Family and Medical Leave of Absence Policy   



This policy implements the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 for faculty members and for administrative, professional, and support staff of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Effective Date: 7/1/2016


Review/Revised Date: 8/29/2022


Category: Human Resources


Policy Owner: CHRO

Policy Contact: Executive Director Human Resources - Records Administration




The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) applies to all eligible faculty and staff.

Eligible employees may take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") in a rolling 12-month period for medical and family related reasons. In addition, eligible employees may qualify for up to 26 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for seriously ill or injured covered service members. 


To be eligible for Family and Medical Leave, an employee must meet the following conditions by having:

1) Worked at least 12 months, and
2) Worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months

Only periods of actual work time count toward the determination of whether the employee has worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months.  Periods of paid or unpaid leave, holidays, etc., which are not work time for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act, are excluded.

Qualified Reasons for Leave

  • Birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
  • Placement with the employee of child for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for immediate family members (spouse, sponsored adult dependent, child, child of a sponsored adult dependent or parent) with a serious health condition;
  • Employee serious health condition;
  • Qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, sponsored adult dependent, child or child of a sponsored adult dependent, or parent is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces deployed to a foreign country, is a member of the National Guard or Reserves, on covered active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation in a foreign country.  Qualifying exigencies include the following:
    • Short-notice deployment (7 calendar day maximum)
    • Military events and related activities
    • Childcare and school activities of the service member's child
    • Financial and legal arrangements for the service member
    • Counseling
    • Rest and recuperation of the service member (15 days for each instance)
    • Attending to certain post-deployment activities, including attending arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and other official ceremonies or programs sponsored by the military, for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered military member's active duty status, and addressing issues arising from the death of a covered military member.
    • Parental Care to care for a military member's parent who is incapable of self-care when the care is necessitated by the member's covered active duty. 
    • Additional activities that the employer and employee shall agree qualify as an exigency and agree to both the timing and duration of such leave.
  • To care for a U.S. service member or veteran with a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on active military duty if the employee is the spouse, sponsored adult dependent, child (son or daughter) or child of a sponsored adult dependent,  parent or next of kin of the service member or veteran. This type of FMLA leave is referred to "military caregiver leave€. (Leave entitlement is up to 26 work weeks in a single 12-month period).

Note: Sponsored adult dependents and children of sponsored adult dependents are covered provided they meet the eligibility requirements for benefits coverage under the University's benefits program.  For additional information on this benefit, contact the UAB Benefits Office at 205-934-3458 or visit


A list of definitions pertinent to the Family and Medical Leave Act and UAB policy may be accessed here or by visiting Leaves of Absence - Human Resources | UAB.

Duration of Leave

Eligible employees may receive up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any "rolling" 12-month period, measured backward from the date that any FMLA leave is to be used.  FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care expires 12 months from the birth or placement.

For the purposes of FMLA for birth or adoption of a child, an eligible employee may receive four work weeks (20 days/160 hours) of the 12 work weeks as Paid Parental Leave within six months of the birth or adoption of the child. See Paid Parental Leave Policy.

When leave is to care for a service member or veteran with a serious injury or illness, an eligible employee may take up to 26 work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for that service member or veteran.  Military caregiver leave, when combined with other FMLA-qualifying leaves, may not exceed 26 weeks in the single 12-month period during which the 26 weeks of military caregiver leave is available.  A single 12-month period for purposes of military caregiver leave begins on the first day that an employee takes military caregiver leave and ends 12 months after that date, regardless of the rolling 12-month period that the University utilizes for determining available leave for other FMLA-qualifying reasons.

Spouse and Sponsored Adult Dependent Coverage

In cases of childbirth, adoption, foster care placement, or care of a child, if the employee and the employee's spouse or sponsored adult dependent both work at UAB, the total amount of annual family and medical leave of absence available is 12 work weeks for each employee.

The same standard applies as above in the event of military caregiver leave; both employees may use FMLA leave to a maximum of 26 work weeks during the single 12-month period.

