Family Medical Leave (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave per designated 12-month period for an approved qualifying event.

In accordance with federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), provides job-protected Family and Medical Leave (FML) to eligible faculty and staff who are unable to work because of their own serious health condition or because of the need to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. FML allows for up to 12 workweeks (480 hours for 100% FTE) of leave during a 12-month period based on certain qualifying events.

FML is unpaid leave; however, available paid time off balances (e.g. sick, vacation, parental) can be used, during FML, to receive pay while you are off work. Employees, and their supervisors, should follow the "How to Report Time Off" instructions below. FML will also run concurrently with disability benefits (e.g., workers’ compensation, short term disability, long term disability, etc.).

FML Details

FML Eligibility

In order to be eligible for FML, you must meet certain criteria, including a qualifying leave event. To establish whether you are eligible, complete the Request for Family and Medical Leave.

Refer to the Family and Medical Leave Policy for additional information on FML eligibility.

What is a Qualifying Reason for FML
  • A serious health condition of the employee that prevents the employee from performing his or her job as certified by a health care provider;
  • Birth of a child;
  • Placement of the child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • Care for a child during the first year following birth, adoption or foster care placement;
  • Care for an immediate family member* who has a serious health condition as certified by a health care provider; or
  • A qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”
  • Care for a covered service member allows eligible employees to have job protected time off for up to 26 work weeks 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.

*Pursuant to the FML policy, an “immediate family member” includes: spouse or domestic partner, biological, adoptive, step-, or foster parent, individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child; or biological, adopted, step-, or foster child; a legal ward; or a child of a person standing in loco parentis to the child who is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

Refer to the Family and Medical Leave Policy for additional information on FML qualifying events.

When to File an FML Claim

When a qualifying reason for FML is known or anticipated (for example, if you are planning to have surgery or you are pregnant), you must notify your supervisor AND complete the Request for Family and Medical Leave in advance as early as possible (at least 30 days).

When a qualifying event is immediate or unforeseeable, notice must be given as soon as practical when you become aware of the need for leave (either the day you learn of the need or the next workday). If not reported in a timely manner, FML protection for the leave may be denied or delayed.

A request for FML must be substantiated with satisfactory documentation within 15 business days of the request as per the due date provided by the HR Leave Coordinator. You must follow your department’s usual notice or call-in procedures unless you are medically unable to do so (for example, if you are receiving emergency medical care).

How to File an FML Claim
  1. Contact your supervisor to report your absence
  2. Request your Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) via the Request for Family and Medical Leave form, with the start date and estimated end date
  3. Once you have completed the Request for FML form, your eligibility for FML will be reviewed by the Leave Coordinator within 5 business days. If eligible for FML, Leave Coordinator will provide you with the necessary documentation, including the Certification of Healthcare Provider document, which must be completed by the healthcare provider
  4. Return the completed Certification of Healthcare Provider document within 15 business days to your Leave Coordinator at FMLABenefits@kent.edu

All requests for leave must be initiated via the Request for Family and Medical Leave form. The link to this form is provided on this page for your convenience. For general information and/or questions regarding FML, please contact Employee Benefits at FMLABenefits@kent.edu or 330-672-3107.

Employee Responsibilities While on a Leave of Absence

It is important that you stay in touch while on a Leave of Absence. Ongoing communication will make the FML process run much more smoothly. It is important that you provide periodic updates of your FML status and estimated return to work date to both your supervisor and the Leave Coordinator. For questions, you may contact your Benefits Leave Coordinator at FMLABenefits@kent.edu or 330-671-3107.

Benefits During a Leave of Absence

When you are on an approved leave of absence, you are eligible to continue your healthcare and other university benefits. You will be expected to pay any contributions for the costs of your benefits.  Failure to do so may result in termination of your healthcare or other benefits. Please contact the Employee Benefits Office if you are approaching unpaid status to make arrangements for payment to avoid termination of your benefits. 

Returning to Work

Return to Work Release Form(PDF) is required to return to work following your FML for your own serious health condition. Once your return to work date is determined, please submit your completed Return to Work Release Form to the Employee Benefits Office prior to the start date, otherwise you will be unable to return to work.

How to Report time Off - Faculty and Unclassified (salaried)

It is the employee responsibility to report time for FMLA as follows:

  • For approved FMLA Intermittent & Reduced Work Schedule Leaves 
    • Submit all absent time related to FMLA in the online leave reporting system (Flashline). Use sick and then vacation time, in that order.  Note in the “Comment” section of the online leave reporting system that the absence is FMLA related
    • Submit the Request for Leave of Absence form to Employee Benefits noting each day of absence/number of hours off work and document the absence as “FMLA related”. This should be completed and submitted EACH MONDAY
  • FMLA Continuous Leaves
    • Request for Leave of Absence form must be completed and submitted to Employee Benefits Office prior to the leave. HR Records will reduce the leave time while on FMLA approved leave.  Employees should not record the leave in the online leave reporting system for continuous leaves
  • If employee has exhausted all accrued leave, contact the Employee Benefits Office and HR Records immediately to avoid payroll and benefits complications.
How to Report time Off - Classified (hourly) Bargaining and Non-Bargaining

It is the employee responsibility to report time for FMLA as follows:

  • For approved FMLA Intermittent - call off must state, “absence due to FMLA”  
    •  Upon returning to work after any intermittent absence, employee must submit a Request for Leave of Absence form to their supervisor, noting on the form either “FMLA – Sick Leave”, “FMLA – Vacation,” or if all accrued leave has been exhausted, “FMLA -Unpaid.” This will ensure that the leave is properly noted as an FMLA related absence. Department will maintain the Request for Leave of Absence form.
  • For approved FMLA Reduced Work Schedule Leave
    •  Prior to beginning the leave, submit the Request for Leave of Absence form to their supervisor, noting on the form either “FMLA – Sick Leave”, “FMLA – Vacation,” or if all accrued leave has been exhausted, “FMLA -Unpaid.” This will ensure that the leave is properly noted as an FMLA related absence. Department will maintain the Request for Leave of Absence form. 
  • For FMLA Continuous Leaves