Family/Medical Leave

Forms and Links

Learning Resources

This is a 7 minute video useful for any employee who needs basic information about Family Medical Leave.

mortar board on computer screen  Take this 35-minute self-paced  e-learning module for Supervisors and HR/Business Partners. It provides detailed information for supervisors along with employees who are responsible for administering Family Medical Leave.

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provide eligible employees with up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. All regular academic/administrative, managerial/professional and office/service employees of the University of Nebraska with an FTE of .50 or greater, are eligible for family/medical leaves of absence. Other employees (including graduate student and temporary employees) who have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the year preceding the start of the requested leave are also eligible according to the provisions contained herein.

Reasons for Taking LeaveThe university will grant up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for any of the following reasons:
  • to address maternal/paternal concerns related to the birth or adoption of a child, or the placement of a child with the employee for foster care;
  • to address a serious health condition of the employee's spouse, child or parent;
  • to address the employee's own serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform essential functions of the job; or
  • in association with a death in the immediate family
Substituting Paid Leave for Unpaid FMLEmployees may request that accrued paid leave (e.g. vacation, sick, or funeral leave) be substituted for the unpaid family/medical leave entitlement. Any paid leave of five consecutive days or longer taken for any of the reasons listed above will be credited against the twelve-week family/medical leave entitlement.
Advance Notice and Medical CertificationThe employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Family/Medical leave may be denied if these requirements are not met.
  • The employee ordinarily must provide 30 days of advance notice when the leave is foreseeable.
  • UNL may require medical certification to support a request for leave due to a serious health condition. Additional medical opinions may be required at UNL's expense. UNL may also require a fitness for duty report prior to a return to work.
Job Benefits and Protection
  • For the duration of approved family/medical leave, the University will maintain the employee's health coverage under any University-sponsored group health plan.
  • Upon return from family/medical leave an employee will return to the same employment status as if the employee had been continuously employed. As such, employees will usually be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment items.
  • The use of approved family/medical leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave
GuidelinesEmployee requests information about family/medical leave. NOTE: Employees requesting family/medical leave are entitled to the leave, provided it is for one of the purposes noted on the Request for Family/Medical Leave.

Department provides Request for Family/Medical Leave to employee and gives needed assistance in completing. Issues to discuss:

  • Primary issue is whether the leave is being requested for a qualifying event under the Family/Medical Leave Policy.
  • Whether leave will be paid, unpaid, or a combination of both.
  • University's continuing contribution to insurance coverage, even during unpaid leave; questions about insurance may be directed to Benefits, 402-472-2600.
  • Employee's current leave balances.
  • Whether medical documentation will be required and whether a medical release will be required when employee returns to work (it is usually advisable to request medical documentation; it is sometimes helpful to provide the employee's job description to the medical provider).


The expressed intent of the Board of Regents is that employees have a right to family/medical leave. This policy will be administered without regard to race, religion, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or other factors that lawfully cannot be the basis for employment decisions.


  1. Any eligible employee (as described in the Family/Medical Leave Policy) completes the Request for Family/Medical Leave, supplying all requested information.
  2. The employee gives the request to the immediate supervisor or unit administrator. 
  3. The supervisor either:  (a) approves and signs the leave request and forwards the form to the dean or director; or (b) denies the request and returns the form to the employee. (If denied, the employee may forward the leave request form directly to the dean or director for a decision.)
  4. The dean or director either:  (a) approves and signs the request (sends the original to Human Resources and a copy to the department) and then the department notifies the employee; or (b) denies the request and returns the form to the department, and the department notifies the employee.

If denied by the dean or director, the employee may appeal the decision. An employee who wishes to appeal the decision bears the responsibility for taking the request to the appropriate administrator.

  • Employees with administrative, managerial/professional, and office/service appointments appeal through the Office of Human Resources.
  • Employees holding academic appointments including chairs, deans, and directors with partial academic appointments appeal through the appropriate vice chancellor in consultation with the Director of Human Resources.

All decisions regarding a family/medical leave for faculty or staff are grievable under existing staff and faculty grievance systems. 

See also: Crisis LeaveFamily/Medical Leave Policy