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Paid Family Leave Policy

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  • Type of Policy: HR
    Effective Date: January 1, 2021
    Last Revised: September 14, 2021

    1. Purpose

    The University of Florida recognizes that employees must balance work obligations with providing care for themselves as well as their families when their personal or family medical events require absence from work for an extended period of time. The purpose of this policy is to outline eligibility requirements and how to access UF’s Paid Family Leave benefits.

    2. Scope

    This policy applies to TEAMS and faculty employees. Those faculty and staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement should refer to their agreement for terms and conditions.

    3. Policy Statement

    To provide enhanced support and protection against income loss during times of major life events, the UF Paid Family Leave program provides up to eight (8) weeks of Paid Family Leave in a rolling 24-month period.

    Employees may use this time in one of two ways:

    1. As Paid Parental Leave to cover absences related to parental leave (birth, adoption, fostering)
    2. As Paid Medical Leave to cover absences related to a personal illness/injury, or an immediate family member’s illness/injury

    The 8 weeks can be used across multiple qualifying events, as illustrated in the example below:

    • An employee that needs to access two (2) weeks of paid medical leave to care for their elderly parent, could have access to the remaining six (6) weeks of Paid Family Leave when they begin their parental leave six (6) months later.

    Employees with an appointment of less than 1.0 FTE are eligible to receive a prorated portion of the eight (8) weeks of Paid Family Leave based on their FTE. Employees will utilize FMLA leave concurrent with Paid Family Leave, when applicable.

    • An employee with a 0.75 appointment could be provided with 240 hours of paid family leave, which would cover their 30 hours of absence from work per week for eight (8) weeks.
    • An employee with a 0.90 appointment could be provided with 288 hours of paid family leave, which would cover their 36 hours of absence from work per week for eight (8) weeks.

    Employees are not required to exhaust their accrued leave in order to qualify for this benefit.

    4. Paid Family Leave

    4.1 Paid Parental Leave

    Paid Parental Leave is available to all faculty and TEAMS employees upon beginning work with the University of Florida. Up to eight (8) weeks of parental leave is available to both parents or legal guardians in cases of birth, adoption, or placement for fostering. This leave must be taken within twelve (12) months of the birth or placement of a child and may be used pursuant to an approved reduced work schedule.

    Paid Parental Leave eligibility under these terms extends to employees (both birth and non-birth parents) who lose their child at or after the 20th week of pregnancy, which is defined as a ‘stillbirth’ by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    4.2 Paid Medical Leave

    Paid Medical Leave is available to all faculty and TEAMS employees whose extended leave of absence is covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In order to qualify for paid medical leave, an employee must provide certification from an FMLA covered healthcare provider for an FMLA-qualifying event and the hours awarded will not be greater than an employee’s FMLA entitlement. Prior to accessing medical leave, employees must first use ten (10) workdays (i.e., 80 hours for an employee with a 1.0 FTE appointment) of personally accrued leave per FMLA-qualifying event. Once eighty (80) hours of personally accrued leave (the Benefit Waiting Period) has been used, eight (8) weeks of Paid Medical Leave could become available to the employee, to be used in one-week increments.

    Temporary Recovery provision: The University may, at its discretion, waive the requirement of a Benefit Waiting Period for an employee who has previously satisfied the Benefit Waiting Period requirement for the same event.

    4.3 Paid Medical Leave Eligibility for Employee Illness/Injury Eligibility

    • An employee must qualify for and go on continuous FMLA leave
    • A healthcare provider certifies that the period of continuous medically necessary absence will be at least three (3) or more weeks (15 or more working days) for the employee’s serious illness or injury
    • The illness or injury prevents the employee from performing the material and substantial duties of their UF position
    • You must be under the ongoing care of a Physician in the appropriate specialty as determined by UF Central Leave.

    4.4 Paid Medical Leave for Employee Due to Immediate Family Member’s Illness/Injury Eligibility

    • An employee must qualify for and go out on a continuous FMLA leave
    • A healthcare provider certifies that the absence will be three (3) or more weeks (15 or more working days) to care for an immediate family member due to their serious illness or injury.
    • A healthcare provider certifies that care for the family member is needed due to the family member’s:
      • Inability to care for their medical needs and/or their own safety; or
      • Need for assistance with the majority of activities of daily living
    • The family member must be under the ongoing care of a Physician in the appropriate specialty as determined by UF Central Leave.

     4.3 Paid Medical Leave is not available for

    • Use in less than one-week increments
    • Use to cover time away from work due to an employee’s work-related injury

    5. Approval

    To ensure privacy, consistency and fairness, access to Paid Family Leave for parental or medical reasons must be reviewed and awarded by the Central Leave Office. The University of Florida has the right to deny Paid Family Leave to any employee for any non-discriminatory reason, as circumstances warrant.

    6. Reporting Questions or Violations

    The following department is responsible for overseeing implementation of and ensuring compliance with this policy. For answers to questions about the policy or to report suspected violations, please contact:

    UFHR Central Leave Office
    PO Box 115007
    Phone: 352-392-2477
    Fax: 352-392-5166
    Central-leave@ufl.edu

    7. Enforcement

    Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    8. 8. Definitions and Terms (if applicable)

    Paid Parental Leave: University of Florida paid leave available to parents upon birth, adoption or placement for fostering of a child.

    Paid Medical Leave: University of Florida paid leave available to qualifying employees due to a personal illness/injury or an immediate family member’s illness/injury.

    FMLA Qualifying Event: As defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, an FMLA qualifying event is defined as a serious health condition (an injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential care facility or a continuing regimen of treatment by a health care provider), military caregiver, or military exigency.  For University administrative purposes as they relate to this Policy, the event is considered to be the condition rather than a particular treatment (e.g., a cancer diagnosis would be one event, which would account for a period of absence for a procedure and a course of chemotherapy).

    Physician: means a licensed M.D. or D.O., acting within the scope of the license.

    Staff: For purposes of this policy, staff is defined as a TEAMS employee.

    Resources

    Related Information

    Paid Time Off for Staff Policy

    Paid Time Off for Faculty Policy

    FMLA Policy

    Parental Leave Policy

    Policy History

     

    Revision Date Author Description
    01/01/2021 UFHR Policy Initially Adopted
    09/14/2021 UFHR Policy Revised