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FMLA FAQs

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
Who is eligible for FMLA leave?
What usually triggers FMLA?
Is FMLA Paid Leave?
How does FMLA benefit me?
For what reasons can my absences be designated as FMLA?
What is considered a serious health condition?
Who is considered an immediate "family member" for the purposes of taking FMLA leave?
Do you have to use all of your sick leave and vacation leave before using FMLA?
What if my spouse also works for UTA?
How much notice is required to give to my supervisor?
Do I have to fill out any forms and what certification is needed?
How does FMLA work when an employee misses work intermittently for the same reason?
What if I am not "eligible" for leave under the FMLA?
What is the Parental Leave Act?
How can Parental Leave be used?
Do I have to use my available leave time, such as vacation and sick leave, while on Parental Leave?
What if my leave extends beyond the twelve weeks provided by FMLA or Parental Leave?
Does UTA have maternity leave?
Where can I find the FMLA forms?

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal Law which came into effect in 1993 to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12 month period.

Who is eligible for FMLA leave?

There are two requirements you must meet to be considered eligible for FMLA leave:

  1. Must have been employed by the state for at least 12 months; and
  2. Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the commencement of FMLA leave.  Time paid but not worked (such as vacation, sick, etc.) does not count toward the 1,250 hours. 

What usually triggers FMLA?

If an employee is absent for three or more days, or is anticipating an absence for three or more days due to a serious health condition, the employee and/or department should notify the Office of Human Resources. Applying for FMLA does not mean the leave will be granted or that the employee is eligible. UTA is required to inform the employee of their FMLA rights when made aware of the situation.

Is FMLA Paid Leave?

You must use your available accrued leave when you are missing work during FMLA leave, as FMLA is not a paid leave in and of itself. Your accrued leave will run concurrently with your FMLA leave.

EXCEPTION: Employees on leave due to an on-the job injury are not required to follow this rule

How does FMLA benefit me?

The following benefits will apply if you qualify for leave under FMLA:

  • 12 weeks of job -protected leave
  • Maintenance of health care benefits
  • Job restoration upon return form FMLA leave

For what reasons can my absences be designated as FMLA?

Your absence will be designated as FMLA for one or more of the following reasons:

  • For the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  • For placement with the employee of a son or daughter by adoption of foster care;
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

What is considered a serious health condition?

An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice or residential medical-care facility, any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care; or continuing treatment by a health care provider which includes any period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities).

Who is considered an immediate "family member" for the purposes of taking FMLA leave?

An employee's spouse, children (son or daughter), and parents are immediate family members for the purposes of FMLA. The term "parent" does not include a parent "in-law". The terms "son or daughter" do not include individuals age 18 or over unless they are "incapable of self-care" because of a mental or physical disability.

Do you have to use all of your sick leave and vacation leave before using FMLA?

No. Your sick leave and vacation leave will run concurrently with your FMLA time.

EXCEPTION: Employees on leave due to an on-the-job injury are not required to follow this rule.

What if my spouse also works for UTA?

Spouses employed by the same employer are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 Weeks of family leave for the birth and care of a newborn child, for placement of a child by adoption or foster care. However, you and your spouse are each entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave for the purpose of caring for your own injury or illness.

How much notice is required to give to my supervisor?

By law, employees seeking to use FMLA leave are required to provide 30-day advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable and such notice is practical. If leave is not foreseeable, notice should be given as soon as possible (usually within two business days of employee learning of the situation).

Do I have to fill out any forms and what certification is needed?

You will be required to complete and FMLA application form. Your attending physician will completed the certification of health care provider, which should include the date on which leave began and the anticipated date of return to work.

How does FMLA work when an employee misses work intermittently for the same reason?

FMLA leave does not have to be used in one lump sum. Under certain circumstances, leave may be taken intermittently in a block of time. It must be medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member or because the employee is seriously ill and unable to work. In both cases, a physician's statement must be provided to support that intermittent leave is medically necessary. This lost time would be logged until the 12 weeks of FMLA time (or 480 hours for a full-time employee) is expired.

What if I am not "eligible" for leave under the FMLA?

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for FMLA, you may request a leave of absence from your department head. A leave of absence request will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to the business needs of the department. You may also be eligible for leave under the State of Texas, Parental Leave Act.

What is the Parental Leave Act?

That Parental Leave Act (Governmental Code, section 661.913) is state legislation which provides employees who have been employed for fewer than 1,250 hours during the 12 month period preceding the beginning of leave with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave.

Not Eligible for Premium Sharing.

How can Parental Leave be used?

The leave is limited to, and begins on the date of birth of a child of the employee, or the adoption or foster care placement with the employee of a child younger than three years of age.

Do I have to use my available leave time, such as vacation and sick leave, while on Parental Leave?

Yes, all available and applicable paid vacation and sick leave will run concurrently with the use of the Parental Leave. Parental Leave is not paid leave.

What if my leave extends beyond the twelve weeks provided by FMLA or Parental Leave?

If your leave extends beyond the twelve weeks provided by FMLA or the Parental Leave act, and you have exhausted all available paid leave, your department has fulfilled their obligations under both acts and are no longer required to hold your position. A leave of absence request may be made for any time beyond the 12 weeks. Leave of absence requests will be considered on a case-by case basis with consideration given to the business needs of the department.

Does UTA have maternity leave?

The University does not have maternity leave as birth/care of newborns falls under FMLA. Should you not be eligible for FMLA, please refer to the Parental Leave section of the FMLA procedure.

Where can I find the FMLA forms?

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Application

You can also retrieve the FMLA forms from the Human Resources Department.

Document No. 104031 [12/8/2004]