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Parental Leave of Absence

A parental leave of absence gives mom and dad time off work to bond with their new child. Parental leaves must be taken within one year of your child's birth, adoption, or foster placement.

Parental leave entitlement runs concurrently with a paid parental leave entitlement and, if eligible, may be used after paid parental leave or maternity leave ends.

Your Parental Leave may be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

To apply for a parental leave:

  • Submit your leave application:
  • You will need to provide the DMU with one of the following:
    • Child's birth certificate (if you already provided this to take a maternity leave you do not have to submit it again)
    • Adoption papers
    • Foster placement order

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    • You must add your child to your benefits within 31 days of the birth, adoption, or foster placement. If you do not, you will have to wait until the next Benefits Open Enrollment period that takes place each year in the fall.
      • Call the MI HR Service Center at 877-766-6447, option 1
      • Fax or mail a copy of the birth certificate to the MI HR Service Center
        • Fax: 517-241-5892
        • Mail: MI HR Service Center, P O Box 30002, Lansing, MI 48909
    • Once you submit your application and the supporting medical certification, the DMU will send you:
      • a letter detailing your current FMLA entitlements
      • a letter approving or denying your leave  
        Note: Allow 5-7 business days from receipt of documentation for processing
    • Until your leave is approved or denied, remember to follow your agency's call-in procedure

    • FMLA allows eligible employees up to 12 workweeks in any 12 months for;
      • the birth and care of a newborn,
      • for the placement of a child, or the adoption or foster of a child,
      • to care for a family member (child, spouse, parent) with a serious health condition,
      • or for an employee's own serious health condition.
    • You must apply for FMLA if you will be off work for 5 or more consecutive calendar days due to a serious health condition.
    • FMLA is unpaid, however, during an FMLA-approved leave:
      • you may use leave credits to receive pay during your time off
        • Sick leave credits must be exhausted prior to use of other leave credits
      • If you have no leave credits, you may take the time unpaid
      • If you're enrolled in LTD, you may apply for disability benefits by contacting Sedgwick at 800-324-9901
    • While you are on payroll, you will continue to pay your portion of insurance premiums. Once you are off payroll (no longer using leave credits), FMLA will continue your healthcare.
    • If you do not qualify for FMLA, you may be entitled to a non-FMLA leave under your collective bargaining agreement or Civil Service Rules.
    • Not sure if you qualify for FMLA? 



    • Until your leave is approved or denied, you are responsible for:
      • Following your agency's call-in procedure
      • Entering your time into SIGMA with the comment "Pending FMLA Approval" 
      • If you are not yet approved for a leave and have no available leave to cover your time, select the event type "LOST" in SIGMA
    • Once your leave is approved, your supervisor is responsible for entering your time as you have indicated on your leave application:
      • FMSL - sick leave credits while on leave
      • FMAL - annual leave credits while on leave
      • FMLA - no leave credits are being used - time is being covered only under the FMLA
      • FMBL - BLT (Banked Leave Time) credits while on leave
      • FMHL - holiday credits used while on leave
      • FMCM - comp time credits used while on leave
      • FMD1 - deferred (1981) hours used while on leave
      • FMD2 - deferred (1982) hours used while on leave
    • Questions on entering your time?



    Continuing insurance benefits is dependent upon multiple factors:

    • Your sick leave balance and other leave usage
    • Your FMLA entitlement

    For details on how these factors affect insurance benefits, see the FAQs or contact the DMU at 877-443-6362.

    Some things to consider:

    • Your health, dental, vision, and life insurances continue while using leave credits to cover your time off. Insurance premiums will continue to be deducted.
    • Once you are no longer using leave credits, the Employee Benefits Division (EBD) will mail you an Application to Continue Insurances. You must select the insurance plans you wish to continue while on leave and return the application to EBD.


    • When you return to work from a Parental Leave, you are not required to submit any return to work documentation. 
    • You will want to contact the DMU on the day you return to work, so they can close your leave and place you back in active pay status.


    You can visit our FAQs to find out information on timekeeping, continuing insurances, returning to work, and more.