What does the Family and Medical Leave Act provide?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of job protected unpaid leave during a defined 12-month period.

What is job protected leave?

Job protected leave ensures an eligible employee will  be restored to the same position they held immediately prior to their FML leave or an equivalent position with the same pay, benefits and terms and conditions of employment, assuming the employee returns to work prior to or immediately after exhausting their FML leave entitlement.  Eligible employees shall also remain eligible for all of the health care benefits they enjoyed immediately prior to the start of their FML leave.

What is considered a serious health condition under the FMLA?

The most common serious health conditions that qualify for FML leave are:

  • conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility;
  • conditions that incapacitate you or your immediate family member (for example, unable to work or attend school) for more than three consecutive days and have ongoing medical treatment (either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription medication);
  • chronic medical conditions that require occasional periods when you or your immediate family member require periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider e.g. at least twice a year, or may cause episodic flare-ups rather than continuing periods of incapacity over an extended period of time;
  • pregnancy including prenatal medical appointments, incapacity due to morning sickness, and/or medically required bed rest.

I would rather not apply for FML leave now and instead save it for a later time when I may really need it. Is this allowable?

If your FML-qualifying absence is not designated as FML leave, you will not be eligible for the job and benefit protections afforded to you under the FMLA. Consequently, the University is not obligated to preserve your current position with the pay, benefits and terms and conditions of employment you enjoyed prior to your absence and your absences may be considered unauthorized.

Is FML leave paid?

FML leave does not provide paid leave benefits.  The FMLA provides job and benefit protections that run concurrent with an employee’s use of their own available accrued/paid leave.

Will I continue to accrue my annual and sick leave while I am on FML leave?

Yes, you will continue to accrue annual and sick leave while you are on FML-qualifying leave.  If you are in an unpaid status for any portion of a pay period, your leave accruals will be prorated accordingly.

Can I take a combination of paid and unpaid leave simultaneously during FML leave?

o, you must exhaust all of your available accrued/paid leave before moving into an unpaid status.

What happens if I exhaust all of my FML leave and I am still unable to return to work?

You must inform the Leave Coordinator of your inability to return to work prior to exhausting your FML leave entitlement.  If you require reasonable accommodation for a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which may include an extension of leave, you should submit a request for reasonable accommodation prior to exhausting your FML leave entitlement.