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Absence Certificate Requirement for Christmas Holiday Sick Calls

Date: December 5, 2018

As provided for in Section 13.C.4. of the JCBA, management has advised AFA that an Absence Certificate will be required for all sick calls that begin during the period starting December 20, 2018 – January 4, 2019. This requirement will also apply in those instances where sick leave is used to care for a spouse or minor child as set forth in Section 13.D.7.

Flight Attendants who place themselves on sick leave during the period starting December 20, 2018 – January 4, 2019 will be required under the terms of our JCBA to supply United Medical with an Absence Certificate (Section 13.C.4.). Flight Attendants using approved FMLA during these specified holiday dates are also required to provide the Absence Certificate for any sick leave during this same period. There is only one exception to this rule. Flight Attendants who have had no absences during the prior twelve (12) calendar months are not subject to the requirement to provide an Absence Certificate during the holiday period.

Absence Certificates are different from Physician’s Notes which are used exclusively for the purposes of attendance point reductions. Physician’s notes should be presented to your supervisor prior to reporting for the next trip.   

 Absence Certificates include medical information to which supervisors, under the terms of our Contract, are not entitled to know and therefore should ONLY be provided to United Medical.

In order to comply with the criteria for an Absence Certificate:

Flight Attendants must actually be seen by an accredited physician in a timely manner, but no later than 72 hours after notifying Scheduling of an illness/injury.

The Absence Certificate must be submitted to United Medical via fax at (847)-700-2600 on or before check-in time of a Lineholder’s first trip, or a Reserve’s first assignment including Airport Alert/Standby Reserve, following an illness or injury.

If a physician’s release (Absence Certificate) is not received, the Flight Attendant will have 72 hours after her/his first trip flown, Airport Alert or Standby Reserve assignment to provide the Absence Certificate.

In addition to the required absence certificate, Flight Attendants are also encouraged to provide a separate physician’s note, to reduce by ½ point, the points assessed for any sick leave used during this period. The physician’s note may be provided to your supervisor and should contain only the following information: 

1.    Date of illness

2.    Signature of the physician or the physician’s designee on a document that includes, at a minimum, pre-printed physician’s name, address, and telephone number.

3.    Date of examination

4.    Date of return to work


Additional information can be found on unitedafa.org and questions may be directed to your Local Council Representatives.

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