APPLICABILITY & PURPOSE

This Personnel Management Regulation (PMR) presents rules for the various types of leaves of absence applicable to County employees.

CONTENTS

44.1 Sick Leave
44.2 Catastrophic Leave Donation Plan
44.3 Unpaid Medical Leave
44.4 Return to Work - Medical Certification Required
44.5 Vacation Leave
44.6 Holidays
44.7 Family Medical Care Leave
44.8 School Visit Leave
44.9 Bereavement Leave
44.10 Personal Leave
44.11 Military Leave
44.12 Voting Leave
44.13 Jury Duty
44.14 Pregnancy Leave
44.15 Lactation Accommodation
44.16 Administrative Leave
44.17 Leave Without Pay
44.18 Special Leave for Distress Not Otherwise Covered
44.19 Sabbatical Leave
APPROVAL

FORMS AND ATTACHMENTS

44.1 Sick Leave

A. Defined. Sick leave is leave from duty with pay which may be granted to an employee because of bona-fide illness or injury or because of illness or injury to a family member, domestic partner, or a person in a familial relationship residing in the same household, or for a medical, dental or optical appointment to the extent such appointment cannot be scheduled outside the work day.

B. Eligible Employees. Only regular, provisional, probationary employees and at will employees except elected officials are entitled to sick leave. Regular employees employed on a part-time basis are entitled to sick leave, but will accrue it on a pro-rata basis.

C. Sick Leave Accrual. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, eligible employees will accrue sick leave at the rate of .0462 hours for each hour or major fraction thereof served with no limit on accrual.

D. Employee Sick Leave Use. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, sick leave up to the total number of working hours accumulated may be granted by an employee's department head in the case of a bona fide illness or injury to the employee. The employee must submit a written application or time off request to his or her supervisor for approval and submittal to the department head. The department head may require a physician's certificate or other evidence of illness or injury.

E. Employee Sick Leave Used for Family. One half of an employee's annual accumulated sick leave or up to 6 accrued days per year, whichever is longer, may be used due to the illness or injury of a child, spouse, parent, domestic partner or person in a familial relationship residing in the same household. The department head may require a physician's certificate or other evidence of illness or injury.

F. Sick Leave Use Exception. Paid sick leave will not be granted for an injury attributable to an outside occupation for which Workers' Compensation benefits are available and/or engagement in the outside employment has not been authorized by the County.

G. Sick Leave Usage for Industrial Accidents.

1. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, in cases where workers’ compensation is not immediately payable the County will provide full pay, without charge against sick leave, during the first week of work, following an industrial accident, provided that the County determines that:

a. The accident is, in fact, work related

b. Time off work is warranted

c. The duration of the time off work is warranted

2. In all other cases, unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, accumulated sick leave will be applied to time off work following an industrial accident in a proportionate amount of which when added to Workers' Compensation benefits, will provide total compensation equal to the employee's regular wage or salary. Upon exhaustion of accumulated sick leave, accrued vacation time may be applied in the same manner.

3. In cases where an industrial accident results in exhaustion of all accrued sick leave, 5 additional days of sick leave will be credited to the employee upon his/her return to work unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise.

H. Excessive Sick Leave Usage. An employee who is excessively absent may be subject to disciplinary action. Excessive absenteeism may be defined as absence in excess of the average annual sick leave usage for the employee's department, not including time as a result of FMLA, workers’ compensation leave, and up to six days of family sick leave. The pattern of absence and the nature of the illness, as well as other related information, may be taken into account.

I. Abuse of Sick Leave. An employee will be subject to disciplinary action for abuse of sick leave when the employee claims entitlement to sick leave yet it is determined he/she has not met the requirements for sick leave usage as set forth in 44.1.A, above.

J. Evaluation of Sick Leave Usage. Each employee's annual or special evaluation may contain a statement of the employee's use of sick leave during the evaluation period and state whether the employee's usage is excessive as set forth in 44.1.H, above. Excessive use or abuse of sick leave will be considered in establishing the performance rating.

K. No Payout at Separation. There will be no pay-off of any unused sick leave at the time an employee separates employment from the County.

L. Unused Sick Leave Conversion to Retirement Service Credit Upon Retirement. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, retirement service credit is provided for 75% of unused sick leave at the time of retirement from County service.

44.2 Catastrophic Leave Donation Plan

A. Eligibility. The catastrophic leave donation plan is available to all regular employees who have completed six months of probation, have applied for and been approved for catastrophic leave and have exhausted all paid leave or anticipate exhausting all paid leave within the next two pay periods.

B. Definition. Catastrophic leave is defined as a bona-fide and verifiable long-term illness or injury of the employee or immediate family member that will require the prolonged absence of the employee from duty and will result in a substantial loss of income to the employee due to the exhaustion of all paid leave available.

C. Type of Leave to Be Donated. Donation may include vacation and floating holidays.

D. Limit (Donor and Recipient). There will be no minimum donation amount. Donors must maintain a leave balance (including sick leave) of one week (37.5 or 40 hours or the equivalent). A recipient may receive up to a maximum of 6 months leave (975 or 1040 hours or the equivalent). Additional time may be received in amounts not exceeding another 6 months equivalent. To be eligible to receive more than the original limit, there must be a favorable prognosis for recovery and a predictable date of return to work. For employees who receive special extended sick leave from the Board of Supervisors upon the request of their department, the total of special extended sick leave and catastrophic leave will not exceed 12 months.

