Sick, Parental, and Family Care (SPF)Absence Policy For AFSCME Employees Effective Jan.1, 2008 Optional Employee Information Sessions: Thursday, January 17, 9:00-10:00a.m. or Monday, February 4, 1:00-2:00p.m., Sykes Student Union Ballroom C
Employees using full-time sick, parental or family care leave without pay on December 31, 2007 will continue to use the remainder of that absence entitlement under the old provisions until the employee returns to work. Employees with absences beginning on or after January 1, 2008 will be covered under the new SPF Absence provisions. See handouts and power point for details. An optional information session will be held for AFSCME employees on January 17, 9-10:00a.m. orFebruary 4, 1-2:00p.m., Sykes Student Union Ballroom C New Provisions Effective January 1, 2008
West Chester University has designated an SPF Coordinator. Diane Dunn, Assistant Director of Human Resources, is available to assist with any questions you may have about the SPF Absence policy. Diane may be reached at (610)436-2338 or email@example.com. WCU Campus SPF Coordinator
Set employee responsibilities Determine who is eligible Define SPF Absence Determine what is a serious health condition and what isn’t Define ESPF Absence and conditions Review employees SPF eligibility & determination Discuss how much SPF is available (entitlement) Identify when employee must use paid leave SPF Absence Policy Information Session Objectives
What Are Your Responsibilities? If you or a family member has a serious health condition, you have the following responsibilities: • Notify your supervisor of the need to use SPF Absence at least two weeks in advance, if possible. • Ensure that all forms and medical documents are accurate and complete prior to submitting them to the SPF Coordinator. • Submit completed forms and documentation in a timely manner. • Follow your organization’s call-off notification policy. • Manage your absences to avoid needing to use any unpaid absence.
Why Should You Play an Active Role in SPF? • Absences that are not identified as SPF related are not protected under the FMLA, therefore may not be approved. • Discipline may result from excessive absences that are not identified as FMLA related.
Who is Eligible? To be eligible for an SPF Absence, an employee must have: • One year of service (26 pay periods of leave service credit) • Worked 1250 hours in the 12 months preceding the first absence • Hours include: regular and overtime hours worked, and all hours of military absence • Hours do not include: paid absences, unpaid absences, and holidays
What is SPF Absence? An SPF Absence is a paid or unpaid absence from work with benefits for any of the following reasons: • For the employee’s own injury or disabilityor treatment for an injury or disabilitythat is due to a serious health condition as defined by the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993; • For a qualifying family member’s serious health condition when the employee is attending to the medical needs of the family member; or • For the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. • SPF Absence provisions do not apply to paid sick leave unless used for one of the reasons above. NOTE: SPF Absences, in general, are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and are also designated as FMLA Leave under the provisions of the FMLA.
Definition of “Family Member” • For the purpose of SPF absence, a family member is defined as a spouse, parent, child, or other person qualifying as a dependent under IRS eligibility criteria. A parent can be a biological parent or an individual who stood as a parent (in loco parentis) to the employee when the employee was a child. A child can be a biological child, adopted child, foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child in the care of a person who is standing as a parent (in loco parentis); a child must be under age 18, or if 18 years or older must be incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disability. • Note: The definition of family member for PSSU employees also includes the employee’s domestic partner and the biological or adopted child of the domestic partner.
What isn’t Covered Under the SPF Absence Policy? • Common ailments, such as the common cold, flu, ear ache, upset stomach, minor ulcer, or minor headache, etc., which do not fit the definition of a serious health condition or do not render the employee incapable of performing an essential function of the job, do not qualify as serious health conditions.
