Family and Medical Leave

As required by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), Alliance Coal, LLC and its affiliates (employer) allows eligible employees to take unpaid leaves of absence for the birth or adoption of a "child" or a "serious health condition" of the employee or the employee's spouse, child, or "parent." The rules of this policy are described below. If you have questions about the policy, you should contact your local HR representative.


To be eligible for a family and medical leave, an employee must:

  • Work at a location that has at least 50 persons employed within a 75 road mile radius,
  • Have at least 12 months of service, and
  • Have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave.

Employees who work at smaller locations and not eligible for family and medical leave required by federal law may take leave from work in the manner set forth in this policy only with the approval of the location manager, due to staffing considerations of a smaller operation.

Leave Availability

Leave may be granted for a period not to exceed 12 weeks during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Birth of the employee's child
  • Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • Care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a "serious health condition"
  • Employee's own serious health condition, which may include a "work-related" illness or injury that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee's job
  • Any "qualifying exigency" arising out of the fact that an employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty status in the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves.

For purposes of determining available leave time, the 12-month period is measured backward from the date your leave begins. Each time you begin a leave, you are entitled to 12 weeks of leave reduced by the amount of leave already taken during the previous 12 month period. Leave for the birth (or placement of a child for adoption or foster care) may be taken before or after the birth (or placement), but it must be completed by the end of the 12-month period beginning with the birth (or placement).

Under certain circumstances, you may take leave on an intermittent or part-time basis. If the leave is to care for a sick family member or for your own serious health condition, you may take it on an intermittent or part-time basis only if it is medically necessary and approved by your supervisor. For a leave due to the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, you may take intermittent or part-time leave only with your supervisor's approval. You must schedule your intermittent or part-time leave with your supervisor so as not to unduly disrupt the operation of your department.

Additional Military Family Leave Due to Injured Service Member

In addition to the basic FMLA leave entitlement described above, an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a "covered service member" is entitled to take up to 26 weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for the covered service member with a serious injury or illness. Leave to care for a covered service member shall only be available during a single 12-month period and, when combined with other FMLA leave, may not exceed 26 weeks during the single 12-month period. The single 12-month period begins on the first day an eligible employee takes leave to care for the injured covered service member. 

Reasonable Notice

Employees are expected to provide reasonable notice of their need to take leave, including the reason that FMLA leave is needed. In the case of a foreseeable leave, you must complete and submit a Request for Family/Medical Leave of Absence to your supervisor at least 30 days in advance of your anticipated leave date. If your absence is unforeseen or is due to an emergency, you or a member of your immediate family must notify your supervisor or your local HR representative of your need for leave as soon as practicable.

When planning a medical treatment, you should consult with your supervisor or your local HR representative and your physician, and make reasonable efforts to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt your department's operations.

Medical Certification

When leave is necessitated by your serious health condition or a serious health condition of your spouse, child, or parent, a certification by a health care provider may be required. Charges for the certification (other than treatment charges) are not covered by the Alliance Coal Health Plan. The certification must specify the nature of the medical condition, the necessity for the requested leave, and the projected duration of the leave. Certification forms may be downloaded for Military Service Members, Military VeteransEmployees, and Family Members or requested from your local HR representative. The employer may require at its expense a second medical opinion from a physician of its choice. Where a difference exists between the employee's medical certification and the opinion of the employer's doctor, a third opinion at the employer's expense may be sought from a physician mutually selected by the employer and the employee.

Military-Related Leave Certifications

An employee who seeks leave due to a qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or a call to active duty status of a family member must provide a copy of the service member's active duty orders or other documentation and a statement certifying the need for leave and the nature of the qualifying exigency.

An employee who seeks leave due to an injured covered service member must submit a certification by a health care provider of the covered service member regarding his or her health condition, and such other information as may be requested in accordance with the FMLA regulations to certify the need for leave. 

