-- 6400 -- OCAG Leaves

A.  Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

The academy makes available various types of unpaid, job protected leave in accordance with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

Employees are eligible for unpaid FMLA leave if they:
  1. have a cumulative (not necessarily continuous) 12 months of prior service;
  2. have worked at least 1250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the FMLA leave would commence; and,
  3. work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed within a 75-mile radius.
Basic Leave
For eligible employees, up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, in a 12-month period, is available for one or more of the following purposes:
  • For the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
  • For the care and/or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; a child, for purposes of this policy, includes an individual who is either (1) under the age of 18 or (2) older than 18 but incapable of self-care because of a physical or mental disability;
  • For your own serious health condition.
The 12-month period is measured forward from the first date an employee takes FMLA leave. The next 12-month period would begin the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of the prior 12-month period. For example, Lucia’s FMLA leave begins on November 6, 2020 so her 12-month period is November 6, 2020 through November 5, 2021.

Qualifying Exigency Leave
For eligible employees, up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, in a 12-month period, is available for an eligible employee where the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent is on “covered active duty” and leave is needed for a “qualifying exigency.” Covered active duty includes:
  1. In the case of a member of a regular component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country; and 
  2. In the case of a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty. 
A “qualifying exigency” is:
  • Short notice deployment;
  • Military events and related activities;
  • Childcare and school activities;
  • For the purpose of making financial and legal arrangements;
  • Rest and recuperation;
  • Post-deployment activities; and/or,
  • Additional qualifying activities.
The “forward” method used for measuring “Basic Leave” is also used to measure the 12-month period for “Qualifying Exigency Leave.”

Covered Service Member Care Leave
Leave is available for an eligible employee to care for a spouse, child, parent or next-of-kin who:
  • is a current member of the Armed Forces or a member of the Armed Forces who is on the temporary disability list, and who has a “serious injury or illness” for which he or she is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or, otherwise in outpatient status; or, otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, or
  • is a veteran of the Armed Forces who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a “serious injury or illness” and who was a member of the Armed Forces at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoing the medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
For purposes of this section the following definitions apply:
  • the term “Armed Forces” includes Armed Forces, National Guard, and Reserves.
  • the term “serious injury or illness” means:
    • For current members of Armed Forces – an injury or illness that was incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces) and that render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.
    • For veterans of the Armed Forces – an injury or illness that was incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty on the Armed Forces (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in line of duty on active duty on the Armed Forces) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.
  • Next-of-kin of a covered service member is the nearest blood relative other than the covered service member’s spouse, son, or daughter, unless the covered service member has specifically designated in writing another blood relative as his or her nearest blood relative for purposes military caregiver leave under the FMLA.
For covered service member care leave only, an employee is entitled to 26 work weeks of leave during any single 12-month period measured on a “rolling forward” basis. Service member care leave measured on a rolling forward basis will be measured using the 12-month period forward from the date of the employee’s first instance of service member care leave.

Intermittent Leave
Eligible employees may take leave intermittently, as blocks of time off or in the form of reducing the employee’s normal weekly or daily schedule. If the employee needs leave intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule for planned medical treatment, it is the employees’ obligation to schedule the treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the organization’s operations. Further, intermittent leave or leave on a reduced-leave schedule must be medically necessary due to a serious health condition or a serious injury or illness, except in the case of intermittent leave for a qualifying exigency. In addition, employees are permitted to take intermittent leave for the birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; however, intermittent leave for these reasons is only permitted upon the approval of the supervisor.

Giving Notice of the Need for Leave
Absent extenuating circumstances, an employee must provide the organization with at least 30 days’ advance written notice before FMLA leave is to begin. Failure to do so may cause delay or denial of leave.

If the need for leave is unforeseeable, then the employee must provide notice to the organization as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of your particular situation. For unforeseen leave, you must follow the normal procedure for contacting your supervisor to report an absence.

The organization will generally notify you within five (5) business days of receipt of your request for FMLA leave of your eligibility to take Family and Medical Leave. If you are not eligible, the organization will tell you why.

Providing Evidence of Need for Leave
In most cases, the organization will request that the employee provide additional information regarding certification of the leave by providing the employee with a certification form, specific to the type of leave the employee is requesting, to be completed and returned to the school operations manager. Certification forms and any other requested documentation must be returned to the school operations manager within fifteen (15) days of the organization request for certification (absent extenuating circumstances).

Designation of Leave
Within five (5) business days after the employee has submitted the appropriate certification form and/or the organization has sufficient information to determine whether the leave requested is FMLA covered, the school operations manager will complete and provide the employee with a written response to the employee’s request for FMLA leave.

Intent to Return to Work from FMLA Leave
Consistent with the manner in which the organization addresses other types of medical and personal leave, the organization may require an employee on FMLA leave to report periodically on the employee’s status and intent to return to work.

Pay During Leave
If the employee has available Paid Time Off (PTO), the organization requires the employee to use the remaining PTO at the start of FMLA leave. Once PTO is exhausted, the employee will go on unpaid leave. Both paid and unpaid leave count towards the 12 or 26-week (in the case of Covered Service Member Care Leave) limit.

