Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The intent of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is to allow employees to meet medical and family care needs while still maintaining job and economic security.
FMLA is a Federal law requiring employers, including USF, to provide up to 12 weeks or 480 hours of job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons to individuals who have been employed at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutively) by the university and who have worked at USF for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the first day of the leave. At the university, Administration, Faculty, Staff, and Temporary employees meeting these criteria are eligible. FMLA leave may be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis.
Qualifying reasons for FMLA leave include:
Adoption of a child or children, birth of a child or children, or placement of a foster child or children
An employee’s own serious health condition
Care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, and parent) with a serious health condition
Care for a family member or next of kin relative injured or ill as a result of serving as an active duty service member (up to 26 weeks can be approved for this qualifying reason)
To attend to qualifying exigencies related to an immediate family member being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves
FMLA leaves of absence are tracked on a fiscal year basis (July 1 – June 30). An employee who has a chronic serious health condition that cannot be resolved within a fiscal year time period must recertify the FMLA entitlement for the following fiscal year by submitting updated medical certification or documentation.
Employees requesting intermittent (episodic) use of FMLA leave must make reasonable efforts to schedule the leave to minimize disruption of the department’s functioning.
The maximum entitlement of intermittent FMLA hours is based on the eligible employee’s full time equivalency or FTE. A Temporary employee, working a variable schedule, is granted the average number of hours worked per week for the 12 weeks preceding the leave.
Two employees who are married and work for the university are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of FMLA leave to care for a child following birth or placement for adoption or foster care.
Medical documentation is maintained in a confidential file, separate from an employee’s personnel file, secured to the extent permissible under law.
FMLA may have interactions with other laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Workers’ Compensation. Employee Relations administers FMLA compliance at the university and assists employees and departments with the process.
Pay and Benefits
FMLA does not entitle an employee to leave with pay. However, accrued and unused leave, such as annual, sick, or other compensatory leave, must be used to provide continuation of pay and benefits during an FMLA-designated leave. If an employee does not have accrued leave or the leave balances are depleted during the FMLA leave, the remainder of the FMLA-designated leave will be unpaid. If eligible, an employee may use Sick Leave Pool hours or donated sick leave to remain in a paid status. If an employee on an approved FMLA leave of absence has no paid leave to cover the time, either Payroll or the campus Human Resources office should be contacted to make arrangements to pay the employee portion of applicable insurance premiums so that coverage will stay in effect. If you need to request FMLA leave or are a supervisor looking for more information, refer to the links below or contact the appropriate Human Resources office at:
USF Sarasota-Manatee: (941) 359-4224
USF St. Petersburg: (727) 873-4775
USF Tampa: (813) 974-5718 Michelle Suttle or (813) 974-2970 Human Resources
Click on the links in the right column under FIND IT for additional information, procedures, forms, USF Regulations and USF System Policies reguarding these topics.
Have a Question? Please contact:
Michelle Suttle - Tampa Campus 813-974-5718
Stacy Eyer - Sarasota-Manatee 941-359-4775
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