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FMLA and Family Care Act (FCA)
Family Member Military Duty Related Leave Processing

Step 1 - Determine whether the FMLA applies to the leave.

  1. Yes No - Is the employee requesting leave or an intermittent or reduced work schedule because a family member who is a covered servicemember has been called to active duty.
  2. Yes No - Is the employee requesting leave or an intermittent or reduced work schedule because a family member who is a covered servicemember:
  3. Yes No - Is the leave request a continuation of a previous request for leave related to a family member's duty in the armed forces that was covered by the FMLA?

If the answer to question 2 is "Yes," the employee's leave request may be covered by the FCA even if the employee does not meet FMLA eligibility requirements (step 2 below).

If the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 are "No," the leave request is not covered by the provisions of the FMLA. Handle the leave request in accordance with normal departmental leave approval and processing procedures. Otherwise go to Step 2.

Step 2 - Determine the Employee's FMLA and/or FCA eligibility.

Determine whether the employee meets all of the FMLA eligibility criteria.

  1. Yes No - Has the employee worked for the State of Washington (including UW employment) for at least 12 months? The 12 months need not be consecutive. However, employment periods preceding a break in service of 7 years or more will not be counted unless the break in service was due to National Guard or Reserve military service obligations. If the break in service was due to National Guard or Reserve military service obligations, both the employment period prior to the break in service and the time in military service must counted in determining if the employee has worked 12 months for the State/UW.
  2. Yes No - Has the employee worked a total of at least 1250 hours during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave request?
  3. Yes No - Does the employee have any of his/her entitlement to FMLA protected leave left? Any leave taken during the specified 12- month period that has been designated in writing as FMLA leave, is deducted from the entitlement to determine the remaining amount of FMLA eligibility.
    • The leave entitlement to care for a covered servicemember who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is otherwise in outpatient status; or on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness is a one-time maximum of 26 workweeks . The 12-month period is measured forward from the date an employee’s first leave to care for the covered servicemember begins.
    • The leave entitlement is a maximum of 12 workweeks within a 12-month period for leave related to a qualifying exigency. The 12-month period is the calendar year.
    • An eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave for military caregiver leave and leave for any other FMLA-qualifying reason during the same 12-month period. However the employee can take no more than 12 work weeks of leave because of a qualifying exigency or for any other FMLA-qualifying reason, such as parental leave.
  4. Yes No - Does the employee have any accrued paid leave (sick leave, annual leave, comp time, personal holiday, or shared leave, if eligible)?

If the answers to questions 1-3 are "Yes," the employee's leave request may be covered by the FMLA. Proceed to Step 3.

If the answer to any of questions 1-3 is "No," and the answer to question 4 is "Yes," the employee's leave request is not covered by the FMLA because the FMLA eligibility threshold has not been met, however the leave may request may be covered by the FCA is the employee needs time off to care for an injured or ill family member in the military.

The FMLA requires that the employer do two things when an employee requests leave that would otherwise be covered by the FMLA, but the employee does not meet FMLA eligibility criteria:

The supervisor should contact the unit's Human Resources Consultant (HRC) to discuss the employee's leave options. Complete the FMLA Notice as described in Step 4 below.

Step 3 - Determine whether to request certification.

The FMLA allows an employer to obtain certification of an employee's need for leave. If you are not requiring certification, and unless there is specific information to the contrary, the employee is presumed to be covered by the FMLA. Proceed to Step 4.

If certification will be required for a covered servicemember's health condition, the appropriate UW certification form must be used as it complies with the requirements of the FMLA. Supervisors who wish to obtain health care provider certification should discuss the certification requirement with the unit's HRC. Download a copy of Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember --for Military Family Leave and proceed to Step 4. (Updated health care provider certifications can be requested as often as 30 days, if necessary).

An employer may request that leave for any qualifying exigency be supported by a certification. The “Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave” form must be used. For each period of active duty status or call to active duty, the first time qualifying exigency leave is requested, the employer may require the employee to provide a copy of the covered military member’s active duty orders or other military issued documentation.

Step 4 - Complete the FMLA notice

The FMLA requires that certain information be provided to an employee when a leave request that may be covered by the FMLA is approved or denied.

  1. Prepare the FMLA Notice form letter which complies with the FMLA's employee notification requirements.
  2. Use he FMLA Notice Cover Letter to personalize your communication with your employee, as the FMLA Notice does not lend itself that purpose.
  3. Print the FMLA Information Summary.
  4. Deliver the FMLA Notice and the other documents to your employee within five business days of the employee's leave request, if possible.

Supervisors who have questions about completion of the FMLA Notice form should contact their unit's Human Resources Consultant. Proceed to step 5.

Step 5 - Family Care Act (FCA)

If the employee has requested leave to care for a family member who is a covered servicemember with a serious health condition, the Family Care Act mandates that the employee be allowed to use any or all of the employee's choice of available paid leave (including shared leave) to cover the period of absence required by the co member's health condition.

Under the FCA the employee must follow the employer's leave policies in requesting the use of paid leave. Other than approving the use of the paid leave, there is no special correspondence or documentation that the FCA requires. Proceed to Step 6.

Step 6 - Follow up

When an employee is within approximately two workweeks of the date he or she is to return to work from Family & Medical Leave and/or leave under the Family Care Act:

FMLA/FCA Topics