•                                     INTEGRATED DISABILITY MANAGEMENT
                               Dawn Watkins, Director

    Division Home          |         Contacts         |         Resources/Forms         |         FAQS             


       
     Absence Management

    Protected Leaves and Absences 

    This information will help you navigate Protected Leaves and Absences as they are applied at Los Angeles Unified School District with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA), California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL), and California Paid Parental Leave (PPL).

    You'll find helpful materials such as forms and publications, frequently asked questions and checklists, and practical tools and resources to gain a better understanding of Protected Leaves and Absences and how they apply to you.  Whether you are an employee who may need to request a leave or an administrator or supervisor who must administer one, here you will find all of the information you need.

     

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) requires the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • Birth of an employee’s son or daughter (“bonding” or “parental leave”). Leave must be completed prior to the son or daughter’s 1st birthday.
  • Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, including time to prepare for the placement, as well as, bonding time after the placement of the child. Leave must be completed within one year of the child being placed with the employee.
  • To care for the employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform one or more essential functions of the employee’s job.
  • To care for an employee’s son, daughter, parent, spouse, or domestic partner (CFRA only) who has a serious health condition, including incapacity due to pregnancy and for prenatal medical care. (See Definitions.)
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the employee’s son’s, daughter’s, parent’s, or spouse’s active duty in the United States Armed Forces (or if such eligible family member has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in support of a contingency operation (FMLA only).
  • To care for the employee’s son, daughter, parent, spouse, or next of kin who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness while on active military duty in the Armed Forces (FMLA only). 

*The definition of a child is son or daughter: biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is either under age 18, or age 18 or older and “incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.”

** The definition of In loco parentis: a type of relationship in which a person has put themselves in the situation of a parent by assuming and discharging the obligations of a parent to a minor child, including persons with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support a minor child.

The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) requires the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to provide up to 18 weeks of job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • A physical or mental condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that prevents an employee from performing essential duties of the employee’s job, or if the employee’s job would cause undue risk to the employee or the employee’s pregnancy’s successful completion.

If an employee’s leave qualifies as FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL, the employee will have the following responsibilities while on FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave:

  • Provide Site Administrator with at least 30 days advance notice of when and how much FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave is needed when the leave is foreseeable.
  • When the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee is expected to notify the Site Administrator as soon as practicable based upon the facts and circumstances.
  • Comply with the usual and customary call-in and reporting procedures in accordance with their work location and Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Once approved for a particular FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave reason, employees are required to reference that leave reason or the FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL when reporting absences and/or requesting additional leave. In all instances, the employee is responsible for responding to questions from the Site Administrator to determine if the leave is FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL-qualifying.
  • Make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to disrupt operations.
  • Employees who pay a portion of their health benefits premiums are required to continue to pay their portion of the health benefits premium regardless of their pay status (i.e. paid or unpaid).
  • An employee may be required to reimburse the District for health insurance premiums paid on behalf of the employee during their FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave if the employee does not return to work following FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave for a reason other than:
    • The continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition which would entitle him or her to FMLA/CFRA leave;
    • The continuation, recurrence, or onset of a covered service member’s serious injury or illness which would entitle the employee to FMLA/CFRA leave; or
    • Other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

If the employee’s leave qualifies for FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL, the employee will have the following rights while on paid or unpaid FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave: 

  • Paid or unpaid FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave will not constitute a break in service for the purposes of establishing longevity or seniority, or for layoff, recall, promotion, job assignment, or seniority-related benefits. Unpaid FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave, however, is not treated as credited service time for permanency, retirement, or benefit accrual, vesting, and eligibility.
  • Maintenance of health benefits during any period of FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave under the same conditions as if the employee had continued to work. If an employee goes into an unpaid status while on FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave, the District will continue to pay its portion of the health benefits premiums. Employees who pay a portion of their health benefits premiums are required to continue to pay their portion of the health benefits premium regardless of their status (i.e., paid or unpaid).
  • Reinstatement to the same or equivalent position upon return from FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL leave, subject to seniority rules in the event of layoffs in the employee’s position. If the leave extends beyond the end of the employee’s FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL entitlement, the employee does not have return rights under FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL. However, the employee may have rights under their respective Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or Personnel Commission Rules.

