Board of Education Policy 6551: Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

The District allows eligible employees to take unpaid FMLA leave for up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period as determined by the District. Employees are eligible if they have been employed by the District for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period.

The District uses a “rolling” 12-month period measured backward from the date of any FMLA leave usage to calculate the FMLA leave. In certain cases, FMLA leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis rather than all at once. The entitlement to leave for the birth or placement of a child expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of the birth or placement.

Eligible employees may be granted leave for one or more of the following reasons:

a) The birth of a child and care for the child;

b) Adoption of a child and care for the child;

c) The placement of a child with the employee from foster care;

d) To care for a spouse, minor child or parent who has a “serious health condition” as defined by the FMLA;

e) To care for an adult child who is incapable of self-care due to a disability (regardless of date of the onset of disability) and has a serious health condition; or

f) The employee’s serious health condition prevents the employee from performing his or her job.

A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider that renders the person incapacitated for more than three consecutive calendar days. An employee claiming a serious health condition must first visit a healthcare provider within seven days of the incapacity; the second visit must occur within 30 days of the incapacitating event. An employee claiming the need for continuous treatment under FMLA for a chronic serious health condition must visit a healthcare provider at least twice per year, and the condition must continue over an extended period of time. The condition may cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity.

Military Family Leave Entitlements

Military Caregiver Leave

An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness may take up to 26 weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for the service member.

Qualifying Exigency Leave

An “eligible” employee may take qualifying exigency leave when his or her spouse, son, daughter, or parent who is a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty.

Concurrent (Substitute) Leave

Employees must use paid leave concurrently with periods of FMLA leave.

Special Provisions for Instructional Employees

An instructional employee’s principal function is to teach and instruct students in a class, a small group, or an individual setting. Teaching assistants and aides who do not have instruction as the principal function of their job are not considered an instructional employee.

Intermittent Leave Taken by Instructional Employees

FMLA leave that is taken at the end of the school year and resumes at the beginning of the next school year is continuous leave. The period during summer vacation is not counted against an employee’s FMLA leave entitlement; the employee will continue to receive any benefits that are customarily given over the summer break.

If an instructional employee requests intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule, and will be on that leave for more than 20% of the number of working days during that period, the District may:

a) Require the employee to take leave for a period or periods of a particular duration, not greater than the duration of the planned treatment; or

b) Transfer the employee temporarily to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified, which has equivalent pay and benefits, and which better accommodates recurring leave periods than the employee’s regular position.

Leave Taken by Instructional Employees near the End of the Instructional Year

If the instructional employee begins leave more than five weeks before the end of the term, the District may require him or her to continue taking leave until the end of the term if the leave lasts more than three weeks and the employee would return during the three weeks before the end of the term.

If the instructional employee begins leave less than five weeks before the end of the term for any FMLA-related reasons except qualifying exigency, the District may require that the employee remain out for the rest of the term if the leave lasts more than two weeks and the employee would return to work during that two-week period at the end of the instructional term.

If the instructional employee begins taking leave during the three weeks before the end of the term for any FMLA-related reason except qualifying exigency, the District may require that the employee continue leave until the end of the term if the leave will last more than five working days.

Any additional time that is required by the District will not be charged against the employee as FMLA leave.

Benefits and Restoration

An employee is entitled to have group health insurance and benefits maintained while on leave. If an employee was paying all or part of the premium payments before leave, the employee will continue to pay his or her share during the leave period.

In most instances, an employee has a right to return to the same or an equivalent position following a leave. The Superintendent or designee may reassign an employee in accordance with any applicable collective bargaining agreement to a different grade level, building, or assignment consistent with the employee’s certification and tenure area.

Employee Notice and Medical Certification

When leave is foreseeable, the employee must give at least 30 days’ advance notice of when and how much leave he or she needs. When leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable.

The District may require an employee to submit certification from a healthcare provider to substantiate a leave request. If the certification is incomplete or insufficient, the District will identify in writing what information the employee must provide to correct the deficiency within seven days. If the employee fails to timely provide the requested information, the District may deny his or her FMLA leave request.

The District may also request a second opinion regarding the employee’s medical status from a healthcare provider of its choice at its expense, and a third opinion from a provider agreed upon by the District and the employee, to be paid for by the District.

Special Provisions for School District Employees

An instructional employee is an employee whose principal function is to teach and instruct students in a class, a small group, or an individual setting (e.g., teachers, coaches, driving instructors, special education assistants, teaching assistants, etc.).

FMLA Notice

The District will display a general notice to employees about FMLA leave rights, that will include how to file a complaint, in each school building. The District will also provide a written general notice about the FMLA in the employee handbook to each new employee upon hire. The District has five days to supply this notice from the date of hire.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (as amended), Public Law 103-3
National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, Public Law 110-181
10 USC §101(a) (13)
29 USC §§1630.1 and 2611-2654
29 CFR Part 825 and Part 1630
42 USC §12102
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191
45 CFR Parts 160 and 164

Adopted May 28, 2019