The district will administer leave that qualifies for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
protection in accordance with federal law. This policy is intended for guidance and shall not be
interpreted to expand the district's responsibilities beyond the requirements of the law. For
employees who are not eligible for FMLA leave, including employees who have exhausted available
FMLA-protected leave, requests for leave shall proceed according to the district's established
An employee who returns to work for at least 30 calendar days is considered to have “returned” to
work. An employee who transfers directly from taking FMLA leave to retirement, or who retires
during the first 30 days after the employee returns to work, is deemed to have returned to work.
The following definitions apply to FMLA leave:
Covered Active Duty – 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. 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 in accordance with
Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard.
Child – A biological, adopted or foster child; a stepchild; a legal ward; or a child of a person acting
as a parent if the child is under 18 or 18 or over but incapable of self-care due to mental or physical
disability at the time that FMLA leave is to commence. For the qualifying exigency leave and
military caregiver leave only, the age of the child does not matter.
Covered Servicemember (for qualifying exigency leave) – The employee's spouse, child or parent
under a federal call or order to covered active duty.
Covered Servicemember (for military caregiver leave) – The employee's spouse, child, parent or next
of kin who is 1) a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or
Reserves) who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient
status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness; or 2) a
veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, for a serious injury or illness
and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or
Reserves) at any time during the period of five (5) years preceding the date on which the veteran
undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation or therapy.
Instructional Employees – Employees whose principal function is to teach and instruct students in
a class, a small group or an individual setting. This term includes athletic coaches, driving
instructors and special education assistants such as signers for the hearing impaired. It does not
include teachers' assistants or aides who do not have as their principal job actual teaching or
instructing, nor does it include auxiliary personnel such as counselors, psychologists or curriculum
specialists. It also does not include cafeteria workers, maintenance workers or bus drivers.
Next of Kin – For the purposes of military caregiver leave, the nearest blood relative other than a
spouse, parent, son or daughter, in order of priority as established by 29 C.F.R. § 825.127.
Outpatient Status – Covered servicemember assigned to a military medical treatment facility or a
unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the armed forces
Parent – The biological, adoptive, stepparent or foster parent of a "child" as defined in this policy.
Qualifying Exigency – Issues that arise due to covered active duty or a call to covered active duty of
an employee's spouse, child or parent, including issues involved with short-notice deployment,
military events and related activities, childcare and school activities, the need for financial and legal
arrangements, counseling, rest and recuperation, post-deployment activities, and other activities as
defined by 29 C.F.R. § 825.126.
Serious Health Condition – Illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves
inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical facility or continuing treatment by a health
Serious Illness or Injury (for military caregiver leave) – 1) An injury or illness incurred in the line
of duty on active duty in the armed forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, or that existed
before the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty,
that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member's office, grade, rank
or rating; and 2) in the case of a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces (including the
National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of five (5) years preceding the date on
which the veteran undergoes medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, an injury or illness that was
incurred by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces, or that existed before
the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty, and that
manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.
Spouse – Husband or wife as defined or recognized under the state law in the state in which the
Uniformed Services – The armed forces, the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
Veteran – A person who served in the active military, naval or air service and who was discharged
or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
To be eligible for FMLA leave benefits, the employee must:
1. Have been employed in the district for at least 12 months (but not necessarily consecutively).
2. Have been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period
immediately preceding the leave.
3. Be employed at a worksite where 50 or more employees are employed by the district within
75 miles of that worksite.
An absence may qualify for FMLA protection if it is for one (1) of the following reasons:
1. Birth and first-year care of the employee’s child.
2. Adoption or foster placement of a child with the employee.
3. Serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform one (1)
or more of the essential functions of his or her job or the serious health condition of the
employee’s spouse, child or parent.
4. Care of a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a covered servicemember with a serious
illness or injury (military caregiver leave).
5. A qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, child or parent of the employee
is on covered active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active
duty, in the armed forces.
Notice to Employees
The district will post notice to employees explaining FMLA benefits in accordance with law. If the
district employs 50 or more employees, it will include FMLA notice in an employee handbook or
other written guidance to employees concerning employee benefits or leave rights, or by distributing
a copy of the general notice to each new employee upon hiring. Notice may be provided
electronically in accordance with law.
Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities Notices
Absent extenuating circumstances, the district will provide the employee notice of the employee's
eligibility to take FMLA leave and the rights and responsibilities of the employee within five (5)
days of the request for leave or acquiring knowledge that an employee's leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason. Such notice will be provided at the commencement of the first instance of leave
for each FMLA-qualifying reason in the applicable 12-month period, and no subsequent notice is
required in the 12-month period unless leave is taken for a different qualifying reason or the
employee's eligibility status has changed.
When the district has enough information to determine whether the leave is being taken for an
FMLA-qualifying reason, the district will notify the employee in writing whether the leave will be
counted as FMLA leave within five (5) business days, absent extenuating circumstances. The district
will notify the employee whether a fitness-for-duty certification is required before returning to work
and, if required, include a list of the essential functions of the employee's position. The district will
notify the employee of the number of hours, days or weeks that will be counted against the
employee's FMLA leave entitlement, if known. The district may designate leave as FMLA leave
retroactively if the retroactive designation will not cause harm or injury to the employee.
Employee Notice to the District
Employees must notify the district of the need for leave and explain the reasons for the leave so the
district can determine whether the leave qualifies for FMLA. The leaves may be delayed or denied
if the employee fails to give such notice.
In all cases of foreseeable leave, the employee must provide notice to the superintendent or designee
of the reasons for the leave, the anticipated duration of the leave and the anticipated start of the leave,
in the same manner that is required under the district's leave policies. If an employee fails to provide
the required notice, the district may delay or deny the FMLA-protected leave.
When the approximate timing of the need for leave is not foreseeable, an employee must provide
notice to the district as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular case,
in the same manner that notice is required under the district's leave policies. The employee or the
employee's spokesperson, if necessary, shall provide sufficient information for the district to
reasonably determine whether the FMLA may apply to the leave request.
If the leave is for a qualifying exigency, an employee must provide notice as soon as practicable,
regardless of how far in advance the leave is foreseeable. For all other qualifying reasons, an
employee must provide 30 days' notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need for leave is
foreseeable. When 30 days' notice is unforeseeable or impractical, the employee must provide notice
as soon as practicable. If fewer than 30 days' notice is given, the employee shall explain upon
request why such notice was not practicable. "As soon as practicable" means as soon as both
possible and practical under all the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
For all FMLA purposes except military caregiver leave, the district adopts a 12-month leave year
calculated on the basis of a rolling 12-month period. The 12-month period is measured backwards
from the last date an employee uses FMLA leave.
1. All eligible employees are entitled to leave for a period not to exceed 12 workweeks per
leave year for:
► The birth and first-year care of the employee's child.
► The adoption or foster placement of a child with the employee.
► A serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to
perform one (1) or more of the essential functions of his or her job or the serious
health condition of the employee's spouse, child or parent.
► A qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, child or parent of the
employee is on covered active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or
order to covered active duty, in the armed forces. The amount of leave available for
a particular type of qualifying exigency may be limited by law.
2. The FMLA leave year for military caregiver leave begins on the first day that such leave is
taken and runs for the following 12 months. All eligible employees are entitled to military
caregiver leave for a period not to exceed 26 workweeks of leave per single 12-month period
for the care of a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a covered servicemember.
Twenty-six weeks of leave are available per covered servicemember, per injury/illness;
however, no more than 26 weeks of leave may be used during each single 12-month period.
3. During the 12-month duration of military caregiver leave, an employee is limited to a total
of 26 weeks of leave for all combined FMLA reasons; with a 26-week limit on military
caregiver leave and a 12-week limit for birth, adoption and serious health condition of the
employee or the employee's spouse, child or parent. For example, an employee could take
16 weeks of military caregiver leave and still have ten (10) weeks available for the birth of
a child. However, an employee who used ten (10) weeks of military caregiver leave could
not take 14 weeks for the birth of a child because that exceeds the 12 weeks allowed for such
leave. Leave that qualifies as both military caregiver leave and leave for the serious health
condition of a parent, spouse or child will be designated first as military caregiver leave.
