Department Contact:
Administration & Human Resources


Regarding Charlevoix County Employee Policies:
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the first thing I need to understand?

  • FMLA is a classification of time off, it is NOT a form of pay.  What that means is that you do not have any guarantee of pay, only that you are guaranteed a certain amount of time off without fear of job loss.  This time off can be either unpaid (if you have no accrued forms of pay available) or it may be paid (you have available sick time or vacation).  In its simplest form, FMLA protects your job while you’re off for a specified amount of time, it does NOT ensure that you will receive a paycheck during that time.

 I still have unused vacation and sick time accrued, and I have not yet used any FMLA time.  What will happen with my balances when I take my leave?

  • All available accrued benefits will be paid out AT THE SAME TIME as your allotted FMLA time is reduced.  What this means is if you have 12 weeks of FMLA time, and you also have 2 weeks of vacation pay available as well as 3 weeks of sick time pay, you will get your 5 weeks of accrued benefits pay while your FMLA time is being equally reduced.  You are still entitled to take the remaining 7 weeks of FMLA time, however you have no more means of pay during that time. 

 Do I get to choose how I use my accrued pay during my FMLA time?

  • Absolutely!  For example, if you have 3 weeks of accrued pay (120 hours of sick and/or vacation), you may choose to get 20 hour paychecks for 6 of your 12 FMLA weeks, you may take it as every other paycheck, or various other options. You can also use your FMLA time in small increments throughout the year as necessary for qualified needs such as doctor’s appointments related to the qualifying cause.

 If I have a qualifying need or event, what do I need to do to “start” FMLA?

  • There is no sign-up, registration, or other means of “going on” FMLA, it is a classification of how your time off is being recorded with your employer.  When you let your supervisor know the reason for your time off, Payroll and/or administration will determine if you have a qualifying reason.

 What else do I need to remember:

  • While actively on FMLA, you are responsible for making payment TO Charlevoix County for any payroll deductions you may have if there is not enough accrued benefits funds available to pay them

 What happens if I have used my 12 weeks of FMLA, and my qualifying event/issue is not fully resolved?

  • You will then meet with Charlevoix County administrative personnel to determine what further options may be available to you at that point in time

U.S. Department of labor, Wage and Hour Division
Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Guide

 FMLA Employee Guide

The Employee Guide Specifically Addresses

  • Who can use FMLA? (Coverage and Eligibility)
  • When can I use FMLA? (Qualifying reasons to take FMLA)
  • What can the FMLA do for me? (FMLA rights and protections)
  • How do I request FMLA leave?
  • Communication with Employer (Employer and Employee Notices)
  • Medical Certification
  • Returning to Work (Reinstatement rights)
  • How to File a Complaint

The Employee Guide includes three easy-to-follow and informative flow charts that detail how FMLA coverage and eligibility are determined, maps out the FMLA leave process and how the FMLA medical certification process works. It addresses the FMLA definition of "son or daughter", including in loco parentis relationships even if the employee has no biological or legal relationship to the child, as provided in the Department's June 2010 FMLA Administrator Interpretation. It also provides detailed information on how an employee can file an FMLA complaint with the WHD if they believe their FMLA rights have been violated.

To be taken to the U.S. Department of Labor site, please click here.