The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, to recuperate from their own serious illness, or to care for a seriously ill family member. The act also provides up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for family members wounded while serving on active duty.

FMLA Eligibility and Provisions


An employee who

  1. has worked for the university for at least 12 months and  
  2. has worked at least 1,250 hours for the university during the previous 12-month period.

Eligibility is determined at the time the employee requests the leave. For further information about time accrual, contact your timekeeper for additional information.


Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period. The leave can only be used for qualifying events. In certain circumstances, the act entitles eligible specified family members in the military.

  1. Up to 12 weeks of leave for certain qualifying exigencies* arising out of a covered military member's active duty status, or notification of an impending call or order to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation, and
  2. up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered family member** serving in the military or National Guard recovering from a serious injury or illness incurred while on active duty. Eligible employees are entitled to a combined total of up to 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave during the single 12-month period.

The Family Medical Leave Act grants employment and benefits protection for associated absences. During the leave, employees must continue maintaining their contribution(s) towards their benefit coverage.

Qualifying Events

Eligible employees may apply for FMLA under these circumstances.

  • Recuperate from their own serious health condition
  • Care for a newborn or newly adopted child
  • Care for a seriously ill family member
  • Care for an injured family member that is in the military
  • Placement of a foster child

Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for a condition that either prevents the staff member from performing the functions of the staff member’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

Under the FMLA, covered serious health conditions include

Definition of the serious health conditions covered by FMLA

pregnancy: care of a newborn, or placement of an adopted or foster child.

in-patient care: overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility.

absence plus treatment: incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days which involves two (2) treatments or one (1) treatment resulting in a “regiment of continuing treatment."

chronic conditions: those that require periodic visits, continue over extended periods or cause episodic incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy).

permanent/long-term conditions: those where treatment may not be effective but an individual needs medical supervision (e.g., Alzheimer’s, stroke, terminal stages of a disease).

multiple treatments for nonchronic conditions: e.g., cancer, arthritis, kidney disease.

Applying for FMLA

The leave may be requested or approved for either a continuous duration or on an intermittent basis. It is highly recommended that an employee on FMLA make reasonable effort to schedule time away so as not to disrupt the department’s operation.  

Temple University requires employees to use all unused sick time when appropriate under the leave policy, vacation, and other accrued and personal times. When an employee exhausts all paid time off, the balance of their leave becomes unpaid.

Return to Work

An employee who takes time off under FMLA for their own serious health condition will be required to submit to our office a Fitness-for-duty Certification before returning to work. The certification must be completed by the employee’s healthcare provider (HCP). The Fitness-for-duty Certification confirms that the employee is able to return to work with the ability to carry out all the essential functions of their job.

If an employee’s HCP is recommending a return to work with limitations, the certification of the employee’s ability to return to work and the details of the recommended limitations, must be submitted 10 days prior to the employee’s scheduled return date. The Absence Management Department will review and determine the university’s ability to accommodate the work limitation(s).

An employee may not return to work without submitting a complete Fitness-for-duty Certification to the Absence Management Department. Failure to return to work as scheduled may constitute a violation and result in sanctions as outlined in the Rules of Conduct.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is available to eligible faculty and staff. Plans provide a level of income replacement, as well as continued benefits plan coverage, when an employee becomes disabled and is unable to work. The level of coverage may vary depending on the employee’s job classification and/or any applicable collective bargaining agreement. See additional information on disability insurance.

Contact Us

For questions regarding the Family Medical Leave Act, call 215-926-2282 or email