K6 Unit – ART. 16: Leaves of Absence

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ARTICLE 16
LEAVES OF ABSENCE

A. General Provisions

In accordance with the provisions of this Article, Leaves of Absence, with or without pay, may be approved by the University. The parties agree to abide by applicable state and federal law.

1. Definitions

a. Non-medical leaves of absence, with or without pay, include: Family and Medical Leave (FML) taken for certain purposes (to care for a family member with a serious health condition, Parental Bonding Leave, Military Caregiver Leave, and Qualifying Exigency Leave), as well as leave for jury duty, voting, blood donations, administrative or legal proceedings, emergencies, and University functions.

b. Medical Leaves with or without pay, include: FML taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition, Pregnancy Disability Leave (whether or not it qualifies as FML), and leave provided as a reasonable accommodation of a disability.

c. FMLA is the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

d. CFRA is the California Family Rights Act of 1995.

e. PDLL is the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, which is part of the California Fair Employment & Housing Act.

2. Pay Status

Periods on leave with pay shall be considered time worked, except as provided in Section D., Family and Medical Leave.

3. Benefit Eligibility

a. Periods of approved leave without pay are not counted as University service and shall not be considered a break in service.

b. Except as provided for Pregnancy Disability Leave and Family and Medical Leave (see Sections C. and D. of this Article), an eligible employee on approved leave without pay may elect to continue University-sponsored benefit plans as determined by plan documents and regulations for the period of the leave by remitting, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable plans, the entire premium amount due for the period of approved leave. Regulations of the retirement systems determine the effects of leave without pay on retirement benefits

c. If an employee is on leave without pay more than half a calendar month, sick leave, vacation, and seniority credit do not accrue.

4. Requests for Leave

Except as provided in Section D., Family and Medical Leave, requests for leaves of absence and extensions thereof, both with and without pay, shall be submitted in writing. Such requests shall be submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested leave date to provide the University time to assess the operational impact of granting the request. All requests for leave shall contain the requested beginning date, end date, estimated duration of the leave, and any additional information as required.

5. Duration

a. The duration of the leave, commencement of the leave and the date of return are determined when the leave is granted, and shall be communicated to the employee, in accordance with the provisions of this Article. Except as provided under Section D., Family and Medical Leave, written confirmation shall be provided when the University determines such confirmation is appropriate.

b. Except as provided for elsewhere in this Article, the total aggregate of leaves of absence taken in any combination, granted under this Article, shall not exceed six (6) months, or twelve (12) months, if extended, unless otherwise required by law.

c. No employee with a predetermined appointment end date or predetermined date of separation shall be granted a leave of absence beyond his/her appointment end date or the predetermined date of separation.

6. Return to Work

a. Except as provided in Section C., Pregnancy Disability Leave, and Section D., Family and Medical Leave, an employee who has been granted an approved leave with or without pay shall be returned to the same or a similar position in the same department/division when the duration of the leave is six (6) calendar months or less, or twelve (12) months if extended, unless otherwise required by law. If the position held has been abolished or affected by layoff during the leave, the employee shall be afforded the same considerations which would have been afforded had that employee been working when the position was abolished or affected by layoff.

b. An employee who fails to return to work from a leave of absence on the approved anticipated date of return or any approved extension shall be considered to have abandoned his/her job, if such failure to return exceeds five (5) consecutive working days of the anticipated return date.

c. An employee who has exhausted his/her original leave entitlement and who has been granted additional leave under another section of this Article, shall be reinstated in accordance with the provisions of the section under which the additional leave was granted. The employee shall be advised in writing of his/her reinstatement rights, at the time the additional leave is granted.

B. Personal Leave

1. An employee in a career position may be granted a personal leave for the employee’s convenience, subject to the operational needs and requirements of the University. In special situations, a personal leave for temporary employment outside the University may be approved provided that the outside work is in the interest of public service and/or will be beneficial to the University upon the employee’s return.

2. A personal leave may also be granted for an extended illness or to care for a newborn or newly adopted child (see D.3.a.), need to provide care for members of the family, and education which will directly increase job effectiveness.

3. A Department Head may approve a personal leave for a period not in excess of six (6) months. The Chancellor, upon recommendation of a Department Head, may approve extension of a personal leave for a total leave of not more than twelve (12) months, unless otherwise required by law.

C. Pregnancy Disability Leave

1. An employee disabled on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, is entitled to a Pregnancy Disability Leave in accordance with the provisions of this Article. Pregnancy Disability Leave may consist of leave with or without pay. The employee may elect to use as accrued sick leave, accrued vacation leave, and/or compensatory time off before taking leave without pay. The employee shall provide written notice of the need for leave as soon as she becomes aware of it and, at a minimum, thirty (30) days in advance if possible.

2. Certification

a. When an employee requests a reasonable accommodation, transfer, or leave due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition, in good faith, the University may, in its sole non-grievable discretion, require that the employee’s request be supported by a medical certification issued by the employee’s health care provider.

b. When a medical certification is requested in connection with the employee’s request for reasonable accommodation or transfer, it shall contain the following: (1) a description of the requested accommodation or transfer, (2) a statement describing the medical advisability of the requested reasonable accommodation or transfer, and (3) the date on which the need for reasonable accommodation or transfer became or will become medically advisable and the estimated duration of the need for the reasonable accommodation or transfer.

c. Failure to provide certification for reasonable accommodation, transfer, or leave within the requested time period or as soon as reasonably possible under the circumstances may result in delay of the leave until the required certification is provided.

d. The University may, at its sole non-grievable discretion, require that an employee returning to work immediately following Pregnancy Disability Leave provide a written medical release prior to returning to work.

3. Time Periods

a. During the period when an employee is disabled because of verified pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition the employee is entitled to and the University shall grant a Pregnancy Disability leave of up to four (4) months for such purposes. Pregnancy Disability Leave may also be used for prenatal care. If the employee’s pregnancy-related/childbearing medical disability continues beyond four (4) months, a personal leave of absence may be granted, for a total leave of absence not to exceed six (6) months, unless otherwise required by law.

b. If an employee on approved Pregnancy Disability Leave is also eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), up to twelve (12) workweeks of such leave shall run concurrently under the PDLL and the FMLA. A d d i t i o n a l l y , the employee may also be entitled, if eligible, to up to twelve (12) workweeks of FML under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) for any covered reason except pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition provided the employee has not exhausted her CFRA leave entitlement for that leave year. When P arental Leave is granted under Section D., Family Medical Leave, the total of Parental Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave, when combined, shall not exceed seven (7) months in the leave year.

4. Return from a Pregnancy/Disability Leave

An employee who has been granted a Pregnancy Disability Leave shall be returned to the same job provided the employee returns to work immediately upon termination of the Pregnancy Disability Leave and provided such return is within four (4) months of the date on which the Pregnancy Disability Leave commenced. If the same job was abolished during the leave, the employee shall be entitled to a comparable position if the employee would have been entitled to the comparable position if she had been continuously working. If a comparable position is not available on the employee’s scheduled date of reinstatement but a comparable position or positions become available within sixty (60) days thereafter, the University shall notify the employee of the position(s). If the employee is reinstated within that sixty-day (60-day) period, the period between the employee’s originally scheduled date of reinstatement and her actual date of reinstatement shall not be counted for purposes of any employee pay or benefits. An employee who is also granted Parental Bonding Leave under Section D., Family and Medical Leave, shall be returned to work in accordance with this Article.

5. Continuation of Health Benefits 

An employee on Pregnancy Disability Leave shall be entitled to continue participation in health plan coverage (medical, dental, and optical) as set forth in Section D.4.b. below, whether or not the Pregnancy Disability Leave also qualifies as FML under the FMLA. Other group insurance coverages and retirement benefits shall be continued in accordance with the provisions of the applicable group insurance and retirement system regulations.

6. Transfer and Other Reasonable Accommodations as Alternatives to or in Addition to Pregnancy Disability Leave

a. Transfer at the Request of the Employee. The University shall temporary transfer a pregnant employee to a less strenuous or hazardous position upon the request of the employee when such transfer is medically advisable according to the employee’s health care provider, if the transfer can be reasonably accommodated. For the purpose of this section, a temporary transfer includes a temporary modification of the employee’s own position to make it less strenuous or hazardous. A temporary transfer under this section is considered time worked and shall not be counted toward an employee’s entitlement of up to four (4) months of Pregnancy Disability Leave, unless the employee is also taking leave on a reduced work schedule or an intermittent leave schedule. When the employee’s health care provider certifies that the transfer is no longer medically advisable, the University shall return the employee to her same position or a comparable position in accordance with Section D.4 of this Article.

b. Transfer to Reasonably Accommodate Employee’s Need for Intermittent or Reduced Schedule Leave. When the employee’s health care provider states that it is medically advisable for the employee to take Pregnancy Disability Leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, the University may, at its sole non-grievable discretion, transfer the employee temporarily to an available alternative position that meets the needs of the employee, provided the employee meets the qualifications of the alternative position. Any alternative position shall have the equivalent rate of pay and benefits, and shall better accommodate the employee’s leave requirements than her regular position. Only the time actually spent on the intermittent or reduced schedule leave shall be counted towards the employee’s entitlement of four (4) months in any twelve (12) month period. When the employee’s health care provider certifies that the intermittent or reduced schedule leave is no longer medically advisable, the University shall return the employee to her same position or a comparable position in accordance with Section D.4 of this Article.

c. Other Reasonable Accommodations. If the employee’s health care provider certifies that reasonable accommodations other than transfer and/or leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis are medically advisable, the University shall engage in the interactive process with the employee to identify and implement the reasonable accommodation(s) that are appropriate under the circumstances.

