and Medical Leave Due to the Faculty Member’s Own Serious Health
Condition.

Any regular faculty member is eligible to apply for family and medical leave due to the faculty member’s own serious health condition.

2) Family and Medical Leave for Reasons other than the Faculty Member’s Own Serious Health Condition.

Any regular faculty member who has been employed for at least 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the leave is eligible to apply for family and medical leave for reasons other than the faculty member’s own serious health condition.

Purpose of Leave:

1) A “family and medical leave” is defined as any period during which a faculty member is away from work for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The faculty member’s own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions.
  • The birth of the faculty member’s child and to care for that child. (Note: Leave taken due to a faculty member’s own pregnancy and/or childbirth-related condition is considered leave for the faculty member’s own serious health condition described above. Once a faculty member has recovered from the effects of pregnancy and childbirth such that she no longer has a serious health condition, any time taken off to care for that faculty member’s child is considered leave under this provision for the birth of the faculty member’s child and to care for that child.)
  • The placement of a child with the faculty member for adoption or foster care and to care for that child.
  • To care for a faculty member’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health
  • condition.

2) Any leave granted under this policy shall be designated as leave provided under the provisions of the FMLA unless specifically determined to be otherwise.

Leave Duration:

1) Faculty may be granted a maximum of 12 weeks of Family and Medical leave in any 12-month period (time off in addition to family and medical leave may be granted to faculty at the University’s discretion). The 12-month period is a “rolling” 12-month period measured backward from the date a faculty member uses any leave. Each time a faculty member takes family and medical leave, the remaining leave entitlement is any balance of the 12 weeks that has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months. For example, if a faculty member has taken eight weeks of leave during the past 12 months, an additional four weeks of leave could be taken. If a faculty member used four weeks beginning February 1, 2007, four weeks beginning June 1, 2007, and four weeks beginning December 1, 2007, the faculty member would not be entitled to any additional leave until February 1, 2008. However, beginning on February 1, 2008, the faculty member would be entitled to four weeks of leave; on June 1, 2008, the faculty member would be entitled to an additional four weeks, etc.

2) Leave to care for a newborn child or for adoption or foster care placement of a child must be completed within 12 months of the birth, adoption, or placement and cannot be taken intermittently or on a reduced-time basis unless both the department and the individual agree on the schedule of intermittent or reduced leave.

3) Leave for a serious health condition (for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent, or the faculty member’s own serious health condition) may be taken intermittently or on a reduced-time basis, but only if certified by a health care provider as needed for medical reasons.

Pay Status During Family and Medical Leave:

1) Family and Medical Leave Due to the Faculty Member’s Own Serious Health
Condition.

A faculty member’s own serious health condition(s) may necessitate that he or she take one or more leaves of absence under this policy. Upon written certification of this necessity by the attending physician (see below for medical certification requirements), the University obligates itself to pay a faculty member’s salary for up to a total of six months. Medical reports are to be submitted to the Office of the Human Resources at two-month intervals during any period of leave for a faculty member’s own serious health condition. The University reserves the right to discontinue payments after it has paid a faculty member the equivalent of six months’ leave. Any additional payment made to a faculty member during leave for his or her own serious health condition(s) is at the University’s discretion.

2) Family and Medical Leave for Reasons other than the Faculty Member’s Own Serious Health Condition.

Family and medical leave to care for a faculty member’s newborn child, the placement of a child with a faculty member, for adoption or foster care, and to care for that child, or to care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition is unpaid.

Request for Family and Medical Leave:

Any faculty member wishing to take a family and medical leave must provide the University with sufficient information to support a determination that the leave qualifies as a family and medical leave. If a faculty member does not provide sufficient information, the absence might not be considered family and medical leave.

Family and medical leave request forms are available from the Office of the Human Resources and should be returned there. When possible, requests for family and medical leave must be made at least 30 days before the first date of the requested leave. If the need for a leave is not foreseeable 30 days in advance, the leave must be requested as soon as practicable.

Medical Certification:

If an individual requests a family and medical leave for his or her own serious health condition or to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition, the leave must be supported by certification from a health care provider. The certification must contain the following:

1) The date the condition commenced.

2) The probable duration of the condition.

