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.
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 three 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.
Discretionary use of leave shall not be allowed on the day before a school holiday, the day after a school holiday, the first or last day of a semester or the day immediately preceding or following any intersession, days scheduled for end-of-semester or end-of-year examinations, days scheduled for state-mandated tests, or professional or staff development days.
Each employee in a position normally requiring ten, 11, or 12 months of service shall earn five, six, or seven paid local leave days per school year, respectively, 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]
Mental Health Leave
A District peace officer who experiences a traumatic event in the scope of employment shall be granted a maximum of five days of mental health leave per traumatic event. Such leave shall be provided in accordance with administrative regulations and shall not be deducted from the employee's pay or leave balance.
The Superintendent shall develop regulations regarding mental health leave that address the following:
- Circumstances or reasons under which a peace officer may use mental health leave;
- Procedures for requesting mental health leave and maintaining the anonymity of the requester;
- The administrator authorized to approve requests for mental health leave; and
- Other procedures deemed necessary for administering this provision.
A District peace officer shall be granted quarantine leave when ordered by the local health authority or the peace officer's supervisor to quarantine or isolate due to possible or known exposure to a communicable disease while on duty. Such leave shall be provided in accordance with administrative regulations and shall not be deducted from the employee's pay or leave balance.
The Superintendent shall develop regulations regarding quarantine leave that address the following:
- Continuation of all employment benefits and compensation for the duration of the leave;
- Reimbursement for reasonable costs related to the quarantine; and
- Other procedures deemed necessary for administering this provision.
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 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 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 or Death
A full-time employee who was employed by the District before the 1996–97 school year shall be eligible for payment for accumulated state and local leave upon retirement under the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS) program or upon the employee's death.
The payment for leave accumulated beginning on June 1, 1994, shall apply only to state and local leave accumulated while employed by the District.
Eligible employees who had accumulated days in other districts prior to June 1, 1994, shall receive payment for all accumulated state and local leave days at the time of retirement or death, according to the provisions in place prior to June 1, 1994.
The maximum payment shall be for one-half of the eligible accumulated leave days, at a rate of 100 percent of the employee's daily rate of pay at the time of retirement or death.
Payment may be paid to the employee's estate if a death certificate is presented.
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.
Neutral Absence Control
If an employee does not return to work after exhausting all available paid and unpaid leave, the District shall provide the employee written notice that he or she no longer has leave available for use. The District shall automatically pursue termination of an employee who has exhausted all available leave, 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.