University of Illinois System

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.), and as amended in January 2009, is designed to help employees balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families and to promote stability and economic security of families.

FMLA provides employees with 12 weeks unpaid leave for each consecutive 12-month period for which eligibility criteria have been met for the following events:

  • Birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care.
  • Serious health condition of an employee.
  • Serious health condition of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent.
  • Qualifying exigency of a son, daughter, spouse, parent, or next of kin.

FMLA also provides up to 26 weeks unpaid leave during a "single 12-month period" for which eligibility criteria have been met for the following event:

  • Care of a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

Ordinarily, an employee who has been absent for family and medical leave shall be restored to the position held by the employee in the same unit from which the employee took leave; or an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Please see FMLA leave for further information on eligibility, approval and documentation, length of leave, etc. Education and resource materials regarding FMLA are listed under Additional Resources in the right margin.