This policy is to implement the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, Public Law 103-3, 107 Stat. 6 (29 USC 2601 et. seq.) and the Interim Regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor at 58 Fed. Reg. 31794.



Unpaid Leave


A Pointe Coupee Parish School Board employee may take up to twelve weeks unpaid leave per year for the birth of a child and care for the new born child or for the placement of a child for adoption or foster care (with state action).  FMLA leave may also be taken to care for an employee's spouse, child, a son or daughter over the age of 18 incapable of self-care, or a parent who has a serious health condition.  FMLA leave is also available for the employee with a serious health condition which makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job.  FMLA leave shall be without pay and the employee is required to substitute any unused paid vacation leave, personal leave or sick leave so that the total of the paid and unpaid leave equals or does not exceed twelve weeks.  An eligible employee is one who has been employed by the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board for a total of at least twelve months and in addition has worked for at least 1,250 hours during the twelve month period.





Employees must provide to the Director of Personnel at least thirty (30) days advance notice of the need for FMLA leave for birth, adoption or planned medical treatment when the need for such leave is foreseeable.  Thirty (30) day advanced notice is not required for medical emergencies or other unforeseen events, however, notice within two (2) working days of learning of the need for leave is expected.  FMLA leave may be denied until at least thirty (30) days after the employee's notice if there is no reasonable excuse for the delay of notice.



Serious Health Condition



If FMLA leave is due to a serious health condition, as defined in 29 CFR 825.114, the employee shall submit, on the School Board form a certification issued by a health care provider as defined on the form of the employee or of the son, daughter, spouse, or parent of the employee as appropriate.  The certification must state the date on which the serious health condition began, its probable duration, and the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition.  If the certification is for leave to care for a family member, a statement that the employee is needed to care for the son, daughter, spouse, or parent is required with an estimate of the amount of time that such employee needs to care for the family member.  If the certification is for FMLA leave because of the employee's own serious health condition, the certification must state that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the employee's job.



If the certification is for intermittent FMLA leave for planned medical treatment (periodic chemotherapy treatments, or physical therapy sessions, for example), the certification must also state the dates on which such treatment is expected to be given and the duration of such treatment.  FMLA leave may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule for adoption or foster care.  An intermittent leave or reduced leave schedule may only be utilized when such leave is requested by the employee due to a medical or serious health condition of the employee or a parent, spouse, son or daughter.



The Director of Personnel may at the expense of the School Board require a second opinion from a different health care provider.  Any resolution for conflict between the first and second medical opinions will be handled in accordance with 29 CFR 825.307.



Restoration upon Return


An employee taking FMLA leave is entitled, upon return from such leave to be restored to his or her previous position or to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay and other terms in conditions of employment.  An employee taking FMLA leave due to a serious health condition is required to obtain a medical certification from the employee's health care provider that the employee is able to resume work.



Health Insurance or Plan Continued


During a period of unpaid FMLA leave, the School Board will continue to contribute the employer's portion of the health insurance or health plan premiums.  In the event that the employee fails to return to work after FMLA leave, the School Board may recover all health insurance premiums paid by it during the FMLA leave.  The employee is required to pay his or her share of any premium.  If an employee's premium is more than thirty (30) days late, the health insurance coverage shall terminate.



Status during FMLA Leave


An employee on FMLA leave is required to notify the Director of Personnel every sixty (60) days of the employee's status and intent to return to work.  If an employee gives the unequivocal notice of intent not to return to work; the obligations for the School Board to maintain health benefits and to restore the employee cease.





An instructional employee's (defined by 29 CFR 825.600 as a teacher, athletic coach, driving instructors and special education assistants such as signers for the hearing impaired) FMLA leave is also subject to the regulations at 29 CFR 825.600-604.  Use of intermittent or reduced leave schedule is limited and the employee is subject to transfer to an alternative position.  Use of FMLA leave near the end of the academic term (semester) may require an instructional employee to continue in a leave status to the end of the term.



Effect on Retirement Benefits


Any leave without pay can adversely affect retirement benefits since no contributions are paid by the employee or employer.  Employees may purchase the time spent on leave without pay however, they should contact their respective retirement system for procedure and cost.  Employees should consider purchasing retirement credit at the end of leave period to avoid paying accrued interest.



Department of Labor Poster


A notice of the provisions of FMLA leave of the U.S. Department of Labor shall be posted at each work site and school together with a copy of this policy.



Ref:     Board minutes, 9-23-93


Pointe Coupee Parish School Board