The Company provides Family and Medical Leave in accordance with state (California Family Rights Act or CFRA) and federal (Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA) leave laws.

Basis for Family and Medical Leave: Employees may take Family and Medical Leave for any of the following reasons: (1) the birth of the employee’s child and to care for such child; (2) the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly-placed child; (3) to care for a spouse, registered domestic partner, child, child of a registered domestic partner, or parent (“covered relation”) with a serious health condition; or (4) because of the employee’s own serious health condition that renders him/her unable to perform an essential function of his/her position. Leave because of reasons “1” or “2” must be completed within the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth, adoption, or placement. In addition, spouses employed by the Company who request leave because of reasons “1” or “2” only may take a combined total of 12 weeks leave during any 12-month period.

Additional Military Related Leave under the Federal FMLA: Employees may request up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12 month period, considered “Military Caregiver Leave.” The 12 month period begins on the first day of leave. Leave to care for an injured or ill servicemember, when combined with other Family and Medical qualifying leave, may not exceed 26 workweeks in a single 12-month period.

This leave entitlement provides an eligible employee time to care for a family member who is a wounded U.S. military personnel (including spouse, son, daughter, parent or nearest blood relative) who suffered an injury or illness while on active-duty, provided that such injury or illness renders the family member medically unfit to perform duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating. This leave also allows time to care for a family member who is a veteran undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for serious injury or illness that occurred any time during the five years preceding the date of treatment.  An employee is entitled to 26 workweeks of leave for each injured or ill service member. An eligible employee may take more than one period of 26 workweeks of leave if the leave is to care for different service members.

An employee requesting a Military Caregiver Leave will be required to complete a Certification for Serious Injury or Illness form. The completed form must include certification from a U. S. Department of Defense health care provider. This military leave entitlement extends the FMLA job-protected leave beyond the normal 12 weeks of FMLA leave.

Also, eligible employees may request up to 12 work weeks of FMLA leave, called “Qualifying Exigency Leave” arising out of a spouse, parent, or child’s active duty or call to active duty in support of a contingency operation as an active duty or reserve member of the Army National Guard of the United States, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard of the United States, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, or a retired member of the Regular Armed Forces or Reserve. An eligible employee may take FMLA leave for any of the following “qualifying exigencies:” (a) short-notice deployment (fewer than seven (7) days’ notice), (b) military events and related activities, (c) childcare and school activities, (d) financial and legal arrangements, (e) counseling, (f) rest and recuperation, (g) post-deployment activities, and (h) other additional activities to address events that arise out of the covered military member’s active duty or call to active duty.

The Company may require a copy of the covered service member’s active duty orders or other documentation verifying the covered service member is on active duty and has been called to active duty to support a contingency operation.

Eligibility: To be eligible for Family and Medical Leave, the employee must have at least 12 months of service with the Company and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the date the leave is to begin. Additionally, the employee must work at a worksite where the Company employs at least 50 part- or full-time employees within 75 miles of the worksite.

Duration: Employees may take up to a maximum of 12 workweeks of Family and Medical Leave within a 12-month period. (Military Caregiver Leave is allowed up to 26 weeks.) Family and Medical Leave is calculated based on the “rolling” 12 month period which is measured backward from the date the employee uses any Family and Medical Leave. Each time an employee requests Family and Medical Leave the number of weeks available will be based on the balance of the 12 workweeks that have not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.

Intermittent Leave: Leave may be taken intermittently (in blocks of time due to a single health condition or on a reduced-time schedule) if the leave is for the serious health condition of the employee or the employee's family member, and if such intermittent leave is medically necessary as determined by the health care provider of the person with the serious health condition and if that need can be best accommodated through an intermittent or reduced leave schedule. The minimum duration that can be used for such leaves is one hour.

While an employee is on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule, the Company may temporarily transfer him/her to an available alternative position that better accommodates the recurring leave and has equivalent pay and benefits. The Company may reduce the salary of an exempt employee on an unpaid leave based on the amount of time actually worked if there is a medical need to accommodate a reduced leave schedule.

Any leave taken for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child must be taken within one year of the birth or placement of the child with the employee. Leave for this purpose may be taken in minimum increments of two weeks. However, the Company will grant a request for a leave of less than two (2) weeks’ duration for this reason on any two (2) occasions.

