FMLA: Leave

FMLA leave is unpaid (employers are not required to grant such leave as paid time off). However, employees may elect to utilize – or the institution may require that employees utilize – their accrued paid sick leave and/or annual leave, as appropriate for such absences. (Exception: If your FMLA leave is a result of an on-the-job injury, you have the option of using unpaid leave even if you have paid leave available.)

In the example below, the work week begins on Monday; however, the work week start and end dates vary by institution. In order to comply with FMLA guidelines, you should calculate leave time (accrued and taken) based on the work week start and end dates at your institution. Please contact your campus Human Resources office or payroll department for specific information regarding your institutional work week.


You are a full-time employee and you were out on FMLA leave from the 2nd of the month through the 6th of the month. You returned to work on the 9th. You had a leave balance of 3 days at the time you began your FMLA leave (8 hours sick leave and 16 hours annual leave). If your absence was not a result of an on-the-job injury, you can elect or your employer may require you to begin using your 24 hours of available leave beginning the first day of your absence. In this example, your leave balance should reflect the following:

  • Your paid leave (sick and annual) will end on the 4th
  • You will be on sick leave without pay (SLWOP) for two days, beginning on the 5th
  • You used one week of FMLA leave