To qualify for FMLA Leave, an employee must: (1) have worked for Bentley for at least 12 months, which need not be consecutive; (2) worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months; and (3) worked at a work site within 75 miles of a Bentley worksite that employs at least 50 or more employees. Employees not covered under the FMLA may be eligible for other types of Leaves of Absences.
Employees with questions regarding their eligibility for FMLA Leave should contact their Human Resources Business Partner.
Basic Leave Entitlement Under the FMLA
The FMLA provides up to (12) weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for any of the following reasons:
- Incapacity of an employee due to pregnancy, maternal medical care, or childbirth;
- To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
- To care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, parent or other permanent member of the employee’s household who has a serious health condition; or
- A serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.
Definition of a Serious Health Condition
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 the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.
Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined with at least two (2) visits to a health care provider, or one (1) visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or a chronic medical condition. Other conditions may also meet the definition of continuing treatment.
Military Leave Under the FMLA
Qualifying Exigency Leave: Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter or parent in the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, on covered active duty, or who has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty, may use their twelve (12) week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. “Active Duty” for members of the regular Armed Forces means duty during deployment with the Armed Forces to a foreign country. For member of the National Guard or Reserves, it means duty during deployment with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under an authorized call or order to active duty. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
Military Caregiver Leave: The FMLA provides twenty-six (26) weeks of leave during a single twelve (12) month period to care for a covered service member. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, who is (i) 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; and (ii) a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces, including National Guard or Reserves, at any time during the preceding five (5) years. A "serious injury or illness" for a current member of the Armed Forces, including National Guard or Reserves, means an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while the service member was on active duty in the Armed Forces and that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of the service member's office, grade, rank or rating. For veterans, the term refers to a qualifying injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while the service member was on active duty in the Armed Forces and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.
How to Request an FMLA Leave
- Employees seeking FMLA Leave should notify their managers and contact Human Resources as soon as possible.
- Upon receipt of an FMLA request, or upon learning that an employee may be FMLA-eligible, Human Resources will give the employee required paperwork to file a claim with Lincoln Financial.
- Employees seeking Qualifying Exigency Leave will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave” form.
- Employees seeking Military Caregiver Leave will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service Member” form. In lieu of the form, the employee may provide invitational travel orders (ITOs) or invitational travel authorizations (ITAs).
If the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, the employee is still required to notify his/her supervisor and Human Resources as soon as practical. If the need for an FMLA Leave is foreseeable, the request for a leave must be made with as much advance notice as practical.
Typically, when an employee is out for more than five consecutive work days, the employee and the supervisor should contact Human Resources to discuss any potential need for FMLA leave.
Intermittent FMLA Leave
For all types of FMLA Leave, an employee does not need to use the leave entitlement in one block. An employee may take leave intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule when necessary. Employees must make reasonable effort to schedule leave for planned medical treatments so as not to unduly disrupt Bentley’s operations. For the birth, adoption or foster care of a child, Bentley and the employee must mutually agree to the schedule before the employee may take the leave intermittently or work a reduced schedule. Leave for birth, adoption or foster care of a child must be taken within one year of the birth or placement of the child, even if the leave is used intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule.
Pay During an FMLA Leave
FMLA Leave is unpaid. However, staff employees may continue their salary while on FMLA Leave as described below. Faculty should consult the Faculty HR Policies .
- Employees on FMLA Leave due to their own serious health condition and birth mothers must use available sick time, vacation time, and any personal time during their FMLA Leave. However, employees do have the option of reserving one week of vacation time. Employees who exhaust their accrued paid time off may be eligible for Short-Term Disability.
- Employees on FMLA Leave due to a serious health condition of a family member must use up to 40 hours of sick time, and available vacation time and personal time during an FMLA Leave. However, employees do have the option of reserving one week of vacation time.
- Birth fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents must use up to four weeks of sick time, and available vacation time and personal time during an FMLA leave. However, employees do have the option of reserving one week of vacation time.
If an employee does not use all accrued paid time off or does not have any accrued paid time, and is not eligible for other benefits such as workers’ compensation payments or disability payments, the FMLA Leave will be unpaid.
Benefits During an FMLA Leave
Please refer to Benefits During Leaves of Absence
Planned Medical Treatment
Employees must make reasonable effort to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt Bentley’s operations. Further, where a reduced work schedule or intermittent leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, Bentley reserves the right to temporarily transfer the employee to a position that better accommodates the employee's recurring periods of leave.
Duration of an FMLA Leave
For all leaves under the FMLA, except Military Caregiver Leave, the employee is entitled to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks of leave per year, calculated on a “rolling” twelve (12)-month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any such leave. With respect to Military Caregiver Leave only, the maximum duration of such leave is twenty-six (26) weeks during a single twelve (12) month period, measured forward from the first day the employee takes leave for this reason and ending twelve (12) months later, including the time spent on leave taken for any other reason(s) under the FMLA. In circumstances where both parents work for Bentley University, the employees may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave for parental leave or a combined total of 26 weeks of military caregiver leave.
Returning from an FMLA Leave
Employees may be required to submit medical certification to Lincoln Financial stating that they are able to resume their duties before they are permitted to return to work after an FMLA Leave for the employee’s own serious health condition.
Employees who are unable to return from FMLA Leave on the date set forth in the leave request and/or medical certification are expected to contact Human Resources and their supervisors prior to the anticipated return to work date. If an employee fails to return from FMLA Leave when scheduled, and does not contact Bentley in advance, the employee may be deemed to have resigned.
Upon return from FMLA Leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms of employment, except that employees will not be entitled to any employment rights or benefits greater than those they would have had in the absence of taking a leave.
Limitations on an FMLA Leave
Use of FMLA Leave for purposes other than as set forth by the FMLA is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Employees on an FMLA Leave may not work at any other job at Bentley or elsewhere while they are on leave.
Retaliation and Discrimination
Bentley prohibits retaliation or discrimination against employees for having exercised their rights under the FMLA. Moreover, the FMLA makes it unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under the FMLA; or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the FMLA.
Overlap between FMLA and Other Leaves
FMLA Leaves may run concurrently with or separately from other types of leaves required by state and federal laws or available under Bentley’s Leaves of Absence Policies. Employees should refer to the other leave policies for specific information about those leaves. Employees planning a Leave of Absence should also consult with their Human Resources Business Partner to understand how state and federal requirements and University polices apply to their individual situations.
Date last revised: December, 2019