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Calculating FMLA

New “rolling” method effective January 2020

As part of its strategic commitment to modernize UF’s leave program for faculty and staff, UF Human Resources recently evaluated the way Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave is administered at the university. One outcome of these efforts was to align the calculation of the qualifying time period with current standard practice — from a fiscal-year period to a “rolling” 12-month period, measured from the date of the employee’s first use of FMLA leave for a qualifying event. This new method of calculating FMLA-qualifying leave will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. The new way of calculating an eligible timeframe will provide employees with greater transparency into the process and establish a more efficient method by which to administer leave. At the University of Florida, eligible employees may use accrued paid leave instead of unpaid leave for any portion of the 12 workweeks.

This announcement fulfills the federal requirement to provide 60-days’ notice of the change to all employees. Also in keeping with federal guidelines, any employee who takes FMLA between now and December 31, 2019, may do so using the 12-month measurement method that provides the greatest benefit to him or her. Please note that employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement that includes FMLA-measurement provisions will continue to follow the negotiated terms.

Employees who are currently on approved FMLA leave during the current fiscal year will continue through the end of the established FMLA period.  No additional action needs to be taken unless additional FMLA leave is requested.

Example 1:  

Michael requests three weeks (120 hours) of FMLA leave to begin on September 1st. UF will review leave taken during the prior 12 months (September 1st of the current year to August 31st of the previous year) to determine if any FMLA leave had been used. Since Michael had not taken any previous FMLA leave during the lookback period, he is entitled to the requested 120 hours and will have the remaining balance of 360 hours for future qualifying leave.

Example 2:

Patricia requests two weeks (80 hours) of FMLA leave to begin on November 1st. UF will review leave taken during the prior 12 months (November 1st of the current year to October 31st of the previous year) and determines that she had taken 160 hours of FMLA leave beginning January 1st, 160 hours beginning March 1st, and 120 hours beginning June 1st. Since Patricia has taken 440 hours of FMLA leave in the 12-month period, 40 hours of FMLA-protected leave are available. After Patricia uses the 40 remaining hours in November, she can next take FMLA leave beginning the next January 1st once the hours taken in the previous January leave “roll off” the leave year.

Questions? Contact UFHR Central Leave at (352) 392-2477 or central-leave@ufl.edu.