- Process for Requesting a Leave of Absence
- Am I Eligible for Leave?
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
- Oregon Victims of Certain Crimes Leave Act
- Campus Lactation Rooms
- Gender Neutral and Single-Occupancy Restrooms on Campus
Process for Requesting a Leave of Absence
If you have a need to take a leave of absence from work due to a medical condition (including pregnancy) or to care for a spouse, parent or child (grandparent, grandchild, or parent-in-law also recognized under OFLA) with a serious health condition, you may qualify for protected leave under Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA).
To determine if you are eligibile for protected leave contact Michele Barlow, Leaves and Accessibility Coordinator in Human Resource Services at 541 552-8119, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also refer to the eligibility flow chart or the FMLA/OFLA Information Sheet below.
If you are not sure if you qualify, or you are not eligible for protected leave, contact Human Resource Services as you may qualify for other types of leave.
The following is the process for requesting a medical leave of absence:
Complete the Request for Leave form and submit it to Michele Barlow in Human Resource Services, Churchill Hall Room 159, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520. You may submit the form via email (email@example.com), U.S. Postal mail, via interoffice mail, fax (541 552-8508) or personal delivery.
Have your health care provider complete the Certification of Health Care Provider form, and return the form to Human Resource Services. You may submit the form via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), U.S. Postal mail, via interoffice mail, fax (541 552-8508) or personal delivery.
The Certification is not needed in certain situations such as non-medical parental leave, and bereavement leave. In these situations you would only need to complete the Request for Leave form.
HR Review Process:
Once the request for leave and certification form are received in Human Resource Services, we will complete our review of your request. You will be notified of the following:
- Your request has been approved, or;
- We need further clarification on the information received
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your particular situation, please contact Michele Barlow, Leaves and Accessibility Coordinator at 541 552-8119 or via email at email@example.com.
The chart below is a tool to help you in determining if you are eligible for protected leave under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Oregon Family Medical Leave Act (OFLA). There are additional protected leaves not referenced in the chart (such as military leaves, and Oregon Victims of Certain Crimes Leave Act) and your situation may be unique, so please contact Human Resource Services if you have any questions regarding eligibility for protected leaves.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons and allows for continuation of health benefits during the protected leave.
Eligibility: All full and part-time employees employed for 12 months (need not be consecutive) and who have worked a minimum of 1250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave.
Qualifying Purposes for FMLA:
- Birth of a child, and to care for a newborn child.
- Placement with employee of a child for adoption or foster care.
- Care for the employe's spouse/registered same gender domestic partner, parent of child with a serious health condition.
- Employee's own serious health condition.
- Qualifying Military Exigency Leave arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, parent or child is on active military duty in the National Guard or Reserve in "contingency" military operation.
- Service Member Care Leave (SMCL) for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness, if the employee is the spouse, parent or child, or the next of kin of the service member.
Length of FMLA Leave Entitlement: The maximum leave is 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. (SMCL provides for up to 26 weeks) The 12-month period is calculated on a 'rolling' 12 month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any FMLA leave. Federal and State leave entitlements run concurrently. The FMLA leave of absence of a temporary employee terminates upon expiration of that employee's temporary appointment.
Covered Family Members:
- Child: A biological, adopted, foster or step-child, legal ward, or child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, normally under the age of 18, unless the child is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Parent: Employee's parent or parent in loco parentis, but not a parent-in-law.
- Spouse or legally recognized domestic partner.
- Next of Kin (SMCL only): Service members nearest blood relative who has been granted legal custody of the service member by court decree; or brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and first cousins.
When is notice required: Employees are required to provide notice to the employer 30 days in advance of the leave unless it is impracticable to do so, or if the leave is taken for an emergency.
Health Care Provider:
- Doctors of medicine or osteopathy, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse-midwives, who are licensed to practice under state law and must be performing within the scope of their practice.
- Christian Science Practitioners who are listed with First Church of Christ in Boston, MA.
- Chiropractors only if treatment consists of manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by x-ray.
Medical Certification: The employer's determination of FMLA eligibility may require medical certification that the leave is needed due to an FMLA qualifying condition of the employee or that of a spouse, parent or child or next of kin (SMCL).
