Family Medical Leave
In accordance with federal law, Family and Medical Leave Act (FML), Colorado State University provides job-protected leave to eligible faculty and staff who are unable to work due to 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 13 workweeks (12 weeks Federal, 1 week State FML) (520 hours for 100% FTE) of leave during a 12-month period based on certain qualifying events.
FML is unpaid leave; however, your available paid leave balance (e.g. sick, annual, parental leave) will be used concurrent with FML. Likewise, FML also runs concurrent with other types of paid and unpaid leave (e.g. short term disability, parental leave, workers compensation and leave without pay).
In order to be eligible for FML, you must meet certain criteria, including experiencing an FML qualifying reason. All potential FML leave reasons should be reported to your department HR Professional to determine eligibility.
Refer to the FML Checklist (pdf) for additional information on eligibility.
- An employee’s serious health condition that prevents them from performing their 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 of a 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, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.” Eligible employees have job protected time off for up to 26 workweeks 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 State FML policy, a “family member” is considered a parent, child or spouse. Child for health-related FML is defined the same as under sick leave (under 18 or over 18 if incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability at the time leave is to commence).
Refer to the Family and Medical Leave Policy for additional information on FML qualifying reasons.
When a qualifying event is anticipated (e.g., pregnancy or planned surgery), a notice to your supervisor and department HR Professional should be given as far in advance as possible (ideally, within 30 days). When a qualifying reason is immediate or unforeseeable, notice must be given as soon as practical when you become aware of the need for leave. If not reported timely, FML may be denied or delayed.
Once the need for leave is communicated, a request for FML must be substantiated with a complete and satisfactory medical certification form (for the employee or family member) within 15 calendar days, per the due date on the Notice of Rights and Responsibilities provided by your department HR Liaison.
The University has an obligation under Federal law to Notice an employee of their Rights under FML. An employee may not waive or deny FML; failure to comply may result in the use of unauthorized leave (e.g. denial of sick or annual leave). For general FML questions, please contact your department HR Professional or the HR Service Center at 970-491-MyHR (6947).
Communication. Ongoing communication allows for the FML process to run much more smoothly. It is very important for you to provide periodic updates of your status and estimated return to work date to your supervisor and department HR Liaison. Be conscientious about the expiration of a period of incapacity and whether updated medical information needs to be provided by your health care provider.
You must follow your department’s usual notice or call-in procedures unless you are unable to do so (e.g. an exception would be if you were completely incapacitated or receiving emergency medical care). This is especially important when the use of FML is intermittent.
While you are on approved FML, you are eligible to continue all of your benefits.
If you are on leave without pay and not receiving salary from CSU, you will be required to make a cash payment to Human Resources for your monthly premiums (not applicable for retirement, health savings or flexible spending accounts).
When the reason for FML is due to your own serious health condition, a a Fitness to Return Certification is required if an absence is more than 30 days per State Rule 5-9. The form must be completed by your health care provider. The delay of or failure to obtain a Fitness to Return will impact your ability to return to work timely.
Clearly communicate with your supervisor and department HR Liaison regarding a return-to-work date and transition plan.
For successful administration of FML, a department HR professional should:
- Determine employee eligibility under FMLA.
- Provide the Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibility (Notice) within 5 business days of notification from the employee or when an FML event has been recognized.
- Provide a medical certification to be returned in 15 calendar days, in the form of a:
- 1) Medical Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition,
- 2) Medical Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition,
- 3) Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave, or
- 4) Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember.
- Review the medical information and determine if it meets the criteria for a qualifying event and issue a Designation Notice within 5 business days, either approving or denying the FML.
- If the documentation is incomplete or insufficient, the HR professional will notify the employee of the need for clarification and specifically what information is required. The HR professional will provide 7 calendar days to obtain and submit a complete certification.
- In most cases, ensure a fitness-for-duty certification is requested with the Designation Notice.
- Maintain FML forms and documentation, in a secure, confidential location and separate from the personnel file.
- Provide current FML balance to the employee upon request.
- Return the employee to the same position or an equivalent position after taking the leave including pay, employment benefits, and terms and conditions.
State classified employees who meet eligibility for FMLA are eligible for Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML), effective January 1, 2021.
