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.”
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:
Certification by a Health Care Provider for a Family Member’s serious Illness:
Certification by Employee of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave:
Certification by a Service Member’s Health Care Provider for Caregiver Military Family Leave:
Sample Completed APWU Forms
The following documents and links provide guidance and assistance for APWU members and representatives when applying the provisions of the FMLA to postal employees.
News: Family and Medical Leave
The APWU FMLA Forms are once again available for employees to use when submitting medical certification for leave under the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
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).
12/17/2010 - The APWU is encouraging members to use Department of Labor forms when requesting Family & Medical Leave, while the union pursues a dispute with the Postal Service over employees’ right to use APWU forms or other equivalent documentation.
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 www.regulations.gov; of those, approximately 900 were from postal workers.
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).
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.”
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.”
02/21/2008 - Recent amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act will allow postal workers and others covered by the law to take up to 26 weeks of leave to help eligible family members recover from a military service-related injury or illness.
Unions Beat Back Effort to Weaken Law
07/02/2007 - A Department of Labor study released June 27 confirms what most Americans already know, that “family and medical leave is good for workers and their families, is in the public interest, and is good workplace policy.”