Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) FAQ’s

  1. What is the purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
    1. The Act is a Federal law administered and enforced by The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and was created to protect working Americans from loss of employment and benefits while off for their own serious illness or injury or that of an eligible family member. The Act offers protection for up to 12 work weeks for qualified employees and an additional 4 weeks for those seeking FML coverage for childbirth.
  2. I have more than enough leave to cover my absence, why do I need to take FML?
    1. The number of annual or sick leave hours has no bearing on whether FML should be used. It is the requirement of the WHD that all covered employers notify eligible employees of their rights. If UTHSC-HR willfully violates the FML notification requirement, it would be in direct violation of the FMLA and with the WHD and penalties could follow.
    2. All accrued leave will be used concurrently with any FML leave.
  3. Does tenured faculty need to use FML?
    1. Tenure status has no bearing on whether FML should be used. It is the requirement of the WHD that all covered employers notify eligible employees of their rights. If UTHSC-HR willfully violates the FML notification requirement, it would be in direct violation of the FMLA and with the WHD and penalties could follow.
    2. Tenured and/or non-tenured faculty are not automatically terminated if they use more time than allotted by the FMLA (12 weeks). Each FML case is handled individually and HR works with each department to provide a fair resolution for all parties involved.
  4. What happens if I refuse FML?
    1. An employee is not required to apply or request FML. However, if the employees leave falls into a qualifying FML category, the leave can be designated and coded as FML. UTHSC-HR encourages all employees to take advantage of this benefit and protection.
  5. Who would be the department contact if the need for FML arises?
    1. Your immediate supervisor or business manager are the contacts for FML requests. HR can always be contacted if no department designee is available or to have questions answered.

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For additional information regarding the FMLA and forms, visit theHuman Resources FMLA website or contact HR Benefits at 448-5601.