DEC (Local) – Compensation and Benefits: Leaves and Absences


SICK LEAVE:

DEFINITIONS
Sick leave means absences caused by an illness of an employee or a member of an employee’s immediate family.

Illness includes sickness, injury, disability, or medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Employee’s immediate family means spouse, children, step children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and other family as approved.

Full-time employee means an employee who is regularly assigned a workload greater than one-half of the workload normally assigned to an employee in a classification. [See DN(REGULATION)] Custodians are a special class of full-time employees to which different work schedules and calendars may apply.

PROVISIONS
All full-time employees of the College District shall be entitled to sick leave with pay and such leave shall be accrued at the rate of one day for each month, or fraction of a month, of active employment but not to exceed the number of days specified below.

1. Unused sick leave shall accumulate and be carried forward each month, but unused accumulated days carried forward from one fiscal year to another shall never exceed 90 days.

2. Full-time employees who are employed on a nine-month contract shall accrue nine days of sick leave during a fiscal year; those employed on a ten and one-half month contract shall accrue ten and one-half days; and those employed on a 12 month contract shall accrue 12 days. Full-time classified employees shall accrue days at the rate of one day per month worked.

An employee who is absent due to illness shall notify his supervisor at the earliest practicable time.

The College District reserves the right to require medical verification for any absence where sick leave is claimed and may require a release from a physician to return to work.

The employee shall complete the official absence request form in order to make sick leave absences a part of the record.

Accumulated sick leave is not a vested benefit and shall not be paid upon termination of employment.

Sick leave accumulated as of August 31 shall be carried forward to the next year beginning September 1 subject to provisions in this section.

The College President upon consultation with the Vice President of Business Services or the Vice President and Dean of Instruction shall have the prerogative to approve sick leave to be taken in excess of days accumulated in cases deemed worthy and when circumstances, in the College President’s opinion, justify such action. Such advancement or borrowing against future leave shall not exceed one year’s accrual.

In cases where sick leave is used in excess of days accumulated, reductions in pay shall be calculated as follows:

For classified employees, hourly rate times excess hours absent.

For professional employees, hourly rate (as calculated below) times excess hours absent:

12-Month Employees—Contract Salary/1,920 hrs. (48 wks x 40 hrs) or (240 days)

10.5-Month Faculty—Contract Salary/1,470 hrs. (42 wks x 35 hrs) or (210 days)

10.5-Month Other—Contract Salary/1,680 hrs. (42 wks x 40 hrs) or (210 days)

9-Month Employees—Contract Salary/1,190 hrs. (34 wks x 35 hrs) or (170 days)

When reduction in pay is necessary, the reduction shall be withheld from ensuing salary and wage checks on an agreed basis between employee and the College District.

Sick leave will not be paid for days on which employee is not on active duty. Example: Holidays, vacation, summer months when an employee does not have an assignment.

Although some employees may be able to partially perform part of their job duties while on leave, generally leave must be approved based upon the prorated share of the standard 35 or 40 hour work week that the employee is not present at the workplace. Adjusted leave may be approved by the College President for essential duties pre-approved and performed from a distance while absent from the workplace.

Virtual hours of continuing work will be calculated as a prorated share of sick leave.

An employee who is absent from work due to an injury or illness which falls under the category of “work related” will be charged with leave as provided by the worker’s compensation laws and subject to any legal limitations applicable. Employees can voluntarily opt to use sick leave in lieu of worker’s compensation. During the time an employee is receiving weekly workers’ compensation benefits, the employee may elect to receive previously accrued sick leave benefits in an amount equal to the difference in the weekly compensation benefit and the weekly compensation the employee was receiving prior to the injury or illness resulting in the claim, with a proportionate deduction in the employee’s sick leave balance. The sum of weekly workers’ compensation payments and the amount of sick leave paid shall not exceed the amount of weekly compensation the employee was receiving prior to the illness or injury.

