GEN 3.B.6. Family Leave.

(1) Family and medical leave does not constitute a break in continuous service for faculty (ch. UWS 3.04(s), Wis. Admin. Code) or academic staff (UWS 10.3(2)(a)3, Wis. Admin. Code). When the leave is due to childbirth or adoption, or significant responsibilities with respect to the employee’s own or a family member’s disability or chronic illness, and whose circumstances could significantly impede progress toward achieving tenure, that leave is not included in the seven-year probationary period. (Faculty may wish to review FAC 3.2.B. for stopping or suspending the tenure clock.) Faculty and academic staff may be granted up to a year probationary extension for the birth or adoption of a child.

(2) The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks per fiscal year of job-protected unpaid leave with continued medical benefits for employees who have worked for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period preceding the beginning of the leave. Leave can be requested to care for your child after birth, adoption or foster care placement, to care for a legal spouse, child, or parent (but not the spouse’s parent) with a serious health condition, or for an employee’s own serious health condition. If both parents work for the University each would be eligible for a total of twelve weeks of leave. When both employees work for the same department within the University the employees should make a reasonable effort to consider the impact on the employing department. Should the employee not be eligible under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, he/she may be considered under the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act.

(3) An employee with a domestic partner who will give birth to a child, adopt a child, or is placed with a foster child is eligible for federal Family and Medical Leave for the birth or care of the child if the employee has become a legal guardian of the child. The employee is eligible for federal FMLA for a child with a serious health condition if he/she has become a legal guardian of the child.

(4) The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) provides up to ten weeks per fiscal year of job-protected unpaid leave with continued medical benefits for employees who have worked for at least 1,000 hours during the 52-week period preceding beginning of the leave. Leave taken for family medical leave must run concurrently under FMLA, WFMLA and other leave available to university employees. Thus, the leave available under the various provisions is exhausted simultaneously.

(5) Under both laws, the employee must be returned to the same position or an equivalent position after the end of the leave with no loss in pay, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment. In addition, the employee’s group health coverage must be maintained under the same conditions as existed prior to the leave.

(6) The family medical leave laws assume the employee will not be paid, but allows the use of accumulated leave (sick leave, vacation, personal holidays, ALRA) to remain in paid status during the leave.

(7) Medical certification may be required by the employer; leave may be denied until the receipt of the required certification.

(8) An employee may take intermittent or reduced leave in connection with the serious health condition of a spouse, child or parent, his/her own serious health condition, or the birth of a child or placement of child for adoption or foster care with the employer’s approval. The employee must work with the supervisor to schedule such intermittent or partial leave so it does not unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.

(9) Family leave may commence before the birth or placement but must conclude within one year after birth or placement. At least 30 calendar days’ notice may be required if the need for leave is foreseeable. If leave is not foreseeable, the employee shall provide as much notice as is practicable. Contact the Human Resources Office for information regarding Federal Family Leave Act and Wisconsin Family Leave Act regulations regarding leave usage.

(10) Under both the federal and state family medical leave laws, if the employee does not return from leave, or terminates employment within 30 days of returning the employer may recover the health insurance premiums paid during the leave.

(11) Unclassified staff are guaranteed specific terms of leave to donate bone marrow or a human organ. This leave benefit guarantees an individual 5 days to recover for donating bone marrow and 30 days for donating an organ. During these periods, the donating individual is not required to charge sick leave or their vacation entitlement. (See UPG 10.08.) The donor must complete an institutional notification form, see UPG #10, Attachment 3, Intent to Donate Bone Marrow or a Human Organ, notifying the institution of his/her intent to donate bone marrow or a human organ.