Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): what it is and how to use it

Release Date: Monday, August 6, 2018

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): what it is and how to use it

Image of the FMLA logo

The following information is provided to you as a service by the HFC office of Human Resources.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 is a United States labor law requiring employers to provide employees with some job protection and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Some of the reasons include pregnancy, adoption, foster care placement of a child, and care for spouse or child with a serious health condition. There is also a provision for military leave.

In order to be eligible for FMLA, an employee must have worked for an employer for at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months. If eligible, the employee is entitled to up to 480 hours of leave time in a rolling 12-month period. The leave time may be taken full-time or on an intermittent basis, according to the employee's needs.

FMLA is unpaid time; however, some or all of the time can be paid through the employee's accrued leave banks. HFC sick time, vacation time, and personal time, in that order, is utilized to cover FMLA leave time for HFC employees. After an employee's leave banks have been exhausted, any remaining FMLA time is unpaid.

If you believe you meet the criteria and want like to apply for a FMLA leave of absence on an intermittent or full-time basis, call Liberty Mutual/Lincoln Financial Services at 1-888-408-7300 to speak to an intake specialist, or go to their website: www.mylibertyconnection.com.

The intake specialist will explain the process and send you the appropriate paperwork with clear instructions. During this time, please keep your supervisor notified on a daily basis that you are not coming to work. Once you receive a notice of an approved FMLA leave, the HR Department will be notified by Liberty Mutual and will notify your supervisor of your expected dates of absence. The HR Department at HFC will assist Liberty Mutual/Lincoln Financial when needed. However, the employee’s main contact is with Liberty Mutual/Lincoln Financial Services.

If you are taking a full-time leave (for example, after surgery), you do not have to call in daily after the leave has been approved. If however, you have been approved for an intermittent FMLA leave, you are still required to follow your department's call-off procedure.