Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Eligibility for FMLA

FMLA Eligible faculty and staff may receive up to 480 hours of protected leave time during any 52 week period. Family and Medical Leave is "protected time," which means that eligible faculty or staff members on leave will not lose their position, suffer a demotion, or decrease in salary by using Family and Medical Leave. The university will require staff members to use accrued paid time while on an approved Family and Medical Leave. Faculty members will continue to be paid in accordance with their contract while on an approved Family and Medical Leave.

Eligible Reason for Using FMLA

  • The birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • Care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • Take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health conditions .
Exigency Leave, stemming from the call to active duty of an employee's family member who is in the Armed Forces.
  • Eligible employees must be provided with up to 26 weeks (1,040 hours) of unpaid leave each year for caregiver of the military service member.
  • Caregiver Leave, which allows an employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or 'next of kin' to care for family members who are military service members with a serious illness or injury.

Important Restrictions

The law requires only unpaid leave; depending on the circumstances, the leave may be paid. FMLA does not apply to give leave to care for siblings, aunts, uncles, or in-laws. FMLA applies only to serious health conditions

Using FMLA

A faculty or staff member does not need to use this leave entitlement all at once. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Faculty and staff members must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment, as not to unduly disrupt the University's operations.

Human Resources may now contact an employee's health care provider directly to authenticate or clarify information given in the certification form. The contact may only be made by the designated Human Resources Representative; the employee's direct supervisor may not contact the faculty or staff member's health care provider. The requested information may not be beyond what is requested on the certification form.

The University has five business days after the faculty or staff members provides notice of leave (or unforeseen leave, after leave begins) to request certification from the employee.


  • 'Lifetime' conditions may be re-certified a minimum of every six months, or earlier if circumstances have changed (questionable continuous Monday or Friday absences, increase in time missed, etc.)
  • 'Unknown' duration conditions may be recertified a minimum of every 30 days, or earlier if circumstances have changed.

FMLA Process Steps

Steps to apply for FMLA

FMLA Policy

BU-PP 408