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What is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period (beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of the next year) for:
  • The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Pursuant to and in accordance with Cook County School District Policy 5:330 and Section 24-6 of the Illinois School Code, paid sick leave for the birth of a child must be taken during at least the six-week period immediately following the birth of the child. Once that six-week period has lapsed, an employee may not use paid sick leave for birth unless he/she provides a physician’s statement indicating that the leave is necessitated by the employee’s or child’s medical condition. Staff may request FMLA after the six-week period to bond with the child. However, based on Policy 5:330, Policy 5:185, Section 24-6 of the School Code and the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling in Dynak v. Board of Education of Wooddale School District 7, the employee would be unable to use paid sick leave during such FMLA leave.   

Employee Rights Under the FMLA

Requesting a Leave Under the FMLA

If the need for the FMLA leave is foreseeable, an employee must provide the Human Resources Department with at least 30 days’ advance notice before the leave is to begin. If 30 days’ advance notice is not practicable, the notice must be given as soon as practicable. Employees shall make a reasonable effort to schedule a planned medical treatment so as not to disrupt the District’s operations, subject to the approval of the health care provider administering the treatment. The employee must provide at least verbal notice sufficient to make the Human Resources Department aware that he or she needs FMLA leave, and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave.

Employees requesting a leave under the FMLA must have their health care provider fully complete and sign the appropriate form. Licensed doctors, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical social workers, and physician assistants may complete the FMLA form. Along with the completed FMLA form, the employee should submit a letter requesting FMLA, indicating the estimated start and end date of their leave and the number of sick days they intend to use. Employees may use the letter template provided below.

FMLA forms and request letters can be submitted to:

Laurie Hoge- Office Coordinator

12300 South Greenwood Avenue

Blue Island, IL, 60406

708-489-7019 (phone)

708-385-8467 (fax)


John Dudzik-Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources

12300 South Greenwood Avenue

Blue Island, IL, 60406

708-489-7009 (phone)

708-385-8467 (fax)




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