Log in


Welcome to the AAWR Paid Family and Medical Leave (FML) Resources webpage! The AAWR is a leader in advocating for paid family and medical leave in radiology, radiation oncology, and allied fields including successfully leading efforts to pass two resolutions at the American College of Radiology (ACR) as well as at the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2021-2022. Around this time, policies related to family and medical leave for residents (and fellows) were also published by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These AAWR resources include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), including information on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, links to relevant articles, and a link to state policies.


What is the 2022 ACR Resolution on paid family and medical leave?
Also known as Resolution 13, this resolution states that “The ACR recommends that diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, medical physics, and nuclear medicine practices, departments and training programs strive to provide 12 weeks of paid family/medical leave in a 12-month period for its attending physicians, medical physicists and members in training as needed.” This resolution was sponsored by the AAWR and passed on April 27, 2022 at the ACR annual meeting. See this ACR blog post.

Has the Society for Women in Radiation Oncology issued a statement on family and medical leave?

Yes, see this SWRO statement.

Have any additional radiology and radiation oncology associations and societies taken a position on the paid family and medical leave?

Yes, see Practical Guide on Paid Family and Medical Leave reference.

What is the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Who can receive paid family and medical leave?

It depends on your employer’s policies and where you live. The 1993 Federal law, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allows eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave in 12 months during which time the employee’s health benefits are expected to be maintained. See official FMLA website. The federal act does not grant paid leave; rather, it essentially ensures job protection and that employees are able to return to the same or an equivalent job at the end of the leave period. However, some states have their own state leave policies with option for paid leave and/or unpaid time off extending beyond the federal FMLA at https://bipartisanpolicy.org/explainer/state-paid-family-leave-laws-across-the-u-s/.

Is every employer bound by FMLA?

Private employers are bound by FMLA if they employ 50 or more employees whereas FMLA applies to all public employers. See FMLA FAQs.

Is every employee eligible to receive FMLA?

In general, certain time and hours of service criteria will need to be met to be eligible for FMLA, including working for the employer for 12 months and working for 1250 hours during the 12 months prior to start of leave. For the detailed list of criteria, please refer to the FMLA website. Every institution may have their own criteria to supplement FMLA.

Does FMLA only apply to pregnancy and maternity leave?

No. Any eligible employee can utilize FMLA leave for situations related to birth of a child and placement of child for adoption or foster care but since FMLA implies ‘family and medical leave’, it is also available to use to take care of an immediate family member (defined as spouse, child, or parent) or one’s own self for a serious health condition Please refer to the FMLA website for further details.

Do I need to take all 12 weeks at the same time?

No. The 12 weeks can be utilized intermittently over a 12-month period, when medically necessary in blocks of time or for moving to a reduced work schedule. If used for bonding with a child, intermittent leave needs approval by your employer. Please refer to the FMLA website for further details.

Do I need to take all 12 weeks within the first 3 months of the birth of my child?

No. Intermittent FMLA leave can be used for birth or bonding with your child, with your employer’s approval, within the first 12 months of birth or a child’s placement. See FMLA website.

Does FMLA apply to non-birth parents as well?

Yes. Mothers and fathers both can apply FMLA time to bond with a child whether related to birth, adoption or foster care. See FMLA Website.

If I utilize FMLA for a medical condition, I am afraid of my employer sharing my medical condition with others – should I be concerned?

Under FMLA, your employer is required to keep your medical records confidential, but your supervisor may be informed about your need to be away from work. See further details on the FMLA website.

I need to take FMLA. When should I inform my employer?

Employers need to be given a 30-day advance notice when FMLA will be taken for an expected reason (such as pregnancy). If FMLA leave is due to an unforeseeable reason, the notice needs to be given as soon as practically possible. See FMLA website.

I am an immediate family member of a military member. Am I eligible for FMLA?

Family of military members have additional benefits under FMLA. Please refer to FMLA website for details.

Why should we advocate for paid family and medical leave? What are the benefits for me or the employer?

Paid family and medical leave in the context of parental leave, has been shown to have benefits for parents and children, employees, and employers alike. Specifically, paid parental leave is associated with improved infant health and development, improved breastfeeding success, better bonding, improved parental health, decreased postpartum depression, rehospitalization and intimate partner violence. In the context of medical leave, many stressors related to dealing with a serious illness and its financial impact can be alleviated by paid leave. For employers, paid family and medical leave has shown to improve employee recruitment, retention, and productivity amongst other benefits. Lastly, at a society level, paid leave policies have help decrease attrition of working women after birth of a child. See the Practical Guide for Paid Family and Medical Leave reference and other references for more detail.

I am a resident. How many weeks will I be allowed to take off from residency? 

    A. Starting July 1, 2022, ACGME mandated sponsoring institutions to have leave policies that include a minimum of six paid weeks off for medical, parental, and caregiver leave for qualifying reasons at any time during the ACGME-accredited program. ACGME also stated that one week of paid time off be reserved for use outside of these six weeks and that health and disability insurance benefits be continued during this time. The ACGME provides general policy for all accredited graduate medical education programs, including one year internship and fellowship programs, however the American Board of Radiology (ABR) has additional policies for radiology, radiation oncology and interventional radiology residents as follows. See ACGME institutional requirements.

    B. The ABR’s leave policy, effective in the 2021–2022 academic year, states that “residents will be considered eligible for initial certification without an extension of training with ‘time off’ that does not exceed an average of 8 weeks (40 workdays) per academic year over the duration of the residency.” Assuming 4 weeks of vacation per year, a diagnostic radiology resident could take a total of 16 weeks of family and medical leave during training and still maintain eligibility for initial certification without extension of training. These 16 weeks could be applied to multiple family and medical leave events. Leave beyond these 16 weeks would presumably necessitate extension of training and possibly affect eligibility for initial certification depending on the specific timing of these leaves. See further discussion here.

    C. For Nuclear medicine residents/fellows, leave should not exceed more than 0.5 weeks/month of training in programs less than 2 years and should be as per institutional GME/ACGME guidelines for programs longer than 2 years per ABNM training requirements. While FMLA allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job protection in a 12-month period for eligible employees, it can have implications on duration of your training so ultimately, one should refer to their institutional and GME policy for specific details.

      If due to my circumstances, I need to take 12 weeks of family or medical leave during my radiology residency. Am I allowed to do that? 

      Yes, see (B) above. 

      I am a radiology employer and would like to institute paid family and medical leave for my employees. Are there any resources for me in the literature? 

      For complete, most updated information, please refer to the official FMLA website.
      https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla and https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/general-guidance

      2501 Jolly Rd Ste. 110
      Okemos, MI 48864

      Phone: (517) 657-7883
      Email: info@aawr.org

      Copyright © 2022 | American Association for Women in Radiology
      Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software