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(a) An employee desiring a leave of absence from the job, not in excess of ninety (90) days must first make the request to the Employer in writing, stating the reason for the leave of absence and the date of return. If granted by the Employer, approval thereof must be in writing, in triplicate, one copy of which will be given to the Union, one copy of which will be given to the employee and one copy of which will be retained by the Employer. Seven (7) days prior to the date of return set forth in the written leave, the employee shall notify the Employer in writing of their intention to return. Failure to comply with this provision shall result in loss of seniority standing. In case of emergency or other causes requiring special consideration, reasonable extension of the leave may be granted. . . . However, the Employer and the Union must be notified and agree prior to the expiration of the leave if such extension is desired, with the notice given as required in the first sentence.
(b) Maternity leave shall be granted. The Union has no objection to legal company rules relative to maternity leave. However, responsibility for any violation of state or federal laws or regulations rests solely with the Company.