The Family and Medical Leave Act, commonly known as FMLA, allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of continuous or intermittent leaves from work in order to focus on a serious health condition they or a qualified individual may be experiencing. While there are many resources online that can give you general information about FMLA, our hope is that this page will clarify how FMLA impacts leaves of absence at Macalester College.

Benefits of the FMLA

The FMLA protects employment and health benefits of eligible employees while away on a qualified leave. Macalester College goes a step further and continues all of your benefits during FMLA leaves of absence as if you were not on leave. The employee is still responsible for employee portions of premium payments while benefits continue during FMLA.

FMLA leaves are considered unpaid because the FMLA does not regulate pay during qualified leaves. If you have an available balance of time off benefits, you will be required to use those benefits concurrent with your FMLA leave per Macalester policy.

Am I Eligible for FMLA Leave?

There are 3 parts to determining eligibility. If you are able to answer “yes” to all of the following questions, you are eligible for FMLA.

  • Do you work for an employer who has 50 or more employees?
    • Macalester employs more than 50 individuals, so all Macalester employees can answer “yes” to this question.
  • Have you worked for Macalester College for at least 12 months?
  • Have you worked for Macalester College for at least 1,000 hours in the last 12 months?

When Can I Use FMLA Leave?

If you are an eligible employee, you can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in any 12-month period for a variety of reasons, including:

Serious Health Condition

You may take FMLA leave to care for your spouse, registered domestic partner, child, or parent who has a serious health condition, or when you are unable to work because of your own serious health condition.

Military Family Leave

The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. You may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military deployments. Additionally, you may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Expanding Your Family

You may take FMLA leave for the birth of a child and to bond with the newborn child, or for the placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to bond with that child. All parents have the same right to take FMLA leave to bond with their child but it must be taken within one year of the child’s birth or placement. In most cases, these leaves are taken as a continuous block of leave.