Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

This page contains information regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA is enforced through the Wages and Hours Division of the Department of Labor. Additional information can be accessed at their website:




The NALC National Website also contains FMLA information:


NALC - FMLA Information


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees eligible letter carriers up to 12 weeks of leave each postal leave year, for:

  • A new child in the family—by birth, by adoption or by placement in foster care;
  • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • The employee's own serious health condition that prevents him or her from performing the job, or
  • Qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that employee’s family member is on or has been notified of “covered active duty” in the Armed Forces.

The FMLA also guarantees eligible letter carriers up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a “covered servicemember” with a “serious injury or illness” if that servicemember is their spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.


The FMLA guarantees time off, whether paid or unpaid. The type of leave taken depends on the reasons for the leave, an employee's earnings, and the usual postal leave regulations. There are eligibility criteria, medical certification guidelines, and other detailed rules governing letter carrier rights to FMLA leave.


On June 22, 2010, the DOL in an Administrator’s Interpretation clarified the definition of "son and daughter" under the Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure that an employee who assumes the role of caring for a child receives parental rights to family leave regardless of the legal or biological relationship:


“It is the Administrator’s interpretation that the regulations do not require an employee who intends to assume the responsibilities of a parent to establish that he or she provides both day-to-day care and financial support in order to be found to stand in loco parentis to a child. For example, where an employee provides day-to-day care for his or her unmarried partner’s child (with whom there is no legal or biological relationship) but does not financially support the child, the employee could be considered to stand in loco parentis to the child and therefore be entitled to FMLA leave to care for the child if the child had a serious health condition… Similarly, an employee who will share equally in the raising of an adopted child with a same sex partner, but who does not have a legal relationship with the child, would be entitled to leave to bond with the child following placement, or to care for the child if the child had a serious health condition, because the employee stands in loco parentis to the child.”


According to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, "No one who loves and nurtures a child day-in and day-out should be unable to care for that child when he or she falls ill. No one who steps in to parent a child when that child's biological parents are absent or incapacitated should be denied leave by an employer because he or she is not the legal guardian. No one who intends to raise a child should be denied the opportunity to be present when that child is born simply because the state or an employer fails to recognize his or her relationship with the biological parent.”


FMLA Contact Information


1-877-477-3273 Option 5, then Select 6
TTY: 1-866-833-8777

FMLA forms can be sent to the following address:


PO Box 970909
Greensboro NC 27497-0909

To get it to the FMLA office faster you can also fax the forms to the following number:


FAX: 651-456-6067

Additional Information regarding FMLA


M-01866 - FMLA Joint Summary Overview
M-01866 - FMLA Joint Summary Overview.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]
FMLA Administration Human Resources Share Service Center (HRSSC) - Contact Information by Postal Service Area
FMLA Administration Human Resources Shar[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [13.3 KB]