FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:
- be benefit eligible; AND
- have worked for Wicomico County Board of Education (WCBOE) for at least 12 months; AND
- have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave.
An eligible employee can use FMLA Leave for any of the following reasons:
- The birth of a child and to care for the child following birth, so long as the leave is taken within 12 months of the birth of the child.
- To care for a child placed with an employee for adoption or foster care, so long as the leave is taken within 12 months of the placement.
- To care for an employee’s child, spouse or parent, where that child, spouse or parent has a serious health condition.
- Because an employee has a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position.
WCBOE will maintain its contribution to an employee’s health insurance coverage for the duration of the employee’s FMLA Leave under the conditions that coverage would have been provided had an employee not taken leave. Coverage is maintained even if the employee uses leave without pay for some or all of the FMLA leave period. However, the employee continues to be responsible for providing all employee contributions and for any other benefits that are continued during FMLA Leave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much leave am I entitled to under FMLA?
A. If you are an "eligible" employee, you are entitled to 12 weeks of leave for certain family and medical reasons during a 12-month period. The 12 work weeks of leave do not need to be consecutive. FMLA leave due to a serious health condition is limited to the timeframe indicated by the health care provider on the Medical Certification Form. Therefore, some serious health conditions may not require or be eligible for a FMLA leave of 12 weeks.
Q: How is the 12-month period calculated under FMLA?
A. WCBOE uses a "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses FMLA leave for determining the 12-month period.
Q: Do the 1,250 hours include paid leave time or other absences from work?
A. No. The 1,250 hours include only those hours actually worked for the employer. Paid leave (e.g. annual leave, sick leave, personal leave, etc.) and unpaid leave, including FMLA leave, are not included.
Q. When do I notify my employer of my request to use FMLA leave?
A. An eligible employee is required to provide 30-day advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is forseeable. When the need to take FMLA leave is not forseaable, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable which generally means within one or two business days of learning of the need to take FMLA leave.
Q: Does the law guarantee paid time off?
A. No. The FMLA only requires unpaid leave.WCBOE requires the employee to use accrued paid leave for the FMLA leave period when applicable. Family Medical Leave runs concurrently with all qualified paid and unpaid leaves.
Q: Who is considered an immediate "family member" for purposes of taking FMLA leave?
A. An employee's spouse, children (son or daughter), and parents are immediate family members for purposes of FMLA. The term "parent" does not include a parent "in-law." The terms son or daughter do not include individuals age 18 or over unless they are "incapable of self-care" because of a mental or physical disability.
Q: What happens if an employee does not return to work after FMLA leave?
A. Employees who choose not to return to work at the conclusion of the approved 12-week period shall be required to repay the Board’s portion of the health insurance premium that was paid during the leave.