Sherman, 101317 KYAGO, AGO OAG 17-22

Docket Nº:AGO OAG 17-22
Case Date:October 13, 2017
Court:Kentucky
 
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Daniel Sherman, Counsel to Muhlenberg County School Board
AGO OAG 17-22
No. OAG 17-022
Kentucky Attorney General Opinions
Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General
October 13, 2017
         Subject: Whether a school board may extend health insurance benefits that are paid by the state to employees on unpaid maternity leave beyond the twelve (12) workweeks allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act.          Requested by: Daniel Sherman, counsel to Muhlenberg County School Board          Written by: . Taylor Payne, Assistant Attorney General          Syllabus: A school board may not extend health insurance paid by the state to employees for maternity leave beyond the twelve (12) workweeks allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act.          Statutes construed: KRS 161.158; KRS 161.770; 702 KAR 1:035; 29 U.S.C.A. § 2612; 29 U.S.C.A. § 2614.           OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL          Daniel Sherman, counsel to the Muhlenberg County School Board (School Board), has requested an opinion of this office on behalf of the School Board to address whether the School Board may extend health insurance benefits paid by the state to employees on unpaid leave to the same extent as if the employee was not on unpaid leave. Mr. Sherman states that the School Board's Policies give the impression that health insurance benefits paid by the state are extended longer than the twelve-week allowance of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). We advise that employees of the School Board are not eligible for state contribution for health insurance premiums while on unpaid leave. We do not read the School Board Policies to give such an impression.          KRS 161.158(l)(a) states that a school board:
[M]ay form its employees into a group or groups or recognize existing groups for the purpose of obtaining the advantages of group life, disability, medical and dental insurance, or any group insurance plans to aid its employees including the state employee health insurance group as described in KRS 18A.225 to 18A.2287, as long as the employees continue to be employed by the board of education.
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