Family and Medical Leave Act

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) allows qualified employees of Fayette County Public Schools to have 12 weeks of job-protected leave in a rolling calendar year. It resulted from Congress' concern for employees who must take leave because of family emergencies. FMLA is designed to promote the stability and economic security of families. The law allows eligible employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, and for the care of a child, spouse or parent who has a serious health condition.

    After reviewing these resources, you may choose to test your knowledge with a brief online quiz, which emphasizes the basics of FMLA and highlights important areas of the law. You also may consult the Compliance Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act, provided by the U.S. Labor Department.


    Web tip: The URL shortcut to this page is fcps.net/fmla

     

  • Who and what is eligible? 

    Employees can take FMLA if they:

    • Have worked in Fayette County Public Schools for a total of 12 months, and
    • Have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the first day of taking FMLA leave.

    How do you define a "serious health condition"?

    • Any period of incapacity requiring absence from work for more than three continuous days with continuing treatment by a health-care provider;
    • Continuing treatment by a health-care provider for a chronic health condition;* or
    • Any period of incapacity connected with inpatient care or overnight stay in a hospital, or residential medical-care facility.

    *FMLA leave does not have to be used in one lump sum. As in the case of a chronic condition, the leave may be taken on an intermittent basis.

  • FMLA benefits

    Fayette County Public Schools provides these benefits to employees who qualify for FMLA leave:

    • 12 weeks of FMLA job-protected leave per year;
    • Maintenance of your health-care benefits;
    • Job restoration to the same or an equivalent position when you return.

    FMLA is an umbrella of protection for you and your family if you qualify. This leave is a benefit and does not cost you anything.


    How your paid leave runs concurrently with your FMLA leave

    You meet the FMLA eligibility criteria and you have up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for certain situations (birth or adoption of a child, serious health condition, or serious health condition of a family member). You must use your available paid leave first, then use unpaid leave. (Exception: If your FMLA leave is a result of an on-the-job injury, you have the option of using unpaid leave even if you have paid leave available.) FMLA leave runs concurrently with all paid and unpaid leave.

    One scenario:

    You are a full-time staff member and you were out on FMLA leave from the second day of the month through the sixth, and you returned to work on the ninth. You had three full days of paid leave available at the time (16 hours sick leave and eight hours of vacation leave). Because your absence was not a result of an on-the-job injury, you must begin using your 24 hours of available leave beginning on the first day of your absence. As per the calendar illustration above, your leave balance should reflect the following:

    • Your paid leave (sick days and vacation day) will end on the fourth.
    • You will be on leave without pay for two days, beginning on the fifth.
    • You used one week of FMLA leave.

    How FMLA might affect your health-care benefits

    Fayette County Public Schools maintains your health-care benefits if you are placed on FMLA leave. Below is an example of how FMLA can affect your state contribution.

    Definitions

    • State contribution: the portion of your health-care coverage the state pays as a benefit to you
    • Premium: the portion of your health cost you are required to pay after the state's contribution (usually deducted from your paycheck)
    One scenario:

    You have missed work and have been in an unpaid leave status for an entire calendar month. As a result, your premium and your state contribution have not been paid. Under the system's policies, your health coverage is not current unless the state contribution and the premium are paid for that month. Your benefits summary is as follows:

    • The state contribution toward your health coverage is $400 per month.
    • Your premium for your health coverage is $55 per month.

    FMLA will affect your health insurance payments in the following manner:

    • If covered by FMLA, you would pay only the premium ($55) and the state will pay its contribution of $400.
    • It not covered by FMLA, you would pay the premium plus the state contribution ($455).
  • Procedures & forms

    School district's responsibilities:

    Provide written notice to the employee when leave taken for a qualifying condition will be documented as FMLA leave;

    Document FMLA leave appropriately, regardless of whether the employee requested such leave under FMLA;

    Provide provide FMLA information to employees, for instance, by placing a poster in the break room or other prominent work location.

    Employee's responsibilities:

    • Thirty days’ notice for foreseeable leave should be given wherever possible.
    • Medical certification may be required and is to be returned within 15 calendar days of receipt.
    • Medical re-certification every 30 days may be required for prolonged illnesses.

    Forms to download:

    Certification for serious health condition: employee / family member

    Forms to request, 381-4118:

    FMLA leave request (view only)

    Certification of fitness for duty (view only)

    * The employee's job description must be attached to the fitness form.