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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Procedures

See also

  1. FMLA policy
  2. Forms (under Leaves)
  3. Q and A


Staff covered by these procedures

This procedure should be used with all Staff and Temporary employees at IU.


This information is only a general summary of the steps to follow for Indiana University Staff and Temporary employees, when considering a request or need for family or medical leave. An employee may request a leave, or may just provide you with information to make you aware of absences that may be eligible for FMLA protection. In either case, take the following steps to see if and how the FMLA applies to the employee.

Step 1. Complete top part of Form #1

Once aware of an absence that may qualify under FMLA or to apply for FMLA for a new calendar year, ask the employee to complete the top part of Form #1, FMLA Leave Notice of Designation, Request, and Approval. If the employee does not wish to complete the form, you must initiate the process and complete as much of the top part of the form as possible. Explain the purpose of FMLA to the employee. For assistance, contact your campus human resources office. 

Step 2. Determine eligibility

Within 5 business days of receipt or initiation of Form #1, the department is to notify the employee if he or she is eligible for FMLA under the law. To be eligible, the employee must meet all of the requirements described below. The employee must have:

Note:  Time in the military service covered under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) will count towards fulfilling the length of employment and hours of work requirements to be eligible for an FMLA leave. The 7-year break in service rule does not apply to military service.

arrow Proceed to Step 3 (Determining qualifying reasons) if the employee meets all of these requirements. If the employee does not meet all of the requirements, then proceed to Step 7 (Denial of Leave).

Step 3. Determine qualifying reasons

Determine if the reason for the absence is one of the qualifying reasons listed below.

arrow Proceed to Step 4 (Selecting reason and completing forms) if the employee meets any of these qualifying reasons. If the employee does not meet any of the qualifying reasons, proceed to Step 7 (Denial of leave).

If you are uncertain whether the reason or relationship is a qualifying one, contact your campus human resources office for assistance.

Step 4. Select reason for leave and complete appropriate forms

Qualifying Reason #1: Birth, adoption, or care of a newborn

If the absence is for the care of a newborn or the birth of the child of the employee, spouse as defined by Indiana law, or placement of a child for adoption or state foster care placement (with the employee) and the employee is eligible under the law, do the following:

Do not require medical certification for this reason, but non-medical certification (such as a birth certificate) is acceptable, if necessary, to substantiate an employee's claim.

arrow Proceed to Step 5 (Record FMLA time)

Qualifying Reason #2: Serious health condition

If the absence is because of the employee's serious health condition, or to care for the employee's seriously ill spouse or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition and the employee is eligible under the law, do the following:

If the approved FMLA is for the employee’s own serious health condition, also provide him/her with a copy of Form #3 Intent to Return and Fitness for Duty/Medical Release to be completed by the health care provider before the employee is permitted to return to work. Attach a copy of the essential functions of the employee’s position.

arrow Proceed to Step 5 (Recording FMLA time)

Qualifying Reason #3: A Qualifying Exigency

If the FMLA is for a qualifying exigency to manage the servicemember’s affairs as described in DOL form Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave do the following:

Contact your human resources office for assistance in reviewing the certification, if needed.

arrow Proceed to Step 5 (Recording FMLA time)

Qualifying Reason #4:  Care for a covered Servicemember

If the FMLA is for an employee to provide care for a covered servicemember, do the following:

Contact your human resources office for assistance in reviewing the certification, if needed.

arrow Proceed to Step 5 (Recording FMLA time)

Step 5. Record FMLA Time

During the leave period, keep track of the actual number of hours taken for each approved FMLA. Except for leaves to provide care for a covered servicemember, the maximum hours of leave taken as FMLA in any one calendar year cannot exceed 480 hours (12 weeks) (prorated by FTE).

Step 6. Prepare for the employee's return

Step 7. Deny leave of absence if applicable

Special Issues

  1. All FMLA related documentation must be maintained within the department in a locked file, separate from other personnel files.
  2. If both the mother and father of a newborn are IU employees, each will be entitled to up to 12 weeks FMLA-covered absence per calendar year, if meeting individual FMLA eligibility. This also applies to adoption and foster care placement. FMLA qualification extends until the child is one year of age or in the case of child placement, the child has been in the employee’s home for one year.
  3. If the reason for FMLA changes or if the employee returns from FMLA-covered leave and then requests another FMLA, a new Form #1 must be submitted to determine eligibility requirements and qualifying reasons at the time of the new request.
  4. If an FMLA-eligible employee who is absent for an FMLA qualifying reason, does not want the absence to be counted as FMLA covered leave and will not provide medical certification, do not approve the use of PTO, vacation, sick, or other paid time off.
  5. FMLA should start immediately if an FMLA eligible employee who is under Worker's Compensation for a work related injury declines a modified position assignment offered under Worker's Compensation.
  6. Whenever medical certification is unclear or the validity is questionable, contact your campus Human Resources office to discuss options permitted under FMLA regulations.