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Leaves of Absence

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Overview

The FMLA of 1993 was established to assist employees in balancing work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take a reasonable, job-protected unpaid leave of absence for certain health-related and personal events. All leaves of absence at NSU will run concurrently, where applicable. The substitution of paid time off during leaves of absence does not extend the 12-week leave entitlement under the FMLA or leave approved under the university sponsored Short Term Disability Leave Program.

Eligibility for FMLA Leave

Employees of Nova Southeastern University (NSU) are eligible for FMLA leave if they have worked at least 12 months and 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the FMLA leave begin date.

Reasons for FMLA Leave

Employees who meet the eligibility requirements stated above will be entitled to 12 work weeks of leave in a 12-month period for:

  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within the first year of birth;
  • the placement and/or to care (within 1 year of placement) for a child under the age of 18 for adoption or placement in foster care;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  • to care for the employee’s own serious health condition;
  • for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty”.

FMLA and Short Term Disability Leave

Notice to Matrix is Required

You are required to provide notice to Matrix and your supervisor if you need leave

NSU policy requires employees to notify Matrix, and their immediate supervisor, of any intermittent or *continuous absences that may be considered a serious health condition under the FMLA. Notice is required no more than 30 days in advance for planned medical treatment or procedures, or with as much notice as possible if the leave is unforeseeable. 

Claims Intake representatives at Matrix are available 24/7 online at www.matrixabsence.com, by calling 877-202-0055, or through the Android and iOS app for smartphones and tablets.

*Continuous absences are considered to be continuous if they are 3 or more days in duration and meet the definition of a serious health condition under the FMLA. 

How to File a Leave Request
Medical Certification Requirement

Returning medical certification to Matrix is your responsibility

Matrix will attempt to send medical certification directly to the healthcare provider for you, or your family member, using the information you supplied during the intake process.  If the healthcare provider does not respond to the request from Matrix within 10 business days, your Claims Examiner will contact you to develop a plan of action.

Please keep in mind that submitting the appropriate certification for your leave of absence is your responsibility. To help prevent delays, we recommend that you inform the healthcare provider for you or your family member that Matrix will be sending medical certification and may contact them via telephone or fax.

If medical certification is not received for your leave of absence your pay may be disrupted and your leave could be denied. 

Fitness for Duty Form

Return the fitness for duty form before returning from leave

A Fitness for Duty Form must be completed by you and your healthcare provider (when applicable) and submitted to your Claims Examiner at Matrix prior to your return to work. If restrictions are listed on theFitness for Duty form that have not been verified by Matrix, your return to work will be delayed. Restrictions to your return to work that reduce your work schedule may reduce your earnings until you are able to resume work without restrictions.

The Fitness for Duty Form is not required when returning from FMLA to care for a family member.

Short Term Disability Program

Short Term Disability (STD) benefits are payable when employees meet the following criteria:

  • are in an eligible class working 19.2 hours or more per week
  • successfully completed 90 days of employment
  • exhausted their available sick, personal, and vacation time off
  • medically necessary disability period has been approved by NSU's designated leave administrator
  • met the 7 day exclusion period defined by the program

STD benefits are not paid for the 7-day exclusion period at the beginning of an approved disability period or when employees have sufficient available paid time off to cover an approved disability period.  In no case shall STD benefits be paid beyond the approved disability period. If approved, STD benefits are paid through Payroll in alignment with the regular practices and policies. 

All leaves of absence at NSU will run concurrently, where applicable. The substitution of paid time off during leaves of absence does not extend the leave entitlement under the FMLA or leave approved under the university sponsored Short Term Disability Leave Program.

Workers’ Compensation and FMLA Leave

Your leave may be designated concurrently under FMLA and Worker's Compensation

When applicable, Nova Southeastern University will designate absences approved under Worker’s Compensation as FMLA leave and count them against an employees’ FMLA entitlement.  Workers’ compensation absences are considered paid leave, as such, NSU does not require the substitution of paid leave when FMLA leave is designated concurrently to absences compensated by workers’ compensation benefits.  Nova Southeastern University permits employees to use their available paid time off, where state law permits, to supplement workers’ compensation benefits, such as in the case where workers’ compensation only provides replacement income for two-thirds of employee’s salary.

In cases where an employees’ healthcare provider certifies that an employee can return to light-duty work but cannot return to their same or equivalent job and employees refuse to return to light-duty work, employees may lose their workers’ compensation benefits; however, they still are entitled to remain on unpaid FMLA leave until that entitlement is exhausted. At the termination of workers’ compensation benefits, NSU requires employees to the substitution of available paid time off for the remaining unpaid FMLA leave.

Absences approved under Worker's Compensation are not compassable under the university sponsored Short Term Disability Program. 

Adding Dependents for Maternity

You have 30 days to add dependents to your benefits after birth or adoption

To add dependent children after maternity or adoption visit the ICUBA Enrollment Portal online at http://icubabenefits.org. Changes must be requested within *30 days of the birth/adoption and accompanied by documentation substantiating the date of the birth or adoption. 

Social Security Numbers are not required to add a newborn dependent to your medical insurance during your 30-day special enrollment window, refer to the ICUBA Enrollment Portal for more information. 

*Dependent children not added within this 30-day window may be added during the next annual open enrollment. 

Adding Dependents for Maternity
ICUBA Nurse Case Management

Nurse Case Management is available if you are enrolled in an NSU/ICUBA medical insurance plan

A dedicated Nurse Case Manager is available to provide pre and post care assistance for employees covered under an NSU/ICUBA medical insurance plan. ICUBA’s dedicated Nurse Case Manager can help manage health concerns, coordinate therapy, quality research, and many other services at no additional cost to employees covered under an NSU/ICUBA medical insurance plan!

Contact the Nurse Case Manager today by calling 800-868-2500, extension 47851.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP is a free resource for you and every member of your household

The EAP is a confidential, free resource that can help you and your family deal with problems that may seem overwhelming.  The EAP is available to all benefit-eligible NSU employees and every member of their household.  Access services online at www.resourcesforliving.com or by phone at 877-398-5816 (press option 1 for EAP services).  The Employee Assistance Program username is ICUBA and the password is 8773985816.

Additional Information and Reminders

Update your mailing address and telephone number

Matrix, the University's designated leave administrator, will send a comprehensive intake packet to your home address which includes your rights and responsibilities when requesting leave under the FMLA and NSU Policy. Please make sure your mailing address and telephone contact information are updated prior to requesting a leave of absence. 

Update your mailing address online.

Maintain contact with your department

While on leave you are required to periodically update the university’s designated leave administrator, and your immediate supervisor, with updates or changes in your leave status and your expected return to work date. Regular contact with your department allows for efficient and effective planning for the duration of your leave and return to work. 

Your medical leave is generally an unpaid leave

Generally, FMLA leave is unpaid. NSU requires employees to substitute accrued paid time off (sick, personal, and vacation time) for unpaid FMLA leave and prior to receiving benefits under the university sponsored Short Term Disability Leave Program.  

Remember that while you are on a leave of absence, university closures and holidays are not paid unless you have available paid time off or are approved for Short Term Disability reduced salary benefits. 

During an approved leave, the accrual of sick, personal, and vacation time will stop until you return from leave.

Estimate your paid time off.

Contact Matrix to Request Leave

Matrix makes it easy for you to file a claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Go to www.matrixabsence.com to file a claim. Or, if you don’t have Internet access, you can call 1.877.202.0055.

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For more information, review NSU’s employee policy manual online and the Short Term Disability program information at www.nova.edu/hr/benefits/life-and-disability

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