Board Policy GAAA: Equal Opportunity Employment
Original Adopted Date: 12/14/1987
Last Revised Date: 01/17/2012
The School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sex in its employment practices. It is the policy of the Board of Education to comply fully with the requirements of Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and all accompanying regulations.
Any employee, applicant for employment, or other person who believes he or she has been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this policy must make a complaint in accordance with the procedures outlined below.
Complaints made to the School District regarding alleged discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color or national origin in violation of Title VI; religion or sex in violation of Title VII; sex in violation of Title IX; disability in violation of Section 504 or the ADA, or on the basis of age in violation of the ADEA, will be processed in accordance with the following procedure:
- Any employee, applicant for employment, or other person with a complaint alleging a violation as described above shall promptly notify, in writing or orally, either the principal for his/her school or the appropriate coordinator designated from time to time by the Board of Education. If the complaint is oral, either the coordinator or school principal to whom the complaint is made shall promptly prepare a memorandum or written statement of the complaint as made to him or her by the complainant and shall have the complainant read and sign the memorandum or statement if it accurately reflects the complaint made. If the complaint is made to a school principal, he or she shall be responsible for notifying the appropriate coordinator of the complaint.
- If the alleged offending individual is the coordinator designated by the Board of Education, the complaint shall either be made by the complainant to the Superintendent or, if the complaint is initially made to the school principal, reported by the principal to the Superintendent. If the alleged offending individual is the Superintendent, the complaint shall be made to the designated coordinator, who shall, without further investigation, report the complaint to the Board chairperson.
- The coordinator or his or her designee shall have fifteen work days to gather all information relevant to the complaint made, review the information, determine the facts relating to the complaint, review the action requested by the complainant, and attempt to resolve the complaint with the complainant and any other persons involved. The coordinator or designee shall prepare a written response to the complaint detailing any action to be taken in response to the complaint and the time frame in which such action will be taken and copies of this response shall be furnished to the complainant, the appropriate coordinator and the Superintendent or his or her designee.
- If the complaint is not resolved at the conclusion of this fifteen-day period or if the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, the complainant shall have the right, within five work days of receiving a copy of the written response, to have the complaint referred to the Superintendent of Schools. If the alleged offending individual is the Superintendent, the complainant may have the complaint referred to the Board of Education, rather than the Superintendent.
- The Superintendent shall have fifteen work days to review the complaint and the response of the coordinator or designee and attempt to resolve the complaint. The Superintendent shall furnish to the complainant a written response setting forth either his or her approval of the action recommended by the coordinator or designee or the action to be taken by the School District in response to the complaint in lieu of that recommended by the coordinator or designee and the time frame in which such action shall be taken.
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response of the Superintendent, then the complainant shall have the right, within fifteen work days of the receipt of the written response of the Superintendent, to have the complaint referred to the Board of Education. In order to have the Board review the Superintendent's decision, the complainant must file with the Superintendent a written statement setting forth the reasons he or she disagrees with the response of the Superintendent and the action the complainant is requesting the School District to take. The complainant shall also include in the written response a request that his or her complaint be referred to the Board of Education. Board Policy Manual Jasper County Board of Education.
- Within thirty work days of receipt of the written request of the complainant, the Superintendent shall present the matter to the Board of Education at its regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The Board shall review the original complaint, the response of the coordinator or designee, the response of the Superintendent, and the response of the complainant. In addition, the Board may, but is not required to, hear directly from any individuals with knowledge of any relevant facts relating to the complaint.
- The Board of Education will either uphold the recommendation of the Superintendent or require the School District to take some other action in response to the complaint. A copy of the action of the Board will be furnished to the complainant, either as a part of the minutes of the Board of Education or as a separate written statement. The Board shall be the final reviewing authority within the School District.
- This policy is not intended to deprive any employee of any right they may have to file a grievance pursuant to any other policy of the local Board of Education, specifically the policy designed to implement Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-2-989.5, where appropriate. This policy is not intended to provide an alternative process for resolving evaluation and employment disputes where there already exists a due process procedure mandated by state law or State Department of Education regulations, specifically including, but not limited to, hearings to be conducted pursuant to the Fair Dismissal Act of Georgia. The complainant retains at all times the right to contact the Office of Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or any other appropriate state or federal agency with regard to any allegations that the system has violated the statutes described above.
