8.16 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  1. The State acknowledges its commitment to comply with the spirit and intent of the leave entitlement provided by the FMLA and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) referred to collectively as "FMLA". The State and the Union recognize that on occasion it will be necessary for employees of the State to take job protected leave for reasons consistent with the FMLA. As defined by the FMLA, reasons for a FMLA leave may include an employee's serious health condition, for the care of a child, spouse, domestic partner (as defined in Family Code section 297), or parent who has a serious health condition, and/or for the birth or adoption of a child.
  2. For the purposes of providing the FMLA benefits the following definitions shall apply:
    1. An eligible employee means an employee who meets the eligibility criteria set forth in the FMLA;
    2. An employee's child means any child, regardless of age, who is affected by a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA and is incapable of self care. "Care" as provided in this section applies to the individual with the covered health condition;
    3. An employee's parent means a parent or an individual standing in loco parentis as set forth in the FMLA;
    4. Leave may include paid sick leave, vacation, annual leave, personal leave, catastrophic leave, holiday credit, excess hours, and unpaid leave. In accordance with the FMLA, an employee shall not be required to use CTO credits, unless otherwise specified by section 8.8 of this Contract.
      1. FMLA absences due to illness and/or injury of the employee or eligible family member may be covered with the employee's available sick leave credits and catastrophic leave donations. Catastrophic leave eligibility and sick leave credit usage for a FMLA leave will be administered in accordance with section 8.8 and 8.2 of this Contract.
      2. Other leave may be substituted for the FMLA absence due to illness and/or injury, at the employee's discretion. An employee shall not be required to exhaust all paid leave, before choosing unpaid leave, unless otherwise required by section 8.8 of this Contract.
      3. FMLA absences for reasons other than illness and/or injury (i.e., adoption or care of an eligible family member), may be covered with leave credits, other than sick leave, including unpaid leave, at the employee's discretion. Except in accordance with section 8.8 of this Contract, an employee shall not be required to exhaust all leave credits available before choosing unpaid leave to cover a FMLA absence.
  3. An eligible employee shall provide certification of the need for a FMLA leave. Additional certification may be requested if the department head or designee has reasonable cause to believe the employee's condition or eligibility for FMLA leave has changed. The reasons for the additional certification request shall be provided to the employee in writing.
  4. An eligible employee shall be entitled to a maximum of twelve (12) workweeks FMLA leave per calendar year and all other rights set forth in the FMLA. This entitlement shall be administered in concert with the other leave provisions in Article 8 of this Contract. Nothing in this Contract should be construed to allow the State to provide less than that provided by the FMLA.
  5. On January 1 of each year, FMLA leave shall be recorded in accordance with the calendar year. Each time an employee takes an FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement is any balance of the twelve (12) workweeks that has not been used during the current calendar year. Employees who have taken FMLA leave under the previous twelve (12) month rolling period, shall be entitled to additional leave up to a total of twelve (12) weeks for the current calendar year.
  6. An employee on FMLA leave has a right to be restored to the employee's same or "equivalent" position (FMLA) or to a "comparable" position (CFRA) with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
  7. For the purposes of computing seniority, employees on paid FMLA leave will accrue seniority credit in accordance with CalHR rules 599.608 and 599.609.
  8. Any appeals regarding a FMLA decision should be directed to the department head or designee. FMLA is a Federal law and administered and enforced by the Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division. The State's CFRA is a State law which is administered and enforced by the DFEH. FMLA/CFRA does not supersede any Article of this Contract which provides greater family and medical leave rights. This section is not subject to grievance or arbitration.
  9. The Union will be noticed when a denial is issued for the lack of one thousand two hundred and fifty (1,250) hours of service. A copy of the written denial shall be sent attn: SEIU Local 1000 Headquarters within thirty (30) days. Should the request for FMLA be denied, the reason for denial will be provided in writing within thirty (30) days to the employee.