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FMLA & Family Care Act (FCA)
Leave Request Process - Parental Leave


This page assumes that your employee is requesting leave to be with a newborn or newly placed adoptive or foster child

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

Parental leave is in addition to any period of disability leave that the birth mother may have taken and is available even if the employee does not meet FMLA eligibility requirements.

The supervisor determines whether a parental leave request is covered by the FMLA by answering the following questions:

  1. Yes No - Has the employee worked for the State of Washington (including UW employment) for at least 12 months?
  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 or her entitlement to 12 weeks of FMLA protected leave during the current calendar year left? (Any leave taken during the current calendar year that has been designated in writing as FMLA leave, is deducted from the 12 week calendar year entitlement to determine the remaining amount of FMLA eligibility).

If the answers to all of the above questions are "Yes," the employee's leave request is covered by the FMLA. Proceed to Step 2.

If the answer to any of the above questions is "No," the employee is not covered by the FMLA but is eligible for up to four months of parental leave. (Note: based on civil service rules, classified non-union employees may take up to six months of parental leave).

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:

Contact the unit's Human Resources Consultant (HRC) to discuss the employee's leave options, complete the FMLA Notice, and send it to the employee.

Step 2 - Determine whether to request certification.

The FMLA allows an employer to obtain certification of an employee's need for leave. If certification will not be required, coverage by the FMLA is presumed. Proceed to Step 3.

For Birth Mothers - Typically certification is required for the birth mother so that you will know what the period of temporary disability is in order to allocate leave properly. If certification will be required, the appropriate UW certification form must be used as it has been designed to comply with the requirements of the FMLA. Supervisors who wish to obtain parental leave certification should download the Parental Leave Certification Form for maternity-related disability and parental leave, and discuss the certification requirement with the unit's HRC. Proceed to Step 3. (Updated certifications can be requested as often as 30 days, if necessary).

For Parents Other than the Birth Mother - You may request certification of the date of birth, adoption or foster placement to determine when an eligible employee's parental leave may start. Download Parental Leave Certification Form for a parent other than the birth mother.

Step 3 - 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. Consider including the FMLA Notice Cover Letter which allows you to personalize the leave communication to your employee.
  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 letter should contact their unit's Human Resources Consultant.

Step 4- Follow up

When an employee is within approximately two workweeks of the date he or she is scheduled to return to work from parental leave: