FAQ’s

Personal Illness

 

Can I fax or email my SEH3 absence form(s)?

No. EHS must receive the original form completed by you and the doctor.

Can I submit one (1) SEH3 absence form for the entire absence?

No. You must submit one SEH3 absence form for each pay period during your leave.

Does my Administrator/Principal need to sign my SEH3 absence form?

No, this document contains medical information. Mail or drop off your completed SEH3 form(s) to EHS for processing, our address is at the top of the form.

Do I need to call out to my location and code my absences?

Yes. You are responsible for notifying your Supervisor/Administrator your location of your leave and entering the absence in AESOP (if applicable).

Can I use my SEH3 absence form or the FMLA certification in place of a medical report when I come in for an appointment with the School District doctor?

No. You must bring a detailed medical report from your doctor as instructed on your initial appointment letter. Your detailed medical report should include: your diagnosis, treatment, estimated length of time you’ll be out of work and any other information your physician deems as relevant.

Do I need to send my SEH3 forms or medical reports to my location?

No. Your medical information should never be sent to your location. All medical reports and SEH3 absence forms should be sent directly to EHS.

Do I need to submit a doctor’s note if I am out sick for 3 consecutive days?

No. You should submit the SEH-86 absence form to your school Secretary, Administrator or Supervisor.

If I have approved FMLA protection, do I still need to submit absence forms while I’m out on sick or illness in family leave?

Yes –

  • If you are out sick or due to illness in family for 1 – 3 days, you must submit the SEH-86 absence form to your school Secretary, Administrator or Supervisor.
  • If you are out sick for more than 3 consecutive days, you must submit an SEH3 absence form to EHS (via mail or drop off) at the end of each pay period during the leave.

Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

 

What is the FMLA?

The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that grants eligible employees 12 weeks of protected absences for a 1-year period.  FMLA protection can be requested for intermittent absences or an extended leave.

How does FMLA work?

Approved FMLA protection runs simultaneously with the type of leave you are taking and would prevent your individual absences from counting as occurrences. Following is an example of how the FMLA regulation would protect me if I called out sick frequently due to a medical condition:

I suffer from migraine headaches and have called out sick on 8 different dates (each absence is considered an occurrence).  If I do not have approved FMLA protection, I would receive a 204 warning memo for the 8 occurrences. However if I do have approved FMLA protection (for the medical condition of migraine headaches),  the 8 separate sick leave absences would be considered as ONE OCCURRENCE, which protects me from being warned or written up for my absences.

Why should I apply for FMLA protection?

If you are calling out sick frequently due to your own or eligible family member’s  medical condition, you should apply for FMLA protection to prevent your supervisor from writing you up for occurrences.

Which family members can I request FMLA protected leave to care for?

Immediate family member are defined under the FMLA as an employee’s: spouse, son, daughter and parents.

  • The term “parent” does not include in-laws.
  • The terms “son” & “daughter” do not include individuals age 18 or older unless he/she is “incapable of self-care” because of a physical or mental disability. Please review the Department of Labor FAQ’s for additional information if you will need to request FMLA protected leave to care for an adult child: https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/AdultChildFAQs.htm (right click on this link to highlight, then select “Go to…”)

What happens if I am not eligible for FMLA protection?

You would have to be careful about calling out because without FMLA protection, your absences will count as occurrences which will lead to disciplinary action.  Please review the absence guidelines for your specific union on the Employee Relations page –  https://www.philasd.org/employeerelations/programsservices/638-2/ (right click on this link to highlight, then select “Go to…”)

Can any School District of Philadelphia employee apply for FMLA protection?

Yes, every School District of Philadelphia employee can apply for FMLA protection BUT not every employee will meet the federal FMLA eligibility requirements.

What are the federal FMLA eligibility requirements?

  • You must have completed 12 months (1 year) of employment with the School District of Philadelphia as of your FMLA beginning date; AND
  • Your work hours total for the year prior to your FMLA beginning date must equal 1,250 hours; AND
  • You must work at a location with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of your work site.

All three of the above requirements must be satisfied for FMLA eligibility. 

How do you determine if I have worked 1,250 hours ?

Your attendance history and payroll records for the year BEFORE your FMLA beginning date are reviewed for FMLA eligibility.  Absences taken during the year before your FMLA beginning date are NOT counted as working hours for FMLA eligibility.  All additional hours that you worked during the year before your FMLA beginning date ARE counted as working hours for FMLA eligibility.  For example:

You request a FMLA beginning date of September 1, 2018.  Your attendance & payroll history for the dates of September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018 will be reviewed.  All of your absences taken during that year AND all additional hours worked (EC, overtime, prep, summer) during that year will determine the number of hours that you worked.  If your work hours total is 1,250 hours or above, you meet the 1,250 hours worked requirement; but if your work hours total is below 1,250 hours, you would not meet the 1,250 hours worked requirement.

How do I apply for FMLA protection?

Download the SDP FMLA cover page, complete it and return it to EHS via: email (fmla@philasd.org), fax (215.400.4663), US mail, interoffice mail or drop it off at our office.

