HR

 

 

EMERGENCY FAMILY LEAVE - Temporary Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (available through 12/31/2020)

Employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of FML leave if you are unable to work because they have to care for a minor child due to school or child care closure due to a coronavirus emergency and you have to be employed for at least 30 days.

The first 10 days of leave will be Emergency Sick Leave. Beginning the 11th day, compensation will 2/3 of the hourly rate, not to exceed $200.00 per day, capped at $10,000 for the extended absence.

PROCEDURES FOR COVID-19 RELATED FML: Due to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, we are putting adjusted procedures in place for FML related to COVID-19.

  1. If an employee needs FML due to being sick with COVID-19, and the illness lasts less than 10 days, we will not designate it as FML.  We will simply give the employee leave, and allow them to use the Emergency Sick Leave, their own sick leave, go negative on sick leave, or take sick leave without pay, as applicable (or as elected by the employee).  
  2. If there are any concerns about job protection, we will talk with the supervisor and let them know they are job protected for this leave.
  3. If the employee needs 10 days or more of FML due to being sick with COVID-19, we will designate that as FML, and follow normal FML procedures.  Unless we know earlier that it will last 10 days or more, we will wait to do this designation and collect appropriate paperwork until the employee has been out 10 days due to COVID-19.

EMERGENCY FAMILY LEAVE

  • Employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of FML leave if you are unable to work because they have to care for a minor child due to school or child care closure due to a coronavirus emergency and you have to be employed for at least 30 days.
  • The first 10 days of leave will be Emergency Sick Leave (as identified above). Beginning the 11th day, compensation will 2/3 of the hourly rate, not to exceed $200.00 per day, capped at $10,000 for the extended absence.
  • To Request Emergency Family Leave (extension of FML) email HR_fmla@co.larimer.co.us. Please include with your email request, documentation from the school or child care provider of closure (including dates), along with the child's name and relationship to the requestor.

 


PURPOSE:   This Policy and Procedure is intended to aid Larimer County in complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act (reference A)

SCOPE:   This Policy and Procedure applies to all employees (reference C) of Larimer County and employees of the Office of the District Attorney, Eighth Judicial District, with the exception of Elected Officials.

RESPONSIBILITY:   The Human Resources Director administers this Policy. 

SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS:   None

REVISION LOCATOR:

  1. Section III, C, 3
  2. Section VII, A
  3. Section VIII
  4. Section IX, B
  5. Section XI

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURE:

I.   GENERAL POLICY:

The County provides Family and Medical Leave (FML) to employees who meet the legal eligibility requirements under Federal statute and regulations (reference A), with the exceptions noted below.  The general provisions regarding the use of FML are set forth in this policy and procedure.  Decision Makers and their designees will consult with Human Resources, as there are numerous regulations that may address unique situations not specifically addressed in this policy.

II.   ELIGIBILITY (enclosure 7): To be eligible for FML, County employees must:

A.   Have been employed with the County for 12 months or more (not necessarily consecutive months); AND

B.   Have worked 1,250 hours or more (including overtime but not including paid time off) within the 12 months immediately preceding the first day of the proposed leave; AND

C.   Have an FMLA qualifying reason for the leave as defined below.

III.    FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE IS USED FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES:

A.   Medical Leave:

1.   An employee’s "serious health condition";

B.   Family Leave (reference D):

1.   A "serious health condition" of the employee’s spouse, or parent;

2.   A "serious health condition" of the employee’s child under the age of 18 years, or older if the child is disabled as defined by the FMLA (reference A) ;

3.   Parent’s attendance at the birth of child;

4.   Parent’s care of child after birth or bonding (within one year after birth); and

5.   Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care (within one year after placement).

C.  Qualifying Military Exigency and Military Caregiver Leaves:

1.   Eligible employees may be entitled to FML for any “qualifying exigency” that arises out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of an employee is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces as defined by the FMLA (reference A).  The length of such leave is limited to 12 weeks in the 12 month period selected in the County’s FML policy.  A “qualifying exigency” may include:

a.   short-notice deployments;
b.   military events and related activities;
c.   childcare and school activities;
d.   financial and legal arrangements;
e.   counseling;
f.    rest and recuperation; and
g.   post-deployment activities.

