Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Do the 12 months of service with the university have to be continuous or consecutive?

No, the 12 months do not have to be continuous or consecutive.

Do the 1,250 hours include paid leave time or other absences from work?

No, the 1,250 hours include only those hours actually worked for the university.

I only work during the academic year when classes are in session. Is the time when I am not required to be at work counted against my FMLA entitlement?

No, any break in normal schedule of one week or more when the employee would not otherwise be expected to be at work does not count against an employee’s FMLA entitlement.
*This applies to 12-month employees and instructional faculty.

If there is a paid holiday or university closing during my FMLA leave, are those hours deducted from my balance of FMLA hours?

No. If a holiday or university closing falls during a week of continuous FMLA leave, those hours are not deducted from your FMLA leave balance.

Does the law guarantee paid time off?

No, FMLA is leave to protect your job. It is not paid time off.

Must I use leave time to cover my absences under FMLA?

Yes, all available leave must be used to cover absences. FMLA is job protection, not additional leave. Each case depends on your selection for short-term disability.

Can the university refuse to grant me FMLA leave?

Yes, if you are not eligible for FMLA leave or if the reason you requested leave does not qualify under FMLA.

I am expecting a baby this year. I have lots of sick leave accrued. Can I use 12 weeks of sick leave during my FMLA leave?

You can use sick leave only during the period that your physician certifies that you are unable to work because of the pregnancy and recovery. Any leave beyond that period must be taken with the appropriate type of leave available or a leave without pay (LWOP).

Can the university count leave taken due to pregnancy complications against the 12 weeks of FMLA leave for the birth and care of my child?

Yes, an eligible employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period. If the employee has to use some of that leave for another reason, including a difficult pregnancy, it may be counted as part of the 12-week FMLA leave entitlement.

Are fathers eligible for FMLA for paternity leave?

Yes, fathers are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for bonding. The leave must be taken within one year from the birth of the child. However, if both parents are employees of the university, the FMLA limit is still 12 weeks and must be shared between the two employees.  

Do I have to give the university my medical records for leave due to a serious health condition?

No, you do not have to provide medical records. You must, however, have your health care provider complete the medical certification form provided by the Human Resources office. This form must be returned within 15 calendar days.

Can the university require me to return to work before I exhaust my leave?

Yes, the university can require you to return to work if you no longer have a serious health condition as defined by FMLA or if you fail to fulfill your obligation to provide supporting medical certification. The university may not, however, require you to return to work early by offering you a light duty assignment.

Can I return to work before my 12 weeks of FMLA entitlement is taken?

Yes, you do not need to take the full 12 weeks of FMLA leave. However, you are not allowed to take more FMLA leave than is necessary to resolve the circumstances for which the leave was needed. If your leave is due to your own serious health condition, you must have a Return to Work Release submitted to the Human Resource Office. 

Does Workers' Compensation leave count against an employee's FMLA leave entitlement?

It can, FMLA leave and Workers’ Compensation leave can run together, provided the reason for the absence is due to a qualifying serious illness or injury and the university notifies the employee in writing that the leave will be counted as FMLA leave.

What if circumstances change and I am unable to return to work?

Each situation is different and will need to be evaluated to further determine the next course of action. Communication is crucial during your FMLA leave. Any changes to your circumstances should be reported to your supervisor and to the Human Resources office immediately.

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