FMLA Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers are provided only as a guide for employees.
FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act of 1993
Q: What is FMLA?
A: The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. The purpose of the leave is to help eligible employees balance work and family obligations while providing an element of job security during the leave period.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements?
A: All employees must:
- Work for the district for at least 12 months; and
- At least 1,250 hours in the year preceding the FMLA absence
Q: Are part-time and hourly employee’s eligible?
A: They are eligible to apply for FMLA if they meet the criteria listed above.
Q: What option would be available if an employee is not eligible for FMLA and needs to take time off for a birth or serious health condition?
A: The employee, if not eligible for FMLA, could request a health leave of absence.
Q: What are the reasons for taking FMLA?
- the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter;
- the placement of a son or daughter of the employee for adoption;
- to care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job, including incapacity due to pregnancy and for prental medical care;
- any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status
In addition, eligible employees may take up to 26 workweeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the servicemember (referred to as military caregiver leave). An eligible employee is limited to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave for any FMLA-qualifying reasons during the single 12-month period.
Q: How much notice does an employee need to give for FMLA leave?
A: 30 days of a known event. If not foreseeable, contact the Human Resources Department as soon as possible.
Q: What is considered a serious health condition under the FMLA?
A: Under FMLA a serious health condition needs to meet the following criteria: being absent more than five consecutive days for a serious health condition or personal injury and receiving treatment for the incapacity for employee, spouse, child or parents; a chronic health condition requiring periodic visits to a health care provider over an extended period of time.
Q: What is a rolling calendar?
A: A rolling calendar to determine if an employee is eligible for FMLA. A rolling calendar is defined by the FMLA Regulations 29 CFR 825.200 (b) (4) as follows: A “rolling” 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave; using this method, the “rolling” 12-month period, each time the employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be any balance of the 12 work weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.
Q: How is FMLA time paid?
A: FMLA leave is an unpaid leave.
Q: What happens if an employee runs out of paid leave during an FMLA absence?
A: If all paid leave is exhausted, the employee still has the FMLA job and benefit protection while in an unpaid status during the remainder of the FMLA period.
Q: Can I use the Short Term Disability with FMLA?
A: Yes, short term disability runs concurrently with the use of FMLA.
Q: I’m on a contract with the district; please explain why I need to apply for FMLA.
A: FMLA is a job and benefit protection for employees taking leave for a qualifying event.
Q: Is there any paperwork that needs to be filled out for FMLA and where do I find the forms?
A: Yes, contact the Human Resources Department to set up a meeting to review leave options.
Q: Is medical certification required?
Q: May the district request re-certification of a serious health condition?
A: The district may request re-certification from the employee every 30 days, or if the condition of the employee seems to have changed from the original medical statement. The purpose is to reassess or reconfirm, by the health care provider, the FMLA need.
Q: May an employee be absent for more than one FMLA condition at a time?
A: Yes, an employee may apply to be off for multiple FMLA conditions at a time. However, 12 work weeks is the maximum allowed during the rolling year for any and all FMLA absences.
Q: Can work schedule issues or assignment to alternative positions be considered in the request for intermittent FMLA leave?
A: The district may request that an employee (if possible) set doctor appointment and treatments around the normal work hours. An employee temporarily assigned to an alternative position during intermittent FMLA leave must receive the same pay and benefits.
Q: What happens at the end of a FMLA period?
A: Contact the Human Resources department.
Q: What happens to benefits during a FMLA leave?
A: Contact the Human Resources department.
Q: Can my spouse and I take FMLA for the birth of our child or another serious health condition?
A: Employees who both work for the school district may take a combined 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for the birth of a child, placement of a child for adoption or serious health condition.
Q: What happens if I need to go out on maternity leave because my doctor prescribes bed rest prior to delivery?
A: Doctor prescribed bed rest is eligible for sick leave or short-term disability and would be covered under Family Medical Leave Act, if eligible. Contact the Human Resources department for more information.
Q: What if I need to continue being off work after the FMLA period ends?
A: If an employee does not return after the FMLA period, the employee must contact the Human Resources Department to learn of othe leave options.
Q: Does West Ada School District have a “Maternity Leave Policy”?
A: The district does not provide a Maternity Leave Policy per se, but the district is in compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Under FMLA, eligible employees may use sick, personal or short-term disability (if enrolled) for the employee during a medically certified incapacity prior to/or subsequent to the delivery of a child.
Q: How much sick leave or short-term disability can I use for having my baby?
A: Sick leave or short-term disability may be used for up to six weeks for a normal delivery and eight weeks for a C-section.
Q: What if I do not have any sick leave and am not enrolled in short-term disability?
A: If a doctor prescribes six weeks of recovery time following the birth of the baby, the six weeks would be unpaid leave.
Q: If one of my family members is injured in the line of duty and requires ongoing medical care would this qualify as a reason to apply for FMLA protected leave?
A: An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a “covered service member” who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty while on active duty, is entitled to take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for the “covered service member”. This has been expanded to include care for injuries and illnesses which occurred prior to their active duty but were aggravated by military service. This military caregiver leave is available during a single 12-month period during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave.