- If you have sick leave available, AACPS allows you to utilize a portion of your own paid sick leave in order to take care of a relative with a serious medical condition.
- If you do not have sick leave available, or do not wish to utilize your sick leave to take care of your relative, you may be eligible for up to 60 days of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Eligibility is determined by an employee’s negotiated agreement and/or federal law.
If you anticipate that you will need to be absent from work for more than three days to care for an ill relative, you must notify your supervisor as soon as possible. You should also notify the Office of Integrated Disability and Leave Management. This will allow your work location to plan appropriately for your absence, and ensure that you have submitted any required documentation to have your absences coded appropriately.
You may use FMLA to care for your spouse, child, or parent. Depending on your negotiated agreement, you may be permitted to utilize FMLA for other relatives, such as siblings and in-laws.
Your family member must have a “serious” health condition in order for you to be eligible for FMLA. A serious health condition requires either:
- Overnight stay in a hospital; OR
- Continuing treatment by a health care provider, for a condition that prevents the family member from participating in school or other daily activities.
- Continuing treatment = at least 3 consecutive days of incapacity + two visits to a health care provider
- Continuing treatment = one visit to a health care provider + a regimen of continuing treatment
- Continuing treatment = incapacity due to a chronic condition
If you have exhausted your paid and unpaid leave options, and still need to be absent from work to care for a relative, you may consult the Office of Integrated Disability and Leave Management to determine whether you are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence. If you are in a bargaining unit, your eligibility is determined by the terms of your negotiated agreement. Note that if you elect to take a leave of absence, you are responsible for the full cost of your employee benefits, including your health care.
Yes, you must present a note from your relative’s doctor indicating the reason for your absence in order to have your absence excused as sick leave. You may return to work without the note; however, you may accrue “lost time” for your absences. Lost time is an unauthorized absence from work. Accrual of lost time may result in disciplinary action.
If you will be absent for fewer than three days, no documentation is required.
If you will be absent for more than three consecutive days, you must provide documentation from a physician, attesting to your relative’s illness. If you anticipate that you will be continuously or intermittently absent because your family member has a “serious” illness of unexpected duration, or is receiving ongoing medical treatment, you may be asked to have your relative’s physician complete FMLA paperwork. This serves as appropriate documentation of your need to be absent. In addition, if you exhaust your paid leave, it ensures a smooth transition to unpaid leave.
Any medical documentation pertaining to your absence to take care of your relative may be provided to your timekeeper, supervisor, or directly to the Office of Integrated Disability and Leave Management.