Leave & Time Off
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
- Maternity Leave
- Shared Leave
- Bereavement or Jury Duty
- SVEA Discretionary Personal Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that protects you from negative impacts to your job when you take time off or a leave of absence for any of the following reasons:
- A serious health condition, either yours or a family member’s
- Prenatal medical care or incapacity due to pregnancy and/or delivery
- Time to bond with your new baby or newly placed adopted or foster child
- Qualifying activities (exigencies) related to a family member’s military active duty
- A serious injury or illness of a family member who is a current member of the armed forces or a veteran
The District determines when to designate a leave as FMLA based on the facts of each individual situation. When we know facts that indicate your leave of absence might be covered under FMLA, we are required to inform you of your rights under this law. You are responsible for providing enough information so that the District can make the appropriate determination.
FMLA leave is unpaid unless an employee has accrued paid time off to remain in paid status. Employees taking FMLA may also qualify for Washington Paid Family and Medical leave (PFML). Review the PFML section further below for more information.
Applying for FMLA
If you believe you may qualify for FMLA, contact email@example.com.
We protect the confidentiality of your health information. You are not required to disclose your own or your family member’s medical diagnosis to your supervisor or colleagues. FMLA requires medical certification which is to be submitted directly to Human Resources, where it is kept confidential and not part of your employment history.
During your absence, we may ask that you update us periodically about your ability to return to work. If your need for a leave of absence changes significantly or is longer than anticipated, we may ask for an updated healthcare provider certification.
For more information on FMLA, please refer to the FMLA Poster.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave program is a mandatory statewide insurance program that provides paid family and medical leave to eligible employees. The program is administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program does not replace the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In many cases, PFML and FMLA will run at the same time.
When on Paid Family and Medical Leave, you are on unpaid status from the District.
To learn more about the eligibility criteria, what constitutes a qualifying event, estimate your payment, and to apply, please refer to the Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave website.
Notice to the District
Employees must provide at least 30-day notice to the District before the leave begins for a foreseeable event such as the birth or placement of a child or a planned surgery. If the need for leave is unforeseeable, like an accident or sudden illness, employees must provide notice as soon as practical. The employee must inform the District as soon as practical if dates of the leave change, are extended, or were initially unknown. The notice must contain the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. For intermittent leaves, the notice must also include the anticipated frequency of the leave.
Requesting a Leave of Absence
Filing a PFML claim with the State is a separate process from applying for a leave of absence with the District. When an employee files a PFML claim, the employee must also request a leave of absence from the District or already be on an approved leave. To request a leave of absence from the District, please visit our HR Forms webpage and complete the Leave of Absence Request form.
For introductory information about PFML, please refer to the PFML Poster.
Board Policy 5404 allows a staff member to “use accumulated, paid sick leave for the period of actual disability attributable to pregnancy or childbirth. This period of disability shall extend from the date of birth for a period of not more than 60 days, unless an actual period of disability which begins prior to the date of birth or continues beyond 60 days is otherwise verified by the employee’s physician.”
To calculate how this policy applies to you, use a calendar and indicate the expected date of birth as Day 1, then count a total of 60 calendar days. Any workdays that fall within those 60 calendar days may be taken as sick leave if you have the sick leave balance to cover those days. An example calendar can be found here. Your FMLA eligibility begins on the first work day after the 60th day or when your sick leave runs out, whichever comes first.
Shared leave helps employees financially manage work absences caused by a severe, extraordinary, or life-threatening health crisis or other qualifying circumstances. The shared leave program is administered in a manner consistent with state law and is intended to extend leave benefits to an employee who would otherwise likely have to take leave without pay, or terminate their employment with the District.
Eligible employees may donate excess leave for use by an employee when the employee, or an employee’s relative or household member, is experiencing a qualifying condition.
Applying for Shared Leave
If you believe you may qualify for shared leave, contact Beth Porter, Executive Director of Human Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to discuss your unique situation.
To Donate Leave
When an employee requests shared leave, an email is sent to the employee’s work site or districtwide (at the employee’s discretion) notifying others of a need for shared leave. The reason for the shared leave is not stated and the appropriate form to donate leave is included in the notification. Employees receiving leave are not notified who the leave came from.
Please reference your Collective Bargaining Agreement posted on the District's Union Information webpage for specifics on bereavement or jury duty leave for your particular bargaining unit. You are able to enter your bereavement and jury duty leaves in Skyward. You will be required to submit evidence of jury duty service to Payroll.