Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), most Federal employees are entitled to a total of up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the following purposes:
Under certain conditions, an employee may use the 12 weeks of FMLA leave intermittently. An employee may elect to substitute annual leave and/or sick leave, consistent with current laws and OPM's regulations for using annual and sick leave, for any unpaid leave under the FMLA. The amount of sick leave that may be used to care for a family member is limited. FMLA leave is in addition to other paid time off available to an employee.
An employee must provide notice of his or her intent to take family and medical leave not less than 30 days before leave is to begin or, in emergencies, as soon as is practicable. An agency may request medical certification for FMLA leave taken to care for an employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition or for the serious health condition of the employee.
The Employment and Labor Law Unit (ELLU) has broad experience helping clients navigate the complexities of the FMLA. A manager or supervisor dealing with a request for leave under the FMLA should contact the ELLU for advice and counsel.
Additional resources on the FMLA, including links to the full FMLA regulation and other helpful publications, is available through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/family-and-medical-leave/.