DePaul University Human Resources > Benefits > Leave of Absence > FMLA

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

DePaul University provides family and medical leave to eligible employees according to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Applicable federal, state and local government regulations may also be applied.

View university policy on FMLA.

Eligibility:

  • 1 year of service (consecutive or nonconsecutive) and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the leave
  • Adherence to university policy and procedures and timely completion of all required forms

Benefit: In general, an employee who takes approved FMLA leave is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position that the employee held when the leave started; most benefits remain active (if premiums are paid); no salary paid.

Duration: Up to 12 weeks.

Start Date: On first day of absence.

It is the responsibility of employees to be familiar with the FMLA policy. In addition, employees are expected to follow the procedures outlined in the FMLA policy and on this website.

Managers are responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of the FMLA policy and the applicable federal, state, and local laws.

FMLA will run concurrently with short-term disability for an employee’s own serious health condition. Once an employee is determined to be fit for duty, short-term disability payments cease but the remainder of the approved FMLA leave may be continued on an unpaid basis.

FMLA may be taken for a consecutive block of time or on an intermittent basis.

Sheets from Liberty Mutual:

FMLA Leave Process

Employee’s Initial Steps

1. Contact your manager to inform him or her of your absence/need for a leave of absence.

2. Contact Liberty Mutual, DePaul’s leave of absence administrator, at (800) 341-0593, to initiate the leave of absence process. During the initial call with the Liberty Mutual, you will be assigned a case manager who will discuss preliminary information and then will send you instructions and the necessary forms to complete (by you and your physician).

3. Submit all completed paperwork to Liberty Mutual within 15 calendar days in order for your leave of absence request to be processed. This includes the paperwork from your physician. If your completed paperwork is not returned to Liberty Mutual within 15 days, your request for leave may be denied.

4. Once the paperwork is received by Liberty Mutual, it goes through a review process and an approval determination is made. Once the leave determination is completed, a letter of approval or denial is sent to you. The Human Resources Department and your manager are also notified of the status of your leave request.

5. While you are on an FMLA only leave, you may be able to use accrued vacation pay or available floating holidays. To do so, you must inform the Benefits Department. If your leave is unpaid, you will also be required to inform the Benefits Department of your benefit payment arrangement. The Benefits Department can be reached at (312) ​362-8232. ​

Steps While on Leave

1. If you are on leave due to a birth or adoption of a child, contact the Benefits Department at (312) 362-8232 within 31 days to complete a family status change in order to add the child to your health insurance. You may also want to update your life insurance and retirement plan beneficiary information.

2. Stay in touch with your manager and Liberty Mutual throughout your leave.

3. If you are on an intermittent leave, you are required to submit a Payroll Leave Spreadsheet to the Benefits Department each Friday before a payroll date. The spreadsheet is used to notify the Payroll Department of the hours you work and the hours to be applied to your approved leave of absence. Failure to provide the Payroll Leave Spreadsheets on a timely basis may result in you not being paid or being underpaid.

4. While on leave, if your circumstances change and you are able to return to work earlier than expected please notify Liberty Mutual and your manager as soon as possible before returning back to work.

5. If you need to extend your leave beyond your expected return to work date, you must notify Liberty Mutual and your manager at least five work days prior to the date you had originally intended to return to work. Liberty Mutual will detail the steps necessary to extend your leave. ​

Steps To Prepare for Your Return to Work

1. One week prior to your return to work, contact your manager and Liberty Mutual to confirm your return to work date. No additional documentation is necessary to return to work.

2. Failure to return to work on your expected return to work date or failure to notify Liberty Mutual and your manager of a needed extension to your leave may result in termination of employment.

3. If a reasonable accommodation is necessary when returning to work, please refer to the Americans with Disabilities Act policy. Additional information is also available at the Human Resources website for Reasonable Accommodations. DePaul will make a reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with a disability, who are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as individuals with a disability who satisfy the job-related requirements of a position held or desired, and who can perform the "essential functions" of such a position, with or without reasonable accommodation. You may contact Employee Relations at (312) 362-8577 for more details. ​

FMLA FAQs

What is Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

 FMLA is a federal law that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks (up to 26 workweeks to care for a covered service member) of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.​​
In general, an employee who takes approved FMLA leave is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position that the employee held when the leave started.  If, at the time an approved FMLA leave is exhausted, an employee does not return to work or is unable to perform the essential functions of the job, there is no right to job restoration.​​

How long can I be on an FMLA leave?

Employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks (up to 26 workweeks to care for a covered service member) of unpaid family and medical leave during each consecutive twelve-month period for which eligibility criteria have been met. FMLA leave can either be taken as a block of time or intermittently.  For additional information about intermittent leave contact the Benefits Department at ext. 28232.​

What will be my pay when I am on FMLA leave?

FMLA leave is unpaid.  You may qualify for short-term disability that will run concurrently with FMLA.  If short-term disability is not available, you may use accrued sick, vacation or floating holidays during your FMLA leave. If an employee on FMLA leave is not eligible to receive pay under any of the university policies for sick pay, short-term disability or vacation, the leave will be unpaid.​

What if I need more than 12 weeks of leave?

You may also qualify for short-term disability leave. When you contact Liberty Mutual (DePaul’s leave administrator), you will receive information about applying for both FMLA and short-term disability leave. If you qualify for both, they will run concurrently but only 12 weeks is job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.​​

What happens when I exhaust FMLA?

Once FMLA is exhausted and an employee is not able to return to work or is unable to perform the essential functions of the job, there is no right to job restoration.​​

What happens if my FMLA expires and I'm still on short-term disability?

Once an employee exhausts the 12 weeks of FMLA, he/she may continue on short-term disability if deemed medically necessary by the physician. This means he/she will continue to receive short term disability benefits but job protection will no longer be available and the job may be posted. If the department decides to fill the position, once the employee is ready to return to work they must apply for any available jobs like any other job candidate.​