Attendance & Leave
Family Medical Leave Act
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:
- The birth of a child and to bond with the newborn child within one year of birth
- The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to bond with the newly-placed child within one year of placement
- An employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job
- 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 (both intermittent and continuous leaves) are tracked on a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the start date of the employee’s requested leave period. Employees who are covered under USF’s United Faculty of Florida (UFF) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will have FMLA leaves of absence tracked on a fiscal year basis (July 1 – June 30).
Employees requesting intermittent (episodic) use of FMLA leave must make reasonable efforts to schedule the leave to minimize disruption of the department’s functioning.
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, and bonding.
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. The Compliance department within HR administers FMLA on the Tampa Campus 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, may 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 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 you 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: FMLABenefits@usf.edu or (813) 974-2970 Division of Human Resources
Additional information, procedures, forms, USF Regulations and USF System Policies regarding these topics can be found below:
- Request for FMLA Leave
- Return to Work Certification Form
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member's Serious Health Condition
- Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember for Military Family Leave
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave