DEC(LOCAL) - COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: LEAVES AND ABSENCES
The Superintendent shall develop administrative regulations addressing employee leaves and absences to implement the provisions of this policy.
The term "immediate family" is defined as:
- 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.
- Parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, or other individual who stands in loco parentis to the employee.
- Sibling, stepsibling, and sibling-in-law.
- Grandparent and grandchild.
- 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).
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.
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.
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 the employee's spouse or child 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).
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.
An employee shall submit medical certification of the need for leave if:
- The employee is absent more than five consecutive workdays because of personal illness or illness in the immediate family;
- The District requires medical certification due to a questionable pattern of absences or when deemed necessary by the supervisor or Superintendent; or
- 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 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 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 five consecutive workdays, unless approved by the Superintendent.
Each new employee shall earn three paid local leave days during the first year of employment. Additionally, two paid local leave days shall be placed in the District's sick leave bank in the name of each new employee, with the exception of bus drivers and bus attendants, during the first year of employment in accordance with administrative regulations.
During each subsequent year, all employees 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 personal leave. [See State Personal Leave, above]
Sick Leave Bank
The District shall establish a sick leave bank that employees may join through contribution of local leave by the District, in the employee's name, during the employee's first year of employment.
Leave contributed to the bank shall be solely for the use of eligible employees. An employee who is a member of the bank may request leave from the bank if the employee or the employee's spouse or child 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:
- Membership in the sick leave bank, including the number of days an employee must contribute to become a member;
- Procedures to request leave from the sick leave bank;
- The maximum number of days per school year a member employee may receive from the sick leave bank;
- The committee or administrator authorized to consider requests for leave from the sick leave bank and criteria for granting requests; and
- Other procedures deemed necessary for the operation of the sick leave bank.
An employee may appeal a decision regarding the sick leave bank in accordance with DGBA(LOCAL), beginning at Level One with the sick leave bank committee.
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.
For purposes of an employee's entitlement to FMLA leave, the 12-month period shall be July 1 through June 30.
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.
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 whose position requires educator certification by the State Board for Educator Certification or by the District shall be eligible for temporary disability leave. The maximum length of temporary disability leave shall be 180 calendar days. [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.
The District shall require the employee to use temporary disability leave and paid leave, including any compensatory time, concurrently with FMLA leave.
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.
No Paid Leave Offset
The District shall not permit the option for paid leave offset in conjunction with workers' compensation income benefits. [See CRE]
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.
Payment for Accumulated Leave Upon Retirement
The following leave provisions shall apply to local leave earned beginning on the original effective date of this program.
A full-time employee who retires from the District shall be eligible for payment for accumulated local leave under the following conditions:
- The employee's retirement is voluntary, i.e., the employee is not being discharged or nonrenewed.
- The employee provides advance written notice of intent to retire by February 1 of the duty year in which the retirement will occur.
- The employee completes his or her final duty year.
- The employee is retiring under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).
- The employee has at least five consecutive years of full-time service with the District immediately preceding retirement.
- The employee uses no more than six days of paid or unpaid leave during his or her final year of service with the District; and
- The employee uses no more than three days of paid or unpaid leave after providing notice on February 1.
For purposes of this provision, the duty year for an exempt, 12-month employee retiring at the end of August shall extend through his or her final day of service with the District.
The employee shall receive payment for each day of accumulated local leave at his or her daily rate or $100 per day, whichever is less, to a maximum amount of $3,000. 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.