4. When a husband and wife entitled to FMLA leave are both employed by the district and both
wish to use FMLA leave for the same qualifying event, both employees will be limited to an
aggregate total of 12 workweeks during a 12-month period in cases where the leave is taken
for the birth or first-year care of the employees' child, adoption or foster placement of a child
with the employees, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition. However, where
the husband and wife both use a portion of the total 12-week FMLA leave entitlement for the
same qualifying event, the husband and wife would each be entitled to the difference between
the amount he or she has taken individually and 12 weeks for another qualifying purpose.
When a husband and wife are both employed by the district and both wish to use military
caregiver leave or a combination of military caregiver leave and leave for the birth or first-year care of their child, adoption or foster placement of a child with the employees, or to care
for a parent with a serious health condition, both employees will be limited to an aggregate
total of 26 workweeks of leave.
5. The district shall apply all appropriate paid leave to an FMLA absence to the extent allowed
by law and policy, giving proper notice to the employee. If an employee’s accrued paid leave
is exhausted, but an FMLA-qualifying reason for absence persists or a new FMLA-qualifying
reason for absence occurs, the resulting absences will continue to be protected FMLA leave
until allowable FMLA leave has been used, but such absences will be unpaid.
6. When an employee has an absence that meets the criteria to be an FMLA-qualified absence,
the district will designate such absence as part of the employee’s total annual FMLA
entitlement, even if the employee has not requested FMLA leave and/or is absent under paid
or unpaid leave in accordance with law or district policy. If an employee is on a Workers’
Compensation absence due to an injury or illness that would also qualify as a serious health
condition under the FMLA, the same absence will also be designated as an FMLA-qualifying
absence and charged against the employee’s FMLA-protected time entitlement.
7. FMLA leave may be taken intermittently as required for the health of the employee or family
member or as reduced-schedule leave in increments used by the employer to account for use
of other leaves, provided that it is not greater than one (1) hour and provided that the FMLA
entitlement is not reduced by more than the amount of leave actually taken. Instructional
employees may take intermittent or reduced-schedule leave to be with a healthy newborn
only when the district and the employee have reached agreement for how the leave will be
8. The district reserves the right to require adequate certification and recertification of any
FMLA-qualifying event or condition of the employee or employee’s spouse, child, parent or
next of kin and authentication or clarification of such certification as the district deems
necessary. Failure to provide such certification when requested will result in denial of the
leave, and may result in discipline or termination of employment. Employees on FMLA-designated leave must periodically report on their status and intent to return to work. The
district will also require that an employee present a certification of fitness to return to work.
If intermittent leave or reduced-schedule leave equals more than 20 percent of instructional time, the
district may require instructional employees who take such leave due to medical reasons to take
block leave or to find an alternative placement for the period of planned medical treatment. When
an instructional employee on FMLA leave is scheduled to return close to the end of a school term,
the district may elect to use a special rule to prolong the employee’s leave until the beginning of the
next school term, thus extending the leave beyond the period where an FMLA-qualifying reason
exists. In such an instance, the prolonged leave time is unpaid and is not charged against the
employee’s annual FMLA entitlement. In cases where the special rules for instructional employees
apply, the superintendent may apply those special rules or the general FMLA rules as best serves the
interest of the district.
The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the
start of the employee's leave. Eligible employees who are absent for an FMLA-qualifying reason
generally may return to the same position or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and
working conditions at the conclusion of the leave, in accordance with law. Eligible employees are
entitled to continued participation in the district’s health plan as long as they are entitled to FMLA
leave protection; however, an employee who fails to return to work after the expiration of his or her
allowed leave time will be expected to reimburse the district for those benefits paid, as required by
The FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of any
right provided under the FMLA. Additionally, it is unlawful for any employer to discharge or
discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for
involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the FMLA.
The superintendent or designee will ensure that personnel records regarding FMLA eligibility and
leave are maintained in accordance with law and available for inspection, copying and transcription
by representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor upon request.
The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of violation of the
FMLA. An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations. For
additional information, contact the nearest office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour
* * * * * * *
Note: The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section
for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for
Cross Refs: DLB, Salary Deductions
Legal Refs: Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2611-2619
10 U.S.C. § 101 (a) (13)
29 C.F.R. §§ 825.100 - 825.702
North Kansas City School District, Kansas City, Missouri
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