Employees who need to take absences of more than five working days for specified family and/or medical reasons may be eligible for unpaid, job-protected federal and state leave entitlements. It is an obligation under federal and state regulations, as your employer, for us to inform you of your eligibility and your rights and responsibilities under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA). It is an obligation under federal regulations, as your employer, for us to designate WFMLA and/or FMLA leave if appropriate and it is a protection for employees if their leave would extend.
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees have the right to take up to 12 weeks (480 hours/pro-rated for part-time employees) of unpaid, job-protected leave* for the following reasons:
- Birth of a child
- Placement with employee of a child for adoption or foster care
- Employee’s own serious health condition
- To care for a family member with a serious health condition
- A qualifying exigency for a military family member on covered active duty
- To care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness
Under the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA), eligible employees have the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave* for the following reasons:
- Up to 2 weeks (80 hours/pro-rated for part-time employees) for employee’s own serious health condition
- Up to 2 weeks (80 hours/pro-rated for part-time employees) to care for a family member with a serious health condition
- Up to 6 weeks (240 hours/pro-rated for part-time employees) for pre-birth bonding, birth of a child or adoption
*While leave designated under W/FMLA is unpaid, employees may substitute accrued paid leave (vacation, personal holiday, sick leave, ALRA, etc.) so they continue to receive pay while on leave. If you have questions about your leave balances, pay or benefits, contact your divisional Payroll & Benefits Coordinator.
Comparison of FMLA and WFMLA Laws:
How to Request Leave:
To request leave under W/FMLA, complete and return the required Medical Leave Forms directly to Waisman Center Human Resources. In order to make an informed decision about your leave request in a timely manner, submit the completed forms at least 30 days before the leave is expected to start.
All medical information is confidential (including leave request statuses and employee eligibility for FMLA) and can only be shared on a “need to know” basis. Access to confidential medical information is restricted. Only Divisional Disability Representatives (DDRs) are authorized to handle and retain medical information for employees.
If you have any questions or concerns about confidentiality, you may contact Julia Rielly, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) Human Resources DDR at (608)261-1172.
W/FMLA Leave Tracking Spreadsheets:
Employees must maintain a leave tracking spreadsheet for each approved W/FMLA leave they have. Once the leave ends, the employee must submit a copy of the leave tracking spreadsheet to their Waisman Human Resources Representative. Doing so will help the employee and supervisor resolve any leave usage discrepancies.
Leave of Absence (LOA):
Employees may request and be granted a partial LOA or LOA without pay. While on an unpaid LOA, employees may have the opportunity to continue or make changes to their benefits.
Medical Leave Forms:
- Medical Leave Request Form (pdf)
- Certification of Family and Medical Leave for Employee (not required for parental leave)
- Certification of Family and Medical Leave for Family Member (not required for parental leave)
- Leave without Pay – Academic Staff (pdf)
- Leave Without Pay – University Staff (pdf)
- Return to Work Authorization (pdf)
Related Policies and Resources:
- UW-Madison Family-Related Leave Policy
- Disability and Medical Leave Information Guide (pdf)
- US Department of Labor, Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Catastrophic Leave
- Family and Medical Leave Information Guide
- Notice of Employee Rights and Responsibilities
- Campus Divisional Disability Representatives
- Office of Child Care and Family Resources
- Campus Lactation Rooms