- How do I apply for a Leave of Absence?
- Inform your supervisor of your impending leave.
- Contact the Leave Center to get the appropriate paperwork.
- Have your doctor complete the Health Care Provider Certification Forms.
- Give the completed forms to your Leave counselor (can be faxed to  485-8947) no later than 30 days prior to your first day of leave.
- Keep a copy for your records.
- Before going out on leave, let your location know if you want to use paid time. (Please note that personal and vacation days have to be approved by your supervisor.)
- May the leave administrator contact my healthcare provider about my serious health condition?
The regulations clarify that contact between an employer and an employee’s healthcare provider must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations. Under the regulations, employers may contact an employee’s healthcare provider for authentication or clarification of the medical certification by using a healthcare provider, a human resource professional, a leave administrator, or a management official. In order to address employee privacy concerns, the regulations make clear that in no case may the employee’s direct supervisor contact the employee’s healthcare provider. In order for an employee’s HIPAA-covered healthcare provider to provide an employer with individually identifiable health information, the employee will need to provide the healthcare provider with a written authorization allowing the healthcare provider to disclose such information to the employer. Employers may not ask the healthcare provider for additional information beyond that contained on the medical certification form.
- Can employers require employees to submit a fitness-for-duty certification before returning to work after being absent due to a serious health condition?
Yes. As a condition of restoring an employee who was absent on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition, an employer may have a uniformly applied policy or practice that requires all similarly situated employees who take leave for such conditions to submit a certification from the employee’s own healthcare provider that the employee is able to resume work. Under the regulations, an employer may require that the fitness-for-duty certification address the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the position if the employer has appropriately notified the employee that this information will be required and has provided a list of essential functions. Additionally, an employer may require a fitness-for-duty certification up to once every 30 days for an employee taking intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave if reasonable safety concerns exist regarding the employee's ability to perform his or her duties based on the condition for which leave was taken.
- Is my medical information discussed with my supervisor?
Only types of leaves (Medical or Military, etc.) and duration of leaves are disclosed.
- What goes where?
All documentation to support your leave should be submitted to the Leave Center. Failure to submit documentation in the required time frame may result in disciplinary action.
- What happens if I get a letter saying my medical certification form is incomplete?
An employer must advise the employee if it finds that the certification is incomplete and must allow the employee a reasonable opportunity to cure the deficiency. The employer must state in writing what additional information is necessary to make the certification complete and sufficient and must allow the employee at least seven calendar days to cure the deficiency, unless seven days is not practicable under particular circumstances despite the employee’s diligent good-faith efforts.
- Does an employee have to take leave all at once, or can it be taken periodically or to reduce the employee’s schedule?
When it is medically necessary, employees may take FMLA Leave intermittently—taking leave in separate blocks of time for a single qualifying reason—or on a reduced leave schedule—reducing the employee’s usual weekly or daily work schedule. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operation.
- What and when do I need to tell my employer if I plan to take FMLA leave?
Employees seeking to use FMLA leave are required to provide 30-day advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable and such notice is practicable. If leave is foreseeable less than 30 days in advance, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable—generally, either the same or next business day. When the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice to the employer as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Absent unusual circumstances, employees must comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.
Employees must provide sufficient information for an employer to reasonably determine whether the FMLA may apply to the leave request. Depending on the situation, such information may include that the employee is incapacitated due to pregnancy, has been hospitalized overnight, is unable to perform the functions of the job, and/or that the employee or employee’s qualifying family member is under the continuing care of a health-care provider.
When an employee seeks leave for an FMLA-qualifying reason for the first time, the employee need not expressly assert FMLA rights or even mention the FMLA. When an employee seeks leave, however, due to a FMLA-qualifying reason for which the employer has previously provided the employee FMLA-protected leave, the employee must specifically reference either the qualifying reason for the leave or the need for FMLA leave.
- Is an employee required to follow an employer’s normal call-in procedures when taking FMLA leave?
Yes. Under the regulations, an employee must comply with an employer’s call-in procedures unless unusual circumstances prevent the employee from doing so (in which case the employee must provide notice as soon as he or she can practicably do so). The regulations make clear that, if the employee fails to provide timely notice, he or she may have the FMLA leave request delayed or denied and may be subject to whatever discipline the employer’s rules provide.
- What are building rights? 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.
- Why can I not get into my email?
When an employee goes out on a long-term leave, his or her email account is inactivated until the employee is able to return to work. Once the employee returns to work, the email account will be reactivated.
- Why was my escrow not paid or delayed?
Payroll cannot pay you when you are in an unpaid status; therefore, if you are absent either the day before Winter Break or Spring Break, your escrow payments will be delayed.
- Why did my insurance term?
Once your FMLA entitlement has exhausted and you are no longer running paid time, you will receive information for continuation of health coverage through COBRA.
- What is a District Release Form?
A District Release Form informs both you and your supervisor that you are cleared to return to work. When you have been cleared to return to work by your provider, you will need to bring that note to the Leave Center in order to receive this form.
- Can I be denied my sick days?
Yes. Failure to provide certification forms for a leave of absence, for ten consecutive days or longer, can result in denial of your sick days.
- What is your fax number?
- How are my benefits affected by a change in status?