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					                Dover/Sherborn Public Schools
        Maternity Leave/Child Rearing Leave Fact Sheet

The Dover-Sherborn Education Association (DSEA) and the Dover/Sherborn Public
Schools have put together this FAQ Sheet to help you to understand the options that are
available to you regarding maternity and child rearing leaves of absence.

Q      What rights do I have and from where do they come?

A      Federal law, state law and the DSEA contract each provide different rights
       relating to maternity leave. Each has different requirements for eligibility and
       each provides different rights or benefits. The right to child rearing leave comes
       exclusively from the DSEA contract.

Q      What are the differences?

A      Federal Law

       The Federal law is the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). It provides a
       total of up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period for the birth of a child and to
       care for the newborn child, or for the placement of a child with an employee for
       adoption or foster care.

       To be eligible for the FMLA, you must have worked for the school district for at
       least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) and have worked at least 1,250
       hours during the prior 12 months. Full-time teachers who have worked a full
       school year are presumed to have met the hours requirement.

       During the period of the leave that you are disabled by your pregnancy and/or
       childbirth, you are entitled to use any accrued unused paid sick leave just as any
       other sick or disabled employee. The remainder of the leave is without pay.

       Under most circumstances, you must give 30 days’ notice to be eligible for a
       FMLA Leave.

       Time during the Summer vacation period is not counted toward the teacher’s 12
       week entitlement.


       State Law

       The state law is the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Law (“MMLL”). It provides
       a leave of absence of up to 8 weeks for female employees for childbirth or
       adoption.
You are eligible for the MMLL if you have worked full-time for the school
district for three months.

During the period of the leave that you are disabled, you are entitled to use any
accrued unused paid sick leave just as any other sick or disabled employee. The
remainder of the leave is without pay.

You must give a minimum of two weeks’ notice to be eligible for a MMLL leave.

Ordinarily, FMLA maternity leave and MMLL maternity leave run concurrently.


The DSEA Contract

A.     Maternity Leave

        Article 25 A.1. states that maternity leave will be granted in accordance
with the applicable Federal and State Statutes. Article 22 deals with paid sick
leave. Pursuant to the FMLA, accrued unused paid sick leave may be used during
the period that the employee is incapacitated from working, whether during
pregnancy, at childbirth, or following childbirth. In accordance with Article 22,
A.E., after a teacher has been absent on sick leave for seven (7) consecutive
school days, the teacher will be required to provide the Superintendent with a note
from her physician. If the teacher wishes to continue to use paid sick leave, that
physician’s note or a succeeding note must document the teacher’s continuing
incapacity including the projected length of that incapacity.

B.     Child Rearing Leave

        In addition to the maternity leave described at Article 25 A.1., the DSEA
contract contains at Article 25 A.2. a provision for a leave of absence without pay
of up to two (2) consecutive years for the purpose of child rearing.

The unpaid leave of absence for child rearing will normally commence at the
conclusion of the teacher’s FMLA and/or MMLL leave period. A teacher who
wishes to take an unpaid leave of absence for child rearing will be expected to
notify the Superintendent/Principal of that fact.

        A teacher will ordinarily be permitted to return from child rearing leave
only at the beginning of a school year. A teacher on child rearing leave will be
required to notify the Superintendent/Principal by February 1 if she wishes to
return to school for the beginning of the next school year. (If a teacher
commences child rearing leave after February 1, and the teacher wishes to return
to school for the beginning of the next school year, the teacher will be required to
        provide notification on or before the first day of her child rearing leave of her
        intent to return for that succeeding year.)

                A teacher who provides the Superintendent/Principal with notification of
        her intent to return to school will not be permitted to withdraw that notice and to
        request a second year of leave.

               If a teacher’s two (2) year leave period expires during a school year, the
        Committee may (and normally will) require that the teacher remain on unpaid
        leave until the beginning of the next school year.

               At the end of a teacher’s child rearing leave, she will be offered a position
        within her area of certification (but not necessarily at the grade level at which she
        was last teaching). If there is not a vacant position within her certification area, a
        teacher without professional teacher status will not be permitted to “bump”
        another teacher without professional status, but will be laid-off. For teachers with
        professional teacher status, Section A.2. of Article 25 of the DSEA contract
        provides:

        If no position for which the teacher is qualified is available at the end of the leave
        period, the teacher shall be offered the first such available position irrespective of
        the two (2) year period.