Paid and unpaid leave granted under any of the reasons provided by state and federal law will be counted as family/medical leave and will be considered as part of the 12 workweek entitlement in a 12-month period.

Procedures: Employees requesting leave must contact their manager as soon as they become aware of the need for Family and Medical leave. A written request for FMLA, CFRA and Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) must be completed by the employee. The Company will give the employee a “Notice to Employees – Employee Rights and Responsibilities under the FMLA.” Once the leave is determined as covered by FMLA, the employee will be notified of whether the leave of absence is approved within five business days.

If the leave is for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, or for planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or family member, the employee must provide at least 30 days' advance notice before the leave is to begin. If 30 days' notice is not possible, notice must be given as soon as practicable. Additionally, if the employee is planning a medical treatment, he/she must advise his/her manager first regarding the dates of such treatment.

The Company will require that the employee provide certification as explained below within 15 calendar days, after the employee is notified that his/her leave may qualify as Family and Medical leave, if practicable. If 30 days notice is provided by the employee, then the employee should provide the medical certification before the leave begins.

If the leave is needed for the employee's own serious health condition, the employee must provide a certification from the health care provider stating: 1. the date of commencement of the serious health condition; 2. the probable duration of the condition; 3. that the employee is unable to work at all or is unable to perform any one or more of the essential functions of his/her position because of the employee's serious health condition.

A serious health condition involves more than three (3) consecutive, full calendar days of incapacity with a first visit to the health care provider within seven days of the first day of incapacity. Medical treatment on two (2) or more occasions must be within 30 days of the first day of incapacity unless extenuating circumstances exist. Additional treatment needed is determined by the health care provider. The full definition of a “serious health condition” is noted at the end of this policy.

If an employee fails to provide medical certification in a timely manner, the Company may delay the start of the FMLA leave. If the medical certification is incomplete or insufficient, the Company will specify in writing the information that is lacking and give the employee seven (7) calendar days to provide the additional information.

The Company will require a Fitness for Duty certification by the employee's health care provider that the employee is fit to return to his/her job.

If the leave is needed to care for the serious health condition of a family member, the employee must provide certification from the health care provider stating:

  1. the date of commencement of the serious health condition;
  2. the probable duration of the condition;
  3. an estimate of the amount of time that the health care provider believes the employee needs to take in order to care for the child, parent, or spouse; and
  4. confirmation that the serious health condition warrants the participation of the employee.

Medical Opinion: If the Family and Medical Leave request is for the employee's own serious health condition, the Company may require, at its expense, a second opinion from a health care provider designated by the Company. The health care provider designated by the Company will not be one who is employed on a regular basis by the Company. If the second opinion differs from the first opinion, the Company may require, at its expense, that the employee obtain a third opinion by a health care provider approved jointly by the Company and the employee. The third opinion shall be considered final and binding on the Company and the employee.

Recertification may be required if the employee requests an extension beyond the original certification. Recertification can also be requested every (6) six months at the discretion of management.

California based employees who are disabled due to pregnancy will be eligible for up to 88 work days while considered disabled due to pregnancy, which are additional benefits under the Pregnancy Disability Leave law. In California, time off from work because of the employee’s disability due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition is also counted as time used for FMLA leave, where applicable. (See the Pregnancy Disability Leave policy for more information.)

Compensation is not paid: Family and Medical Leave is unpaid leave although the employee may be eligible for short or long-term disability payments and/or workers’ compensation benefits under those insurance plans. Those plans are described elsewhere in the Handbook. Eligible employees may use accrued paid time, including PTO, personal days, vacation and sick time, for unpaid Family and Medical Leave. During periods that employees are not receiving any wage-replacement benefits through programs such as workers’ compensation or disability insurance, the Company may require the employee to use accrued paid time, including PTO, personal days, vacation and sick time.

The substitution of paid leave for unpaid leave does not extend the maximum 12-week leave period. Further, in no case may the substitution of paid leave for unpaid leave result in the employee receiving more than 100% of his/her salary. If the employee is not eligible to substitute paid leave, he/she may still be eligible for unpaid Family and Medical Leave.

