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FMLA FAQ's
Q. How often may my employer ask for medical certifications for an on-going serious health condition?
 
A.  The FMLA regulations allow recertification no more often than every 30 days in connection with an absence by the employee unless the condition will last for more than 30 days. If the District has received notification of a condition that will last more than 30 days, the recertification will generally wait until the documented recovery time has commenced. In all cases, the District may request recertification every six months in connection with any medically related absence. The regulations also allow the District to request recertification in less than 30 days if the employee requests an extension of leave, the circumstances described in the previous certification have changed significantly, or if the employer receives information that casts doubt upon the employee’s stated reason for the absence or the continuing validity of the certification.     
 
Q.  Can the District require employees to submit a fit-for-duty certification before returning to work from a medical leave? 
 
A.  Yes.  As a condition of restoring an employee who has been off work due to an extended medical leave, the District must have time to review all conditions of the return. If the employee is unable to return to full duty, there may be specific restrictions that require accommodations.  All documented restrictions must be reviewed for the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of their job. If you are returning to work from a medical leave of absence with restrictions, please ask your doctor to fax a note that describes your restrictions and the anticipated recovery time to 253-841-8650. The Human Resources Leave and Accommodations Coordinator will be in contact with you to discuss next steps. 

Q. After I submit my FMLA forms to the District, will I receive an approval notification before I can take the leave?


A. The District assumes the FMLA designation from the time FMLA forms have been given to the employee. An employee should expect to receive notification within 10 days of missing paperwork, insufficient medical information or FMLA denial. In some cases, the FMLA leave may begin before the FMLA forms are submitted. The employee has 15 days from the date of leave request before they are required to provide the FMLA documentation. The District may also accept doctor's notes or doctor's letters in place of the FMLA forms. In all cases, the District will provide the employee with written communication via email or letter, to notify the employee of FMLA designation.

Q. If I need the full twelve weeks of FMLA, does the District count non-work days as part of my full entitlement?

A. No, the District does not count 12 physical weeks of a recovery. We begin your FMLA on the first missed work day and count through until we reach 60 working days. A full FMLA entitlement would be 5 days a week for 12 weeks or 60 working days.  

Q. What if my doctor releases me to return to work, but I am still taking prescribed medication that I feel may hinder my performance at work?


A. All employees should refer to the District's Drug-Free board policy. We understand that prescribed medications are a part of a medically related recovery. If you have concerns with the affects of medication and/or do not feel at ease about your return, we encourage employees to remain off work until you can return safely. The District's primary concern is always the safety of staff and students.   

Q. What if I don't qualify for the Family Medical Leave, are their any other leave options available for me?

A. All employees are encouraged to review leave options within their collective bargaining agreements. All leaves other than FMLA must be reviewed by the Human Resources Leave and Accommodations Coordinator in advance. Please send an email with your requested dates, the purpose of your leave of absence from work and reference to the leave provision you would like to request. This information will be routed to the appropriate person in HR for further review and processing.