- The School District shall be responsible for distributing and disseminating information relevant to this policy and procedure to employees through appropriate procedures.
- No reprisal shall occur as a result of reporting unlawful discrimination or harassment under this policy, and any attempt to retaliate against a complainant shall be disciplined as is appropriate.
- The confidentiality of any individual making a complaint or report in accordance with this policy, to the extent it is reasonably possible and in compliance with law, shall be protected, although the discovery of the truth and the elimination of unlawful harassment shall be the overriding consideration.
Board Policy GAEB: Sexual Harassment of Employees
Original Adopted Date: 11/14/1994
Last Revised Date: 01/17/2012
It is the policy of this School District to prohibit any act of harassment of employees by other employees based upon race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability at all times and during all occasions while at school, in the workplace or at any school event or activity. Any such act shall result in prompt and appropriate discipline, including the possible termination of employment.
Sexual harassment may include conduct or speech which entails unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, taunts, threats, comments of a vulgar or demeaning nature, demands or physical contact which creates a hostile environment. There may be other speech or conduct which employees experience as inappropriate or illegal harassment which should also be reported; harassment can take many forms and it is not possible to itemize every aspect of the harassment forbidden by this policy.
Any employee or applicant for employment who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination as prohibited by this policy should promptly report the same to the principal of their school or to the appropriate coordinator designated in policy GAAA, who will implement the board’s discriminatory complaints procedures as specified in that policy. Employees will not be subjected to retaliation for reporting such harassment or discrimination.
It is the duty of all employees to promptly report harassment forbidden by this policy. All supervisors will instruct their subordinates as to the content of this policy and, through appropriate professional learning activities, enlighten employees as to the varied forms or expression of prohibited harassment. The principals of all schools shall ensure that employees are informed through handbooks, training materials and verbally that such harassment is strictly forbidden, how it is to be reported and the consequences for violating this policy.
NON-CRIMINAL JUSTICE APPLICANT’S PRIVACY RIGHTS
As an applicant that is the subject of a Georgia only or a Georgia and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) national fingerprint/biometric-based criminal history record check for a non-criminal justice purpose (such as an application for a job or license, immigration or naturalization, security clearance, or adoption), you have certain rights which are discussed below.
- You must be provided written notification that your fingerprints/biometrics will be used to check the criminal history records maintained by the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) and the FBI, when a federal record check is so authorized.
- If your fingerprints/biometrics are used to conduct a FBI national criminal history check, you are provided a copy of the Privacy Act Statement that would normally appear on the FBI fingerprint card.
- If you have a criminal history record, the agency making a determination of your suitability for the job, license, or other benefit must provide you the opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the information in the record.
- The agency must advise you of the procedures for changing, correcting, or updating your criminal history record as set forth in Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 16.34.
- If you have a Georgia or FBI criminal history record, you should be afforded a reasonable amount of time to correct or complete the record (or decline to do so) before the agency denies you the job, license or other benefit based on information in the criminal history record.
- In the event an adverse employment or licensing decision is made, you must be informed of all information pertinent to that decision to include the contents of the record and the effect the record had upon the decision. Failure to provide all such information to the person subject to the adverse decision shall be a misdemeanor [O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34(b) and §35-3- 35(b)].
You have the right to expect the agency receiving the results of the criminal history record check will use it only for authorized purposes and will not retain or disseminate it in violation of state and/or federal statute, regulation or executive order, or rule, procedure or standard established by the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council.
If the employment/licensing agency policy permits, the agency may provide you with a copy of your Georgia or FBI criminal history record for review and possible challenge. If agency policy does not permit it to provide you a copy of the record, information regarding how to obtain a copy of your Georgia, FBI or other state criminal history may be obtained at the GBI website. (http://gbi.georgia.gov/obtaining-criminal-history-record-information).
