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DCPS: Leave of Absence

The Leave of Absence Team supports employees as they pursue a leave of absence to handle issues that arise in one’s personal life. If you have questions about leave, contact the Leave of Absence Team at [email protected].

DCPS offers the following leave of absences:

  • FMLA (Medical):  To care for one’s own medical needs
  • FMLA (Family care):  To care for the medical needs of a covered family member
  • FMLA (Military):  To prepare/care for needs arising from military duty or call to action
  • PFL (Paid Leave): To pay employee up to 8 weeks when caring for a family member
  • Charter school:   To serve in a DC charter school
  • Educational:   To satisfy personal educational responsibilities
  • Extended leave:  To request medical or family care leave when employee is not eligible for FMLA.

Ready to apply? Please ensure that you have your medical certification completed by the attending physician. If you do not please print out the form below and have it complete before starting your application.
LOA Medical Certification Form. Once the form is completed, please start your Leave of Absence Application.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible DCPS employees 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. 

DC FMLA: Will grant up to 16 weeks of medical or family care leave during a 24-month period to entitled employees that work within the District of Columbia. The employee must be employed by the same employer for one (1) year without a break in service. In addition, he/she must have worked at least 1,000 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date when the leave is due to commence.

Federal FMLA: Federal employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of medical or family care leave (or up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness) during a 12-month period. The employee must have at least one year of service. In addition, the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the date when the leave is due to commence.

Eligibility

The minimum years of service, qualifying event (covered reason for taking leave), and maximum entitlement eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for FMLA. Please note that the minimum requirements and the maximum allowable length of absence differ under Federal FMLA and DC FMLA.

DCPS Extended Leave of Absence

Employees who wish to request leave under FMLA (Federal/DC) but are ineligible for the following reasons may request and Extended Leave of Absence instead. An extended leave of absence does not guarantee job protection. The following five types of Extended Leave of Absence require the employee to complete a Leave of Absence Application.

Job-Protected:  If you are not eligible for FMLA leave, you may apply for Extended Leave.  Some types of Extended Leave are job-protected, while others are not. Job-protected leave does not mean that the position you left will be available for you to return to after you return from leave; however, you will be assigned to a position if your last position has been filled. 

Employees may be placed on a job-protected Extended Leave of Absence for the following reasons:

  • Educational - Under certain union contracts, DCPS may grant employees leave to pursue full-time study in a program approved by DCPS.  Such employees are entitled to return to DCPS at the conclusion of their leave.
  • Charter School - Pursuant to 5-E DCMR Section 1204, DCPS may grant employees charter school leave for an unlimited number of two-year terms for employees who apply for Charter School leave.  Such employees are entitled to return to DCPS at the conclusion of their leave of absence.
  • WTU Service - Pursuant to the WTU contract, permanent teachers may be granted a leave of absence for one school year to serve as a full-time employee of the WTU.  Such employees are entitled to return to DCPS at the conclusion of their leave of absence.
  • Military - Pursuant to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and 5-E DCMR Section 1204, military service members must be granted leave to engage in certain types of military activities.  At the conclusion of their service, such employees are entitled to be reemployed in the position they would have held but for their military service. 

Not Job-Protected:  Employees may be placed on an Extended Leave of Absence which is not job-protected for the following reasons:

  • Additional - This type of leave may be provided to employees who do not meet the employment eligibility requirements for FMLA or ADAAA leave (e.g., employees with less than one year of service who require leave for the birth of a child).  This type of leave is not an entitlement and will only be offered in limited circumstances.
  • Employees also may be granted Extended Leave for the reasons below without having submitted an application:

Job-Protected:  Employees may be placed on a job-protected Extended Leave of Absence, without completing an application, for the following reasons:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).   Pursuant to the ADAAA, DCPS must grant disabled employees reasonable accommodation, which may include leave to address a disabling condition.  The amount of leave allowed under the ADAAA is determined on a case-by-case basis.  At the conclusion of an ADAAA leave, an employee is entitled to return to work.  Supervisors are asked to notify Labor Management & Employee Relations at 202.442.5373 upon receipt of a request for disability accommodation.

Not Job-Protected:  Employees may be placed on an Extended Leave of Absence which is not job-protected, without completing an application, for the following reasons:

  • Administrative Leave/Detail During Investigation - An employee being investigated for misconduct should be placed on either Administrative Leave or Detail where retaining the employee on duty may be injurious to the employee, students, or others, until an investigation can be performed and appropriate administrative action determined.  At the conclusion of the investigation, the employee may need to be returned to work.
  • Worker’s Compensation - Employees are entitled to leave to address an injury sustained in the workplace. This type of leave is granted, and the duration determined, by the District of Columbia Office of Risk Management, not DCPS.  At the conclusion of the leave, the employee may need to be returned to work.

DCPS Paid Family Leave (PFL)

Paid Family Leave (PFL) is job-protected leave category which provides eligible District government employees with up to eight work weeks of paid leave within a 12-month period for the birth or placement of a child with an employee, or to care for a family member. If eligible, PFL will be granted to run concurrently with your approved Family and Medical Leave of Absence and/or Extended Leave of Absence.

* PFL cannot be used for the employee’s own serious health condition. 

In order to be eligible for PFL, the employee must be neither a temporary, intermittent, nor WAE employee and must experience a “qualifying event.”  Qualifying events include the following:

  • Birth of a child
  • Adoption or foster care of a newly placed child
  • To care for a family member (spouse, child, parent)
  • Extreme personal health condition (must be unable to perform duties at job)

 

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