Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible team members for various medical situations.


Team members must have been employed for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave.

Consideration of Leave

Situations qualifying for FMLA include the following:

  • Incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth.
  • To care for your child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care.
  • To care for your spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition.
  • A serious health condition that makes you unable to perform your job.

Duration of Leave

Leave under the FMLA is limited to 12 weeks within a rolling 12-month period. Total cumulative leave under any FMLA category will not exceed more than 12 weeks per rolling 12-month period.

Benefit Status During Leave

Team members will retain benefits throughout the approved FMLA leave. If the leave is unpaid, the team member is responsible for providing the applicable payment for benefits.

Compensation During Leave

A combination of vacation, sick time and disability benefits can be used depending on the type of leave; refer to the applicable benefit policy for more information.

Return to Work

An FMLA leave of absence is job-protected, meaning you are entitled to return to your job in the same position as when you left for your leave. However, if your position no longer exists, you should be offered one that is comparable in terms of skills, duties, pay, benefits, etc.

Other Considerations

When it is medically necessary, team members may take FMLA leave intermittently – taking leave in separate blocks of time for a single qualifying reason – or on a reduced leave schedule – reducing the usual weekly or daily work schedule. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the team member must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt business operations.

Leave to care for or bond with a newborn child or for a newly placed adopted or foster child may only be taken intermittently with the employer’s approval and must conclude within 12 months after the birth or placement.

A married couple employed by Carle Health may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks during a rolling 12-month period for all FMLA qualifying reasons.