Employees on leave will not continue to accrue vacation/PTO or sick leave and will not be paid for holidays during the leave.

Reporting While on Leave: Employees who take leave because of their own serious health condition or to care for a covered family relation, must contact the Company as directed regarding the status of the condition and their intention to return to work. In addition, employees must give reasonable notice if the dates of leave change or are extended or initially were unknown.

Medical and Other Benefits: For the first 12 weeks of an approved Family and Medical Leave, the Company will maintain the employee’s health benefits as if he/she continued to be actively employed. If the employee takes a leave for disability caused by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition and follows that leave with “bonding” leave (covered by CFRA) to care for the newborn child, the leave may exceed 12 weeks, but the Company will only pay for medical benefits for the first 12 weeks the employee is on leave. If paid leave is substituted for unpaid Family and Medical Leave, the Company will deduct the employee’s portion of the health plan premium as a regular payroll deduction. If the leave is unpaid, the employee must pay his/her portion of the premium as directed by the Company. The employee’s health care coverage will cease if the employee’s premium payment is more than 30 days late. If the employee’s payment is more than 30 days late, the Company will send the employee a letter to this effect. If the Company does not receive the employee’s co-payment within 15 days of that letter, the coverage may cease. If the employee elects not to return to work for at least 30 calendar days at the end of the leave period, he/she may be required to reimburse the Company for the cost of the health benefit premiums paid by the Company for maintaining coverage during the unpaid leave, unless the employee cannot return to work because of a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond his/her control.

Reinstatement: Upon return from a Family and Medical Leave with an acceptable fitness for duty evaluation, an employee will be reinstated to his/her original position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. However, an employee has no greater right to reinstatement than if the employee had been continuously employed rather than on leave. For example, if an employee on Family and Medical Leave would have been laid off had he/she not gone on leave, or if the employee's position has been eliminated during the leave, then the employee would not be entitled to reinstatement. An employee's use of Family and Medical Leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before the leave.

Employees (or their designee if they are not able) are expected to provide regular reports of their status and intent to return to work while on FMLA leave. Employees are expected to return to work on the date agreed to on the Family/Medical Leave Request form.

Reinstatement may be denied to certain salaried "key" employees. Such employees will be notified of this possibility at the time the leave is requested.

An employee on FMLA leave may not accept employment with any other employer without the Company's written permission. If an employee takes another job while on FMLA leave or any other authorized leave of absence, it may be considered a voluntary resignation of employment.

If an employee fails to report to work promptly at the end of the leave, the Company will assume that the employee has resigned.

Extended Leave for Serious Health Condition. Leave taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition may be extended upon: (1) written request to the Company; (2) proof that the serious health condition has continued; and (3) approval by the Company. If the employee does not return to work on the originally-scheduled return date or requests in advance an extension of the agreed upon leave with appropriate documentation, the employee may be deemed to have voluntarily resigned employment with the Company. If the employee requests an extension of the leave beyond the 12-week entitlement, he/she may be required to submit additional documentation explaining or justifying the need for additional leave. Reinstatement is not guaranteed on an extended leave and will depend on Company needs. Additionally, the employee will not be eligible for continued health care benefits during the leave. The employee may, however, be eligible to continue health care coverage through COBRA.

Further definition of a “serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves one of the following:

  1. Hospital Care

    Inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with or consequent to such inpatient care.

  2. Absence Plus Treatment

    (a) A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days (including any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition), that also involves:

    (1) Treatment (two or more times by a health care provider, by a nurse or physician’s assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider, or by a provider of health care services (e.g., physical therapist) under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider), or
    (2) Treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider.

  3. Pregnancy

    Only under FMLA, any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care.

  4. Chronic Conditions Requiring Treatment

    A chronic condition which:

    (a) Requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse or physician’s assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider,
    (b) Continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and
    (c) May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.).

  5. Permanent/Long-term Conditions Requiring Supervision

    A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider. Examples include Alzheimer’s, a severe stroke, or the terminal stages of a disease.

  6. Multiple Treatments (Non-Chronic Conditions)
  7. Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery therefrom) by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider, either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment such as cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.), severe arthritis (physical therapy), or kidney disease (dialysis).