•                               INTEGRATED DISABILITY MANAGEMENT
                     Dawn Watkins, Director

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     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.

     
     

    Frequently Asked Questions

FMLA/CFRA allows an employee to take up to 12 work weeks of job-protected absences and/or leave in an FMLA year (12-month period) for any of the following reasons:

  • An employee's own serious health condition
  • To care for a parent, spouse, or child* with a serious health condition
  • For the birth of a child or placement of a child in the employee's home through adoption or foster care
  • Any qualifying exigency for the employee's parent, spouse, or child, who is on active duty, or called to active duty, in support of a contingency operation
  • Up to 26 work weeks of job-protected absences to care for a family member in the military who sustains a serious injury or illness while on active duty

* A child is usually one that is under the age of 18 or an adult dependent who is incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability.

  • Employees are eligible if they have worked for LAUSD for at least one year over the past seven years, and worked the equivalent of 130 workdays (or 1,250 hours for school police, skilled craft workers, playground aides and classified subs/temps) over the 12 months prior to the first day of absence due to a serious health condition.

Please note: there is no work-time requirement for Pregnancy Disability Leave. The law provides up to 18 work weeks of job protections.

  • Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 work weeks of protected leave and/or absence within any FMLA/CFRA year (12 month period) no matter how many FMLA-qualifying reasons an employee may have.
  • For employees taking Pregnancy Disability leave, the employee is entitled to up to 18 work weeks of protected leave per pregnancy.
  • Employees who are caring for a family member in the military who has sustained a serious injury or illness while on active duty are entitled to up to 26 weeks of protected leave.
  • An FMLA/CFRA year is the 12-month period that an eligible employee has to utilize their 12 work weeks of protection. It begins with the first qualifying FMLA/CFRA absence that the employee has.

For example, if an eligible employee requests FMLA/CFRA protection beginning with their first FMLA/CFRA qualifying absence on January 4, 2013, then their FMLA year would end on January 3, 2014.

  • FMLA/CFRA can be paid, unpaid or a combination of both.
  • If the FMLA/CFRA absence is for the employee's own Serious Health Condition, then the employee is required to use any available full-pay illness, half-pay illness or vacation time.
  • If the FMLA/CFRA absence is to care for the employee's Family Member, the employee is required to use any available Kin Care, Personal Necessity or vacation time. All other time is unpaid.
  • If the employee is receiving benefits under the California Paid Family Leave program, however, the employee is not required to use available Kin Care, Personal Necessity or vacation benefits.
  • If your FMLA/CFRA absence is to care for a family member, District Policy requires you to use any available Kin Care, Personal Necessity or vacation time before taking unpaid time off. However, if you are receiving benefits under the California Paid Family Leave program, you are not required to use available Kin Care, Personal Necessity or vacation benefits before taking unpaid time off. 
  • No, you may not. District policy requires employees to use all benefited time (i.e. illness and vacation) prior to taking an unpaid leave.

Your time reporter will report your time accordingly. For payroll purposes, the payroll codes are as follows:

For employee's own serious health condition

FCIL

FCVA (only employees who accrue vacation)

FCUP

 

For employees taking care of a family member's serious health condition

FCKC

FCPN

FCVA (only employees who accrue vacation)

FCUP

For employee on a pregnancy disability leave (maternity leave)

PFIL

PDIL

PFVA (only employees who accrue vacation)

PDUP

 

For employee on a child bonding leave (mother or father)

FCPN

FCUP

FCVA (only employees who accrue vacation)

 

For employees on an industrial injury leave (workers' comp)

FWC

  • Yes, FMLA/CFRA protection can be granted retroactively, but only in the current fiscal year.
  • Substitute teachers can take a FMLA/CFRA leave if they meet the eligibility requirements of one year of service and 130 workdays in the year preceding the leave. If the FMLA/CFRA leave is for more than one pay period, FMLA/CFRA will protect their health benefits up to 12 work weeks.
  • FMLA/CFRA does not protect an employee's District seniority, retirement benefits or other benefits that require employees to be in paid status. FMLA/CFRA will only protect an employee's health benefits, should they go into unpaid status.
  • The Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL) is the State law that gives an employee who is pregnant up to 18 work weeks of protected leave and/or absence. Unlike FMLA and CFRA, there is no work time requirement to be eligible for PDL.
  • Please refer to your respective Collective Bargaining Agreement to read about your pay. You may also call your appropriate HR department to get more information.
  • For certificated employees, please call HR Certificated Placement and Assignments at (213) 241-5100.
  • For classified employees, please call Personnel Commission at (213) 241-7800.
  • An employee is entitled to have up to 12 weeks of child bonding by the baby's first birthday, under the protection of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
  • Yes, if you are adopting or fostering a child, you are allowed to do child bonding. You get up to 12 weeks of child bonding, from the beginning date of the placement.
  • Please refer to your respective Collective Bargaining Agreement to see what you are eligible for or contact your appropriate HR department for more information.
  • For certificated employees, please call HR Certificated Placement and Assignments at (213) 241-5100.
  • For classified employees, please call the Personnel Commission at (213) 241-7800.
  • Yes, FMLA/CFRA will protect your District paid health benefits for up to 12 weeks.
  • Child bonding leave can be paid or unpaid. 

