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3.1.12 Federal Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave Act 

Eligible employees of Illinois State University may take job-protected leave for specific family and medical reasons. All approved requests for Extended Sick Leave will count toward the FMLA limit if the employee qualifies for FMLA-protected leave. Approved Worker's Compensation claims which result in time away from work will run concurrently with FMLA-protected leave provided the condition meets the definition of a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA. If Illinois State University becomes aware of an absence that is FMLA-qualifying, the employer reserves the right to designate such time as FMLA. All FMLA leave must be used for the designated leave purpose. 


To be eligible for FMLA-protected leave, an employee must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Has worked for Illinois State University for at least 12 months. 
  2. Has worked at least 1,000 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the requested start date of leave. 

Leave Entitlement: Health Condition or Qualifying Exigency 

A leave may be granted for any one, or more, of the following reasons: 

  1. The birth of a child or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; 
  2. To care for a spouse, registered domestic partner (see policy 3.1.13), child, or parent who has a serious health condition. 
  3. For the employee's own serious health condition which prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of his or her job; 
  4. For a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, registered domestic partner (see policy 3.1.13), son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty status.

An employee requesting leave for any of these reasons may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of FMLA-protected leave in a rolling 12-month period. Availability of FMLA-protected leave time is calculated by looking 12 months back from the date of requested date of leave, adding up FMLA-protected leave time used during that period, and subtracting this amount from the 12-week allotment.  Leave may be requested to run continuously or intermittently. 

Leave Entitlement: Military Caregiver Leave 

An employee may also request leave to care for a covered service member.  Employees requesting leave for this reason may be eligible for up to 26 weeks of FMLA protected leave in a single 12-month period beginning the day the employee starts taking leave for this reason. Eligible employees will be the spouse, registered domestic partner (see policy 3.1.13), son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the covered service member.  Eligible employees are limited to a combined total of 26 weeks for any FMLA qualifying reason in the 12-month period. Leave may be requested to run continuously or intermittently. 

Use of Payable Benefit Time and Continuation of Payroll Deductions

Employees are required to use benefit time while on an FMLA-protected leave. During that time that the employee remains in a paid status with Illinois State University, the employee will continue to accrue sick, and if applicable, vacation time as well as have normal payroll deductions for insurance and other benefits.  If the leave continues beyond the exhaustion of all available benefit time, the employee will be placed in an unpaid status, benefit accruals will cease, and the employee will be direct billed by the State of Illinois for insurance premiums. Failure to submit payment to the State of Illinois for premiums may result in cancellation of coverage. 

Advance Notice 

An employee must provide at least 30 days notice to his or her immediate supervisor and to Human Resources Benefit Services regarding the need for FMLA-protected leave.  If 30 days notice is not possible, then notification must be as soon as possible. Employees must continue to follow departmental call-in procedures until an approval is received from Human Resources for continuous leaves. Intermittent leaves require continuous use of the departmental call-in procedure as described on the application materials. 

Notification of Leave Status and Required Documentation

Human Resources will respond to an employee's request for FMLA-protected leave with a Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities within five business days of the initial request for leave or when Human Resources becomes aware that the employee will require leave. 

The employee will have 15 calendar days, absent extenuating circumstances, from the date of the leave request or the start date of the leave, whichever is later, to return any required certification/documentation of reason for leave to Human Resources. The employee is responsible for any cost associated with the completion of the certification. If the certification returned is incomplete or insufficient, the employee will be given seven calendar days to return an updated certification.  Failure to provide certification may result in the denial of the leave request. 

Recertification of the need for leave may be requested no more frequently than every 30 days unless circumstances have changed significantly, information casting doubt on need for leave is received, or an extension of leave is requested. 

Leave taken to bond with a newborn child or a child placed for adoption or foster care does not require medical certification.  Human Resources will require documentation of relationship status, including birth certificate or legal documentation referencing placement of child for adoption or foster care. 

Protection of your Job and Benefits

An employee is entitled to continuation of insurance coverage during FMLA-protected leave on the same terms as if he or she had continued to work. Method of payment for insurance premiums will be determined based upon the employee's payroll status as referenced in section "Use of Payable Time." 

When an employee returns from FMLA-protected leave, he or she will be restored to his or her original or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms of employment. The use of FMLA-protected leave will not cause an employee to lose any employment benefit that accrued prior tot he start of leave. 

Intent to Return to Work

Human Resources may require the employee on FMLA-protected leave to periodically report on the employee's status and intent to return to work. 

For Additional Information and to Apply for FMLA-Protected Leave

For more information or application and certification materials, please visit Human Resources in the Nelson Smith Building, Room 101 or contact us at 438-8311. 

Your Rights

If you feel your rights have been denied, please forward your appeal to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. 

Policy Owner: Human Resources

Contact: Human Resources (309-438-8311)

Revised on: 01/2022

2023-01-11T08:30:47.46012-08:00 2023