About FMLA

About the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

family togetherThe Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take paid or unpaid job-protected leave for specified family reasons, or in the event of their own serious health condition, with continuation of group health insurance coverage for up to 12 weeks. A FMLA leave of absence can be either a medical or non-medical leave depending on the qualifying event. IMPORTANT: FMLA leave starts first day of the employee's absence.







    • FMLA qualifying events

      • Child care due to birth of child, placement of child for adoption, and/or placement of child for foster care
      • Maternity-pregnancy related disability 
      • Care of seriously ill spouse, parent, and/or child
      • Serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his/her job functions
      • Military Families (Exigent Circumstances or Military Caregiver)

      IMPORTANT: FMLA leave starts with the first day of the employee's absence if the leave is a qualifying event, even if the employee is in a paid status.

    • FMLA eligibility requirements

      To be eligible for a FMLA leave, you must meet certain eligibility requirements:
      • You must have 12 months of New York City service; and
      • You must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the FMLA leave.

      IMPORTANT: FMLA leave starts with the first day of the employee's absence if the leave is a qualifying event, even if the employee is in a paid status.

    • Maternity and health leaves

      Use of paid entitlement:

      For maternity and health leaves, you must exhaust your accrued paid entitlements (Cumulative Absence Reserve, sick, and annual leave days) prior to coming off of payroll.

      Once you have exhausted all the days in your bank, you may borrow sick or CAR days. Borrowed days will be paid back automatically as you accrue them.

      You must work with your payroll secretary or timekeeper to determine your paid leave entitlement.

      • Instructional/school-based staff are entitled to borrow up to 20 days.
      • UFT paraprofessionals are entitled to borrow up to 10 days.
      • Administrative employees are entitled to borrow up to 10 days.
      • Instructional/school-based staff who have exhausted all CAR days are entitled to request a grace period of up to 30 calendar days before the start of an approved medical leave of absence without pay. A grace period allows you to remain on payroll at a prorated rate in lieu of your regular salary. The prorated payment is equivalent to pay for weekends and holidays.
      • Instructional/school-based staff: you must work with your payroll secretary or timekeeper to determine the first day you will be off of payroll. This is based on your CAR days and whether you wish to request to borrow days and/or a grace period.
      • The payroll secretary and/or employee will complete an OP 198.
      • The employee must sign the OP 198.
      • The principal must sign the OP 198.
      • The OP 198 must be sent to HR Connect for determination if the CAR and borrowed days total more than 20, or at the principal's request. 

      IMPORTANT: FMLA leave starts with the first day of the employee's absence if the leave is a qualifying event, even if the employee is in a paid status.

    • Care of a sick family member

      For care of a sick family member, FMLA leaves are as follows:

      • 10 month employees may use up to 3 CAR, sick, or personal days for care of a seriously ill family member leave. After this they must come off of payroll.
      • 12 month employees may use up to 3 sick days. After this they must use annual leave or come off of payroll.

      IMPORTANT: FMLA leave starts with the first day of the employee's absence if the leave is a qualifying event, even if the employee is in a paid status.

    • Health benefits while on leave

      Employees on an approved FMLA leave are entitled to health benefits for up to 12 weeks. This begins the first day of absence due to a FMLA-qualifying event (either continuous or intermittent). All absence days are counted: both paid absences (using your CAR, sick, grace, borrowed) and unpaid absences.

      Eligible employees on a medical leave without pay who need to remain absent after their FMLA time is exhausted, may be entitled to additional weeks of health benefits under SLOAC (Special Leave of Absence Coverage).

      Eligible employees are entitled for up to 16 weeks of SLOAC in the event of the employee's own serious health condition or maternity. Please note that once your are off payroll, the SLOAC and FMLA run concurrently. All sick time must be exhausted prior to beginning SLOAC.

      Note: In order to be eligible for SLOAC, your maternity leave without pay must begin within six weeks of the birth of your child.

      To understand more about FMLA and SLOAC coverage, click here.

    • Application process

      To apply for a medical leave of absence without pay, you must complete the FMLA application form. See the chart below for information about the supporting documentation required. When applying please ensure the following:

      • Complete the application form in its entirety.
      • Sign and date the application form.
      • Ensure that your principal or supervisor signs the application form.
      • Include certification from a health care provider of your serious health condition.

      You should submit your leave of absence without pay application prior to the first day of absence, or as soon as possible thereafter. The most common delays in processing a leave of absence without pay are caused by incomplete and late applications. 

      **Important: Non-supervisory pedagogical employees applying for non-medical leaves should use the Self-Service Online Leave Application System.

      Below is a chart showing required supporting documentation based on employee FMLA leave type:

      Type of FMLA leave Supporting documentation
      Maternity/childcare A copy of one of the following:
      • Birth certificate or footprints
      • Copy of hospital discharge papers with date of birth
      • Letter from doctor or hospital certifying child's birth date on official letterhead
      Childcare A copy of one of the following:
      • Birth certificate
      • Letter of adoption
      Maternity Disability/Pregnancy-related disability Certification from a health care provider of the employee's serious health condition
      Care of a seriously ill family member Certification from a health care provider of the employee's family member's serious health condition.

      Eligible family members include:
      • Spouse
      • Domestic partner
      • Child
      • Parent
      Serious health condition Certification from a health care provider of the employee's serious health condition and duration
      Military families exigent circumstances A complete and sufficient certification includes one of the following:
      • A copy of the covered military member's active duty orders
      • Other documentation from the military certifying that the covered military member is on active duty ( or has been notified of an impending call to active duty) in support of a contingency operation
      Military Caregiver Certification form a health care provider of a serious injury or illness of a covered service member for military family leave.

      Eligible family members include:
      • Spouse
      • Domestic partner
      • Child
      • Parent
      • Next of Kin



      Fax your completed applications to HR Connect: (718) 935-4350

      *Important: Non-supervisory pedagogical employees applying for non-medical leaves and medical leaves should use the Self-Service Online Leave Application System.

      When the leave is processed, you will receive a determination letter in the mail. If you have more questions, please call HR Connect at (718) 935-4000.

      There are two additional categories of leaves of absence without pay, medical  and non-medical, which are available to eligible employees who do not have a FMLA-qualifying event or are otherwise ineligible for a FMLA leave, or who need to remain on leave longer than the 12 weeks allowed by FMLA.