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How to Use the Family Medical Leave Act
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers to allow eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any 12-month period for certain family related situations. As
a result, qualified University employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave per calendar year.

Who is eligible for FMLA leave?

Faculty and staff are eligible to apply for FMLA leave if they have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the date on which FMLA leave begins.

Who qualifies as "immediate family"?

For purposes of FMLA, immediate family is defined as the employee's spouse, children under the age of 18 (or older if certified as incapable of self care because of a mental or physical disability), and the employee's parents.

What situations qualify as FMLA leave?

Eligible employees may request FMLA leave for a serious health condition of either the employee or a qualified family member; or for the birth, adoption, or placement for foster care of a child.

Will I be paid during FMLA leave?

The Family Medical Leave Act requires only that unpaid leave be granted in qualifying circumstances.

However, an individual may elect to use available annual leave or sick leave during all or part of a period of FMLA leave. The use of annual or sick leave must meet the requirements set forth in University Policies and Procedures.

Will my job be protected during FMLA leave?

Employees returning from approved FMLA leave must be restored to the position held immediately prior to the leave, or to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.

May FMLA leave be taken on an intermittent basis?

FMLA leave taken because of an employee's serious health condition or that of a family member may be taken on an intermittent basis when medically necessary.

FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child must be taken within one year of the child's birth or adoption or placement of a foster child. In all cases, FMLA leave is limited to 12 weeks in any one calendar year.

If I take unpaid FMLA leave, what happens to the insurance I have through USC?

If you are taking unpaid FMLA leave, you must continue your normal premium payments during the period of leave to keep your insurance benefits. The University will continue to pay it's portion of your premiums.

Premium payments must be made to USC's Payroll Office, 1600 Hampton Street, Columbia, S.C. 29208.

If you do not elect to keep your insurance in force during the period of unpaid leave, you may re-enroll upon returning from FMLA leave. You will not be subject to medical examinations or pre-existing conditions exclusions, unless you were subject to those conditions prior to the period of leave.

How do I apply for FMLA leave?

To apply for FMLA leave, complete a University of South Carolina Employee Medical Certification (Form P-75), or submit a written request to your department head.

If the FMLA leave is for a period of disability greater than 10 days, you must also have a health care professional complete the Employee Medical Certification (Form P-75).

If the FMLA leave is for the adoption or placement of a child, you must provide a copy of the adoption papers or a letter from the attorney or official handling the adoption or foster care arrangement.

You will also need to complete a Employee Request for Leave (Form P-83) for appropriate department approval.

Who can I talk with about FMLA?

If you have questions about FMLA, call the University's Benefits Office at 803-777-6650, or the human resources office on your campus. The Benefits Office is located in Suite 803 of 1600 Hampton Street in Columbia.

If you have questions about insurance premium payments, call the Payroll Office at 803-777-4227.

For more information about Family Medical Leave, you also may refer to the following University of South Carolina Policies and Procedures:

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