Benefits During Leave

Your benefits will generally be continued during an approved leave on the same basis as if you were actively at work. Your pre-tax contributions under the Profit Sharing and Savings Plan (PSSP) will be continued at your elected percentage of pay only to the extent you receive pay during your leave, after any PSSP loan payment is made. Loan payments under the PSSP will be suspended during any period in which any pay you receive (after tax withholdings) is less than your loan repayment amount, but your payment amounts may be adjusted when you return to work. Arrangements must be made with your local HR representative to pay any regular employee contributions required under any employer plans before, during, or after your leave at your option. Failure to make such arrangements may result in a loss of benefits during your leave. You may cease making contributions under the Medical Care Expense Reimbursement Plan during an unpaid leave, but coverage for expenses incurred during such leave would also cease for such period. If you fail to return from leave, the Plan Administrator may require payment of the full cost of maintaining your health coverage for the leave period, unless you are prevented from returning to work due to a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond your control.

Return from Leave

Upon return from an approved leave, you will be reinstated to the position you held when your leave commenced or to an equivalent position, unless you would not have remained in such position had you not taken the leave. The employer is not required to reinstate key employees (generally, salaried employees who are among the highest paid 10% of all employees) if reinstatement would result in substantial economic injury to the employer.

You must report to work when released by your treating health care provider on or before the end of your leave. If you do not report to work at that time, you may be considered to have abandoned your job and may be terminated. If the leave was due to your serious health condition, the employer will require a fitness-for-duty certification from your health care provider.

Coordination with Vacation and Other Paid Leave

Family and medical leave runs concurrently with your short-term disability leave and workers' compensation leave, if any applies. In addition, your employer may require you to use your accrued vacation benefits while taking unpaid family and medical leave.

If you take leave for your own serious health condition, your short-term disability benefits, if any, will be paid during your family and medical leave period. Disability benefits will not be paid for your full family and medical leave period if you are disabled for only part of the leave. For example, a normal childbirth delivery typically results in payment of six weeks of disability benefits (unless a physician certifies a longer period of disability). However, the remaining six weeks of leave available under this Policy for the birth of a child would be unpaid unless other paid time (e.g., vacation) is available.

In no event will the total family and medical leave period (paid or unpaid) under this Policy exceed 12 weeks in any 12-month period, except as provided with respect to a leave for an injured covered service member. 


Child: means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a step-child, a legal ward, or a child of a person who assumed the parental responsibilities for the child, who is:

  • Under age 18, or
  • 18 years of age or older and incapable of selfcare because of a mental or physical disability.

Covered service member: means a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who, due to a serious injury or illness is:

  • Undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy,
  • Otherwise in outpatient status, or
  • On the temporary retired list.

A member of the Armed Forces would have a serious injury or illness if he or she has incurred an injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces provided that the injury or illness may render the service member medically unfit to perform duties of the member's office, grade, rank, or rating.

Parent: means the biological parent of an employee (or a person who assumed the responsibilities of parent when such employee was a child).

Qualifying exigency: means attendance at military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, attending post-deployment reintegration briefings, and any other related activities as provided in guidance under FMLA.

Serious health condition: means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either:

  • 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;
  • Continuing treatment by a health care provider that includes any period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities) due to:
    • A health condition (including treatment for it or recovery from it) 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 under the supervision of the health care provider;
    • Pregnancy or prenatal care. A visit to the health care provider is not necessary for each absence;
    • A chronic serious health condition that 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). A visit to a health care provider is not necessary for each absence;
    • A permanent or long-term condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g., Alzheimer's, a severe stroke, terminal cancer). Only supervision by a health care provider is required, rather than active treatment; or
    • Any absences to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three days if not treated (e.g., chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer).


This policy will be interpreted in accordance with FMLA and regulations issued thereunder, except in the case of locations with fewer than 50 employees, in which case FMLA does not apply. This policy is not to be construed as a guarantee of continued employment in any particular capacity.

State Laws

This policy will be coordinated with state family and medical leave law rules so as to satisfy both state and federal requirements. If you have a question about leave requirements in your state, please contact your local HR representative.

Coordination with Other Off-Time Benefits

This policy provides for leave from work in addition to holidays and time off due to a death in the family, jury duty, court appearance, or military duty. Other time off due to illness of a family member, doctor's appointments, and similar needs will be coordinated under this policy and any other off-time benefits policy. Any other off-time benefits policy will continue to apply to permit absences needed for less serious matters than those covered by this policy. Such absences will not be counted in the 12 weeks of leave per year permitted under this policy.