If you choose to take unpaid parental leave (child bonding) the eligibility requirements are the same as for FMLA/CFRA.  The eligibility requirement (1 year of service and 130 workdays or 1,250 work hours) is the same for all employees. However, when we measure the 130 workdays (or 1,250 work hours) depends on who is taking the child bonding leave and when they take it.

  • If you are a mother who is going directly from your pregnancy disability leave into a child bonding leave without returning to work, then we measure your eligibility from the first day you take off on your long term pregnancy disability.
  • If you are a mother and have returned to work immediately after your pregnancy disability and are taking your child bonding leave at a later date, we measure your eligibility from the first date of your child bonding leave.
  • If you are a mother who delivered during an off track time (i.e. summer break) and is capable of returning to work at the beginning of the school year, then we measure your eligibility from the first date of your child bonding leave.
  • If you are the father of a newborn, we measure your eligibility from the first date of your child bonding leave.
  • Yes. Fathers will use their FMLA and CFRA concurrently when bonding with a newborn or adoption of a child.
  • Yes, you can. You do not have to take the 12 work weeks consecutively. However, District policy requires employees to bond for a minimum of 2 work weeks; two exceptions are allowed for leave of less than 2 work weeks.

Remember: Even if you do your child bonding intermittently, you are still limited to taking the 12 weeks by your baby's first birthday.

  • If both parents work for the District, they do not get 12 work weeks each to bond. The bonding time must be shared, in any combination, as long as the bonding time does not exceed 12 work weeks total.
  • Child bonding is part of FMLA and CFRA which allow an employee to take up to 12 work weeks of absence to bond with their newborn during the child's first 12 months.
  • A child care leave is separate from FMLA and CFRA. It is a contract provision that allows an employee to take additional time off to be with their child. The provisions and time frames of a child care leave are different for Certificated and Classified employees. For more information, please refer to your respective Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • A child care leave is a contract provision and does not protect your health benefits. Thus, your benefits will be terminated if you are in unpaid status for more than one pay period.
  • No, Workers' Compensation is not a protected absence.  The employee must apply for FMLA/CFRA for Workers' Compensation absences to be protected.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave or EPSL is a federally mandated, paid leave benefit provided to eligible employees who need to be absent during assigned hours of service for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

The EPSL regulations and benefits are in effect from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

"EPSL is available for employees if the District has work available for an employee and that employee is unable to work or telework for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Employee is subject to a government (federal, state, local) quarantine or isolation order
  2. Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
  3. Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis
  4. Employee has a bona fide need to care for an individual who is subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider)
  5. Employee is caring for their son or daughter whose elementary/secondary school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable due to COVID-19
  6. Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar conditions as specified by Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Treasury and Labor"

All active District employees are eligible for EPSL benefits. Board of Education members and members of the Personnel Commission are not included in the definition of active District employees.

"EPSL Benefits are for a maximum of 2 workweeks regardless of the number of qualifying reasons.
EPSL benefits for employees do not accrue and are not available beyond a maximum of 80 hours and cannot be carried over.
Employees are not entitled to a bank of EPSL per qualifying-event, but rather one total bank of EPSL effective April 1, 2020 and expiring on December 31, 2020"

"EPSL Benefits are for a maximum of 2 workweeks paid at 100% of the employee’s daily assigned hours for qualifying reasons 1, 2, & 3.
EPSL paid at 100% is to a maximum of 80 hours over a two-week period. Employees regularly scheduled to work less than 40 hours per week will have EPSL hours available based on the average number of hours the employee works over a two-week period.

EPSL Benefits are for a maximum of 2 workweeks paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of the employee’s daily assigned hours for qualifying reasons 4, 5, & 6.
Employees may supplement an EPSL paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of their daily assigned hours with Personal Necessity, Kin Care and/or Vacation."

EPSL benefits are in addition to any other paid leave benefits provided by the District and supersede other leave forms available for use to employees for specified reasons.

EPSL is a paid benefit; which means an employee must be paid at either 100% of their daily assigned hours for qualifying reasons 1, 2, and/or 3 or at two-thirds (2/3rd) of their daily assigned hours for qualifying reasons 4, 5, and/or 6. However, an employee may choose to forego supplementing an EPSL paid at two-thirds (2/3) of their daily assigned hours with Personal Necessity, Kin Care and/or Vacation.

No, EPSL benefits cannot be granted retroactive or applicable before April 1, 2020.

"Your time reporter will report your time accordingly. For payroll purposes, the payroll codes are as follows:

EPSL (Self Only) Emergency Paid Self Leave for qualifying reasons 1, 2, and/or 3

EPFL (Varies) Emergency Paid Family Leave for qualifying reasons 4, 5, and/or 6

All active District employees are eligible for EPSL benefits, including classified and certificated substitutes.

