The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees eligible letter carriers up to 12 weeks of leave each postal leave year, for:
A new child in the family—by birth, by adoption or by placement in foster care;
Caring for a family member with a serious health condition;
The employee's own serious health condition that prevents him or her from performing the job, or
Qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that employee’s family member is on or has been notified of “covered active duty” in the Armed Forces.
The FMLA also guarantees eligible letter carriers up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a “covered servicemember” with a “serious injury or illness” if that servicemember is their spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
The FMLA guarantees time off, whether paid or unpaid. The type of leave taken depends on the reasons for the leave, an employee's earnings and the usual postal leave regulations. There are eligibility criteria, medical certification guidelines and other detailed rules governing letter carrier rights to FMLA leave.