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Family and Medical Leave Act

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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. It requires employers to grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and case of the newborn child of the employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

The following documents and links provide guidance and assistance for APWU members and representatives when applying the provisions of the FMLA to postal employees.

Downloadable APWU versions of forms that can be used when requesting or certifying leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). You do NOT have to use the Postal Forms. The APWU Forms are easier for you and your physician to use. If you have any problem using them let me know and we'll take care of it.

Some of the documents below may take a while to download onto your computer. Make sure you give it enough time.

APWU FMLA Form #1 [pdf]
Employee Certification of Own Serious Illness

APWU FMLA Form #2 [pdf]
Certification by Employee's Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Illness

APWU FMLA Form #3 [pdf]
Health Care Provider Certification of Employee's Family Member Illness

APWU FMLA Form #4 [pdf]
Notice of Need for Intermittent Leave or for a Reduced Work Schedule

APWU FMLA Form #5 [pdf]
Desired or Needed Absence for Birth or placement of Son or Daughter

APWU FMLA Form #6 [pdf]
USPS Verification of Veteran's Treatment

APWU FMLA Form #7 [pdf]
Management Request for Clarification of Medical Certification


Decision Tree [pdf]
Also get our FMLA Decision Tree - By answering a few questions you will be able to determine whether you would be covered under FMLA.

FMLA Flowchart [pdf]
Our FMLA Flowchart is a simple sheet you can follow to see if you are FMLA eligible.


How to Apply Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) [pdf]

An APWU booklet for members for use in applying your rights under the FMLA. This document includes excerpts from the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM)and Postal Bulletins, an exchange of correspondence between the union and the Postal Service on the application of the FMLA, and copies of forms for use by postal employees when requesting leave under the Act.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Questions and Answers [pdf]

A document jointly produced by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) with answers to the most frequently asked Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) questions. It is the intent of the parties that referral to these questions and answers should eliminate disputes concerning the most basic FMLA issues.

Notice for Requesting FMLA Leave [pdf]

(July 5, 2005) This is the most recent version of Postal Service Publication 71, “Notice for Employees Requesting Leave for Conditions Covered Under the Family and Medical Leave Act.” Please note that this version is currently under challenge by the APWU.

Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 [pdf]

A U.S. Department of Labor notice about your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Federal Appeals Court Ruling on USPS Return to Work Requirements for FMLA Absence [pdf]

(July 22, 2005) A federal appeals court ruling 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.

Arbitration Award (USPS #Q00C-4Q-C 02126262) [pdf]                                                      

(July 5, 2005) An employee's time on LWOP for union business does not count toward the 1,250 hours of service required for eligibility under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), according to this national-level award by Arbitrator Das.

Arbitration Award (USPS #H98C-4H-D 99290624) [pdf]

An employee, who is eligible for Family Medical Leave at the time medical leave commences, but due to intermittent leaves for the same condition, falls below the 1250 hour minimum required in the previous 12 month period, is nevertheless eligible for medical leave.

USPS and Department of Labor (DOL) Letters Regarding 1250 Work-hour Eligibility Requirement [pdf]

Clarification letters from the USPS and the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding application of the 1250 Work-hour eligibility requirement when an employee who is eligible for Family Medical Leave for one condition, but due to leave for a different condition, falls below the 1250 hour minimum.

Department of Labor (DOL)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s FMLA Compliance Assistance web site.