CBA Article 20

ARTICLE 20 FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE 

20.1 Eligibility 

A. Consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and any amendments thereto and the Washington State Family Leave Act of 2006 (WFLA), a nurse who has worked for the State for at least twelve (12) months and for at least one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours during the twelve (12) months prior to the requested leave is entitled to up to twelve (12) workweeks of family medical leave in a twelve (12) month period for any combination of the following: 

1. Parental leave for the birth and to care for a newborn child or placement for adoption or foster care of a child and to care for that child; or 

2. Personal medical leave due to the nurse's own serious health condition that requires the nurse's absence from work; or 

3. Family medical leave to care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or state registered domestic partner as defined by RCW 26.60.020 and 26.60.030, who suffers from a serious health condition that requires on-site care or supervision by the nurse; or 

4. Family medical leave for a qualifying exigency when the nurse’s spouse, child of any age, or parent is on active duty or call to active duty status of the Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard for deployment. Qualifying exigencies include attending certain military events, arranging for alternate childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, attending post-deployment reintegration briefings and any other event that qualifies under federal regulations. 

5. Military caregiver leave will be provided to an eligible nurse who is the spouse, child of any age, parent or next of kin of a covered service member. Eligible nurses may take up to twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave in a single twelve (12) month period to care for the covered service member or veteran who is suffering from a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty. 

During the single twelve (12) month period during which military caregiver leave is taken, the employee may only take a combined total of twenty-six (26) weeks of leave for military caregiver leave and leave taken for the other FMLA qualifying reasons. 

The single twelve (12) month period to care for a covered service member or veteran begins on the first day the nurse takes leave for this reason and ends twelve (12) months later, regardless of the twelve (12) month period established for other types of FMLA leave. 

B. Entitlement to family medical leave for the care of a newborn child or newly adopted or foster child ends twelve (12) months from the date of birth or the placement of the foster or adopted child. Pregnancy disability leave will be in addition to the twelve (12) weeks of FMLA leave. 

C. The one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hour eligibility requirement noted above does not count paid time off such as time used as vacation leave, sick leave, exchange time, personal holidays, compensatory time off, or shared leave. 

D. Because the FMLA does not recognize state registered domestic partner, an absence to care for a nurse’s state registered domestic partner in accordance with the WFLA will not count towards the twelve (12) workweeks of FMLA. 

20.2 The family medical leave entitlement period will be a twelve (12) month period measured forward from the date a nurse begins family medical leave. Each time a nurse takes family medical leave during the twelve (12) month period, the leave will be subtracted from the twelve (12) weeks of available leave.

20.3 The Employer will continue the nurse's existing employer-paid health insurance benefits during the period of leave covered by family medical leave. The nurse will be required to pay his or her share of health care premiums. 

20.4 The Employer has the authority to designate absences that meet the criteria of the family medical leave. The use of any paid or unpaid leave (excluding compensatory time) for a family medical leave qualifying event will run concurrently with, not in addition to, the use of the family medical leave for that event. 

20.5 Parental Leave 

A. Parental leave shall be granted to the nurse for the purpose of bonding with his or her natural newborn, adoptive or foster child. Parental leave may extend up to six (6) months, including time covered by family medical leave, during the first year after the child's birth or placement. Leave beyond the period covered by family medical leave may only be denied by the Employer due to operational necessity. Such denial may be grieved in accordance with the grievance procedure in Article 36

B. Parental leave may be a combination of the nurse's accrued vacation leave, sick leave for pregnancy disability or other qualifying events, personal holiday, compensatory time, or leave without pay. 

20.6 The Employer may require certification from the nurse’s, the family member's, or the covered service member’s health care provider for the purpose of qualifying for family medical leave. 

20.7 Personal medical leave or serious health condition leave or serious injury or illness leave covered by family medical leave may be taken intermittently when certified as medically necessary. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis. 

20.8 Upon returning to work after the nurse’s own family medical leave qualifying illness, the nurse will be required to provide a fitness for duty certificate from a health care provider. 

20.9 The nurse shall provide the Employer with not less than thirty (30) days’ notice before family medical leave is to begin. If the need for the leave is unforeseeable thirty (30) days in advance, then the nurse shall provide such notice as is reasonable and practicable. 

20.10 Definitions used in this Article will be in accordance with the FMLA and WFLA. The parties recognize that the Department of Labor is working on further defining the amendments to FMLA. The Employer and the nurses will comply with existing and any adopted federal FMLA regulations. 

© Paul Vilja 2017