Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

If you or a loved one experiences a serious health condition that requires you to take time off work, the Family & Medical Leave Act may help to ease any worries about your absences.


The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires covered employers to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of protected absences (paid and/or unpaid) for a 12-month period.  Approved FMLA protection runs simultaneously with the type of leave you will take (personal illness, illness in family, maternity, parental, etc.).  Having approved FMLA protection would prevent your individual absences from being counted as occurrences and would protect you from being warned and written up for occurrences.


  • The employee’s serious health condition
  • Care of the employee’s spouse, parent, or child (under the age of 18) with a serious health condition
  • The birth and care of the employee’s child
  • The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • Qualifying military exigencies*
  • Military caregiver leave (up to 26 weeks of job-protected leave)**


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

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


Below are the FMLA certifications for personal illness and illness in the family absences. Section III must be completed by your or your family member’s doctor.  Please attach a completed FMLA cover sheet to your FMLA certification form prior to submitting it to EHS.



FMLA certification forms for adoption/foster care, qualifying military exigency and military caregiver leave will be provided after we have verified your FMLA eligibility.


Please contact our office if you need to take leave due to illness of an immediate family member (husband, wife, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather and grandmother). Also, relationship by marriage is considered equivalent to relationship by consanguinity.

During the first two years of employment, an employee may not exceed ten school days within a one year period. Beyond the second year of employment, an employee may not exceed thirty school days within a one year period. Employees receive 50% of their regular wages for illness in the family absences. If two or more members of the same family apply for leave of absence for the same family member, the total absence of each employee, with partial salary shall not exceed the total number of days allowed (ten or thirty depending on the employees’ length of service). Leaves of absence in excess of the number of days specified will be without pay.

If the absence exceeds 3 consecutive days, the employee must submit SEH-3 absence forms for each two-week pay period during the absence. The SEH3 absence forms must be completed by the family member’s physician stating the name and relationship of the person who is ill and the nature of the illness.

**Please note that illness in family leave and the FMLA are NOT the same! Illness in family is the type of leave you will take if you need to care for any of the above listed family members; the FMLA is a federal law of protection to prevent your individual illness in family absences from being counted as occurrences.

*  Qualifying military exigencies relate to the active-duty status or call to active duty in the armed forces of the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee, including certain contingencies as outlined in the regulations:

  • Short-notice deployment, military events and related activities
  • Childcare, or provide childcare on an urgent basis, or for school activities
  • Financial or legal arrangements
  • Attending counseling
  • Spending time with the service member while on short-term leave
  • Post-deployment activities
  • Other activities in accordance with the regulations.
** Military caregiver leave relates to care an employee must provide to a family member or next of kin who is a member of the armed forces (including members of the National Guard or Reserves) and undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, therapy, or is in an out-patient status on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness.