The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period to care for a seriously ill parent, child, or spouse.  

You are eligible for FMLA leave if you have been employed either part-time or full-time with the University for at least 12 months, which do not need to be consecutive or continuous, and have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to your absence. FMLA provides for a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during any consecutive 12-month period when you are needed to care for a child, parent, spouse, or next of kin who is a military service member who was injured in the line of duty.

The absence management team will send you an FMLA Medical Certification Form – you complete part of that form and your family member’s treating physician completes the remainder of the form.  

Absences may be of an ongoing nature or, when medically necessary, may be taken as an intermittent leave or on a reduced leave schedule. Whenever possible, you should make a reasonable effort to schedule any medical treatment visits so as not to unduly disrupt operations. 

Because University policies typically exceed the FMLA 12-week provision, you should refer to the applicable University policy or union agreement to answer any questions about your absence (length, pay, etc.). FMLA time and absences provided by University policies run concurrently.

FMLA requires that all covered absences are recorded as FMLA. Because the overarching philosophy of the FMLA regulations is that you cannot be disadvantaged due to an absence for an FMLA-qualifying event, these absences must be recorded correctly so that errors are avoided when making decisions about promotions, merit pay, tenure, etc. 

Applicable Paid Time Off


Every calendar year, up to 40 hours of your own accumulated sick time can be used to care for a sick family member. For any additional time off you will be required to use accumulated vacation, personal holidays, service days, and compensatory time off as applicable. Paid time off runs concurrently with any FMLA time you may be eligible for. If you run out of paid time off you may qualify for the vacation donation program.  

Technical Service

Policies affecting employees represented by a union are found in the appropriate Agreements.


With the exception of the Applied Research Lab and the University Libraries, if you are in a full-time academic appointment the amount of paid time off is determined by your college.

Leave of Absence for Faculty and Staff

If you have used all of your applicable paid time off, you may request a leave of absence without pay. The amount of leave you qualify for depends on your length of University service.  

Continuation of Benefit Coverage

As long as you are in pay status, all insurances in which you are enrolled will continue at the normal employee contribution rates. Once you go into unpaid status, if you elect to continue membership in your group insurances, how much you pay for the coverage will depend on the reason for your leave, and/or if your absence is covered by FMLA. During any unpaid FMLA leave, you will pay the normal employee rates for insurance. Once you go into unpaid status that is not covered by FMLA, you will be charged the full cost for health care coverage.  

If you elect not to continue membership in your benefits while on leave without pay, you must make these changes in Workday and should HR Services to discuss if you will be required to meet any qualification requirements imposed by the plan (e.g., waiting period).

Once you are on unpaid leave, you will receive an invoice for any continued benefits during your leave of absence. The payments will be sent to Absence Management for processing. If you are on leave for less than 120 days, you may elect to not make payments and have the benefit arrears balance deducted from your pay upon return to work. Your deductions will be double benefit deductions until your arrears balance is zero.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP is available to provide free and confidential counseling on a wide-variety of topics to help you adjust to life changes.