Extended Illness Absence
Excessive absence on the part of School District employees may have a negative effect on the services provided by the School District, on the instructional program, the continuity of instruction to all pupils and the morale of other employees. This is to help you understand the policies and procedures of the School District insofar as personal illness and maternity leave are concerned.
PERSONAL ILLNESS ACCRUAL
- Regular, full-time employees, below the level of Director, and long-term substitutes are eligible for full salary for ten (10) days each year for non-work granted illness or injuries, cumulative to an unlimited maximum. Part-time, regular employees may be eligible for a prorated amount of sick leave depending on the number of days of hours worked.
- Employees at the Director level or above are granted one year of sick leave in lieu of sick leave accrual or the wage continuation benefits. (See "Extended Absence for Personal Illness-No Wage Continuation Benefits")
- All Employees are required to request approval for all absences due to personal illness and illness in the family on the appropriate forms: Form SEH-86 for three (3) work days or less, and Form SEH-3 for absences in excess of three (3) consecutive work days.
EXTENDED ABSENCE FOR PERSONAL ILLNESS - WAGE CONTINUATION BENEFITS
EXTENDED ABSENCE FOR PERSONAL ILLNESS - NO WAGE CONTINUATION BENEFITS
- Employees at the Director level or above are granted one year of sick leave for all illness in lieu of the wage continuation benefit. Employees are required to submit medical documentation. If the employee is unable to return to work at the end of the one-year period, he/she will be given the option to resign or retire.
- All other employees who do not elect to participate in the wage continuation benefit program or those who are ineligible to participate in the program (due to their part-time status) are entitled to unpaid sick leave once all personal illness days have been used. The unpaid sick leave is granted for a period equal to the difference between the number of accumulated personal illness days and a full work year. Once in unpaid status, employees are still required to submit the required documentation as previously described. If the employee is unable to return to work at the end of the one-year period, he/she will be given the option to resign or retire.
RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF FULL WAGE CONTINUATION BENEFITS PERIOD
- The following regulations will apply to an employee who has been absent for an extended absence of less than one year:
An employee who is absent due to illness for more than 3 months but less than 6 months must return to work on a continuous basis for 3 months to be eligible again for a full year of wage continuation benefits. Any approved leave taken within this 3-month period, with a maximum of 3 days of personal leave and 3 days of sick leave or wage continuation benefits will not break the continuity of service.
An employee who is absent due to illness for more than 6 months must return to work on a continuous basis for 5 months to be eligible again for a full year of wage continuation benefits. Any approved leave taken within this 5 month period with a maximum of 3 days of personal leave and 5 days of sick leave or wage continuation benefits will not break the continuity of service.
Employees who return to work after an extended absence for personal illness and find it necessary to use more than three/five days of personal illness, wage continuation benefits, or approved leave may do so if they have accumulated personal illness days, or are covered for that period under their wage continuation benefits plan. In such cases, all benefits will cease when the total number of days employees are absent due to illness equals their entitlement under their plan.
Any employee who uses more leave than allowed during the three or five month return to work period will not re-establish his/her one year of wage continuation eligibility. The absences of the employee will be cumulative and include the initial period of extended absence due to illness and all subsequent absences during the continuance return to service period.
All employees who are on approved sick leave and are being compensated either by sick leave or wage continuation benefits shall not be permitted to engage in any remunerative occupation during the duration of their sick leave. Non-compliance with this policy is significant grounds for dismissal from service.
Any employee of the School District who is on approved sick leave for a period of more than three consecutive days who deems that he/she is able to perform other activities which include but are not limited to engaging a non-remunerative occupation, assisting another or others in the conduct of a remunerative occupation, or undertaking educational or volunteer activities outside of the home must obtain permission to perform such activity or activities from the Executive Director of Human Resources who shall consult with the Director of Employee Health Services for advice. Such a request must be timely submitted, in writing, and must include a description of the nature of the activity, and specifics with respect to the location and the duration of the activity and must also include a physician's statement indicating the medical advisability and feasibility of such activity. Non-compliance with this policy may be a basis for disciplinary action.
