Board Policy Family Medical Leave Act ( FMLA

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1 Board Policy Family Medical Leave Act ( FMLA The District follows Federal law in providing up to twelve (12) weeks of family and medical leave during any twelve (12) month period to eligible employees in accordance with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). This leave may be unpaid or paid, depending on the circumstances as specified in this policy. A. ELIGIBILITY: To qualify for family and medical leave under this policy, the employee must meet all of the following criteria: 1. The employee must have worked for at least 1250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date when the leave is scheduled to begin. 2. The twelve (12) months do not have to be consecutive for B.3 and B.4, below. Intermittent leave for B.1 and B.2, below, is subject to District approval. B. BASES FOR FAMILY OR MEDICAL LEAVES: Family or medical leaves may be taken for one of the following reasons: 1. the birth of the employee s child and to take care of that child; 2. the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; 3. to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or 4. the serious health condition of the employee which prevents him/her from performing the essential functions of his/her position; or 5. the placement of a family member who is a National Guard or Reserve service-member being on or called to active military duty; or 6. to care for a family member who is a service-member with a serious illness or injury incurred during active duty where the condition. With the exception of B.6, an eligible employee may take up to twelve (12) weeks of leave under this policy during any 12-month period. This 12-month period is measured forward from the date an employee s first FMLA begins. Employees taking leave under B.6 may take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12-month period. Leave under B.6 is

2 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Page 2 of 5 measured on a per-covered service-member, per-injury basis. As such, an employee may be entitled to take more than one period of Military Caregiver Leave during the course of his/her employment if the leave is necessary to care for a different covered service-member or to care for the same service-member with a subsequent illness or injury. If both husband and wife work for the District, and each qualifies to take family leave for the birth of a child, adoption, or placement in foster care, or to care for a parent (not a parent in-law) with a serious health condition, they may only take a total of twelve (12) weeks leave (rather than twelve (12) weeks each). Family leave taken for the birth, adoption or placement of a child must be taken during the first twelve (12) months after the arrival of the child. C. SPECIAL RULES FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS: Special Federal rules apply to School Districts regarding the end of the school year and FMLA leave. For employees whose principal function it is to teach and instruct students (teachers, athletic coaches, drivers education instructors, and special education assistants, such as signers for the hearing impaired, etc.) who do not work between school years, FMLA leave will only apply to scheduled work days and not counted over summer vacation. (See rules 1., 2., 3., 4., and 5. below.) NOTE: Principals, teacher assistants (I.A. s), counselors, cafeteria workers, building service workers, etc. are primarily non-instructional employees. If these employees are eligible under A above and normally do not work (are employed by the District) during the period between school years, then the first rule below 1. applies but rules 2., 3., 4., and 5. do not apply. 1. Eligible employees who end the school year on FMLA can continue FMLA at the beginning of the next year provided they have not used all of the twelve (12) weeks of their annual FMLA leave as described elsewhere in this policy. 2. If an eligible employee begins FMLA leave more than five (5) weeks before the end of the term, and the leave lasts at least three (3) weeks, the District has the right to require the teacher to remain on leave for the rest of the term. 3. If an eligible employee begins FMLA leave five (5) weeks or less before the end of the term and the leave will last more than two (2) weeks for a reason other than his/her own serious health condition, the District has the right to require the eligible employee to remain on leave for the rest of the term. 4. If an eligible employee begins FMLA leave with three (3) weeks or less before the end of the term and the leave will last more than five (5) working days for a reason other than his/her own serious health condition, the District has the right to require the eligible employee to remain on leave for the rest of the term.

