The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that grants an eligible employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a calendar year when any of the following circumstances are present:
- Birth of a child and/or to care for a newborn child;
- Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
- Employee's own serious health condition;
- Care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
- FMLA leave is also granted to care for a domestic partner with a serious health condition under policy and certain collective bargaining agreements.
To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must have:
- At least 12 months of University service (need not be continuous), and
- At least 1,250 hours of work in the 12 months immediately preceding the leave.
The Leaves Office will make the determination of whether an employee qualifies for FMLA leave. Whether an employee's leave is designated as FMLA is not a decision that the employee or supervisor can make independent of the Leaves Office. Therefore, it is critical that all supervisors immediately report any medical leave to the Leaves Office to make this determination.
Under FMLA, an employee may go on intermittent leave taken in separate blocks of time. In addition to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, an eligible employee is entitled to continuation of health benefits during the leave period and restoration to the same or equivalent job if the employee returns within the period allowed under the FMLA. Although FMLA leave is unpaid, University policies and collective bargaining agreements may require or allow an employee to use accrued sick and vacation leave before the employee may go out on leave without pay.
An employee's rights under FMLA can run concurrently with other types of leave. For example, an employee may be eligible for both Workers' Compensation and FMLA benefits because a work-incurred injury could also be a serious health condition that qualifies under FMLA.
For more information regarding FMLA, please contact the Leaves Office.