The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Frequently Asked Questions


    1. How much leave am I entitled to under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

    A: If you are an"FMLA-eligible" employee, you are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for certain family and medical reasons during a 12-month period.  Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

    2. How much notice must an employee give before taking FMLA leave?


    A. When the need for leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care, or planned medical treatment, an employee must give at least 30 days notice.  If 30 days notice is not possible, an employee is required to provide notice “as soon as practicable.” The regulations clarify that it should be practicable for an employee to provide notice of the need for leave that is foreseeable either the same day or the next business day.


    3. Does the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantee paid time off?

    A: No. The FMLA only requires unpaid leave. However, the law permits an employee to elect, or the employer to require the employee, to use accrued paid leave, such as vacation or sick leave, for some or all of the FMLA leave period. When paid leave is substituted for unpaid family medical leave, it may be counted against the 12-week FMLA leave entitlement if the employee is properly notified of the designation when the leave begins.

    4. Can the employer count leave taken due to pregnancy complications against the 12 weeks of FMLA leave for the birth and care of my child?

    A: Yes. An eligible employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks of family medical leave in a 12-month period. If the employee has to use some of that leave for another reason, including a difficult pregnancy, it may be counted as part of the 12-week FMLA leave entitlement.

    5. Is an employee required to follow an employer’s normal call-in procedures when taking FMLA leave?


    A. Yes. Under the regulations, an employee must comply with an employer’s call-in procedures unless unusual circumstances prevent the employee from doing so (in which case the employee must provide notice as soon as he or she can practicably do so).The regulations make clear that, if the employee fails to provide timely notice, he or she may have the FMLA leave request delayed or denied and may be subject to whatever discipline the employer’s rules provide.

    6. Who is considered an immediate "family member," under the Family and Medical Leave Act, for purposes of taking FMLA leave?

    A: An employee’s spouse, children (son or daughter), and parents are immediate family members for purposes of FMLA. The term "parent" does not include a parent"in-law". The terms son or daughter do not include individuals age 18 or over unless they are "incapable of self-care" because of mental or physical disability that limits one or more of the "major life activities" as those terms are defined in regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

    7. Do I have to give my employer my medical records for FMLA leave due to a serious health condition?

    A: No. You do not have to provide medical records under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The employer may, however, request that, for any leave taken due to a serious health condition, you provide a medical certification confirming that a serious health condition exists.

    8. Can my employer require me to return to work before I exhaust my FMLA leave?

    A: Subject to certain limitations, your employer may deny the continuation of family medical leave due to a serious health condition if you fail to fulfill any obligations to provide supporting medical certification. The employer may not, however,require you to return to work early from FMLA leave by offering you a light duty assignment.

    9. Can my employer refuse to grant me FMLA leave?

    A: If you are an"eligible" employee who has met FMLA’s notice and certification requirements (and you have not exhausted your FMLA leave entitlement for the year), you may not be denied leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

    10. Are there other circumstances in which my employer can deny me FMLA leave or reinstatement to my job?

    ·        In addition to denying reinstatement in certain circumstances to "key" employees, employers are not required to continue FMLA benefits or reinstate employees who would have been laid off or otherwise had their employment terminated had they continued to work during the FMLA leave period as, for example, due to a general layoff.

    ·        Employees who give unequivocal notice that they do not intend to return to work lose their entitlement to FMLA leave.

    ·        Employees who are unable to return to work and have exhausted their 12 weeks of FMLA leave in the designated "12 month period" no longer have FMLA protections of leave or job restoration.

    ·        Under certain circumstances, employers who advise employees experiencing a serious health condition that they will require a medical certificate of fitness for duty to return to work may deny reinstatement to an employee who fails to provide the certification, or may delay reinstatement until the certification is submitted.


    Temporary Disability Leave: Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is TDL?

    A: Temporary Disability Leave (TDL) is an unpaid leave that is available to all full time employees of Denton ISD.

    2. What can TDL be used for?


    A.  Available whenever physical or mental condition interferes with performance of duties for your specified position (including pregnancy). It can only be used for the employees own medical condition.  The condition must be verified by a licensed physician.


    3. How long can I be off on TDL?

    A: The amount of time approved will be dependent on information provided on the medical certification by the treating physician. The maximum allowable time is 180 calendar days.  TDL will run concurrent with FML (if FML is approved) and with all compensable time you have accumulated. 

    4. Am I still eligible for my health insurance benefits while on TDL?

    A: Yes. However, the District does not have to contribute anything towards your premium.  So while you are out on TDL, you are responsible for paying the entire amount of your health insurance cost.

    5. What kind of job protection does it offer me?


    A. Employees must give at least 30 days written notice of intent to return from leave along with a medical release from physician.  Employees must be returned to work at previous campus as soon as a position is available but no later than the beginning of the next school year.

    6. How do I apply for TDL?

    A: The TDL packet is available on the District website, on the Insurance Page.  Along with the packet, you must submit a letter addressed to Jamie Wilson, Ed.D. Superintendent, and must include reason(s) for the leave and the date requested for the leave to begin and the anticipated return date.  There are a total of 4 forms required:

    Ø Request for Temporary Disability Leave

    Ø Use of Leave Authorization form

    Ø Letter written by you to Dr. Wilson

    Ø Medical Certification completed and signed by your treating physician

    All of these documents must be submitted together for approval.  If any part is missing, it will not be considered complete and will not be considered for approval until complete.