Family and Medical Leave—Unpaid

Employee and Manager Responsibilities

Employees eligible for FMLA

To qualify for leave under the FMLA, an employee must:  

  • Work in the United States or a U.S. territory.
  • Have 12 months of service with the employer as of the leave start date. (The 12 months need not be consecutive; however, service time worked prior to a break in service of seven years or more does not need to be counted.)
  • Work 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the start of the leave. (Only actual hours worked are counted; sick time, vacation time, paid leave, and holidays are not counted.)
  • Work at a worksite employing at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
Co-workers meeting at desk

Qualifying reasons for FMLA leave

  1. Birth of a child and caring for a newborn child
  2. Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  3. Caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
  4. Having a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his/her job
  5. A qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty
  6. Caring for a covered military service member who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin with a serious injury or illness related to the military service
     

The amount of time an employee may take under the FMLA 

  • With the exception of leave reason #6 above, an employee is entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period. You should contact your Human Resources representative or consult your company’s FMLA policy for information on how the 12-month period is calculated.  
  • For leave to care for a covered military service member with a serious injury or illness related to the military service (leave reason #6 above), an employee is entitled to a total of 26 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period that is measured forward from the date an employee first uses FMLA leave for this leave reason. During this 12-month period, an employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave for any FMLA qualifying reason. 
  • An employee’s leave entitlement is based on the employee's normal workweek.

Example: 

  • An employee who regularly works 40 hours a week is entitled to 480 hours of FMLA leave (12 weeks x 40 hours per week).  
  • An employee who regularly works 20 hours a week is entitled to 240 hours of FMLA leave (12 weeks x 20 hours per week).

Employee notice

When an employee’s need for leave is foreseeable, based on an expected birth, a planned placement for adoption or foster care, or a planned medical procedure or treatment, an employee must give at least 30 days’ notice. If 30 days’ notice is not possible, an employee is required to provide notice “as soon as practicable.” Employees must also provide notice as soon as practicable for foreseeable leave relating to a family member’s call to military duty.

When the need for leave is unforeseeable, employees are required to provide notice as soon as practicable, considering the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Notice is generally expected to be within the time prescribed by your company’s usual-and-customary notice requirements applicable to the leave.
 

Medical certification requirements

 You should contact your HR representative for more information on FMLA medical certifications.
 

Managers’ responsibilities

You should contact your HR representative or your company's FMLA policy to see whether your company runs FMLA leave concurrently with short-term disability or workers’ compensation benefits. 

In addition, you should ensure that you are consistently administering FMLA leaves according to your company’s FMLA policy.

For more information on the FMLA, please click here.


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