Family Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) gives certain job protections to employees when balancing work responsibilities with the demands of personal illness or injury or in caring for family members. When you or a loved one experience a serious health condition that requires you to take time off from work, the stress from worrying about keeping your job may add to an already difficult situation.  FMLA may be able to help.

If you or your employee need to be out for an extended period of time, please contact Justine Kendall at (405) 974-2656, or Katie Saylor at (405) 974-2961, or visit the Lillard Administration Building, Room 212. 

*It also requires that employee's group health benefits be maintained during the leave.


Employees are eligible if they have been employed by the University for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the absence. The University designates the FMLA calendar year as a rolling 12-month period measured forward from the date of an employee's first FMLA event. 

Click here for a list of the most common serious health conditions that qualify for FMLA.

With proper documentation, eligible employees may receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a rolling 12-month period for the following types of absences:

  • An employee's own serious health condition
  • The serious health condition of an employee's immediate family member
  • Caring for a newborn or newly-placed adopted child or foster child

Eligible employees may qualify for a combined total of up to 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member recovering from a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty.  Certain qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered military member's active duty status, or notification of an impending call or order to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation include:

  • Issues arising from short notice deployment (seven or less days of notice)
  • Military events and related activities, such as official ceremonies, programs, or events sponsored by the military or family support or assistance programs
  • Making or updating financial and legal arrangements
  • Attending counseling
  • Taking up to five days of leave to spend time with a covered military member who is on short-term rest and recuperation leave
  • Attending to certain post-deployment activities, including attending arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events for a period of 90 days following the termination of active duty status and addressing issues arising from the death of a covered military member
  • Any other event that the employee and employer agree is a qualifying exigency.        

FMLA Responsibilities

Employee Requesting Leave

  • Complete the FMLA Request Form as appropriate, and return the signed form as directed.  If the leave is ‘foreseeable’, a 30-day advance notice is requested along with the completed forms.  If such a notice is not provided, the leave could be denied.
  • In the case of unexpected disability, the employee must make a request as soon as practical.
  • Obtain medical certification or other documentation needed to support the request for FMLA absence.
  • Request FMLA information and forms from their supervisor or the FMLA administrator.

Employee Forms

Supervisors and Timekeepers

  • Send employee FMLA requests or otherwise notify an FMLA Administrator (Justine Kendall at (405) 974-2656, or Katie Saylor at (405) 974-2961) of employee absences that may be qualifying.
  • Track and report FMLA qualifying absences.

Supervisor Forms

Benefits Department - FMLA Administrator

  • Review and respond to requests for leave that may be FMLA qualifying.
  • Maintain University records of FMLA requests and action taken pursuant to those requests, including but not limited to initial requests, certifications, employer responses to requests.
  • Advise administrators on how to inform employees about FMLA leaves and/or approves requests for leave.
  • Advise administrators on how to document all leaves appropriately.
  • Inform employees of FMLA leave requirements.

Response to Leave Requests

Responsible administrators will provide, review, and respond to employees’ FMLA requests within a reasonable time after notice of the need for leave is given by the employee – within five business days, if feasible.  This response provides the specific obligations and expectations of an FMLA leave and any consequences of failure to meet the obligations.  Supervisors or responsible administrators should:

  • Maintain appropriate documentation to support or deny a leave request.
  • Require the employee to use, concurrently with the FMLA leave, paid leave, extended sick leave, and compensatory time.

Placing Employees on FMLA Leave without Specific Request

In addition to approving an employee request for leave under FMLA, the Act allows an employer to place an employee on FMLA leave without a specific request.  This can occur when the employer has cause to believe that the period of absence is FMLA-qualifying.

In such situations, the supervisors or responsible administrators should:

  • Notify the employee that they are being placed on FMLA leave when appropriate and provide them with the FMLA information and forms.

  • Inform the employee how their accrued leave will be used.  An employee is required to use concurrently with the FMLA leave, the following paid leaves in the order listed:
    • Sick leave and Vacation leave, followed by
    • Leave without pay.

Leave Documentation

  • FMLA leave must be recorded on the employee Leave Form. 

Forms to be completed by the Physician:

Additional Forms:

Additional Forms:

More information about FMLA can be found on the United States Department of Labor website.