7. Reduced Schedule/Intermittent Leave

When medically necessary, and supported by medical certification, the University shall grant an employee Pregnancy Disability Leave on a reduced work schedule or on an intermittent basis including absences of less than one (1) day. Only the time actually spent on the intermittent or reduced leave schedule shall be counted towards the employee’s entitlement of up to four (4) months of Pregnancy Disability Leave per pregnancy.

D. Family and Medical Leave

1. An employee who is eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FML) and has not exhausted her or his FML entitlement for the leave year, as discussed below, may take FML for any of the following six reasons, as described in greater detail in this Section below.

a. Due to the employee’s own serious health condition.

b. To care for a family member with a serious health condition.

c. As Pregnancy Disability Leave.

d. As Parental Bonding Leave.

e. As Military Caregiver Leave.

f. As Qualifying Exigency Leave.

2. Eligibility

Employees who have at least twelve (12) months of University service (all prior University service, including service with the Department of Energy Laboratories, shall be used to calculate the twelve (12) month service requirement) and have worked at least one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours (actual hours worked) during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave are eligible for and shall be granted up to a total of twelve (12) workweeks of FML in a calendar year, except as otherwise provided in this Article.

3. Definitions

a. Child, for the purpose of FML means a biological child, adopted child, foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis, provided that the child is either under eighteen (18) years of age or incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

b. A Parent, for the purpose of FML means a biological parent, foster parent, adoptive parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child.

c. Spouse means a partner in marriage or registered domestic partnership.

d. Serious health condition means an illness, injury (including, but not limited to, on-the-job injuries), that involves either inpatient care or continuing treatment, including, but not limited to, treatment for substance abuse.

i. “Inpatient care” means a stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility, any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care, or any period of incapacity. A person is considered an “inpatient” when a health care facility formally admits her or him to the facility with the expectation that s/he will remain at least overnight and occupy a bed, even if it later develops that such person can be discharged or transferred to another facility and does not actually remain overnight.

ii. “Incapacity” means the inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities due to a serious health condition, its treatment, or the recovery that it requires.

iii. “Continuing treatment” means ongoing medical treatment or supervision by a health care provider, as defined below.

e. Health care provider means an individual who is licensed in California, or is duly licensed in another State or jurisdiction, to hold either a physician’s certificate, surgeon’s certificate or an osteopathic physician’s certificate, or who is duly licensed as a podiatrist, dentist, clinical psychologist, optometrist, chiropractor (limited to treatment of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated in x-ray to exist), physician assistant, nurse practitioners or nurse midwife performing within the scope of their practice as defined under State law, a Christian Science practitioner or any health provider that the employee’s plan carrier recognizes for purposes of payment.

f. Equivalent position is a position that has the same pay, benefits, and working conditions, including the same or substantially similar duties and responsibilities, which entail substantially equivalent skill, effort, responsibility, and authority.

g. One thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours of Actual Service means time actually spent at work and does not include any paid time off including, but not limited to, an employee’s use of accrued vacation, compensatory time, or sick leave, nor does it include time paid for holidays not worked or time spent in unrestricted on- call status. For employees granted military leave, all hours that would have been worked had the employee not been ordered to military duty shall be used to calculate the one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) actual hours of work requirement.

4. General Provisions

a. Time Periods

1. FML shall not exceed twelve (12) workweeks in a calendar year unless it is used for Pregnancy Disability Leave or Military Caregiver Leave. In the event University policy and/or State or Federal law result in a different date of commencement for this twelve (12) month period, the commencement period for employees in this bargaining unit shall conform to the commencement date generally applicable to other University employees. If the employee is taking FML as Pregnancy Disability Leave, the employee shall be eligible for FML for the period of actual disability up to four (4) months per pregnancy. If the employee is taking FML for Military Caregiver Leave, the employee shall be eligible for up to twenty- six (26) workweeks in a single (12) month leave period.

a)  For the purposes of FML only, twelve (12) workweeks are equivalent to four-hundred eighty (480) hours of scheduled work for full-time career and floater employees who are normally scheduled for an eight (8) hours per day, five (5) days per workweek (8/40) schedule.

b)  Hourly Conversion for Part-time or Alternatively Scheduled Employees For employees who work part-time or a schedule other than an 8/40, the number of FML hours to which the employee is eligible shall be adjusted in accordance with his/her normal weekly work schedule. An employee whose schedule varies from week to week is eligible for a pro-rated amount of FML based on his/her hours worked over the previous twelve (12) months preceding the leave.

c)  Any leave taken by an eligible employee that qualifies as FML (including leave taken for a Work-Incurred Injury or Illness under Article 30) will be designated as such by the University and will be counted against the employee’s leave entitlement whether the leave is paid or unpaid. Such deductions will be made in increments that correspond to the amount of leave time actually taken by the employee (which could be weeks, days, hours, and/or partial hours).

