Risk and Benefits Management

831 Simpson Rd. STE 100; Kissimmee, FL 34744

Phone: 407-870-4899 / Fax: 407-943-7749

Rick Hensley ARM, SPHR

Director of Risk and Benefits Management

Family Medical Leave

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Eligibility
FMLA requires SDOC to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for the District for at least one year, and have worked for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. The FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule under certain circumstances.

Eligibility
FMLA requires SDOC to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for the District for at least one year, and have worked for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. The FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule under certain circumstances.

Your Rights Under FMLA
 • 12 weeks maximum duration
 • Job protection
 • Continuation of Board-Paid benefits. (Employee is responsible for optional benefi ts including dependent coverage, life insurance, dental, vision, disability insurance, flexible spending account and Trustmark product contributions.)

FMLA Approved Circumstances
 • Birth of a child
 • Adopting a child or becoming a foster parent
 • To care for the employee’s seriously ill spouse, child or parent
 • An employee’s serious health condition
 • To care for a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of active duty.
 • Any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation.

An eligible employee may also take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness, when the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the service member. The “single 12-month period” for military caregiver leave is different from the 12-month period used for other FMLA leave reasons. See Fact Sheets 28F: Qualifying Reasons under the FMLA and 28M: The Military Family Leave Provisions under the FMLA.

Under some circumstances, employees may take FMLA leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. That means an employee may take leave in separate blocks of time or by reducing the time he or she works each day or week for a single qualifying reason. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. If FMLA leave is for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, use of intermittent or reduced schedule leave requires the employer’s approval.

Requesting FMLA Leave
An employee should contact their facility secretary or Benefits Specialist when foreseeable within 30 days in advance to obtain an FMLA application. Physician-documented proof (medical certification form) of birth or illness is required for all FMLA-designated leaves. Once FMLA is approved, a letter detailing your rights and responsibilities will be mailed to the employee.

Please note, FMLA is a federally mandated leave. If an employee is absent for three consecutive days due to an eligible FMLA circumstance and meets the criteria for the FMLA, they will be notified in writing by a Benefits Specialist. An application and physician certification will be sent to the employee to complete and return to Risk & Benefits Management. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Important Information About FMLA
• FMLA is an unpaid leave. Employees can choose to use accrued paid vacation or personal leave, which will run concurrent with the FMLA leave.

• FMLA may run concurrent with a worker’s compensation absence when the injury is one that meets the FMLA criteria for a “serious health condition.”

• An eligible employee is entitled to take up to 12 weeks for FMLA leave in a “rolling” calendar year. So, when an employee requests FMLA leave, leave eligibility is determined by counting back 12 months from the date the leave is requested. If you have incurred a leave during the 12 months, your FMLA will be reduced by the time previously used.

• If an employee is receiving a paycheck during the FMLA, their benefit premiums will be deducted from their checks. If the employee is not receiving a paycheck, premiums for optional insurance are due on the missed pay period. If the employee does not make the premium payment within 30 days of the missed pay period, the District will terminate the optional benefits. However, an employee can arrange to pay their premiums when they return to work by contacting their Benefits Specialist.

• The District may recover premiums for Board-paid insurance if the employee fails to return to work for 30 days and terminates his/her employment except due to: his/her own serious health condition, circumstances beyond his/her control, denial of restoration due to key employee status.

• If both husband and wife work for the District, FMLA limits the Leave that may be taken to a combined total of 12 workweeks during any 12-month period if the Leave is taken for birth or placement for adoption or foster care. This limitation does not apply to Leave taken:
• to care for the other spouse who is seriously ill and unable to work.
• to care for a child with a serious health condition.
• for his or her own serious illness.

• For Leaves due to serious health conditions, a periodic status report will be required.

• Upon return to work, the employee who was on FMLA due to a personal illness will be required to provide a fitness-for-duty notice from his/her physician. If the fitness-for-duty documentation is not provided, the employee may not return to work.

• Employees on FMLA for maternity may extend the Leave beyond six weeks to the full 12 FMLA weeks

More information about FMLA
For more information about FMLA, please read the FMLA Employee Guide, FMLA Rights and Responsibilities, FMLA Fact Sheet #28, Department of Labor FAQsBenefits Guide, or contact the Benefits Specialist assigned to your facility.

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