About Leaves of Absences
During this time, Saint Paul Public Schools is adhering to the orders of MN Governor Walz to help stop the spread of COVID-19, all SPPS Benefits Staff are working remotely.
- Please send any benefit forms and documents electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you need to speak with the benefits staff please email benefits @spps.org with your phone number and your question and a benefits staff member will get back to you.
Employees may request a leave of absence for one of the following reasons:
- Physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of your job due to a serious medical condition as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), with physician certification
- Dependent care of employees child(ren), spouse, or parent due to a serious medical condition as defined by the FMLA, with physician certification
- Birth or Adoption of child(ren).
- Enlistment in military service.
- Election or appointment to a Union, City, State, or Federal position.
- Applicable leaves granted under MN Statute (i.e. Charter School, Mobility).
- Other grantable leaves as cited in your corresponding bargaining unit labor agreement(i.e. bereavement, jury duty, professional training, sabbatical, etc.). [Check your labor agreement.]
Human Resources maintains the right to require an employee to begin an approved leave or return from an approved leave at an earlier-than-requested date or at a later-than-requested date.
Typically, it is not in the best interests of the schools/sites to have an employee begin an approved leave in the middle of: 1) workshop week, 2) the first and last weeks of school, 3) writing student evaluations and grades, 4) meeting with parents, 5) a large project or conversion, 6) a training period, 7) high work volume periods, or 8) during other numerous employee absences.
Specifically, HR may require continuing active employment until the next natural break in schedule or school year or at an alternate time, depending on the circumstances of the leave and of the schools/sites needs.
In addition, HR may require a return from an approved leave at least one full payperiod prior to any scheduled break in school calendar, or extend the leave and require a return from leave immediately following the break, depending on circumstances of the leave and the sites needs.
Regarding pay during leaves of absence:
- There are no provisions under the FMLA, which involves leaves due to birth; adoption; serious medical condition of self, dependent child, dependent spouse, or dependent parent.
- If you are on an approved medical leave of absence due to your own medical illness/condition, you may be able to use your accumulated sick time with the District. In addition, if you purchased the Short-Term Disability plan for the current benefits plan year, you may be able to receive supplemental pay during your medical illness/condition, through Assurant. [Check with your Benefits Representative in either case.]
- If you are on an approved medical leave of absence due to your dependent child(ren)s medical illness/condition, you will be able to use your accumulated sick pay with the District per MN Statute.
- There may be provisions for pay under your corresponding bargaining unit labor agreement for other types of leave. [Check your labor agreement.]
- Paid sick leave benefits are not entitlements and should be used by the employee and approved by the supervisor only for legitimate and defined medical reasons. An employee may not be granted sick pay unless the employee reports to their supervisor the necessity for the absence not later than one-half hour after the employees regularly scheduled time to report for work.
Regarding sick leave:
Human Resources maintains the right to require an employee to submit physician certification of illness/condition after five consecutive days of absence due to sick leave. [The schools/sites maintain the right to require an employee to submit physician certification of illness/condition after any number of days of absence, at their discretion.]
Human Resources maintains the right to require an employee to submit physician certification of recovery and ability to resume the performance of the duties of his/her position after thirty calendar days of absence due to sick leave. [The schools/sites maintain the right to require an employee to submit physician certification of recovery after any number of days of absence, at their discretion.]
How leaves affect benefits:
If you are receiving pay during an approved leave of absence, you will qualify for the employer-paid portion towards all of your coverages for as long as pay continues. Your portion due towards your coverages will continue to be deducted from your paycheck, and your benefits will continue uninterrupted.
If you are on an approved leave of absence under FMLA, and not receiving pay during this time, you will qualify for the employer-paid portion towards your medical and/or dental coverages only, for up to twelve weeks. Your portion due towards your medical and/or dental coverages and the full cost of any optional coverages will need to be sent via check directly to the benefits staff within Human Resources, and your benefits will continue uninterrupted. If payment by you is not received, your coverages may be terminated.
Once pay ends and any FMLA protection expires (if applicable), the employer-paid portion towards your coverages ceases, and you may be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage in which you are responsible for the full cost of any continued coverages while on extended unpaid leave.
Contact Worforce Management within Human Resources for more information about applying for a leave of absence.