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Time Off and Leave

Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.), and as amended in 2009 and 2013, is designed to help employees balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families and to promote stability and economic security of families.

FMLA provides employees with 12 weeks unpaid leave (accrued benefits may be used to remain in paid status) for each consecutive 12-month period for which eligibility criteria have been met for the following events:

Birth or placement of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care.
Serious health condition of an employee.
Serious health condition of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent.
Qualifying exigency of a son, daughter, spouse, or parent.

FMLA also provides up to 26 weeks unpaid leave (accrued benefits may be used to remain in paid status) during a "single 12-month period" for which eligibility criteria have been met for the following event:

Care of a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Ordinarily, an employee who has been absent for family and medical leave shall be restored to the position held by the employee in the same unit from which the employee took leave; or an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Select one of the following links for specific information:

Eligibility
Approval and Documentation
Length of Leave
Benefits Continuation
Compensation
Returning from Leave
Extended Leave
Policies


Eligibility

Individuals who have been employed by the University for at least 12 months and who have performed at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period, are eligible for unpaid family and medical leave during each consecutive twelve-month period for which eligibility criteria have been met.

Periods of employment with the University separated by a break in service will be counted when determining the 12 months of service provided that the break in service does not exceed seven years. For breaks in service that are seven years or longer, service time will be counted if one of the following applies: break in service due to National Guard or Reserve military service obligation; or written agreement by the University of Illinois indicating intent to rehire the employee after the break in service. The initial 12-month period is measured forward from the date the employee first takes FMLA leave. The next 12-month period begins the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12-month period.

Birth or placement of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care

Family and Medical Leave (FML) is available for employees giving birth to a child or placement of the child for adoption or foster care with the employee.

Leave for birth or adoption of a child shall be taken all at one time, not on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule, unless the employee and supervisor or responsible departmental official agree otherwise. Leave for a newborn or adopted child with a serious health condition may be taken as a block of time, intermittently, or on a reduced schedule. In the case of adoption or foster care, leave may begin before the actual placement or adoption of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement or adoption to proceed.

Serious health condition of an employee

Family and Medical Leave (FML) is available for employees unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Leave for a serious health condition of the employee may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis when medically necessary. Under such conditions, the employee may be required to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the transfer better accommodates recurring periods of leave.

Serious health condition of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent

Family and Medical Leave (FML) is available for employees to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition.

  • Son or daughter includes biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward, or a child of person standing in loco parentis - who is under 18 years of age, or over age 18 but incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability (as defined by FMLA regulations).
  • Parent is defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act as a biological, adoptive, step, or foster father or mother, or any individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee. FML for a parent-in-law is specifically excluded by the Act, however, a leave of absence to care for a parent-in-law may be granted under Sick Leave and other leave policies.
  • Spouse includes a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for purposes of marriage in the state where the employee resides, including "common law" marriage and same-sex marriage.

Leave for a serious health condition of a family member may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis when medically necessary. Under such conditions, the employee may be required to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the transfer better accommodates recurring periods of leave.

Qualifying exigency of a son, daughter, spouse, or parent

Family and Medical Leave is available to allow an employee who has a spouse, son, daughter, or parent as a member of the National Guard, or in the Reserves or regular Armed Forces, to take leave for a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the covered military member is on a covered active duty or call to active duty status in support of a contingency.

  • Child includes biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward, or a child of person standing in loco parentis.
  • Parent includes biological parent, stepparent, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee. FML for a parent-in-law is specifically excluded by the Act, however, a leave of absence to care for a parent-in-law may be granted under Sick Leave and other leave policies.

Leave for a qualifying exigency may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis.

Please see the Qualifying Exigency Frequently Asked Questions for further information on this type of FMLA leave.

Care of a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness

Family and Medical Leave is available to allow an employee who is a family member (spouse, son or daughter, parent, or next of kin) of a covered servicemember to take leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious illness or injury. Eligible employees may take leave to care for a servicemember's parent who is incapable of self-care when the care is necessitated by the member's covered active duty.

A "covered servicemember" is a covered veteran or current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces, 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 incurred in the line of duty on active duty. Covered veteran is an individual 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 teh covered veteran.

A "serious illness or injury" means an injury or illness incurred by a covered servicemember: (a) in the line of duty on active duty; and (b) that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform the duties of the servicemember’s office, grade, rank, or rating; and (c) injuries or illnesses that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and were aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces.

A "serious injury or illness for a covered veteran" means an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces and manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran, and is: (1) a continuation of a serious injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated when the covered veteran was a member of the Armed Forces and rendered the servicemember unable to perform the duties of the servicemember’s office, grade, rank, or rating; or (2) a physical or mental condition for which the covered veteran has received a VA Service Related Disability Rating (VASRD) of 50 percent or greater and such VASRD rating is based, in whole or in part, on the condition precipitating the need for caregiver leave; or (3) a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs the veteran’s ability to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of a disability or disabilities related to military service or would do so absent treatment; or (4) an injury, including a psychological injury, on the basis of which the covered veteran has been enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

Please see the Covered Servicemember Frequently Asked Questions for further information on this type of FMLA leave.


Approval and Documentation

In any case in which the necessity for leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth or adoption placement, or based on planned medical treatment, the employee shall provide the supervisor with not less than 30 calendar days notice before the date the leave is to begin. When foreseeable leave is due to a qualifying exigency, notice must be provided as soon as practicable regardless of how far in advance leave was foreseeable.

