Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The FMLA is a federal law that entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. A staff member shall become eligible for FMLA leave after he/she has been employed at least twelve months in this district and employed for at least 1250 hours of service during the twelve-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave. Eligible employees are entitled to twelve work weeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
- The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
- The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
- To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
- Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
- Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
In order to take leave as described above, please complete one of the two forms listed below. Please be sure to include all required documentation and then send to Diana McClan in the Human Resources office.
Forms for FMLA (available in the staff handbook, the district website, and the Federal Department of Labor website):
While you are on unpaid leave you are still responsible to pay your health care contributions. Contact Peggy Thompson, Health Benefits Coordinator, at extension 2015 prior to the start of your leave of absence to arrange your payroll deduction for health care benefits.
New Jersey Family Leave Act
Another leave available to eligible employees is the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJ FLA). One key difference between FMLA and NJFLA is that the New Jersey Family Leave Act does not provide protected time for the employee’s own illness or medical condition, while FMLA does. A staff member shall become eligible for NJFLA leave after he/she has been employed at least twelve months in this district for not less than 1,000 base hours,
excluding overtime, during the immediate preceding twelve month period. The NJFLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of protected leave in a 24 month period for:
- Bonding with a new child through birth, adoption or foster care placement
- Caring for a family member with a serious illness, injury or health condition
New Jersey Family Leave (NJFLA) which runs concurrently with FMLA, has an insurance benefits program which may provide covered individuals Family Leave Insurance benefits - a monetary benefit that may be available to you by filing a claim with the State of New Jersey. It is not a leave entitlement available through the Board of Education. If you wish to apply for Family Leave Insurance (FLI) benefits during your unpaid FMLA/NJFLA leave, please do the following:
1. OPTIONAL - Request to meet with the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Michael Volpe, to learn all of your options pertaining to family leave.
2. When you have an understanding of your leave options, complete the district leave form, requesting said time off. You will need to include your specific dates. Please contact Maria Hernandez in the Office of Human Resources if you do not have access to this form.
3. After corresponding, contact and/or meet with Lucy Del Buono, Manager of Human Resources and Information Systems Specialist, to confirm the dates in your letter and create your leave calendar.
Completing the above will then lead to the following:
1. Your leave will be placed on an upcoming Board agenda.
2. Once your unpaid NJFLA starts, you will be mailed all NJFLA forms at your home through certified mail, with Section D prefilled by Diana McClan, Human Resources Secretary/Community Relations Assistant.
3. Please note that all employees are encouraged to file their NJFLA paperwork online for easier access and quicker results. Click here to file online.
While you are on unpaid leave you are still responsible to pay your health care contributions. Contact Christine Kent-Sharma, Health Benefits Coordinator, at extension 2015 prior to the start of your leave of absence to arrange your payroll deduction for health care benefits.
1. I scheduled my days, now but need to change them. What do I do?
Email Michael Volpe with the request of the changed dates. You will then rework your leave calendar with Lucy Del Buono and paperwork will be sent to your home with changed dates.
2. I received my forms and the dates are wrong. What do I do?
Contact Hayley Schnyderite and inform her of the discrepancy. Paperwork will be changed and resent to your home.
3. I received all my paperwork, handed it into the state and was denied. What do I do?
First, contact the state. If the state says there is an issue on the employer’s part of the form, contact Hayley Schnyderite. However, please remember that this is a state benefit, not a benefit from the district. While we can help with communication and errors on our end if that happens, we cannot advocate or overrule a state determination.
4. I received the paperwork in the mail but would like to do my forms online to expedite the process. Can I do it online or do I have to wait for the paperwork?
You can complete the forms online. Section D will be emailed to Diana McClan and she will fill it out online as well.