 

Eligibility Requirements

The following are the requirements for FMLA/CFRA Protection:

  • Employment with the District for a combined total of at least 12 months at any time – full or part-time, temporary, probationary, or seasonal employment counts towards the 12 months of employment. Employment periods preceding a break in service of seven years or more need not be counted in determining whether the employee has been employed by the District for at least 12 months.
  • Must have worked at least 130 days during the year immediately preceding the commencement of the FMLA/CFRA absence or leave. (Units A, E, & G; which includes School Police, Skilled Craft Workers, Playground Aides, and Classified Subs/Temps, must have worked at least 1250 hours during the year immediately preceding the commencement of the FMLA/CFRA absence or leave.)

Employee eligibility is determined at the commencement of the first instance of absence or leave for each FMLA/CFRA-qualifying reason in the applicable 12-month period.

The following are the requirements for Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) Protection:

  • There is no service or worktime requirement for PDL. Your health care provider will determine whether or not you have a pregnancy disability.

The following are the requirements for Paid Parental Leave (PPL) Protection:

  • Employment with the District for a combined total of at least 12 months at any time – full or part-time, temporary, probationary, or seasonal employment counts towards the 12 months of employment. Employment periods preceding a break in service of seven years or more need not be counted in determining whether the employee has been employed by the District for at least 12 months.
  • There is no worktime requirement for PPL. Only classified and certificated employees are eligible. Substitute employees, temporary employees, unclassified employees, and employees who are neither classified nor certificated are NOT eligible.

A Serious Health Condition is an illness, injury (including, but not limited to, on the-job (Workers’ Compensation) injuries and pregnancy), impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or a regimen of continuing treatment by a health care provider.

  • Inpatient Care:
    • An overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care.
  • Incapacity and Treatment:
    • Incapacity is an inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular activities due to a serious health condition, treatment thereof, or recovery therefrom for more than three (3) consecutive, full calendar days.
    • Treatment includes, but is not limited to, examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition. Treatment does not include routine physical examinations, eye or dental examinations.
  • Pregnancy or Prenatal Care:
    • Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care
  • Chronic Conditions:
    • Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition.
  • Permanent or Long-Term Conditions:
    • A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider.
  • Conditions Requiring Multiple Treatments:
    • Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery therefrom) by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider.

Some exceptions to a serious health condition are cosmetic treatments or plastic surgery, the common cold, the flu, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, ear aches, headaches other than migraines, upset stomach, minor ulcers, unless these conditions result in hospitalization or other complications arise.

FMLA/CFRA and/or PDL can be paid, unpaid, or a combination of both.

  • If the FMLA/CFRA absence is for the employee’s own Serious Health Condition, the employee is required to use any available full-pay and half-pay illness and/or vacation time before going unpaid.
  • Employees on PDL are allowed, but not required to use any available full-pay and half-pay illness and/or vacation time.
  • If the FMLA/CFRA absence is to care for the employee’s son, daughter, parent, spouse, or domestic partner, the employee is required to use any available Kin Care, Personal Necessity, and vacation time. All other time is unpaid.
    • If the employee is receiving benefits under California Paid Family Leave program, however, the employee is not required to use available Kin Care, Personal Necessity, or vacation benefits.

PPL is a paid absence or leave.

  • If the absence is for the purposes of bonding with a newborn or a child placed in the parent’s home through adoption or foster care under Paid Parental Leave (PPL), the employee is required to use any available full-pay and half-pay illness. Employees on PPL are allowed, but not required to use any available vacation time.
    • If an employee exhausts all available illness time, including all accumulated illness leave, and continues to be absent from his or her duties on account of PPL, the employee will be compensated at a rate of 50 percent of his or her regular salary (“partial pay”) for the remaining portion of the 12-workweeks of paid parental leave. An employee who does not exhaust all of his or her available accrued illness time is ineligible for, and cannot access, the “partial pay” benefit.

