Term Paper: Female Police Officers and Maternity

Pages: 7 (3460 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Also, subject to certain conditions, employees or employers may choose to use accrued paid leave (i.e., sick or vacation leave) to cover some or all of the FMLA leave. The employer is responsible for designating if an employee's use of paid leave counts as FMLA leave based on information from the employee.

Serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either: (1) any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical-care facility, and any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care or (2) continuing treatment by a health care provider which includes any period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities). This illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition must be due to a health condition (including treatment therefor, or recovery therefrom) lasting more than three consecutive days, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also includes treatment two or more times by or under the supervision of a health care provider or one treatment by a health care provider with a continuing regimen of treatment. Pregnancy or prenatal care may be considered to be a serious health condition. In addition, FMLA covers a chronic serious health condition which continues over an extended period of time, requires periodic visits to a health care provider, and may involve occasional episodes of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes). Likewise, a permanent or long-term condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g., Alzheimer's, a severe stroke, terminal cancer) also constitutes a serious health condition. Finally, any absences to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery or for a condition which would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three days if not treated (e.g., chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer) may be deemed to be a serious health condition.

A covered employer is required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken and on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If applicable, arrangements will need to be made for employees to pay their share of health insurance premiums while on leave. In some instances, the employer may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work from FMLA leave.

Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to the employee's original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. In addition, an employee's use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FMLA leave, nor be counted against the employee under a "no fault" attendance policy. Under specified and limited circumstances where restoration to employment will cause substantial and grievous economic injury to its operations, an employer may refuse to reinstate certain highly-paid key employees after using FMLA leave during which health coverage was maintained. In order to do so, the employer must: (1) notify the employee of his/her status as a key employee in response to the employee's notice of intent to take FMLA leave; (2) notify the employee as soon as the employer decides it will deny job restoration, and explain the reasons for this decision; (3) offer the employee a reasonable opportunity to return to work from FMLA leave after giving this notice; and (4) make a final determination as to whether reinstatement will be denied at the end of the leave period if the employee then requests restoration.

IV. MATERNITY LEAVE POLICIES OF VARIOUS POLICE DEPARMENTS

There are vast differences among the maternity leave policies of various police departments. However, the duty and obligation that each and every single police department owes to its female police officers remains the same, i.e., to protect the pregnant officer's unborn child. As with the entry and acceptance of females into the police force, police departments have gradually accepted and adopted maternity leave policies in an attempt to make reasonable accommodations for those female police officers who become pregnant. However, as the following study of eight police departments in Virginia and two police departments outside of the United States indicates, police departments still have quite a ways to come in developing and implementing their maternity leave policies.

In general, police departments in the United States and abroad (i.e., Australia, Canada, England) have adopted maternity leave policies to comply with the provisions and requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Female police officers may take maternity leave at any time commencing six months before the probable birth date to nine months after the probable birth date. In England, police officers who have 63 weeks of continuous service at the beginning of the week the baby is expected are entitled to full pay and allowances for the first three months of their maternity leave. In addition, such individuals may be entitled to statutory maternity pay if they remain on maternity leave at the end of three months. Statutory maternity pay is payable for 18 weeks commending on the day a female police officer starts her maternity leave, but is not payable until 11 weeks before the baby is do. Where statutory maternity pay and police maternity pay coincide, a female police officer is paid the greater of the two, not both.

There are several differences between the maternity leave policies for female police officers in the United States and abroad. One of the most striking differences is the fact that the Family and Medical Leave Act only protects an individual's job; it does not mandate that employers pay employees for the time they take off. Whereas police departments in Australia, Canada, and England offer their female police officers both police maternity pay and statutory maternity pay, there are no such provisions in police departments in the United States. While short-term disability insurance is arguably comparable to statutory maternity pay, there is no requirement that an employer provide such insurance for an employee.

V. SHORT-TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE

According to the American Council of Life Insurers, nearly one-third of all Americans will suffer a serious disability between the ages of 35 and 65. Short-term disability insurance pays a percentage of an individual's salary if he or she becomes temporarily disabled, meaning that an individual is not able to work for a short period of time due to injury, illness, or pregnancy. Injuries which are incurred on the job are excluded from short-term disability insurance as these injuries are covered by workers' compensation insurance. The normal short-term disability insurance policy provides an individual with a weekly portion of his or her salary, usually 50, 60, or 66 2/3% for 13 to 26 weeks. Most short-term disability insurance policies have a cap, i.e., an individual receives a maximum benefit amount per month.

Short-term disability insurance is most often purchased as part of a group at work, but may be paid by either the employer or the employee. Group short-term disability insurance policies are "guaranteed issue," meaning that an individual does not have to take a medical exam to prove insurability. Individuals generally start receiving money from their short-term disability insurance policy within one to 14 days after becoming sick or disabled. The actual time for coverage to kick in depends on whether an individual suffers an illness or injury. An individual who suffers an injury will have his or her benefits paid immediately. Individuals who suffer illness will experience a delay in receiving their benefits since there needs to be enough time to show that the illness is grave enough to be disabling.

Individuals who receive short-term disability benefits have the option of receiving a partial disability benefit if they return to work at reduced hours or a reduced wage. Short-term disability insurance allows an individual to earn up to 80% of his or her pre-disability wage by working reduced hours or reduced wages. The partial disability benefit is equal to 80% of your weekly pre-disability wage less what an individual earns in a partially disabled condition, subject to the amount of benefit he or she has purchased. While short-term disability insurance has numerous advantages (i.e., providing individuals with guaranteed income when they experience an injury, illness, or pregnancy and are unable to work), there are some disadvantages. First, sick pay received during a period of return to work is treated as earnings. In addition, short-term disability benefits may be earned only during the 26 weeks following the date of disability. Once an individual earns 80% of the weekly pre-disability wage, partial disability payments end.

VI. CONCLUSION

The birth of a child is one… [END OF PREVIEW]

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