MISCELLANEOUS LEAVE
An employee shall be granted leave with pay and without loss of accumulated leave for jury duty. The employee shall be required to present documentation of the service and shall retain any compensation for this service.

Absences for court appearances related to an employee’s personal business shall be deducted from the employee’s personal leave or shall be taken by the employee as leave without pay.

Emergency leave due to death in employee’s family shall be granted with pay but not to normally exceed three days. Any bereavement leave days will be charged against accrued sick leave or, if not available, shall be without pay.

Leave with pay for graduate studies or other reasons may be granted in demanding circumstances with the College President’s approval. The employee may work extra assignments for a defined period to make up the leave time.

Leave without pay for graduate study or professional development may be granted at the convenience of the College District. Up to two sick days per year may be used for personal leave for any circumstances, but these personal leave days may not be accumulated from one fiscal year to another.

MILITARY LEAVE
All employees of the College District who are members of the state military forces or of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces shall be granted a leave of absence from their duties without loss of time, leave time, or salary on all days during which they are engaged in authorized training, duty ordered or authorized by proper authority, not to exceed 15 work days in a federal fiscal year.

Such employees who are ordered to duty by proper authority shall be restored, when relieved from duty, to the position held by them when ordered to duty.

Any employee, other than a temporary employee, who leaves a position with the College District to enter active military services is entitled to be reemployed by the College District in the same position held at the time of the induction, enlistment, or order or to a position of similar seniority, status, and pay. To be entitled to reemployment, the employee must be discharged, separated, or released from active military service under honorable conditions no later than the fifth anniversary after the day of induction, enlistment, or call to active military service and must be physically and mentally qualified to perform the duties of the position.

An employee who cannot perform the duties of the position because of a disability sustained during military service is entitled to reemployment in the College District to a position that the employee can perform and that has like seniority, status, and pay as the former position or the nearest possible seniority, status, and pay.

To be reemployed, a veteran must apply for reemployment no later than the 90th day after the date the veteran is discharged or released from active military service. Application must be made in writing to the President and have attached to it evidence of the veteran’s discharge, separation, or release from military service under honorable conditions.

A person reemployed after active military service shall not be discharged without cause before the first anniversary of the date of the re-employment.

“Military service” means serve as a member of the regular or reserve armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or the Texas State Guard.

RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES
The College District will reasonably accommodate an employee’s request to be absent from duty in order to participate in religious observances and practices, so long as it does not cause undue hardship on the conduct of College District business. Such absence shall be charged to vacation pay, if available.

The College District shall not discriminate against or penalize in any way a faculty member who is absent from work for the observance of a religious holy day, gives proper notice of that absence, and holds a bona fide religious belief.

“Proper notice” shall consist of providing a list of religious holy days to be observed during the semester to the supervisor and providing notice of such days in advance to all students whose class would be canceled due to the faculty member’s absence. This notice shall be in writing and shall be personally delivered to the supervisor before the first class day of the semester, receipt therefore being acknowledged and dated by the Vice President and Dean of Instruction, or shall be sent by certified mail return receipt requested, addressed to the Vice President and Dean of Instruction.

FEDERAL FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE
The College District will comply with provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The 12-month period within which employees shall be eligible for 12 weeks of family and medical leave shall be defined as the 12-month period beginning on the first duty day of the school year.

Employees shall be required to use all applicable accumulated sick leave in the order determined by this policy concurrently with family and medical leave.

If both spouses are employed by the College District, combined family and medical leave for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks as determined by the needs of the College District.

Intermittent leave shall not be permitted for the birth of the employee’s healthy child or the adoption or placement of a healthy child.

If, at the expiration of the family and medical leave, the employee is able to return to work but chooses not to do so, the College District shall require reimbursement of the employee benefits contribution made by the College District during the period in which such leave was taken as unpaid leave.

All FMLA leave time runs concurrent with short-term and long-term disability and worker’s compensation or any qualifying event.

REVISED: 06/12