The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a benefit that allows qualified employees to have up to 12 weeks of leave per fiscal year. The law allows eligible employees to take job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child, for the care of a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition, for the employee’s own serious health condition, or for the care of a covered military service member. Eligible employees are entitled to utilize a full allotment of 12 weeks of FMLA benefits for any FMLA-related condition, regardless of whether or not his/her spouse is also employed by Texas A&M Health Science Center. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a summary entitled “Need Time? The Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act.” This summary is directed primarily to employees in a reader-friendly format.
The FMLA duties most likely consist of ensuring the department's compliance with the FMLA, overseeing employee FMLA leave balances and periodically reviewing for accuracy, training supervisors and managers on FMLA when necessary, communicating with Human Resources if questions arise regarding FMLA leave, and distributing FMLA packet of information to employees who may need FMLA leave.
HR Dept. Liaisons may choose to deliver Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) information, including the FMLA packet, reminder notices, etc., to an employee's email address, provided the employee agrees beforehand to receive information electronically. Using this option will hasten the FMLA paperwork process and will save the expense of using certified mail, which may cost up to $3 for a reminder notice or up to $7 for an FMLA packet.
Below are the proper steps to take to send FMLA information electronically to your employees when they are unavailable for a signature:
1. Contact the employee (verbal or otherwise) and ask if he or she is agreeable to receiving FMLA information through email now and in the future. Certified mail should be used if the employee cannot be contacted or otherwise does not wish (or is unable) to use email communication.
2. If the employee agrees to receive FMLA correspondence electronically, the employee should be advised that FMLA information will be mailed shortly. Additionally, the employee should be instructed to:
provide you with a valid email address.
send a reply email back to you without delay upon receipt of the information. The 15 calendar day deadline, or other applicable deadlines, will begin upon receipt of the employee's confirmation email.
Print the confirmation of receipt and attach the document to the employee's FMLA paperwork.
3. If the employee fails to respond to the email FMLA correspondence within the closing of the next business day of the electronic delivery, send the information through certified mail to ensure the employee receives the documents.
The following forms/information make up the FMLA packet:
- Cover Letter to Employee
- Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act
- HSC Physician/Practitioner Certification Form for Employees
- HSC Physician/Practitioner Certification Form for Family Members
- Include the Employee's Position Description (if FMLA leave is for employee's own health condition)
- Military Family Leave Forms (Use only if employee is requesting military exigency or caregiver leave)
Employees who have not worked for the State of Texas for at least 12 months or who have worked fewer than 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the needed leave qualify for maternal/paternal leave under the state's Parental Leave instead of FMLA. The following forms make up the Parental Leave Packet: