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Division of Human Resources

Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows faculty and staff to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year when you are unable to work because of a serious health condition for yourself or a qualified family member. It may also be used for the birth, placement, or adoption of a newborn child, but must be taken within one year of the event.

If you have available annual or sick leave to cover all or part of your FMLA leave period, you can choose to use that leave instead of taking unpaid leave.  


In order to qualify for FMLA leave, you must be a faculty or staff member that has been employed for at least 12 months and worked for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the date your FMLA leave would begin.

The qualified family members you are allowed to use this leave for are your spouse, children under the age of 18 (or older if certified as incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability) and your parents.

How To Apply

To apply for FMLA, please complete the following forms:

Please return your paperwork to the Benefits Office, located at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 801, Columbia, S.C. 29208If your FMLA leave is for the adoption or placement of a child, you must also provide a copy of the adoption papers or a letter from the attorney or official handling the adoption or foster care arrangement.

If you are required to take leave without pay during your FMLA period, your supervisor will also complete one of the following forms and return it to the Salary Administration Office: 

Please remember, employees should always obtain supervisory approval before taking any time away from work. All leave must be reported through the University’s time and attendance management system (ITAMS) or other applicable time recording system. For more information about entering time, or for additional details about FMLA, please visit the Policies and Procedures section of this site.

Insurance Coverage 

If you are taking unpaid FMLA leave, the University will continue to pay its portion of your insurance premiums, but you must continue your normal insurance premium payments during the time you are gone in order to keep your benefits. Please make premium payments to USC's Payroll Office, located at 1600 Hampton Street, Columbia, S.C. 29208.

If you choose to not keep your insurance during the time you are on unpaid leave, you may re-enroll upon returning from FMLA leave. You will not be subject to medical examinations or pre-existing conditions exclusions for health, dental and vision insurance.