• Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

     
     
    Introduction

    It is the policy of Augusta County School Division to provide a leave of absence in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

    • This information is only a general summary of the steps to follow when considering a request or need for FMLA. Refer to Administrative Manual Regulation 5.330 for further details.

    If the district is aware that the reason for an absence from work qualifies under FMLA, the absence will be designated as FMLA leave, even if the employee does not request it.

    For information regarding FMLA processing, contact the Finance Department, Benefits Section. 
     
    FMLA coverage and benefit coverage during FMLA

    In accordance with the FMLA, eligible employees may receive up to a total of 12 weeks or 26 weeks of leave as applicable in a “rolling” 12 month period. That means the first time an employee takes FMLA leave, the employee’s leave year begins. Thereafter, each time the employee takes additional FMLA leave, the district will look backward 12 months and determine how much FMLA leave has been used during that time and how much FMLA leave remains.

    The employee’s portion of medical and dental benefits will be maintained during the leave so long as the employee intends to return and does actually return to work.

    • Employees on an FMLA leave continue to be responsible for paying any premium co-pays and their dependents share of premiums for benefit plans.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible to take FMLA leave, an employee must meet these criteria:

    • The employee must have been employed for at least 12 months; and
    • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours. These hours must be actual work hours, not compensated hours. (Personal leave, sick leave, vacation leave, etc., do not count toward the 1,250 threshold.)
    • Full-time teachers will meet the 1,250 hour test after one year of contract.

    Qualifying reasons

    The following reasons qualify an employee for FMLA:

    • Birth of a child and/or to care for a newborn child of the employee.
    • Placement with the employee of a child through adoption.
    • Care for the employee’s spouse, dependent child, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition.
    • A serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform the function of his or her job.
    • An eligible employee is entitled to exigency leave if their spouse, son, daughter or parent is on “covered active duty” or has been notified of an impending call to such duty. Covered active duty meaning duty during deployment to a foreign country.
    • An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered service member who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness sustained in the line of duty while on active duty. Effective immediately, this also includes leave to care for a veteran who was a member of the regular or reserve Armed Forces at any time during the five year period prior to undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for serious injury which occurred while they were on active duty. This includes care for injuries & illnesses which occurred prior to their active duty, but were aggravated by military service.

    Leave period

    • An eligible employee may take up to 12 work weeks of Family and Medical Leave during a “rolling” 12-month period defined as a rolling calendar year.
    • If requesting a leave to care for an eligible injured covered service member of the armed forces an eligible employee may take up to 26 combined work weeks of Family and Medical Leave during a “rolling” 12-month period.
    • The aggregate number of work weeks of leave to which both a husband and wife, if both employed by the school division, may be entitled is limited to 12 work weeks or 26 work weeks as applicable during a single 12-month period.

    Intermittent or reduced work schedule FMLA leave must be for an illness of the employee or a family member.

    • Such leaves are subject to the qualifications and limitations set forth in the FMLA federal regulations.

    Use of paid leave during an FMLA leave

    FMLA leave is unpaid leave. However, all school division employees must take or use all available paid leave starting the first day of FMLA leave.

    • This also applies to an FMLA leave that is taken either intermittently or through a reduced work schedule.

    When paid leave is exhausted, providing the employee is FMLA eligible, he/she may continue FMLA leave in a non-paid status or return to work. Note: In regard to leave following child birth, paid sick leave may be used (based on medical necessity) for up to six weeks following a normal delivery and up to eight weeks following a c-section. When a serious health condition continues, use of sick leave may be extended with medical certification.  

    Reinstatement

    At least two days before FMLA leave is scheduled to end, the employee must provide the district with the “Return to Work Certification”. The school division only needs this form if the leave was for the serious health condition of the employee.

    • At the conclusion of the leave, the employee will be returned to the same position held at the time the leave began or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and working conditions.

    Medical verification requirement

    In cases where an FMLA leave is to care for a serious health condition of himself or herself, or a spouse, dependent child, or parent of the employee, the employee must provide medical verification on the applicable Medical Certification Form attached to the Leave Request Packet.

    • The school division may require a second opinion from a health care provider
    • If there is a difference between the medical verification and the second opinion, the school division may require a third opinion.
    • All medical certifications and related information that describe the health or medical history or condition of the employee or family members will be handled as confidential medical information.
    • Employees may be asked to recertify the need for the FMLA every 30 days, or if there is a change in the employee’s condition.

    Fraudulence

    An employee who fraudulently obtains an FMLA leave is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    Designation and approval of FMLA

    It is the district’s responsibility to designate any absence that meets the eligibility requirements as FMLA. The designation of FMLA will occur either as a result of an employee request for FMLA leave or when the district becomes aware that the employee’s extended absence of is due to an illness or injury of the employee or an employee’s family member.

    It is the policy of Augusta County School Division to provide a leave of absence in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

    • This information is only a general summary of the steps to follow when considering a request or need for FMLA. Refer to Administrative Manual Regulation 5.330 for further details.

    If the district is aware that the reason for an absence from work qualifies under FMLA, the absence will be designated as FMLA leave, even if the employee does not request it.

    For information regarding FMLA processing, contact the Finance Department, Benefits Section. 
Last Modified on October 9, 2017