The FMLA provided up to 12 weeks of leave per year and can be used to care for a parent with a serious health condition. Your contract extends eldercare to up to 90 days. So your contract is actually more generous in terms of total number of days.
- FMLA leave can be taken in chunks as needed. So if a teacher needed to take 6 weeks because of a parent’s serious health condition, but then a sibling was able to stay with the parent for the next 4 weeks and so the teacher returned to work, the teacher would still have an additional 6 weeks to take as needed. So, yes, under the FMLA the leave time can be broken up. But, again, FMLA only provides 12 weeks.
- Your contract states: “3. Such leave can range in length from five (5) to ninety (90) school days, and may be designated as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to the extent permitted by law. If conditions warrant a leave beyond the length in the initial application/notification, the teacher may apply for an extension, which may but need not be granted.”
- So under the contract, a teacher could get up to 90 days, but it does not guarantee that a teacher can break up that time in blocks.
- The language is that a teacher can apply for an extension beyond the length of the initial application, but it need not be granted. So if the teacher only requests 6 weeks and then decides to request the rest of the 90 days later, the contract language appears to suggest that the district could deny the request for the extension. However, under FMLA, the teacher would be able to get the other 6 weeks of remaining FMLA time. So the complicated answer is that a teacher would be able to take the time guaranteed by FMLA leave as needed for qualifying FMLA reasons, but would not be guaranteed the extra time that your contract provides if it wasn’t granted in the initial application