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CalzoneSC  
#1 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2012 9:15:26 AM(UTC)
CalzoneSC

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 5/6/2009(UTC)
Posts: 937

Sup all, 

how would one apply for FMLA? Will the employee need medical documentation? management's approval?

Thanks in advance! hope all had a good monday 

Melerkat  
#2 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2012 10:19:38 AM(UTC)
Melerkat

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 8/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,648

You should be able to find anything you need to know through "The Network."

It's a better source than the "official sites" because it gets to the juice of the issue.

Here is the site for the network:

http://fmla.lettercarriernetwork.info/

Here is the site, from that one, that addresses your issue:

http://fmla.lettercarriernetwork.info/FECA,%20ADA%20and%20FMLA,%20Navigating.pdf




“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they've been given.”<br />― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
NECArrier  
#3 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2012 11:00:53 AM(UTC)
NECArrier

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Joined: 11/27/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,783


go to usps.liteblue.gov and go to the HR section and to the FMLA tab. You can find most of what you need to know there.

You have to request the FMLA forms from shared services- that way they open a case number for you. If you download and print the forms from the Net (which you can do, of course) and send those in without a case number, all that does is get them to send you a duplicate set of blank forms with a case number on them. So save a step and get the forms from shared services. You can request the forms for a "future event" when you are within 30 days of the event.

Then your doc fills out his portion and you fax or mail it to your designated person at shared services- the address for each Area is on the same page as the number where to call for the forms.

You don't need managment's approval and they do not need to know any of your medical information. Your manager is supposed to fill out a section on page one of the form, but you can give it to him blank, get his part done, and then send it on to your doctor. If the FMLA is for a family member, you can take up to 80 hours of sick leave dependent care to take care of them. You have a 12 week entitlement for the year, so if you need more than the 80 hours, you have to take LWOP or AL, which can still be protected by FMLA. If you're taking it for yourself, you can take all sick leave if you want.

Melerkat  
#4 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2012 11:16:18 AM(UTC)
Melerkat

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 8/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,648

NeCarrier, just be careful about this line(Although it is technically correct):

"Your manager is supposed to fill out a section on page one of the form,
but you can give it to him blank, get his part done, and then send it on to your doctor."

If you do this, then management can require a more detailed explanation of the reason for the FMLA request.
And that could include a second opinion. (Or even 3rd).

I advise my carriers to just use the automated number to call out on FMLA, get the documentation needed as the event unfolds, then provide that documentation "in real time."

Our experience has been that management does not refute documentation provided in such a manner.

LOOK: When your child is in the hospital, under a doctors care, there's not much to refute. You just tell them to "Talk To The Hand."

I'm just saying that if I had a choice, I would not let management get a chance to "Predetermine Just Cause" for the use of FMLA.





Melerkat2012-04-09 19:21:54
“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they've been given.”<br />― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
Melerkat  
#5 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2012 11:23:32 AM(UTC)
Melerkat

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Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,648

Case history:
A fellow carrier discovers that his mother, previously diagnosed with Brain Cancer, has less than 6 weeks to live and wants to use the FMLA benefit to care for her.

He went the "pre-approved route" and had to face the humility of dragging in two other doctors for other opinions. (He was spared "The Postal Doctor" routine, but it was still a PIA).



“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they've been given.”<br />― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
NECArrier  
#6 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2012 8:36:47 PM(UTC)
NECArrier

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I know the rest of the world will be incredulous, but we do not use the automated attendance line here in our area. If we were going to call out for an "unscheduled absence" as the lady at shared services kept saying to me, we call our actual local supervisor. That's why I go the route I suggested.
There is no place for the supervisor to "predetermine just cause" on the form, merely put in his contact information, and in the case of FMLA for self, a "job title, job schedule and essential job functions."
 
The approval for FMLA comes from outside one's local office. Whether the supervisor approves or not is moot.
Melerkat  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:14:36 AM(UTC)
Melerkat

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Updated
February 17, 2012
 

 

















  
 


 
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FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees eligible letter carriers up to 12 weeks of leave each postal leave year, for:

  • A new child in the family—by birth, by adoption or by placement in foster care;
  • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • The employee's own serious health condition that prevents him or her from performing the job, or
  • Qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that
    employee’s family member is on or has been notified of “covered active duty” in the Armed Forces.

