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Maternity Leave FAQ's
Q. Once I establish my return to work date, can that be extended?

A. We ask that you provide a solid estimation of your anticipated return to work date at the time of your request. We understand that things may change while out on your leave, but an anticipated date for your return is helpful, so we may plan coverage in your absence. 

Q. When will I know if my paycheck stops or changes?

A. In general you can estimate a stop in pay, by calculating your available accrued leave hours and the end of your anticipated Maternity/Parental Leave. We encourage employees to review their collective bargaining agreements for questions regarding the use of sick leave. Any adjustments or stop in pay will be sent to you in email, by your regional HR Specialist team. All notification of changes in pay will be communicated prior to the payroll of adjustment.     

Q. Am I required to pay for my medical benefits, if I won't be needing them during my leave?

A. No, you are not required to continue any of your medical benefits, if they are not needed. Your return to work after leave, is considered a qualifying event for re-instatement of coverage. Please contact the Benefits Office to communicate your intent to continue coverage or allow it to lapse until you return to work. 

Q. What is cost of sub?

A. Cost of sub is an optional 2 days of leave that will be added during your pregnancy disability leave. This will only be applied if you do not have enough sick leave to see you through the pregnancy disability time. The 2 days of cost of sub is 2 days at your per diem rate. This 2 days is in addition to any paid maternity days as documented in your collective bargaining agreement. If we apply the cost of sub, you will see 2 days of pay added to your current paycheck. On the next paycheck you will see a deduction for the cost of sub (at current sub rate) for 2 days. 

Q. Can I attend professional development days or other school training days, while I am out on my leave?

A. You should not attend training or any other work related duties during a documented birth and recovery time. If you would like to attend a required training or other school/work related function during the bond with child time we ask that you discuss that option with your supervisor. Any further questions may be directed to the Human Resources Leave and Accommodations Analyst. 

Q. Can I return to work sooner than I originally anticipated?

A. Yes, as long as you are outside of your documented disability/recovery time and have a clearance to return to work by your doctor. Please notify your supervisor and the Human Resources Leave and Accommodations Analyst with the change in your anticipated return.

Q. Can I save my sick leave or personal leave and take my leave unpaid? 

A. During the disability/recovery from pregnancy time, we will default to the application of all available accrual unless otherwise indicated by you. 

Q. I plan to apply for the WA Paid and Family Medical Leave (PFML), do I have to use my sick leave?

A. The District has designated leave accrual such as sick, personal, family illness and vacation as supplemental benefits. This means that employees can choose to use paid leave accrual to supplement or "make wages whole" from the partial wage replacement received by the Employment Security Department while on an approved PFML leave. In this case, it is possible for employees to receive paid time off from the District and the PFML benefits. You may also elect to use your paid leave accrual through the 60-day FMLA bond with baby time and then file for the PFML at a later date to elongate your parental leave.

Q. If I am a Certificated Teacher does using PFML affect my experience accrual?

Yes. If you do not supplement with your sick/personal leave hours while receiving the partial wage replacement from PFML this can affect your experience accrual. 

Q. If my Spouse or Partner also works for the District, can he/she take time off to bond with child? 

A. If both parents wish to take time off work for a Parental Leave, both employees would share one 12-week or 60-day FMLA entitlement. In addition, each parent may also be eligible for a separate 12 week paid Family and Medical Leave entitlement.  

Q. Will I experience a change in monthly pay when I return to my job after leave?

A. Yes, this is possible if earnings have been paid in full.

Q. Is PFML a job protected entitlement?

No, this entitlement does not provide job protection. If running your FMLA concurrent with PFML your leave will be protected.

Q. Will using PFML impact my benefits?

A. Possibly, If your FMLA runs concurrent with your PFML or even overlaps by one day, your benefits will continue for the time you are on PFML. If you supplement your leave hours while on PFML your benefits will continue. If you do NOT overlap FMLA by one day, run FMLA concurrent or supplement your leave hours you could possibly loose your benefits. You can contact the Benefits Office for more details.

Q. Can I "stack" FMLA and PFML?

A: If you use FMLA first, you can use your 12 week entitlement and then transition to PFML for the next 12 weeks making a total of 24 weeks of leave. However, if PFML is used first, your FMLA will run concurrently.