Family Medical Leave


This policy applies to all faculty, classified and non-student wage employees employed by the State and by George Mason University at all locations.


It is the policy of George Mason University to provide unpaid family and medical leave according to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). All employees who have worked for a covered employer for a total of 12 months or a minimum of 1250 hours the previous year are eligible.

Leave for a qualifying exigency is only available to employees who have family members in the National Guard, reserves and regular armed forces, or reserves who are retired.

Employees who are eligible have the right to substitute paid leave (annual, compensatory, overtime or sick) for unpaid leave for a period of up to 12 weeks in a calendar year for one of the following reasons:

  • The employee’s own serious health condition
  • The birth of a child (to be taken within 12 months after birth)
  • The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care (to be taken within 12 months of the date of placement)
  • The need to care for an immediate family member who has a serious health condition
  • A qualifying exigency arising out of the employee’s spouse, child or parent being on active military duty or having been notified of an impending call to duty

Human Resources must receive written certification by the primary treating physician before family and medical leave is granted. It is the employee’s responsibility to provide re-certification every four weeks of the need to continue FMLA. This leave may not be used for short-term conditions and minor illnesses. An employer must continue to provide group health plan coverage during FMLA leave under the same terms offered to employees not on leave. (The employer may require an employee to make payments for group health plan coverage which the employee had paid prior to taking FMLA leave, subject to any change in the rate that may occur during FMLA leave).

Eligible full-time employees may take up to 12 weeks (60 work days; 480 work hours) of family and medical leave in a calendar year. Any time missed from work due to family and medical leave that exceeds 12 weeks in a calendar year will not be covered by this policy. Eligible part-time and hourly employees may take FMLA leave on a prorated basis corresponding to the percentage of time (percent FTE) worked during the 365-day period prior to the date family and medical leave is scheduled to begin.

FMLA leave is extended to 26 work weeks (1,040 hours) to care for a family member with a serious health condition when the spouse, children, parents or “next of kin” is a covered service member and the health condition is incurred in the line of duty on active duty. This leave is only available once and is combined with all other leaves that year limiting FMLA leave for all purposes to 26 weeks during a 12-month period.

The FMLA allows employees to take leave intermittently (for a few days or even a few hours) or on a reduced schedule (a reduction of working hours per work week or work day). The employee will be reinstated in the same or an equivalent job with the same pay, benefits, terms, and conditions of employment upon return from leave.


A. The Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Administers, coordinates and monitors the family and medical leave program.

B. Payroll Director

Develops and administers reporting and tracking procedures consistent with University policy.


This policy is effective June 10, 2004. This policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Lester Arnold
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Payroll

Mark R. Ginsberg
Provost and Executive Vice President

Date approved: June 19, 2004
January 31, 2021