Family and Medical Leave Act Policy
Eligibility and general FMLA rules
Vanguard provides you with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (or up to 26 weeks in the case of covered servicemember leave) for certain family and medical reasons during a 12-month period—as required under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. During this leave, you may continue applicable group health plan coverage as if you had remained an active crew member. When your leave ends, you have the right to return to the same or an equivalent position, subject to some exceptions.
You are eligible for FMLA leave after being employed for at least 12 months and working at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the effective date of your leave. You may take a total of 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave during the applicable 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
- Birth of your child and to care for the newborn child.
- Placement of a child with you in the case of an adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child.
- Care of a family member with a serious health condition.
- Your own serious health condition that renders you unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of your job.
A "family member" is defined as your spouse, son, daughter, or parent, as well as any other individual with a serious health condition who is considered to be a covered family member under applicable federal or state regulations. A "serious health condition" is defined as an injury, illness, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves any of the following:
- Inpatient care in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, including any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with or consequent to such inpatient care.
- Outpatient care that requires continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider for:
- A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days that also involves treatment two or more times within a 30-day period by a health care provider or treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion that results in a regimen of continuing treatment.
- Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.
- A chronic condition that requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, continues over an extended period of time, and may cause a periodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity.
- A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective (you or your family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider).
- Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery therefrom) by a health care provider, either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment.
Military family leave
If you qualify for military family leave, you may take up to 12 weeks of leave due to the existence of any qualifying exigency (as defined by the United States Department of Labor's regulations) arising from the fact that your spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the National Guard or Reserves or a retired member of the Armed Forces or the Reserves. A "qualifying exigency" includes the following:
- Short-term notice deployment of seven or fewer days.
- Military events and related activities.
- Child care and school activities.
- Financial and legal arrangements.
- Counseling for you, for the covered military member, or for a child of the covered military member.
- Rest and recuperation (up to five days per leave).
- Post-deployment activities.
- Additional activities agreed upon by Vanguard.
Covered servicemember leave
If you are the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative of a covered servicemember, you may take up to a total of 26 weeks of leave during the applicable 12-month period to care for the servicemember. The leave described in this paragraph is only available during a single 12-month period. The following definitions apply for purposes of this paragraph only:
- A "covered servicemember" means a servicemember of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, or is otherwise in outpatient status or on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness.
- The term "serious injury or illness" means an injury or illness incurred by the servicemember in the line of active duty (as defined by the applicable regulations) in the Armed Forces that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform the duties of the servicemember's office, grade, rank, or rating.
How much FMLA leave may be taken
In general, you may take up to 12 weeks (or 26 weeks, if applicable) of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for any FMLA-qualifying reason. The 12-month period is based on a "rolling" year and may not exceed 12 weeks. Leave to care for a newborn or for a newly placed child must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement of the child.
With respect to covered servicemember leave only, the 12-month period begins when you start using your leave. You are not entitled to more than 26 weeks of FMLA leave during this 12-month period.
Intermittent or reduced work schedule leave
Intermittent FMLA leave (leave taken in separate blocks of time) or reduced work-hour arrangements may be provided when required as part of a medically necessary course of conduct, provided adequate medical certification of such need is obtained. Intermittent leave or reduced working hours for the birth or placement of a child, if non-health-related, is at the discretion of Vanguard and may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule unless Vanguard agrees to an individual leave request.
Whether you are an exempt or an overtime-eligible crew member, you must record any partial leave time taken (e.g., intermittent family and medical leave) in Workday. Workday does not allow time to be submitted for the leave if a Workday Leave of Absence request is not completed to place you on leave.
If you take leave intermittently or on a reduced work schedule basis, you must make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave so that it does not disrupt business operations. When you take intermittent or reduced work schedule leave for foreseeable planned medical treatment, you may be temporarily transferred to an alternative position—with equivalent pay and benefits—that you are qualified for and that better accommodates intermittent periods of leave.
Households with two Vanguard crew members
If your husband or wife also works for Vanguard and each of you wish to take a leave for the birth or adoption of a child, for placement of a child in foster care, for the care of a parent with a serious health condition, or for military family leave, the two of you may only take a combined total of 12 weeks of leave. If you are both eligible for covered servicemember leave, then the two of you may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of leave during a single 12-month period.
Scheduling FMLA leave
Our third-party disability management company, Sedgwick, is the administrator for leaves taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Follow the steps below to request FMLA leave and track your time off.
