Family care leave is absence for the birth or adoption of a child, for placement of a child in foster care, or for a serious health condition affecting a spouse, parent, or child.
Service. One continuous year of service is required for an individual to take a leave of absence for family care,
Hours. In the 12 months prior to the leave, the individual must have worked at least 1250 hours.
Holding the job. The job is held for up to 12 weeks in any 12 month period. In the case of intermittent leave or leave taken through a reduced work schedule, the job may be held for the time equivalent to 12 weeks of the employee’s work schedule. If paid time is accrued beyond 12 weeks, whether as sick time or vacation, the job is held for the duration of the paid time. If department operations permit, the employing department may hold the job beyond 12 weeks, but no longer than the 6 months of EST.
Pay. Incidental sick time for care of family members, vacation and personal floating holidays are used at the start of the leave, followed by unpaid leave. Additional paid time may be available for parents when eligible for the birth and adoption parental leave (BAPL).
Benefits. An individual on a paid family care leave will continue to have benefits coverage. The University continues to pay the employer contribution during a family care leave.
Unpaid leave. An individual on an unpaid leave will be billed for benefits coverage. Commuter benefits cannot be accessed or changed when on an unpaid leave of absence. The deadline to make changes to commuter benefits is the 5th of the month prior. Please make any necessary changes prior to that deadline. For additional question on the commuter benefits, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/payroll/payment/pretax-transit/.
Application. The staff member must contact The Hartford 30 days prior to the leave. Instructional faculty must contact The Hartford 60 days prior to the start of the leave as well as their Dean's office for academic planning. You can reach The Hartford at 1-888-541-7283. Click here to view the step by step instructions of applying for a leave.
Return to work. At the expiration of an FMLA leave, staff members and instructional faculty members return to the same or an equivalent position as was held when the leave began.
Extension. If the leave of absence extends longer than the approved period, the staff member or instructional faculty member must request an extension from The Hartford prior to the expiration of the FMLA leave. If the staff member or instructional faculty member does not return from the leave of absence and does not request an extension, their employment will be subject to termination.