Confirming Your Eligibility for Filing Family Medical Leave (FML) Certification
May 29, 2019
MEC Grievance Committee
The best time to learn about the Family Medical
Leave Act (FMLA) is before you may need to use it. Understandably the need for a FMLA may not be anticipated, so knowing a bit about the process of filing for FMLA will ensure you have what you need to complete the process.
Step ONE>>The first step when applying for Family Medical Leave (FML) is determining
IF you are eligible and then ensuring your application is filled out properly and filed for review.
A Flight Attendant is able determine their eligibility for FML at any time by contacting United’s Flight Attendant Support Team, option 4, and then option 5. The representative will review your company records for flight time hours required by the Airline Crewmember Technical Corrections Act as stated in the policy as well as the second eligibility benchmark of having flown or been paid for 60% of the minimum scheduled hours in the 12-months immediately preceding the absence from work which has prompted the need for the FML Certification.
Note: Recently, a new means of checking eligibility has been added to the HelpHub portal which is available from Flying Together.
Once you know you are eligible, the application process begins. Please remember that you should wait until there is an actual need to be absent from work to initiate the FML certification/application process. At the time of need, you should contact the FAST and place yourself ON SICK LEAVE/FML-PENDING (if for SELF), or MISSED TRIP/FML-PENDING (if to care for a FAMILY MEMBER). Once there is an actual absence, you then have fifteen (15) calendar days from the first day of work missed within which to submit the Family Medical Leave (FML) application.
There are three (3) main reasons by which you can be eligible to request Family Medical Leave from the company: (for a complete description of circumstances, refer to JCBA Section 15.I on pages 151-153 of our JCBA.)
1. You may apply for a serious health condition for yourself, or
2. For a serious health condition of a covered family member, or
3. For the deployment or medical care of a covered Service Member.
Additionally, there are two (2) types of Family Leave available:
1. Block absence for a single continuous period of time, or
2. Intermittent use, typically for a chronic condition, used throughout a maximum of twelve (12) months.
Once you know that you need to take the time off from work for one of these reasons we encourage you to start the application process.
Step TWO>> The Family Leave application process:
· Go to AFA Benefits "FMLA" and select the Government form which fits your needs:
o WH-380-Efor the employees own serious health condition, or
o WH-380-Fto care for a covered family member.
- Have your Health Care Professional (HCP) complete and sign the forms.
- It is recommended that, rather than having the HCP fax the completed forms to United, you pick them up for review and you fax to United via either of the following means -
o Fax completed forms to the United Flight Attendant Support Team (FAST)/ Employee Service Center (1-847-700-3084) or via HELPHUB on Flying Together. ***For either means of submitting, it is in your best interest to obtain a Transmittal Receipt (proving that the paperwork was submitted within the requisite 15 day period from the start of the work absence.)
NOTE: Whether or not you apply for FMLA for your own serious health condition or for a serious health condition of a family member you will have fifteen (15) calendar days from the onset of the absence to submit the appropriate certification form to the United Flight Attendant Support Team (FAST)/ Employee Service Center.
Once submitted to the ESC, you will receive either an APPROVAL of your FML, a DENIAL of your FML certification (the specific reason will be noted), or an INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION notification. A notice of Insufficient Information is NOT a ‘denial’ but rather a request for additional information.This notice should stipulate what exactly the information is yet required (additional time will be allowed within which to submit this request for additional information.)
When you receive the communication from United with either of the above responses, a CASE NUMBER will be included in that letter. Whenever using your approved FML, the case number must be provided to the FAST representative at the time you put yourself on FML.
*Always make sure to keep a log of your contact(s) with the United Flight Attendant Support Team. Document when and with whom you spoke regarding your application.For more information about the Family Medical Leave Act and the certification process please visit the Family Medical Leave section of our AFA MEC website.