Q       Is there a timetable for requesting maternity leave?

A       Yes, and it is quite simple. Follow these simple steps:

       Determine what kind of leave you wish to return to work or do you want to take
        the rest of the year off? Next year too?
       Although you will be writing your letter to request the leave a month or two
        before your due date, it makes sense to let your principal know earlier. Most
        teachers simply inform their principal of their plans informally and verbally. No
        one like to be the “last one to know.”
       Three months or so before your due date, write a draft letter using the samples
        provided. See Sample Letters #1 and #2 and send a copy to the DSEA.
       Submit your letter when you are certain of your plans, keeping in mind the time
        limits required by the relevant law or the contract. Keep a copy of all
        correspondence for your records.
       Shortly before the big event, ask you physician to write your letter of disability.
        This letter need not include explicit details. It is important that the letter clearly
        indicate that you are physically disabled or unable to perform your regular work-
        related duties. Also, (s)he must note the period of disability. Often times in a
        first letter the physician will indicate the start date of the disability and will
        provide a second letter after the first postpartum examination that indicates the
        end date.
Q        Is there anything else that I need to know?

A        Just a few details that may or may not apply to your situation:

        Under the Reduction in Staff article (Article 31) of the DSEA contract, a teacher
         with professional teacher status will continue to accrue seniority while on a leave
         of absence for up to two (2) years. A third consecutive year of child rearing leave
         may no be allowed.
        If you obtain your health insurance from the district, you will be required to pay
         100% of the premium if and when you commence an unpaid child rearing leave of
         absence. Be sure to contact the Superintendent in advance to arrange for timely
         payment of premiums.
        Remember the date February 1st!!!!! When you take a contractual child rearing
         leave, you have the option of returning the next August or the following August.
         You are required to notify the Superintendent/Principal of your intention to return
         prior to the February 1st that precedes the August/September that you intend to
         return. If you give birth between February 1st and the close of the school year,
         state your intent to return in your letter of application for child rearing leave.
        The FMLA, MMLL and the contractual child rearing leave all apply to adoption.
         The only benefit that does not apply in cases of adoption is paid sick leave.

10/10/06
Revised 11/22/06
Revised 12/15/06
Revised 2/9/07
                              Sample Letter #1
                   If you wish to take a maternity leave of absence and
               return to work immediately after the end of the leave period.



                                                             123 Main Street
                                                             Anytown, MA 02123
                                                             Date



Perry P. Davis, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
Dover/Sherborn Public Schools
157 Farm Street
Dover, MA 02030

Dear Dr. Davis:

I am writing to request a maternity leave of absence in accordance with Article 25,
Section A.1 of the collective bargaining contract. My leave shall commence on
__________, 200__ and shall continue until ______________, 200__. I shall be
returning to active service on _____________, 200__.

In addition, I am notifying you of my intention to utilize paid sick leave for any period of
that leave during which I am medically disabled from working. I shall provide you with
a doctor’s certificate within seven (7) school days of the beginning of any period for
which I claim paid sick leave.

Thank you.

Sincerely,



Jane Doe

Cc:    Principal John Smith
                              Sample Letter #1
                   If you wish to take a maternity leave of absence and
               return to work immediately after the end of the leave period.



                                                             123 Main Street
                                                             Anytown, MA 02123
                                                             Date



Perry P. Davis, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
Dover/Sherborn Public Schools
157 Farm Street
Dover, MA 02030

Dear Dr. Davis:

I am writing to request a child rearing leave of absence in accordance with Article 25,
Section A. 2 of the collective bargaining contract. I wish this leave to commence upon
the conclusion of my maternity leave and to continue through the remainder of this
school year. I shall notify you on or before February 1 or, if y maternity leave will end
after February 1, before the end of my maternity leave if I intend to return to work at the
beginning of the next school year.

Thank you.

Sincerely,



Jane Doe

Cc:    Principal John Smith

				
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