If you decide to challenge the accuracy or completeness of your Georgia or FBI criminal history record, you should send your challenge to the agency that contributed the questioned information. Alternatively, you may send your challenge directly to GCIC provided the disputed arrest occurred in Georgia. Instructions to dispute the accuracy of your criminal history can be obtained at the GBI website (http://gbi.georgia.gov/obtaining-criminal-history-record-information).
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT
Authority: The FBI’s acquisition, preservation, and exchange of fingerprints and associated information is generally authorized under 28 U.S.C. 534. Depending on the nature of your application, supplemental authorities include Federal statutes, State statutes pursuant to Pub. L. 92-544, Presidential Executive Orders, and federal regulations. Providing your fingerprints and associated information is voluntary; however, failure to do so may affect completion or approval of your application.
Principal Purpose: Certain determinations, such as employment, licensing, and security clearances, may be predicated on fingerprint-based background checks. Your fingerprints and associated information/biometrics may be provided to the employing, investigating, or otherwise responsible agency, and/or the FBI for the purpose of comparing your fingerprints to other fingerprints in the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system or its successor systems (including civil, criminal, and latent fingerprint repositories) or other available records of the employing, investigating, or otherwise responsible agency. The FBI may retain your fingerprints and associated information/biometrics in NGI after the completion of this application and, while retained, your fingerprints may continue to be compared against other fingerprints submitted to or retained by NGI.
Routine Uses: During the processing of this application and for as long thereafter as your fingerprints and associated information/biometrics are retained in NGI, your information may be disclosed pursuant to your consent, and may be disclosed without your consent as permitted by the Privacy Act of 1974 and all applicable Routine Uses as may be published at any time in the Federal Register, including the Routine Uses for the NGI system and the FBI’s Blanket Routine Uses. Routine uses include, but are not limited to, disclosures to: employing, governmental or authorized non-governmental agencies responsible for employment, contracting, licensing, security clearances, and other suitability determinations; local, state, tribal, or federal law enforcement agencies; criminal justice agencies; and agencies responsible for national security or public safety.
Board Policy GARH: Employee Leaves and Absences
Original Adopted Date: 01/17/2012
Last Revised Date: 08/17/2021
Last Reviewed Date: 08/17/2021
This policy shall apply to all benefits-eligible employees of the Board of Education (“the Board”). All employees are required to follow the appropriate work calendar established by the Board for their positions and may take leave from work only in accordance with this policy or other leave policies enacted by the Board. Unless otherwise provided by the Board, principals and other supervisors are not authorized to rearrange the work calendars of employees. Deductions in pay will be made for absences not covered by this policy.
ACCRUAL OF SICK LEAVE AND ABSENCE FOR MEDICAL AND RELATED REASONS
Each benefits-eligible employee of the Board shall be allowed to earn sick leave, with full pay, computed on the basis of one and one-fourth (1 1/4) working days for each completed month of service. All employees may accumulate unused sick leave from one fiscal year to the next up to a maximum of 60 days, although the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia allows participating employees to accumulate an unlimited number of unused sick leave days for credit toward retirement. Sick leave accumulated by a certificated employee or bus driver is transferable from one school system to another, up to a maximum of 45 days. Accumulated leave earned by a certificated employee must be forfeited if such employee withdraws from service for twelve or more consecutive months, but such forfeited leave may be reinstated in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-850. Accumulated leave earned by a bus driver under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-1110 must be forfeited if the driver withdraws from service for 24 or more consecutive months.
Sick leave may be used upon the approval of the Superintendent or designee for absence due to personal illness or injury, exposure to contagious diseases, or for absences necessitated by illness or death in the employee's immediate family. For any absence in which sick leave is used, the Superintendent or designee may require a physician's certificate stating that the employee is ill and is unable to perform his or her duties. In the event that sick leave is used to care for a member of the immediate family, the Superintendent or designee may require a physician's certificate stating that the employee is needed to care for the sick family member. If an employee is absent for 5 consecutive days of sick leave, a physician's certificate may be required at the discretion of the Superintendent or designee.
For the purposes of absences for medical and related reasons, members of the immediate family are defined as an employee's child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, siblings, in-law equivalents, or dependent as shown in the employee's most recent tax return.
