There may be times when you must take time off work when you or an immediate family member is injured or ill and you cannot work for a period of time. In other cases, you might need time off to fulfill an obligation to serve in the military or to complete a master's degree for work. This section provides information you need to know before, during, and after a leave of absence.
Family Medical Leave Act – FMLA
Employees who qualify may take up to twelve (12) weeks/60 working days of paid/unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. All approved requests for leave, including On-the-Job-Injury (OJI) will count toward the 12-week limit, if the employee qualifies for an FMLA leave. The employee must have worked at EPISD for at least one year and worked at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months.
An FMLA leave may be granted for any one, or more, of the following reasons:
- To care for a newborn child after birth
- Placement for adoption or foster care
- To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
- For a serious health condition that does not allow the employee to perform the duties of his/her job.
- Due to a qualifying exigency arising from a spouse, child, or parent who is on active duty status in support of a contingency operation
- Due to a serious injury or illness of a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a covered service member (Entitled to 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12 month period)
PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with District Policy, DEC (Local), if both spouses are employed by the District, the District shall limit FMLA leave for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition, to a combined total of 12 weeks. The District shall limit military caregiver leave to a combined total of 26 weeks. [See DECA (LEGAL)]
If your FMLA leave is unpaid, EPISD will continue your insurance program as it exists just prior to your leave and will bill you for your normal payroll deduction amounts.
If you use FMLA leave, you will not lose any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of your leave. When you return from FMLA leave, you will be restored to your original or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms of employment.
When to Apply for a Leave
If applying for Professional Study Leave of Absence, your written request accompanied by documentation to support your enrollment in a course of study and must be submitted by June 1 for the fall semester and by November 1 for the spring semester.
Information Required When Applying for a Leave:
When you apply for a leave of absence, you should have the following information available before making the request:
- Type of leave
- Leave start date
- Anticipated return to work date
- Physician's Certification for yourself or immediate family member, if applicable, military orders, enrollment in a course
Note: if you are a supervisor requesting a leave of absence for an employee, you must also have the following information:
- First and last name of employee
- Employee ID #
- Date/time supervisor or supervisor's representative contacted employee regarding absence
Upon your release to return to duty, you must provide first visit Human Resources with a Release to Return to Duty from your treating physician. Employee Benefits will provide you with a return to duty authorization form that takes into consideration any restrictions in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The Return to Duty Authorization Form must be provided to your immediate supervisor before returning to your assignment.
Any medical leave required beyond the 12 weeks/60 workdays will be evaluated and if approved, Leave of Absence status will be applied. For leaves of absence that are unpaid, the position is vacated and benefits are terminated.
For more information regarding your rights under the Family Medical Leave act of 1993, you may review Policy DECA (Legal), DEC (Legal) and/or Policy DEC (Local).
For questions, you may contact Sandra Hinojos, Benefits Specialist at (915) 230-2065.