CERTIFICATION: MEDICAL, QUALIFYING EXIGENCY, AND EVIDENCE OF RELATIONSHIP PAPERWORK REQUIRED FOR A PROTECTED ABSENCE AND/OR LEAVE:

Employees who request FMLA/CFRA leave for their own or a Family Member's Serious Health Condition must submit a "Heath Care Provider Certification" form within 15 calendar days of the request. The form must be complete and sufficient in order for FMLA/CFRA to be approved.

Employees who request PDL leave for their own pregnancy-related disability must submit a "Health Care Provider Certification" form within 15 calendar days of the request. The form must be complete and sufficient in order for PDL to be approved.

Health Care Provider Certification Form (FMLA-1 Fillable) 

Employees who request FMLA for a qualifying military exigency leave must submit a "Certification of Qualifying Exigency" form within 15 calendar days of the request. The form must be complete and sufficient in order for FMLA to be approved.

Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave (FMLA-9 - Fillable) 

Employees who request FMLA/CFRA leave for bonding with a newborn or placement of a child through foster care or adoption must submit "Evidence of Relationship" (See form FMLA-8) within 15 calendar days of the request. The information must be complete and sufficient in order for FMLA/CFRA to be approved.

Evidence of Relationship (EOR) Information Sheet: Newborn, Adoption, or Foster Care Parental Leave (FMLA-8 Fillable)

All employees are required to complete the Certification/Request of Absence for Illness, Family Illness, New Child (Form No. 60.ILL) whenever they are absent for either their own illness/injury/medical appointment or that of a covered family member (even if the employee is on a long term leave). This form is for payroll auditing purposes and is required for all illness related absences.

CERTIFICATION/REQUEST OF ABSENCE FOR ILLNESS, FAMILY ILLNESS, NEW CHILD (Form No. 60.ILL - Rev. 10-1-17)

In order to document and recognize federal and state job-protected absences, employees must respond to questions #5 and #6 on Form No. 60.ILL. Failure to respond to these two questions could result in absences not being designated as job-protected under FMLA/CFRA, PDL, and/or PPL.

In addition to the protected absence forms above, for formal Leave of Absence forms (for long term absences of more than 20 consecutive working days) please click on the appropriate type of employment. The link will direct you to the appropriate website. Please contact your department if you have questions about the leave paperwork or your formal Leave of Absence.


CERTIFICATED EMPLOYEES (e.g. Teachers, Principals, School Psychologists/Counselors)

Contact HR Certificated Placement and Assignments at (213) 241-5100.

CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES (e.g. Office Staff, M&O Workers, Cafeteria Staff)

Contact Personnel Commission/Workforce Management at (213) 241-7800.

Please click on the link below to access the Parental Leave Checklist Booklet. To print in booklet form, make sure your printer Page Sizing & Handling is set to:

  • 11 x 8.5 paper
  • Print on both sides of paper
  • Flip on short edge

Once printing in complete, fold the pages in half to achieve the booklet format.

Parental Leave Checklist Booklet

 

This checklist is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It cannot modify or change District Policy, Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA), Personnel Commission (PC) Rules, or Federal and/or state laws in any way. The District’s Policy Bulletins, Personnel Commission (PC) rules, and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) information related to the checklist can be found here: District Protected Absence and Leaves of Absence Information

 

Please click on the link below to access the PDL Checklist Booklet. To print in booklet form, make sure your printer Page Sizing & Handling is set to:

  • 11 x 8.5 paper
  • Print on both sides of paper
  • Flip on short edge

Once printing in complete, fold the pages in half to achieve the booklet format.

PDL: Pregnancy Checklist Booklet

This checklist is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It cannot modify or change District Policy, Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA), Personnel Commission (PC) Rules, or Federal and/or state laws in any way. The District’s Protected Absence and Pregnancy-Related Policy Bulletins, Personnel Commission (PC) Rules, and Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) information related to the checklist can be found here: District Protected Absence and Leaves of Absence Information