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Philosophy:

The District's Family and Medical Leave Policy conforms to the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 USC 2601. This law entitles eligible employees to receive up to twelve weeks (60 working days) of leave each year for serious medical conditions. A serious health condition is defined as requiring inpatient care in a hospital or residential facility, or continuing treatment from a health care provider. Eligible employees shall continue to receive medical insurance benefits, provided the employee was entitled to medical insurance benefits prior to the commencement of FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). At the end of the leave period, the employee will be reinstated to his or her previous, or an equivalent position.

Policy:

1. The District shall authorize up to twelve weeks (60 work days) of unpaid leave each calendar year to employees for any of the following reasons:

A. Birth of a child;

B. Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;

C. A serious health condition of the employee; or

D. Care of a spouse, dependent child or parent of the employee with a serious medical condition.

2. An employee shall be required to use accrued personal and sick leave, as applicable, prior to the use of leave without pay for the family and medical leave period. This accrued personal and sick leave time may be counted against the leave of the FMLA.

3. To be eligible for twelve weeks of family and medical leave, the employee must have been employed by the District for at least 12 months, and worked a minimum of 1250 compensable hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave.

4. Employees, or an appropriate representative, shall submit a request for FMLA, 30 days in advance when the need for leave is foreseeable, or as soon as possible in emergencies.

5. The District shall document leave requests which qualify as FMLA leave, and will designate any qualifying leave taken by employees as FMLA leave. All leave requests which qualify as FMLA leave shall be designated as such and shall be subject to all provisions of this rule. No other leave shall be granted until the employee has exhausted his/her 12-week entitlement under the FMLA. The District shall notify the employee in writing of the designation of FMLA within two business days, or as soon as a determination can be made that the leave request qualifies as FMLA leave if the preliminary information is not sufficient to make such determination.

6. Written notice to employees shall include the following information:

A. That the leave will be counted against the employee's annual FMLA entitlement,

B. Any requirements for the employee to furnish medical certification of a serious health condition and the consequences for doing so,

C. A statement explaining that the employee will be required to exhaust unused personal or sick leave before going into an unpaid leave status,

D. Any requirement for the employee to make any premium payments to maintain health benefits and the arrangements for making such payments, and the possible consequences of failure to make such payments on a timely basis.

E. Any requirement for the employee to present a medical release before being restored to employment,

F. The employee's rights to restoration to the same or an equivalent job upon return from leave,

G. The employee's potential liability for payment of health insurance premiums paid by the District during the employee's unpaid FMLA leave if the employee fails to return to work after taking FMLA leave.

7. The District may designate FMLA leave after the fact only:

A. If the reason for leave was previously unknown, provided the reason for leave is made within two business days after the employee's return to work,

B. The District has preliminarily designated the leave as FMLA pending medical certification,

8. The District shall allow employees at least 15 calendar days to provide medical certification if FMLA leave is not foreseeable. If the medical certification is inadequate, second and third medical opinions, at the District's expense, may be required. The District shall inform the insurance carrier when the employee is approved for FMLA leave.

9. If an employee fails to return to work after unpaid FMLA leave has ended, the District may recover, with certain exceptions, the health insurance premiums paid by the District on the employee's behalf. An employee is considered to have returned to work if he or she returns for at least 30 calendar days. An exception to this may be made if an employee's circumstances change unexpectedly beyond their control during the leave period which makes them unable to return to work at the end of twelve weeks. Medical certification is required.

10. For maternity and child placement leave, time must be taken in no less than eight (8) hour increments.

11. Leave taken for purposes of childbirth, adoption, placement for adoption or foster care shall not be taken intermittently unless the employee and employer mutually agree.

12. If an employee and spouse are both employed by the District, their aggregate leave entitlement will be twelve weeks if the leave is for the birth, adoption or placement of a child, or the illness of a parent.

13. Leave required for certified medical reasons, including treatment for illness, may be taken intermittently. If an employee needs intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced schedule, the District may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position offered by the employer for which the employee is qualified and has equivalent pay and benefits, and which can better accommodate recurring periods of leave.

14. Depending upon the needs of a particular school, employees in an instructional capacity may be required to extend or postpone their leave if the requested time off interferes with the ending of an academic term.

15. Forms for application and certification of the FMLA are available in the District Office. Medical records created for the purposes of the FMLA and the Americans with Disabilities Act must be maintained in a separate, confidential file.

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