2. Forms in which FML May be Taken

a)  FML generally may be taken as a block leave or, in certain circumstances discussed below, on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis.

b)  When medically necessary and supported by medical certification, the University shall grant an eligible employee’s request for FML Medical Leave for the employee’s serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, as Pregnancy Disability Leave, or as Military Caregiver Leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule including absences of less than one (1) day. Only the time actually spent on the intermittent or reduced leave schedule shall be counted towards the employee’s FML entitlement.

c) An employee may take FML for Qualifying Exigency Leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis.

d)  For requests to take FML as Parental Bonding Leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, see Section D.4.h.

e)  When the employee requests an intermittent leave or leave or a reduced work schedule because the employee or his family member is undergoing planned medical treatment for a serious health condition, the University may, at its discretion, require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternate position for which the employee is qualified and which better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employee’s regular position. Such transfer shall have equivalent pay and terms and conditions of employment, but does not need to have equivalent duties.

b. Continuation of Health Benefits

An eligible employee who is on an approved FML Leave shall be entitled to continue participation in health plan coverage (medical, dental, and optical) as follows:

1. When the employee is on FML that runs concurrently under the FMLA and CFRA: Continued coverage for up to twelve (12) workweeks in a calendar year.

2. When the employee is on a Military Caregiver Leave under the FMLA: Continued coverage for up to twenty-six (26) workweeks in a single twelve (12) month leave period.

3. When the employee is on a Qualifying Exigency Leave under the FMLA: Continued coverage for up to twelve (12) workweeks in a calendar year.

4. When the employee is on a Pregnancy Disability Leave under the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, regardless of whether any of the leave runs concurrently under the FMLA: Continued coverage for up to four (4) months in a twelve (12) month period. If any of the Pregnancy Disability Leave runs concurrently under the FMLA, the continued coverage provided for that portion of the leave will count towards the employee’s FMLA entitlement for up to twelve (12) workweeks of such coverage in a calendar year.

5. When the employee is on FML under the CFRA that does not run concurrently under the FMLA (e.g., Parental Bonding Leave after an employee’s FMLA entitlement has been exhausted): Continued coverage for up to twelve (12) workweeks in a calendar year.

c. Notice

1. If the employee learns of the event giving rise to the need for FML more than thirty (30) days in advance, the employee shall provide the University with notice as soon as the employee learns of the need for leave, and at a minimum, thirty (30) days prior to the commencement of the leave, if practicable.

2. If the need for leave is foreseeable due to a planned medical treatment of the employee (due to the employee’s serious health condition or pregnancy disability) or the planned medical treatment of the employee’s family member with a serious health condition, the employee shall make reasonable efforts to schedule the treatment so as to avoid u n d u e disruption to the University’s operations.

3. If the need for leave is unforeseeable or actually occurs prior to the anticipated date of a foreseeable leave, the employee shall provide the University with as much advance notice as is practicable, and at a minimum, within two (2) working days after learning of the event, except in extraordinary circumstances where such notice is not feasible.

4. An employee who fails to give thirty (30) days’ notice for a foreseeable leave, with no reasonable basis for the delay, may have his/her FML delayed until thirty ( 30) days after the date on which the employee provides notice.

5. The University shall determine whether the employee is eligible and qualifies for F M L shall, within five (5) days of that determination, notify the employee, in writing, when the leave is designated or provisionally designated as FML. The duration and terms of the leave and the date of return are determined when the leave is granted. Extensions, if any, up to an aggregate of twelve (12) workweeks in the leave year may be granted in a calendar year (or (26) workweeks in a single twelve (12) month period if FML is being taken as Military Caregiver Leave or four (4) months per pregnancy if FML is taken as Pregnancy Disability Leave). If an employee’s need for leave continues after her or his FML entitlement has been exhausted, the employee may be eligible for leave provided as a reasonable accommodation of a disability in accordance with this Article (if FML was taken due to the employee’s own serious health condition or as Pregnancy Disability Leave) or may request a Personal Leave in accordance with Article 16, Section B.

d. Certification and Other Supporting Documentation

1. When leave is requested for the employee’s own serious health condition, the University may, at its discretion, require that an employee’s request for FML be supported by a written certification issued to the University by the employee’s health care provider. Such request to the employee shall be in writing. The certification may be provided on a form given to the employee by the University and shall, regardless of the format, in addition to certifying that the employee has a serious health condition, include the following:

a) a statement as to whether the employee is unable to perform any one or more of the essential assigned functions of the position;

b) the date, if known, on which the serious health condition commenced; the probable duration of the condition; and the employee’s probable date of return;

c) whetheritwillbemedicallynecessaryfortheemployeetotake leave intermittently or to work on a reduced leave schedule,
and if so, the probable duration of such schedule; and

d) if the condition will result in periodic episodes of incapacity, an estimate of the duration and frequency of episodes of incapacity.

