To ensure FMLA is administered consistently and in compliance with federal requirements, effective September 17, 2021, The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Human Resource Enterprise (HRE) centralized leave management for State of Iowa employees.
This dedicated team will provide State agencies and employees with a centralized support center for confidential, compliant, and customer-focused service. The absence process will be performed via the Workday system. The Leave Administration Team will help employees navigate the new system and process. More information can be found in the FMLA FAQs.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federally mandated program that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to un-paid, job-protected leave for specified family, medical and military reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible State of Iowa employees are entitled to up to 12 work weeks of FMLA leave in a fiscal year (up to 26 weeks for Military Caregiver Leave in a single 12-month period).
Not sure if your absence is an FMLA qualifying reason?
Please note: The DAS HRE Email: FMLA@iowa.gov will no longer be answered after 9/16/2021.
As a best practice, it is recommended that:
- All FMLA leaves be initiated via the Workday Absence Calendar and all subsequent absences be reported via the Workday Absence Calendar. Please refer to this Smart Guide to request and report FMLA.
- You must request and report all absences via the Workday Absence Calendar prior to the end of the pay period in which they fall and preferably within 2 business days of the absence. In addition, you must also report your absences to your agency in accordance with your agency’s absence reporting requirements.
- If you have questions about FMLA the DAS Leave Administration Team can assist you at 515-72-LEAVE (515-725-3283) during normal business hours or you can email LOA@iowa.gov.
The following resources are provided to assist you in understanding and complying with FMLA requirements.
Community Based Corrections and Special Schools
FMLA Guidance (All Agencies)
Non-Workday Agencies - FMLA Forms
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federally mandated program that was signed into law on February 5, 1993 and amended by the National Defense Authorization Act on January 28, 2008. The United States Department of Labor is the Federal agency responsible for FMLA. The Iowa Department of Administrative Services, Human Resources Enterprise, is the state agency that is responsible for administering the program for employees of the State of Iowa.
FMLA leave was effective for non-contract employees on August 5, 1993 and for contract-covered employees on February 5, 1994. Servicemember family leave to care for a covered military member with an illness or injury in the line of duty was effective January 28, 2008. Servicemember family leave for any qualifying exigency was effective January 16, 2009. Only leave taken on or after the effective date of the Act is considered FMLA leave.
Any employee who has been employed by the state for a total of at least 12 months in the past seven years and has worked for at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period is eligible. Eligibility determinations are made as of the date that the FMLA leave is to begin.
If eligible, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in a fiscal year on either a continuous, intermittent, or reduced leave schedule basis for any one or more of the following reasons:
- You are eligible for up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if you are the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the servicemember. This leave commences on the first day leave is taken to care for the covered servicemember. Eligibility for military caregiver leave expires at the end of the 12-month period from the date leave is first taken.
This leave may be paid or unpaid.
Employee Notice Required
You must complete an FMLA Request via Workday. If your employer has reason to know that you qualify for FMLA leave, FMLA applies whether you have submitted certification or not. You must provide initial notification of the need for FMLA to your supervisor at least 30 days calendar days of your need to take foreseeable FMLA leave or as soon as practicable in unforeseen circumstances. If you are not able to provide notice because of your illness or injury, notice may be given by a family member or a spokesperson as soon as practicable.
You must comply with your department's usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave. If you do not comply with the usual and customary notice and procedural requirements, FMLA leave may be denied or delayed. Failure to follow sick leave policies could be a basis for discipline.
Employer Notice Required
When you request FMLA leave, your employer notifies you of your eligibility to take FMLA leave by sending you a Notice of Eligibility and Rights form within five days business days.
The employer will make an FMLA Designation of your leave within five business days of receiving sufficient information to make a determination.
Serious Health Condition Certification
When leave is for your own serious health condition, the health care provider must complete the Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition to satisfy the certification requirement. If you qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits, FMLA shall run concurrently and the Workers’ Compensation documentation may be accepted for FMLA purposes.
When leave is for your family member’s serious health condition, the health care provider must complete the Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition form. Medical certification is required except in the case of birth, adoption, or foster placement. Other confirmation may be required in the case of adoption or foster placement.
If requested, you must provide medical certification to support your FMLA leave. If your employer requests medical certification for an absence, your employer will advise you of the anticipated consequences of your failure to provide adequate certification. Medical certification shall be obtained and returned to your employer within 15 calendar days of the request or upon return to work from an absence that may qualify as FMLA leave (absent extenuating circumstances). It is your responsibility to pay the fee for completion of the medical certification and travel costs (if applicable). If second or third opinions are required, the state is responsible for the costs.
Qualifying Exigency Leave
You may take FMLA leave while your spouse, son, daughter, or parent who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves is on active duty or called to active duty status in support of a contingency operation. Family members of the Regular Armed Forces are not eligible for leave because of a qualifying exigency.
Qualifying exigencies include:
- Short-notice deployment
- Military events and related activities
- Childcare and school activities
- Financial and legal arrangements
- Rest and recuperation
- Post-deployment activities
- Additional activities
You must submit a complete and sufficient Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave form within Workday.
The first time you request leave because of a qualifying exigency, you must provide a copy of the covered military member’s active duty orders or other documentation issued by the military. This documentation must include the dates of the covered military member’s active duty service. This information need only be provided to your supervisor once. A copy of new active duty orders or other documentation issued by the military shall be provided to your supervisor if the need for leave because of a qualifying exigency arises out of a different active duty or call to active duty status of the same or a different covered military member.
Covered Servicemember Care Leave
You are entitled to FMLA leave to care for a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, or a member of the Armed Forces, the National Guard or Reserves who is on the temporary disability retired list, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty for which he or she is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy; or otherwise in outpatient status; or otherwise on the temporary disability retired list. You may not take leave under this provision to care for former members of the Armed Forces, the National Guard and Reserves, and members on the permanent disability retired list.
You are entitled to 26 workweeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness during a single 12-month period.
You must request a Servicemember Family Leave via Workday. You must complete a Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember form.
Maintenance of Health Insurance Benefits
The state of Iowa will maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken and on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If you are in an unpaid status during your FMLA leave, your missed share of the health, dental, and supplemental life insurance premiums will be deducted from your pay in arrears. After you begin having hours worked on a live check, premiums will be deducted proportionally.
Fitness for Duty
When the leave involves your own serious health condition, your employer may require a written release from your health care provider as evidence that you are able to perform the essential functions of your position. You are required to pay for any costs associated with the release including travel. Failure to provide a written release may result in discipline up to and including discharge.
Returning from Leave
Upon returning from FMLA leave, you are entitled to the same position, or an "equivalent position." An equivalent position is one with the same pay, benefits and working conditions (shift and schedule) and the same or substantially similar duties, conditions, privileges, and status which require equivalent skill, effort, responsibility and authority.
It is unlawful for your employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by FMLA. It is also unlawful for your employer to discharge or discriminate against any individual for opposing any practice or because of involvement in any proceeding related to FMLA.
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S.. Department of Labor investigates FMLA complaints made by employees. If violations cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the U.S.. Department of Labor may bring action in court to compel compliance. Employees may also bring a private civil action against an employer for violations.