Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, the faculty member may be eligible for paid medical benefits (see Faculty Sick Leave) for up to 12 weeks from the initiation of the leave when family leave is taken for purposes of caring for the employee’s newborn or newly adopted or foster child; to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, domestic partner, or parent who has a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job. To receive such benefits, a faculty member requesting family leave must notify the Office of the Provost.
- Faculty are eligible for FMLA if they have worked for the University in the prior academic year in a benefits eligible capacity.
- Faculty who are on a 9 month service period are entitled to this coverage during contracted periods.
- Faculty who are on a 12 month service period are eligible year round while in an active paid status.
Under Washington State law, a birth mother’s period of temporary pregnancy-related disability is not deducted from the 12 week FMLA leave entitlement.
The FMLA entitles an employee to return to the position from which they were on leave or to a position that is virtually identical (i.e. job titles, work location, salary, work hours etc.)
The FMLA covers an eligible employee for up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected, leave from work because of:
- The faculty member’s serious health condition
- A family member’s serious health condition
- Parental leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted or placed child.
During a leave covered by the FMLA, the University pays the employer-paid portion of health benefits coverage for up to 12 weeks. The employee is responsible for any insurance co-payments, extra premiums to cover family members, life insurance, long term disability insurance, parking fees, or other payroll deductions.
For employees whose leave extends beyond the FMLA-covered period, employer paid health benefits coverage may be continued as long as the employee is working a minimum of 5% FTE.
Employees who have exhausted sick leave and FMLA may make arrangements for continuation of health care benefits directly with the UW’s Benefits office.
Employee requests for FMLA leave are made pursuant to their unit’s normal leave request procedure. The employee should notify the supervisor that FMLA leave is being requested. Whenever possible, employees are expected to give a minimum of 30 days advance notice of the need for FMLA leave.
The employee can choose to use their paid Faculty sick leave while on FMLA leave, except for the adoption of a child or if the paid leave has already been exhausted. Any time a faculty member receives paid Faculty sick leave, FMLA runs concurrently.
Under the FMLA, the employee is guaranteed the time away from work. However, if the employee has exhausted her/his available Faculty sick leave, then her/his FMLA leave also has been exhausted.
The FMLA guarantees an employee the right to take FMLA covered leave intermittently or as part of a reduced work schedule when medically necessary.