Family and Medical Leave


FMLA is an unpaid leave that protects your job for up to 12 weeks. FMLA leave may be used incrementally or continuously for a period not to exceed 480 hours. If you return to work before or at the expiration of your FMLA period, you will be reinstated to your job or an equivalent job, unless you would not otherwise have been employed at the time.  Additionally, as long as you are on FMLA your benefits are undisturbed as the State’s Contribution continues throughout the period of FMLA. 

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a summary entitled Need Time? The Employee's Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act. This summary is directed primarily to employees in a reader-friendly format.

Understanding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Process PDF

To be eligible for FMLA, the employee must have at least one year of State Service and must have worked 1250 hours in the year preceding the request for FMLA.

Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves may take time off to address personal needs such as:

  • Attending military Events
  • Arranging for alternative childcare
  • Certain financial and legal arrangements
  • Attending counseling sessions
  • Attending post-deployment reintegration briefings

Medical Certification: Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits employees to take leave to care for a covered service member. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of active duty.

Please make sure that all sections are completed, any missing information might delay the approval process. 

Medical Certification: Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service Member for Military Family Leave

You must follow your department’s procedure for requesting and reporting time away from work. If possible, discuss your leave plans with your manager before your leave. If you were not able to provide notice in advance, contact your manager as soon as possible. Ask your manager how often s/he wants you to call in to provide an update. 

Let the Human Resources office know when you intend to return to work. You will be required to present a Return to Work Certificate before starting to work. 

Employee is on FMLA with Paid Leave (Sick Leave, Vacation, Comp Time)

Employee is on FMLA with Leave without Pay (LWOP)

Not FMLA eligible or FMLA ends and Employee is on Paid Leave

Not FMLA eligible or FMLA ends and Employee is on LWOP

State continues contribution for benefits. Employee’s deductions continue as usual.

State Contribution for Benefits continues. 

Employee is billed for his/her portion of the premiums.

Premium for current month due on or before the 10th. Contact Mary Canales (361) 825-6081 to discuss when premiums are due.

State Contribution for Benefits continues. Employee’s deductions continue.

State Contribution stops. Employee is responsible for full premiums.

To continue benefits, premium for current month due on or before the 10th. Contact Mary Canales (361) 825-6081 to discuss when premiums are due.

Once you have used all your paid leave and have missed at least 80 hours of work due to a catastrophic illness or injury you may qualify for sick leave granted through sick leave pool. Sick leave pool hours can only be used after approval received from HR. An application for sick leave pool to support your absence from work is required. 

If you run out of leave before the sick leave pool application and/or medical certification form is provided it will result in a leave without pay status. 

Your sick leave pool application will be processed upon receipt of your completed medical certification form and will take effect after you have exhausted all earned paid leave. 


The links below will provide the relevant certification of health care provider for a serious health condition.  Both the employee and a medical provider will need to complete their assigned sections.  Complete forms need to be returned by email to

A template return to work certificate is available for employees to request from their medical provider.  

Employees may request hours from the sick leave pool using the Sick Leave Pool application. 

System Policy

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed by Congress in 1993 to help employees who must take leave due to family emergencies and is designed to promote the stability and economic security of families. The law allows eligible employees to take reasonable leave for:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.

In January 2009 Military Family Leave Entitlements were added to the regulation.

Who Do I Contact?


Jennifer Escamilla


P: 361-825-2180