The FMLA also guarantees eligible letter carriers up to
26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a “covered
servicemember” with a “serious injury or illness” if that servicemember is their spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.

The FMLA guarantees time off, whether paid or unpaid. The
type of leave taken depends on the reasons for the leave, an employee's
earnings and the usual postal leave regulations. There are eligibility
criteria, medical certification guidelines and other detailed rules governing letter carrier rights to FMLA leave.

This page links to useful NALC materials, federal regulations and information on the Web about the FMLA.

Changes to FMLA regulations

In November 2008 the Department of Labor (DOL) published
its Final Rule to implement the first-ever amendments to the Family
Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The amendments come from the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008 and provide new military family leave
entitlements. The Final Rule also substantially revised many other parts
of the implementing regulations of the FMLA for the first time since
1995. The Final Rule became effective on January 16, 2009 just four days before President Bush left office.

While the new regulations provide important new
entitlements to protected leave for letter carriers who have family
members who serve in the Armed Forces, they also impose new burdens on
employees who need leave for serious health conditions that make it
harder for them to use the leave. For example, the Final Rule has
clarified the definition of “serious health condition” in cases
involving continuing treatment. Prior to the change, a serious health
condition could involve incapacity of more than three consecutive
calendar days plus “two visits to a health care provider” or one visit
which resulted in a regime of continuing treatment under the health care
provider’s supervision. The new rule changes that requirement to more than three full consecutive calendar days. Partial days
no longer count. Also under the new rules, the two visits must now
occur within 30 days of the beginning of the incapacity and the first
visit must take place within seven days of the first day of incapacity.
Notably, the health care provider – not the employee – must determine if
the second visit within the 30 days is required. Under the previous
rules there was neither a 30 day nor a 7 day requirement. Finally, the
Final Rule has defined “periodic visits” for chronic serious health
conditions as at least two visits to a health care provider per year. There was no two visit requirement prior to the change.

In addition to the above, under the previous regulations
an employee did not have to assert his or her rights under the FMLA or
even mention it by name when seeking leave for a FMLA-qualifying reason.
Under the Final Rule, this applies only to when an employee seeks leave
for the first time for the FMLA qualifying reason. Once FMLA leave has
been granted for an employee’s health condition, the employee, in making
future requests for leave, must specifically reference either the qualifying reason or the need for FMLA leave.

Update:

Congress expands military family leave

Congress has amended the FMLA again in the National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2010 to expand the coverage of both
military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave. On February 15, 2012, the DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register to incorporate the changes mandated by the amendment.

DOL clarifies the definition of “son and daughter”

On June 22, 2010, the DOL in an Administrator’s
Interpretation clarified the definition of "son and daughter" under the
Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure that an employee who assumes
the role of caring for a child receives parental rights to family leave regardless of the legal or biological relationship:

“It is the Administrator’s interpretation that the
regulations do not require an employee who intends to assume the
responsibilities of a parent to establish that he or she provides both
day-to-day care and financial support in order to be found to stand in
loco parentis to a child. For example, where an employee provides
day-to-day care for his or her unmarried partner’s child (with whom
there is no legal or biological relationship) but does not financially
support the child, the employee could be considered to stand in loco
parentis to the child and therefore be entitled to FMLA leave to care
for the child if the child had a serious health condition… Similarly,
an employee who will share equally in the raising of an adopted child
with a same sex partner, but who does not have a legal relationship
with the child, would be entitled to leave to bond with the child
following placement, or to care for the child if the child had a
serious health condition, because the employee stands in loco parentis to the child.”

According to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, "No one
who loves and nurtures a child day-in and day-out should be unable to
care for that child when he or she falls ill. No one who steps in to
parent a child when that child's biological parents are absent or
incapacitated should be denied leave by an employer because he or she
is not the legal guardian. No one who intends to raise a child should
be denied the opportunity to be present when that child is born simply
because the state or an employer fails to recognize his or her relationship with the biological parent.” Click here to read the Administrator’s Interpretation from the DOL website.

For further information on the changes to FMLA see the Contract Talk article in the April 2009 Postal Record.

