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Family Medical Leave (CSU FML)


The CSU Family Medical Leave (FML) provides eligible employees with unpaid leave time offering job and benefit protection up to twelve (12) weeks in a 12-month period to care for self or eligible family members.  CSU FML is extended to employees who either become seriously ill or need to care for a newborn or a child placed in the home through adoption or foster care or need to be away from work to care for an ill family member.

CSU FML incorporates both the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave entitlements and run concurrently.  The CSU FML 12-week entitlement is calculated on a forward rolling basis within a 12-month period, from the first date the employee's first CSU FML leave begins.  CSU designates FML leave following a 3-5 days absence (according to the employee's bargaining unit), and only the amount of actual leave taken is counted against the maximum entitlement.  CSU FML tracks concurrently with most leave programs except for California Pregnancy Disability Leave (CA PDL).

Note:  CSU employees are not eligible for the Paid Family Leave Insurance Program administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD).  This paid leave insurance program applies to California workers who pay into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.  CSU employees do not pay into the SDI program.

  • Eligibility

    Full-time and part-time employees (excluding student employees) employed for at least one academic year or 12 months (does not have to be continuous) preceding the leave are eligible. Non-represented (Confidential and MPP), student employees, Unit 1 (UAPD), Unit 6 (Teamsters), Unit 8 (SUPA) and Unit 10 (IOUE) must have been employed at least one academic year or 12 months and must actually work 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave to be eligible.  Employment includes appointments at any CSU campus, or any other California state agency.  Under CSU FML, all prior state service is counted towards CSU FML eligibility, regardless of any breaks in service.  Additionally, any National Guard or Reserve military duty is also counted toward the 12-month eligibility requirement.  

    Student employees are eligible for CSU FML, if employed for at least one year (does not need to be continuous) and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave. Student employees, who are not otherwise eligible for benefits, are entitled to the unpaid leave and reinstatement rights only.

    The effective date of CSU FML is on the first day that leave is designated as such, provided eligibility requirements have been met and all necessary documents have been properly submitted.

  • Qualifying Reasons for Leave

    12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:

    • The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • The placement of a child(ren) with the employee for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child(ren) within one year of placement;
    • To care for the employee's eligible family member with a serious health condition.
    • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; or
    • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, parent or next of kin is a covered military member on "covered active active-duty" status;


    26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period:

    • To care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member's spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
  • Employee Notice Requirement
    Employees are to provide 14 days (applicable to most CBAs) advance notice for a foreseeable leave, or as much advance notice as possible.  When a 14-day notice is not possible, the employee is to give notice to the employer on the same day the need for leave is known, or the next business day after the need arises for an unforeseeable leave, unless it is impracticable.  Employees should provide the anticipated date upon which the leave will commence and the projected duration of the leave to the extent known at the time of providing notice.
  • Medical Certification

    The medical certification is a necessary document in identifying CSU FML eligibility.  Employees are required to provide a completed medical certification or appropriate documentation from the health care provider.  The medical certification should include the necessary information to support the need for a leave due to a serious health condition affecting the employee or an eligible family member.

    Approval of the leave may be delayed if the medical certification requirements are not met.

  • Accrual Usage While on CSU FML

    While CSU FML is unpaid, the use of available leave accruals is necessary for the continuation of pay.  CSU policy requires that when an employee is placed on CSU FML for their own serious health condition, the employee must use their eligible sick leave and/or vacation credits, Personal Holiday, and CTO (unless excluded by CBA) prior to going on any unpaid portion of CSU FML.  Employees who request CSU FML to care for an eligible family member or an eligible service member with a serious health condition are required to use appropriate leave balances prior to going on any portion of unpaid CSU FML.

    The unpaid portion of CSU FML begins once eligible leave credits have been applied to the leave.  CSU FML runs concurrently with the use of appropriate leave balances and is not counted separately from the CSU FML entitlement period.

  • Continuation of Health Benefits

    While on paid CSU FML, benefit premiums, including health, dental, vision, group life (if applicable) and long-term disability (if applicable) continue to be paid by the CSU without a lapse in coverage. 

    During periods of unpaid CSU FML, only health, dental and vision premiums will continue to be paid by the CSU.

  • Return to Work
    Employees on CSU FML for their own serious health condition are required to obtain a return to work certification from the treating health care provider and provide the certification directly to the Office of Human Resources prior to returning to work.


Leave Planning
For more information and to plan for this type of leave, please contact Tanya Obermark, HR Leaves Analyst directly or email