- Notify your manager that you need to take leave time off. You should give 30 days' advance notice if the leave is foreseeable. If it is not foreseeable, you must provide as much advance notice as you can. In both situations, you are expected to follow Vanguard's usual call-in and reporting requirements. Note: In situations involving leave for planned treatment for a known medical condition, every reasonable effort to schedule medical treatment so that it does not disrupt business operations must be made before a leave will be considered.
- Complete a Leave of Absence Request in Workday for Full Family and Medical Leave (a continuous block of time), or Intermittent Family and Medical Leave. This is how Crew Central™ is notified that you are requesting leave. If you are unable to access Workday through CrewNet or CrewNet External, your manager or a Crew Central representative can submit this request on your behalf. This is a critical step as it will allow you to begin submitting FMLA time in Workday, described under Tracking your time off below.
- Contact our third-party disability management company, Sedgwick, to file a claim. Sedgwick will advise you and your manager of Sedgwick's decision regarding your claim.
To contact Sedgwick online:
- Log on to www.claimlookup.com/vanguard.
- Enter your Username and Password, or select New User to set up your account.
- After you complete and submit the form, you will see a confirmation page with your permanent claim number and next steps (e.g., call doctor, call supervisor, complete the forms).
- Sedgwick will send you confirmation emails throughout the leave with the next steps that you need to take in order to continue the claim-filing process.
To contact Sedgwick by phone:
- Call 800-495-2310. Agents are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time. The Sedgwick Interactive Voice Response system is available 24/7.
To contact Sedgwick by fax:
- Dial 859-264-4375.
Sedgwick's address for mailing correspondence:
P.O. Box 14648
Lexington, KY 40512
Vanguard will send a Full Family Leave packet to your home address or an Intermittent Family Leave packet to your Vanguard email address within one business day of the Workday Leave of Absence request being submitted. The packet will include:
For Intermittent Family Leave (IFMLA) requests:
- Vanguard FMLA Policy, if time is available.
- Vanguard FMLA Sign-off Form.
For Full Family Leave (FMLA) requests:
- Vanguard FMLA Policy, if time is available.
- Vanguard FMLA Sign-off Form.
- Vanguard Return to Work Note (if the leave is for your own medical treatment, not a family member's).
- Crew Central on Leave Election Form.
Sedgwick will send a packet to your home address within one business day of the claim file date. It will include the following documents:
- Letter explaining their procedures.
- Release of Information Form.
- Medical Certification Form (for your physician to complete).
Sedgwick will notify you:
- If you are eligible for FMLA leave, and they will provide a Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities (referred to as "eligibility notice").
- If your time off will be designated and counted as FMLA leave (referred to as "designation notice").
- If they determine that the time off does not qualify as FMLA for one of the following reasons:
- The leave is not for a reason covered by the FMLA.
- Your FMLA entitlement has been exhausted.
- You and/or your physician have provided insufficient information.
If the claim is not approved, your request for FMLA will be denied. In that case, you will need to account for your time out of the office in another
way or file for another type of leave.
Sedgwick will advise your manager of their decision in order to confirm next steps.
Tracking your time off
FMLA leave time is tracked differently depending on what type of FMLA leave you are taking.
Full Family and Medical Leave
- Crew Central will track your FMLA leave time to ensure that you are paid appropriately based on Sedgwick's approval of your leave.
Intermittent Family and Medical Leave
You are responsible for reporting your time to both your manager and Sedgwick. Follow the steps below.
- Contact your manager when you need to take FMLA time no later than your normal start time. You or your manager must record any partial leave time taken in Workday. This applies whether you are an exempt or overtime-eligible crew member. Note: Workday will not allow you to submit time if a Leave of Absence request has not been completed to place you on leave.
- Call Sedgwick's Absence Reporting Line. Report all intermittent absences by calling the new Absence Reporting Line at 800-495-2310 and selecting the Add more time option.
Our third-party disability management company, Sedgwick, is the administrator for leaves taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
When you take leave to care for a family member (or nearest blood relative in the case of covered servicemember leave), Sedgwick may require you to provide documentation or a statement of family relationship. In addition, to support the request for FMLA leave, you may be required to submit medical certification indicating that a serious health condition exists for you or your family member (or, in the case of covered servicemember leave, nearest blood relative).
If you are requesting military exigency leave, you may be required to provide a copy of the active duty orders or other reasonable documentation. If you request covered servicemember leave, you may be required to provide a special certification from an authorized health care provider.
Certification for medical leaves
If you are requesting medical leave either to take care of your own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition, you must provide medical certification indicating that a serious health condition exists and other information as requested within 21 days of requesting leave. The certification needs to include all of the following:
- Date on which you began experiencing the serious health condition.