2.   Eligible employees who are the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member may be entitled to FML to care for the covered service member.  A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.  For a current service member, a serious injury or illness is one that was incurred by a service member in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of their office, grade, rank, or rating.  A serious injury or illness also includes injuries or illnesses that existed before the service member’s active duty and that were aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty.  Such injury or illness must render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank or rating.  The length of such leave, when combined with other FML qualifying leave, is limited to 26 weeks in the 12 month period measured forward from the date of leave.

3.   Eligible employees, who are the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered veteran, may be entitled to FML to care for a covered veteran.  A covered veteran is a veteran discharged under conditions other than dishonorable within the five-year period before the employee first takes leave to care for that veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.  

For a veteran, a serious injury or illness is one that was incurred by the veteran in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces or that existed before the veteran’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty.

The length of such leave, when combined with other family medical qualifying leave, is limited to 26 weeks in the 12 month period selected in the County’s FML policy.

IV.   DEFINITION OF A "SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION":

A.   A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents a qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

B.   A serious injury or illness as previously defined under Military and/or Veteran’s caregiver leaves.

V.     EXCLUSIONS FROM THE DEFINITION OF SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION:

A.   Voluntary or cosmetic treatments that are not medically necessary unless inpatient hospital care is required.

B.   Routine preventative physical exams.

VI.     DEFINITION OF CONTINUING TREATMENT BY A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER:

A.   Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive full calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.  Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

VII.  CERTIFICATION:

A.   An employee must provide sufficient information to support the need for any FML, which may include a completed certification form.  Refer to enclosure 8 for FML processes and procedures.

B.   For medical leave, the employee's health care provider will be required to certify the medical necessity for the leave for the employee or the necessity of leave to care for a family member and/or the need for intermittent leave or reduced work schedule.  For other FML, the employee will be required to submit appropriate documentation to establish the need for FML, such as the Certification Forms identified above (enclosures 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6).

C.   Human Resources may contact the employee’s health care provider for clarification or authentication of medical information, if needed.  A second medical opinion may be required at the County’s expense.  Documentation confirming family relationship, adoption or foster care may also be required.

VIII. MANDATORY USE OF FML AND COORDINATION WITH OTHER LEAVE POLICIES:

A.   Mandatory Use of FML: All employees who are absent from work for any reason must request an appropriate form of leave.  An employee must give sufficient information to their immediate supervisor so the supervisor may determine the appropriate form of leave.  If the leave requested is FML-qualifying, the employee's leave must be designated as FML, in addition to other applicable leave such as Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, Holiday Leave, or Sick Leave Without Pay (SLWOP) (reference B).  Refer to enclosure 8 for FML processes and procedures.

B.   Use of Accrued Paid Leave:

1.   Employees may choose to use accrued leave while on FML.  They must use sick leave first until it has been exhausted.  After sick leave is exhausted, the employee may use other appropriate forms of paid leave at their option.  Requests to use vacation leave for a medical absence when the employee's sick leave has not been exhausted, must be reviewed and supported in writing by the Human Resources Director or designee, and approved in writing by the County Manager or designee.  If employee opts to take FML unpaid, they must use enough accrued leave each pay period to cover the cost of any benefits enrollments, garnishments, or other appropriate deductions.  Employees are not required to exhaust accrued leave prior to using Sick Leave Without Pay (SLWOP).

2.  A Decision Maker may opt out of the section above regarding voluntary use of paid leave.  In order to opt out, a Decision Maker must adopt an internal policy that addresses the reasons for the mandatory use of accrued paid leave and the manner in which the internal policy will be used.  A Decision Maker must consult with the Human Resources Director, or designee, as part of this internal policy development process.

C.   If an employee chooses not to use paid leave while on FML or has exhausted their paid leave balances prior to the end of their leave, leave will be marked as Sick Leave Without Pay (SLWOP) on their timesheet.

IX.   AMOUNT OF LEAVE AVAILABLE:

A.   Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of FML within a 12-month period, depending on the reason for the leave.  Employees requesting leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness are entitled to take up to 26 workweeks of FML (military caregiver leave).

