FMLA Frequently Asked Questions

Below are our most frequently asked questions regarding Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If your question is not listed below, feel free to submit it via e-mail to

  • What does the Family and Medical leave act provide?

    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave. Employees are also entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave.

    The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. Eligible employees may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military deployments of their family members. Additionally, they may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

  • Who is eligible for FMLA leave at WSU?

    In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA:

    • An employee must have been employed with WSU for 12 months
    • An employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of FMLA leave
  • When can an employee use FMLA leave?

    An eligible employee can take up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

    • for the birth of a child, and to bond with the newborn child
    • for the placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee, and to bond with that child;
    • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent but not a parent "in-law") with a serious health condition;
    • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
    • for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status as a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces

    The FMLA also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a "single 12-month period" to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

  • How can I submit a FMLA leave request?

    First, contact your Supervisor, Business Manager, or Designated Representative. Then, submit a FMLA leave request with FMLASource via any of the following methods:

  • What is an employee responsible for while on FMLA leave?

    An employee is responsible for:

    • Notifying management 30 days in advance, or as soon as practical and possible, of the need for time off that might qualify for FMLA;
    • Ensuring that his/her health care provider returns the completed FMLA medical certification form directly to FMLASource within 15 days of requesting FMLA leave.
    • Following all departmental call-in procedures for absences;
    • Scheduling appointments to avoid disrupting the workflow in the work area, whenever possible
  • What happens to my health benefits during FMLA Leave?

    WSU will continue to provide subsidized health benefits while employees are on an approved FMLA leave.

    Employees are still required to pay their share of the health benefit premiums. If the employee has sufficient illness/vacation bank(s) available, premiums will continue to be withheld from their bi-weekly pay. In the event an employee has exhausted all illness/vacation bank(s), please reach out to the HR Service Center to arrange for the direct pay option. This would allow employees to make benefit premium payments through WSU's third party billing administrator.

    Please note that in the event an employee needs to remain on leave beyond their FMLA entitlement, they will no longer be eligible for the employer subsidy and would be responsible for 100% of the benefit premiums. Please reach out to the HR Service Center to arrange for direct billing.

  • Will being off work on FMLA impact my pay?

    FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job protection. The pay component of the FMLA leave would require employees to utilize available hours in their illness and/or vacation bank(s), which is dependent upon whether the FMLA request is for the employee or to care for a family member. In the event the employee has exhausted their illness and/or vacation bank(s) and still requires FMLA, the time will be granted as FMLA without pay.

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