Article

Family Medical Leave

Find out your rights, responsibilities, and resources when you need time to care for your loved ones or yourself.

Whether you are requesting time off for your own medical condition, or to help a family member who is sick, injured, or on military deployment, this may be a stressful time for you.

It can help to reduce that stress by making sure you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as the resources you have available to you.

Your Rights

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you are entitled to certain rights when on an approved FMLA leave of absence. Visit the FAQs to learn more about those rights, including who is eligible and protections you can expect to receive if you qualify for FMLA leave.

Your Responsibilities

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), your employer has certain responsibilities they must follow–and so do you.

You should become familiar with what you will be responsible for–and when you’ll need to meet these responsibilities–so you’ll know what to expect.

Giving notice of leave to your employer

If you know in advance you have a need for leave, (an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care, or planned medical treatment) you must give your employer at least 30 days’ notice.

If 30 days’ notice is not possible, you are required to provide notice as soon as practicable under the circumstances. Failure to do so can delay your FMLA leave. You also must provide notice as soon as practical for foreseeable leave relating to a family member’s call to military duty.

When the need for leave is unforeseeable, you are required to provide notice as soon as possible in accordance with your employer’s leave policy.

Medical certification requirements

If you file a short-term disability claim and Cigna manages your company’s family medical leave, your Claim Manager will automatically process your leave request at the same time, and you do not need to submit a separate leave request.

You may be required to provide medical information from your doctor to support your need for leave. Contact your human resources representative for more information on FMLA medical certifications.

Resources

Help with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents public and private sector employers, employment agencies, and labor unions from discriminating based on disability. Disability is defined by the ADA as “… a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The ADA was established in 1990 and the Act was amended with changes (ADAAA) in 2009.

Under the ADA, an employer is also required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an “undue hardship.” A reasonable accommodation is a change in the work environment to help an employee with a disability perform the essential functions of their job.

The federal government has established the Job Accommodation Network  (JAN) to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. JAN is a free, confidential resource that helps with the job accommodation process, the ADA and other disability-related laws, assistive technologies, and referrals to relevant local resources. JAN’s website also has a search engine (Searchable Online Accommodation Resource or SOAR) that allows users to search for various accommodation options by medical condition.

Help with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Contact your Human Resources department for additional information about state family medical leave laws and your company’s leave policies.

Living and Working with Common Conditions

Find tips on how to be more comfortable and safe as you get back into the swing of things at work.

Learn More About Common Health Conditions

When you’re living–and working–with a health condition, it can be tough. But learning ways to cope with your health issues in the workplace can go a long way to improving your comfort, happiness, and success on the job.

Health Advocacy1

Health advocacy services are available to you and your family members, including parents and parents-in-law, through Health AdvocateSM Inc. Personal Health Advocates–experienced clinicians or benefit specialists–are available to help you resolve many of the complex healthcare, health insurance, or medical bill challenges you may face. Contact your employer to obtain the Health Advocate phone number or visit the Health Advocate site.

If Cigna manages your company’s family medical leave and you would like to request a leave–or check the status of an existing leave–please visit myCigna.com.

Nurse with a patient and her family in a hospital
1 Health advocacy services are NOT health insurance or medical services, and this program does not provide either for health care services or for the reimbursement for financial losses of health care services.