DEC(LOCAL) - COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: LEAVES AND ABSENCES

Leave Administration

The Superintendent shall develop administrative regulations addressing employee leaves and absences to implement the provisions of this policy.

Definitions

Immediate Family

The term "immediate family" is defined as:

  1. Spouse.
  2. Son or daughter, including a biological, adopted, or foster child, a son- or daughter-in-law, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis.
  3. Parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, or other individual who stands in loco parentis to the employee.
  4. Sibling, stepsibling, and sibling-in-law.
  5. Grandparent and grandchild.
  6. Any person residing in the employee's household at the time of illness or death.

For purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the definitions of spouse, parent, son or daughter, and next of kin are found in DECA(LEGAL).

Family Emergency

The term "family emergency" shall be limited to disasters and life-threatening situations involving the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family.

Leave Day

A "leave day" for purposes of earning, using, or recording leave shall mean the number of hours per day equivalent to the employee's usual assignment, whether full-time or part-time.

School Year

A "school year" for purposes of earning, using, or recording leave shall mean the term of the employee's annual employment as set by the District for the employee's usual assignment, whether full-time or part-time.

Catastrophic Illness or Injury

A catastrophic illness or injury is a severe condition or combination of conditions affecting the mental or physical health of the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family that requires the services of a licensed practitioner for a prolonged period of time and that forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned by that employee and to lose compensation from the District. Such conditions typically require prolonged hospitalization or recovery or are expected to result in disability or death. Conditions relating to pregnancy or childbirth shall be considered catastrophic if they meet the requirements of this paragraph.

Note: For District contribution to employee insurance during leave, see CRD(LOCAL).

Availability

The District shall make state personal leave and local leave for the current year available for use at the beginning of the school year.

State Leave Proration

If an employee separates from employment with the District before his or her last duty day of the school year or begins employment after the first duty day of the school year, state personal leave shall be prorated based on the actual time employed.

If an employee separates from employment before the last duty day of the school year, the employee's final paycheck shall be reduced for state personal leave the employee used beyond his or her pro rata entitlement for the school year.

Medical Certification

An employee shall submit medical certification of the need for leave if:

  1. The employee is absent more than three consecutive workdays because of personal illness or illness in the immediate family;
  2. The District requires medical certification due to a questionable pattern of absences or when deemed necessary by the supervisor or Superintendent; or
  3. The employee requests FMLA leave for the employee's serious health condition; a serious health condition of the employee's spouse, parent, or child; or for military caregiver leave.

In each case, medical certification shall be made by a health-care provider as defined by the FMLA. [See DECA(LEGAL)]

State Personal Leave

The Board requires employees to differentiate the manner in which state personal leave is used.

Nondiscretionary Use

Nondiscretionary use of leave shall be for the same reasons and in the same manner as state sick leave accumulated before May 30, 1995. [See DEC(LEGAL)]

Nondiscretionary use includes leave related to the birth or placement of a child and taken within the first year after the child's birth, adoption, or foster placement.

Discretionary Use

Discretionary use of leave is at the individual employee's discretion, subject to limitations set out below.

Request for Leave

In deciding whether to approve or deny a request for discretionary use of state personal leave, the supervisor shall not seek or consider the reasons for which an employee requests to use leave. The supervisor shall, however, consider the duration of the requested absence in conjunction with the effect of the employee's absence on the educational program and District operations, as well as the availability of substitutes.

Discretionary use of state personal leave shall not exceed three consecutive workdays.

Local Leave

Each employee shall earn five paid local leave days per school year in accordance with administrative regulations.

Local leave shall accumulate without limit.

Local leave shall be used according to the terms and conditions of state sick leave accumulated before the 1995–96 school year, except that an employee may contribute local leave to a sick leave bank. [See DEC(LEGAL)]

Longevity Leave

The District shall award paid longevity leave to eligible full-time employees in positions requiring 12 months of service (at least 226 days) who have ten or more consecutive years of service with the District based on the actual hire date. An eligible employee shall earn five leave days each year that the employee remains eligible. Days shall be awarded on July 1 of each year after eligibility.

Longevity leave is noncumulative and shall be used in accordance with administrative regulations.

Scheduling Restriction

Instructional and campus personnel shall not use longevity leave for discretionary purposes during the instructional school year. Discretionary use of longevity leave shall be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor.

Sick Leave Bank

The District shall establish a sick leave bank that employees may join through contribution of local leave.

Leave contributed to the bank shall be solely for the use of participating employees. An employee who is a member of the bank may request leave from the bank if the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family experiences a catastrophic illness or injury and the employee has exhausted all paid leave and any applicable compensatory time.

The Superintendent shall develop regulations for the operation of the sick leave bank that address the following:

  1. Membership in the sick leave bank, including the number of days an employee must contribute to become a member;
  2. Procedures to request leave from the sick leave bank;
  3. The maximum number of days per school year a member employee may receive from the sick leave bank;
  4. The committee or administrator authorized to consider requests for leave from the sick leave bank and criteria for granting requests; and
  5. Other procedures deemed necessary for the operation of the sick leave bank.

Appeal

An employee may appeal a decision regarding the sick leave bank in accordance with DGBA(LOCAL), beginning with the Superintendent or appropriate administrator.