SICK LEAVE DONATIONS BETWEEN EMPLOYED SPOUSES
An employee may donate up to ten (10) days of sick leave to his/her spouse who is also an employee of the school district for purposes of maternity leave, illness, or illness or death of a family member.
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
See board Policy GBRIG.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LEAVE
Employees may use up to (3) days of accumulated sick leave for personal or professional leave if prior approval has been given and if the presence of the employee requesting absence is not essential for effective school operation.
A leave form must be filed at least 5 days prior to the time the employee will be absent and must be approved by the Superintendent or designee prior to leave. Unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent or designee, personal and professional leave will not be granted during pre-planning, post-planning, in-service days or on the day before or day after holidays. In addition, personal leave will not be granted during the first week of the student school year or during the last week of the student school year, unless the Superintendent or designee, in his or her discretion, determines that such leave should be granted. The Superintendent or designee may refuse to allow an employee to take personal or professional leave if qualified substitutes are not available. Employees are not required to disclose the purpose for which such absence is sought but may be required to state whether the absence is for "personal" or "professional" reasons.
Professional leave taken at the request of the school district or when required in conjunction with the district's Board Policy Manual Jasper County Board of Education1 routine professional development or training activities will not be charged against the employee's sick leave.
OBSERVANCE OF RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS
Employees may use personal leave for the observance of recognized religious holidays. If an employee desires to take leave for the observance of recognized religious holidays in excess of the days allowed for personal leave, the employee may take unpaid leave for such purposes, provided that such leave is not excessive and does not interfere with fulfilling the obligations of his or her job.
JURY AND WITNESS LEAVE
Each employee shall be allowed leave with pay for the purposes of serving as a juror in any court or when attending a judicial proceeding in response to a subpoena or other court order or process that requires the employee's attendance at the judicial proceeding in a work-related matter. Jury and/or witness leave shall not be deducted from an individual's accumulated personal, professional or sick leave. No employee utilizing jury or witness leave shall be required to pay the cost of employing a substitute to serve during his or her absence for such leave. Employees who serve on juries or who are subpoenaed to attend a judicial proceeding in a work-related matter may keep any jury/witness pay they receive.
All employees are entitled to paid leave not to exceed eighteen days in any one federal fiscal year for the purpose of complying with ordered military duty with the armed forces of the United States or State of Georgia, including duty as a voluntary member of the National Guard or any reserve component of the United States or State of Georgia. In the event the Governor declares an emergency that results in an employee being ordered to military duty as a member of the National Guard, the employee is entitled to leave not exceeding thirty days in any one federal fiscal year. Employees who have military commitments shall inform the Superintendent or designee annually, provide a copy of the official military orders, and cooperate to the extent possible in scheduling such leave so as to minimize the disruption in those employees' duties and the mission of the Board of Education.
When employees are absent due to death in the immediate family, bereavement leave will be charged against the employee's accumulated sick leave. The term “immediate family” shall be interpreted to mean spouse, child, parent, sibling, or grandparent of the employee; parent or sibling of the employee’s spouse; or a relative living in the employee’s residence. Employees may use personal leave for absence due to death of individuals other than immediate family members upon approval of the Superintendent or designee. If the employee desires to take bereavement leave in excess of the days allowed for personal leave, the employee may request to take unpaid leave.
PAID PARENTAL LEAVE
The Board of Education shall make paid parental leave equally available to all eligible employees of the Board of Education under the following terms:
- An employee of the Board of Education shall be eligible for paid parental leave for qualifying life events upon satisfying the following criteria:
- The employee is classified as a full-time by the District and is eligible to participate in the TRS (Teacher Retirement System of Georgia) or the PSERS (Public School Employees Retirement System); and
- The employee has six continuous months of employment with the Board, regardless of whether he or she is eligible for paid or unpaid leave under federal law. An employee paid on an hourly basis must have worked a minimum of 700 hours over the six-month period immediately preceding the requested paid parental leave date.
- A qualifying life event means:
- The birth of a child of an eligible employee; or
- The placement of a minor child for adoption with an eligible employee; or
- The placement of a minor child for foster care with an eligible employee.
