FMLA Benefit - The University of Tulsa
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FMLA Benefit

Under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are entitled to up to twelve workweeks of unpaid leave per twelve-month period under particular circumstances that are critical to the life of an employee or family member.

Types of Family and Medical Leave of Absence

Type 1: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 provides eligible University employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for the following situations:

  • upon the birth of the employee’s child;
  • upon the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • when the employee is needed to care for a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition (note that the Family Medical Leave Act and this policy do not cover the parent of an employee’s spouse);
  • when the employee is unable to perform the functions of their position because of a serious health condition;
  • a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a child, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation.

Type 2: Furthermore, the FMLA entitles up to 26 workweeks of unpaid leave when the employee is needed to care for a child, spouse, parent or next of kin (nearest blood relative) who is a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in an outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.


FMLA Leave of Absence is available to all full-time and part-time faculty, administrative/professional and hourly staff employees who have been employed for at least one year and worked for a minimum of 1,250 hours over the previous twelve months. Please see the FMLA Policy for complete details and information about benefits, any paid time, and requirements.

FAQs about FMLA

Yes. All employees and supervisors have access to training about FMLA. We encourage employees to take the FMLA Online Training. Additionally, supervisors should take the ADA Training for TU Supervisors which also provides information on how to best support employees with health issues. These trainings are part of the library of trainings, which can be found at the bottom of the training home page after you log in and select “Extra Training” and then look under “Policy.” We encourage employees to review relevant FMLA Fact Sheets provided by the Department of Labor. Employees and supervisors have certain responsibilities related to FMLA and can review those.

The University requires that employees use any accrued paid time off first during approved FMLA leave. Once the accrued paid time off is used, the time will be unpaid. You may contact Payroll to find out how much paid time off you have accrued, available, and used and look this up in Paycom. Prior to using unpaid leave, all employees must go through an approval process by contacting

Contact the Payroll Coordinator in the Controller’s Office to verify this information.

Employees should contact the Director of Total Rewards in Human Resources to discuss benefits arrangements before taking FMLA leave. If you have medical coverage through BCBS, there are particular resources for pregnancy and Human Resources can provide others as well.

FMLA applies the same to parents, but if both parents are employed by the University, they are entitled to a combined total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave (rather than 12 workweeks each). This limitation does not apply to leave taken by either to care for the other, to care for a child with a serious health condition, or for the employee’s own serious illness. Additionally, staff employees may utilize the staff parental leave policy and faculty may utilize the faculty parental leave policy.

The completed request, including all required forms, is due within 15 days of request from the University (typically when the ADA Coordinator provides you with the information and forms). When the need for leave is foreseeable, such as the birth or adoption of a child, or planned medical treatment, employees must provide reasonable prior notice (30 days in advance of the effective date of leave if possible) and make efforts to schedule leave so as not to disrupt University operations. When the need for leave is unforeseeable, employees must provide all information for making the request, including all completed forms, within 15 days of becoming aware of the need to take FMLA Leave of Absence.

Death of an immediate family member is not a covered situation under FMLA. Instead, the University has a bereavement leave policy. Time taken up to the death of an immediate family member may qualify for FMLA if an employee is their caretaker.

FMLA applies to specific leave time related to eligible family members who are active duty in support of a contingency operation or to care for eligible family members who are covered service members in some specific situations (see the FMLA Policy for more details). If the employee is active duty themselves and needs leave time related to that, they will work with the Business Partner in Human Resources to request Personal Leave.

If an employee’s doctor writes a work release that allows for a return to work on a part-time basis or with stipulations, employees may submit this release to return to work on that basis.

The University of Tulsa recently implemented an abbreviated process for employees with permanent conditions that will last their lifetime. While TU reserves the right to request full certification from employees every year, in some cases a simple form can be submitted confirming that the condition remains unchanged and describing the anticipated FMLA leave time needed.

Employees who do not meet the requirements for FMLA may contact the Human Resources Business Partner to discuss options, such as the personal leave policy.

Employees who need leave time beyond what is covered under FMLA should contact Human Resources to discuss possible long-term disability leave.

Employees should list “FMLA” as the reason for approved FMLA leave on their time sheets/leave reports in Paycom each pay period and on time. This applies to all employees, including faculty. Employees with paid leave time available must also enter their paid leave time with each FMLA leave entry.

No. FMLA documentation (as well as ADA accommodation documentation) is maintained as confidential and separate from an employee’s personnel file.

Making a Request

Current employees can request FMLA leave by visiting the FMLA page the TU Hub.

Contact Information

FMLA Requests ADA/504 Coordinator and Compliance Officer
Dr. Tawny Rigsby
Fax: 918-631-3459

Benefits Director of Total Rewards
Brittany Cole

Payroll, Accrued Time Payroll Supervisor
Bethany Vann