2. When a leave of absence is requested for the serious health condition of the employee’s family member, the University shall require that an employee’s request for leave be supported by written certification issued by the family member’s health care provider. When certification is required by the University, such requirement shall be submitted to the employee in writing. Certification may be provided by the employee on a form given to the employee by the University and shall, regardless of the format, in addition to certifying that the employee’s family member has a serious health condition, include:

a) a statement that the serious health condition o f t h e f a m i l y m e m b e r  warrants the participation of the employee to provide supervisiono r c ar e (w h i ch i n cl u d es p s ych o l o gi c al co m f o rt) d u r i n g a p eri o d o f t h e t r eat m en t o r i n c a p a c i t y;

b)  whether the employee’s family member will need supervision or care over a continuous period of time, intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis; the leave schedule the employee will need in order to provide that care; and the probable duration that the employee is needed to provide care; and

c)  In addition, the employee will be required to certify either on the form or separately the care he/she will provide t o the family member and the estimated duration of the period of care.

3. Confirmation of Family Relationship. The University may, at its sole non- grievable discretion, require that an employee complete a Declaration of Relationship form to certify his/her relationship with the family member when the employee is requesting FML to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to certify his/her relationship with the child when the employee is requesting FML as Parental Bonding Leave. The employee’s failure to provide a completed Declaration of Relationship form within fifteen (15) calendar days of the University’s written request may, at the sole non-grievable discretion of the University, result in discontinuance of the leave until the required documentation is provided or, if the leave has not yet begun, a delay in the start of the leave. If the employee fails to provide the completed Declaration of Relationship form within a reasonable period of time as requested, FML will be denied.

4. Should t h e U n i v e r s i t y h a v e a g o o d f a i t h , o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n t o d o u b t the validity of the employee’s medical certification for his/her own serious health condition, the University may, at its discretion, require the employee to obtain a second medical opinion from a second health care provider chosen by the University. Should the second medical opinion differ from the employee’s own health care provider, the University may require a third medical opinion from a third health care provider jointly approved by the University and the employee. The University shall bear the cost of the second and third opinions, and the third opinion shall be final. If a second or third opinion is sought, the University shall provide the employee with a copy of the opinion at no cost to the employee, upon request.

5. If additional leave is requested upon expiration of the leave granted, or should the circumstances of the leave change, the University may, at its discretion, require the employee to obtain recertification. Such requests for subsequent certification shall be in writing.

6. If certification or recertification is required, the employee shall return the certification within fifteen (15) calendar days of the University’s request, where practicable. Failure to provide certification for a foreseeable leave within the requested time may result in the leave being delayed until the required certification is received. Failure to provide certification fo r an unforeseeable leave within the requested time may result in the delay of continuation of the leave until the required certification is provided. If the employee fails to provide a completed certification, the employee shall be given fifteen ( 15) calendar days to perfect the certification. Failure to perfect an incomplete certification may result in denial of the leave or denial of continuation of the leave. If the employee fails to provide a certification/ recertification or a completed certification/recertification and the leave has not begun, the request for FML will be denied. If the leave has begun, the leave may, at the University’s discretion, be discontinued; however, any leave taken is not FML.

7. An employee who has been granted F M L d u e   t o  h i s / h e r o w n s e r i o u s h e a l t h co n d i t i o n shall be returned to the same or an  equivalent position when the employee has been medically released to perform the essential assigned functions of his/her job. Failure to provide a medical release to return to work may result in the delay of reinstatement until after the employee submits the required medical release certification.

e. Use of Accrued Paid Leave

1. Family Medical Leave is unpaid, except for the use of sick and/or the use of accrued vacation, as provided in this article.

2. An employee on approved FML to care for a family member with a serious health condition may elect to use accrued vacation time and/or compensatory time off before taking leave without pay. If the employee’s vacation leave accrual is at maximum, the employee will be required to use at least ten (10) percent of the vacation leave credit prior to taking leave without pay. Up to thirty (30) days of accrued sick leave per year may be substituted for unpaid leave when FML is taken for this purpose .

3. An employee on an approved F M L f o r Parental Bonding Leave may elect to use accrued vacation time and/or compensatory time off before taking leave without pay. If the employee’s vacation leave accrual is at maximum, the employee will be required to use at least ten (10) percent of the vacation leave credit prior to taking leave without pay.

4. An employee on FML leave for his/her own serious health condition shall use accrued sick leave in accordance with the University’s disability plan or as provided under Article 30, Work Incurred Injury or Illness. Employees not eligible for University disability benefits who are not on leave due to a work- incurred illness or injury shall use all accrued sick leave prior to taking leave without pay. An employee may elect to use accrued compensatory time off or accrued vacation before taking leave without pay. However, if the employee’s vacation leave accrual is at maximum, the employee will be required to use at least ten (10) percent of the vacation leave credit prior to taking leave without pay.

f. Return from FML

1. Required Notice and Documentation

a)  The employee shall provide his/her employing department reasonable notice of his/her anticipated return to work.

b)  An employee returning from FML for his/her own serious health condition must provide a written medical release to return to work prior to returning to work. For returns after Pregnancy Disability Leave, see Section C.4.

c)  The employee who has been medically released to perform the essential assigned functions of his/her job shall be returned in accordance with the provisions of Section D.4.g. below.

d)  Failure to provide a medical release to return to work my result in the delay of reinstatement until the employee submits the required medical release certification.