Family and Medical Leave

FMLA leave shall run concurrently with applicable paid leave and compensatory time, as applicable.

Note: See DECA(LEGAL) for provisions addressing FMLA.

Twelve-Month Period

For purposes of an employee's entitlement to FMLA leave, the 12-month period shall be measured backward from the date an employee uses FMLA leave.

Combined Leave for Spouses

When both spouses are employed by the District, the District shall limit FMLA leave for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition, to a combined total of 12 weeks. The District shall limit military caregiver leave to a combined total of 26 weeks.

Intermittent or Reduced Schedule Leave

The District shall not permit use of intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave for the care of a newborn child or for the adoption or placement of a child with the employee.

Certification of Leave

When an employee requests leave, the employee shall provide certification, in accordance with FMLA regulations, of the need for leave.

Fitness-for-Duty Certification

In accordance with administrative regulations, when an employee takes FMLA leave due to the employee's own serious health condition, the employee shall provide, before resuming work, a fitness-for-duty certification.

Leave at the End of Semester

When a teacher takes leave near the end of the semester, the District may require the teacher to continue leave until the end of the semester.

Temporary Disability Leave

Any full-time employee shall be eligible for temporary disability leave. [See DBB(LOCAL) for temporary disability leave placement and DEC(LEGAL) for return to active duty.]

An employee's notification of need for extended absence due to the employee's own medical condition shall be forwarded to the Superintendent as a request for temporary disability leave.

Positions Requiring Certification

Any full-time employee whose position requires educator certification by the State Board for Educator Certification or by the District shall be eligible for up to 180 calendar days of temporary disability leave or until all paid leave and vacation days, if any, have been exhausted, whichever is greater.

Full-Time Positions Not Requiring Certification

Any full-time professional or paraprofessional employee whose position does not require certification shall be eligible for up to 180 calendar days of temporary disability leave or until all paid leave and vacation days, if any, have been exhausted, whichever is greater.

The District shall make an effort to place a full-time professional or paraprofessional employee returning to active duty after a leave of absence for temporary disability in an assignment at the school or work location where the full-time employee formerly worked, subject to the availability of the same or a similar position. In any event, the full-time employee shall be placed on active duty no later than the beginning of the next school year; however, the assignment may not be in the same or a similar position, unless otherwise required by FMLA.

Auxiliary Positions

An auxiliary employee shall be eligible for up to 60 work days of temporary disability leave per 12-month period or until all paid leave and vacation days, if any, have been exhausted, whichever is greater. The 12-month period shall be measured backward from the date the employee is granted temporary disability leave.

An auxiliary employee returning to active duty after a leave of absence for temporary disability shall be assigned to his or her former position, subject to the availability of the position. In the event the former position is no longer available, the employee shall be as-signed to the first available comparable or similar position. If a comparable or similar position does not become available within six weeks from the employee's request to return to active duty, the District shall have no further obligation to return the employee to duty, and the employee's employment shall be terminated, unless otherwise required by FMLA.

Failure to Return

If an employee is unable or unwilling to return to work at the conclusion of his or her temporary disability leave, and after exhausting all other available paid and unpaid leave, the District shall provide the employee written notice that he or she no longer has leave available for use and shall automatically pursue termination regardless of the reason for the absence [see DF series]. The employee's eligibility for reasonable accommodations, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act [see DAA(LEGAL)], shall be considered before termination. If terminated, the employee may apply for reemployment with the District.

Relation to Other Leave

The District shall require the employee to use temporary disability leave and paid leave, including any compensatory time, concurrently with FMLA leave.

Workers' Compensation

Note: Workers' compensation is not a form of leave. The workers' compensation law does not require the continuation of the District's contribution to health insurance.

An absence due to a work-related injury or illness shall be designated as FMLA leave, temporary disability leave, and/or assault leave, as applicable.

Paid Leave Offset

The District shall permit the option for paid leave offset in conjunction with workers' compensation income benefits. [See CRE]

Court Appearances

Absences due to compliance with a valid subpoena or for jury duty shall be fully compensated by the District and shall not be deducted from the employee's pay or leave balance.

However, absences for court appearances related to an employee's personal business shall be deducted from the employee's leave balance or taken as leave without pay.

Payment for Accumulated Leave Upon Separation

The following leave provisions shall apply to local leave accumulated beginning with the 1988–89 school year and ending on June 30, 1992.

An employee who separates from employment with the District shall be eligible for payment for accumulated local leave if the employee's separation from employment is voluntary, i.e., the employee is retiring or resigning and is not being discharged or nonrenewed.

A professional employee shall receive payment for each day of accumulated local leave at the rate of $70 per day.

A paraprofessional or other employee shall receive payment for each day of accumulated local leave at the rate of 50 percent of their current rate of pay, not to exceed $30 per day.

If the employee is reemployed with the District, days for which the employee received payment shall not be available to that employee.

The rate established by the Board shall be in effect until the Board adopts a new rate. Any changes to the rate shall apply beginning with the school year following the adoption of the rate change.

Bryan ISD

DEC(LOCAL)-X

UPDATE 117

DATE ISSUED: 6/16/2021