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 section below for Reporting Time for Intermittent or Continuous Leave), subject to certain conditions and requirements outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Policy. The following illustration shows the standard FMLA process:
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 email@example.com 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.
Family and Medical Leave FAQs
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.
- The birth of a son or daughter and bonding with the newborn child,
- The placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care, and bonding with the newly-placed child, and
- The care of a parent with a serious health condition.
It’s important to note that this 12 workweek limit only applies to the three FMLA-qualifying reasons listed above. One spouse may still request leave for their own serious health condition (i.e., recovery period following birth of a child) and this will not count against the combined 12 workweeks limit for both spouses. For pregnancy, the Benefits Office typically approves a recovery period of 6-8 workweeks depending on medical documentation, followed by 4-6 workweeks of bonding leave. For example, if the pregnant spouse is approved for 6 workweeks of recovery AND 6 workweeks of bonding leave then the other spouse would still be eligible to request 6 workweeks of bonding leave (12 - 6 = 6 workweeks remaining).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Some serious health conditions may also qualify as a covered disability under the ADA for which the University would, absent undue hardship, provide a qualified employee a reasonable accommodation. If you have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and prevents you from returning to work, or if you believe a reasonable accommodation is needed in order to resume your normal job duties and/or perform essential job functions, contact the HR ADA Coordinator at 205-348-7733 prior to your expected return date. More information about reasonable accommodations can be found on the Human Resources website ADA page.
Pregnancy Recovery Leave: All regular full-time and part-time staff employees who do not qualify for a leave under the Family and Medical Leave (FML) Policy or who have exhausted their 12 weeks of available FML entitlement are eligible for up to eight continuous weeks of Pregnancy Recovery Leave (PRL) to recover from a childbirth, false pregnancy, miscarriage, or other pregnancy-related medical events. Only employees who require leave from work for a medical reason related to recovery from their own pregnancy-related event are eligible. PRL is not available for purposes of bonding.
Faculty Paid Leave: Faculty employees should consult the Faculty Handbook for additional information regarding paid leave(s).
Long Term Disability Options: Additionally, if you are not able to return to work, we recommend that you fully explore all benefit options such as the University-paid long term disability insurance through The Standard or disability retirement from TRS. For more information about these benefits, call the HR Service Center at 205-348-7732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Unpaid Leaves and Employee Benefits: If you exhaust all FMLA hours and remain off work on any other approved, unpaid leave (e.g., ADA leave), you may be eligible to continue certain insurance benefits (medical, dental, vision, health FSA) through COBRA. All other employee-paid benefits including Voluntary Life, Voluntary AD&D, STD, LifeLock, etc. will be cancelled after FMLA is exhausted.
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.
Reporting Time for Intermittent Leave
- Intermittent FML Leave Time Sheet – Exempt
- Intermittent FML Leave Time Sheet – Non-Exempt
Reporting Time for Continuous Leave
Exempt (Monthly Paid) Employee: You should indicate use of accrued paid annual leave or sick leave in the online leave reporting system in myBama under Employee Services. If some or all of your approved FMLA leave will be unpaid then your department should submit an ePA to remove you from payroll until you return to work. You are required to communicate with your supervisor to track total FML hours used by reporting at least once every 30 days about your current leave status and intent to return to work.
Non-Exempt (Biweekly Paid) Employee: You should indicate use of accrued paid leave in eTime using the appropriate pay codes (e.g., FMLA-Annual Leave, FMLA-Sick, FMLA-Comp or FMLA-Unpaid). You are required to communicate with your supervisor to track total FML hours used by reporting at least once every 30 days about your current leave status and intent to return to work.
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