How do I request FMLA leave?

The UWS 80 employee request for WFMLA/FMLA form is located at

Submit completed signed form to your supervisor or HR department representative in advance of your absence or ASAP after an emergency.

Am I eligible for FMLA leave?

Your HR department representative will determine your eligibility.

For more information on eligibility go to

Leave With (without) Pay

What is leave with pay? Taking time off using accrued leave time (vacation, sick leave, personal holidays, etc.).

What is a leave without pay (LWOP) and how do I apply for it?


A short leave of absence of less than three months can be requested and approved by your department supervisor and director using your normal department request off process, however, longer term leaves for unclassified staff use S-36

A member of the Unclassified Staff can use SAAP-36 (Selected Academic and Administrative Policies) for extended leave of absences without pay (LWOP) from the university during which that person is not paid from the funds administered by the university.  Employees first discuss his/her personal situation with their supervisors and approval is usually granted after the unclassified staff members requests in writing the time off needed and the reasons for the request.  LWOPs are granted only for a specific legitimate purpose pursuant to this policy or policy S-43.  An employee who accepts other than a temporary position (for example, a regular faculty or administrative appointment at another institution or organization) will not be granted a leave of absence.

A leave of absence without pay (LWOP) may not be taken by an academic staff member without approval of the appropriate administrative supervisor/director, the division head, and the chancellor. The presumption in the approval process is that a leave usually will be granted if sufficient prior notification (for example, 90 days) is provided. However, shorter notification or denial of leave may occur if circumstances press such actions on the relevant parties.

A LWOP must be for a specific period of time.  Initial leaves are for one year or less with a discretionary extension up to two years.  Any extension for a third year requires approval of the UW-System President.  All LWOP are predicated on an agreement that the unclassified staff member will return at the conclusion of the leave.  Each staff member requesting a LWOP must execute a conditional resignation stipulating that failure to return to the university at the conclusion of the approved leave constitutes a resignation from the university.


If your Leave of Absence Without Pay (LWOP) is for less than five days (sometimes even up to three weeks), please use your department process for requesting time off and enter the time off on your timesheet after you have department approval.  Your SA Department Human Resource contact <insert link> can let you know if your particular situation can be done without using the OSER form discussed next.

For longer term absences, a classified staff member applies using the OSER form found at

You complete the form and have your supervisor sign it and pass it on to the director, HR department representative and then the divisional Vice Chancellor’s Office for final approval and review.

Most often you need to apply for time off without pay when you have used up all your leave balances or you wish to reserve some of your leave time for after a necessary leave.  You may apply for LWOP for Maternity, paternity, medical (FMLA or non-FMLA), educational leave, filling a temporary position, exceptional personal reasons or other specific legitimate reason.

Please note that when you take an extended and approved LWOP you will be signing the OSER form and agreeing that if you fail to report for work on or before the scheduled return date indicated on the approved form or fail to contact your supervisor regarding any absences from work beyond the scheduled date of return, your supervisor my take disciplinary action, which may include termination for cause effective the date the leave expired.  Additionally, if the university (supervisor) is not contacted for a minimum of five (5) consecutive working days following the end of your leave of absence, the university may consider that you have abandoned your position and may discipline or treat you as having resigned your position.

Can I take paid or unpaid leave while on FMLA? Yes, you may take FMLA leave as paid or unpaid.  Using paid leave will require the use of vacation time, personal time or sick time.

Telecommuting/Flexible Work Arrangements

Can I work from home during FMLA leave?

Circumstances are different for everyone.  Please discuss with your supervisor and department HR Rep.   There are several options available to you.  Usual practice is to only grant around 20 to 35% for work done at home during an FMLA leave and we require that your doctor provide certification that you can work during your medical absence.  However, this approval process does not have to fall within the FMLA program. Your agreement with us will state something like “your request to telecommute no more than 20 percent time (equivalent to up to no more than one day per week) is approved as long as you submit weekly activity reports to your supervisor and continue to receive approval from your medical provider (if required) during the term of your telecommuting agreement”. Your telecommuting agreement will also include your waiver of liability including claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, and expenses of every kind and description including injury, death, or damage to your property, which arises out of, in connection with, occurs during, your participation in the telecommuting program.

What are examples of Telecommuting arrangements used at UW-Milwaukee?

At this time, very few examples of telecommuting are used on campus and most of them are related to short-term medical necessities.  However, there are a couple that have been agreed upon related to flexibility of hours due to managing breakdowns in websites that are run 24 hours/day for the sale of products such as textbooks and other necessities of university staff and students.   Other arrangements for telecommuting are usually part of the position, such as out-of-state recruiters and the positions are advertised that the staff member will live out of state.  In all telecommuting situations, an agreement is written including all the details of the arrangement and all agreements have specific begin and end dates as well as specific expectations evaluated on a regular basis.  NOTE:  The campus is working on a new telecommuting policy which we will share as soon as we receive it.

Unclassified Staff Title Reviews

I am a member of the unclassified staff and I would like a title review conducted for my position because my duties have changed considerably.

First, we suggest you first discuss your position description at least annually during your performance evaluation each February and if both you and your supervisor feel there are significant changes in your position description, you and your supervisor usually work on a revision together.  Depending on your title, your department will also help you fill out a campus position questionnaire which includes information such as how many employees report to you, the amount of budget or spending authority you may have and other details about your duties and level of authority and decision making your position holds.  Please also discuss any questions you may have with your SA Department Human Resource contact <insert link to contacts here>.