A staff member may use accumulated, paid sick leave for the period of actual disability attributable to pregnancy or childbirth. This period of disability shall extend from the date of birth for a period of not more than 60 days, unless an actual period of disability which begins prior to the date of birth or continues beyond 60 days is otherwise verified in writing by the employee's physician.
If the employee's accumulated sick leave is exhausted during the period of maternity disability, the district shall grant a leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits, upon the staff member's request, for the remainder of the period of actual disability due to pregnancy or childbirth.
During any unpaid portion of such leave of absence, the staff member may pay the premiums for any district insurance plans to keep coverage in effect for the employee and her family.
A pregnant staff member is requested to notify her immediate supervisor and the superintendent by the beginning of the fifth month of pregnancy.
At the time of such notice the staff member shall submit a written request to her immediate supervisor and the superintendent for one or more of the following:
A. Maternity leave for the period of her actual disability due to pregnancy or childbirth;
B. Family leave for a period of up to 12 weeks, in addition to any period of maternity disability leave, the district will extend the employee's health benefit during this period of unpaid leave;
C. Leave of absence for a period of up to the beginning of the next school term or school year. Such extended leave of absence may be approved at the discretion of the superintendent based upon consideration of educational program needs and the desires of the staff member, together with the recommendation of her personal physician or licensed practitioner; or
D. Termination of employment by resignation.
The notice to the district shall include the approximate beginning and ending dates for the leave.
A pregnant staff member may continue working as long as she is capable of performing her normal duties, with the written approval of her physician or licensed practitioner.
The staff member may return to work when physically able to perform her duties. If the employee intends to return to work within 60 days of childbirth, her personal physician or licensed practitioner must certify that the staff member is in good health and ready to resume her duties.
No later than 30 days after the date of birth, the staff member is requested to notify the superintendent of the specific date when she shall return to work. Unless the superintendent approves an earlier date of return, the employee shall give at least 14 days advance notice of the actual date of return.
The staff member shall return to her duties following an extended leave of absence on the date approved by the superintendent. If the employee is still experiencing a disability due to pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or recovery which prevents the employee from performing her duties on the scheduled date of return, an additional period of unpaid leave of absence may be approved at the discretion of the superintendent based upon consideration of educational program needs and the recommendation of the employee's personal physician or licensed practitioner.
An employee who has taken a leave of absence only for the actual period of disability relating to pregnancy or childbirth or up to twelve weeks of family leave shall return to the same assignment, or a similar position for which she is qualified with at least the same pay and benefits, as she held prior to the maternity leave or family leave.
Upon return from an extended maternity leave, a staff member shall be entitled to a position in the district subject to the availability of a position for which she is qualified. An effort shall be made to place the staff member in her original position or in a comparable position.
Nothing in this policy shall preclude a staff member's right to apply for any other applicable leave as provided by board policy.
Legal References: RCW 28A.400.300 Hiring and discharging employees — Leave for employees
RCW 49.78 Family Leave
WAC 162-30-020 Maternity
WAC 296-134 Family Leave
P.L. 103-3 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Adoption Date: JUNE 25, 2003