Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave Information

Under the family and medical leave act of 1993 (FMLA), eligible employees of the U.S. Postal Service are entitled to receive unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster-care placement of a child.

The FMLA is intended “to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families.” It allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to attend to the serious health condition of the employee, his or her parent, spouse or child, or for pregnancy or care of a newborn child, or for adoption or foster care of a child.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have been employed by the employer at least 12 months, and worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the employ­er employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 amended the FMLA to provide two types of military family leave for FMLA-eligible employees: “qualifying exigency leave” and “military caregiver leave.”


FMLA Forms

The union has posted FMLA forms for use by healthcare providers to certify serious illnesses of APWU members and their family members. In accordance with an April 18, 2012, arbitration award, these forms are accepted by the USPS.

Certification by a Health Care Provider for the Employee’s Own Serious Illness:

APWU FMLA Form 1 - Complete Online Version (Revised Feb. 2016) [PDF]

Certification by a Health Care Provider for a Family Member’s serious Illness:

APWU FMLA Form 2 - Complete Online Version (Revised Feb. 2016) [PDF]

Certification by Employee of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave:

APWU FMLA Form 3 - Complete Online Version (Revised 10/3/14) [PDF]

Certification by a Service Member’s Health Care Provider for Caregiver Military Family Leave:

APWU FMLA Form 4 - Complete Online Version (Revised May 2015) [PDF]

Sample Completed APWU Forms

Sample Form for Employee's Absence Plus Treatment

Sample Form for Employee Cancer 

Sample Form for Employee Hospital Stay

Sample Form for Employee Migraine 

Sample Form for Employee Diabetes 

Sample Form for Employee Musculoskeletal 

Sample Form for Employee Long Term 

Sample Form for Employee Pregnancy 

Sample Form for Spouse Absence Plus 

Sample Form for Child with Chronic Condition 

Sample Form for Spouse Hospital Stay 

Sample Form for Family Multiple Treatments

Sample Form for Spouse Permanent Long-Term Care 

Sample Form for Spouse Pregnancy

FMLA Resources

The following documents and links provide guidance and assistance for APWU members and representatives when applying the provisions of the FMLA to postal employees.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Questions and Answers

Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Arbitration Award: USPS #Q06C-4Q-C 11001666 and Q06C-4Q-C 11008239

Arbitration Award: USPS #Q00C-4Q-C 02126262

Arbitration Award: USPS #H98C-4H-D 99290624

USPS and Department of Labor (DOL) Letters Regarding 1250 Work-hour Eligibility Requirement

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) FMLA Compliance Assistance site

News: Family and Medical Leave

APWU Web News Article 43-2012

APWU Wins Important FMLA Arbitration

04/23/2012 - (Updated 05/02/12) The APWU won an important arbitration case on April 18, when Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled that the Postal Service cannot require employees to use forms developed by the Department of Labor (DOL) when they submit certification for leave under the provisions of the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

APWU Web News Article 32-2008

APWU Members Lead the Charge In Defense of FMLA

04/14/2008 - APWU members rose to an important challenge in recent weeks: Postal workers submitted more than half of the postings to a Department of Labor Web site that features comments regarding proposed revisions to the Family & Medical Leave Act that would weaken the law. By the deadline for submissions on April 11, more than 1,600 comments had been posted on; of those, approximately 900 were from postal workers.

APWU Web News Article 30-2008

Union Members Urged to Help Save FMLA Protections

Deadline for Objecting to New Rules is Friday, April 11

04/08/2008 - Time is running out for union members to voice objections to new regulations proposed by the Department of Labor that would undermine employees’ medical privacy protections and make it more difficult for workers to exercise their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

APWU Web News Article 26-2008

Bush Keeps Trying to Chip Away at Workers’ Rights

FMLA: Here We Go Again

03/28/2008 - The headlines last July seemed to say it all: “Labor Department Study Affirms That FMLA Is Working as Intended.” So union activists were dismayed when seven months later the Department of Labor proposed sweeping new regulations for the FMLA. 

“Business as usual, that’s the only reasonable explanation,” said APWU Legislative Department Director Myke Reid of the more-recent news stories. “It seems like corporate America just won’t give up in its quest to strip workers of their rights. I guess this is just one more excuse to flex their muscles before the Bush administration leaves office.”

APWU Web News Article 22-2008

Union Activists Urged to Fight Proposals to Gut FMLA

03/06/2008 - APWU President William Burrus has issued a call to action, asking the union’s officers and activists to fight proposed new regulations that would weaken the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

“The FMLA is the one of the most important pro-worker, pro-family laws in recent memory,” Burrus said. “It has worked well for both employers and employees. We must derail any attempt to dilute its effectiveness.”