Texas Tech University

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

line

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Texas Tech University requires eligible employees to submit all paperwork (including FMLA applications and certification forms) for any absence from work due to a qualifying reason under the FMLA. FMLA is unpaid leave, however Texas Tech requires employees to use all eligible sick and vacation leave accruals while taking FMLA. After all eligible sick and vacation leave accruals have been exhausted, employees will be placed in a leave without pay status.

An eligible employee may take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA in a rolling 12-month period. An employee eligible to care for a servicemember may take up to 26 workweeks of FMLA in a rolling 12-month period. Any FMLA used within the 12 months prior to the first date of the current requested leave will be deducted from the employee's maximum 12 week entitlement.

TTU OP 70.32 Family and Medical Leave and Parental Leave

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, an employee must first meet the basic requirements for FMLA:

  • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the 12 months preceding the first date of requested leave, AND
  • The employee must have at least 12 months of state service.*

*While state service need not be consecutive, employment gaps greater than seven years will not be counted towards state service for purposes of FMLA.

Application Process

Employees are required to notify their department and Human Resources of an FMLA qualifying event at least 30 days in advance if the leave is foreseeable, or with as much notice as practicable if leave is not foreseeable.

If the employee meets the minimum eligibility requirements for FMLA, Human Resources will request FMLA documentation from the employee which must be completed and returned to Human Resources within 15 calendar days. Human Resources will review the documentation and determine whether FMLA will be approved or denied. The employee will be notified of the determination within 5 days.

Leave Accruals

Employees are required to use eligible sick leave, vacation leave, and sick leave pool hours (if awarded) while on FMLA. An employee who is on leave on the first day of a month may not use the sick leave or vacation leave accrued for that month until after the employee returns to duty.

While on FMLA, an employee will continue to accrue eligible sick and vacation leave as long as the employee remains in a paid status. If the employee enters a leave without pay status for a full calendar month, the employee will not accrue sick and vacation leave for that month.

Leave Without Pay Information

Employees on FMLA who have exhausted all applicable sick leave, vacation leave, and sick leave pool hours (if awarded) will be placed in a leave without pay (LWOP) status. Employees on LWOP for a full calendar month (or more) will be responsible for the employee portion of his/her insurance premiums. For further information regarding insurance premiums and leave without pay, please contact Payroll at 806-742-3211.

*Note to managers/supervisors: Departments MUST submit a Leave Without Pay form for employees entering a LWOP status. Failure to submit the LWOP form timely will result in charges to department for both the employee and state portion of the employee's insurance premiums. LWOP forms must be submitted the 1st day an employee enters the LWOP status.

Employee Responsibilities While on Leave

Employees have several responsibilities while on FMLA:

  • In accordance with TTU OP 70.32 Family and Medical Leave and Parental Leave, employees must contact their supervisor at least every two weeks (or as often as requested by the department) to provide an update regarding a return to work status.
  • Employees must continue to complete electronic leave reports or electronic time sheets in accordance with payroll processing guidelines while on leave. Employees who do not have access to complete these while on leave must notify Human Resources so that arrangements can be made to have these completed.
  • Employees must notify Human Resources and their supervisor in order to request an extension of leave approved under FMLA. Requests for extensions must be made in advance, or in as much notice as practicable.
  • Employees requesting intermittent leave must follow normal departmental call in procedures when taking leave. Employees requesting a reduced work schedule must communicate the reduced work schedule with their supervisor in advance.
  • Employees must notify Human Resources immediately if circumstances regarding FMLA/SLP eligibility change at any time during his or her leave.

Qualifying FMLA Events

Birth, Adoption, or Foster Care

Employees may take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA for the birth of a child, or the adoption or placement of a foster care child (under 3 years of age). If both spouses work for the State of Texas, both spouses are entitled to an aggregate of 12 workweeks to care for the birth of a child, or the adoption or placement of a foster care child (under 3 years of age). The following documentation must be submitted:

Birth of a Child: The Certification of Physician or Practitioner for Parental Leave must be submitted at least 30 days in advance.

Adoption or Foster Care Placement: The Adoption/Foster Care Placement Certification must be submitted at least 30 days in advance or in as much notice as practicable (within 2 business days).

Forms to be completed and returned to Human Resources for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement:

To Care for a Family Member

Employees may take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. The leave may be taken intermittently or for a single continuous period of time. Eligible family members include the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent. If both spouses work for the State of Texas, both spouses are entitled to an aggregate of 12 workweeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

A serious health condition is illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. Some common serious health conditions that qualify for FMLA leave to care for a family member include:

  • conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility;
  • chronic conditions that cause occasional periods when the family member is incapacitated and that require treatment by a health care provider at least twice a year; and
  • long-term or permanent conditions where treatment may not be effective but the family member is under the continuing supervision of a health care provider.

Forms to be completed and returned to Human Resources for a family member's serious health condition:

Employee's Serious Health Condition

An employee with a serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing the functions of his/her job may take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA. The leave may be taken intermittently or for a single continuous period of time.

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. Some common serious health conditions that qualify for FMLA leave include:

  • conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility;
  • conditions that incapacitate for more than three consecutive days and require ongoing medical treatment (either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription medication);
  • chronic conditions that cause occasional periods when the employee is incapacitated and that require treatment by a health care provider at least twice a year;
  • and pregnancy (including prenatal medical appointments, incapacity due to morning sickness, and medically required bed rest.

Forms to be completed and returned to Human Resources for an employee's serious health condition:

Military Leave

The military family leave provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitle eligible employees to take FMLA leave for any qualifying exigency or to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Qualifying Exigency

Employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of FMLA for qualifying exigencies that arise when the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty.

If the military member is on covered active duty, the employee may take FMLA leave for the following qualifying exigencies:

  • Issues arising from the military member's Short-notice deployment
  • Attending certain military events
  • Arranging for alternative childcare and related activities
  • Addressing certain financial and legal arrangements
  • Periods of rest and recuperation for the servicemember (up to 15 days)
  • Attending certain counseling sessions
  • Attending post-deployment activities (available for up to 90 days after the termination of the covered servicemember's covered active duty status)
  • Other activities arising out of the servicemember's covered active duty or call to active duty and agreed upon by Texas Tech University and the employee

Forms to be completed and returned to Human Resources for qualifying exigencies:

Military Caregiver Leave

Military caregiver leave allows an employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness to take up to a total of 26 workweeks of FMLA to provide care for the servicemember. If both husband and wife work for the State of Texas, the aggregate amount of leave that can be taken by the husband and wife to care for a covered servicemember is 26 workweeks in a single 12-month period.

The "next of kin" of a current servicemember is the nearest blood relative, other than the current servicemember's spouse, parent, son, or daughter, in the following order of priority:

  1. Blood relative who has been designated in writing by the servicemember as the next of kin for FMLA purposes
  2. Blood relative who has been granted legal custody of the servicemember
  3. Brothers and sisters
  4. Grandparents
  5. Aunts and uncles
  6. First cousins

For military caregiver leave, a serious injury or illness is one that is incurred by a servicemember in the line of duty on active duty that may cause the servicemember to be medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating. A serious injury or illness also includes injuries or illnesses that existed before the servicemember's active duty and that were aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty.

Forms to be completed and returned to Human Resources to care for a covered servicemember: