- What is FMLA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child, the employee's serious medical condition, or the serious medical condition of the employee’s parent, child, or spouse. To be eligible for FMLA, you must have been employed by JCPS for 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours within the past 12 months from the first day of the leave. Availability for FMLA is subject to prior FMLA usage within the previous 12 months.
A doctor's certification is required for FMLA for a serious medical condition. For birth or adoption, proof is also required. Employees may elect to substitute paid leave for the unpaid FMLA weeks. FMLA will run concurrently with other types of leaves provided by JCPS, such as family leave, parental leave, or medical leave. FMLA also runs concurrently with short-term disability and workers’ compensation as applicable.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees continued employer-paid benefits for the 12 weeks of FMLA and protects the employee’s job while the employee is out on leave. FMLA also provides up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for military caregiver and qualifying exigency leaves as described above. FMLA provides employees continued employer-paid benefits for the 26 weeks of military-related FMLA and protects the employee’s job while the employee is out on leave.
- How do I know my employee is on leave?
Once requested, or the employer becomes aware of the need for FMLA, eligibility will be verified with the Payroll Department. The employee will then receive the appropriate Certification of Health Care Provider Forms to be completed by his or her physician. The only forms accepted will be those given out from the JCPS Leave Center.
- If an employee doesn’t qualify for FMLA leave, what happens?
An employee may still be eligible to take a regular unpaid medical leave, or if sick days have been accrued, he or she can take sick days. The appropriate Certification of Health Care Provider Forms will need to be completed by the physician. The only forms accepted will be those given out from the JCPS Leave Center.
- Is an employee paid while off work on an FMLA leave of absence?
If an employee has sick, personal, or vacation days accrued, a choice can be made to be paid during time off work for a medical leave of absence. If not, the time off will be unpaid.
- Does an employee have to request FMLA in order for the employer to charge the days?
No. An employee doesn’t have to explicitly request to use FMLA. When the employer becomes aware that there is a need for FMLA (and the employee qualifies), the days will automatically be charged.
- Does the employee give medical paperwork to the secretary so that it can be sent to the Leave Center?
It is the employee's sole responsibility to get the required paperwork to the Leave Center. When an employee is absent and has no paid days left, it would be prudent to go ahead and get the necessary paperwork filled out before receiving a letter from the Leave Center. Giving a doctor’s note to the secretary and expecting that it will automatically reach the Leave Center is insufficient.
- What are building rights? And how are they calculated?
An employee will continue to be assigned at his or her current location until he or she has exhausted his or her building rights. Building rights days are calculated starting the first unpaid day. For members of the SEIU, an employee will lose building rights after his or her 45th unpaid work day and the exhaustion of FMLA, if eligible. For members of JCAESP/AFSCME, an employee will lose building rights after their 50th unpaid work day and the exhaustion of FMLA, if eligible. For members of Teamsters, an employee will lose building rights after their 90th unpaid work day. For Certified staff, an employee will lose building rights after his or her 90th unpaid work day. Only work days are calculated; weekends do not count unless they are part of an employee's normal work schedule.
- Should I keep the employee's medical notes at work?
No. In order to ensure the employee's privacy, please have the employee turn in all medical documentation to the Leave Center.
- How will I know my employee is cleared to return to work?
An employee who has been out on extended leave of absence will need to stop by the Leave Center prior to returning to work in order to receive a District Release Form. This form ensures that an employee does not come back to work without being cleared by his or her provider first. An extended leave of absence is defined as unpaid leave of four or more days or employees who have run ten or more consecutive sick days. If an employee returns to your location without one of these forms, please call the Leave Center to see if the employee is cleared to report.