University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Guidelines for Administering Faculty FMLA October 14, 2008

These guidelines are meant to help in the process of administering the Family Medical Leave Act, for Faculty members, specifically with regards to pay status and the extension of the allowable leave time. The University’s Family Medical Leave Act Policy shall dictate the eligibility, application and approval process.

(1)  The Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA, provides UNPAID leave for up to 12 weeks per year for eligible employees.  UMD has extended the provisions of the FMLA as indicated below. 

(2)  In instances where leave is foreseeable, although standard FMLA requirements provides for a leave up to 12 weeks, UMD practice for faculty will generally grant leave for an entire semester, ending on the last day of final exams. This is normally a period of just over 16 weeks.

(3)  If the FMLA is due to the employee’s own serious health condition or to care for a spouse, child or parent, the faculty member will be allowed to use any available accrued sick leave before an unpaid leave of absence begins.

(3A)  Additionally, if the FMLA is due to the employee’s own serious health condition, in accordance with the faculty contract,  after 5 days of exhausting  personal sick leave accumulation, any member of the Sick Leave Bank may request paid leave from the Sick Leave Bank.  If granted, this period of paid leave may be used before an unpaid leave of absence begins.

(4) If all available sick time is exhausted (including sick leave bank time if applicable, see 3A above) during the FMLA leave period, the faculty member will be on unpaid leave for the remainder of the leave period.  For this remainder period, health insurance coverage will continue and the faculty member will be billed directly by the Group Insurance Commission for the employee’s share (only) of the premium for their health insurance policy.  UMD will continue to pay the employer’s share of their policy for the duration of the leave. 

(5)  For the annual faculty evaluation for the academic year during which the leave occurs, the faculty member will be evaluated for teaching based on the courses taught during the semester not covered by the leave, and course evaluations will be administered in all sections during that semester.

(6)  The faculty member will not accrue time in rank toward promotion or tenure and will not accrue credit toward sabbatical leave eligibility for the unpaid period of the leave.

(7)  The faculty member, covered under these guidelines, will continue to be eligible for all relevant salary rate increments, fringe benefits, and other provisions of the Trustees/Faculty Federation Agreement.