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Time Off and Leave

University Family Medical Leave (UFML)
for Civil Union Partners

This page is under review for compliance with PA96-1513. Updated information will be available soon. The term "Civil Union partner" should be used where the term "registered same-sex domestic partner" appears.

University Family Medical Leave (UFML) 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 by offering leave to care for a registered same-sex domestic partner.

UFML provides employees with 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:

Serious health condition of a registered same-sex domestic partner.
Qualifying exigency of a registered, same-sex domestic partner.
Care of a registered same-sex domestic partner who is a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Ordinarily, an employee who has been absent for University Family 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.

Specific information on the following topics can be found below:

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

Please also see the UFML Frequently Asked Questions on the University Human Resources website.


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 University Family Medical Leave (UFML) 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 either UFML or Federal FMLA leave. The next 12-month period begins the first time UFML or Federal FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12-month period.

Serious health condition of a registered same-sex domestic partner

University Family Medical Leave (UFML) is available for employees to care for a registered same-sex domestic partner with a serious health condition.

Leave for a serious health condition of a registered same-sex domestic partner 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 registered same-sex domestic partner

University Family Medical Leave is available to allow an employee who has a registered same-sex domestic partner in the Reserves or the regular Armed Forces to take leave for a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the covered military member is deployed to a foreign country on covered active duty.

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

University Family Medical Leave is available to allow an employee who is a registered same-sex domestic partner of a covered servicemember to take leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious illness or injury.

A "covered servicemember" is a current member or a veteran 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 incurred in the line of duty on active duty. In the case of a veteran, he/she must have been a member of the Armed Forces at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.

A "serious illness or injury" is defined as "an injury or illness incurred by a covered servicemember: (a) in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the members active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces); and (b) that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform the duties of the servicemember's office, grade, rank, or rating. " In the case of a veteran, this injury or illness could have "manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran".

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 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 UFML protection if the supervisor is unable to determine that leave is UFML qualifying. If employee fails to comply with these procedures, absent unusual circumstances, the supervisor may delay or deny UFML leave.

To apply for University Family Medical Leave (UFML), employees must submit the following documents.

University Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (if not already completed)
Employees applying for University Family Medical Leave to care for a registered same-sex domestic partner should also complete, and submit to the campus Benefits Service Center, the University of Illinois Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (if not previously completed).

University Family and Medical Leave Application
Acrobat format
Rich text format

Medical Certification
Is required in addition to the UFML application if leave is due to a serious health condition of the employee s registered same-sex domestic partner.
For Registered Same-Sex Domestic Partner'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 UFML 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 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 UFML leave. The initial 12-month period is measured forward from the date the employee first takes either UFML or Federal FMLA leave. The next 12-month period begins the first time UFML or Federal FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12-month period.

University Family Medical Leave leave does not create a right for the employee to take a leave that exceeds the leave time allowed under, or in addition to, the leave time permitted by the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees shall be granted a total of 12-weeks of leave per 12-month period (26 weeks to care for a covered servicemember) for both FMLA and UFML.


Benefits Continuation

State Benefits
While employees are on an eligible University Family Medical Leave (UFML), 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 UFML will continue to have their premium portion deducted from their paycheck.

Employees on unpaid UFML will be billed for their premium portion. Because UFML is a University leave and not a State leave, Central Management Services (CMS) will recognize this leave as a personal leave of absence, not as UFML leave. Regulations state that, during a period of unpaid personal leave, the employee will be billed both the state monthly contribution as well as the premium that would have been deducted from the employee's pay had he/she remained on payroll. Upon request by the employee, the State portion may be reimbursed through the University Family Medical Leave Reimbursement Plan.

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 UFML for a reason other than continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition of the registered same-sex domestic partner, or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee. Certification of such conditions is 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 UFML.

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 University Family 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 UFML entitlement. Any portion of the UFML period for which accrued leave is not charged shall be without pay.


Returning from Leave

Ordinarily, an employee who has been absent for University Family 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 returning from family 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 University Family Medical Leave expire after 12 weeks (26 weeks to care for a covered servicemember). An employee seeking approval of an extension of leave beyond the UFML 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

Select from the appropriate campus and employee group for specific policy information. Although registered same-sex domestic partners are not directly referenced in the policies, the University has made the decision to extend many of these benefits to employees and their registered same-sex domestic partners. Please visit the Domestic Partner page for further details on domestic partner benefits.

University Policy
Family and Medical Leave
Clarification Memo re: Sick Leave, Funeral/Bereavement Leave, and Parental Leave

Civil Service Statute and Rules
Section 250.120 - Seniority

Policy and Rules for Civil Service Staff
Rule 11.07 - Family and Medical Leave
Rule 11.10 - Leave Without Pay/Extension of Certain Benefits Coverage
Rule 10.01 - Sick Leave Usage and Approval

Campus Policies

Urbana: Campus Administrative Manual (CAM) | Academic Staff Handbook
Chicago: Human Resources Policies and Procedures
Springfield: Academic Staff Handbook


Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 10-October-2012 | ID: 4258