Family Medical Leave & Employee’s Serious Health Condition

Pacific University provides family leave in compliance with federal (FMLA) and state (OFLA) laws. Employees who have been employed for six months and who work an average of 25 hours per week may take an extended leave up to 12 weeks in any twelve month period for the following reasons:

  • The employee's serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job functions, including incapacitation due to pregnancy.
  • To care for a child, spouse, same-sex domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandchild who suffers from a serious health condition.
  • To care for a sick child with an illness or condition that requires home care, but is not a serious health condition
  • Taking physical custody of an adopted child or foster child under the age of 18 (parental leave)
  • To spend time with the employee’s new born child within a year of the child’s birth (parental leave)
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the employees spouse, child, or parent in the Armed Forces serving on active duty or receiving notification of an impending call or order to active duty. Additionally, an employee who is the spouse, child, parent or next of kin of a member of the Armed Forces who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of active duty is entitled up to 26 weeks (during a single 12 month period) of protected leave to care for the recovering service member.

Exception #1

A female staff member who takes leave for a pregnancy related disability may take up to an additional 12 weeks for any OFLA qualifying purpose. A written medical opinion from the employee's treating physician is required for any employee requesting pregnancy leave or accommodation.  

Exception #2

Employees who use a full 12 weeks of parental leave may use up to 12 additional weeks in the same year for sick child leave.

With the exception noted above, the maximum amount of leave that can be taken is 12 workweeks in a 12 month period. The 12 month period begins on the first day of the leave. The 12 weeks do not have to be taken all at one time and may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule when medically necessary.

Compensation and Benefits During Family Medical Leave

You are required to use any paid leave for Family Leave, which includes sick and vacation. The leave will be paid by utilizing any paid time in this order:  1) sick, 2) vacation, 3) floating holidays.

In the case of “parental leave,” or “care for a family member”, you are required to use any accrued vacation time first, then you must use sick time. If you have used all your vacation and sick time, you must also use your floating holidays. Use of vacation time does not extend the maximum leave allowance of 12 weeks in a 12-month period.

Short term disability will be used if the leave is over 14 days and proper medical certification from a physician has been submitted to Human Resources.  If none of the above options are available the leave is unpaid.

Your medical insurance will be paid by the University during the leave.  If you pay for dependent care and a portion of your leave is unpaid you must make arrangements with the Human Resource Office for payment.

Vacation and sick leave will continue to accrue as long as the employee is in paid status for at least 80 hours per month. Holiday pay will be paid as long as the employee is in paid status for at least 80 hours per month.

Application Procedure

Requests for family leave should be made at least 30 days prior to the start of the leave if possible. If the leave if for a serious health condition or to care for a child the employees will be required to furnish medical certification of the health condition within 15 days of the leave request. Forms are available in Human Resources.

The employee must keep in contact with their department and Human Resources on a regular basis to let them know your status and your intent to return to work. In the case of the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee must present a statement from the physician releasing the employee to return to work prior to returning to work.

An employee granted Family Leave will be returned to the same position or, if that position has been eliminated, another available and suitable position.

Failure to return to work at the end of the leave will result in termination for job abandonment. If an employee gives notice of the intent to terminate their employment during the leave, the leave entitlement will continue if the original need for the leave continues, but the employee gives up their reinstatement rights.

Leave of Absence applications for Family Medical Leave and additional information are available in Human Resources.  A Leave of Absence must be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor and the Department Head.  The form must be completed and returned to Human Resources.

Medical Certification Documentation (pdf)