If not foreseeable 30 days in advance, the employee shall provide verbal notice within two working days of learning of the need for leave and should provide an explanation to his/her supervisor indicating why providing such notice was not practicable. Failure to respond to such inquiries may result in denial of FMLA protection if the supervisor is unable to determine that leave is FMLA qualifying. If employee fails to comply with these procedures, absent unusual circumstances, the supervisor may delay or deny FMLA-protected leave.

To apply for Family and Medical Leave (FML), employees must submit the following documents to their supervisor.

Family and Medical Leave Application
Acrobat format
Rich text format

Medical Certification
Is required in addition to the FMLA application if leave is due to a serious health condition of the employee or family member.
For Employee's Serious Health Condition: Acrobat format | Rich text format
For Family Member's Serious Health Condition: Acrobat format | Rich text format
For Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember: Acrobat format | Rich text format

Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave
Is required in addition to the FMLA application if leave is due to a qualifying exigency.
Acrobat format
Rich text format

Leave of Absence Information and Form
Leave of Absence Information and Form (Rich Text Format)


Length of Leave

Employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks (up to 26 workweeks to care for a covered servicemember) of unpaid family and medical leave during each consecutive twelve-month period for which eligibility criteria have been met. Employees may use accrued leave benefits (sick leave, vacation, floating holidays) to remain in pay status while on FMLA leave. The initial 12-month period is measured forward from the date the employee first takes FMLA leave. The next 12-month period begins the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12-month period.

Entitlement for birth of a child expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth.

Entitlement for adoption or foster care expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of placement. If such leave began before the actual placement because absence from work was required for the placement or adoption to proceed, entitlement expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the last day worked.

Employees on FMLA leave for the birth or adoption of a child may begin the leave any time during the following 12 months, but leave must commence by the end of the 12 month period.

Employees who request qualifying exigency leave to spend time with a servicemember on rest and recuperation may take up to 15 calendar days of leave.


Benefits Continuation

State Benefits
While employees are on an eligible family and medical leave (FML), State benefits shall be continued by the University at the same level that coverage would have been provided if the employee had remained in continuous employment.

Employees on a paid FML will continue to have their premium portion deducted from their paycheck. Employees on unpaid FML will be billed for their premium portion. If the employee does not make required payments during the leave period, the CMS-Group Insurance Division (GID) will terminate the member's coverage the first day of the current month. These members are ineligible to continue coverage under COBRA and will not receive a COBRA notification letter (eligible or ineligible). CMS will take action to collect all outstanding premium(s), which may include involuntary withholding.

The University may recover the premiums paid for maintaining coverage for employees if the employee fails to return from FML for a reason other than continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition (employee or family), or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee. Certification of such conditions may be required by the University.

University employees may continue insurance coverage in excess of the University's contribution by contacting the Benefits Center within thirty (30) days following the last day of paid employment to make arrangements for premium payments.

University Benefits
Employees continue to receive the same University benefits as when not on FML.

State Universities Retirement System
To determine the effect of leave on the accumulation of service time for retirement and to assure continuation of contributions, contact SURS.


Compensation

Employees have the option to take family and medical leave with or without pay. To continue in pay status, employees must use accrued sick or vacation leave in accordance with University leave provisions. Accrued leave used will be counted toward the FMLA entitlement. Any portion of the FMLA period for which accrued leave is not charged shall be without pay.

Eligible employees may receive compensation through Parental Leave for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.


Returning from Leave

Ordinarily, an employee who has been absent for family and medical leave shall be restored to the position held by the employee in the same unit from which the employee took leave; or an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

For Civil Service employees, restoral to the same or equivalent position shall be contingent on the expected continuation of the appointment and shall be in accordance with the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules 250.120.

Employees on leave may be required to report periodically to the supervisor or unit head on their status and intention to return to work. An employee who has been absent for medical reasons may be required to obtain a statement from a health care provider that the employee is able to resume work.

An employee returning from family and medical leave is expected to contact the employing unit at least 30 calendar days in advance of the anticipated date of return from leave, in order to permit the unit to plan for the employee's reinstatement.


Extended Leave

Benefits under the family and medical leave policy expire after 12 weeks (26 weeks to care for a covered servicemember). An employee seeking approval of an extension of leave beyond the family and medical leave entitlement shall present a written request to his or her supervisor, which shall be acted upon pursuant to departmental procedures and in accordance with University policies related to leaves of absence without pay and other leaves.


Policies

Department of Labor Family and Medical Leave Notification

Select from the appropriate campus and employee group for specific policy information.

University Policy
Family and Medical Leave

Civil Service Statute and Rules
Seniority

Policy and Rules for Civil Service Staff
Rule 11.09 - Disability Leave
Rule 11.07 - Family and Medical Leave
Rule 11.10 - Leave Without Pay/Extension of Certain Benefits Coverage
Rule 11.15 - Parental Leave
Rule 11.08 - Pregnancy Leave/Non-Occupational Disability
Rule 10.01 - Sick Leave Usage and Approval

Campus Policies

Urbana
Continued Employment of Persons Receiving Disability Payments
Disability by Reason of Pregnancy for Academic and Nonacademic Staff Members
Family and Medical Leave
Parental Leave

Chicago
Disability Leave of Absence
Parental Leave

Springfield
Contact the campus Human Resources office.


Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 26-November-2013 | ID: 1288