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Family Friendly Leave Options

Mother and Father watching a child ride a rocking horse

Confused about all of your Family Friendly Leave options?

This brochure provides full-time employees with some guidelines and practical tips to follow when choosing family leave.

Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act (FEFFLA) 

How much leave can I use under FEFFLA?

The FEFFLA rules, now a part of the sick leave rules, allow you to use up to 104 hours of sick leave, annually, to:

1. Care for a family member who:

Is physically or mentally ill;

Is injured;

Is pregnant;

Has given birth;

Receives medical, dental, or optical treatment.

2. Make funeral arrangements or attend the funeral of a family member.

  • Do I have to maintain a minimum sick leave balance in order to use the 104 hours?

No you do not have to maintain a minimum sick leave balance.

  • How much advanced sick leave may I use?

You may be advanced sick leave for this purpose.

  • Who is a "family member" under FEFFLA?

All in-laws,

Brothers, sisters, and

Anyone related by blood or affinity whose close association with you is equivalent to a family relationship.

Sick Leave for Seriously Ill Family Members 

How much sick leave may I use?

You may use up to 480 hours per leave year to care for a seriously ill family member. Sick leave used during the leave year under FEFFLA or FMLA must be subtracted from the 480 hour entitlement.

How much advanced sick leave may I use?

You are limited to 240 hours (30 days) of advanced sick leave. This amount includes sick leave advanced for any other purpose, e.g., adoption, your own illness.

Who is a family member?

The definition of family member is the same as for FEFFLA.

Where do I find the definition of a “serious health condition?”

See the definition under FMLA. It can be found in your HRDG, Subchapter 4630, Section F.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 

How much leave may I use under FMLA?

FMLA entitles you to a total of 12 weeks of leave without pay (LWOP) when you or a family member are faced with a serious medical condition.

FMLA allows you to substitute sick leave or annual leave for LWOP.

Follow FEFFLA and Sick Leave for Seriously Ill Family Members rules to determine the amount of sick leave you may use to attend to a family member's serious medical condition.

Once you've used up the allowable amount of sick leave, the remainder of the time should be used as annual leave and/or LWOP. Stacking, i.e., using more sick leave than permitted by law, of sick leave under the various family leave options is not permitted.

Who is a "family member" under FMLA?

Your spouse;

Your child; and/or

Your parent.

It does not include in-laws, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc.

How do I request leave for family care purposes?

Use OPM's latest version of the OPM-71, Request for Leave, or other form accepted by your supervisor.

In addition, for FMLA and Sick Leave for Seriously Ill Family Members, also remember to use:

Department of Labor Form
WH-380, in the Human Resources Desk Guide (HRDG).

How do Time and Attendance (T&A) personnel code the leave?

T&A personnel should remember that there are no special prefixes in the system for documenting FMLA leave or Sick Leave for Seriously Ill Family Members. They will use T&A code/prefix 62/62 to document FEFFLA leave in the T&A system. You and your supervisor should clearly document the purpose of the leave and the amount used each pay period on your time sheet.

Practical tips to follow:

Determine who the leave is for - yourself or a family member.

If the leave is needed to care for a family member, determine which definition of "family member" fits your situation.

Decide which family leave benefit(s) is available to you.

Talk with your supervisor or someone in the Human Resources Community if you still have questions.

Guidance is found in the HRDG on Absence and Leave. FEFFLA and Sick Leave for Seriously Ill Family Members is found in the sick leave section and FMLA has its own section.

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