Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

In accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the University provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of leave for qualifying life events. Some events are covered under FMLA only, CFRA only, or a combination of FMLA and CFRA. At times these provisions will run concurrently along with additional state laws and/or city ordinances.

  • Family Care (FMLA/CFRA): child, parent, spouse or registered domestic partner
  • Family Care (CFRA only): grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, adult children, and parents-in-law
  • Medical Care for the Employee (FMLA/CFRA)
  • Medical Care for Employee’s Pregnancy-Related Disability (FMLA Only)
  • Baby Bonding (FMLA/CFRA)
  • Leave for a Qualifying Exigency (FMLA/CFRA)
  • Military Caregiver Leave (FMLA Only/Under certain circumstances part of leave may run concurrent with CFRA)

FMLA and CFRA leave requests are administered by Tristar. To the extent required by law, Tristar will inform employees whether they are eligible for leave under the FMLA/CFRA. If they are eligible for FMLA/CFRA, Tristar will provide employees with a notice that specifies any additional information required as well as a notification of employee rights and responsibilities. Tristar will also inform employees and supervisors if leave will be designated as FMLA/CFRA-protected and, to the extent possible, note the amount of leave deducted from their leave entitlement. If employees are not eligible for FMLA/CFRA leave, Tristar will provide a reason for the ineligibility.  When an employee is certified for FMLA/CFRA leave, the University will update USFWorks.

To qualify to take family or medical leave (FMLA/CFRA) under this policy, the employee must meet the following conditions:

  • The employee must have worked at least twelve (12) months or 52 weeks in the 12 months prior to the start of the leave.  The 12 months or 52 weeks need not have been consecutive.
  • All periods of absence from work due to or necessitated by service in the uniformed services are counted in determining FMLA eligibility.
  • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date when the leave is requested to commence.
  • The employee must work at a work site where 50 or more employees are employed by the company within 75 miles of that office or work site. (FMLA only)

FMLA leave may be taken for any the following reasons:

  1. Incapacity due to pregnancy or prenatal medical care (i.e. pregnancy disability).
  2. Birth of a child, or to care for or bond with a newly born child. 
  3. Placement of a child with the employee and/or the employee's spouse for adoption or foster care or to care for or bond with the child.
  4. To care for an immediate family member (employee's spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.
  5. Employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job.
  6. Qualifying exigency leave if the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a member of the National Guard or Reserves or of a regular component of the Armed Forces when on covered active duty or called to covered active duty.
  7. To care for a seriously injured or ill spouse, child, parent, or next of kin who is a “Covered Service Member” (i.e. Military Caregiver Leave).

CFRA leave may be taken for any the following reasons:

  1. Birth of a child, or to care for or bond with a newly born child. 
  2. Placement of a child with the employee and/or the employee's spouse/registered domestic partner for adoption or foster care or to care for or bond with the child.
  3. To care for a child of any age, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with a serious health condition. "Child" means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of an employee or the employee's domestic partner, or a person to whom the employee stands in loco parentis. "Parent" includes a biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a parent-in-law, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or other person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child.
  4. Employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job.
  5. To care for a seriously injured or ill spouse, child, or parent, or next of kin, who is a “Covered Service Member” (i.e. Military Caregiver Leave)
  6. Leave because of a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s spouse, registered domestic partner, child or parent in the United States Armed Forces.

An eligible employee may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for the first five qualifying events under FMLA and the first four qualifying events under CFRA during any 12-month period. The 12-month period will be measured forward from the date that an employee’s first family leaves begins.

An eligible employee can take up to 26 weeks for the FMLA military caregiver leave during a single 12-month period. FMLA leave already taken for other FMLA circumstances will be deducted from the total of 26 weeks available.

If both parents work for the University and each wishes to take CFRA-covered leave to care for a child, each parent may take up to 12 weeks of leave.

The University measures the twelve (12) month period forward from the date an employee’s first family leave begins. In addition, FMLA/CFRA leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care must be concluded within twelve (12) months of the birth or placement.

Eligible employees may take FMLA/CFRA leave in a single block of time, intermittently (in separate blocks of time) or by reducing the normal work schedule when medically necessary for the serious health condition of the employee or immediate family member. Intermittent leave for birth of a child, to care for a newly born child or for placement of a child for adoption or foster care generally must be taken in at least two-week increments under the CFRA, with shorter increments allowed on two occasions. Employees who require intermittent or reduced-schedule leave must try to schedule their leave so that it will not unduly disrupt the University's operations.

The University may also temporarily transfer employees on an intermittent or reduced-scheduled leave to an alternate position with equivalent pay rate and benefits, including a part-time position, which better accommodates a recurring leave.

Intermittent leave is permitted in intervals of at least one hour or at the same intervals as provided in the University's sick leave or vacation policy, whichever increments are smaller.

Although CFRA and FMLA are unpaid, employees may be eligible to receive wage-replacement benefits through short-term or long-term disability insurance, which includes provisions for Paid Family Leave. Employees may also choose to supplement these benefits with the use of accrued vacation and/or sick leave to the extent permitted by law and USF policy. All such payments will be integrated so that employees will receive no more than 100% of regular compensation during this period. If employees are not eligible to receive any of these wage replacement benefits, USF may require employees to use accrued vacation and sick time to cover some or all of the FMLA/CFRA leave. The use of paid benefits will not extend the length of a FMLA Leave.

Health Insurance benefits continue while on FMLA and/or CFRA regulated leave. During leave, employees are responsible for their portion of health insurance premiums. If employee exhausts sick/vacation while covered by FMLA/CFRA, health insurance premiums will go into arrears and will be collected once employee returns from leave. Once sick/vacation has been exhausted and employee is no longer covered by FMLA/CFRA, employee will be offered COBRA.

Under most circumstances, employees returning from family/medical leave will be restored to the original or an equivalent position with the same pay, benefits, and other terms of employment. However, employees can be refused reinstatement for reasons unrelated to the leave, such as employee misconduct, company reorganization or reduction in force.

Prior to returning to work after a serious health condition, employees are required to submit medical documentation certifying that they have been released to return to work and perform the essential functions of their job.

An employee who fraudulently obtains FMLA from USF is not protected by FMLA’s job restoration or maintenance of health benefits provisions. In addition, USF will take all available appropriate disciplinary actions against such employees due to such fraud.

  1. Tristar is the university's leave of absence administration partner.
  2. Notify your supervisor of your leave dates.
  3. Review Tristar's Leave Request Reporting Instructions.
  4. Contact Tristar at 1-844-702-2352 or
  5. Email