Family and Medical Leave Act

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a federal law intended to promote a healthy balance between work and family responsibilities. It requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons and requires employers to continue to offer group benefit insurance at the employee rate.

Per the University of Arkansas System, the 12-month period is measured forward from the date of your first FMLA leave usage.

Employees are required to use accrued sick and/or vacation/annual leave concurrently with approved FMLA which counts against the 12 weeks (480 hours) of allowed FMLA leave.  Employees on maternity leave may elect to take a leave without pay without exhausting accumulated sick and/or vacation/annual leave.  For more details, visit the UA Board Sick Leave policy 420.3 section IV, C.

Employees covered under FMLA that fall in a Leave without pay (LWOP) status may continue to participate in group benefit insurance by paying the employee portion of those benefits.  The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA) will pay the employer's share of group benefit insurance premiums.  If the employee does not continue to pay the appropriate employee premiums during LWOP, the insurance will be canceled.  For more details, visit the Division Leave Without Pay policy PMGS 21-01.  

Employees are entitled to return to the position formerly occupied or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, you must have been employed by a campus of the University of Arkansas System for at least twelve months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the twelve-month period prior to the beginning of your leave.

Employees that cannot report to work due to a personal or family illness for greater than three consecutive working days may be eligible for FMLA.

Twelve work weeks of leave in the 12-month period measured forward from the date of your first FMLA leave usage may be granted for:

  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
  • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
  • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

The National Defense Authorization Act provides additional FMLA leave for military families.  FMLA-eligible employees are entitled to the following:

Family Leave Due to a Call to Active Duty- This benefit provides 12 weeks of FMLA leave due to a spouse, son, daughter or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Leave may be used for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the service member’s current tour of active duty or because the service member is notified of an impending call to duty in support of a contingency operation.
Caregiver Leave for an Injured Service Member- This benefit provides up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period for a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative caring for a recovering service member. A recovering service member is defined as a member of the Armed Forces who suffered an injury or illness while on active-duty that may render the person unable to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating. If spouses both work for The University of Arkansas System and each wish to take leave to care for a covered injured or ill service member, the spouses may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of leave.

FMLA is applied concurrently with other leave that may be available. When accrued sick or vacation leave is available, employees must use the time before moving into unpaid leave status.

In parental leave, an employee may elect to use unpaid leave without exhausting accrued paid leave. Four weeks of paid parental leave (catastrophic) will run concurrently with FMLA if applicable

Supervisor Procedure
When an employee has been away from work more than three consecutive working days, their supervisor must contact Human Resources on the employee’s behalf to start the FMLA process.

Employee Procedure
A completed Request for Consideration form should be submitted to Human Resources for eligibility determination and designation 30 days in advance when the need is foreseeable.  Otherwise, an employee has 15 calendar days to submit the completed Request for Consideration form.

Please submit request forms to or fax to 501-671-2251. 

Contact Human Resources for more information at or call 501-671-2219.