Family Medical Leave Act

Purpose

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was passed by Congress to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity; to minimize the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of sex by ensuring generally that leave is available for eligible medical reasons (including maternity-related disability) and for compelling family reasons; and to promote the goal of equal employment opportunity for women and men.

Covered Employees and Eligibility

An employee's eligibility for family/medical leave shall be made based on the employee's months of service and hours of work as of the date leave is to commence. An employee is eligible if they are:

  • Full-time (Permanent, probationary, trainee, or time-limited) and has 12 months total service with the State,
  • Part-time (half-time or more permanent, probationary, trainee, or time-limited) and has been in pay status at least 1040 hours during the previous 12-months.
  • Temporary, intermittent, or part-time (less than half-time) and has been in pay status at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months.

NOTE: Time spent in the National Guard or reserves count as time worked to determine eligibility for FMLA.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave

  1. The employee is entitled to a total of 12 workweeks, paid or unpaid leave during any 12-month period for: (Note: Paid leave counts toward the 12 weeks.)
    • The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child after birth, provided the leave is taken within a 12-month period following birth. Note: An expectant mother may also take FMLA leave before the birth of the child for prenatal care or if her condition makes her unable to work, or requires a reduced work schedule.
    • The placement of or to care for a child placed with the employee for adoption or foster care, provided the leave is taken within a 12-month period following placement. Note: FMLA leave must also be granted before the actual placement or adoption of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement for adoption or foster care to proceed.
    • The employee to care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent, where that child, spouse, or parent has a serious health condition.
    • Because the employee has a serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing one or more essential functions of the position.
    • Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Uniformed Services in support of a contingency operation.
  2. Service Member Family Leave – An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member shall be entitled to a total of 26 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for the service member. The leave shall only be available during a single 12-month period.

NOTE: During the single 12-month period, an eligible employee shall be entitled to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave under (1) and (2).

Intermittent Leave or Reduced Work Schedule

An employee may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule for the following:

  1. To care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition, or because the employee has a serious health condition. (This would also apply to next of kin to care for a service member.)
  2. Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty.
  3. If the leave is for child birth and birth related child care or for adoption/foster care, the agency must agree to intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule.

There is no minimum limitation on the amount of leave taken intermittently; however, the agency may not require leave to be taken in increments of more than one hour. If leave is foreseeable, based on planned medical treatment, the agency may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified and that has equivalent pay and benefits and better accommodates recurring periods of leave. Only the time actually taken as leave may be counted toward the 12 weeks of leave to which the employee is entitled.

Related Forms can be found under benefits forms.