Family Medical Leave Act FAQs

If an employee has leave accruals, the employee may continue to be paid. RFCUNY requires employees, to "substitute" (run concurrently) accrued paid leave, such as sick or annual leave, to cover some or all of the FMLA leave period. Approved paid leave must be used prior to unpaid leave unless prohibited by law.

Under regulations, an employer must notify an employee whether leave will be designated as FMLA leave within five business days of learning that the leave is being taken for a FMLA-qualifying reason, absent extenuating circumstances. The designation notice must also state whether paid leave will be substituted for unpaid FMLA leave and whether the employer will require the employee to provide a fitness-for-duty certification to return to work.  Additionally, if the amount of leave needed is known, an employer must inform an employee of the number of hours, days or weeks that will be counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement in the designation notice. Where it is not possible to provide the number of hours, days, or weeks that will be counted as FMLA leave in the designation notice (e.g., where the leave will be unscheduled), an employer must provide this information upon request by the employee, but no more often than every 30 days and only if leave was taken during that period.

Yes. As a condition of restoring an employee who was absent on FMLA leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition, RFCUNY requires that employees submit a Fitness-for-Duty certification.

If an employee fails to timely submit a properly requested medical certification (absent sufficient explanation of the delay), FMLA protection for the leave may be delayed or denied. If an employee never provides a medical certification, the leave is not considered FMLA leave. If an employee fails to submit a properly requested Fitness-for-Duty certification, RFCUNY may delay job restoration until the employee provides the certification. If an employee never provides the certification, the employee may be denied reinstatement.

In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (NDAA), an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (nearest blood relative) of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month rolling period to care for the service member. This military caregiver leave is available during a single 12-month rolling period during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave.

Since October 28, 2009, FMLA leave for qualifying exigencies is available to employees whose spouse, child or parent is in the Reserves or National Guard and who is ordered to active duty as part of a contingency operation and to members of the regular Armed Forces on active duty and who is deployed overseas. Qualifying exigencies include, but are not limited to, time to prepare for short notice deployment, arranging for child care, updating financial or legal arrangements, attending counseling, time for rest and recuperation, and post-deployment activities.

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