FMLA Leave Taken on an Intermittent or Reduced Work Schedule Basis: For intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave, there must be a medical requirement for the leave and such medical need must best be accommodated through an intermittent or reduced work schedule. Employees needing intermittent FMLA or reduced schedule must try to schedule the leave to avoid disrupting the campus' operations. Leave for the birth or placement of a child may not be taken on an intermittent or reduced work schedule. With a reduced work schedule, only the amount of leave actually taken may be counted against the maximum leave entitlement on a pro-rated basis.
Intermittent or Reduced Work Schedule for Exempt Employees: There is a special exception to FLSA rules for FMLA as it applies to exempt employees. An exempt employee may use intermittent or reduced work schedule leave and use accrued leave during FMLA leave when the campus is required by law to grant the FMLA leave.
Employee Reporting Requirements: The campus may request an employee to report periodically on his/her status and intention to return to work.
Continuation of Benefits during FMLA: While on paid FMLA (via use of sick or vacation time) benefit premiums, including medical, dental, vision, and group life continue to be paid by SOU without a lapse in coverage. During periods of unpaid FMLA (Exhausted sick or vacation time) only medical, dental, vision and group life premiums will continue to be paid by SOU. The employee will need to submit payment for the continuation of elected non-core benefits.
Rights to Reemployment: An employee on FMLA leave is entitled to return to the same position or another position with equivalent benefits, pay, and conditions of employment. The employee on leave has no different rights than if s/he were actively at work; therefore, the campus may be able to deny reinstatement if the job were eliminated due to layoff.
Use of Accruals/Paid Leave on FMLA Leave:
SEIU Local 503, OPEU:
- Employees may use leave accruals as outlined in the SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement (sick leave, vacation, compensatory time off, personal).
- Employees may apply for Hardship Leave Donations after exhausting all personal accruals.
- If off work for own medical condition AND have enrolled in short-term disability (STD) or long-term disability (LTD), a claim may be initiated through The Standard. If on protected leave under FMLA and receiving STD or LTD benefits, employee is not required to use sick leave accruals while receiving these benefits. The employee may use vacation leave accrual for any partial wage loss not covered by STD or LTD.
- Employees who exhaust sick leave under FMLA/OFLA and elect to use accrued vacation may do so. Employees may also request in writing that up to 40 hours of vacation leave be retained for the employee's use after returning from leave. This request must be included in the written request for leave without pay. In the case of an unanticipated leave, an employee may request to retain up to 40 hours of vacation by telephone or written notification to the employee's supervisor or Human Resource Services. Employees who retain such vacation leave will not be eligible to hardship leave under Article 40 - Sick Leave, Section 8.
- During FMLA leave the faculty member must use accrued paid sick leave. At the faculty member's written request 40 hours of sick leave may be retained before taking unpaid leave.
- During FMLA leave the employee must use accrued sick leave. If an employee exhausts sick leave, the employee may use other forms of paid leave or apply for Hardship Leave Donations. (See SOU Paid and Unpaid Leave for Adminstrators Policy FAD.011)
Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)
Eligibility: All employees who have worked an average of 25 or more hours per week and have been employed for 180 days immediately preceding the leave are eligible for OFLA. (The 25-hour average requirement does not apply for parental leave)
Qualifying Purposes for OFLA:
- Parental leave to care for your newborn, newly adopted child or newly placed foster child.
- Care for the employee's spouse, or same gender domestic partner, parent or child, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, with a serious health condition.
- Employee's own serious health condition.
- Sick child leave, to care for a child who has a non-serious health condition and requires home care.
- Bereavement leave: Up to two weeks per eligible family member, in a one-year time period taken within 60 days of notification of the death to attend the funeral or make arrangements necessitated by the death or to grieve.
Length of OFLA Leave Entitlement: The maximum leave is 12 weeks in a 12-month period. The 12-month period is calculated on a 'rolling' 12-month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any OFLA leave. Federal and State leave entitlements run concurrently.