Intermittent Leave

An employee taking FMLA leave for their own serious health condition, or to care for a seriously ill spouse, sponsored adult dependent, child, child of a sponsored adult dependent, or a parent may take leave on an intermittent basis, or by reducing their scheduled work hours. The employee must provide certification from the health care provider caring for the employee and/or family member, documenting the need for such leave.

In the event an employee is granted intermittent FMLA leave or a reduced work schedule, due to their serious health condition or to care for a seriously ill family member, it is the unit's responsibility to document and track the intermittent schedule of an approved FMLA leave.

Intermittent leave is limited to the equivalent of 12 weeks' work time.  The total number of hours of intermittent leave available to an employee is equal to 12 times the number of hours per week which the employee is normally scheduled to work, less any other FMLA leave taken in the same rolling 12-month period.

FMLA leave to care for a newborn child, or a child newly placed with the employee for adoption, or foster care must be approved by the employee's supervisor and/or department/unit head.

Use of Accrued Benefit Time

All sick time, vacation and personal holidays must be used prior to the employee being placed in an unpaid status. Use of accrued benefit time does not extend the length of time away from the job beyond the leave specific entitlement.  Under certain circumstances, donated sick time may be utilized while on a Family and Medical Leave of Absence.  See Sick Time Donation Policy . Also see Paid Parental Leave Policy.

Foreseeable Leaves

If the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, the employee should provide notice to the supervisor at least 30 days in advance. If proper prior notice is not given, leave may be denied unless there is a reasonable excuse for the delay.  Failure to comply with the notice requirement may result in a delay or denial of the leave.

Leaves Not Foreseeable

If the need for family or medical leave is not foreseeable, notice must be given by the employee as soon as possible and practicable. Except in the case of extreme medical emergencies, employees are expected to advise their supervisor as soon as they know of the need for and expected duration of leave, and generally within two business days of the time they know of the need for leave. Notice may be given by telephone, e-mail, fax, or other similar methods.


If the leave is for the planned medical treatment of the employee or a family member, or requires intermittent or reduced schedule leave, employees may be required by their supervisor to arrange a particular schedule or to reschedule appointments or treatments, subject to the consent of the health care provider.

Certification by Health Care Provider

Medical certification will be required from a health care provider in all cases involving either FMLA leave to care for a seriously ill spouse, sponsored adult dependent, child, child of a sponsored adult dependent or parent, or FMLA leave due to an employee's serious health condition.  The medical facts must be sufficient to support the need for the leave. At a minimum the certification should include, the underlying medical facts supporting the need for leave, the plan of treatment and the prognosis of the illness or injury, any regimen of continuing treatment and an estimate of the frequency and/or duration of the leave.  This certification must be provided within 15 calendar days of the University's request. The University also reserves the right to contact the health care provider for clarification.


The University will keep confidential all information related to requests for FMLA leave.  This information will only be disclosed to those with a need to know, and will be used only to make decisions in regard to the provisions of this policy.


The University is required to maintain its contribution toward medical coverage for up to the 12 weeks of FMLA leave at the same level as if the employee were actively at work.  For service member leave, the University will maintain its contribution toward medical coverage for up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave at the same level as if the employee were actively at work.  Employees with less than 12 months of service will be required to pay the full cost of health insurance.  If the employee fails to return to work after the leave, UAB may recover payments for health insurance coverage.

Questions regarding health coverage during FMLA leave should be directed to the HR Benefits Office at 205-934-3458.


Employees taking leave for a serious health condition will be required to obtain a medical release from their health care provider prior to returning to work.

Upon return to active status, an employee who has been on FMLA leave is required to be reinstated in the same position or a position of equivalent grade and salary, unless the employee would have been terminated in the absence of any leave (e.g. layoff or termination of temporary appointment).


The attached Family and Medical Leave Rights and Responsibilities Notice should be conspicuously posted on all bulletin boards and websites normally used for required postings.  See FMLA Poster.


Please visit Leaves of Absence - Human Resources | UAB or contact the Leave of Absence Coordinator at 205-934-1920 or HR Records at 205-934-4408 for information regarding leaves of absence and FMLA requests.


The Office of the Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration is responsible for procedures to implement this policy.

(Replaces policy dated August 1, 2013)