Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was established by The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and was created to protect qualified employees from the loss of employment and benefits while off for their own illness or injury or that of an eligible family member. FMLA is designed to help qualified employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable leave for up to 12 workweeks and an additional 4 weeks for childbirth. The Act also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of the employer.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

To be eligible for Family Medical Leave (FML), the employee must have been employed for 1 year and have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 month period prior to the first day of leave.

Basic Leave Entitlement

Eligible employees are granted up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition
  • to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  • for the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee (Tennessee State law allows 16 weeks of FML for this purpose)

The need for leave must be certified by completing a medical certification.

Military Family Leave Entitlements

Eligible employees are granted up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Qualifying emergencies resulting from an employee's spouse, child, or parent being called to active duty or called to active duty status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of contingency operation

Eligible employees are granted up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To care for a covered service member currently in the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty.

The need for leave must be certified by completing a Medical Certification.

Procedure

  1. A FML request form should be signed by the employee and department and forwarded to the Benefits office. This form may be submitted by fax, email, or delivered in person. A request for FML should be made 30 days in advance when possible. Requests received after an employee has returned to work for more than 48 hours will be denied.
  2. FML requests are processed in the Benefits office within 48 hours of their receipt. Employees are sent an acknowledgment of their request and the proper medical certification by mail. Department supervisors also receive a copy of this notification.
  3. Medical certifications must be received in the Benefits office within 15 calendar days of the date of the above notice and are reviewed upon receipt. A letter of determination is mailed to the employee and a copy is forwarded to the department supervisor.
  4. Employees are required to exhaust all sick, annual, and personal leave while on approved FML before going into leave without pay status. Paid leave should run concurrently with FML and should be denoted on the employee's time sheet and entered into IRIS.

See Also » HR0338 Family and Medical Leave Policy (UT System)