FMLA rules from CEA Nov 2019

see also COBRA for medical insurance if you are taking an unpaid maternity leave.

Westport falls under federal rather than state law is because under CT statutes, Chapter 557, Sec. 31-51kk (the CT FMLA provision), paragraph 4 defines an employer within the provision and specifically excludes local boards of education among others. So what an employee qualifies for under federal law applies, but state FMLA provisions do not.

Basically pregnant teachers will get 6 weeks (30 days) of paid sick leave..if they have it available..for a normal delivery. It starts on the day of delivery or day they go out right before the birth. If there is a c-section, they can get 8 weeks paid. Starting at the same time as the birth is the FMLA leave. The first 6 weeks is paid and then teachers have an option of taking the second 6 weeks unpaid. Teacher would return to their job to finish out the year.

The teacher would continue their health insurance benefits during the unpaid FMLA time by paying their normal payroll contributions in the form of a check ..or payroll will arrange to have it taken out of the payroll by adding extra payments, before or after the birth.

Last option would be to take the rest of the year after the FMLA leave ends. They should notify the district 30 days before the birth if this is what they intend to do so that the district can find a long term sub. The time after the FMLA would be unpaid and they would be responsible for the full BOE price of the insurance. They would be entitled to a job the following year but there is no guarantee that they would be back in the same exact position or school.

Under the federal law:

  • a teacher gets 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth.  The time is counted in weeks, not days.
  • Those weeks that are partial weeks (e.g. Thanksgiving week) still count as a full week against the 12 FMLA weeks.
  • Those weeks that school is closed for the full week or longer (e.g. April vacation, summer vacation, etc.) do NOT count against the 12 weeks.
    • So if a teacher has a baby a couple of weeks before April vacation, s/he would get to be out for 13 weeks since the April vacation week wouldn’t count.
  • For the period of time that the teacher is certified by her doctor as disabled (generally about 6 weeks for regular childbirth and about 8 weeks for c-section, but could be longer if there are complications such as needs bed-rest before childbirth), the teacher gets to use sick days to get paid.
  • The disability period when the teacher is paid is also counted against the FMLA time.
  • So usually a teacher ends up with about 6 weeks of paid time (if she gives birth while school is in session) and 6 weeks unpaid.
  • If she gives birth at the beginning of summer vacation, then she will no longer be disabled when school starts in the fall and the entire 12 weeks would be unpaid if she chooses to stay out for the entire 12 weeks.

Note: if there is a snow day or vacation during the time a teacher is out on 6 or 8 week maternity leave, the days will not count against the sick leave balance but will still be counted as part of the 6/8 weeks of paid maternity leave.

If a teacher runs out of paid sick days but still has not used the full 6/8 weeks of paid leave time, they can take advantage of the bucket day clause of our contract.

After expiration of accumulated sick leave, the teacher will receive additional days with pay, according to the following schedule. Each teacher will be entitled to up to a total of ninety (90) additional days during his or her employment by the Board.

  • 4th through 5th year of teaching in Westport – 30 days
  • 6th through 10th year of teaching in Westport – 60 days
  • Over 10 years of teaching in Westport – 90 days

During this time the teacher shall receive the difference between his/her per diem contract salary and the current per diem beginning substitute teacher’s rate. This is computed at the rate of $90/day.