Human Resources & Diversity
Family & Medical Leave Act
FEDERAL (FMLA) and WISCONSIN (WFMLA)
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACTS
The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) provide you with the right to take job-protected leave with continued medical benefits when you need time off from work to care for yourself or a family member who is seriously ill, to care for a newborn or newly adopted child or to attend to the affairs of a family member who is called to active duty in the military.
As a University of Wisconsin employee, you may be governed by more generous leave rules through University Policy Guidelines, State Administrative Code, or applicable collective bargaining agreement. Leave taken for FMLA-eligible reasons, must run concurrently under FMLA, WFMLA and other leave available to university employees. Thus, the leave available under the various provisions is exhausted simultaneously.
WFMLA: You are allowed up to ten workweeks per year of unpaid job-protected leave with continued medical benefits as follows:
- Up to six weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, to begin within 16 weeks of the birth or placement of that child. No more than one six-week period per child.
- Up to two weeks of unpaid leave for the care of a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition. Your employer may require certification from a health care provider.
- Up to two weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for your own serious health condition that makes you unable to perform your duties. Your employer may require certification from a health care provider.
- You must have worked for the State for more than 52 consecutive weeks.
- You must have worked for the State for at least 1,000 hours during the 52-week period preceding beginning of the leave. You may include vacation, sick leave and other paid leave taken to count to the minimum 1,000 hours.
FMLA: You are allowed up to 12 workweeks per year of unpaid job-protected leave with continued medical benefits for any combination of following reasons:
- To care for your child after birth, adoption or foster care placement;
- To care for your spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition; or
- To seek treatment for your serious health condition.
- To take a leave due to any qualify exigency that arises because you have an eligible family member (spouse, son, daughter or parent) that is called to active duty or is on active duty status in support of a military contingency operation.
- You must have worked for the State for at least 12 months (need not be consecutive).
- You must have worked for the State for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period preceding the beginning of the leave. Count only actual hours worked.
SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION:
A serious health condition is defined as a disabling illness, injury or impairment or a physical or mental condition involving inpatient care or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider. The condition may cause episodic periods of incapacity, such as chemotherapy treatment requiring several days at a time off work or periodic bouts with a chronic condition such as asthma that makes you unable to perform your job duties.
ADVANCE NOTICE AND MEDICAL CERTIFICATION:
The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Taking of leave may be denied if requirements are not met. The employee ordinarily must provide 30 days advance notice when the leave is "foreseeable." An employer may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition, and may require second or third opinions (at the employer's expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work.
JOB PROTECTION AND BENEFITS:
Under both acts, your employer will return you to the same position or an equivalent position after the end of the leave with no loss in pay, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment. Exception: If you were hired for a specific term or project and the employment term or project ended prior to leave expiring, you have no re-employment rights.
Under both acts, your employer must maintain your group health coverage under the same conditions as existed prior to the leave. You must continue to pay the employee's share, if any, of the health insurance premium. If you do not return from leave, or terminate your employment within 30 days of returning, your employer may recover the health insurance premiums paid during the leave.
For more information, please contact Human Resources & Diversity, Hyer Hall 330, or call (262) 472-1024. You may also visit the UW-System Employee Benefits website regarding this subject: http://www.uwsa.edu/hr/benefits/leave/fmla.htm