Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
What is FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)?
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, is a federal law that entitles employees to job-protected, unpaid leave from work for up to 12 weeks in any 12 month period for the following reasons:
- For the care of the employee’s child (birth or placement for adoption or foster care);
- For the care of the employee’s spouse, son or daughter or parent. (FUSD also recognizes the following family members: Grandchildren, parents of spouse, brothers or sisters of spouse, brothers or sisters, Sons in law or daughters in law, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents)
- For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job
- Service member Care
- Exigency Leave (Urgent military events such as attending certain events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment re-integration briefings.
FMLA General Info
- FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
- FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) cannot be extended beyond 12 weeks (or 60 days if you qualify for intermittent leave).
- You must be absent for at least 3 days, under the same qualifying event/illness to qualify for FMLA.
- FML is granted, based on the completion and information given in the Employee Request and the form the physician/medical practitioner completes. If you qualify for FML, it provides a protection of your job for the duration you are absent, under this qualifying event.
- Not all qualifying events/illnesses will require the use of the entire 12 weeks. It is possible to have several qualifying events/illnesses during your 12 month period in which you are covered under FMLA.
- FMLA is unpaid leave. However, FUSD allows the employees to use their general leave, and in some cases may request donated leave.
- Twelve (12) month/1 year periods are different for everyone. For example, if you qualify for FMLA effective October 1, 2011 you are covered/protected to October 1, 2012. During this period, you may have more than one qualifying event/illness. Each separate event would need to be documented by completing the Employee Request and the physician/medical practitioner form.
- Request for Physician/Medical Practitioner recertification can be requested during this leave period.
- For the duration of FMLA leave, your health coverage is maintained.
- You must have worked for FUSD for at least one year AND worked at least 1250 hours over the past 12 months to qualify.
- Upon return from FMLA leave, you will be restored to your original or equivalent position.
- Per FUSD Policy GCCC: “The District shall require the repayment of any health care premiums paid by the District for continuing coverage during the period of the FMLA leave if the employee fails to return to work after the FMLA leave expires and the failure to return is not due to circumstances beyond the employee’s control.” Rates will vary depending on the plan chosen.
Donated Leave (Accumulated Leave Assistance Program)
An employee who has depleted their leave, and has (or has a family member with) a serious illness/injury or requires bereavement leave*, may request access to the accumulated leave assistance program (also known as Request for Donated Leave).
A serious illness or injury is defined as a “non-work related illness that is required for more than ten (10) work day’s absence for the same illness/injury within the school years as verified by a licensed healthcare practitioner”. (Ordinarily, childbirth is not considered a serious illness).
The employee must complete the Accumulated/Medical Leave Assistance Request Form, and their doctor complete the Certification of Physician or Practitioner form.
Per FUSD Policy GCCC: “The District shall require the repayment of any health care premiums paid by the District for continuing coverage during the period of the FMLA leave if the employee fails to return to work after the FMLA leave expires and the failure to return is not due to circumstances beyond the employee’s control.” Rates will vary depending on the plan chosen.
Once all the forms are returned, Human Resources will send you a letter, confirming if you qualify for FMLA and/or the Medical Leave Assistance Program.
Maternity Leave Information:
Blue Cross/Blue Shield will automatically add your newborn to your policy. Your child will be covered, free of charge for the first 30 days. It is important that should you choose to discontinue this coverage, that you send the form (which you should receive from Blue Cross/Blue Shield), back to Jennifer Moore-Benefits Specialist. For all benefit questions, contact Jennifer at 928.527. 6046 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you currently pay any portion of your benefits package (i.e. Medical, Vision, Dental buy up plans or dependents), please contact Jennifer Moore, to discuss how this may be affected during your leave. (Jennifer Moore/Benefit’s Specialist at 928.527.6046 or email@example.com
Can you request Donated Leave when out on Maternity? Maternity leave does not typically qualify for the Donated Leave Program. However, should your maternity become a medically qualifying event (caesarean, ill newborn, etc.), you may qualify for the Donated Leave Program, whereupon you may consider asking peers to donate leave on your behalf.