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Family Medical Leave Act 

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an unpaid leave which provides job protection and insurance premium sharing for eligible employees for serious medical conditions. HR manages the process of assisting employees with FMLA for consistency in the administration of the leave.


Family Medical Leave provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid 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 FMLA, you must be employed for at least 12 months. You must also have worked at least 1,250 hours during the year before the beginning of your leave.


As with most leave situations, FMLA is centralized in the HR office. Centralizing FMLA provides:

  • Consistency in our administration of FMLA
  • Compliance with State & Federal guidelines, reporting etc.
  • Reduces litigation exposure
  • Ensures HIPAA compliance
  • Improves tracking – data is power!
  • Reduces complex training; lean on HR

Qualifying Reasons to use FMLA

    • Inpatient care, plus incapacity & treatment; overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment connected to inpatient care.
    • More than 3 consecutive calendar days of incapacity plus treatment. A period of incapacity that involves two or more visits to a health care provider. The first visit must occur within 7 days of the first day of the incapacity, and both visits must take place within 30 days of the first day of the incapacity.
    • Pregnancy – prenatal care
    • Chronic Condition (migraines, asthma, diabetes) requiring treatments: A chronic condition that extends over a period of time and requires periodic treatments by a health care provider.  Periodic visits are defined as at least 2 visits to a health care provider per year.  During that period, the incapacity may be episodic or recurrent rather than continuous.
    • Permanent & Long Term Conditions: A permanent or long-term incapacity due to a condition that may not respond to treatment. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider. Examples include Alzheimer’s, a severe stroke and the terminal stages of a disease.
    • Multiple treatments: Any period of absence to recover from or receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery after an accident or injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment, such as cancer (chemotherapy, radiation), severe arthritis (physical therapy) and kidney disease (dialysis).  

    Other types of Covered Leave 

    • Adoption or Foster care: To bond with a newly placed child.
    • To care for a family member: An employee must be needed to provide care for his or her spouse, son, daughter, or parent because of the family member’s serious health condition in order for the employee to take FMLA leave. An employee may be needed to provide care to the family member, for example:
      • when the family member is unable to care for his or her own medical, safety or other needs, because of the serious health condition or needs help in being transported to the doctor; or
      • to provide psychological comfort and reassurance to the family member with a serious health condition.
    • Military Leave types of leave.

    DOL Qualifying Reasons Fact Sheet

    DOL FMLA Advisor

Departmental Administration

    • Cannot count FMLA leave against the employee – ie. using FMLA covered absences as a basis for imposing a warning, suspension, discharge or other discipline, issuing a negative evaluation, denying advancement, making an adverse assignment, or taking other negative action against the employee

    • Cannot interfere with FMLA rights

    • Cannot retaliate against the employee

    • Cannot contact the medical provider

    • Do be supportive for the employee

    • Do assist them by sending them to HR

    • Do work with the employee to create a plan together for covering their duties

    • Don’t be held personally liable, call HR

    Supervisor FAQ

    • Assist HR in determining if employee meets FMLA eligibility (time worked, previous FMLA time etc.)

    • Track the FMLA leave. (both intermittent and continuous leave)

    • Submit ePAF’s to document period of FMLA leave. (continuous and intermittent)

    • Notify HR if end of leave is approaching or if anything has changed such as the employee wanting off for a new FMLA reason or different times off than what was certified.

    • Proper filing of any medical information to follow HIPAA guidelines. (no medical info in employee personnel folder, must be a separate file)

    • Assist any employee who may be in need of FMLA by directing them to HR.

FMLA Tools

FMLA Overview

FMLA Tracking Form


FMLA Supervisor FAQ

FMLA for Qualifying Exigency Leave FAQ

FMLA for Care of Service Member FAQ

FMLA Measurement Tool

HIPAA FMLA Privacy Regulations


Important Links

FMLA Notice and Department of Labor Poster

Department of Labor FMLA Guide

Employee Assistance Program



Absence Management Specialist



For information regarding your benefits while in leave status, contact:

OSU Benefits




University Human Resources developed this information for the convenience of OSU employees. It is a brief interpretation of more detailed and complex materials. If further clarification is needed, the actual law and policy should be consulted as the authoritative source. OSU continually monitors benefits, policy, and procedures and reserves the right to change, modify, amend, or terminate programs at any time, with or without notice. 

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