Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

State of Colorado FMLA Policy 

The FMLA entitles eligible employees who work for covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave in a defined 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. Under FMLA, eligible employees are federally entitled up to 12-weeks of un-paid leave. The State’s policy on FMLA leave grants employees 13 weeks (520 hours) of leave. 

Leave Tracking under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 

The FMLA requires that employers select one of four approved methods to establish the 12-month tracking period to be uniformly applied to all employees taking FMLA leave. Currently the State of Colorado provides eligible employees with 13 weeks (520 hours) of FMLA leave per year based on a fixed calendar method that runs from July 1 – June 30, consistent with the state’s fiscal year. Effective July 1, 2014, FMLA leave will be allotted based on a “rolling” 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee begins using FMLA leave. This change will help create equity among employees and will provide for a more efficient tracking process.  All FMLA eligible employees will begin with their full FMLA entitlement of 520 hours on July 1, 2014. We will spend a year tracking the FMLA leave.  Beginning July 2015, FMLA leave entitlements will take into consideration FMLA leave taken during the previous 12-month period.

Qualifying for FMLA​

Family/Medical Leave (FML) is unpaid leave used to provide a guaranteed amount of time, job protection, and continued benefits to eligible employees for reasons defined by the FMLA , and include:

  • Addition of a child, including placement of a foster child and placement for adoption.
  • Serious health condition of a parent, child, spouse, or self. Child for health-related FMLA is defined the same as under sick leave (under 18 or over 18 if incapable of self care due to a physical or mental disability at the time leave is to commence).
  • Active duty (military) family leave for a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) deployed to a foreign country. 
  • Military caregiver leave for a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves). In this case, next of kin is also eligible. Next of kin means nearest blood relative other than the covered service member’s spouse, parent, or child in the following priority order: relatives granted legal ward or custody through court order, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins. If the service member has declared a next of kin, only that individual is considered next of kin. If the service member has not declared a next of kin, all those in a category mentioned above are considered next of kin and eligible for the leave, e.g., all siblings, all grandparents if no siblings, and so on. Departments may ask for supporting documentation of the relationship (e.g., the declaration of next of kin).
  • Military caregiver leave also covers employees whose parent, child, spouse, or next of kin is a veteran undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the 5-year period preceding the date on which the veteran underwent service-related medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
  • FCA entitles the employee to leave to care for the serious health condition, as defined by the 
  • FMLA, of their partner in a civil union or registered domestic partnership. 


The information contained on this website is intended for the State of Colorado Government employees. If you are a State of Colorado Government employee and have questions regarding FMLA please contact your agency Human Resources office or the Statewide FMLA coordinator via email at If you are a private employer or work for a private employer in the State of Colorado and have questions regarding FMLA please contact the Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division at 720.264.3250.