FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides qualifying employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, protected leave in a 12-month period. Approval is subject to appropriate certification paperwork. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained by the employee during the leave. FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.

Accumulated Paid Leave – If an employee has available sick leave, catastrophic leave, and/or comp time leave, the employee must utilize those forms of leave before taking unpaid leave. In that instance, the paid leave and FMLA leave will run concurrently from the first absence as long as the need for such leave results from one or more of the qualifying reasons under FMLA.

Leaves of Absence Five to Ten Days – An illness of five or more consecutive work/contract days must be documented by a statement from a physician and provided to the employee’s principal or supervisor. Such statement will be attached to the employee’s sign-in sheet for the payroll department.

Medical Leave (FMLA) (5.11.2) – If an employee is going to be absent 10 or more consecutive days, a request for medical leave must be submitted to the employee’s principal or supervisor with the beginning and ending dates of anticipated leave. A physician’s statement/medical certification must be attached to the leave form requesting the leave of absence. The principal/supervisor will send the documentation to Human Resources who presents leave requests to the Superintendent for further board approval.

If a medical leave extension is needed beyond 12 weeks, the employee must acquire updated medical certification and submit an additional medical leave request form to his/her principal/supervisor. Additional leave must be approved by the Superintendent and Board.

Benefits (5.11.12) will be discontinued after 12 weeks of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) unless the employee specifies on the leave form to continue benefits during the leave. In this case, the employee will be responsible for payment of any cost, premium, or like payment that is required to maintain eligibility for the coverage or benefit.

NOTE: Eligibility for 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave (FMLA) - An employee must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave. Please refer to section 5.11.3 in the Shelby County Schools Policy Manual for applicable reasons, and definition of serious health conditions.

Intermittent Medical Leave (5.11.6) – Intermittent Medical Leave is available for individuals with certain medical conditions that may not require an employee to be absent 10 consecutive days or longer, but frequent absences may result from the condition. The employee must submit an FMLA Intermittent Leave request with medical certification attached to his/her principal/supervisor. Such documentation will be submitted to human resources for approval by the Superintendent and Board.

Intermittent Leave should be scheduled to the extent practicable so as not to unduly disrupt the operation of the Board. Intermittent Leave may be further limited for employees in accordance with Federal FMLA law.

Catastrophic Sick Leave – To apply for Catastrophic Leave, the employee must be a member of the sick leave bank and submit a catastrophic leave form to the payroll department requesting donated days. The payroll department will submit the request to members of the sick bank committee for approval. Employees may request donated days from Alabama public school employees to cover absences. Individual members may contribute a maximum of 30 days to one person. Catastrophic sick leave forms are available on the Human Resources Forms page. Note: you must be logged into the sytem using your account. 

Maternity/Paternity Leave – Maternity/Paternity leave request must be made by submitting a medical leave form to the principal/supervisor at least 30 days before the beginning of leave or delivery due date. These requests must be accompanied by a physician’s certification stating how long the employee will not be physically able to complete regular work duties. Up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is available if an employee meets eligibility under the regulations of the law.

If an employee has available sick leave, catastrophic leave and/or comp time leave, the employee must utilize those forms of leave before taking unpaid leave. Paid leave and FMLA leave will run concurrently from the first absence. Accumulated sick leave will be used during the duration of the leave of absence.

Spouses Employed by Shelby County Board of Education – Under FMLA, a combined total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave (or applicable paid leave described previously) for a husband and wife employed by the same board of education is allowed.

First Year Birth and Adoption Leave (5.11.2) – Full time employees may be granted a one year leave of absence without pay, for the birth and first year care of a newborn child or adoption of a child. The employee must submit a written leave request to his/her principal/supervisor. Additional leave must be approved by the Superintendent and Board.

This leave would not count towards experience in the determination of placement on the salary schedule. An employee is not guaranteed their original position, but is subject to transfer and reassignment to another vacant position in the school district. Tenure/non probationary status will be retained upon return.

Leaves Extending Beyond One Year - For valid extenuating circumstances, the Board may extend the leave of absence for up to one additional year. If a medical condition continues to exist after extenuation of medical leaves, the employee is unable to perform the job duties and responsibilities designated on the job description, and all paid leave has been exhausted, the employee must consider separation of employment. Questions regarding how to apply for disability should be directed to the payroll/human resources department.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Jennifer Galloway, Human Resources Supervisor. Phone: 205-682-7042 or email Jennifer Galloway.