3.5.3 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires covered employers to provide up to twelve (12) weeks (during any twelve (12) month period) of protected unpaid leave to “eligible” employees with certain family and medical reasons.  FMLA leave may be paid where accrued major medical leave is applicable pursuant to Mississippi Code Ann. § 25-3-95.  

FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule under certain circumstances.  For the duration of FMLA leave, the University will maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan.”

The employee is required to provide reasonable advance leave notice and medical certification.  A copy of the FMLA medical certification form is available through the Department of Human Resources.  

Coverage Eligibility

To be eligible for family medical leave, an employee must have been employed by Jackson State University at least twelve (12) months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous twelve (12) months before leave begins.

General FMLA Leave Requirements

Length and Purpose of Leave

Jackson State University shall provide eligible employees up to twelve (12) weeks of leave per rolling (rather than fiscal or calendar year) 12-month period for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or the serious health condition of the employee or an immediate family member.


  • Child (called son or daughter under the Family and Major Medical Leave Act of 1993) means a child either under 18 years of age, or 18 years of age or older but incapable of self-care.
  • Serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or a physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider (doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dental medicine, podiatry, or chiropractic).
  • Immediate family member means the employee's child, spouse, or parent.  Parent means the person who acted as the employee's parent when the employee was a child.  The term does not include a parent-in-law.
  • To care for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin with a serious injury or illness incurred or exacerbated within five (5) years of active duty in the Armed Forces up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period.

Compensation During Family Medical Leave

Although leave may be unpaid, Jackson State University will continue to provide coverage under its group health plan during the twelve (12) weeks leave period, under the same terms offered to employees not on leave. 

The University is not required to provide paid medical or sick leave in any case where such leave would not normally be provided.  However, paid medical leave may be provided as authorized under Mississippi Code Ann.  § 25-3-95, provided that for each absence due to illness of thirty-two (32) consecutive working hours (combined personal leave and major medical leave) major medical leave shall be authorized only when certified by the attending physician.

Spouses Employed by the University

If both spouses work at the University, they are entitled to an aggregate of twelve (12) weeks of leave per 12-month period for the birth of a child, placement for adoption or foster care of a child, or to care for a sick parent.  However, if the leave is because of the illness of a child or the other spouse, each spouse is entitled to twelve (12) weeks.

Job and Benefits Protection

Employees who return from FMLA leave within the approved twelve (12) weeks of leave, shall return to the same or an equivalent position.  However, some exceptions to this rule do exist.

If an employee is out for Family Medical Leave for two weeks or more, a Personnel Action Form (PAF) along with a certified Family Medical Leave Act form should be submitted to the Department of Human Resources from the department.  Upon the employee’s return from FMLA, a new PAF and Health Care Provider release statement must be submitted to Human Resources.