Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Take time off during certain significant events or moments is important for you to cope with the challenges in your personal life. The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks or 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave. View the Protected Leave Brochure for more information. For questions call MetLife at 1.877.638.8269 or you can reach EBSD at 1.909.387.5787.

Basic Leave Entitlement

FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a single 12-month period to eligible employees for the following reasons:

Event Details
Birth of a son or daughter and to care for the newborn child This applies to both the mother and the father. The expectant mother may take FMLA leave for prenatal care or if the pregnancy makes her unable to work prior to the actual birth of the child.
Placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care This leave must be given before the actual placement or adoption of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement for adoption or foster care to proceed.
Care in the event of serious health condition Care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent (not parent-in-law) with a serious health condition.
Serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her job Under FMLA, a serious health condition is an illness, injury or conditions that involves inpatient care in a hospital or medical care facility. Continuing treatment by health care provider would be considered a serious health condition if it cause incapacity for more than three (3) consecutive days with:
  • The first treatment takes place within 7 days of the onset of incapacity, and
  • A second visit within 30 days of the incapacity
For chronic conditions requiring periodic health care visits, such visits must take place at least twice a year.
Qualifying exigency that arises out of the fact that employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty in the military or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in support of a contingency operation of the Armed Forces This leave may commence as soon as the individual receives the call-up notice. A qualifying exigency must be one of the following:
  • Short-notice deployment
  • Military events and activities
  • Child care and school activities
  • Financial and legal arrangements
  • Counseling
  • Rest and recuperation
  • Post-deployment activities
  • Additional activities that arise out of active duty, provided that the County and you agree, including agreement on timing and duration of the leave

Military Family Leave Entitlements

Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember during a single 12-month period. A covered servicemember is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.

FMLA 12-Month Period

An employer is permitted to choose one of the following methods for determining the “12-month period'' in which the 12 weeks of leave entitlement occurs:

  • The calendar year
  • Any fixed 12-month leave year, such as a fiscal year
  • The 12-month period measured forward from the date any employee's first FMLA leave begins
  • A rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave

The County of San Bernardino uses the rolling 12-month period measured backward for the FMLA circumstances described in the above table, and the rolling 12-month period measured forward for military caregiver leave described below the table.

Definition of a Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.

Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

Benefits and Protection

While You Are on FMLA Leave When You Return from FMLA Leave
The employer must maintain your health coverage under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if you had continued to work. Refer to the Benefits While on Leave Letter for more information. Most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Taking an FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.

Eligibility Requirements

You are considered to be an eligible employee of a covered employer if you meet ALL of the following conditions:

  1. You have been employed by your employer for at least 12 months. (The 12 months of employment need not be consecutive. Separate periods of employment will be counted, provided that the break in service does not exceed seven years. Separate periods of employment will be counted if the break in service exceeds seven years due to National Guard or Reserve military service obligations or when there is a written agreement stating the company's intention to rehire the employee after the service break.)
  2. You have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before your leave began.
  3. You are employed at a worksite where 50 or more employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles of that worksite.

Use of Leave

An employee does not need to use this leave entitlement in one block. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.

Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave

Employees may choose, or employers may require, the use of accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. To use paid leave for FMLA leave, you must comply with your employer's normal paid leave policies.

Certification of Leave

FMLA allows employers to require employees to submit certification of the need for FMLA leave. Our policy requires certifications for:

  • Employee's serious health condition
  • Family member's serious health condition
  • Qualifying exigency for military family leave
  • Serious injury or illness of covered service member for military family leave

How To File a Request

  1. If possible, let your supervisor know about your leave 30 days in advance. 
  2. Follow all of your Department's normal call-off procedures.
  3. Contact MetLife to request FMLA at 1.877.638.8269.
    • For leave absences four days or longer, call MetLife by the 4th day to report your absence and request FMLA protection
    • For intermittent leave, call MetLife within 48 hours of your absence. You may also report intermittent leave at
    • Call MetLife to request FMLA when you are absent due to a Worker's Compensation illness/injury.
  4. File a claim online by visiting
  5. Obtain required forms from your Supervisor or Department Payroll Specialist. The STD and FMLA Filing a Request Instructions (coming soon) and Form includes:


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