3) Any pertinent medical facts.

4) In the case of a family and medical leave to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition, a statement
from the health care provider that the faculty member is needed to care for the family member and an estimate of the amount of time the faculty member is needed.

5) In the case of the faculty member’s own serious health condition, a statement from the health care provider about the faculty member’s ability to perform the essential functions of his or her position.

6) If the leave is to be taken on an intermittent or reduced-time basis, a faculty member must provide a statement from the health care provider of the medical necessity for such leave. Additionally, if the intermittent or reduced time schedule is necessary for planned medical treatment, the certification must also contain an estimate of the dates treatment will be given and the duration of treatment. It is expected that the faculty member consult with the department before scheduling treatment to work out a treatment schedule that best suits the needs of the faculty member and the department.

The medical certification form, available from the Office of the Human Resources, must be completed by the health care provider. The faculty member should return the certification form, either with the family and medical leave request form or as soon thereafter as practicable, to the Office of the Human Resources. Failure to return the form as prescribed may result in the delay or denial of family and medical leave. The University reserves the right to request and obtain a second opinion at the University’s expense.

Teaching:

Faculty members with serious health conditions caused by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions are, as discussed, entitled to family and medical leave. Leave for a serious health condition related to childbirth and recovery is normally for at least six weeks. As with any family and medical leave, no University duties are required during the period of the leave. In addition, a faculty member whose due date for the birth of her child is any time during the semester is relieved from all teaching responsibilities during that semester. When a faculty member’s due date falls outside of a semester, she should contact the Office of the Provost regarding whether she will be relieved from teaching responsibilities.

Faculty members who take family and medical leave for reasons unrelated to childbearing should contact the Office of the Provost regarding whether they will be relieved from teaching responsibilities during those portions of a semester that they are not on family and medical leave.

Any faculty member relieved of teaching responsibilities under this policy may be assigned other service and administrative responsibilities during the period when the faculty member is not on family and medical leave but is relieved from teaching.

Benefit Continuation:

During the first six months of a family and medical leave, a faculty member will have the option to continue his or her ND Flex benefits (health, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts) at the same monthly cost as before the leave. If the leave extends beyond six months, the faculty member will have the option to continue his or her ND Flex benefits for the duration of the leave, but at full cost to the faculty member.

Faculty members on paid leave who elect to continue their ND Flex benefits will have regular deductions made from their pay. Faculty members on unpaid leave who elect to continue their ND Flex benefits must make their regular monthly payments to the Office of the Human Resources no later than the fifth day of each month. Failure to make monthly payments may result in termination of the benefits.

If an individual fails to return from a leave, that person may be required to reimburse the University for medical insurance premiums paid by the University during the leave.

Reinstatement:

Faculty members returning from family and medical leave will return to the same positions held by them before the leave. Faculty members holding administrative positions (including, for example, department chairperson, director, or other administrative positions) who are absent for longer than 12 weeks may be relieved of some or all of their administrative duties during or upon their return from leave, depending upon the operational needs of the University.

Definitions:

Spouse:
A husband or wife as defined or recognized by the State of Indiana.

Parent:
A legal parent or an individual who raised a faculty member when the faculty member was a child. Does not include “in-laws.”

Child:
Any child under the age of 18 who is the biological child of the faculty member, who is adopted by the faculty member or whom the faculty member supervises on a day-to-day basis and for whom the faculty member is financially responsible. Any such child 18 or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

Serious Health Condition:
A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves (1) an overnight stay in a hospital or medical care facility and any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with the overnight stay, or (2) continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Continuing treatment may be established under any one of five sets of circumstances:

  • A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive days that also involves a certain level of treatment (either two or more times by a health care provider, or at least one occasion that results in a regimen of continuing supervised treatment, e.g., prescription medications or therapy with specialized equipment);
  • Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or prenatal care;
  • Any period of incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition (such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy);
  • Permanent or long-term incapacity due to a condition for which treatment may be ineffective but which requires the supervision of a health care provider (such as Alzheimer’s, severe stroke, terminal stages of a disease); or
  • Absence to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery after an accident or injury or for a condition likely to result in incapacity of more than three days absent medical intervention (such as cancer, severe arthritis, kidney disease).