Q. What is PFML?
A. Full-time employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave (prorated for part-time employees) per rolling 12 month period, when employees are eligible for job-protected leave under FML.
Q. For what reasons can it be used?
A. PFML is paid leave that runs concurrent with FML, therefore the eligibility is the same (with the addition of Safe Leave).
- Birth or Adoption
- Employee’s Own Serious Health Condition
- Family Members Serious Health Condition
- Safe Leave (individuals experiencing domestic violence, abuse, etc.)
Q. When can PFML be used?
A. When FML applies, it runs concurrently. PFML is an entitlement that does not have an opt-in or opt-out provision or flexibility to use at the discretion of the employee. The leave must used prior to accrued leave.
Q. Does PFML extend my FML entitlement?
A. No. PFML runs concurrently and does not extend the FML entitlement.
Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA)
The Families First Cornavirus Act (FFCRA) created two types of paid leave for employees to use for absences due to COVID-19: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Public Health Leave (EPHL). Details related to both types of leave are outlined below. CSU encourages employees and supervisors to use flexible schedules to work on-site or telework and supplement with intermittent leave as needed.
FFCRA Paid Leave Qualifying Reasons
- Quarantine or isolation order
- Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis
- Caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2)
- Caring for a dependent child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable)
- Experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the US Department of health and Human Services
FFCRA Resource Guide
|Leave Type||Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)||Emergency Public Health Leave (EPHL)|
|Employee Eligibility||Immediately upon hire; includes hourly employees||Employed for at least 30 calendar days; includes hourly employees|
|Qualifying Reasons||Reasons 1-6||Reason 5|
|Leave Entitlement||Up to a total of 80 hours (prorated for part-time), job protected. All 80 hours can be used for any one or for a combination of the reasons identified above.||12 weeks; first two weeks unpaid (EPSL or accrued leave can be used during the two weeks). Counts toward annual FML entitlement.|
(Authorized at discretion of supervisor)
|Reason 1-4 and 6: If teleworking, an employee may take intermittent leave in 2-hour increments. otherwise, leave must be taken in full-day increments.|
Reason 5: If working on-site or teleworking, employee may take intermittent leave in 2-hour increments.
|If working on-site or teleworking, employee may take intermittent leave in 2-hour increments.|
|Documentation Required (2 forms-maintain originals in dept; email copy to firstname.lastname@example.org)||Reasons 1-4: FFCRA Leave Request form; EPSL Certification form|
Reason 5: FFCRA Leave Request form; EPHL Certification form
|FFCRA Leave Request form;
EPHL Certification form
|TCP Leave Reporting||Record time using Job code admin Leave-Pandemic and Project code Emergency paid Sick Leave.||Record time using Job code Admin Leave-Pandemic, Project code Child Care FML and a separate FML entry.|
|Notice and Posting Requirements||Must notify employees about FFCRA paid leave right by posting notice in a conspicuous place on the premises, emailing or direct mailing to employees, or posting the notice on an employee information, internal or external, website.|
|Use with Leave||Paid leave in addition to current leave policies; can be used before exhausting accrued leave balances, if applicable.|
|Effective Date||FFCRA effective April 1, 2020. Regulation sunsets December 31, 2020.|
Forms & Resources
The Family and Medical Leave Act was amended in January 2009 to include Military Family Leave and the State provides for up to thirteen weeks of leave for additional circumstances.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) Disclosure Statement for Employee/Applicant
Pursuant to GINA’s “safe harbor” provision in 29 CFR § 1635.8(b)(1)(i), the following language must be included with
any request for employment-related medical information or examinations (e.g., FMLA for employee, ADA, Fitness for-Duty exams, Workers’ Compensation exams, post-offer/pre-employment exam, etc.) for the individual’s own condition.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. “Genetic information,” as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) Disclosure Statement for Family Member
Pursuant to GINA’s “safe harbor” provision in 29 CFR § 1635.8(b)(1)(i), the following language must be included with any request under the FMLA concerning a spouse, parent, or child’s medical condition.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. “Genetic information,” as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services. However, please be advised that GINA Title II does allow you to provide information about the medical condition of an employee’s spouse, parent or child to certify the need for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).