Extensions to the 12-week Entitlement:
- A female employee may take up to 12 weeks of additional leave within any one-year rolling period for an illness, injury or condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that disables the employee from performing any available job duties.(While disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth)
- An employee who takes 12 weeks of "parental leave" may take an additional 12 weeks to care for a child of the employee who is suffering from an illness, injury or condition that is not a serious health condition but that requires home care.
Employee/Applicant Accommodation Procedure
Southern Oregon University is committed to providing workplace accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities. Pursuant to the ADA, SOU will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to all qualified employees with known disabilities, where their disability affects the performance of their essential job functions, except where doing so would be unduly disruptive or would result in undue hardship.
Workplace accommodations are intended to assist individuals overcome limitations that interfere with their ability to perform the functions of their job, to engage in the application process and to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. Examples of disability-related accommodations include ergonomic furniture, modifications to university policies, assistive technology, reassignment of marginal job functions, or extended leave.
Human Resource Services administers the university's disability accommodation process for faculty, staff, student employees and applicants. This includes determining whether an employee's medical condition constitutes a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and working to ensure that employees with disabilities have an opportunity to engage in an interactive process with the objective of providing reasonable accommodations that will enable them to perform the essential functions of their job. Each request for accommodation is assessed on an individual basis.
Employees and applicants who have a disability may request an accommodation when there is a workplace barrier that is preventing them from competing for a job, performing a job, or gaining equal access to a benefit of employment. Human Resource Services will respond in a timely manner to all accommodation requests.
For additional information about the accommodation process please review the Employee/Applicant Accommodation Procedure, and the Accommodation Request Form. You may also contact Human Resource Services at 541 552-8119.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
USERRA protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service or certain types of service in the National Disaster Medical System. USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services, and applicants to the uniformed services.
You have the right to be reemployed in your civilian job if you leave that job to perform service in the uniformed service and:
- You ensure that your employer receives advance written or verbal notice of your service;
- You have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services while with that particular employer;
- You return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner after conclusion of service; and
- You have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions.
If you are eligible to be reemployed, you must be restored to the job and benefits you would have attained if you had not been absent due to military service, or in some cases, a comparable job.
Right to be Free From Discrimination and Retaliation:
- are a past or present member of the uniformed service;
- have applied for membership in the uniformed service; or
- are obligated to serve in the uniformed service;
then an employer may not deny you:
- initial employment;
- retention in employment;
- promotion; or
- any benefit of employment
because of this status. In addition, an employer may not retaliate against anyone assisting in the enforcement of USERRA rights, including testifying or making a statement in connection with a proceeding under USERRA, even if that person has no service connection.
Health Insurance Protection
If you leave your job to perform military service, you have the right to elect to continue your existing employer-based health plan coverage for you and your dependents for up to 24 months while in the military.
Even if you don't elect to continue coverage during your military service, you have the right to be reinstated in your employer's health plan when you are reemployed, generally without any waiting periods or exclusions (e.g., pre-existing condition exclusions) except for service-connected illnesses or injuries.
Oregon Victims of Certain Crimes Leave Act
As defined in Oregon's Revised Statute (ORS) 107.705; 16.305 to 163.467; 163.732 or any other designation listed as a victim by rule adopted under ORS 659A.805, qualified employees may request leave to address issues of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
Leave may be taken under the following:
- To seek legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure their own health and safety or the health and safety of a minor child or dependent, including preparing for and participating in protective order proceedings or other civil or criminal legal proceedings related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.
- To seek medical treatment for or to recover from injuries caused to the employee of their minor child or dependent as a result of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.
- To obtain counseling from a licensed mental health professional for their own or minor child or dependent, as a result of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.
- To obtain services from a victim services provider for the employee or their minor child or dependent.
- To relocate or take steps to secure a home the ensure health and safety of the employee or their minor child or dependent.
Lactation Rooms / Lactation Breaks
The following locations have been identified as suitable for lactation needs:
Stevenson Union – Lower Level, Women’s Restroom – Private Nursing Lounge (dedicated space)
Churchill Hall – 2nd Floor, Room 215.