What is Covered Under SPF Absence Policy? • A serious health condition is defined by FMLA as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves any one of the following…
A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days, including any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the condition, that also involves one of the following: Treatment two or more times by a health care provider; or treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider. An overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility to receive inpatient care, including incapacity or treatment in connection with such a stay; Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care; What is Covered Under SPF Absence Policy? (continued)
A chronic condition that requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider; continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of an underlying condition); and may cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); Incapacity of permanent or long-term nature due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The patient must be under the continuing supervision of the health care provider even if not receiving active treatment (e.g., Alzheimer’s, a severe stroke or the terminal stages of a disease); or Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments by the health care provider for at least one of the following: Restorative surgery after an accident or other injury; or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days in absence of medical intervention (e.g., chemotherapy for cancer, physical therapy for severe arthritis, or dialysis for kidney disease). What is Covered Under SPF Absence Policy? (continued)
How is it Determined? • An employee’s eligibility is evaluated and determined by the SPF Coordinator at the beginning of each new SPF event (which is a new or different medical condition or reason for using SPF absence).
What is ESPF Absence? • Extended Sick, Parental and Family Care (ESPF) Absence is an unpaid absence from work without benefits due to a serious health condition of an employee; a serious health condition of a family member when the employee is attending to the medical needs of the family member; or for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child. This includes all unpaid sick, parental and family care absence without benefits. Employees are entitled to up to six months of ESPF Absence without benefits under two conditions…
The request is made in writing, proof of the need for continuing absence is provided on the Serious Health Condition Certification form and the absence is contiguous to the expiration of SPF Absence; or The employee has not met the one year of service eligibility requirement and the ESPF Absence is for at least two consecutive weeks. The ESPF absence must be continuous from the SPF absence (with benefits). ESPF Absence Conditions
SPF Absence Entitlement Once eligibility is determined, an employee is entitled to up to six months* of SPF Absence within a rolling year for all SPF Absence events. • Six months is: • 982.5 hr for employees who work 7.5 hours per day • 1,048 hr for employee who work 8.0 hours per day • Prorated amount for part-time employees • A rolling year is the 12 month period preceding the date of the absence. * When more than six months of paid leave is available, the entitlement is not limited to six months.
SPF Absence Entitlement(continued) Intermittent or reduced-time use of SPF Absence is available only during the first 12 weeks of the six month entitlement in a rolling year. • Twelve weeks is: • 450 hr for employees who work 7.5 hours per day • 480 hr for employees who work 8.0 hours per day • Prorated amount for part-time employees
Paid Leave and SPF Absence Policy • All forms of paid leave used as SPF Absence reduce the six month SPF Absence entitlement. • All applicable accrued paid sick leave is required to be used. (mandatory) • Accrued annual, personal, and holiday leave may be used. (optional) • Anticipated annual, personal and sick leave may be used in accordance with anticipation policies. (optional) • All forms of paid leave, if required or if chosen to be used, must be taken before using unpaid SPF Absence.
Six Major Changes 1.) Eligibility– An employee must be employed for 12 months to be entitled to SPF Absence provisions. An employee with less than one year of service is eligible for a one-time ESPF absence if all other criteria are met. 2.) Requests for leave and medical documentation must be submitted at least 14 days in advance for scheduled leaves or as early in advance as possible for unplanned absences.
Six Major Changes(continued) 3.) Return to work rights—Generally, employees have the right to return, during the remainder of the SPF Absence six month period, to a vacant position in the same or equivalent classification. For specific return rights, refer to your collective bargaining agreement. 4.) A medical release is required to return to work unless the return to work date is specifically determined on the original SPF medical documentation.
Six Major Changes(continued) 5.) Leave slips must indicate that the absence is an SPF absence Write it on the leave slip until new slips are printed. 6.) It is mandatory to use all accrued sick leave for SPF absence.
The SPF Coordinator, Diane Dunn, is in the process of updating the benefit’s website to include updated forms and frequently asked questions. http://www.wcupa.edu/HR/Benefits/default.asp In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please attend one of the information sessions or contact your SPF Campus Coordinator. Your SPF Campus Coordinator may be reached at (610)436-2338 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Next Steps
Thank You Thank you for taking the time to read this important information. In case you need this information in the future, we encourage you to file this communication. Have a great 2008!