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TO: Executive Department Employees
FROM: Jeff McCue, Assistant Secretary and Chief Human Resources Officer  
DATE: February 25, 2021
RE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Family and Medical Leaves
Family or Medical Leave
 Frequently Asked Questions
 
What is a Family or Medical Leave?
A family leave is job protected time off from work in order to bond with your child following birth, adoption or foster care placement.

An employee can also take a job protected leave when certain family members have a serious health condition and the employee is needed to provide care.

A medical leave is job protected time off when an employee has a serious health condition and is unable to work.  

What should you do when you need a Family or Medical Leave?
Notify your agency’s Leave Coordinator (contact list attached below)! Unless it is impossible, all employees are required to provide notice to their agency 30 days in advance when there is a need to take leave. Notice includes informing your agency of the need for leave and the timing and duration of leave. Notice should also include whether the underlying reason for leave is related to the employee’s own condition or their family member’s. If your circumstance does not allow for 30-day notice, you must give notice as soon as possible. A leave may be delayed or denied if appropriate notice is not provided. Regardless of the reason for leave, employees are required to follow their agency’s existing required call-in procedures. 

Who are the Leave Coordinators?
Leave Coordinators are those individuals who work for your Agency’s human resources department who are responsible for managing the approval of employees’ requests for leave. The Leave Coordinator will inform you of any documentation that is needed in order to approve your leave and any benefits available to you. The Leave Coordinator will communicate to you and your supervisor whether you have been approved or denied leave. 

Why is documentation necessary?
Documentation, usually in the form of a healthcare certification filled out by your doctor, is required to substantiate your need for leave and inform your agency of how long you need to be absent from work. If your leave is for the purpose of bonding with a new child welcomed by birth, adoption, or foster placement, then documentation proving the birth, adoption, or foster placement is required to substantiate your need for leave. Your request for leave cannot be approved until after you provide your agency with the required documentation. Failure to provide documentation to your agency may result in an unauthorized leave status.

Will you receive pay during your leave?
Employees have several different options for pay while on an approved family or medical leave.  Employees may use their accruals, Extended Illness Leave Bank (if a member and have a qualifying condition) or temporary wage replacement under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, administered by the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML). 

What is the best option for pay while on leave?
Different rules apply to the different pay options and it is important that you discuss your unique situation with your Leave Coordinator. Your Leave Coordinator will conduct an intake session with you to discuss the benefits, limitations or impacts of each type of program. In addition, your Leave Coordinator will inform you as to which Time Reporting Codes (TRCs) should be used to effectuate your chosen pay option.   

Why is it important to use the correct Time Reporting Codes (TRCs)?
Each TRC is specific to the type of leave you have been approved to take. It is critical to use the TRCs as directed to ensure that you will be appropriately compensated – whether payment is from your employing Agency or the DFML—and to avoid an overpayment requiring recoupment.

Why is documentation provided to both your agency and the DFML if you elect the PFML for payment? 
Your agency is responsible for administering the employee’s leave of absence, including job protections under the state and federal law and any policies.  In order for your agency to approve any leave, documentation is necessary.

The DFML’s application for paid PFML benefits during a leave covered by the PFML law is separate from your agency’s application process for job-protected leave. An application for a paid PFML benefit can only be made after notice of the need for a leave has been provided to your agency. Therefore, employees seeking paid PFML benefits from the DFML must also submit documentation to the DFML that is separate from and in addition to the documentation submitted to your agency.

Regardless of whether you are electing to apply to the DFML for a paid PFML, you need to be on an approved leave from your agency. During your intake session, your Leave Coordinator will explain what documentation is necessary to be approved for a leave or a benefit. You must submit the appropriate documentation to your Leave Coordinator. If you file an application for PFML benefits with the DFML, your agency will inform the DFML whether you are on an approved leave.  
Thank you,

Jeff McCue
Assistant Secretary and Chief Human Resources Officer
Human Resources Division