g. Reinstatement Rights

An employee granted FML for any reason other than Pregnancy Disability Leave and returns within twelve (12) workweeks of the initiation of the leave (or within 26 workweeks if the FML was taken as Military Caregiver Leave), shall be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position upon return from the leave. For an employee’s return to work rights after Pregnancy Disability Leave, see Section C.4. If the position has been abolished or otherwise affected by layoff and an equivalent position is not available, the employee shall be afforded the same considerations which would have been afforded had the employee been working when the position was abolished or affected by layoff. A casual employee granted FML is not entitled to reinstatement to his/her position if the employee’s appointment ending date or predetermined date of separation occurs before the scheduled return date.

h. Parental Bonding Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to FML to bond with his/her child after the child’s birth or placement with the employee for adoption or foster care, and to attend to matters related to the birth, adoption or placement of the child. Leave granted for such bonding purposes must be concluded within twelve (12) months following the child’s birth or placement with the employee. The University will grant Parental Bonding Leave subject to the limitations described below. If requested and taken immediately following a Pregnancy Disability Leave, an employee eligible for leave under the FMLA/CFRA at the beginning of her Pregnancy Disability Leave shall be granted a Parental Bonding Leave for up to twelve (12) workweeks provided that the employee has not exhausted her leave entitlement under the FMLA and/or CFRA for that leave year.

1. Requests for Parental Bonding Leave

The employee shall request Parental Bonding Leave sufficiently in advance, if possible, of the expected birth date of the child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care to allow the University to plan for the absence of the employee. The anticipated date of return from Parental Bonding Leave shall be set at the time such leave commences; or if requested, in conjunction with a Pregnancy Disability Leave, shall be set at the time such leave commences. Parental Bonding Leave, when taken for adoption or foster care, could commence prior to the date of placement.

2. Duration

Parental Bonding Leave, alone, shall not exceed twelve (12) workweeks within a calendar year. However, when Parental Bonding Leave is combined with Pregnancy Disability Leave under the FMLA, the total FML shall not exceed seven (7) months in the leave year.

3. The basic minimum duration of any Parental Bonding Leave is two (2) weeks. However, the University will grant an employee’s request for a Parental Bonding Leave of less than two (2) weeks duration on any t w o (2) occasions during the leave year. The University, at its discretion, may require that any additional leaves be taken for a minimum duration of two (2) weeks, unless otherwise required by law.

4. Review of Denials or Deferrals of FML Requests

If an employee’s request for FML is denied, deferred, or otherwise provided for a period shorter than the employee’s initial request, such University action may, upon the employee’s written request, be reviewed by the Department Head. Neither the University’s action in granting or not granting FML nor the results of such review shall be subject to Article 21, Grievance Procedure or Article 22, Arbitration Procedure, of this Agreement.

i. Military Caregiver Leave

Military Caregiver Leave is an additional type of FML available to eligible employees. An employee may take Military Caregiver Leave to care for a family member or “next of kin” who is a “covered service member” undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a “serious injury or illness” consistent with the definitions of those items in Section i.2 below.

1. Eligibility Criteria and Duration

An eligible employee is entitled to up to twenty-six (26) weeks of Military Caregiver Leave during a single twelve (12) month leave period. The employee must be a spouse, domestic partner, parent, son, daughter or next of kin of the covered service member to be eligible for this type of leave and must meet the eligibility requirements for FML set forth in Section D. of this Article.

2. Definitions Specific to Military Caregiver Leave

a)  “Covered service member” means (a) a current member of the regular Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who, because of a “serious injury or illness” is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; is otherwise in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list, or (b) a “covered veteran” who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness. A “covered veteran” is an individual who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or the Reserves) and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable at any time during the five-year period prior to the first date the eligible employee takes Military Caregiver Leave to care for the covered veteran.

b)  “Outpatient status” means the status of a service member assigned to (a) a military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or (b) a unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the Armed Forces receiving medical care as outpatients.

c)  “Serious injury or illness” means (a) for a current member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves): an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated by the covered service member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces or that existed before the beginning of the covered service member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces and that may render the covered service member medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating; or (b) for a covered veteran: an injury or illness that was incurred by the covered veteran in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

d)  “Parent of a covered service member” means a covered service member’s biological, adopted, step, or foster parent or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the covered service member. The term does not include parents “in law.”

e)  “Son or daughter of a covered service member” means the covered service member’s biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the covered service member stood in loco parentis, and who is of any age.

f)  “Next of kin” means (a) the nearest blood relative of the covered service member (other than the covered service member’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, son or daughter); or (b) the person who the covered service member has designated in writing as his or her nearest blood relative for purposes of Military Caregiver Leave.

g)  “Single twelve (12) month leave period” means the period beginning on the first day the employee takes leave to care for the covered service member and ends twelve (12) months after that date. (This leave period differs from the calendar year definition of the leave year used for determining eligibility for other types of FML at the University.)