- The maximum amount of paid parental leave that may be taken by an eligible employee during a rolling 12-month period is 120 hours, regardless of the number of qualifying life events that occur during such period.
- The rolling 12-month period shall be measured backward from the date an eligible employee first uses parental leave.
- Parental leave may be taken as needed and may be taken in increments of less than eight hours. The smallest 2 increment of parental leave that may be taken is two (2) hours.
- Any unused paid parental leave that remains 12 months after the qualifying event shall not carry over for future use.
- Unused paid parental leave shall have no cash value at any time of the eligible employee's separation from employment with the Board of Education.
- Paid parental leave under state law shall run concurrently with any leave provided under federal law.
- Eligible employees requesting paid parental leave must submit the district's designated form to the Superintendent or designee at least thirty (30 ) school days in advance of the requested leave start date.
- The Superintendent or designee shall develop paperwork needed to administer paid parental leave, which shall specify the documentation required to establish the existence of a qualifying life event.
To the extent that any provision in this policy conflicts with or is superseded by the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), the regulations promulgated there under, or any other federal or state law, the provisions of the applicable law or its regulations, as the case may be, shall control.
- Board Policy
- FMLA Request Form
- Fitness-for-Duty Medical Examination Form
- Medical Certification For Request
- Employee Guide
Board Policy GBRIG: Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
Original Adoption Date: 07/01/2003
Last Revision Date: 11/17/2015
It is the purpose of this policy to set out in summary form the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act ("the Act" or “FMLA”) and its implementing regulations. The Board of Education (“Board”) does not intend by this policy to create any additional rights to leave not provided by the Act; provided, however, the Board does wish to extend the rights of the Act to certain employees who have worked at least 12 months for the Board. The Board does intend to elect certain options as the Act authorizes. Any portion of this policy inconsistent or contrary to the Act is unintentional and shall not be given effect. As to the interpretation of this policy, the Board's employees should look to the Act itself and its regulations.
- ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES
Employees of the Board who have been employed by the Board for at least 12 months and who have worked at least 1250 hours during the 12 month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave are eligible to take unpaid leave under the FMLA.
“Covered Active Duty” means, for members of the regular Armed Forces, duty during deployment to a foreign country; for members of a Reserves component of the Armed Forces, duty during deployment to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty pursuant to federal law.
“Covered Servicemember” (for qualifying exigency leave) means the employee’s spouse, child or parent under a federal call or order to covered active duty.
“Covered Servicemember” (for military caregiver leave) means the employee’s spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is (1) a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness; or (2) a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces at any time during the five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes such medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
"Instructional employee" means an employee whose principal function is to teach and instruct students in a class, a small group, or an individual setting.
“Next of Kin” of a covered servicemember means the nearest blood relative other than the covered servicemember’s spouse, parent, son or daughter, in the following order of priority: blood relatives granted legal custody, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the covered servicemember has specifically designated in writing another blood relative for purposes of FMLA caregiver leave.
“Outpatient Status,” with respect to a covered servicemember, means the status of a member of the Armed Forces assigned to either a military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or a unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the Armed Forces receiving medical care as outpatients.
"Parent" means a biological, adoptive, step or foster mother or father or one who acted in place of a parent when the employee was a child. The term “parent” does not include parent “in law.”
“Parent of covered servicemember” means a biological, adoptive, step or foster parent or any other individual who acted in place of a parent of the covered servicemember. The term does not include parents “in law.”
"Serious Health Condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care requiring an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider, all as further defined in the FMLA regulations.
“Serious Injury or Illness” means, an injury or illness incurred by a covered servicemember in the line of duty on active duty (or that existed before active duty and was aggravated by line of duty active service) that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating. In the case of a veteran, “serious injury or illness” means a qualifying injury or illness, as defined by the Secretary of Labor, incurred during or aggravated by active duty during the five years before undergoing treatment, recuperation, or therapy, and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran. Board Policy Manual Jasper County Board of Education
"Son or daughter" means a biological, adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom the employee acts as a parent. The son or daughter must be under age 18 or, if the son or daughter is age 18 or older, he/she must be incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability at the time FMLA leave is to begin.
