My friend is a public high school teacher in California and she is due to have her baby in early July. She wants to take the 12-week unpaid leave under FMLA beginning the first day of school in early September. When she told this to the school district HR, they told her that a maternity leave has to be taken following the birth and that leave would count against her FMLA. This in essence leaves her only 6 week of unpaid leave to take at the beginning of the school year. I don't understand how the district can make her taking a maternity leave when the 6 weeks following her due date are all within the summer vacation when teachers are not required to report for duty. The district claims there is a loophole that allows them to do that. Does anyone aware of what that loophole can be for a public school?
My second question would be if the school district can indeed require her to take a maternity leave during summer vacation, can she shorten that leave to a week or two if she can have a note from her doctor that states she is physically capable of returning to work? Thanks for the help.