As a paid benefit, EPSL protects an employee's District seniority, retirement benefits or other benefits that require employees to be in paid status. As a job-protected benefit, EPSL also protects an employee's health benefits.

"Employees may not take EPSL intermittently if the leave is taken for qualifying reasons 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6. Once the employee begins taking EPSL for one or more of such reasons, the employee must use the permitted days of leave consecutively until the employee no longer has a qualifying reason to take EPSL or leave entitlement exhausts.

EPSL taken for qualifying reason 5 which is to care for the employee’s son or daughter whose elementary/secondary school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions may be taken intermittently in any increment of time agreed by the Site Administrator/Supervisor and the employee."

Employees who request EPSL leave for any of the qualifying reasons must submit an Employee Certification (Form FFCRA-1), along with any required supporting documents, within 15 calendar days of the request.

Emergency Family And Medical Leave Expansion Act or FMLA+ is a federally mandated, paid leave benefit provided to eligible employees who need to be absent during assigned hours of service for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

The FMLA+ regulations and benefits are in effect from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

"FMLA+ is available for employees if the District has work available for an employee and that employee is unable to work or telework for one or more of the following reasons:
Employee is caring for their son or daughter whose elementary/secondary school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable due to COVID-19 related precautions"

All active District employees with not less than 30 days of service (on payroll) from leave start date are eligible for FMLA+ leave benefits. Board of Education members and members of the Personnel Commission are not included in the definition of active District employees.

"FMLA+ benefits are for a maximum of 12 workweeks regardless of the number of qualifying reasons or covered family members.
FMLA+ leave is included and not in addition to the 12 workweeks of entitlement for any other FMLA-qualifying leave reasons.
An employee who has otherwise exhausted FMLA leave during a 12-month period is not entitled to an additional 12 workweeks under FMLA+."

"The first two weeks of FMLA+ are unpaid.
Employees may substitute EPSL benefits paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of the employee's daily assigned hours OR Personal Necessity, Kin Care, and/or Vacation for the first 2 weeks of unpaid FMLA+.

10 workweeks (weeks 3 - 12) are paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of the employee's daily assigned hours.

Employees may supplement an EPSL and/or FMLA+ benefit paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of the employee's daily assigned hours with Personal Necessity, Kin Care and/or Vacation."

FMLA+ benefits are in addition to any other paid leave benefits provided by the District and supersede other leave forms available for use to employees for specified reasons.

"FMLA+ is a paid benefit; which means an employee must be paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of their daily assigned hours for workweeks 3 - 12.
However, an employee may choose to forego substituting EPSL paid at two-thirds (2/3rd) of their daily assigned hours OR Personal Necessity, Kin Care and/or Vacation for unpaid FMLA+.
An employee may also forego supplementing an FMLA+ paid at two-thirds (2/3) of their daily assigned hours with Personal Necessity, Kin Care and/or Vacation."

No, FMLA+ benefits cannot be granted retroactive or applicable before April 1, 2020.

"Your time reporter will report your time accordingly. For payroll purposes, the payroll codes are as follows:

FMSL (Childcare Leave Only) Family Medical Sick Leave

FMUP (Varies) Family Medical Unpaid"

All active District employees with not less than 30 days of service (on payroll) from leave start date are eligible for FMLA+ leave benefits, including classified and certificated substitutes.

The paid portion of FMLA+ benefits protect an employee's District seniority, retirement benefits or other benefits that require employees to be in paid status. As a job-protected benefit, FMLA+ also protects an employee's health benefits.

FMLA+ taken to care for the employee’s son or daughter whose elementary/secondary school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions may be taken intermittently in any increment of time agreed by the Site Administrator/Supervisor and the employee.

Employees who request FMLA+ leave must submit an Employee Certification (Form FFCRA-1), along with any required supporting documents, within 15 calendar days of the request.

A Child Care Provider is defined as a center-based childcare provider, a group home childcare provider, a family childcare provider, or other provider of childcare services for compensation that is licensed and/or an uncompensated, unlicensed family member or friend, such as a neighbor, who regularly cares for the employee’s child.

A Place of Care is defined as a physical location in which care is provided for the employee’s child while the employee works for the District, including day care facilities, preschools, before and after school care programs, schools, homes, summer camps, summer enrichment programs, and respite care programs.

An Elementary and Secondary School is defined as a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary or secondary charter school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law, except that the term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

For the purposes of EPSL, Subject to a Quarantine or Isolation Order is defined as a quarantine, isolation, containment, shelter-in-place, or stay-at-home order issued by any Federal, State, or local government authority that cause the employee to be unable to work (or telework) even though the District has work that the employee could perform but for the order. Included are certain members of the community (e.g., of certain age ranges or of certain medical conditions) advised by government to shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, isolate, or quarantine, causing those categories of employees to be unable to work (or telework) even though the District has work for them.