5404P - Family Leave Procedure
An Employee eligible for Family Medical Leave needs to inform the District of the need for such leave in writing to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources or designee thirty (30) days in advance unless the leave is not foreseeable, in which case, the employee must notify the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources or designee as soon as possible.
The District may require medical certification (and subsequent recertification to support continuing leave) from the health care provider for medical leave. The fully completed Certification of Health Care Provider form must be provided to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources or designee within 15 calendar days after being requested, unless it is not practicable to do so despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts. Under such exceptional circumstances, the certification must be submitted as soon as possible. If an employee fails to submit a timely, fully completed certification, the request for leave may be denied. If work time has already been missed, the time off work may be treated as unexcused and subject to disciplinary action.
The Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources or designee may require the employee to obtain a second medical opinion at the District's expense.
In addition, if an employee is on leave because of the employee's own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member, the employee must provide periodic recertification, i.e. an update of the applicable Certification of Health Care Provider form. Recertification is generally due either (a) every 30 calendar days and in connection with an absence; or (b) by the end date of the minimum duration of the condition stated on a previously completed Certification of Health Care Provider form, whichever is later.
Leave taken to care for a newborn or newly adopted child must be completed within twelve (12) months after the date of the birth or adoption.
Eligible employees may take Family Leave intermittently (in blocks of time), or by reducing their normal weekly work schedule, when medically necessary for their own or an immediate family member's serious health condition or for the serious injury or illness of a service member. This type of Family Leave use must be carefully reviewed and supported by a Certification of Health Care Provider form. Intermittent Family Leave is also available for leaves due to a qualifying exigency. Employees who require intermittent leave or reduced-schedule leave must try to schedule their leave so that it will not disrupt the department's operations.
If an employee requests intermittent leave to care for a seriously ill family member or for the employee's own serious health condition and the need for leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the District may, subject to applicable bargaining agreements, temporarily transfer the employee to an available alternate position with equivalent pay and benefits, if the employee is qualified for the position and it better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employee's regular job.
Birth of Child/Adoption
Intermittent Family Leave is not permitted for the birth of a child or to care for a newborn child or newly adopted child when there is no serious medical condition. An employee may use a reduced work schedule within one year following the birth or adoption of a child in agreement with the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources or designee.
Absent unusual circumstances, employees must comply with their departments or buildings customary call-in procedures when they miss work for reasons potentially covered by Family Leave. Employees must also designate their absence as a Family Leave covered event each time intermittent leave is utilized. Failure to comply with these procedures may subject the employee to discipline up to and including employment termination.
Exhaustion of Intermittent Leave
Once Family Leave is exhausted or no longer needed, absences will be counted as occurrences. Should an employee exceed the estimated time away from work provided in their medical certification, they will be required to submit medical documentation or an updated Certification of Health Care Provider form to support the additional leave. If the need for more leave is protected under the Family Leave, the absences will not be counted as occurrences. Absences under this Regulation must be related to the serious health condition according to the Certification of Health Care Provider form. Utilizing Family Leave for reasons not related to the certification(s) is not permitted
FMLA leave will run concurrently with an employee’s available sick leave. Once any applicable illness/injury leave and personal leave is exhausted, the remainder of any Family Leave under this Regulation will be unpaid. If an employee is eligible for vacation, use of accrued vacation is optional to the employee, but also runs concurrent with their Family Leave. Illness/injury, vacation, and holiday time accruals cease when the employee moves to an unpaid status.
Health plan benefits will be maintained for the employee during the FMLA leave, with the District paying the same portion of the premium as it did while the employee was at work. If the employee fails to make timely payment of their portion of the premium, the District reserves the right to cease to maintain the employee's health benefits, provided the District notifies the employee in writing at least fifteen (15) days before health coverage will lapse.
If the employee fails to return from Family Leave, due to reasons within their control, the District may deduct from any sums owed to the employee for all health insurance premiums paid during the leave. Any amount not received by deduction, the former employee must reimburse directly to the District
Upon returning from Family Leave, the employee is entitled to be restored to the same position that the employee held when the Family Leave started or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
For part-time employees and those who work variable hours, the Family Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro rata or proportional basis. Employees not eligible for medical benefits will receive leave only.
Any employee who works primarily in an instructional capacity and who requests a period of leave near the conclusion of the academic term, may be required to continue the leave until the end of the term.
Employees should consult with their supervisor when giving notice regarding planned medical treatments and make reasonable efforts to schedule the leave so as to not unduly disrupt the District's operations subject to the approval of the health care provider.