Science Hall – Science 158 (Located inside STEM Division Office, Science 157)
Britt Hall – Lower Level, Rooms 139/140, also, 2nd Floor, 2 meeting rooms available.
Central Hall – Lower Level, Room 029B.
Employees may also speak to their supervisor to determine other suitable locations within the department should the rooms listed above be in use. Employees may also use their own office as long as it meets the criteria above. For additional questions, please contact Michele Barlow, HR Coordinator, 541 552-8119.
In accordance with Oregon Revised Statute 653.077, Southern Oregon University will provide reasonable, unpaid rest breaks for an employee to express milk for her child who is 18 months of age or younger.
Rest Periods for Expression of Milk
(1) ORS 653.077 applies to employers who employ 25 or more employees in the State of Oregon for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the year in which the rest periods are to be taken or in the year immediately preceding the year in which the rest periods are to be taken.
(2) ORS 653.077 requires a covered employer to provide reasonable rest periods to accommodate an employee who needs to express milk for her child 18 months of age or younger. Any employer not covered by ORS 653.077 and these rules may provide rest periods or other accommodation for expression of milk pursuant to its own policies or by agreement or contract with employees.
(a) A "reasonable rest period," unless otherwise agreed to by the employer and the employee, is no less than 30 minutes during each 4-hour work period, or major part of a 4-hour work period, to be taken by the employee approximately in the middle of each work period.
(A) If feasible, the employee will take the rest periods to express milk at the same time as the rest periods or meal periods that are otherwise provided to the employee. If not feasible, the employee is entitled to take an unpaid rest period of up to 30 additional minutes during each 4-hour period to express milk.
(B) If the employer is required by law or contract to provide the employee with paid rest periods, the employer will treat the rest periods used by the employee for expressing milk as paid rest periods, up to the amount of time the employer is required to provide as paid rest periods.
(C) If an employee takes unpaid rest periods, the employer may, but is not required to, allow the employee to work before or after her normal shift to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest periods. If the employee does not work to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest periods, the employer is not required to compensate the employee for that time.
(D) A covered employer may not require an employee, including an employee who is FLSA exempt, to substitute paid leave time for unpaid rest periods provided in compliance with these rules.
(b) As used in ORS 653.077 and this rule, "expression of milk" means the initiation of lactation by manual or mechanical means and does not include breastfeeding. However, any employer may accommodate breastfeeding pursuant to its own policies or by agreement or contract with employees.
(3) An employer subject to ORS 653.077 will make a reasonable effort to provide the employee with a private location within close proximity to the employee's work area to express milk.
(a) As used in ORS 653.077 and this rule, a "private location" is a place, other than a public restroom or toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area for the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public and includes, but is not limited to:
(A) The employee's work area if the work area permits the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
(B) A room connected to a public restroom, such as a lounge, if the room allows the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
(C) A child care facility where the employee can express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
(D) An empty or unused office, conference room, or a storage space, so long as there is a door that closes and any windows can be covered, and there is a sign that can be placed on the door or handle of the door indicating that the room is in use.
(b) As used in ORS 653.077 and this rule, a "public restroom" is a restroom freely available for use by employees or the general public that does not include an attached lounge or room that allows an employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public. A "toilet stall" includes a restroom that contains one toilet, whether or not in plain view, and whether or not the restroom locks from the inside.
(c) As used in ORS 653.077 and this rule, "close proximity" means within walking distance from the employee's work area that does not appreciably shorten the rest or meal period.
(d) If a private location is not within close proximity to the employee's work area, the employer may not include the time taken to travel to and from the location as part of the break period.
(4) A covered employer is not required to provide rest periods under this section if to do so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business. As defined in ORS 653.077, "undue hardship" means significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature or structure of the employer's business. For the purpose of determining whether providing rest periods for expression of milk requires significant difficulty or expense, the following factors will be considered:
(a) The nature and the cost of complying with the requirement to provide a reasonable rest period for the expression of milk.
(b) The overall financial resources of the covered employer's facility or facilities involved in complying with the requirement to provide a reasonable rest period for the expression of milk, the number of persons employed at the facility and the effect on expenses and resources or other effects on the operation of the facility caused by the necessity for compliance with the requirement to provide a reasonable rest period in a private location.
