The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 became effective on August 5, 1993.

This law requires employers to offer leaves of absences with or without pay to employees for up to twelve (12) weeks during any twelve month period. A twelve month period is defined as beginning with the first day of the month in which the leave will start and ending twelve (12) months from that date (i.e. if employee request a leave starting September 1, they would not be eligible for another twelve (12) weeks of leave until the following September 1). Employers are required to grant leaves for one of the following:

* The birth of a child to the employee and/or to take care of the newborn child;

* Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;

* To care for the spouse, child or parent of an employee, if such spouse, child or parent has a serious health condition; or

* A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position.

As an employee, you may be eligible for benefits under this Act if you have completed at least twelve months of service with the University, worked at least 1,250 hours in the prior twelve months, and are not hired on a temporary or intermittent basis.

The following summarizes the definitions of several key terms used in the Act:

* Parent - The biological parent of an employee; or an individual who acted as a parent to an employee when the employee was a child.

* Serious Health Condition - an illness, injury, impairment, physical or mental condition that involves:

a. inpatient care and any corresponding period of incapacity or subsequent treatment, or

b. continuing treatment by a health care provider resulting in one of the following:

1. a period of incapacity that lasts more than three (3) consecutive calendar days and involves a certain level of treatment, including a course of prescription medication or therapy requiring special equipment;

2. any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care;

3. any period of incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.

4. permanent or long-term incapacity due to a condition for which treatment may be ineffective if there is continuing supervision by a health care provider such as Alzheimer's, severe stroke, or terminal stages of disease;

5. absence to receive multiple treatments either for restorative surgery or for a condition likely to result in incapacity of more than three (3) days absent medical intervention such as cancer, severe arthritis or kidney disease.

* Son or Daughter - a biological, adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward or a child under eighteen years of age who is living with the employee in a parent-child relationship, or, is over eighteen, who is incapable of self care because of a mental or physical disability.

The eligibility for a leave for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child is only for the period during the twelve months from the birth or placement of the child and must be taken concurrently unless both the employer and employee agree otherwise.

If husband and wife both work for the University, the University will grant a 12 week leave for both the husband and wife for the birth, adoption or caring for a sick parent.

Leaves taken for the care of a dependent child or for the employee's serious health condition may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary.

Under the Act, for a foreseeable event, such as the birth of a child, you must provide thirty (30) calendar days notice to the University. In circumstances where thirty (30) calendar days notice cannot be given, you must provide as much notice as possible. The University may require medical proof both initially and during the leave. If the University doubts the validity of the provided proof, the University may require a second medical opinion at their expense and direction. If this second medical opinion differs from the employee's proof, a third medical opinion, at the University's expense and direction may be required. This third medical opinion is final and binding on the University and employee.

Employees requesting a leave will be required to use accrued sick time for their own illness and accrued vacation for all other leaves falling under this Act. Any requests for exceptions of use of accrued vacation time will require Vice President/Provost approval. Any illness resulting in more than three (3) days of absence but does not fall under the definition of "Serious Health Condition" under the FMLA, will be handled under the "Paid Disability Leave Policy" found in this manual.

Participation in all benefit programs will continue while you are on leave. Upon returning from the leave, you are entitled to be reinstated to the same position or an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status and terms and conditions of employment. Reinstatement may only be denied for key employees who are defined as the highest paid 10% of the workforce and whose leave of absences would cause economic harm to the employer. The leave may not result in the loss of any employment benefit accrued prior to the date the leave commenced.

For other types of leave requests, please refer to the appropriate policy located in Section 6 of this manual.


To apply for a leave under the FMLA, you must complete a "Certification of Physician or Practitioner" form which can be obtained in the Human Resources Office. The form should be submitted to the appropriate department head.