Family needs can be complicated, and employees may be receiving outdated information when asking about Family Medical Leave Act from friends and co-workers. It is not uncommon for important technical details to be missed when information is shared “word-of-mouth.” And, though it shouldn’t be the case, employees are often unaware they are working for an organization covered under FMLA.
Generally, it is understood that private companies with more than 50 full time employees that live within 75 miles of company headquarters qualify to be covered under FMLA. However, what is usually not understood is that schools are covered under FMLA without regard to the number of employees. All public and private schools are included in FMLA*. The National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov) indicates the growth in “Charter Schools” has grown significantly in recent years. Charter schools are publicly-funded schools that are typically organized and run outside of the local school district as an alternative to traditional public schools.
The school administration must post notices explaining the rights (and responsibilities) of FMLA as it relates to their employees, and also must include that information in their employee handbooks. School employees requesting leave under FMLA must be provided notice concerning their eligibility and as well as their rights and responsibilities. Just like a business, schools must provide notification if the employee’s leave is designated as FMLA. In addition, they must account for the amount of leave that is to be deducted from the school employee’s FMLA entitlement.
The Family and Medical Leave Act was enacted to provide particular employees the benefit of job-protected, unpaid leave under specific criteria. Though some employees are unaware of this federal law despite it being a requirement for employers to provide workplace notices, information in employee handbooks, and provide information to new hires, they are still protected. This is no different for an employee of school, and as such, these institutions are at risk for failure to comply with FMLA by not making this information readily available to their employees.
Therefore, it is critical that all educational institutions provide efficient access to information concerning programs such as FMLA and ADA. Further, having a software solution that empowers HR staff to compliantly manage their employee leaves will keep the organization protected against suit and will free them to focus on taking care of their employees during their time away from work. If you are interested in a demo of the AbsenceSoft solution, please fill out our contact us form and we will be in touch.