FMLA for the Employee’s Own Serious Health Condition

An eligible employee may request FMLA if they require leave due to their own serious health condition.

A serious health condition is defined as any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • any incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care
  • any incapacity requiring absence from work of more than three calendar days and continuing treatment by a health care provider
  • continuing treatment by a health care provider for a chronic or long- term condition that is incurable or so serious that if untreated would likely result in incapacity of more than three days
  • for prenatal care

Ordinarily, unless complications arise, the common cold, the flu, ear aches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraine, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, etc., are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition and do not qualify for FMLA leave.

Coordination with Paid Time Off

During your leave, you may elect to use applicable accrued annual, sick or other paid time off to the extent permitted under HR policy, or take the leave unpaid. You may also be eligible for short-term disability or workers' compensation benefits.  Any annual, sick or other paid time off you elect to use while on approved FMLA will run concurrently with the FMLA entitlement.

Please note that only using the types of paid time off paid through GW Payroll Services will allow you to maintain your paid status for annual and sick time accruals. Paid time off such as Voluntary Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability and Worker’s Compensation are paid by outside administrators and are not considered “paid status”. Timekeepers should review the Leave of Absence Timekeeping Process (PDF) to see how timekeeping is managed while an employee is on an approved leave of absence.

Return to Work Authorization

If you are out on FMLA leave for your own serious health condition, you will be required to present a return to work authorization prior to reinstatement. If such authorization is not received in a timely fashion, your return to work may be delayed until authorization is provided.

The Authorization to Return to Work Form (PDF) provides the necessary certification for return to work and must be completed by a healthcare provider and returned to GW Benefits prior to your return to work date.