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FMLA Overview

We understand that sometimes you face health and family challenges outside of work. There may be times that you need to take time off from work to deal with those challenges. 

FMLA is a federal law that gives eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of leave without losing their jobs.  We use a fixed 12-month period to determine your FMLA balance.  Your time off or leave of absence may be taken as a single block of time or, when medically necessary, on an intermittent basis or as a reduced work schedule.  FMLA does not require that the leave be paid.  For School System Employees, leave will be paid if the employee has paid leave available (i.e. annual/sick/personal etc.).  FMLA and paid leave run concurrently.

What is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law, 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 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 Alexander County School 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 School System can make the appropriate determination.

What FMLA is not

FMLA is not a type of accrued time off. You do not accrue FMLA leave or choose when to use it, like you do with vacation or sick time off. If your absence meets the criteria for FMLA-coverage, it will be designated as FMLA, even if you are using accrued paid time off.

FMLA - Paid or Unpaid

  • FMLA  provides job protection, not paid leave
  • If the employee has paid leave available, it runs concurrently with FMLA leave
  • Board Policy requires that employees use applicable paid leave while on FMLA, to the extent they have paid leave available.


Am I Eligible?

Based on federal requirements, we use a two-question assessment to determine whether you are eligible for FMLA protection.

Question 1: Have you worked for Alexander County School System for at least 12 months as of the start date of your requested time off or leave of absence?

There is a 12-month requirement working for the School System.

Question 2: Have you worked for Alexander County School System for at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to your first day of leave?

The 1250 hours must be actual worked hours.


If the answer is “yes” to those two questions, you qualify for FMLA coverage, as long as:

  • Your absence is for an FMLA-qualifying reason
  • You haven’t already used up your 12-week entitlement (as of the start date of your leave of absence)
Not Eligible

If the answer is “no” to either or both questions, you do not qualify for FMLA-coverage for this particular leave of absence.  Your FMLA eligibility status can change over time. If you were denied FMLA coverage because you haven’t worked at the School System long enough or have used up your leave entitlement for the 12-month period, you may be eligible when you need leave at a later date.

Requesting FMLA leave

When to notify

Give at least 30 days’ notice, if you know in advance of your need for a leave of absence.

If you learn of your need for time off or a leave of absence less than 30 days ahead of time, request it as soon as you are able.

Contact Becky Rosenberg in HR for FMLA Paperwork.  828-632-7001 ext 223