Leaves of Absence
Nonpaid Leave of Absence
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Washington Family Leave laws, eligible staff members may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons in a 12 month period of time (up to 26 weeks during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness, when the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin to the service member). FMLA runs concurrently with any available paid sick leave time. Contact Human Resources to request FMLA leave.
Staff must be appointed at least 1,250 hours per year (60% of full-time) and have at least 12 months of service. For the purpose of caring for a new child, if both parents are employed by Whitman, the parents may only take a total of 12 weeks leave between them.
Reasons for Taking Family Leave
Family Leave may be requested to care for the staff member's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; to care for the staff member's spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; for a serious health condition that makes the staff member unable to perform their job; or for a "qualifying exigency" that arises out of the fact that the employee's spouse, child or parent is on active duty or has been called to active duty for the National Guard or Reserve in support of a contingency operation.
Advance Notice and Medical Certification
Staff members must provide 30 days advance notice when the leave is "foreseeable." Your supervisor and/or Human Resources may require medical certification for a leave of five days or more because of a serious medical condition. Second and third opinions may be required at Whitman's expense. Medical certification of fitness to return to work may also be required. Whitman reserves the right to designate qualified leaves of absence after 5 days as "family leave" if the staff member fails to request family leave.
Job Benefits and Protection
Staff members must use all earned sick leave and may use accrued vacation time as part of the 12 week family leave. For the duration of the FMLA leave, Whitman will continue to provide the employee's medical , dental, life, and disability insurance. Upon return from Family Leave, a staff member will be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The use of Family Leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of a staff member's leave.
Due to overlap of FMLA and Washington Family Leave laws, total leave due to pregnancy and birth of a child may be longer than 12 weeks total. Consult with Human Resources for more information.
Leave for Certain Emergency Services Personnel
Volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, and members of the Civil Air Patrol called to duty to respond to an emergency call, fire alarm, or an emergency
service operation may be granted leave without pay, and may elect to substitute vacation time if desired.
Whitman College recognizes the importance of serving as a juror. You will receive your regular pay from the College while fulfilling jury duties; you may keep your jury compensation. Please notify your supervisor immediately if you are summoned. Please provide a copy of your initial jury summons to your supervisor.
Whitman College follows current federal and state legislation for staff on active duty or in the National Guard or military reserves. Staff members called for service must notify their supervisors immediately and provide a copy of their orders.
Regular staff who have been granted a military leave of absence will be re-employed in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws.
Reservists And National Guard
Leave of absence without pay and without loss of seniority will be granted for short periods (usually two weeks) of required military training. Regular fringe benefits will continue during the leave period and the time away will not be charged against paid leave balances unless you want to use earned vacation benefits to continue your regular pay.
Extended leave of absence will be granted in accordance with current laws governing military reservists and National Guard members.
Requests for leave of absence without pay are considered on a case-by-case basis. The granting of such a request should not place a hardship on the employing department. A leave of absence must be recommended by a supervisor and department head and approved by the appropriate budget officer. The leave should not exceed one year and is generally not approved for staff to engage in work for earnings elsewhere. If a staff member cannot be returned to the former position, positions of similar pay and status will be considered.
A nonpaid leave of absence does not constitute a break in service, but vacation and sick leave benefits will not accrue during the time away from work. Medical and dental coverage can be continued through COBRA at the staff member’s expense.