A rolling 12-month cycle measured backwards is used to determine what amount of FML is available for an employee.

B.   Married employees both employed by the County taking leave for the birth of a child, placement of a child by adoption or for foster care, or to care for an employee’s parent with a serious health condition are limited per the FMLA to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave.  If either or both of the employees need to take additional leave for their own serious health condition or to care for their spouse or child, they may take additional leave under the FMLA, provided they have remaining FML balance.

C.   Employees may take leave in a block of time or on an intermittent basis as documented in the medical certification.

X.   PROTECTIONS UNDER FML:

A.   Insurance Benefits:

1.   The County continues to pay the insurance premiums it normally pays, if any, for the employee on FML.

2.   The employee must continue to pay the insurance premiums they normally pay, if any, while on FML.

3.   The employee may elect to terminate insurance to eliminate payment of premiums during leave; however, the employee must notify Human Resources prior to ceasing payments.

4.   If premiums are not paid, the coverages will lapse.

B.   Leave Accrual: While on FML, employees will continue to accrue sick and vacation leave at the same rate as if they were not on leave.

C.  Holidays:  Employees will receive holiday pay for any County-observed holidays that occur while the employee is on FML.

D.  Pay Increases:  Employees will receive eligible pay increases while on FML.

XI.   RETURN TO WORK:

A.   For employees returning from FML for their own serious health condition, a return to work notice from the employee’s health care provider is required to be submitted to Human Resources prior to the employee returning to work.  In addition, an employee may be required to provide a fitness for duty certification prior to returning to work.  Failure to provide these documents may result in a delay of the employee’s return to work.

B.   Upon returning to work, the employee is entitled to restoration to the same or similar job they were doing at the commencement of leave with equivalent pay and benefits.

C.   If employees have exhausted their available FML accrual and are unable to return to work, the employee must request approval of additional leave from the Decision Maker or designee (reference B).

D.   "Key employees" may not be restored to their position if it would cause substantial and grievous economic injury to the County.

1.   A "key employee" is among the highest paid ten percent of all employees employed by Larimer County.  If the employee is considered a "key employee" of the County, this will be indicated on the FML Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities form (enclosure 1).

2.   Restoration of "key employees" will be assessed on a case by case basis by Human Resources.

XII.  FML MEDICAL RECORDS:

A.   FML medical information is confidential and will be accessible only to authorized individuals.

B.  All FML-related medical records and supporting documentation will be kept in confidential files separate from the employee’s regular personnel file.

XIII. ENFORCEMENT OF THE FMLA:

A.   The FMLA makes it unlawful for Larimer County to:

1.   Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under the FMLA.

2.   Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or related to the FMLA.

B.   An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against Larimer County.

C.   The FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any state or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.

 

 

_______________________________________

Steve Johnson
Chair, Board of County Commissioners
(Approved by BOCC – Consent Agenda –06/09/2020)
(Signature on original filed in Records Management)

 

Distribution:
All County Department and Elected Officials
Records Management SOP Manual (original)

 

CK/vl

 

DATE:  June 9, 2020

EFFECTIVE PERIOD: Until Superseded

REVIEW SCHEDULE: Every three years in May, or as needed

CANCELLATION:  Human Resources Policy and Procedure 331.6.24H; October 15, 2019

ENCLOSURES:

  1. FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights& Responsibilities Form,WH-381(02/13)
  2. FMLA Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition, WH-380-E (05/15)
  3. Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition, WH-380-F (05/15)
  4. Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave, WH-384 (02/13)
  5. Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember for Military Family Leave, WH-385 (05/15)
  6. Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave, WH-385-V (05/15)
  7. FMLA Overview
  8. FML Flowchart

REFERENCES:

A.  Family and Medical Leave Act
B.  Human Resources Policy and Procedure 331.6, Benefits
C.  Governing Policies Manual; 3.2 – Treatment of Staff
D.  Colorado Family Care Act (CO HB 13-1222)

courthouse-offices

Human Resources Department

HOURS: Monday - Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm

200 West Oak, Suite 3200, Fort Collins, CO 80521
PO Box 1190, Fort Collins, CO 80522
PHONE: (970) 498-5970 | FAX: (970) 498-5980
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