Family & Medical Leave Act

Family & Medical Leave Act

UVA is committed to balancing the demands of your workplace, your individual needs, and the needs of your family. The University complies with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., and Regulations 29 C.F.R Part 825).

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) is a job-protected leave without pay (or use of your accrued leave with pay) for up to 12 workweeks (26 weeks for qualified Military leave) during a leave plan year for reasons specified in the FMLA. Those reasons include the following:

  • Birth of a child (to be taken within 12 months of the child’s birth)
  • Addition to the family through adoption or foster care (to be taken within 12 months of the child’s placement)
  • Care for a family member (child, spouse, or parent) with a serious health condition
  • A serious health condition that makes you unable to do your job
  • Military leave for a qualified exigency or to care for a covered service member’s serious illness or injury. (You may be granted up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a covered military service member who sustained a serious injury or illness if you are the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin.)

Eligible employees include faculty, professional research staff, classified salaried employees, University staff, Medical Center team members, salaried research assistants, and wage employees who have been employed for both:

  • At least 12 months within the last 7 years
  • At least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before the start of leave


FMLA Provisions

Situations where FMLA may be used, and how it is implemented

  • All Employee Types

    Family and medical leave may not be used for a short-term period (incapacity requiring absence of less than three calendar days), conditions for minor illnesses, and out-patient surgical procedures with expected brief recuperating periods. It does not provide for intermittent care of a child for commonplace illnesses (ex.: colds and flu).

    When both parents of a child work for UVA, the full amount of leave is limited to a combined 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

    You must submit a written Request for Family and Medical Leave at least 30 days before the anticipated start of family and medical leave unless emergencies or unforeseen events preclude advance notice to the Office of Leave and Benefits (UVA HR). You must also provide required certification within 15 calendar days if requested by the Office of Leave and Benefits.

    For VSDP (Virginia Sickness & Disability Program) covered illnesses and injuries, an employee is not required to submit a written Request for Family and Medical Leave at the time the leave begins or is expected to begin. Leave that is managed through VSDP’s carrier, UNUM, is automatically deemed FMLA leave for the period of approved medical disability. Should employees wish to extend leave beyond the period of approved medical disability, a Request for Family and Medical Leave may be required.

    At the end of family and medical leave, an employee normally is reinstated to his or her original position  the position held when the leave began (unless the employee held a key position which needed to be filled during the absence). If the original position has been filled, an employee is entitled to an equivalent position (requires comparability and correspondence to duties, terms, conditions, and privileges of the employee’s previous position). UVA may require certification from a healthcare provider that the employee is able to return to work.

    FMLA Employee Rights and Responsibilities

Family and Medical Leave Policies

Detailed descriptions of FMLA Policies by employee type:


Additional Family and Medical Leave Types

  • Medical Center Team Members

    Adoption/Child By Surrogate/Foster Care Placement Leave: The Medical Center provides up to 3 weeks of paid Adoption/Child By Surrogate/Foster Care Placement leave to eligible team members.

    Medical Leave: The Medical Center may grant a medical leave to team members for personal illness or disability. This applies to team members who are not eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or who have exhausted their rights under FMLA.

  • Faculty

    In addition to unpaid leave provided by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), UVA provides several categories of personal leave for faculty to balance personal and professional commitments. Other than unpaid leave provided under FMLA, leave for personal reasons may be approved at the discretion of a supervisor, dean, or vice president. Approval is not guaranteed. With supervisor approval, faculty members may use available annual leave to extend the approved period of personal leave. Annual leave is a form of paid leave.

    Parental Leave: A faculty member who is tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track with an appointment of one year or more, may request up to 3 weeks of leave with full pay or 6 weeks of leave at half-pay upon becoming a parent (through the birth of a child, through adoption, placement of a foster child, or assumption of legal guardianship for a child under 7 years of age). Benefits remain unchanged during paid leave. No more than 2 faculty members may be approved for parental leave related to a single birth or placement event.

    In addition to paid leave, faculty members may request an additional 9 weeks of unpaid parental leave. During this time, UVA will pay no salary but will contribute the employer's portion of any allowable health and life insurance premiums, so long as the faculty member continues to pay the employee’s share. During these 9 weeks, the University will not make contributions to the faculty member’s retirement benefit plan.

    Parental leave must be completed within 12 months of the date of the birth or placement of the child. If the parents of a child (birth, adoptive, foster, or legal guardian) are faculty members working in the same department, unit, or program, they may be required by their school or unit to stagger, or otherwise coordinate, their paid and unpaid parental leave to minimize the disruptive effect on the department or unit.

    For faculty members who give birth, any approved paid parental leave is in addition to paid leave received as a result of short-term disability.

    All paid and unpaid parental leave runs concurrently with any unpaid leave granted under FMLA.

Leave Sharing

Classified Staff and University Staff

Leave sharing permits eligible employees in a Leave Without Pay or docking status (14 consecutive calendar days of no pay) to receive income by using leave donated by other employees. Part- and full-time (20–40 hours per week) salaried Classified and University Staff who qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are eligible.

Leave Sharing may be used when leave balances have been depleted and either an employee or a family member covered by the Family Medical Leave Act has an illness or injury. Employees participating in short-term disability programs receive benefits for personal injury or illness and are not eligible for Leave Sharing. However, these employees may participate in Leave Sharing for a family member.