Q: What does the FMLA look-back entail? Could VX be placed on PIPs* (e.g. performance improvement plans, which is similar to written warnings at Alaska), points, termination? Could we be forced to see a Company appointed doctor? Why even have a look back?
A: From L-VX FA Transition Agreement 2018 TA, §15.C:
C. FMLA: At DOR, the standard for FMLA qualification used for the L-AS Flight Attendants will be applied retroactively to all L-VX Flight Attendant. The Company shall complete a twelve (12) 150 month “lookback” effective DOR to determine if L-VX Flight Attendants qualify for FMLA.
The FMLA “lookback” language is to clarify that as of DOR any L-VX Flight Attendant who did not qualify for FMLA (due to the duty hour requirement) would be reviewed under the Alaska FMLA policy standard of 504 duty hours. During negotiations the JNC was made aware that VX (prior to January 1, 2018) was using a duty hour standard that was more restrictive. The lookback only applies to those Flight Attendants who applied for FMLA and were subsequently denied (due to duty hour requirement). Since the FMLA eligibility requirements are housed in federal law and applied via Company policy (and not contractual) the JNC sought to require a look back so that no L-VX Flight Attendant would be required to spend an additional year qualifying for FMLA leave.
If a Flight Attendant qualifies for, and uses, FMLA, there can be no discipline attached to the FMLA use (i.e. no PIPs, points or termination for appropriate use). Please note that after transition to Section 32 [Attendance Policy], attendance points apply for short calls (even if covered by FMLA).