Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The FMLA is a labor law allowing an eligible employee to take job-protected unpaid
leave due to a serious health condition (as defined by the FMLA) that makes the employee
unable to perform his/her job; to care for a sick family member; or to care for a
new child (including by birth, adoption or foster care). Additionally, the FMLA allows
an employee to take job-protected unpaid leave to care for a covered service member
or veteran with a serious injury or illness and allows for exigency leave for military
Eligible employees are defined as:
• having worked for that employer for at least 12 months; and
• having worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the
FMLA leave; and,
• work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within
75 miles of the location
Eligible employees are entitled to:
Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
• the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
• the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care
for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
• to care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
Definition of Spouse:
In compliance with recent United States Supreme Court precedent, the term "spouse"
for federal tax purposes, and for other federally mandated benefits, including the
Family Medical Leave Act, shall include a same sex spouse where the marriage is legally
recognized in the State where the marriage was performed.
For most employer-provided benefits, however, federal law does not compel benefit
plans to provide coverage for same sex spouses. In keeping with past practice of the
University, Texas law (which does not recognize same sex marriage), and the teachings
of the Catholic Church, the term "spouse" is defined as a legally recognized union
between a man and a woman, including properly executed and legally authorized common
Parent means biological, adoptive, step or foster parent or any other individual who stood
in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child. The term does not
include "parents in law."
Child means biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward or child of person standing
in loco parentis, who is under the age of 18 or age 18 or older and "incapable of
self-care because of a mental or physical disability."
In loco parentis is defined as including those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially
support a child.
• a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential
functions of his/her job;
• any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son,
daughter, or parent is a covered military member on "covered active duty;"
Twenty-six workweeks of military caregiver leave- leave during a single 12-month period
to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible
employee is the service member's spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
Intermittent Leave/ Reduced Schedules:
The FMLA allows employees to take FMLA on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced
schedule under certain circumstances. Employees needing intermittent/ reduced schedule
leave for foreseeable medical treatment must work with their employers to schedule
the leave so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations.
Intermittent leave can be recorded in as small of increments of time as a quarter
hour (15 minutes). In cases of FMLA leave, exempt (salaried) employees should document
all leave time taken including partial day leave time. The FMLA allows deduction of
partial leave days when a physician orders an exempt employee to work less than 8
hours per day and the leave is requested under the Family Medical Leave Act policy.
Medical Insurance and Pay during FMLA Leave:
During FMLA leave, group health insurance coverage continues under the same terms
and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Additionally, the University
requires employees to use their accrued sick and vacation leave time during the entirety
of their FMLA leave. If the leave time is depleted during the FMLA leave, the employee
will go into an unpaid status. Disability leave, including workers' compensation leave
(to the extent it qualifies) will be designated as FMLA leave and will run concurrently
In general, employees must give Human Resources at least 30 days advance notice of
the need to take FMLA leave when he/she knows about the need for the leave in advance
and it is possible and practical to do so. In cases where it is not possible to give
advance notice, the employee should give notice as soon as it is known that the leave
is needed and as soon as it is practical to do so. The employee should contact Human
Resources in order to request leave under the FMLA.
The employee will be required to provide support for their request for FMLA by a certification
issued by a health care provider or written documentation of a military member's covered
active duty or call to covered active duty status for requests for exigency leave.
Certification forms should be obtained from Human Resources. Failure to provide certification
may result in denial of the leave request.
Employees are required to report all time used under the FMLA in writing to Human
Resources. If the leave is intermittent it should be reported on a per pay period
basis. Additionally, the University may require an employee on FMLA leave to report
periodically on their status and intent to return to work. In some instances, the
employee may be required to prove a medical release to return to work.
For more information about the FMLA, employees are encouraged to visit the following