Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) & American Disabilities Act (ADA)

Human Resources recognizes that sometimes circumstances in life require time away from work. Our desire is to assist you throughout the leave process while following federal/state regulations, School Board policies, collective bargaining agreements and leave of absence best practices.  Please review the following information and contact the Benefits office with further guidance on the process. 

When Should I Apply for a Leave of Absence?

The leave process requires employees to apply for the appropriate type of leave if the employee will be out of work more than 5 consecutive days. Any time an employee is in an unpaid status, applying for a leave of absence may preserve their benefits and employment. Employees are required to notify their supervisor/administrator of absences. Failure to notify the supervisor/administrator could lead to employment concerns that result in discipline including and up to termination.

What's the difference between FMLA and ADA? 

General Purpose

ADA: Prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals.

FMLA: Provides leave to employees.

Who Is Eligible?

ADA: Individuals, specifically the employee only, with a qualifying disability.

FMLA: Employees who have worked for at least 12 months and at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months at a location within a 75-mile radius of where at least 50 employees work.

What Conditions are Covered?

ADA: “Disability” that substantially limits one or more major life activities (or a history or perception of having such a disability).

FMLA: “Serious health condition” of employee or certain family members of employee. Birth, adoption and foster care placement of employee’s child. Certain types of military-related leave.

What Leave is Required?

ADA: Leave for employee may be required if it would constitute a reasonable accommodation that doesn’t impose undue hardship on the employer. Leave typically must be for a defined period and is unpaid unless employer pays for other similar leaves.

FMLA: Up to 12 weeks/year for serious health condition related leave. Up to 26 weeks/year for certain military-related leave. Leave may be intermittent and is unpaid but the employer can require or the employee can choose to use accrued paid benefits.

For assistance with the process and determining what type of leave may be appropriate for a situation, contact Stacy Smith, Benefits Coordinator, at (815)754-2288 or by email at