Family & Medical Leave

Leave Eligibility

An employee qualifying for coverage under both Wisconsin and Federal acts may receive the greater of the two benefits. Federal and Wisconsin leave benefits are taken concurrently (at the same time).

Federal FMLA

In order to be eligible for Federal FMLA leave, the employee must have been employed by the City for at least 12 months, and must have at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months before taking leave.

Eligible employees who work for a covered employer can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for the following reasons:

  • For the birth of a child or placement of a child, within one year of the child’s birth or placement.
  • For the care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent.
  • For the employee’s own serious condition.
  • For "qualifying exigencies" related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee’s spouse, child, or parent.
  • For the care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next-of-kin with a serious injury or illness incurred as a member of the military in the line of duty.

Wisconsin FMLA

In order for an employee to be eligible for leave under the Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act, the employee must have been employed by the City for at least 52 consecutive weeks, and must have been paid for at least 1,000 hours (including paid leave) during the preceding 52-week period.

Under state law, the City of Madison must allow employees:

  • Up to six weeks leave for the birth or adoption of a child, within 16 weeks of the child's birth or placement.
  • Up to two weeks leave for the care of a child, spouse, domestic partner or parent (including parent-in-law and parent of a domestic partner).
  • Up to two weeks leave for the employee's own serious condition.

Requesting Leave

Generally, employees must give 30-days’ advance notice of the need for FMLA leave. If it is not possible to give 30-days’ notice, an employee must notify the employer as soon as possible and, generally, follow the employer’s usual procedures.

Employees do not have to share a medical diagnosis, but must provide enough information to the employer so it can determine if the leave qualifies for FMLA protection. Sufficient information could include informing an employer that the employee is or will be unable to perform their job functions, that a family member cannot perform daily activities, or that hospitalization or continuing medical treatment is necessary. Employees must inform the employer if the need for leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified.

Employers can require a certification or periodic recertification supporting the need for leave. If the employer determines that the certification is incomplete, it must provide a written notice indicating what additional information is required. Second or third opinions (at the employer’s expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work may also be required.

Paid Leave

Federal and Wisconsin FMLA are both unpaid and are taken concurrently. The City may require employees to use paid leave after Wisconsin FMLA is exhausted (two weeks for the employee's or a family member's serious health condition, or six weeks for the birth of a child). Until this point, employees are not required to use paid leave, but employees may receive wage insurance benefits only after all sick leave has been exhausted.For more detailed information, please see APM 2-21 or set up a meeting with Human Resources.

Types of Family and Medical Leave

Employees may take family and medical leave on a consecutive basis, an intermittent basis, or a reduced schedule basis. Requests can also include a combination of consecutive and intermittent or reduced-schedule leave. In those situations, the approval will include the specific types of leave requested and approved.

Consecutive Leave

A consecutive leave is a leave that requires an employee to be off work for a specific time frame due to the medical condition. The employee may request to be off for any amount of time up to the 12 week entitlement. (Employees may request to be off longer than 12 weeks. In these cases, Human Resources will determine whether any additional time is covered by paid sick leave or will be considered disability leave.)

Intermittent Leave

An employee may request to use family and medical leave on an intermittent basis as well. Normally an employee will request intermittent leave for a chronic condition that has periodic reoccurrences and does not require a consecutive leave. Employees with chronic conditions will generally submit an application with supporting medical documentation requesting family and medical leave for the next year on an as-needed basis. In this situation, employees will be required to submit medical documentation approximately 6 months into the leave period in order to certify that the chronic condition still exists. Failure to submit this documentation in a timely fashion may result in leave not being approved or covered by the Act.

Reduced Schedule

This type of leave is most common when an employee is returning from a consecutive leave and needs time to readjust to the workplace. An employee who returns from a leave working half-days for a defined timeframe will be considered to be on reduced-schedule leave and will have the part of the day not in the workplace count towards the family and medical leave entitlement. Again, the need for reduced-schedule leave must be supported by appropriate medical documentation.


More Information

With any questions, contact Human Resources or your Payroll Clerk.

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