Military Caregiver Leave

It is the policy of Spelman College to provide Military Caregiver Leave to eligible employees in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and new revisions to the FMLA effective January 16, 2009. This policy sets forth your rights and obligations under FMLA.

To be eligible for family and medical leave, an employee must have: (1) worked for the College for at least twelve months prior to the date on which the leave is to commence; and (2) worked for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave. In the event that an employee’s leave begins prior to the attainment of 12 months of service, but extends beyond the 12 months of service milestone, that employee’s leave becomes FMLA qualifying only following the 12 months of service milestone.

Military Caregiver Leave enables an eligible employee to provide care for a “covered service member” with a serious injury or illness if the employee is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or ‘next of kin’ of the injured service member. For the purposes of this policy, ‘next of kin’ is defined as a blood relative with legal custody, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and 1st cousins, unless another designated party has been identified by the service member. The College may require reasonable documentation or a statement of family relationship to confirm designation.

Eligible service members include members of the Regular Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force), National Guard, or Reserves who have incurred a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty. Serious injury means that the service member is rendered medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating.

Under this policy, eligible employees are offered up to 26 workweeks of unpaid leave to care for an injured service member in any given 12 month period. The 26 workweek period begins on the first day of absence of the employee, and any unused time is forfeited.

Any FMLA qualifying leave time utilized in the 12 month period prior to the Military Caregiver Leave period is not to be added to the Military Caregiver Leave period. Any FMLA qualifying leave time utilized after the Military Caregiver Leave period during the same 12 month period is to be added towards the total 12 week non-military leave period.

Also, eligible employees are offered up to 26 weeks of leave per 12 month calendar year for each qualified injured service member event. Aggravation or complication of an earlier injury or illness is to be considered as a continuation of the original injury or illness. Military Caregiver Leave may be taken continuously, intermittently, or on a reduced schedule basis.

Certification of covered service member status is to be provided by one or more of the following Agencies:

  • Department of Defense (DOD) healthcare provider;
  • Veterans Association (VA) healthcare provider;
  • Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE network authorized HCP; or
  • Department of Defense (DOD), non-network TRICARE authorized private HCP.
  • Policy No.  602-A