What do I do to request a leave?
When you need to request a leave of absence, you must follow these procedures:
Beginning a Leave of Absence
Extending or Revising a Leave of Absence
Returning from Leave of Absence
How Does FMLA apply to my Leave of Absence?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child, the employees serious medical condition or the serious medical condition of the employee’s parent, child or spouse. To be eligible for FMLA, you must have been employed by CMS for 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours within the past 12 months from the first day of the leave. Availability for FMLA is subject to prior FMLA usage within the previous 12 months.
A doctors’ certification is required for FMLA for a serious medical condition. For birth or adoption, proof is also required. Employees may elect to substitute paid leave for the unpaid FMLA weeks. FMLA will run concurrently with other types of leaves provided by CMS such as family leave, parental leave, or medical leave. FMLA also runs concurrently with Short-Term Disability and workers’ compensation as applicable.
FMLA provides employees continued employer paid benefits for the 12 weeks of FMLA and protects the employee’s job while out on leave. FMLA also provides up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for military caregiver and qualifying exigency leaves as described above. FMLA provides employees continued employer paid benefits for the 26 weeks of military related FMLA and protects the employee’s job while out on leave.
Do I Get Paid While I am on Leave?
Employees who accrue paid leave time generally may use such time while on a leave. The specific uses of the accrued leave and types of leave they may be used for are determined based on the employee’s job type and the type of leave. Generally, employees may use available sick, annual and/or personal leave while on a leave of absence. However, such use is based on NC Department of Public Instruction guidelines and the CMS school calendar. Employees in certain instructional positions also have extended sick leave days available to use once sick leave is exhausted.
Once an employee exhausts all available paid leave, Voluntary Shared Leave (VSL) may be used. VSL is annual leave donated by fellow CMS employees and will be applied as sick leave. Immediate family members who work at CMS or other state agencies may donate sick leave to the employee on a leave of absence. VSL cannot be used beyond the 60-day waiting period for short-term disability.
How does Short-Term Disability work with my leave of absence?
You must have a minimum of one year of contributory service through the NC TSERS Retirement System to be eligible for short-term disability (STD). Employees who meet the criteria may be eligible for STD after the 60-day waiting period. Employees’ leave balances will be applied during the waiting period, then STD could begin on the 61st day of absence. Forms are available on the Benefits’ Web site and should be completed and submitted to Compensation and Benefits. STD is paid monthly at a rate of 50 percent of 1/12th of your annual salary. STD may run concurrently with FMLA and workers’ compensation leave as applicable.
What happens to my benefits while I am on Leave?
CMS will continue to cover the employer portion of your health, dental and basic life insurance while your leave is covered under FMLA. Employees are responsible for any premiums normally deducted from their paychecks. Employees, who continue beyond the 12 weeks of FMLA leave on a paid leave, will continue their benefits and any deductions required from their pay check.
If leave goes into an unpaid status beyond the 12 weeks of FMLA, employees will be billed for benefits to continue during the leave of absence. After employees exhaust 12 weeks of FMLA, the bill will also include any portion of benefit premiums normally paid by CMS. Failure to pay the bill will result in the benefits cancellation. If employees cancel benefits while they are on leave, they may re-apply when they return. Employees who cancel their benefits during leave have 30 days upon their return to re-enroll. Employees are eligible for benefits beginning the first day of the month after they return. A waiting period for preexisting conditions may apply upon re-enrollment.
How do I add a newborn child to my benefits while I am on leave?A newborn child can be added by clicking here to go to the HR InTouch website. Employees must enroll the child within 30 days of the birth or wait until the next open enrollment period. If the child is not added within 30 days of birth, claims relating to the birth and subsequent treatment of the child may be denied. In addition, a waiting period may be applied if added at a later time. If both parents work for CMS, the newborn must be added to the mother’s policy for full coverage from birth to be in effect. Adding the newborn to the husband’s/father’s policy will result in a waiting period and possibly denied claims. If employees work less than 12 months during the year, escrow payments will be due upon adding a newborn to their policy. Escrow is money collected throughout the year to prepay the summer months. Employees will be asked to pay the escrow amount up front before the newborn is added to their policies.