Family and Medical Leave Act Overview

FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is a federal law in the United States that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family or medical reasons without risking job loss. The FMLA provides job protection and continuation of health insurance coverage during the leave period. Eligible reasons for FMLA leave include the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child, the serious health condition of the employee or an immediate family member, and certain qualifying exigencies arising from a family member’s military service.

Employees have the option to substitute accrued paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave, as long as they comply with the employer’s applicable paid leave policy. This means that paid leave and FMLA leave will run concurrently, and the employee will receive pay according to the paid leave policy while being protected under the FMLA. Employers may also require employees to use their accrued paid leave for FMLA purposes.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the FMLA process, contact the UFHR University Benefits Central Leave team at or call (352) 392-2477.



Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for FMLA, you must:

  • Have at least 12 months of employment (need not be consecutive) with UF.
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours for UF during the 12 months prior to the FMLA leave start date. Only hours actually worked for the employer count towards the 1,250-hour requirement. Paid leave such as vacation, sick, or holidays are not included.
  • Not have exhausted your current FMLA entitlement.



What Qualifies for FMLA?

FMLA applies to the following conditions:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).


How to request FMLA leave

To begin the FMLA process or for eligibility questions, please complete the Extended Leave of Absence Request Form or contact us at (352) 392-2477. For more details on the FMLA process, check out the FMLA Employee Process Map.

For FMLA leave requests, employees should give a 30-day advance notice. In cases of unforeseeable leave needs, they should provide notice as soon as reasonably possible.

Employees are required to provide sufficient information for UF Central Leave to determine whether FMLA applies to the leave request. If the need for leave is connected to a previously approved FMLA reason, the employee must explicitly state the reason or the necessity for FMLA leave. All medical certifications and documents with private or confidential information must be submitted directly to UFHR Central Leave using one of the methods below:

  • Fax: (352) 392-5166
  • In Person: 903 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601
  • Inter-office/Postal Mail: PO Box 115007, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • Email:



For information about the return to work process, please visit our Returning to Work web page.

Employee Resources

If you have questions or believe your FMLA rights have been violated, contact your Departmental Human Resources (HR) representative, UF Central Leave, Employee Relations at (352) 392-1072, or the Ethics and Compliance Hotline at (877) 556-5356.



Need Help?

Please contact UF Central Leave at (352) 392-2477 or email us at