File GBO: Family Care Leave


This policy governs employee leave under 26 M.R.S.A. § 636, “An Act to Care for Families,” referred to in this policy as the “Family Care Act.” Leave under this policy is referred to as “Family Care Leave.”

The Board recognizes that under Maine’s “Family Care Act,” if an employer provides paid leave under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or employment policy, the employer must allow an employee to use the paid leave for the care of an immediate family member who is ill.

In law and for the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply:

A. “Employer” means a public or private employer with 25 or more employees.

B. “Immediate family member” means an employee’s child, spouse or parent.

C. “Paid leave” means time away from work by an employee for which the employee receives compensation. Paid leave is limited to sick time, vacation time, compensatory time, and leave that is provided as an aggregate amount for use at the discretion of the employee for any of these purposes. Paid leave does not include paid short-term or long-term disability, catastrophic leave, or similar types of benefits.

Employees may take up to 40 hours of paid leave as Family Care Leave per 12-month period or the amount provided by an applicable collective bargaining agreement, whichever is greater.

The 12-month period shall be the same for all employees and shall be consistent with the period identified for the school unit’s administration of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

An employee is not entitled to use paid leave until that leave has been earned.

Any employee electing to take Family Care Leave must apply such leave against available paid sick leave and if sick leave is exhausted, against available personal leave, then against available vacation (with the option to preserve up to a week’s worth of vacation time) until all paid leave available has been exhausted, except as otherwise provided in applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Notice/verification of illness for Family Care Leave shall be the same as that required for the employee’s own illness. The employee must specify that leave is being taken pursuant to the Family Care Act.

Application of Family Medical Leave Requirements

For purposes of applying family medical leave requirements (i.e., FMLA), the school unit shall treat leave under the Family Care Act in the same manner as the employer treats leave for an employee illness. Therefore, Family Care leave and FMLA leave shall run concurrently.

Legal Reference: 26 M.R.S.A. § 636

Cross Reference: GBN - Family and Medical Leave

FIRST READING: March 12, 2015
SECOND READING: March 26, 2015
ADOPTION: March 26, 2015

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