- Probable duration of the condition.
- Appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition, including symptoms, doctor visits, whether medication has been prescribed, a diagnosis of the particular condition involved, and a brief description of the prescribed regimen of treatment.
- Indication of whether hospitalization is required.
- For your own illness or serious health condition, a statement that you cannot perform the essential functions of your job as well as the nature of any other work restrictions, and the likely duration of such inability.
- Signature of the physician or other health care provider.
Additional information may be required
If the leave is requested in order to care for a family member with a serious health condition, the certification must state that you are needed to care for the family member and provide an estimate of the amount of time you will be needed to provide care or assistance. If Sedgwick determines that the certification is incomplete or insufficient, Sedgwick will request additional information from you in writing and allow you typically seven days to provide the requested information. If you do not provide the requested information within that time frame, your leave may be delayed.
If Sedgwick has reason to request more information about your initial certification or needs clarification they may (1) contact your health care provider in an effort to clarify or authenticate the initial certification, and/or (2) require you to obtain a second opinion by an independent provider at Vanguard's expense. If the initial and second certifications differ, Sedgwick may, at Vanguard's expense, require you to obtain a third, final, and binding certification from a health care provider jointly selected by you and Vanguard. You may be required to authorize the release of relevant background medical information as part of the clarification process.
Recertification and status changes
During leave, Sedgwick may request that you provide recertification of a serious health condition at intervals according to FMLA rules. In addition, during leave, you must provide Sedgwick with periodic reports regarding your status and intent to return to work.
If your anticipated return to work date changes and it becomes necessary for you to take more or less leave than originally planned, you must provide Sedgwick with reasonable notice (i.e., within two business days) of your changed circumstances and new return-to-work date. If you give notice of your intent not to return to work, you will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.
Returning to work
Before you return to work from FMLA leave for your own serious health condition, you may be required to submit a return-to-work certification from your health care provider stating that you are able to resume work. If the certification requires the health care provider to confirm that you are able to perform certain job functions, you will be given a list of essential job functions for your position at the time designation notice is provided.
If you are on nonintermittent leave, Vanguard reserves the right to delay reinstatement until you submit the required return-to-work certification and terminate you at the conclusion of your FMLA leave if the required certification has not been submitted by that time. FMLA leave or return to work may be delayed or denied if the appropriate documentation is not provided in a timely manner.
Use of paid and unpaid leave
The FMLA provides you with up to 12 weeks (or 26 weeks in the case of covered servicemember leave) of unpaid leave. If you have accrued paid time off (PTO), you may use that time concurrently with FMLA leave.
Once you use your PTO, the remainder of the 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks in the case of covered servicemember leave), if any, will be unpaid FMLA leave. Any PTO used for an FMLA-qualifying reason will be charged against your FMLA leave. The substitution of paid leave for unpaid leave does not extend the 12- or 26-week FMLA period. Short-term disability and/or workers' compensation leave will run concurrently with any FMLA leave.
Maintenance of health benefits
During FMLA leave, you may continue applicable group health plan coverage as if you had remained an active crew member.
You will continue to pay your share of health insurance premiums by payroll deduction while on paid FMLA leave. For the portion of FMLA leave that is unpaid, your share of health insurance premiums must be paid by you through additional payroll deductions when you return to work.
During FMLA leave, you will not accumulate employment benefits, such as PTO. However, any employment benefits that you accumulate before your FMLA leave begins will not be lost.
For more information, see How benefits are affected while on FMLA leave in Research.
Returning from FMLA leave
Generally, when you return from FMLA leave, Vanguard will place you in the same position you held before the leave or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
Limitations on reinstatement
You are entitled to reinstatement only if you would have continued to be employed had FMLA leave not been taken. That is, you are not entitled to reinstatement if—because of a layoff, reduction in force, or other reason—you would not be employed at the time job restoration is sought.
Vanguard can deny reinstatement of certain highly compensated crew members if doing so prevents substantial and grievous economic injury to Vanguard's operations— according to applicable regulations.
Failure to return to work following FMLA leave
If you decide not to return to work following FMLA leave and you fail to provide Vanguard with advance notice, you will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.
If medical reasons require an extension of leave beyond a scheduled date of return and if you retain accrued but unused FMLA leave, you must give Vanguard as much advance notice as possible of the need for additional leave. In such cases, Vanguard may require you to provide medical certification indicating that a serious health condition exists for you or your family member or that a serious injury or illness exists for a covered servicemember.
Please see Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under FMLA in Research for an important notice containing a general explanation of the FMLA and procedures for filing complaints of violations of the FMLA.