My spouse, parent, or child has a serious illness and I need to be off work for a time to care for them. What do I do?
You should complete a Leave of Absence Request form, available on the BFT website, and scan it into an email to Glendaly Gascot-Rios, Director of Personnel. We do not recommend using district mail to send a Leave of Absence Request form. You will need to have your physician complete Section II of the form. MAKE SURE you keep a copy of your Leave Request form. If you have not already, you should discuss your need for leave with your principal or vice principal. You do not need complete the Administrator Section of the Leave Request form for FMLA leave.
IMPORTANT: See third question, below, about compensation while on FMLA leave.
When am I eligible for FMLA leave?
To be eligible you must have worked for BUSD for at least 12 months. FMLA leave can be used to care for employees’ own parent (including individuals who exercise parental responsibility under state law), child under 18 or dependent adult child, or spouse. FMLA leave is allowed in cases of “Serious Health Conditions,” defined as “illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition involving incapacity or treatment.”
How much leave can I take under FMLA? How much will I be paid during my leave?
According to state law, employees can take up to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period. Employees may use paid sick leave for FMLA leave with a doctor’s note stating that you are not medically well to perform your duties due to the impact the caregiving responsibilities are having on your own well-being.
Also note that BFT members are entitled to 9 days of personal leave in one school year. “Serious or critical illness of a member of the immediate family” is one of the acceptable reasons for taking personal leave per Article 12.6 of the BFT/BUSD contract.
How can I find out how much sick leave I have?
To determine your current sick leave balance, BFT recommends an email to Glendaly Gascot-Rios, Director of Personnel, requesting confirmation of your current sick leave balance. The balance listed on your most recent paycheck stub may not be correct. BFT members are entitled to 11 sick days per year for a full-time employee—this number is prorated for employees working part time. The days for the current school year are ‘loaded’ in September and should appear as part of the balance listed on your September paycheck stub. In addition, if you have worked in another California school district before BUSD, your accumulated sick leave should have been transferred to BUSD.
Can colleagues donate sick days to me?
If you are a member of the BFT/BUSD Sick Leave Bank, you should contact BFT about this question. If you are not a member of the Sick Leave Bank, unfortunately colleagues cannot donate days.
What happens to my benefits while I’m on FMLA leave?
If you are on any approved leave, including FMLA leave, your benefits continue unchanged.
Is my job secure while I’m on FMLA leave?
Absolutely. Employees have very clear reinstatement rights under FMLA.
What do I do if the person I’m caring for has a relapse?
Intermittent leave is permitted under FMLA within the bounds of the 12 weeks per 12-month period. It’s possible that you may need to submit new documentation for each instance of necessary leave.
During FMLA leave am I responsible for lesson plans, report cards, etc?
No. While you are on FMLA leave you have no responsibilities for your classes or for lesson plans, grading, or report cards.
Whose job is it to secure a sub for me while I’m on leave?
This is the job of your principal and BUSD Human Resources, but some teachers do assist with this process before they go on leave.
I have child care responsibilities during the school closure time period. What are my options?
The Federal government has adjusted FMLA policies to include child care during school closures. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows an employee to get up to 2/3 pay to a max of $200 a day for up to 12 weeks as part of FMLA leave. You can use your sick leave to make up the difference. You can find the district forms here. If you plan on using this type of leave, please notify BFT at firstname.lastname@example.org.