UW-Madison employees were able to utilize leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, UW-Madison employees are able to utilize leave for COVID-related reasons. If you need to request leave for COVID-related reasons, here are some options to discuss with your supervisor:
- Flexing your schedule
- Taking paid leave
- Taking unpaid leave
Medical leave options
Employees who need to take absences of more than five working days for specified family and/or medical reasons may be eligible for unpaid, job-protected federal and state leave entitlements. It is an obligation under federal and state regulations, as your employer, for us to inform you of your eligibility and your rights and responsibilities under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA). It is an obligation under federal regulations, as your employer, for us to designate WFMLA and/or FMLA leave if appropriate and it is a protection for employees if their leave would extend.
Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Under FMLA, eligible employees have the right to take up to 12 weeks (480 hours/prorated for part-time employees) of unpaid, job-protected leave* for the following reasons:
- Birth of a child
- Placement with employee of a child for adoption or foster care
- Employee’s own serious health condition
- To care for a family member with a serious health condition
- A qualifying exigency for a military family member on covered active duty
- To care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness
Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA)
Under WFMLA, eligible employees have the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave* for the following reasons:
- Employee’s own serious health condition – up to 2 weeks (80 hours/prorated for part-time employees)
- Caring for a family member with a serious health condition – up to 2 weeks (80 hours/prorated for part-time employees)
- Pre-birth bonding, birth of a child, or adoption – up to 6 weeks (240 hours/prorated for part-time employees)
*While leave designated under W/FMLA is unpaid, employees may substitute accrued paid leave (vacation, personal holiday, sick leave, ALRA, etc.) so they continue to receive pay while on leave. If you have questions about your leave balances, pay or benefits, contact your divisional Payroll & Benefits Coordinator.
Comparison of FMLA and WFMLA Laws
For additional information on FMLA and WFMLA, including eligibility requirements and leave entitlement, refer to the Family & Medical Leave Information Guide and/or the Notice of Employee Rights and Responsibilities.
All medical information is confidential (including leave request statuses and employee eligibility for FMLA) and can only be shared on a “need to know” basis. Access to confidential medical information is restricted. Only Divisional Disability Representatives (DDRs) are authorized to handle and retain medical information for employees.
How to Request Leave
To request leave under FMLA or WFMLA, complete and return the appropriate medical leave forms (see below) to the SMPH FMLA Coordinator at 608-262-9515 (confidential fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org (confidential e-mail) at least 30 days before the leave is expected to start. As a designated Divisional Disability Representative (DDR), the FMLA Coordinator is responsible for maintaining confidential medical information for all SMPH employees.
- Medical Leave Forms
- Military Family Leave Entitlements
- W/FMLA Leave Tracking Spreadsheets
- Related Policies
- Resources for Employees
- Resources for Supervisors
- Contact Information
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Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on action duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is an outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.
- Certification for Military Family Leave for Qualifying Exigency under the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember for Military Caregiver Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
WFMLA does not have military-specific family leave provisions. However, caring for a service member/veteran may qualify as a WFMLA-eligible reason for leave.
Supervisors must maintain a leave tracking spreadsheet for each employee and for each approved W/FMLA leave the employee has. Once the leave ends, the supervisor must submit a copy of the leave tracking spreadsheet to the SMPH DDRs at email@example.com.
Under federal and state laws, SMPH Human Resources must maintain a record of all hours of W/FMLA leave taken by W/FMLA eligible employees for at least three years.
Employees should also maintain a leave tracking spreadsheet for each approved W/FMLA leave they have. Doing so will help the employee and supervisor resolve any leave usage discrepancies.
Leave Tracking Spreadsheets
SMPH FMLA Coordinator
If you have any questions about FMLA, contact the FMLA Coordinator at 608-262-9515 (confidential fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org (confidential e-mail).
SMPH Payroll & Benefits
For questions about your SMPH leave balances, pay or benefits, contact your SMPH Payroll & Benefits Coordinator.
Office of Human Resources – Benefits Services
If you plan to take leave without pay or utilize other benefits, such as Income Continuation Insurance (ICI), during your leave, we encourage you to contact the Office of Human Resources – Benefits Services at 608-262-5650 or email@example.com to discuss payment of premiums and any other questions related to your benefits and allocation of paid leave.
UWMF Human Resources
For SMPH employees affiliated with UWMF, contact UWMF HR at 608-263-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the UWMF Physician Parental Leave of Absence Policy or your UWMF benefits. Contact your Department Administrator or their designee with any questions about your UWMF pay.