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In addition to rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees of many Nebraska State agencies are protected by a Family Leave Law that is similar to the FMLA. In addition, agency employees may be eligible to seek "catastrophic leave donations" where Family Leave is insufficient or paid leave is needed. The other sections of thiis article contain a brief summary of these laws. For more details, see: offsite link

If you are considering taking leave, it is advisable toconsult with your Human Resource Office for additional details.

For additional information, see:

Family Leave

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for Family Leave you must work for a state agency in the State classified personnel system and have:

  1. At least 12 total months of service, and
  2. At least 1,250 hours of paid service in the previous 12-month period.

How Much Leave Will I Get?

12 weeks of unpaid leave.

What Are Legitimate Reasons To Use Leave?

  1. Because of your own serious health condition
  2. In order to care for the serious health condition of your spouse, child or parent;
  3. Because of the birth of your child;
  4. Because of adoption or the placement of a foster child;

Who Is A Spouse?

Under the Nebraska Family Leave Law, "spouse" does not include unmarried domestic partners.

Who Is A Child?

"Child" includes step-children, foster children, or even other children who are in your home for more than the short-term, such as legal wards.

Who Is A Parent?

"Parent" includes individuals other than biological or adoptive parents who served a long-term parental role for you. "Parent" does not include your mother-in law or father-in-law.

What Notice Do I Need To Provide?

You must provide a minimum of 30-days notice. However, where your need for leave is not foreseeable 30 days ahead of time, you must give notice as early as possible.

Is A Doctor's Note Required?

You must provide certification by a health care provider. The certification must include:

  1. The date the serious health condition began.
  2. The probable duration of the condition.
  3. Any other appropriate medical facts.
  4. A statement explaining why you are needed to care for your child, spouse or parent, OR a statement explaining why you are unable to perform the functions of your job.
  5. If you are seeking to take leave a little at a time, a statement explaining the planned medical treatment, the expected dates, and the duration of the treatment.

What Happens To My Health Insurance While I Am On Leave?

As long as you continue to make any contributions required on your part, your employer health insurance contributions must continue as well.

Catastrophic Leave For Serious Illness or Injury

What Is Catastrophic Leave?

If you experience a "catastrophic event," you may request catastrophic leave donations.

A "catastrophic event" is defined as a serious illness or injury resulting in an absence of at least 30 work days during a six-month period.

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible to request catastrophic leave, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You are suffering from a serious illness or injury resulting in an absence of at least 30 days during the past 6 months.
  2. You have produced satisfactory medical proof.
  3. You have completed a probationary period.
  4. You have exhausted all other earned paid time (including compensatory , sick, and vacation leave).
  5. You have not offered anything of value in exchange for the leave donation (in other words, you have not bribed someone to donate leave).

How Much Leave Can I Receive?

You may not receive more than 1,200 hours of donated leave during any 12-month period.

Is Catastrophic Leave Paid Leave?


How Do I Request Leave?

You must submit a written request for catastrophic leave donations to your Human Resources office. (You can usually find request forms at your Human Resources office or on the State Personnel website). Your request for leave must be approved before you solicit leave donations.

Who Can Donate Leave?

An employee within your agency may donate their accrued vacation leave. Donor employees must donate vacation leave in no less than four hour increments. Donor employees must retain at least 40 hours of vacation leave for their own use.

How Is Donated Leave Calculated?

The amount of leave donated is converted to a dollar value (based on the donor employee's hourly salary) and then converted to hours (based on your hourly salary). For example, if the donor's salary is $6/hr and yours is $12/hr, and the donor donates 4 hours, then you will receive 2 hours of leave (because $6 x 4hrs = $24 and your salary is $12, so $24/$12 = 2hrs).

Researched and written by:

Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY