New Policy Provides Consistency for Calculating FMLA Leave
The University of Arkansas System has issued a new systemwide policy to provide a consistent method across system institutions for calculating leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Under the FMLA, the university provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for eligible employees with qualifying life events, including the birth or adoption of a child and a serious health condition encountered by the employee or certain members of the employee's family. Generally speaking, the employee continues to receive health benefits during leave and is reinstated to the same or an equivalent job upon return.
Institutions currently use different methods of calculating the 12-month period in which an employee may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, all of which are allowed by law. The new policy, UASP 425.2, requires all campuses to measure the yearlong period on the "counting forward" method, beginning with the first date of an employee's use of FMLA. The policy takes effect July 1.
Currently, the U of A calculates FMLA leave based on a fixed calendar year schedule. Employees who use FMLA leave between now and June 30 may do so using either the existing method for the campus or the "counting forward" method. Employees who are currently under approved FMLA leave during the fiscal year will continue through the end of the employee's already established FMLA leave period.
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