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Family and Medical Leave Act

Family and Medical Leave Act (FML) is unpaid leave which provides job protection and insurance premium sharing for eligible employees for serious medical conditions.

Overview

FML provides up to 12 weeks of leave, or 26 weeks for military caregiver leave, while restoring you to the same or equivalent position and continuing your premium sharing. In order to receive FML, you must be employed for at least 12 months by the State of Texas. You must also have worked at least 1,250 hours during the year before the beginning of your leave.

To use FML you must meet one of the following conditions:

*For coverage under FML for a spouse, a copy of the marriage certificate or declaration of informal marriage will be required.

Duration

You may use up to a total of 12 weeks (or 480 hours) of FML during a 12-month period, intermittently or consecutively, excluding weekends. The 12-week period begins on the date that the employee's Family and Medical Leave begins. For Military Caregiver Leave, the maximum award of time is up to 26 weeks within a single 12-month period.

Using FML

You may use up to 12 weeks, or 26 weeks for military related FML a year depending on the situation and the documentation you provide. To begin using the leave, you or your department must contact the HRS- Leave Management office immediately whenever the possible need for this leave exists. You will receive a packet in the mail at your home address. You will need to turn in the Request for Family and Medical Leave [pdf] and one of the forms from the list below indicating the reason you are needing the leave:

You then have 15 calendar days to return it to the HRS- Leave Management office. If you do not submit completed documents by the deadline, your FML request is subject to denial. If denied, you will be notified denied in writing and your department will also be notified. If you submit incomplete documents within the 15 days, HRS- Leave Management will notify you in writing why the documentation is insufficient and you will have seven days to correct it. If you do not correct it within seven days, your request will be denied in writing and your department will be notified.

If you are approved for intermittent FML, you and your department will be notified of the schedule of absences your doctor licensed healthcare provider has certified, for example, four hours a day once a week. If you are absent more than your certification allows, your department will notify HRS- Leave Management and we will contact you to obtain an updated certification from your licensed healthcare provider.

Employees on intermittent FML are required to work with their supervisors to schedule absences at times when it is least disruptive to the office whenever possible. This includes providing up to 30 days notice of the need for leave when foreseeable. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, then you are required to follow your department’s call in procedure to notify them of your need to be absent. If unable to provide notice following the call in procedure due to medical necessity, you are required to notify them as soon as practicable but no later than two days after the absence begins. Please note, calling HRS-Leave Management does not constitute notice to your department.

In order to return from continuous FML for your own serious health condition, you must provide a written return to work release to your supervisor. If you do not provide this, your department will send you home and you will remain on leave until you obtain it. If your return to work release includes work limitations or restrictions, you must provide it to your supervisor in advance of your return. Medically related work limitations or restrictions will be reviewed, in advance of your return to work, with Human Resources. If appropriate, HR will also involve the ADA Coordinator in the review. If your department, in consultation with HR and the ADA Coordinator, determines that they cannot adjust your work duties or provide a reasonable accommodation, you will be notified by your supervisor, or, when appropriate, the ADA Coordinator, and you must remain on leave for the duration of your limitations or until your FML exhausts, whichever is earliest. When you return from FML, you or your department must tell HRS-Leave Management you have returned so any unused hours can be returned.

While you are on leave for FML, all accrued and available leave time must run concurrently. This includes sick leave, vacation, floating holidays, federal compensatory time (overtime) and state compensatory time. If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits you may elect but are not required to use your other leave. However, once you make this election, you must exhaust all accrued and available leave before being eligible for lost wages from workers’ compensation insurance.

An employee's incapacity due to pregnancy, for purposes of using sick leave, means inability to perform duties caused or contributed to pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or recovery. The employee seeking to use sick leave to cover the impairment incapacity must provide a licensed practitioner's certification that the incapacity causes the employee to be unable to work. Sick leave may not be used in conjunction with Parental Leave or Family and Medical Leave once an employee has recovered from the temporary incapacity related to pregnancy. Usually, what this means is that you may use sick leave after the birth of a baby for up to six weeks for vaginal delivery or up to eight weeks for cesarean delivery. If you have serious complications, then sick leave may be used for the time period to recover from the incapacity.

Once accrued and available leave is exhausted, you will be placed on Leave Without Pay for the remainder of the 12 or 26 weeks of FML. The university will pay your individual premium sharing while you are on FML. Premium sharing is the amount of money that the university and the state contribute to your individual insurance coverage. However, you will be responsible for paying the additional insurance costs that you normally have deducted from your paychecks (i.e., dependent coverage, long-term disability insurance, etc.).

Note: The electronic timesheet system does not support Comp-FML or OT-FML. Employees on FML wishing to use federal or state compensatory time should record their hours under Comp or OT and include a note on their timesheets indicating “Comp-FML” or “OT-FML.” Your department will then need to manually deduct the FML hours from your balance.

For timesheet questions, please call 471-HRSC (4772).

Manager Responsibilities

UT AUSTIN has responsibilities in complying with FML. A manager or HR Contact should inform HRS-Leave Management when any of the following occurs:

When you notify HRS-Leave Management, they will send a packet of forms and FML Rights and Responsibilities Notice to the employee’s home address. HRS-Leave Management will receive the confidential information directly and determine whether it is FML qualifying. If you receive FML forms in your office, please do not read them and just forward the originals directly to HRS-Leave Management for processing; these forms should not be put in the personnel file. Once FML is awarded, both you and the employee will receive a notice informing you of the dates of FML coverage.