Family and Medical Leave

Purpose

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job/benefits protected leave in a rolling 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons: 

  • for the birth and care of the eligible employee’s child
  • for the placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) with a serious health condition 
    care for the employee’s own serious medical condition; or 
  • for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the armed forces. 
  • up to 26 weeks of leave during any single rolling 12-month period if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin caring for a covered military service member or veteran recovering from an injury or illness suffered while on active duty in the armed forces, that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service, or that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Eligibility

Eligibility starts after 12 months of employment with the University of Idaho and the employee has worked at least 1250 hours within the last 12 months.

Applying

Send the completed application and the certification form (both available below) to Benefit Services within 30 days before FML is to begin, or when the need for leave is foreseeable.

Compensation

FMLA is an unpaid leave; however, refer to the Faculty Staff Handbook 3710 for sick, annual and other paid leave policies.

Forms

Policy and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if both parents are employed by the University and want to take care of the newborn baby?

    The 12 weeks must be shared between the parents.

  • I have plenty of sick leave; why would I want to apply for FMLA which is an unpaid leave?

    You want to apply for FMLA because it provides protection to maintain your benefits as well as job restoration upon your return for leave. Please note: you may continue to use your sick leave for wage replacement.

  • I’m out on leave for a Workers’ Comp injury; aren’t my benefits and job protected already?

    No, you would still need to apply for FMLA for benefit and job protection.

  • I’m applying for Short Term Disability; aren’t my benefits and job protected already?

    No, you would still need to apply for FMLA for benefit and job protection.

  • I have sick and annual leave; can I use it while on FMLA?

    See FSH 3710, L-2: "… when the absence also qualifies for the use of sick leave, if available, sick leave must be used first in conjunction with family medical leave before any period of unpaid absence. Once sick leave has been exhausted or when the type of absence does not qualify for the use of sick leave, the entire absence or remainder of the approved family medical leave will be unpaid, unless the employee chooses to use any combination of compensatory time, annual leave, or shared leave (if eligible; K). [rev. 2-08] “

  • I am Academic Faculty spread pay; do I need to worry about applying for FMLA if I plan to take my leave during the summer?

    No, the only time you would need to apply would be if you were planning on taking your leave during the actual Academic year, when classes are in session.

  • How is FMLA tracked?

    When on approved FMLA, you would use the FMLA time entry codes for the hours that you are on FMLA.

  • Can I take FMLA intermittently?

    Yes, if approved, you would use the FMLA web time entry codes only on the days or hours you are absent for the condition or reason as approved by the Benefit Specialist. (For example, if you were approved Intermittent FMLA to care for your spouse’s serious medical condition, you would not be able to claim FMLA hours if you missed 2 days of work due to having a cold.)

  • I currently have an ADA accommodation with a flex schedule. If I am unable to fulfill the flex schedule, can I apply for FMLA?

    Yes

  • Can the University place me on FMLA?

    Yes, if they have reason to believe that your leave may qualify as FMLA, they can notify you in writing that you meet the eligibility criteria and you would need to provide the Medical Certification to support FMLA within 15 days from receipt of the letter.

  • Who is considered an immediate family member?

    The University has defined an “immediate family member” as your spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, and these same relationships of a spouse, by marriage, adoption, or foster arrangement. See FSH 3710, A-3 for definition of immediate family member.

  • What if my supervisor won’t sign the FMLA form?

    Your supervisor’s signature is not required. The signature allows the supervisor to acknowledge that you are going to be applying for FMLA which may result in an approved leave. Benefit Services actually approves or denies the leave based on the information received and whether or not you are eligible.

  • Can someone else complete the FMLA forms on my behalf?

    Yes, if you are unable to complete the FMLA application, your supervisor or family member can complete them for you.