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Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) - Faculty

Process for Faculty


In order to qualify to take family and medical leave under this policy, the faculty member must meet both of the following conditions:

  • The faculty member must have worked for the institution at least 12 months, or 52 weeks. The 12 months (or 52 weeks) need not have been consecutive.
  • The faculty member must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the date the leave would begin.

Type of Leave Covered

Basic Leave Entitlement

  • for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
  • to care for the faculty member’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for the faculty member’s spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter or parent, who has a serious health condition;
  • for a serious health condition that makes the faculty member unable to perform the his/her job.

Employee Rights Under the FMLA

Military Family Leave Entitlements

  • Eligible employees whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
  • FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is:(1) a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness*; or (2) a veteran who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable at any time during the five-year period prior to the first date the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran, and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.*

*The FMLA definitions of “serious injury or illness” for current service members and veterans are distinct from the FMLA definition of “serious health condition”.

Ordinarily, FMLA leave will run concurrently with any applicable paid leave to which the faculty member may be entitled. Staff members who work less than 100 percent of a full work schedule will have their leave eligibility prorated to reflect their actual work schedule (i.e. a staff member who normally works 3 days per week will be eligible for up to 12 weeks based on the number of hours typically worked during those three days). The institution will measure the twelve (12) month period as a rolling twelve months measured backwards from the date the faculty member’s FMLA leave is to begin. Note that in the case of leave in connection with the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, or for the care of a parent with a serious health condition, where spouses or same sex domestic partners are employed by the University the spouses or same sex domestic partners are entitled to a combined total of 12 weeks’ FMLA leave for these reasons.

Job and Benefits Protection

Generally, an employee who takes leave is entitled to be reinstated to his or her previous position or an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. An "equivalent position" is one with the same pay, benefits, and working conditions, including privileges, prerequisites, and status, in the same geographical area. An employee is entitled to be returned to the same shift or an equivalent schedule, and have the same opportunity for bonuses, profit sharing, and other non-discretionary pay.

Under the "key" employee exception, the institution does not have to guarantee job restoration if the employee is a salaried employee who is one of the highest paid 10% of all employees within 75 miles of the worksite and job restoration for that employee will cause "substantial and grievous" economic injury to the operations of the institution.

FMLA leave can be either compensated or unpaid. During an FMLA leave, employees must utilize their sick time and short-term disability benefits if the leave is covering their own serious health condition. After all sick and short-term disability benefits are used, all accrued vacation and personal time will be applied. If the employee utilizing FMLA leave is out to care for the faculty member’s spouse, child, or own parent who has a serious health condition all accrued vacation and personal time will be applied in conjunction with this leave. Any leave that is not covered by compensable time, will not be paid.

Maternity Leave

It is the policy of the institution to treat absences related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care in the same manner as any other illness or injury. As such, this leave runs concurrently with FMLA leave.  The employee’s physician determines the extent to which the employee can maintain work- related duties.  The date when an employee actually leaves work is considered the first day of disability. At this point, any accrued sick time or short-term disability benefits may be utilized.  If the employee ceases working prior to this date, she may use Vacation or Personal Days until the date of disability (FMLA leave would go into effect on this date). The employee may use accrued sick time and short-term disability time up to the time when her physician certifies that she can return to work (usually six (6) weeks or thirty (30) working days).

If remaining FMLA leave is available at the conclusion of the disability, it may be used. This time can be a combination of paid or unpaid time depending on the limits of individual employee accrued vacation or personal time accounts (not applicable to faculty). Employees desiring continuation of pay during their remaining FMLA leave, will need to schedule reserve vacation or personal time.

Employees are encouraged to inform their supervisor of a pregnancy as soon after its confirmation as possible. Disclosure of knowledge of planned leave should also be disclosed at this time. This allows supervisors the maximum amount of time to plan and schedule department or office work during the leave.