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. Employees who accrue sick or annual leave may be able to use their available leave to cover all or part of their salary during FMLA-protected leave. Nine-month faculty should consult the Faculty Handbook for additional information on paid 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 Consecutive/Continuous or Intermittent basis (see section below for Reporting Time Off), subject to certain conditions and requirements outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Policy. The following illustration shows the standard FMLA process:
Request Family and Medical Leave
Click here to request Family and Medical Leave.
How to request leave?
Effective May 29, 2022, all new leave requests and existing, approved FMLA cases will be managed through the AbsenceSoft Leave Management System, known as AbsenceTracker. AbsenceTracker will be available via single sign-on in myBama. To access AbsenceTracker, employees should login with myBama username and password, navigate to the Employee tab and select the AbsenceTracker logo to access your Employee Self-Service (ESS) Dashboard.
When to request leave?
If the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must give 30 days advance written notice. If the need for leave is unforeseen, the employee should 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. Supervisors may report an employee’s need for leave if the supervisor has enough information about the reason for the employee’s absence from work.
AbsenceTracker User Guides
The following instructional guides and videos are available to assist employees and supervisors when using AbsenceTracker as of May 29:
|How-To Topic||Reference Guides||Videos|
|Requesting a New Leave||View Step-by-Step Instructions (PDF)||Watch Recording|
|Requesting a New Accommodation||View Step-by-Step Instructions (PDF)||Watch Recording|
|Submitting an Intermittent Time Off Request||View Step-by-Step Instructions (PDF)||Watch Recording|
|Supervisor Requesting Leave for an Employee||View Step-by-Step Instructions (PDF)||Watch Recording|
|Uploading Attachments and Case Notes||View Step-by-Step Instructions (PDF)||Watch Recording|
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.
Reporting Time Off while On Leave
Effective May 29, 2022, tracking total hours off work for all approved Family and Medical Leave cases will be managed in AbsenceTracker.
- For Consecutive/Continuous leaves, AbsenceTracker will automatically fill in approved time off work. No employee action is required.
- For each Intermittent leave from work, an employee and/or supervisor must submit an Intermittent Time Off Requests (ITOR) in the AbsenceTracker Employee Self-Service (ESS) portal by the end of each pay period.
Any time off reported in AbsenceTracker will automatically fill in the leave report in myBama for monthly employees OR the timesheet in UA e-Time for biweekly employees with the appropriate pay codes (e.g., FMLA-Annual, FMLA-Sick, FMLA-Comp, FMLA-Parental, or FMLA-Unpaid). Employees, supervisors and/or timekeepers will still be required to submit the completed timesheet in UA e-Time or a monthly leave report in myBama each pay period.
Special Note for Monthly Employee on Unpaid Leave: If some or all of an employee’s approved FMLA leave will be unpaid, then the department must submit an ePA to remove the employee from payroll until they return from leave.
Communication with Supervisors
- For Consecutive/Continuous leaves, all employees are required to communicate with their supervisor at least once every 30 days about their current leave status and intent to return to work.
- For Intermittent leaves, employees should follow one’s supervisor’s usual and customary notice call-in procedures for reporting an absence.
Family and Medical Leave Policy and Procedures
The Benefits Office in the Department of Human Resources has been designated to administer all FMLA requests. Employees should click on the appropriate link below and follow the outlined procedures. Once approved for FMLA, employees should report any changes in leave status to their designated FML Administrator. Contact the HR Service Center at email@example.com or (205) 348-7732 with any questions.
Additional Family and Medical Leave Resources
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