(c) The overall financial resources of the covered employer, the overall size of the covered employer's business with respect to the number of its employees and the number, type and location of the covered employer's facilities.
(d) The type of operations conducted by the covered employer, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of the employer and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the covered employer.
(5) An employee who intends to express milk during work hours must give the employer reasonable oral or written notice of her intention to allow the employer time to make the preparations necessary for compliance with ORS 653.077 and these rules.
(6) A covered employer must notify all employees, through its policies or other means, of the person or entity to whom an employee should give notice of intent to express milk. If the employer does not provide such notification, the employee's oral or written notice to a supervisor, manager, or human resource or personnel department or their staff will be presumed sufficient.
(7) After receiving notice from the employee, the employer may take a reasonable time to make necessary preparations for compliance with ORS 653.077 and this rule. A "reasonable time" must not interfere with the rights provided by ORS 653.077 and this rule, taking into consideration the immediacy of the employee's need to express milk, and that the rights under ORS 653.077 and this rule apply only until the employee's child is 18 months of age. For example, an employer in the process of creating a private location for expressing milk must provide the most adequate space already available for an employee who gives notice of an immediate need.
(8) An employee invoking the provisions of ORS 653.077 and this rule is responsible for storing her expressed milk. The covered employer must allow the employee to bring a cooler or other insulated food container to work for storing the expressed milk and ensure there is adequate space in the workplace to accommodate the employee's cooler or insulated food container. If the employer allows employees access to refrigeration for personal use, the employer may allow, but cannot require, an employee who expresses milk during work hours to use the available refrigeration to store the expressed milk.
(9) ORS 653.077 and this rule apply to temporary employment agencies that employ 25 or more employees in Oregon for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the year in which the rest periods are to be taken or in the year immediately preceding the year in which the rest periods are to be taken.
(10) ORS 653.077 and this rule apply to individuals engaged in administrative, executive or professional work as described in ORS 653.020(3).
(11) The provisions of this rule may be modified by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement if the collective bargaining agreement entered into by the employee includes provisions that prescribe rules pertaining to reasonable rest periods for the expression of milk.
(12) Each school district board must adopt a policy to accommodate an employee who needs to express milk for her child.
(13) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, the commissioner may assess a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 against any person who intentionally violates ORS 653.077 or any rule adopted thereunder.
(14) The commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries will appoint an advisory committee to facilitate compliance with ORS 653.077 and these rules. Upon request by a particular industry or profession, the advisory committee will determine when the ordinary course of such industry or profession makes compliance difficult for an employer in that industry or profession, and submit to the commissioner recommendations for rules to address compliance difficulties in that industry or profession.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 653.077(11)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 653.077
Hist.: BLI 33-2007, f. 12-27-07, cert. ef. 1-1-08
Gender Neutral and Single-Occupancy Restrooms On Campus:
- Stevenson Union
- Basement near printing services
- Main floor behind pizza station
- Near ASSOU meeting chambers on the 3rd floor
- Hannon Library
- Library coffee shop
- Main floor just beyond gendered bathrooms
- University Housing
- Greensprings Hall:
- Main lobby
- Bear Creek 2nd floor lobby
- Crater Lake 2nd floor lobby
- Shasta Hall: 1st floor main lobby
- McLoughlin Hall: 1st floor main lobby
- Greensprings Hall:
- Britt Hall: Main floor near Admissions
- Education/Psychology: Basement
- Churchill: Second floor
- Marion Ady: Basement
- Central Hall: 2nd floor teacher's lounge
- Student Health and Wellness Center
- Certification of Health Care Provider (PDF)
- Leave Request Form (PDF)
- FMLA/OFLA Info Sheet (PDF)
- FMLA/OFLA Eligibility Flow Chart (PDF)
- Attendance Record(PDF)
- Lactation Breaks and Campus Lactation Rooms (PDF)
- DOL Poster (PDF)
- OFLA Poster (PDF)
- Victims of Certain Crimes Leave Request form (PDF)
- USERRA Poster (PDF)
- Accommodation Request Form (PDF)