The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees at The University of Alabama to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of applicable insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to twelve (12) work weeks of leave in a rolling 12-month period for the following qualifying reasons:
- An employee’s serious health condition,
- A serious health condition of the employee’s spouse, parent, or child,
- Bonding with the employee’s newborn child or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care,
- Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, parent, or child is on active duty, or
- Military caregiver leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness for up to twenty-six (26) work weeks
Family and Medical Leave may be taken on a Continuous or Intermittent basis (see Intermittent Leave section below), subject to certain conditions and requirements outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Policy.
COVID-19 UPDATES: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act made temporary, but important changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act related to qualified need for childcare during a public health emergency. Please review the FAQs and more information below.
The Benefits Office has been designated to coordinate all FMLA requests. Employees should click on the appropriate link below and follow the outlined procedures. If you requested and were approved for FMLA, you should report any changes in your leave to the FML Administrator. Please contact the HR Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 348-7732 with any questions.
Family and Medical Leave Policy and Procedures
- Family and Medical Leave Policy
- Family and Medical Leave Procedures
- Family and Medical Leave Request Form
Timeline: When the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must give 30 days advance written notice, if practicable. If the need for leave is unforeseen, the employee must provide such notice as is practical, which means following one’s supervisor’s usual and customary notice call-in procedures for reporting an absence. If the department does not have call-in procedures, the leave should be reported as soon as possible and practical within two business days, unless unusual circumstances exist.
After submitting the Family and Medical Leave Request Form for a leave of absence due to one of the qualifying reasons above, employees will receive two important notifications from the FML Administrator via email or certified mail including:
- Notice of Eligibility: The Notice of Eligibility indicates if the employee is eligible or not eligible for FMLA leave and explains that employee’s Rights and Responsibilities related to FMLA.
- Final Designation Notice: After an employee completes any required documentation (e.g., Health Care Provider Certification forms), they will receive a Final Designation Notice which indicates if their request for FML leave has been approved, not approved or if additional information is needed in order to make a final determination.
Pregnancy Exception: If an employee is requesting leave for birth of a child, two separate applications may need to be completed: 1) for the employee’s own serious health condition and 2) for bonding with the newborn child, as such leaves are administered separately. Regular full-time and part-time staff employees who do not qualify for FMLA, but need a leave of absence to recover from childbirth, should submit a Pregnancy Recovery Leave Request form. Faculty employees should consult the Faculty Handbook for additional information regarding maternity leave.
Health Care Provider Certification Forms
- Certification for an Employee’s Serious Health Condition
- Certification for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
- Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Current Service Member (for Military Family Leave)
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Veteran (for Military Family Leave)
Timeline: Employees should make a good-faith effort to return the Health Care Provider Certification form within 15 days of receipt of the Notice of Eligibility, if practicable. Some providers may take longer to complete the form, so you should notify the FML Administrator if additional time is required. An employee’s leave request may be delayed until the Health Care Provider Certification form is received by the Benefits Office; otherwise the application will be denied.
- Intermittent FML Leave Time Sheet – Exempt
- Intermittent FML Leave Time Sheet – Non-Exempt
For additional information regarding your rights and responsibilities under FMLA, visit The Department of Labor’s website or review the Department of Labor’s Workplace Poster. You can also access the comprehensive Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 19, 2020 and requires The University of Alabama to provide employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The FFCRA is effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and any unused benefits will not be carried over to next year.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”)
I. Leave for Self-Care Reasons: Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is 1) subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order, 2) advised to self-quarantined by a health care provider, and/or 3) experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
II. Leave for Family/Childcare Reasons: Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work or telework because of a need 4) to care for an individual subject to quarantine/isolation, or 5) to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Expanded Family Medical Leave (“EFML”)
Employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave during a rolling 12-month period under the FMLA as discussed above which includes expanded family medical leave. EFML is only available when an employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
- Who is eligible? Employees are eligible for EFML if they have been employed by UA for at least 30 calendar days.
- Is the leave paid? Yes. The first 10 days are unpaid and the remaining 10 weeks are paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day.
- What are the leave types? Employees may request Continuous or Intermittent EFML. For Intermittent EFML, hours may be taken in no less than one-hour increments. Employees will be required to complete the Intermittent Leave Time Sheets linked above to document hours taken.
- Are there any exclusions? Yes, there is a broad exemption for employees working as “health care providers” or “emergency responders.” Refer to Frequently Asked Questions #56 and #57 for a definition of “health care provider” and “emergency responder” according to the Department of Labor. All employees working for the following departments are designated as “health care providers” or “emergency responders” and are therefore exempt from receiving EFML: College of Community Health Sciences, Student Health Center, Brewer-Porch Children’s Center, Psychology Clinic, RISE, Speech and Hearing Center, Capstone Village Retirement, Women and Gender Resource Center, Counseling Center, Collegiate Recovery, The University of Alabama Police Department, Working on Womanhood (WOW) Program, Youth Services Institute (YSI), Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, and Autism Clinic.
FFCRA Required Documentation
The Benefits Office requires a detailed Employee Statement to be submitted prior to approving an employee’s request for leave under either EPSL and/or EFML. Your assigned Benefits Specialist will respond to each request in approximately five business days via email with additional details. Links to the DocuSign forms are included below. If an employee requests EPSL and EFML for childcare reasons, the same Employee Statement form will be sufficient for both. For additional questions, contact the HR Service Center at (205) 348-7732 or email email@example.com.
- Employee Statement Form for Self or Family Quarantine/Isolation Reasons (EPSL Only)
- Employee Statement Form for Childcare Reasons (EPSL and/or EFML)