Family and Medical Leave (FML)

What is Family & Medical Leave (FML)?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons.

School Board PIP 35-5.6 and Federal Law provide for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the following qualifying reasons:

  • Serious health condition makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her job;
  • Incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth;
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • Military Family Leave for a qualified exigency; and
  • Military Family Leave for up to 26 weeks to care for an injured or ill servicemember or veteran.

How Do I Request FMLA Leave?
To take FMLA leave, you must provide your employer with appropriate notice. If you know in advance that you will need FMLA leave (for example, if you are planning to have surgery or you are pregnant), you must give your employer at least 30-days advance notice. If you learn of your need for leave less than 30 days in advance, you must give your employer notice as soon as you can (generally either the day you learn of the need or the next work day). When you need FMLA leave unexpectedly (for example, if a family member is injured in an accident), you MUST inform your employer as soon as you can. You must follow your employer’s usual notice or call-in procedures unless you are unable to do so (for example, if you are receiving emergency medical care).

You need to provide enough information so your employer is aware it may be covered by the FMLA. You do not have to tell your employer your diagnosis, but you do need to provide information indicating that your leave is due to an FMLA-protected condition.  Once a condition has been approved for FMLA leave and you need additional leave for that condition, your request must mention that condition or your need for FMLA leave. If you don’t give your employer enough information to know that your leave may be covered by the FMLA, your leave may not be protected.

To request FML, contact the APS Leave Benefits Specialist:

Sherry Ross, Leave Benefits Specialist
Arlington Public Schools
Human Resources Department
Syphax Education Center
2110 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22204
Direct Telephone: 703-228-6107
Fax: 703-841-2138
Email:  Sherry.Ross@apsva.us

Eligibility
An employee who has been employed at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutively) by APS and has at least 1,250 hours of service with APS during the previous 12-month period.

Calculation of Leave Year
APS will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave under the policy. The 12-month period will begin with the first use of FMLA in the previous 12-months.

Using Paid Leave
Family & Medical Leave (FML) is unpaid, however, employees with earned personal, annual, and/or sick leave are required to use their paid leave while on FML. Employees on FML are entitled to reinstatement upon completion of their leave. Employees who return from leave within 12 work weeks or less are guaranteed their same positions.

Insurance
If an employee on Family and Medical Leave is covered by an APS-sponsored health, dental, and/or vision insurance plan, APS will continue to pay the employer’s share of the insurance premium during the first twelve weeks of the employee’s absence. The employee must pay their portion either through payroll deductions (if using paid leave during the absence) or via personal check.

More Information
The Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act  (published by the U.S. Department of Labor)
Employee Rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act  (published by the U.S. Department of Labor)

Assistance
For assistance with determining your eligibility or completing your leave request form or certification form, please contact the Leave Benefits Specialist in the Human Resources Department.

Sherry Ross, Leave Benefits Specialist
Arlington Public Schools
Human Resources Department
Syphax Education Center
2110 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22204
Direct Telephone: 703-228-6107
Fax: 703-841-2138
Email:  Sherry.Ross@apsva.us