Definition of a Serious Health Condition

UNI grants paid leave benefits to eligible employee groups.
An unpaid leave of absence may be available depending on
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Family Medical Leave and Military Leave.
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The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons.

Every week an employee is on leave is counted as a full week even if there is a holiday within that week.

To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked for at least 1,250 hours (approximately 60% time) in the previous 12-month period.

FMLA leave may be requested to provide care to covered family members with a serious health condition.

FMLA does not provide leave to care for adult children, parents-in-law, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces or nephews.

During FMLA leave, employees may remain in pay status by electing to use accrued sick, vacation and/or compensatory time.

In the instance of a foreseeable need, an employee must provide his/her department with at least 30 days notice before FMAL leave is to begin, if it is feasible.

In the instance of an unforeseeable need, employees must give notice to their department within one or two working days of learning of the need for leave, if it is feasible.


FMLA Definition of a Serious Health Condition

For purposes of an FMLA leave, a serious health condition is defined as a health condition which requires in-patient care in a hospital, hospice or residential care facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

"Continuing treatment by a Health Care Provider" is defined as treatment that involves multiple treatments by a health care provider or treatment that is carried out under direct supervision, under orders of, or on referral by a health care provider. Continuing treatment may include diagnostic examinations, a course of prescription medicine, or ongoing treatments (chemotherapy, physical therapy, etc.). Continuing treatment does not include routine examinations, over-the-counter medications, bed-rest, drinking fluids or other similar activities.

A Health Care Provider is defined as a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy or "any other person determined by the Department of Labor to be capable of providing health care services." Health care providers include: licensed physicians or osteopaths, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical social workers, chiropractors practicing within the scope of their license, and Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.

A Serious Health Condition means an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • A period of incapacity requiring absence of more than three business days from work that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider;

  • A period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility;

  • A period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care;

  • A period of incapacity (or treatment) due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g., Alzheimer’s, stroke, terminal diseases, etc.);

  • A period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation, physical therapy, dialysis); or

  • Other covered illnesses (e.g., asthma, mental illness, severe morning sickness).

Serious medical conditions typically do NOT include:

  • Cold;
  • Upset stomach;
  • Headaches, other than migraines;
  • Routine dental or orthodontia problems;
  • Periodontal disease;
  • Flu;
  • Minor ulcers;
  • Earaches;
  • Cosmetic treatments;
  • Mental illness from stress; or
  • Allergies

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Date Updated: March 27, 2014