I have accumulated over 197 days of sick time. I am a Massachusetts teacher and am suffering from uncontrolled blood pressure. My doctor feels I should take an extended medical leave from teaching. Am I limited to 12 weeks under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or can I take more time if required?
I am sorry to hear of your situation. Yes, Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) provides unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks in a year. If you have an employment contract, union agreement, or other employment agreement that controls this issue and provides more protection than the FMLA, then you would be protected as set forth in that agreement(s).
You may be able to negotiate more time for leave with your employer, but they would not be required to provide it as a matter of law. It's worth trying, though.
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You have not answered my question. I have 197 earned sick days which means that each day that I am out is a paid sick day and is deducted from my sick bank. 197 days is more than 12 weeks. Essentially, I want to know if the FMLA limits the amount of paid sick leave I can take to 12 weeks per year? The only wording in the contract provides for 15 days of sick leave to be earned each year with a maximum number to be accumulated of 250 days.
The Family and Medical Leave Act has nothing to do with whatever paid time off may be provided by your employer. If your employer provides greater protection than the FMLA, than you go by what your employer provides. The FMLA is unpaid leave, basically it allows for your job to be kept open for that amount of time. If your employer allows you to accumulate that much paid time off, than that controls - not the FMLA. However you should check the wording of your contract - it may not mean that they will keep your job open for that long consecutively. It may mean that they will pay you for sick days here and there - they may not be required under your contract to keep your job open for 250 days. Each employment contract is different.
Best of luck to you.
Best of luck.
I have over twelve years of experience practicing law, with an emphasis on employment / business law
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