Academic Personnel

FMLA Frequently Asked Questions

Effective January 1, 2016, how does UW  calculate leave availability using the “rolling” 12-month period?

A “rolling” 12-month period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. Under the ‘‘rolling’’ 12-month period, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be the balance of the 12 weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.

Example 1: Michael requests three weeks of FMLA leave to begin on July 31.

The employer looks back 12 months (from July 31st back to the previous August 1st) to see if any FMLA leave had been used. Michael had not taken any previous FMLA leave, so he is entitled to the three weeks he requested and has nine more weeks available until the next July 30.

Example 2: Patricia requests two weeks of FMLA leave to begin on November 1.

The employer looks back 12 months (from November 1st back to the previous November 2) and sees that Patricia had taken four weeks of FMLA leave beginning January 1, four weeks beginning March 1, and three weeks beginning June 1st. Patricia has taken 11 weeks of FMLA leave in the 12-month period and only has one week of FMLA-protected leave available. After Patricia takes the one week in November, she can next take FMLA leave beginning January 2nd as the days of her previous January leave “roll off” the leave year.

Who is eligible for FMLA leave?

In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, a UW employee must have at least 12 months of cumulative state service, and have worked for the state at least 1250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the date the FMLA would begin. Washington State employment includes University of Washington employment.

How do I request FMLA leave?

Contact your unit administrator for guidance about the leave request process.

Where can I find the FMLA request forms?

All of the forms are on the FMLA page.

What is the difference between FMLA and paid sick leave?

FMLA offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave and benefits continuation for eligible employees to, among other things, care for their own or a family member’s serious health condition. Paid sick leave is a benefit provided by the University for FMLA-qualifying reasons for all faculty, academic staff and librarians with active paid appointments. FMLA and paid sick leave usually run concurrently.

What if I exhaust my FMLA and paid sick leave, but need more time off?

You may apply for a leave of absence without pay.

 What if I am not able to return to full duty following my leave of absence?

You may request reasonable accommodation(s) to assist you in your return to work by contacting the Disability Services Office.

Additional Resources