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 News Bulletin

USPS Seeks to Thwart Landmark FMLA Ruling

10/04/2005 - The Postal Service has filed a petition seeking to overturn a recent court ruling that invalidated USPS return-to-work requirements for employees with absences of more than 21 days. The APWU had hailed the July 19 ruling as a major victory in the fight to preserve workers’ rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

APWU News Bulletin

APWU Wins Landmark FMLA Ruling

07/20/2005 - A federal appeals court has ruled that the Postal Service’s return-to-work requirements for absences of more than 21 days are in conflict with the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit invalidates key USPS regulations that require employees returning from approved FMLA leave of more than three weeks to submit detailed medical documentation — including diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and medication — and/or to submit to a medical examination by a physician selected by the Postal Service before it will allow them to return to work.