To be eligible, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 1,000 hours in the last 52 weeks. (1250 hours for Federal Law.)
An employee is required to give notice to the employer that is reasonable. (Federal leave requires 30 days notice if foreseeable.) You must contact the Personnel department as soon as possible, before the leave when possible, and obtain a set of forms that must be completed by the employee and the health care provider and returned within 15 days. At Strattec the forms are available in Human Resources, at Briggs they are available in Personnel.
Reasons for leave:
The State and Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) laws require covered employers to provide job protected, unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the serious illness of the employee, his or her spouse, parent or child. The two laws differ in some areas, but the Federal Law does not supersede the provisions of the State Law. Employees are entitled to added rights under the Federal Law, but lose no rights from the State Law. To use benefits that employees are entitled to under only one law, the employee may be required to meet requirements of that law in excess of the requirements of the other. Time off under FMLA does not count against your attendance record.
1. The employee's own serious medical condition.
2. The serious medical condition of the employee's spouse, child or parent. (State Law includes spouse's parents.)
3. The birth or adoption of a child.
Definition of a serious health condition: The health condition must require inpatient treatment in a hospital, hospice or residential facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider. To meet the requirement of continuing treatment, the health condition must require that the employee be treated more than one time by a health care professional. If the leave is for the employee, it also is necessary that the employee be unable to perform his or her job because of the serious health condition.
Intermittent leave: The employee may take the leave in an intermittent manner for any of the covered reasons under State Law. Under Federal Law the employee may take intermittent leave, however if the leave is for the birth or adoption of a child, the employer must agree to the intermittent leave. (Neither Briggs nor Strattec has not agreed to this. That means that leave for birth or adoption may be intermittent under the State Law rights. State Law requires that leave begin within 14 weeks of the birth or adoption. Federal Law only requires that the leave be concluded with 12 months of the birth or adoption. This means that any leave that begins more than 14 weeks after the birth or adoption, can only be intermittent with the employer's approval.)
Substitution: the employee may elect to substitute accrued paid or unpaid leave for portions of the family or medical leave. At Strattec, employees may substitute unused vacation for leaves. The employer may also count other qualified leaves against the employee's family medical entitlement under Federal Law. (both Strattec and Briggs will normally use this provision to reduce your entitlement if you are off on sick leave or Workers Compensation.)
Complaints: Under State Law, complaints must be filed within 30 days of the violation, or when the employee should have known that the violation took place. Action may be brought under the Federal Law through civil action in State or Federal Courts within 2 years. That period is extended to three years if the violation is willful. The complaint process for the State Law is much simpler and more expedient. Complaint forms may be obtained by calling the State Equal Rights Division at 227-4384.
Time off for caretaking or the birth or adoption of a child will not count as time worked for pension purposes. This is only an issue in years in which you have less than 1,000 qualified hours, normally just the year of retirement.
Maximum length of leave: Under Federal Law, an employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks in any 12 month period for one or more of the above reasons. Under State Law, an employee is entitled to up to 6 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child, 2 weeks for the employees own serious medical condition or up to 2 weeks to care for a seriously ill spouse, child or parent.