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Broward County > Benefits > ABCs > Facilitation Skills thru Funeral Leave

Facilitation Skills Training Program and Broward County Facilitators Group
Broward County employees can apply through the Human Resources Division-Learning and Organizational Development Section to participate in the Facilitation Skills Training (FST) Program. Selected participants are required to complete six modules of coursework and field work facilitation delivery to agencies requesting facilitation services.

Broward County Facilitators (BCF) are graduates of the Facilitation Skills Training Program who design and deliver two facilitation events a year for Broward County agencies on a no fee basis in order to maintain their BCF status. Facilitation services provided assist Broward County agencies with assessment, analysis, visioning, planning and process mapping.

FST and BCF facilitators are volunteers who perform all facilitation work in addition to their regular work duties. In return, they receive facilitation skill development and opportunities to demonstrate leadership and build credibility within the organization.

These programs are administered by the Human Resources Division-Learning and Organizational Development Section.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (See Also Overtime)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. However, employees who meet certain tests regarding their job duties and who are paid on a salaried basis not less than $455 per week are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions.

It is the County’s policy to comply with the FLSA’s overtime provisions. Therefore, the County prohibits any improper deductions from the salaries of employees who are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions. Reports of improper deductions will be promptly investigated. If it is determined that an improper deduction has occurred, the affected employee shall be reimbursed.

Any FLSA exempt employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to an improper pay deduction shall notify the Director of Human Resources in writing within 30 calendar days of the date when he/she knew, or should have known, of the alleged improper pay deduction. The written notification should describe specifically the basis of the alleged improper pay deduction. The Director of Human Resources will review the circumstances and make a written determination within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice. In the event it is determined that an FLSA exempt employee’s pay has been deducted improperly, the affected employee shall be reimbursed.

All questions concerning FLSA should be referred to the Human Resources Division-Compensation Services Section at 954-357-6438.

Family Illness Leave
Employees may use sick leave as Family Illness Leave in the case of actual illness or injury of an immediate family member, domestic partner or dependents of the employee’s domestic partner. Immediate family is generally defined as:

  • spouse/registered domestic partner
  • child/stepchild/foster child
  • parent or “in loco parentis”
  • or another relative domiciled in the employee’s household

Employees whose positions are covered by a collective bargaining unit should consult their applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
It is the policy of Broward County, to grant up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave for certain family, medical and military reasons (or up to 26 weeks of Military Caregiver Leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness) during a 12-month period to eligible employees, in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), as amended.

Employees are eligible if they have worked for Broward County for at least 12 months or 52 weeks; and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date when the leave is requested to begin. The principles established under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) determine the number of hours worked by the employee. The FLSA does not include time spent on paid or unpaid leave as hours worked. Consequently these hours of leave should not be counted in determining the 1,250 hours eligibility test for an employee.  Under FMLA, the 12 months or 52 weeks need not have been consecutive. Separate periods of employment will be counted, provided that the break in service does not exceed seven years.  Separate periods of employment with a break in service exceeding seven years will be counted only if due to National Guard or Reserve military service obligations, or when there is a mandatory rehire/recall provision in the applicable collective bargaining unit agreement

  • To qualify as FMLA leave, the employee must be taking leave for one of the reasons listed below:
  • The birth of a child and in order to care for that child
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child
  • To care for a spouse, registered domestic partner, child or parent with a Serious Health Condition
  • The Serious Health Condition of the employee
  • Military Exigency Leave due to a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the National Guard or Reserves
  • Military Caregiver Leave to care for an injured or ill service member
  1. A Serious Health Condition is defined as a condition that requires inpatient care at a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care or a condition that requires continuing care by a licensed health care provider.  This type of leave is counted toward the employee’s 12-week maximum of FMLA leave in a 12-month period and medical certification of the serious health condition must be provided.

    If a husband and wife or both registered domestic partners work for the County, and each wishes to take leave for the birth of a child, adoption of a child, or placement of a child in foster care; or to care for a parent (but not a parent in-law) with a serious health condition, the husband and wife or both registered domestic partners may only take a combined total of twelve (12) weeks of leave.
  2. Military Exigency Leave: An employee whose spouse, registered domestic partner, son, daughter or parent either has been notified of an impending call or order to active military duty in a foreign country, or who is already on active duty in a foreign country in the National Guard or Reserves, may take up to 12 weeks of leave for reasons related to or affected by the family member’s call-up or service, as listed below:

• Short-Notice Deployment
• Military Events and Related Activities
• Childcare and School Activities
• Financial and Legal Arrangements
• Counseling
• Rest and Recuperation
• Post-Deployment Activities
• Certain Additional Activities arising out of a covered military member’s active duty or call to active duty. 

This type of leave is counted toward the employee’s 12-week maximum of FMLA leave in a 12-month period.  Employees requesting this type of FMLA leave must provide proof of the qualifying family member’s call-up or active military service before leave is granted.

3. Military Caregiver Leave:  This is the only type of FMLA leave that may extend an employee’s leave entitlement from 12 weeks up to 26 weeks in a single 12-month period, measured forward, beginning on the first day the employee takes the leave. FMLA leave taken for other FMLA circumstances within the same single 12-month period will be deducted from the available total of 26 weeks.

This leave is extended to any employee to care for a spouse, registered domestic partner, son, daughter, parent or next-of-kin (closest blood relative) who is a service member in the regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or Military Reserves with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty on active duty for which the service member is:
  
• Undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness; or
• Otherwise in outpatient status for a serious injury or illness; or
• Otherwise on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness; or
• A veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness, and who was a member of the regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or Military Reserves at any time during the five-year period preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation or therapy.

Serious injury or illness means one that was incurred by a service member in the line of duty on active duty (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or Military Reserves) that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of his/her office, grade, rank or rating. In the case of a veteran, serious injury or illness means one that was incurred by a service member in the line of duty on active duty (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or Military Reserves) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Employees requesting this type of FMLA leave must provide medical certification of the family member or next of-kin’s injury, recovery or need for care from an authorized Department of Defense, Veterans Administration or TRICARE health care provider.

If a husband and wife or both registered domestic partners both work for Broward County and each wishes to take FMLA leave to care for a covered injured or ill service member, the husband and wife or both registered domestic partners may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of FMLA leave

Use of Paid and Unpaid Leave: FMLA provides that, at the employee’s or employer’s option, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid leave. The law also permits the employer to require use of paid leave concurrently with FMLA.  Broward County requires use of all applicable and available paid leave for an FMLA event prior to leave without pay. Contact Human Resources Division/Labor Relations for further information regarding use of applicable accrued leave.

Advanced Notice and Medical Certification: The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Taking leave may be denied if these requirements are not met.

When the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide 30 days advance notice.  Broward County requires certification to support a request for leave because of:

  • a serious health condition: The County may require second or third opinions (at the County’s expense)
  • and a fitness-for-duty report to return to work
  • a serious injury or illness of a covered service member:  Medical certification must be provided by an authorized Department of Defense, Veterans Administration or TRICARE health care provider
  • a qualifying exigency for military family leave: The County requires certification of one of eight qualifying exigencies with proof of the federal government’s call to active duty or active duty status of a qualifying family member in the National Guard or Reserves to meet certification requirements for approved FMLA Military Exigency Leave.
    Broward County will provide employees two notices following a request for FMLA leave:
  • Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities:  Provides notice of employee’s eligibility, rights and responsibilities under FMLA; and
  • Designation Notice: Provides confirmation of status of employee’s FMLA leave request, along with details regarding the leave request

Job Benefits and Protection: For the duration of FMLA leave, FMLA provides for maintenance of the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan.” As a result the County will continue to provide the health subsidy while an employee is on paid or unpaid FMLA leave up to a maximum of seven pay periods. If the cost of the health plan is more than the subsidy, the employee will be responsible for paying the difference on a bi-weekly basis.  While the employee is in a leave without pay status, the employee may be able to reduce or stop certain benefits by submitting a qualifying event change request within 31 days of the beginning of any period of unpaid FMLA leave.

If the employee is out on approved leave of absence for more than seven pay periods, the health subsidy will stop and the employee will be responsible for paying the full cost of the health plan.

Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees will be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms. The County will notify you if this does not apply to you.  The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrues prior to the start of an employee’s FMLA leave.

It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA.  It is also unlawful for any employer to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under, or relating to, FMLA.  The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of FMLA violations.  An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations.  FMLA does not supersede any federal or state laws prohibiting discrimination or supersede any state or local laws or collective bargaining agreements that provide greater family or medical leave rights.

Contact the Human Resources Division-Employee/Labor Relations Section for full details on Broward County’s FMLA Leave Policy.  For additional information contact the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in most telephone directories under U.S. Government, Department of Labor.

Fast-Forward
Fast-Forward: Gateway to County Management is highly recommended for experienced and newly hired individuals at the management level (directors, assistant directors, and section managers) as well as for currently employed staff receiving internal managerial promotions.
This program is a County-specific, interactive, management training series. It is designed to effectively and efficiently orient managers to Broward County culture, policies and management practices.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) (Medical Expense Account and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts) (See Your Benefits & You).

Funeral Leave (See Bereavement Leave)


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