Frequently Asked Questions - Pay and Benefits Status

Who would not be considered a family member for purposes of FML?

Grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws or other persons that are not related but are residing in the employee’s household are not covered by FML.

If an employee's unpaid family and medical leave begins in the middle of the month, what is the employee's benefits entitlement?

Because health premiums are paid in advance for the entire month (e.g., August earnings generate September UC contributions for September coverage), premiums would have already been paid for the entire month even if the leave began in the middle of the month. If the leave lasted the full twelve weeks, it would also end in the middle of a month. UC contributions for Health insurance coverage would have already been generated at the beginning of that month for the entire month. As a result, the UC contribution may be generated for up to four months, although the actual entitlement is only 12 workweeks.

What does it mean that an employee is “needed to care for” a family member?

An eligible employee may take FMLA covered leave in order to care for a seriously ill spouse, child, or parent as defined by the law, policy or contract. The health care provider must either certify that third party care is required or that the employee’s presence would be beneficial to the patient. Certification will be sufficient to satisfy this requirement and entitle the employee to FMLA time off. This provision is intended to accommodate needs for leave to provide psychological comfort for a seriously ill eligible family member, and to arrange “third party” care for an eligible family member.

Is an employee required to exhaust paid leave (i.e., accrued vacation and sick leave) prior to using unpaid leave during a family and medical leave?

Yes, in most cases:

  • Staff employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement must exhaust all accrued vacation prior to taking an unpaid leave unless otherwise requested by the employee and approved by the department head, provided that the leave is not running concurrently with pregnancy disability or work-incurred illness or disability leave. At the employee's option, accrued sick leave may be used in the event that the employee is taking leave due to his or her own serious health condition or up to 30 days sick leave in the event that the leave is being used to care for the employee's family member.
  • The use of paid leave varies by collective bargaining agreement for staff employees who are covered by contracts. You should consult the applicable contract for details.
  • Academic appointees may exhaust accrued vacation and sick leave prior to an unpaid family and medical leave. Under no circumstance may the University require that an employee use accrued compensatory time off during family and medical leave. However, if the University allows an employee who is otherwise qualified for family and medical leave to use accrued compensatory time off, such time cannot be counted against the employee's entitlement to 12 workweeks of family and medical leave.

How does family and medical leave interact with leave granted for an illness or injury compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act?

If an employee receives temporary disability payments under the Workers' Compensation Act and the employee has a serious health condition as defined by Federal and State family and medical leave statutes, the first 12 workweeks of the leave should be designated as family and medical leave, provided that the employee meets the eligibility requirements and has not already exhausted his or her 12 workweek entitlement.