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Maternity Leave Entitlements

Maternity leave entitlements run concurrently where applicable. Please refer to your union's collective bargaining agreement for specifics as employee entitlement options differ depending on bargaining groups.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Your maternity leave will be considered under the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (WLAD)This entitlement provides UNPAID job protection for the duration an employee is considered "disabled" while recovering from delivery. The length of this leave is determined by your healthcare provider and will be indicated on your Birth Documentation Form. Employees who are not eligible for FMLA or PFML will be entitled to this leave.

FMLA- Family Medical Leave Act


The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 60 workdays of unpaid leave each calendar year, and requires district health benefits to be maintained.

In order to be eligible to take leave under FMLA, an employee must: Please note these are the federal guidelines for eligible employees, your union's collective bargaining agreement may outline different guidelines for eligibility.

     • 
Work for a covered employer;
     • 
Have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave (Paid leave and unpaid leave, including FMLA             leave, are not included); and
     • 
Have worked for the employer for 12 months.

If there are two employees that are employed by the district they must "share" the 12 weeks. The FMLA guidelines outline that each employee does not receive 12 weeks, they must share for a total of 12 weeks all together.

Your Pay While on FMLA

You are able to apply your accrued leave hours such as sick and personal hours to remain in a paid status while using the FMLA entitlement. If your leave hours run out you will become unpaid at that point for the duration of your leave. 

You can elect to take this entitlement unpaid and not have any of your accrued hours applied. You will be responsible for paying your portion of your benefit premiums.

You can elect to participate in leave share. Donations are completely anonymous and are only applied once all accrued leave hour balances are exhausted. You can elect to reserve 40 hours of sick leave to remain in your leave balance for when you return from your leave. 

Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave-PFML

In order to be eligible to take leave under PFML, an employee must have worked a minimum of 820 hours in Washington over the last year. This is not a job protected entitlement. 


HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU GET?

     • Up to 12 weeks of medical leave or family leave. Medical leave is for recovering from or getting treatment for a serious health condition. Family leave is for taking care of a qualifying family member who has a serious health condition, for bonding with a new child or for certain military events.

     • Up to 16 weeks of combined medical and family leave if you have more than one qualifying event in the same claim year. This could include medical leave for giving birth, then family leave to bond with your baby. Or you could qualify for family leave to care for a family member, then medical leave for yourself within the same year.

     • Up to 18 weeks of combined medical and family leave if you experience a condition in pregnancy that results in incapacity, like being put on bed rest or having a complicated delivery. There is a checkbox on the Certification of Serious Health Condition form where your healthcare provider should certify that your serious health condition is related to pregnancy.

HOW DOES FMLA AND PFML WORK TOGETHER?

If you take PFML starting from delivery, your FMLA (if eligible) will run concurrently. If you use FMLA starting at delivery you can use your PFML later (within one calendar year from the date of delivery)

For example: If you deliver on February 1st and start PFML on February 1st, your FMLA will run concurrently and you will return to work in 12 weeks. If you start FMLA on February 1st, you can use up to 12 weeks (April 26th). You can then use PFML starting on April 26th (or later in the calendar year) for your 12 weeks of baby bonding (July 12th) for a total of 24 weeks of leave. You can choose to use your PFML later in the year instead of "staking" such as taking 12 weeks starting in October. 







PFML MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

*** If you work less than 260 days per year you are able to take your PFML during the summer while you are not working and could possibly get paid from the district and PFML simultaneously.***


You are able to claim with PFML during non-working days such as spring break and winter break. This will count against your entitlement
  time. For example: If you are out on PFML during winter break you can claim these two weeks and receive compensation from the state but, those two weeks count as part of your total 12 week entitlement.

HOW PFML IMPACTS YOUR BENEFITS

If you do not run FMLA concurrently or overlap your FMLA by one day you could be in danger of losing your benefits while on this entitlement.

If you do not supplement your leave hours while on PFML you could be in danger of losing your benefits. 

Choosing either to supplement your leave hours or overlapping your FMLA (or both) will protect your benefits. If your leave hours that you use to supplement with exhaust, you could be in danger of losing your benefits at that point for the duration of your leave. 


YOUR PAY WHILE ON PFMLA

Your earnings from the first date of your contract until the date that you begin your PFML entitlement will be calculated and if you have any "escrow" it will be paid out at that point. Your pay assignments will be completely shut off during your leave. Upon your return, your earnings will be calculated from your return date through the end of your contract. That amount will then be divided by the number of months left through August.


For example this is what it would look like for a Cert PEA who returns from PFML on December 21st :
180_Cert PEA Return from Leave of Absence Effective 12/1/2020
12/01/20 - 06/30/2021 = 122 days
(122 days X 7.5 hours X $43.40519 hourly rate) / 9 months (Dec-Aug) = $4,412.86 new monthly

What is pay supplement?
You have the choice to "supplement" your pay with your accrued leave hours. The compensation you receive from PFML may be less than your regular compensation with the district. You may elect to use any of your accrued leave hours to make up the difference. For example, if the state pays you $1000 each week and your normal wages with the district are $1500 each week, you can use your accrued leave hours such as sick or personal to make up the $500 difference. Supplemental pay is not reportable and will not impact your compensation from PFML. All calculations are made based on Gross Earnings. You will receive pay from both the state and from the district that will make you "whole" financially. If your leave hours become exhausted, you will continue to receive compensation from PFML but will no longer receive compensation from the district for the duration of your leave.

If you elect to supplement your accrued hours the following documentation is needed:
1. An approval letter from Employment Security Department showing your weekly benefit amount. You will receive this letter in the mail and you can also access it through your account with ESD.

2. Weekly screenshots of the deposit from ESD that shows the amount and the date. You will send this in each week while on your leave. You will need to indicate the date range the payment is for as there may be a delay in pay from the ESD. 

Please visit https://paidleave.wa.gov/find-out-how-paid-leave-works/ to learn more.


General Leave of Absence

Eligibility and guidelines for this depends on your union's CBA. Please refer to your CBA for more information regarding this entitlement.

Leave Share

Employees that run out of accrued leave hours may participate in leave share. You must be completely out of your own accrued leave hours before leave share donations can be applied. You do have the option to reserve 40 hours of sick leave hours for when you return from your leave. Donations are not guaranteed and are completely anonymous.