“Son or daughter of a covered servicemember” means a covered servicemember’s biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the covered servicemember acted in the place of a parent, and who is of any age.
"Spouse" means a husband or wife as defined in the FMLA regulations.
C. AMOUNT AND TYPE OF LEAVE TAKEN
An eligible employee may request leave for one or more of the following reasons:
- Birth of a son or daughter and to care for the newborn child;
- Adoption or foster placement with the employee of a son or daughter and to care for the newly placed child;
- To care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent, if that person has a serious health condition;
- Serious health condition of the employee that prevents the employee from performing his/her job functions;
- Any qualifying exigency arising from the fact that the employee’s family member (the covered servicemember) is on covered active duty. Qualifying exigencies are defined as short-notice deployment (seven or less calendar days); military events and related activities; child care and school activities; financial and legal arrangements; counseling; rest and recuperation (up to fifteen calendar days per instance); parental care; post- deployment activities; additional activities where the employer and employee agree that the leave is an exigency and agree to both timing and duration of the leave; and
- Military caregiver leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the servicemember.
In the event of the birth, adoption or foster placement of a son or daughter, all leave must be completed within twelve months after the birth, adoption or foster placement. Except as provided below, an employee may take up to a total of 12 weeks leave during any twelve-month period. A "rolling year" shall be used to determine the twelve-month period during which the leave entitlement may occur. That is, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be any balance of the number of weeks that has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months. See 29 C.F.R. § 825.200(b) (4).
If both spouses work for the District and both are eligible for FMLA leave, they are authorized to take only a combined total of 12 weeks leave during any one 12 month period to care for a newborn or adopted child, a child placed with the employee for foster care, or a parent with a serious health condition. Both spouses are authorized to take leave for twelve (12) weeks to care for a spouse or child with a serious health condition.
An eligible employee is eligible to take up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave during a “single 12-month period.” The “single 12-month period” begins on the date the employee first takes military caregiver leave and ends 12 months after that date, regardless of the method used to determine the leave entitlement period for other FMLA reasons.
If both spouses work for the District and both are eligible for FMLA leave, they are authorized to take only a combined total of 26 weeks during the “single 12-month period” described above for military caregiver leave or a combination of military caregiver leave and leave taken for other FMLA reasons.
The District will require that any accrued paid leave (sick, personal, vacation, or any other paid leave) be substituted for all or a part of the otherwise unpaid FMLA leave under the terms and conditions of the District’s normal leave policies. Because leave pursuant to an employee’s disability benefit plan or workers’ compensation absence is not unpaid, the provision for required substitution of accrued paid leave is not applicable in such cases.
D. INTERMITTENT OR REDUCED LEAVE
An employee may take leave on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule where it is medically necessary due to the serious health condition of a covered family member, the employee, or the serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember, or when necessary because of a qualifying exigency. The District will require a certification, in the form designated by the District, to document the necessity of such intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave.
E. NOTIFICATION OF LEAVE
If the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, an employee requesting leave must provide at least 30 days advance notice to the Superintendent or designee. If such advance notice is not possible, the employee must give notice as soon as practicable, which means as soon as both possible and practical, taking into account all of the facts and circumstances in the individual case. If an employee does not provide at least 30 days notice of foreseeable leave, he or she must explain why such notice was not practicable if so requested by the District. When the need for leave is not foreseeable, an employee must provide notice as soon as practicable, which generally should be according to the District’s usual and customary leave requirements. When planning medical treatment, the employee should make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment, subject to the approval of the health care provider, so that any corresponding leave will not disrupt unduly the operations of the District.
Employees must provide sufficient information for the District to reasonably determine whether the FMLA may apply to the leave request. When an employee seeks leave due to an FMLA-qualifying reason for which the District has previously provided FMLA leave, the employee must specifically reference either the previous qualifying reason for leave or the need for FMLA leave.