3 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Page 3 of 5 5. Eligible employees who want to take foreseeable leave because of planned medical treatment and the leave is more than twenty (20) percent of the total number of working days in the period over which the leave would extend are subject to being transferred to an alternate position until the end of the school year or required to take the entire period of leave at the discretion of the District. D. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS DURING LEAVE: 1. Any employee who is granted an approved leave of absence under this policy is advised to provide for the retention of his/her group health insurance coverage by arranging to pay the employee contributions, if any, during the period of unpaid absence. 2. In the event that an employee elects not to return to work upon completion of approved unpaid leave of absence, the District may recover from the employee the cost of any payments made to maintain the employee s coverage, unless the failure to return to work was for reasons beyond the employee s control. Benefit entitlements based upon length of service will be calculated as of the last paid work day prior to the start of the unpaid leave of absence. E. ATTENDANCE POLICY AND FMLA LEAVE: The use of FMLA leave will not be counted against the employee s attendance record. F. EMPLOYEE STATUS AFTER LEAVE: The District will restore employees returning from leave to the same or equivalent position and benefits. G. USE OF PAID AND UNPAID LEAVE: If the employee has accrued paid leave, the employee must substitute accrued paid leave first and take the remainder of the twelve (12) weeks as unpaid leave. The employee must substitute accrued paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave. The substituted paid accrued leave runs concurrently with the unpaid FMLA leave. If the leave is taken because of the serious health condition of the employee or a family member, the employee must use available sick leave. Consistent with the relevant contract, any other paid time must be exhausted before unpaid leave is authorized. H. INTERMITTENT LEAVE OR REDUCED SCHEDULED LEAVE: If medically necessary for a serious health condition of an employee or his/her spouse, child, or parent, leave may be taken in twelve (12) consecutive weeks or used intermittently. It may, in some cases, be used to reduce the work week or work day, resulting in a reduced hour schedule. In all cases leave may not exceed twelve (12) weeks over a twelve (12) month time period. (also see Section C.5.)

4 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Page 4 of 5 Intermittent leave for the birth of the employee s child and to take care of that child, as well as the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, is subject to the District s approval. If scheduling medical treatment, the employee must consult with their employer and make a reasonable effort to schedule such treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations. The employer and employee shall attempt to work out a schedule that meets the employee's needs without disrupting the employer's operations. The District may temporarily transfer an employee to an alternate position, with equivalent pay and benefits, if the alternate position would better accommodate the reduced work schedule. I. CERTIFICATION OF SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION: When an employee requests FMLA leave, the employer may require the employee to obtain certification from a health care provider. Certification forms can be obtained by contacting the Human Resources Compliance Specialist at (513) When any part of the FMLA approved leave (either personal or family) is unpaid, certification will be processed in the following manner. The employer shall require medical certification as required by FMLA to support a claim for an employee s own health condition. This certification must include a statement the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position. If family leave is taken because of a serious medical condition to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent, the employer shall request that the employee provide medical certification of the medical condition, and include the amount of time the employee is needed to provide care. Department of Labor Form WH-380 will be required for provision of medical certification information. These forms are available by contacting the Human Resources Department at (513) The District may require, at its expense, a second opinion regarding the serious medical condition. The District may designate the health care provider of their choosing to administer the second opinion. If a dispute exists between the two (2) opinions, a third opinion may be obtained, at District expense, and this opinion will be binding on the District and employee. Should a third opinion be necessary, the employee and employer must act in good faith to mutually designate a health care provider to administer the third opinion. All completed certification forms must be sent to the Human Resources Compliance Specialist. Any questions about the certification procedure should be directed to the Compliance Specialist at (513) In the event the employee fails to provide the medical opinion of the second or third healthcare provider, if applicable, any leave taken by the employee is not FMLA leave. J. NOTIFICATION AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: When the need for leave is foreseeable, such as the birth or adoption of a child, or

5 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Page 5 of 5 planned medical treatment, the employee must provide reasonable prior notice, and make efforts to schedule leave so as not to disrupt District operations. In cases of illness, the employee will be required to report periodically (every thirty (30) days) on his/her leave status and intention to return to work to their supervisor. When an employee will be absent for an FMLA-qualifying absence, the employee must follow the department or school's normal reporting procedures. Adopted 8/24/09 Revised 12/13/2010 K. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING LEAVE: Employees may request FMLA leave by contacting the Human Resources Compliance Specialist at (513) When leave is requested, the District will advise the employee of the outcome of the request within five (5) business days, or request that the employee obtain certification of a serious health condition. The employee will be provided with a certification form to present to their health care provider.

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