The USPS has revised the ELM to
require employees to exclusively use the FMLA forms developed by the
Department of Labor (DOL). The NALC has challenged this
determination. Until the dispute is resolved, letter carriers should
use the DOL forms provided by the USPS. Below are links to the forms at the DOL FMLA homepage:

The USPS has centralized its FMLA Coordinator position at Shared Services.  Attached is a list of addresses and fax numbers by USPS Area where letter carriers should send their certification forms.






If you have issues or questions regarding the FMLA please contact your National Business Agent for assistance.




Description of FMLA Material

FMLA at U.S. Department of Labor
- The Department of Labor's FMLA website has a wealth of useful
information and links to advice, forms, the latest regulations and
more.

ELM Section 515
- Section 515 of the USPS Employee and Labor Relations Manual (Issue
30) contains the USPS regulations covering FMLA rights (ELM Chapter
510). The ELM can be found here.

FMLA Regulations (12.7MB)
- The complete federal regulations governing letter carriers' FMLA rights, from the Federal Register (60 Fed. Reg. 67934 et seq. (November 17, 2008); also published as 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 825).

Cautionary Note on FMLA Regulations: Please note that laws and regulations change. For the latest information about FMLA and changes to the FMLA regulations, see the U.S. Department of Labor's FMLA website..

Form WH-381, Notice for Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities (Family and Medical Leave Act)

“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they've been given.”<br />― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
Melerkat  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:17:11 AM(UTC)
Melerkat

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,648

REPEAT:

For example, the Final Rule has
clarified the definition of “serious health condition” in cases
involving continuing treatment. Prior to the change, a serious health
condition could involve incapacity of more than three consecutive
calendar days plus “two visits to a health care provider” or one visit
which resulted in a regime of continuing treatment under the health care
provider’s supervision. The new rule changes that requirement to more than three full consecutive calendar days. Partial days
no longer count. Also under the new rules, the two visits must now
occur within 30 days of the beginning of the incapacity and the first
visit must take place within seven days of the first day of incapacity.
Notably, the health care provider – not the employee – must determine if
the second visit within the 30 days is required. Under the previous
rules there was neither a 30 day nor a 7 day requirement. Finally, the
Final Rule has defined “periodic visits” for chronic serious health
conditions as at least two visits to a health care provider per year.
There was no two visit requirement prior to the change.

In addition to the above, under the previous regulations
an employee did not have to assert his or her rights under the FMLA or
even mention it by name when seeking leave for a FMLA-qualifying reason.
Under the Final Rule, this applies only to when an employee seeks leave
for the first time for the FMLA qualifying reason. Once FMLA leave has
been granted for an employee’s health condition, the employee, in making
future requests for leave, must specifically reference either the qualifying reason or the need for FMLA leave.




“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they've been given.”<br />― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
fkohler  
#9 Posted : Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:41:21 PM(UTC)
fkohler

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/6/2004(UTC)
Posts: 35

I've been involved under FMLA for years...
When you call off and they ask you if this is FMLA related say yes, when they ask for the number say you don't have one. They will at the end of your call off give you two numbers one: confirmation for the sick day and two: your FMLA generated number. At that point they should issue you a packet and send one to you with a number and forms....yet be smart...go to: http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/WH-380-E.pdf
and get these forms filled out by your doctor before the packet gets to you...usually they only give you 15 days turn around to get them filled out and returned to your FMLA coordinator...which is ridiculous because we all know that not one doctor is going to stop what he is doing to fill out your forms on the spot. So get them filled out early...Very important on the forms you will see 'Frequency' make SURE that your doctor fills this in, this is your trump card or how many days and or times a month you can call off due to your problem. Keep within this rule and you are fine, step out of the box and they will order you to bring in documentation, and they will be within their rights. If they ask at anytime prior to that, let your Union know and they have to pay for your co-payment....that's with any call off...they ask/they pay. Once you get your forms back from the doctor make sure you put that number on the front form at the top, maybe even a cover letter that you are new under FMLA and that this number was generated when you called off and the FMLA forms enclosed are for this condition???? Send them and wait...you will get a letter telling you if you are excepted or if they need more info....Tell your doctor to be as forward as he can in describing what is wrong with you...and you should be good to go....As it stands right now, you will have to go through this every 6 months....
 
Good luck and I hope I've helped you out
Fred
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