Benefits During Leave
Health insurance benefits will be maintained during leave, however, the employee must continue to pay his or her share of any premiums. If the employee falls more than thirty (30) days behind in making payments, the coverage may be canceled. In addition, should the employee fail to return to work at the expiration of the approved leave, under certain conditions, the organization is entitled to recover any premiums it paid on the employee’s behalf in order to maintain the coverage. All insurances and retirement deposits other than health insurance shall be the employee’s responsibility.

Return from Leave
Upon the employee’s release to return to work, the employee will be restored to the same or equivalent position, unless the employee would not otherwise have been employed at the time of reinstatement (e.g., due to an intervening reduction in force or discharge for misconduct or poor performance). The organization reserves the right not to rehire a “key” employee if rehire would cause substantial economic harm to the organization’s operation. For the purpose of this policy, key employees are generally those in the top 10% of compensation.

Return from Leave
Fitness-For-Duty Certification: Any employee who takes leave for the employee’s own serious health condition will be required, as a condition of restoration, to obtain and provide certification that the employee is able to resume work and is able to perform the essential functions of his or her job. The cost of the fitness-for-duty certification is paid by the employee. The organization may delay or deny restoration to employment if a fitness-for-duty certification is not provided. The organization will request a fitness-for-duty certification for leave taken on an intermittent or reduced-leave schedule basis, if reasonable safety concerns exist regarding the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties based on the serious health condition for which the employee took leave.

Taking More than the Allowed Leave
The organization is unable to keep jobs open indefinitely. If an employee fails to return to work at the end of an approved leave of absence, including any extension of the leave, the employee will be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment.

Employee Rights and Responsibilities
The Department of Labor has prepared a summary of an Employee’s Rights and Responsibilities under the FMLA. This summary is available to any employee upon request from their supervisor or by visiting dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/f....

B.  Military

If you enter military service while working for the organization, you will not lose your status as a regular employee. You will be given an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of your initial tour of duty and your time in the service will count toward your length of service with the organization. If you are a member of a reserve component of the armed forces, you will be granted unpaid leaves necessary to fulfill the requirements of this affiliation. You may use your vacation time instead of leave time for this purpose if you prefer, but you are not required to do so.

If you apply for reemployment within the time specified by federal law following an honorable discharge from the service, you will be given employment comparable to the position you previously held.

C.  Personal Leave of Absence without Pay

Should a situation arise that temporarily prevents an employee from working, he/she may be eligible for a personal leave of absence without pay not to exceed 12 continuous weeks. However, employees must be employed for at least 12 months prior to the requested leave. Any request for a leave of absence without pay must be submitted in writing as far in advance as possible and it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the school operations manager. The decision to approve or disapprove is based on the educational requirements of the students, the business needs of the school, the length of time requested, the employee's job performance and attendance and punctuality record, the reasons for the leave, the affect the employee's absence will have on the work in the department and the expectation that the employee will return to work when the leave expires. Leaves of absence will be considered only after all PTO leave has been exhausted.

Any planned salary increase for an employee returning from an unpaid leave of absence without pay will be deferred by the length of the leave.

Due to the nature of our business, the organization cannot guarantee either that an employee's job will remain available or that a comparable position will exist when return from an unpaid leave is sought. When an employee is ready to return from a leave of absence without pay, the organization will attempt to reinstate the employee to his/her former position or to one with similar responsibilities. If the position or a similar position is not available, the organization will search for a suitable position for 30 days from the date the unpaid leave was to officially end. The employee will not be paid for this time. If the employee has not been placed by the end of this period, he/she will be administratively terminated.

An employee who returns to work following an unpaid leave will be considered as having continuous service. If an employee does not return from an unpaid leave of absence without pay, the termination date is the last day of the authorized leave period or the date the employee notifies the superintendent that he or she is not returning, whichever is earlier. Employees who have been administratively terminated pursuant to this paragraph may be considered for reemployment.

D.  Jury Duty

This organization supports employees in their civic duty to serve on a jury. Employees must present any summons to jury duty to their supervisor as soon as possible after receiving the notice to allow advance planning for an employee’s absence. Non-exempt employees will be paid for up to 2 weeks of jury duty service at their regular rate of pay minus any compensation received from the court for the period of service. Exempt employees are subject to the same 2-week limitation except that they will also receive pay for any days they serve as a juror or witness in a workweek in which they actually perform work. All employees may use any accrued PTO if required to serve more than 2 weeks on a jury. If an employee is released from jury duty after 4 hours or less of service, he or she must report to work for the remainder of that workday.

Time for appearance in court for personal business will be the individual employee’s responsibility. Normally, PTO will be used for this purpose.

E.  Time Off for Voting 

The organization recognizes that voting is a right and privilege of being a citizen of the United States and encourages employees to exercise their right to vote. In almost all cases, you will have sufficient time outside working hours to vote. If for any reason you think this won’t be the case, contact your supervisor to discuss scheduling accommodations.

F.  Bereavement

When a death occurs in a regular full-time employee’s immediate family, that employee may take up to three (3) days off with pay to attend the funeral or make funeral arrangements. The pay for time off will be prorated for a part-time employee if the funeral occurs on a scheduled work day. The organization reserves the right to require verification of the need for the leave. For the purposes of this policy, immediate family is defined as employee’s spouse, parents, stepparents, siblings, children, stepchildren, grandparent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or grandchild. Should additional time off be needed, the employee may make arrangements with their supervisor to use PTO or unpaid days off.

Adopted: 02/06/2024