Federal and Employment Law

1.  FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT OF 1993

Simpson College will provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave during a 12-month period to covered employees.  The leave will begin starting with the first day absent.  A covered employee is one who (a) has worked or been employed at least 12 months and (b) has worked 1250 hours or more during the 12 months prior to the leave request.  Simpson requires that the employee use any accrued vacation and sick leave first and the remainder of the leave time will be unpaid.  The leave (whether paid or unpaid) will be granted for any of the following reasons:

a.  To care for the employee’s child after birth, adoption or foster care placement.  This leave must be used within the first year the child is in the home.

b.  To care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition.  This does not apply to employee’s parents-in-law.

c.  For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.

The employee is required to provide advance notice for the leave of absence.

a.  The employee ordinarily must provide 30 days advance notice when leave is “foreseeable”.

b.  The College may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition of the employee, spouse, child or parent.  There may be times when the College may require a second opinion and/or a fitness for duty report before allowing the employee to return to work.  Under some circumstances, the College may also require a doctor’s certification of progress during the leave.

c.  The leave may be denied if the requirements are not met.

If the employee is enrolled in the College’s medical, and/or dental and vision insurances, the coverage will be maintained at the same level.  The employee will be responsible for his/her portion of the dental/vision premium and the costs associated with covering his/her dependents.

Upon return from the medical leave, the employee must be restored to their original or equivalent position with the same pay, benefits and other employment terms.

Under certain circumstances, Simpson may deny restoration of the job to a “key” employee if the restoration would result in substantial economic injury to the College.  A “key” employee is defined as any salaried eligible employee who is among the highest paid 10 percent of all employees.

2. COBRA

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) signed into law on April 7, 1986, requires that most employee group plans allow qualified persons covered under the plan the day before the qualifying event to continue group health coverage after it would otherwise end.  The term “group health coverage” includes any medical, dental/vision care, and medical reimbursement plan coverage that is included in the group health plan.  All full-time employees receive details on COBRA events as they begin employment and at termination. Full details are available in the Human Resources Office.

3. HIPAA

The Kassbaum-Kennedy Act of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to improve the availability and portability of health insurance coverage.  Provisions of HIPAA include:

a.  Limited exclusions for preexisting medical conditions;

b.  Credit for prior health care coverage and a process for transmitting certificates and other information concerning prior coverage to a new group health plan or issuer;

c.  New rights that allows individuals to enroll for health coverage when they lose existing health coverage or have new dependents.  Full details are available in the Human Resources office.