The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects unpaid absences of eligible employees for reasons of birth, adoption, foster care of a child, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, and for an employee who needs to attend to his/her own serious health conditions. The State of South Carolina does allow substitution of accrued annual and sick leaves, when allowable, for unpaid FMLA covered absences.
FMLA leave may be granted to any employee who has worked for the State of South Carolina for at least twelve (12) months and has worked at least 1250 hours during the twelve (12) month period preceding the request for FMLA leave.
For purposes of FMLA coverage and protection, a serious or chronic health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
a. Any period of incapacity or treatment in connection with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or,
b. Any period of incapacity requiring an absence from work, school, or other regular daily activities of more than three consecutive calendar days, that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider; or,
c. Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy; or,
d. Continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable or so serious that, if not treated, would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three (3) calendar days.
Continuing treatment is defined as two (2) or more visits, or two (2) or more treatments by a health care provider; a single visit to a health care provider that results in a regimen of treatment under the supervision of a health care provider.
Needed to care for is defined as because of a serious health care condition an employee is “needed to care for” a family member who is unable to care for his/her own basic medical, hygienic, or nutritional needs or safety, or is unable to transport himself/herself to a health care provider.
a. Includes providing psychological comfort and reassurance to a covered family member receiving inpatient or home care.
b. Includes filling in for others who routinely care for the covered family member or making arrangements for changes in care.
An eligible employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to be restored to the same position the employee held when the leave started or to an equivalent position with like benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.
For more details, refer to Human Resources Management Policy 30: Family Medical Leave Act, or call HRM at ext. 2-4428 or 2-7225.