Human Resources Office
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Old Main 201
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
Human Resources Office
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) provide you with the right to take job-protected leave with continued medical benefits when you need time off from work to care for yourself or a family member who is seriously ill, to care for a newborn or newly adopted child or to attend to the affairs of a family member who is called to active duty in the military.
You may be eligible for more generous leave provisions under University Policy Guidelines or your applicable collective bargaining agreement. Leave taken for FMLA-eligible reasons must run concurrently under FMLA, WFMLA and other leave provisions available. The leave available under the various provisions is exhausted simultaneously. To understand how the integration of laws with state and university policies and collective bargaining affects you, please contact your campus human resources office.
For eligibility purposes, all State of Wisconsin employers, including the University of Wisconsin System are considered one employer.
All leave entitlements, except FMLA leave to provide care for an injured or ill military service member, are based on a calendar year basis for classified employees and a fiscal year basis (July 1 to June 30) for unclassified employees.
You are allowed up to ten workweeks per year of unpaid job-protected leave with continued medical benefits as follows:
You are allowed up to 12 workweeks per year of unpaid, job-protected leave with continued medical benefits for any combination of following reasons:
Under FMLA only, you are also allowed up to 26 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave with continued medical benefits in a "single 12-month period" to care for an eligible military servicemember who has a serious injury or illness that occurred in the line of duty on active duty for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, therapy, on outpatient status or is on the temporary disability retired list.
Under WFMLA, employee may elect to substitute any type of employer-provided paid leave (vacation, sick leave, personal holiday...) during WFMLA-approved leave. The employer may not force substitution.
Under FMLA only, employee may be eligible to substitute some forms of employer-provided paid leave during a FMLA-approved leave. There is no limit on substituting paid vacation, sabbatical, personal/floating holiday or comp time but the employee many not substitute paid sick leave for any situation where the employee is not otherwise allowed to use sick leave per employer sick leave policy. For example, an employee may not use sick leave during a FMLA military exigency leave to arrange for childcare, attend military ceremonies, attend to legal affairs... Sick leave may also not be used to care for a newborn child or newly placed adopted child or foster child under FMLA.
The Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) developed a side-by-side comparison of FMLA and WFMLA provisions that outline all facets of both programs and which program is more generous. The employee is always eligible to receive the more generous provision. The Department of Workforce Development also provides a comparison guide and FAQ on their website.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) summarizes all FMLA provisions in Fact Sheet #28: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The DOL also has a website dedicated to the FMLA and a FMLA poster that must be posted by the employer.
UW System Administration General Counsel's website outlines WFMLA and FMLA provisions (includes links to an FAQ and slide show presentation).
The full text of the FMLA Final Rule can be found in 29 CFR Part 825 (the actual Act begins on page 141 of the PDF). The WFMLA was created by Wis. Stats. §103.10 and its implementation is outlined in Wis. Admin. Code Ch. DWD 225.
Family and medical leave does not constitute a break in continuous service for faculty (chg. UWS 3.04(3), Wi's. Admin. Code) or academic staff (UWS 10.3(2)(a)3, Wi's. Admin. Code). When the leave is due to childbirth or adoption, or significant responsibilities with respect to your own or a family member's disability or chronic illness or a qualifying exigency, and those circumstances could significantly impede progress toward achieving tenure, that leave is not included in the seven-year probationary period. Faculty and academic staff may be granted up to a year probationary extension for the birth or adoption of a child.
Example: A faculty member has been on probationary status for a total of nine years because s/he was granted two requests for one-year extensions because of the birth of two children. The faculty member's teaching, research, professional and public service and contribution to the institution is evaluated as if only seven years were worked towards achieving tenure, rather than 9 years worked toward this achievement.
The University of Wisconsin policy for unclassified employees on family and medical leave is included in Unclassified Personnel Guideline #10 where the use of sick leave is addressed. Sections 3, 10, and 19 of chg. UWS, Wisconsin Administrative Code, provide Board of Regents policies for university faculty and academic staff.
The WFMLA and FMLA policy for classified employees is explained in detail in chapter 724 of the Wisconsin Human Resources Handbook. If you are represented, your collective bargaining agreement may provide more liberal leave provisions.
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University of Wisconsin-Superior is an equal opportunity educator and employer