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Ask HR Services: FML for Recurring Health Conditions

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Q: Do I need to requalify an employee for FML who returned to work and needs to take additional leave for the same health condition?

A: No. It isn’t necessary to requalify the employee if the absences are related to the same qualifying condition and within the applicable 12-month period. These absences would be considered a single reason for leave and don’t require the district to send additional notices unless the employee’s eligibility status changes.

If the employee is requesting FML for a different qualifying reason, districts would start the process over for determining eligibility.  The 1,250 hours of service requirement only include hours actually worked; paid and unpaid leave, including FMLA, are not included.

In districts that use a fixed FML year (e.g., July 1, first day of new school year), as defined in Policy DEC (LOCAL), there’s a requirement to requalify an employee who remains on leave or is taking additional leave for the same health condition at the start of the new FML year. It’s important for employers to properly communicate to employees their rights and responsibilities and local and legal policies that apply under the FMLA. 

Additional Resources

For more information on FML, see the following resources:

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Shannon Burns
Shannon Burns
HR Consultant

Shannon Burns joined HR Services in 2023 as an HR consultant. She has 22 years of experience in public school districts serving as an executive director of human resources, special programs coordinator, campus administrator, and teacher.

Burns earned her master’s degree from Texas A&M in Kingsville and her superintendent certificate from The University of Texas at Tyler.

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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