Check out our Free FMLA
Eligibility Advisor Here!

North Carolina FMLA

All Employers

School Leave

  • Four hours of leave per year must be granted to all employees who are either a parent or guardian, or stand "in loco parentis" to a school aged child, so the employee may attend or be involved at the school.
  • The employer, along with written verification from the school, may require a 48-hour notice.

Family Illness Leave

In addition to FMLA leave, a state employee is entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid leave over a five-year period to care for a child, spouse or parent with serious health condition. This is available for all employees eligible for FMLA, regardless of their schedule and is accounted separate from FMLA.

State Employers

Family and Medical Leave

North Carolina has adopted rules for state employees for the implementation of FMLA. The rules are virtually identical to federal law, with a few exceptions as noted below:


  • An employee must work for the employer for at least 12 months and 1,040 hours during the previous 12-month period.
  • Temporary and intermittent employees are not covered under state law.
  • However, an employee who has worked at least 1,250 in the prior 12-month period may take 12 weeks unpaid leave under FMLA.


Stepchildren are defined as children of an employee's spouse from a previous marriage. Unlike FMLA, stepchildren are included in the state medical leave law.

Charging Leave

  • An employee may use any or all accrued vacation or sick leave, or unpaid leave for childbirth, or the illness of a child, spouse or parent. (Except that sick leave may only be used during the period of the employee's or family member's actual disability).
  • This applied to both mothers and fathers after childbirth.
  • An employee may use a maximum of 30 days of any or all accrued vacation or sick leave, or unpaid leave for the adoption of a child.
  • When taking leave for the employee's own illness, sick leave must be exhausted before using vacation leave or leave without pay.
  • If the employee's illness is more than the 60-day waiting period for short-term disability, the employee may use the balance of available leave or begin drawing short-term disability benefits.

Worker's Compensation

  • When an employee is drawing on temporary disability benefits, it may not be substituted for FMLA leave.
  • State agencies shall not require employees to use compensatory leave for unpaid FMLA leave.

Maintenance of Benefits

Employees must continue to pay insurance premiums to maintain benefits while on leave. If a premium payment is more than 30 days late, the employer may discontinue health insurance. However, upon the employee's return to work, coverage must be reinstated.

Leave for FMLA-Ineligible State Employees

  • State employees who do not qualify for FMLA may use sick leave for a newborn or adopted child.
  • Sick leave may be used for a biological mother, or a member of her immediate family employed by the state, during the period after childbirth as certified by a doctor.
  • Up to 30 days of sick leave can be used by each parent upon adoption of a child.
  • Leave may be taken for siblings, step-relatives, in-laws, grandparents and grandchildren.
  • Employees who have a disability or illness may extend unpaid leave up to 12 months. If so, they will be responsible for health benefits coverage.


Employees may take leave for the following relatives for the reason of birth, adoption, foster placement or serious health condition:

  • Spouses as recognized by the state of North Carolina.
  • Parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, great-grandparents, and any of the same related by marriage (step-relations).
  • Children, stepchildren, children-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and any of the same related by marriage (step-relations).
  • Siblings, half siblings or siblings-in-law; and
  • Other dependents living in the employee's household.

Sick Leave

State employees may use sick leave for:

  • Medical appointments of the employee or immediate family members.
  • Donation of leave to a family member who qualifies for Voluntary Shared Leave.
  • Illness of a family member.
  • Death of immediate family member.

Greater benefits may be obtained by using the features of both state and federal leave laws.

Community Service Leave

  • State employees may be granted 24 hours of community service leave each year.
  • The 24 hours of credit towards community service begins on Jan. 1 of each year.
  • An employee may use this leave at a rate of one hour a week for tutoring or mentoring a student.
Laws for family leave in North Carolina

Check out our Free FMLA
Eligibility Advisor Here!