3. Leave Entitlement

Leave is applied on a per-covered service member, per-injury basis. Eligible employees may take more than one (1) period of twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave if the leave is to care for a different covered service member or to care for the same service member with a subsequent serious injury or illness, except that no more than twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave may be taken within any “single twelve (12) month period.” If an eligible employee does not use all of his or her twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave entitlement to care for a covered service member during this single twelve (12) month leave period, the remaining part of the twenty-six (26) workweek entitlement to care for the covered service member for that serious injury or illness is forfeited. As with other types of FML, this leave may also be taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. If the need for intermittent or reduced schedule leave is foreseeable based on the planned medical treatment of the covered service member, the employee may be required to transfer temporarily, during the period that the intermittent or reduced leave schedule is required, to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified and which better accommodates a recurring period of leave than does the employee’s regular position.

4. Documentation and Certification

Employees may be required to provide a certification completed by an authorized health care provider of the covered service member that provides information necessary to establish entitlement to Military Caregiver Leave. In addition, employees may be required to provide certain information (or have the covered service member provide that information) including information establishing that the service member is a covered service member for purposes of Military Caregiver Leave, his or her relationship with the employee, and an estimate of the leave needed to provide the care. The employee may also be required to provide confirmation of a covered family relationship between the employee and the service member. When the covered service member is a covered veteran, the employee may be required to provide information establishing her or his veteran status, the date of separation from the Armed Forces, and that separation was for reasons other than dishonorable.

5. Use of Accrued Paid Leave

Military Caregiver Leave is unpaid leave, except an employee may use sick leave in accordance with Article 13, Sick Leave. An employee may also elect to use accrued compensatory time off or accrued vacation before taking leave without pay. However, if the employee’s vacation leave accrual is at maximum, the employee will be required to use at least ten (10) percent of the vacation leave credit prior to taking leave without pay.

6. Advanced Notice

Whenever possible, an employee shall provide at least thirty (30) days’ advance notice. If thirty (30) days’ notice is not practicable, notice shall be given as soon as practicable. Failure to comply with this notice requirement may result in postponement of leave.

7. Reinstatement

Reinstatement shall be to the same position or, at the department’s discretion, to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment provided that the employee returns to work immediately following termination of the leave. If the employee would have been laid off or terminated had the employee been working during the leave period, the employee shall be afforded the same considerations afforded to other employees who are laid off or terminated pursuant to the provisions of Article 18, Layoff and Reduction in Time.

8. Continuation of Health Benefits

An employee on an approved Military Caregiver Leave shall be entitled to continue participation in health plan coverage (medical, dental, and optical) as if on pay status during the leave.

j. Qualifying Exigency Leave

Qualifying Exigency Leave is an additional type of FML available to eligible employees. If the employee is the spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter or parent of a military member, the employee may take Qualifying Exigency Leave to attend to any “qualifying exigency” while the military member is on “covered active duty or call to covered active duty status” (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty).

1. Eligibility

An employee who is the spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, or parent of a military member is eligible for Qualifying Exigency Leave if the employee meets the eligibility requirements for FML set forth in Section D.

2. Definitions Specific to Qualifying Exigency Leave

a)  “Covered active duty or call to covered active duty status” means (1) in the case of a member of the regular Armed Forces, duty during the deployment to a foreign country or (2) in the case of a member of the Armed Forces Reserve, duty during the deployment to a foreign country under a Federal call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation as defined by the FMLA.

b)  “Qualifying exigency” is defined as any one of the following, provided that the activity relates to the covered military member’s c o v e r e d active duty or call to covered active duty status:

i. Short notice deployment to address issues that arise due to the military member being notified of an impending call to covered active duty seven (7) or fewer calendar days prior to the date of deployment.

ii. Military events and activities, including official ceremonies.

iii. Childcare and school activities for a child of the military member who is either under age eighteen (18) or incapable of self-care.

iv. Financial and legal arrangements to address the military member’s absence or to act as the military member’s representative for purposes of obtaining, arranging, or appealing military service benefits while the military member is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status, and for the ninety (90) days after the termination of the military member’s covered active duty status.

v. Counseling (provided by someone other than a health care provider) for the employee, for the military member, or for the child of the military member who is either under age eighteen (18) or incapable of self-care.

vi. Rest and recuperation (up to fifteen (15) days of leave for each instance) to spend time with the military member who is on short-term, temporary rest and recuperation leave during deployment.

vii. Post-deployment activities to attend ceremonies sponsored by the military for a period of ninety (90) days following termination of the military member’s covered active duty and to address issues that arise from the death of the military member while on covered active duty status.

viii. Parental care for the parent of the military member when the parent is incapable of self-care.

ix. Additional activities related to the military member’s covered active duty or call to covered active duty status when the employer and employee agree that such activity qualifies as an exigency, and agree to both the timing and duration of the leave.

c) Leave Entitlement

Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve (12) workweeks of Qualifying Exigency leave during a calendar year. Qualifying Exigency Leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis.

3. Documentation and Certification

Employees may be required to provide a copy of the military member’s active duty order. Employees may also be required to provide certification of: (1) the reasons for requesting Qualified Exigency Leave, (2) the beginning and end dates of the qualifying exigency, and (3) other relevant information.

4. Use of Accrued Paid Leave

Qualified Exigency Leave is unpaid leave, except that an employee may elect to use accrued compensatory time off or accrued vacation before taking leave without pay. However, if the employee’s vacation leave accrual is at maximum, the employee will be required to use at least ten (10) percent of the vacation leave credit prior to taking leave without pay.

5. Notice

The employee shall provide notice of the need for leave as soon as practicable.

6. Reinstatement

Reinstatement shall be to the same position or, at the department’s discretion, to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment provided that the employee returns to work immediately following termination of the leave. If the employee would have been laid off or terminated had the employee been working during the leave period, the employee shall be afforded the same considerations afforded to other employees who are laid off or terminated pursuant to the provisions of Article 18, Layoff and Reduction in Time.

7. Continuation of Health Benefits

An employee on an approved Qualified Exigency Leave shall be entitled to continue participation in health plan coverage (medical, dental, and optical) as if on pay status for a period of up to twelve (12) workweeks in a calendar year.

E. Military Spouse/Domestic Partner Leave

1. An employee who is a spouse or domestic partner of a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves may take this leave during a “qualified leave period” when the employee’s spouse or domestic partner is on leave from a period of military conflict. “Qualified leave period” means the period during which the “qualified member” is on leave from deployment during a period of military conflict. An eligible employee shall be entitled to up to a maximum of ten (10) days of unpaid leave during a qualified leave period.

2. Eligibility

To be eligible, an employee must satisfy all of the following criteria:

a. be a spouse or domestic partner of a “qualified member” defined in E.3;

b. perform services for the University for an average of twenty (20) or more hours per week;

c. provide the University with notice, within two (2) business days of receiving official notice that the qualified member will be on leave from deployment, of the employee’s intention to take the leave; and

d. submit written documentation certifying that the qualified member will be on leave from deployment during the time that leave is being requested by the employee.

3. Definitions Specific to Military Spouse/Domestic Partner Leave

“Qualified member” means a person who is any of the following:

a. a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who has been deployed during a period of military conflict to an area designated as a combat theater or combat zone by the President of the United States; or

b. a member of the National Guard who has been deployed during a period of military conflict; or

c. a member of the Reserves who has been deployed during a period of military conflict.

d. “Period of military conflict” means either of the following:

i. a period of war declared by the United States Congress; or

ii. a period of deployment for which a member of a reserve component is ordered to active duty, as defined in Military and Veterans Code section 395.10.

4. Substitution of Paid Leave

This leave is unpaid leave, except that an employee shall use accrued vacation time prior to taking leave without pay.

F. Jury Duty/Grand Jury Duty

1. An employee summoned to jury duty must provide a copy of the summons to his/her supervisor upon request.

2. A full-time career employee who is summoned to required jury duty service shall be granted leave with pay for actual time spent on jury service and in related travel, not to exceed the employee’s normal workday and the normal workweek. Employees are required to report back to work as soon as possible after they are released from jury duty, unless there are less than two (2) hours remaining in their scheduled workday, in which case they should report to work on their next scheduled workday. Not returning in a timely manner may be considered an unexcused absence. Employees may be required to provide documentation from the court showing time served.

3. During the time an employee is responsible to the court for daytime jury duty, the University will convert the employee’s usual work shift to a regular five (5) day, Monday through Friday, day shift basis.

4. A part-time employee in a career position who is summoned to required jury service shall be granted leave with pay for actual time spent on jury service and in related travel which occur during the employee’s regularly scheduled hours of work.

5. An employee who serves on jury duty on a holiday observed by the University is eligible for holiday pay, but does not receive an alternate day off.

G. Witness Leave

1. When served with a subpoena which compels the employee’s presence as a witness, a full-time employee in a career position on any shift or work schedule shall be granted leave with pay for actual time spent at the administrative or legal proceedings and in related travel, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s normal workday and the employee’s normal workweek.

2. A part-time employee in a career position shall be granted leave with pay for time spent at the proceedings and in related travel which occur during the employee’s regularly scheduled hours of work.

3. Leave with pay shall not be granted when an employee is the plaintiff or defendant in a proceeding, is called or subpoenaed as a paid expert witness not on behalf of the University, or is called or subpoenaed because of duties for another employer.

H. Leave for Work-Incurred Injury or Illness

An employee who is off pay status and receiving temporary disability payments under the Worker’s Compensation Act may be granted, at the discretion of the Department Head, a leave without pay for all or part of the period during which temporary disability payments are received, except that any leave without pay which is granted shall not extend beyond a predetermined date of separation. Time on leave due to a work-incurred injury or illness runs concurrently with FML leave if the work-incurred injury or illness constitutes a serious health condition.

I. Recording of Leaves

Each approved leave without pay shall be reported by submission of the appropriate payroll/personnel form. An absence is not considered an approved leave for purposes of University benefits unless this form is submitted.