*A separate re-establishment period is in effect for CASA & Non-Represented employees.
APPROVAL FOR RETURN TO WORK
- All employees desiring to return to work from an extended period of illness must receive approval from the Division of Employee Health Services prior to returning to work.
WHEN AN ILL EMPLOYEE INTENDS TO LEAVE THE CITY
When an employee who is not well enough to perform his/her duties is advised by his/her physician to leave the city for a continuous period of time, he/she must secure permission from the Director of Employee Health Services prior to leaving. The employee will be required to submit medical documentation which will be forwarded to the Division of Employee Health Services for evaluation. The employee will also be required to submit a statement indicating the length of absence and the new temporary address.
When the employee leaves the city and is residing elsewhere, Form SEH-3 must be submitted for each payroll period. The physician who signs the absence card must reside in the area to which the employee has moved for the period of recuperation. Certificates secured by an employee from his/her local physician in advance of such absence will not be acceptable.
Failure to comply is sufficient ground for dismissal.
ABSENCE AFTER THE END OF A SABBATICAL LEAVE
- If at the end of a sabbatical leave an employee is unable to return to service because of illness, they may utilize any sick leave or wage continuation benefits available.
SUBMISSION OF REQUEST FOR PERSONAL ILLNESS-FORM SEH-3.
- If an employee does not submit Form SEH-3 signed by the physician within ten (10) working days after the illness is first reported and each pay period thereafter during the illness, the absence will not be approved and the administrator will be required to make a salary deduction for all such absences.
- An employee who is absent from work as a result of an illness relating to or resulting from pregnancy shall have the right to utilize current and accumulated sick leave. However, the employee is required to submit to the School District the same type and quality of medical verification of the need for absence as is required for the general use of sick leave. Such employees shall be eligible to obtain the benefits of the wage continuation plans on the same basis as other employees who have exhausted their accumulated sick leave.
Employees should notify their work location and the Office of Employee Health Services within 5 days of the birth of the child.
Upon delivery, parental leave is granted for a period of six weeks for normal delivery or eight-weeks for a cesarean section. The six-week period consists of 42 calendar days including the date of birth and the eight-week period consists of 56 calendar days including the date of birth. (Employees requesting 8 weeks must submit medical documentation confirming the type of delivery.)
Parental leave is a paid benefit if, and only if, the employee has available sick leave. Once sick leave is exhausted, employees will continue to be paid if, and only if, they have wage continuation insurance. If an employee does not have sick leave and/or wage continuation, she is still entitled to parental leave as indicated above. It will however, be unpaid. In the event of a claim of a continuing illness related to the pregnancy/childbirth which extends beyond the 6/8 week parental leave, the employee may request to continue to use sick leave. Documentation must be submitted from the employee's treating physician to support the claim. Should there be a conflict between the Division of Employee Health Services and the employee's physician, such conflict shall be resolved in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement. Sick leave will not be granted for the sole purpose of child rearing.
An employee returning to service from an illness resulting from or relating to pregnancy and/or childbirth has the right to return to the same position at the school or other location that she vacated subject to the same rules, regulations, and time limits as are applied to employees returning from sick or sabbatical leave.
Subsequent to the six or eight week leave, an employee may take an eighty-nine (89) day unpaid leave with the right to return to her position and location. (Calendar days apply in calculating 89-day unpaid leave.) For ten-month employees, the period from July 1 to August 31 is not counted in the 89-day leave.
Employees may extend their Maternity Leave up to four years. An employee returning from an extended unpaid Maternity Leave between 90 days and two years does not have the right to return to her former position unless it is vacant. If the leave extends beyond two years, the employee has a right to return to School District employment provided there is a vacancy.
- The 89-day leave and any subsequent extensions shall be continuous.
Employees who adopt children shall have the same unpaid leave available to them as employees who give birth to a child up to four (4) years, even if the adopted child is over eighteen (18) months old.