FMLA – Family and Medical Leave Act

USNH Employment: Family and Medical Leave Policy

Requests for Leave

All requests for family or medical leave should be initiated by contacting your immediate supervisor. If you do not wish to inform your supervisor of the reason for the leave, or if you have any questions about your supervisor’s response, please contact the PSU Human Resources Office.

Employees are entitled to up to (12 weeks of leave during any 12 month period for a qualifying event covered under the FMLA; leave may be paid or unpaid per USNH policy.

Reasons for leave under FMLA include:

  • Birth of a child
  • Care of a child after birth
  • Care of a child after adoption
  • Serious illness of employee
  • Care of a seriously ill family member (spouse, child, parent, foster parent)
  • Military – related leave

Foreseeable Leave

If the need for family or medical leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide notice to USNH of no less than 30 days. Leave may be denied unless there is a reasonable excuse for the delay.

Unforeseeable Leaves

If the need for family or medical leave is not foreseeable, notice must be given by the employee as soon as possible. Employees are expected to promptly notify their supervisor and/or the PSU Human Resources Office as soon as they learn of the need for leave.


If the leave is for the planned medical treatment of the employee or family member, or requires intermittent or reduced schedule leave, employees may be required by their supervisor to arrange a particular schedule or to reschedule appointments or treatments, subject to the consent of the health care provider. Employees are entitled to take leave on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule whenever “medically necessary.”

Additional Information

After receiving a request for leave, the PSU Human Resources Office will provide additional information regarding the procedures for obtaining leave, including any additional documents that may be required.


All employee requests for FMLA leave are contingent upon a determination by the PSU Human Resources Office that the employee is eligible for FMLA leave. This includes a determination of eligibility and provision of medical certification. Leave is also contingent on any second or third opinions that may be required.

Medical Certification

USNH requires proof of necessity for family or medical leave by a health care provider. Certifications must be submitted prior to the date of leave. The information provided shall include:

  • The date on which the serious health condition commenced
  • The probable duration of the condition
  • Appropriate sufficient medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider that would entitle the employee to take family or medical leave
  • An estimate of the amount of time that the employee needs to care for a family member
  • Or a statement that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the position
  • And in cases of medical leave, an explanation of the extent to which the employee is unable to perform the functions of his/her position.

Second and Third Opinions

USNH has the option of requiring the employee to get a second opinion from an independent medical provider selected by the University System. USNH will pay for the second opinion.

If the two opinions conflict, the conflict shall be resolved by a third opinion by a provider mutually agreed upon by USNH and the employee. This third opinion shall be considered final and binding. USNH will pay for the third opinion.

Required Substitution of Accrued Paid Leave

Employees have the option of retaining up to 10 days of earned time or vacation.

  • Exempt staff (PATs) use sick time, interim disability or Workers’ Compensation for the employee’s illness only. All other uses of the FMLA will be charged to vacation time.
  • Non-exempt staff (OS) use sick pool or Workers’ Compensation for the employee’s illness only: access to sick pool requires use of five earned time days. Earned Time is used for all other FMLA leaves.

Unpaid Leave

Unless an employee is eligible for and substitutes paid leave as noted above under “Required Substitution of Accrued Paid Leave,” leave will be unpaid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are qualified reasons to invoke the Family and Medical Leave Act?

  • The birth of a child and to take care of him/her.
  • Placement of a child for adoption or foster care.
  • To care for seriously ill spouse, child or parent.
  • For the serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform functions of his/her position.
  • Intermittent leave for a serious health condition.
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or call to active duty status of a spouse, son, daughter or parent.
  • To care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

What is intermittent FMLA leave?

Intermittent FMLA is allowed if it is medically necessary. It allows shorter leaves that add up to no more than 12 weeks during a 12-month period. An example of this is an employee who might take FMLA one day a week to receive chemotherapy or to care for a spouse, child or parent receiving such a treatment.

Can an employee invoke this Act for any medical condition?

NO! The Act applies only to serious health conditions. The definition includes an illness, injury, impairment or any physical or mental condition that causes the employee to miss work. The following ailments do not qualify for FMLA leave: common cold, flu, ear infections, allergies, routine dental problems, minor ulcers, nausea, cosmetic surgery conditions and headaches other than migraine.

How does someone invoke FMLA leave?

The employee should fill out a request to take the leave and also will need doctor certification supporting the need to take leave. This certification should have the date on which the serious health condition commenced, the probable duration of the condition, and medical facts about the condition. If the employee is not the individual sick, then the information should explain the necessity of caring for the child, spouse or parent. The request for FMLA requires a supervisor’s signature, which doesn’t necessarily constitute approval.

Will I be paid while on FMLA and have benefit coverage?

FMLA entitles an employee to 12 weeks of leave; however, vacation or sick leave must be used to be paid. USNH will continue its normal contributions for your benefits. If you do not have sick time or vacation, and are on a leave without pay, you will be billed for your portion of the benefits.

Where can I obtain the necessary paperwork to request FMLA?

Because of certain qualifications for FMLA, the forms are not available online. To request the necessary forms, please contact the PSU Human Resources Office.