Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) FAQs

1. What is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a federal law designed to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for qualified family and medical related reasons.

2. Who is eligible under FMLA?

To be eligible for leave under FMLA the individual must have been employed by the university for 12 months or a total of 52 weeks and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the FMLA qualifying event.

3. What is a qualifying event?

  1. The birth and care of a newborn child
  2. The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child
  3. Care of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition
  4. The employee’s own serious health condition
  5. Certain qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered military member's active duty status, or notification of an impending call or order to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation. Qualifying exigency leave is only available to a family member of a military member in the National Guard or Reserves.

Additionally, eligible employees may qualify for up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member recovering from a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty. 

4. What is the university's FMLA calendar year?

The university designates the FMLA calendar year as a 12-month period measured forward from the date of an employee's first FMLA event.

5. Will an employee receive pay while on FMLA protected leave?

FMLA only requires unpaid leave. However, employees may apply any accrued leave to cover the FMLA absence. Employees on paid Workers Compensation will receive pay as provided under current university policy. All paid time off runs concurrently with FMLA.

6. Will the employee receive university benefits while on FMLA protected leave?

The university will continue to pay the cost of the university provided insurance coverage for employees for the 12 weeks of FMLA protected leave. The employee will continue to be responsible for payment of premiums for any elective coverage. It is the employee's responsibility to contact their campus Benefits office to determine premium payment requirements.

7. Am I still covered under FMLA if I run out of paid leave?

Yes, as long as you have not exhausted your 480 hours of FMLA for your qualifying event year, you would still be covered under FMLA.

8. What does the employee need to know before returning to work from a FMLA leave for their own serious health condition?

The employee will be required to obtain a medical release from the attending physician, and possibly a Fitness For Duty certificate before returning to the workplace. An employee returning from FMLA job-protected leave is restored to the same benefits eligibility, seniority, position or equal position including the same shift, skill level, effort requirements, and responsibility.

9. If a university holiday falls during a week when I am on continuous FMLA, is that day counted toward my FMLA leave entitlement?

No, the university does not count a holiday towards an employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. This includes all of the days during winter break when the university is scheduled to be closed.