Family & Medical Leave

Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees include full-time and part-time employees who have worked at the College for at least 12 months and who work as least 1,250 hours per year are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence for up to twelve weeks per year for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job functions.  A serious health condition is one which requires either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Employees are required to use all available sick and vacation time as part of the twelve week leave. Any remaining porting of the twelve weeks will be taking without pay. Employees must give thirty days advance notice of the need for a leave when it is foreseeable; otherwise notice must be given as soon as practicable. Certification from a health care provider will be required.

The College will continue to provide insurance benefits for the full period of the approved medical leave. The employee must continue to pay the normal employee contribution for any of these benefits in order to continue coverage (contact the Benefits Administrator’s office for further details). Failure to do so may result in termination of benefits. The College reserves the right to recover the full premium cost of health care coverage for employees failing to return from a leave in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Family & Medical Leave Act. Benefit accruals for vacation, sick leave and holiday pay will be suspended during any unpaid portion of the medical leave.

When an employee returns from an approved medical leave, the College will restore the employee to the position she or he held when the leave commenced or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits. After twelve weeks, the College may fill the position on a permanent basis or hold the position open for the employee. Each situation will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Click here for information from the Department of Labor.

Family and Medical Leave Policy

The text of the College of Wooster’s policy is printed in the Handbook of Selected College Policies and on the Human Resources web page. The policy states the details of this benefit, as well as the conditions of eligibility. This law provides for up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for the reasons listed below. It is requested that employees inform their supervisors of leave-qualifying absences.

It is also required that the College administration designate FMLA leave for individuals who are eligible but have not made a request for leave as soon as the circumstances are known. As stated in the policy, initial written notification must be made, as appropriate, to the department head or the Vice President, with a copy to the Department of Human Resources, to request FMLA leave for the following reasons (as defines in the policy):

  • To give birth to a child or to care for that child,
  • To care for a newly placed adopted or foster child (note: pregnancy is excluded from the one year of service eligibility requirement)
  • To care for a spouse or same-sex domestic partner, child, or parent with a serious health condition,
  • To undergo treatment of one’s own serious health condition, or
  • For a qualifying military exigency (eligible for an additional fourteen weeks for a total of up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave)

How to submit a claim for FMLA leave

Contact Anthem Life, Disability, and Leave Management at 1-888-868-7046 to begin your FMLA request.

Parenting Leave

The College supports employees who have the dual concern of maintaining a balance between their work and family obligations through the provision of a Parental Leave policy. The purpose of parental leave is to provide a birth mother, father, domestic partner, foster, or adoptive parent with paid time off to recover from childbirth and/or to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child.


An eligible employee is a faculty or staff member who becomes a new parent, has completed at least one year of service prior to the date parental leave is to begin, and is employed in a regular full-time position working at least 1820 hours annually (.875 FTE)

Plan Provisions

An employee who has or shares primary responsibility for the care of a newborn child or a newly-adopted child is eligible for six weeks of leave with normal pay and benefits during the first twelve weeks immediately following the birth or adoption.

Parental Leave may be used at one time or intermittently during the first 12 weeks immediately following the birth or adoption event.

Paid or unpaid time taken under this parental leave is credited against any available Family & Medical Leave Act leave time.

Applying for Parental Leave

Employees should give notice of the approximate time of desired leave to the immediate supervisor as soon as possible by submitting a written request for Parental Leave on the College’s Leave of Absence form.


If both parents are employed by the College, only one parental leave will be allowed per family. However, the parents may split the parental leave benefit of six weeks between them.

Leave benefits will be paid only for periods in which the employee would otherwise have worked.