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Human Resources

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons: 
  • The birth of a son or daughter or placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care, and to bond with the newborn or newly-placed child;
  • To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition, including incapacity due to pregnancy and for prenatal medical care;
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job, including incapacity due to pregnancy and for prenatal medical care; or
  • For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.


An eligible employee may also take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness when the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the servicemember. An eligible employee is limited to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave for any FMLA-qualifying reasons during the single 12-month period. 

Pay Status While on FMLA Leave

FMLA leave is unpaid; however, if an employee has any accrued, unused paid sick or annual leave, the employee must use such paid leave concurrently with FMLA leave, even if the employee would prefer that the University delay the start and use of paid leave. Any accrued, unused compensatory time will be used first. Next, accrued sick leave time will be used, if the employee has both sick time and annual time available. For example, if an employee requests 8 weeks of FMLA leave and has 2 weeks of annual and 4 weeks of sick leave available, then the first 4 weeks of FMLA will be paid using sick leave hours, the next 2 weeks will be paid using annual leave hours, and the final 2 weeks will be unpaid.

Please note if you are not receiving pay while on FMLA, you will be responsible for sending checks to People First to cover any benefits premiums you may have. Please call People First at 866-663-4735 to discuss your payment method until you return to work.

Workers' compensation and short-term disability run concurrently with FMLA leave, provided the reason for the absence is due to an FMLA-qualifying serious health condition. However, because such leave is typically paid, the employee will not be required to use accrued paid leave, unless the employee requests to use such paid leave to supplement a shortfall between the disability benefit and the employee's full pay.

Health Benefits

In addition to providing eligible employees an entitlement to leave, the FMLA requires that employers maintain employees’ health benefits during leave. 

Job Restoration

The employers must restore employees to their same or an equivalent job after leave. 

The law sets requirements for notice, by both the employee and the employer, and provides employers with the right to require certification of the need for FMLA leave in certain circumstances. The law protects employees from interference and retaliation for exercising or attempting to exercise their FMLA rights. 

For additional information regarding FMLA, please visit the University FMLA Policy 4.0300P and The U.S. Department of Labor.