An employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to maintain health benefits coverage. An employee on unpaid FMLA leave may pay the employee share of the premiums on a current basis or pay upon return to work. Being in a leave without pay (or unpai d FMLA leave) status affects various employee entitlements, including the accrual of annual and sick leave. For example, when a full- time employee with an 80 -hour biweekly tour of duty accumulates a total of 80 hours of nonpay status (either in one pay per iod, or over the course of several pay periods), the employee will not earn annual and sick leave in the pay period. Further details on the effects of extended leave without pay on federal benefits and programs can be found on this NIH Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch fact sheet.