Family Medical Leave Act

Grand Rapids Community College recognizes that from time to time employees may require a leave of absence to attend to certain family or medical situations. Therefore, and in compliance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the College will provide family/medical leave to eligible employees requiring time off.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave a year for a serious personal health condition; childbirth; or care of the employee’s newborn child, newly adopted child, newly placed foster child, or a child, parent or spouse with a serious health condition.

FMLA is required for qualifying absences.

The following provisions provide information about the FMLA policy.  Please read the following provisions carefully and use them for future reference.

Who is Eligible?

If you have worked for the College for at least one year and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to the commencement of the leave, you are eligible for an FMLA leave, provided the circumstances requiring your absence from work fall within the scope of the College’s policy.

When Can I Take Family and Medical Leave?

Eligible employees may use Family and Medical Leave for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child and care of a newborn child;
  • To care for a newly adopted child or child recently placed in the employee’s home for foster care;
  • To care for a spouse, child or parent (but not parent-in-law) who has a serious health condition; or
  • The employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of his or her job.

Family leave to care for a newborn child or for adoption or foster care placement of a child must be completed within 12 months of the birth, adoption or placement of the child.

 Military Family Leave Entitlements

Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. 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.

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.

Medical Certification

If you are requesting an FMLA leave due to a serious health condition, to care for a parent, child or spouse with a serious health condition or for the birth of a child, you will be required to provide medical certification at your own expense from a health care provider of the health condition involved and, if applicable, verification that you are needed to care for the ill family member and for how long.  You must provide the requested medical certification within 15 days of being supplied with the necessary certification form from the Human Resources Department or your request for an FMLA leave may be delayed or denied.

The certification must contain the following information:

  1. The date on which the serious health condition began;
  2. The probable duration of the condition;
  3. The medical facts regarding the condition;
  4. A statement that the employee is unable to perform his or her functions or that he/she is needed to care for a spouse, parent, or child;
  5. An estimate of the time required recovering or caring for a spouse, parent, or child;
  6. In the case of intermittent leave, the date and duration of treatment.
  7. Signature of Physician or Practitioner and Date
  8. Employee Signature and Date

After you submit the required medical certification, the College may require, at its option and its own expense, a medical certification be obtained from a health care provider of the College’s own choosing to verify the need for the requested FMLA leave.  If the first and second medical certifications differ, the College may require, at its option and at its own expense, that a third certification be obtained from a third health care provider who is jointly selected by the prior two health care providers.  The third medical certification will be final and binding on both parties.

The College may also require periodic medical recertification at its own expense.

What Is a Serious Health Condition?

A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves (1) inpatient care, (2) a period of incapacity requiring continuing treatment by a health care provider, (3) a period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care, (4) a period of incapacity or treatment for chronic or permanent/long-term conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer), or (5) a period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider for a non-chronic condition that, if left untreated, could result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days (e.g., dialysis for kidney disease or chemotherapy for cancer).  By way of example, “continuing treatment by a health care provider” includes a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days (including subsequent treatments or periods of incapacity relating to the same condition) that requires treatment on two or more times by a health care provider or treatment once by a health care provider that results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of a health care provider (e.g., a course of prescription drugs, physical therapy).

Unless complications arise, the common cold, flu, upset stomach, headaches, routine dental problems and cosmetic treatments do not meet the definition of a “serious health condition.”

For more information please visit the Department of Labor's website.