F. BENEFITS AND RETURN TO WORK
Employees will be eligible to maintain health care benefits provided by the school district while on FMLA leave. The District will pay the employer's portion, if any, of such benefits. The employee will pay the same portion, if any, of such benefits as the employee paid before beginning the leave.
The District may recover any health care benefit premiums paid on behalf of an employee if the employee does not return to work after the leave period has expired, unless the employee did not return due to a serious health condition of the employee or the employee's spouse, parent or child, or a serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember or other circumstances beyond the employee's control. The District may require certification from the health care provider that a serious health condition of the employee or family member, or the covered servicemember’s serious injury or illness, prevented the employee from returning to work.
With the exception of paid vacation, personal, sick, or any other paid leave required to be substituted for unpaid leave under Section C above, the employee's absence during leave will not alter benefits which the employee accrued before taking leave. Any accrued benefits will not be lost during the leave.
Upon return from leave, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to a position equivalent to the one the employee held when he/she left on FMLA leave, with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. Upon proper notice, however, the District may deny reinstatement under this policy to an employee whose salary is in the highest 10% of the employees employed by the school district if such denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the District's operation, as determined by the District.
G. REQUIRED CERTIFICATION AND REPORTING
The District requires that a request for leave due to a serious health condition of an employee or an employee’s family member or a serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember be supported by certification by the appropriate health care provider of the eligible employee or family member on a form to be provided by the District. This certification for a serious health condition must include (1) the name, address, telephone and fax numbers of the healthcare provider and type of practice/specialization; (2) the approximate date on which the serious health condition commenced, and its probable duration; (3) a statement or description of appropriate medical facts regarding the patient’s health condition for which FMLA leave is requested; (4) if the purpose of the leave is to care for a family member, a statement that the employee is needed to care for the family member and an estimate of the frequency and duration of the leave required for such care; (5) if the leave is due to the employee's own serious health condition, a statement that the employee is unable to perform his/her essential job functions, the nature of other work restrictions, and the likely duration of such inability; and (6) if intermittent or reduced schedule leave is requested, information sufficient to establish the medical necessity for the same and an estimate of the dates and duration of treatments and any periods of recovery. The employer may require that the eligible employee obtain subsequent recertification on a reasonable basis as requested by the District in accordance with the FMLA regulations.
The District, at its own expense, may obtain the opinion of a second health care provider of the District's choice, if the District should choose to do so. If a conflict exists between the opinion in the certification and the second opinion, the District may, at its own expense, obtain a third opinion from a health care provider upon which the District and the employee jointly agree. Such a third opinion as to the necessity for the leave is binding on both the District and the employee.
Upon an employee's return to work after leave for the employee's own serious health condition, the District may require the employee to obtain certification from his/her health care provider that the employee is able to resume work.
The District may require that a first request for leave because of a qualifying exigency arising from active duty or a call to active duty be supported by a copy of the covered servicemember’s active duty orders or other documentation issued by the military. A certification form requesting the required information to support a request for exigency leave will be provided by the District upon request.
The District may require an employee on FMLA leave to report periodically to his/her principal or supervisor on the employee's status and intent to return to work.
H. SPECIAL PROVISIONS
When an instructional employee seeks intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule in connection with a family or personal serious health condition or to care for a covered servicemember that would constitute at least 20% of the total number of working days during which the leave would extend, the District may require the employee to elect to take leave in a block (not intermittently) for the entire period or to transfer to an available alternative position within the school system that is equivalent in pay, for which the employee is qualified, and which better accommodates the intermittent situation.
If an instructional employee begins leave more than five weeks before the end of a semester, the District may require the employee to continue taking leave until the end of the semester if
- the leave will last at least three weeks; and
- the employee would return to work during the three-week period before the end of the term.
If an instructional employee begins leave for a purpose other than the employee's own serious health condition during the five-week period before the end of the semester, the District may require the employee to continue taking leave until the end of the semester if
- the leave will last more than two weeks; and
- the employee would return to work during the two-week period before the end of the term.
If an instructional employee begins leave for a purpose other than the employee's own serious health condition during the three-week period before the end of a semester, and the leave will last more than five working days, the District may require the employee to continue taking leave until the end of the semester.