How long does it take to find out if I’m eligible for FMLA protection?

It typically takes 1 – 2 weeks for employees to receive a FMLA eligibility letter via US mail. However there is an option to receive your FMLA eligibility letter and the FMLA medical certification via email to your School District email account.

I don’t want to wait for a FMLA eligibility letter.  Can’t I just download the FMLA medical certification, get my doctor to complete it, and send it to EHS?

You can but may run the risk of paying the doctor’s office to complete the FMLA medical certification and later finding out that you don’t meet the federal eligibility requirements. However if you are fairly certain that you will meet the federal eligibility requirements, you can submit the FMLA medical certification (make sure you also download, complete, and send the SDP FMLA cover page with the completed medical certification).

Does being eligible for FMLA protection mean I have approved FMLA protection for my absences?

No. Being eligible for FMLA protection means that you have met the federal eligibility requirements.  You will not have approved FMLA protection until your FMLA certification has been reviewed and approved by the School District’s medical professional.

What should I do if I am eligible for FMLA protection but change my mind about getting FMLA protection for my absences?

You can send an email to fmla@philasd.org and state that you are rescinding your FMLA request OR do nothing.  If you don’t rescind the FMLA request or fail to submit a completed FMLA certification within 15 days of receiving it, you will receive a FMLA denial notice.

I will be out on sick leave for 8 weeks for a surgery, do I need to apply for FMLA?

You don’t need to but it is your right to apply for FMLA protection for an extended sick leave if you wish. If approved, the FMLA protection would run simultaneously with your 8-week sick leave.  It would be beneficial to apply for FMLA protection in this situation if you have follow-up appointments after returning to work from the 8-week sick leave.

If I have approved FMLA protection, how do I call out to my location?

It depends on the type of leave you have approved FMLA protection for:

  • If you have approved FMLA protection for your own medical condition, you would call out sick (code 04)
  • If you have approved FMLA protection to care for a family member with a serious medical condition, you would call out for illness in family (code 31)
  • If you have approved FMLA protection to bond with your newborn child, adopted child or child placed with you for foster care, you would request an unpaid parental leave
  • If you have approved FMLA protection for a qualifying military exigency, you would request leave without pay

The approved FMLA protection will run simultaneously with your leave (or individual absences if you’re calling out intermittently).

If I have approved FMLA protection for myself and my spouse, do I get 12 weeks of protection for my sick leave absences and an additional 12 weeks of protection for illness in family absences?

No, you would have a total of 12 weeks of FMLA protection for 1 year for your combined sick leave and illness in family absences.

 


Maternity/Parental Leave

I’m pregnant. What should I do?

Contact EHS to receive a Maternity Information letter.  This letter will provide information about the School District of Philadelphia’s maternity/parental leave policy, you can contact EHS with questions after you have reviewed the information.

When does my maternity leave start?

Maternity leave begins on the day you give birth.

My doctor wants me to stop working before I give birth. What should I do?

Contact EHS immediately. You must provide a detailed report from your doctor stating the medical reason(s) you must stop working prior to giving birth. The medical report will be reviewed by the School District medical professional, and you will be notified of your status shortly thereafter.

How much time can I take off after I give birth?

It depends on the manner of delivery: 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery; 8 weeks for a c-section delivery. Additionally you can elect to take a partial or full 89-day unpaid parental leave following the 6 or 8 week maternity leave.

My wife is pregnant, what type of leave can I take?

If your wife is experiencing medical issues prior to giving birth and you take time off to care for her, you would take illness in family leave (absence code 31).  You should also apply for FMLA protection for your illness in family absences to prevent any disciplinary action for the absences. *You may not take illness in family leave for a girlfriend or fiancee.

My wife has given birth, what type of leave can I take?

If your wife delivers vaginally and there are no medical issues for her or the newborn, you can request your 3 personal days (if you have not used them) plus elect to take a partial or full 89-day unpaid parental leave.

If your wife delivers via c-section and you take time off to care for her, you can take illness in family leave (absence code 31). You receive 50% of your regular pay for this leave and must submit SEH-3 absence forms signed by your wife’s physician (if your absence will last longer than 3 consecutive days). You must submit one SEH-3 absence form for each 10 day period of your absence.


Restoration to Health Sabbatical

 

Do I have to use all of my sick days before I can take a Restoration to Health Sabbatical?

What happens if I can’t return to work at the end of my Restoration to Health Sabbatical?

Will I receive pay during my restoration to health sabbatical?

You will receive 50% of your regular wages during a restoration to health sabbatical.

Will I still have my medical benefits during my restoration to health sabbatical?

Yes, your medical, health and life insurance benefits remain intact during your restoration to health sabbatical.

If I only take a half-year restoration to health sabbatical, how long will I have to take the second half?

You have two years to complete the sabbatical.

When can I take another restoration to health sabbatical – if I take the entire year?

If you take a full restoration to health sabbatical, you will not be eligible to take another sabbatical leave until 7 years after the start of your last sabbatical.  (For example: if the approval (start) date of your sabbatical is 02/01/2012, you will not be eligible to start another sabbatical until 02/01/2019.)