E. Integrating of Other Leave Policies. All other leave balances (including sick leave, vacation, floating holidays, compensatory time and personal leave) must be exhausted prior to receipt of donated leave. However, the approving authority may approve the solicitation and acceptance of leave donations prior to all balances being exhausted when a physician's statement and leave balances indicate the probable exhaustion of leave balances within two pay periods. The definition of physician will be the same as that contained in the Family Medical Care Leave Policy, PMR 44.7.B.7. Donated leave will be integrated with other disability plans including but not limited to SDI, Long Term Disability, Social Security, or any other disability plan. In no case will the total of any disability payment and donated leave total be more than the employee's regular wages.

F. Leave Accrual During Leave Donated. An employee on donated leave will not accrue sick leave, vacation or any other type of leave.

G. Processing and Administration. The Catastrophic Leave Donation Plan will be administered by the Human Resources Department. Leave must be requested and approved in advance. Approval will be at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources or designee after consultation with the department head. Request must be made on the County's Catastrophic Leave Request Form and submitted to Human Resources by any means, including mail, personal delivery, facsimile, or by representative. After a leave request has been made and approved and donations made, the donor's department may request a budget adjustment from the Board of Supervisors to fund the leave donation. Upon approval and solicitation, Human Resources will provide the required information to the Auditor-Controller's Office for processing of leave balance adjustments.

H. Donor Release. All donors must sign a release form. Donations are irrevocable and become part of the recipient's sick leave balance.

I. Death of Recipient. Should a recipient employee die, the time credited to the employee’s sick leave account will be placed in a bank and distributed in accordance with the Plan requirements. Donations to known terminally ill employees will be posted in amounts not to exceed two pay periods worth of time unless the donor requests that the donation be effective immediately. Any time donated to the employee that was not yet processed will have the donation form returned to the donor.

J. Conversion From Donor to Recipient. Donated leave will be converted to sick leave at its cash value at the donor's base rate of pay and then credited to the recipient in equivalent hours of leave at the recipient's base rate of pay.

K. Solicitation. Upon approval of the need for catastrophic leave donation by the Director of Human Resources and provided the requesting employee's leave request so directs, Human Resources will, upon the approval of the employee on the leave request form, send a donation request letter to all departments for posting on employee bulletin boards, or publication in employee newsletters. No confidential medical information will be contained in the donation request. All departments will be supplied with donation forms to give to employees who wish to donate leave.

L. Taxability. The County Catastrophic Leave Donation Plan will comply with all applicable IRS codes. The leave will be taxable to the recipient and appropriate withholding will be made by the County. There is no tax liability to the donor.

Return to Top

44.3 Unpaid Medical Leave

Leave without pay due to temporary disability from illness or injury may be allowed by the department head up to a period of 12 months following the expiration of accrued paid sick leave, leave donated, special extended sick leave with pay, or unpaid family medical leave. If an applicable MOU so provides, or upon employee request, employees may retain up to 10 days’ vacation.

44.4 Return to Work - Medical Certification Required

For absences of five working days or less, medical clearance from a health care provider may be required. For absences of six consecutive working days or more, medical clearance from a health care provider will be required. The medical authorization will be turned into the department head or designee. Before returning to work from an unpaid medical leave, medical clearance from the County medical provider, or the employee’s personal physician, is required.

Return to Top

44.5 Vacation Leave

A. Eligible Employees. All employees except temporary employees are entitled to accrue vacation leave. Regular employees employed on a part-time basis are entitled to vacation leave, but will accrue it on a pro-rata basis.

B. Vacation Leave Accrual. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, eligible employees will accrue vacation leave on the basis of continuous years of service in accordance with the following schedule:

1. After 1 year of service* - 10 working days (.0385 hourly)

2. After 3 years of service - 15 working days (.0577 hourly)

3. After 10 years of service - 20 working days (.0770 hourly)

4. After 20 years of service - 25 working days (.0962 hourly)

5. After 30 years of service - 30 working days (.1154 hourly)

*Exceptions: For top management positions in unit #21 (Appointed Officials) and #26 (Assistants, Deputies and Battalion Chiefs): 15 working days.

C. Unpaid Leave of Absence. No vacation leave will accrue during any unpaid leave of absence.

D. Vacation Leave Use.

1. Vacation leave may not be taken without written request to the employee’s supervisor or manager and notification from them that the request has been approved in advance of the vacation leave. Vacations should be scheduled as far in advance as reasonably possible in each work unit, and should be staggered over the entire calendar year to the extent reasonable.

2. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, employee preference for vacation time or times, to the extent that it is reasonable, will be honored (on a seniority or annual rotation basis, in the event of a conflict), subject to the department head’s judgment as to the maintenance of minimum work forces at all times, peak workload coverage an/or general departmental and public convenience.

3. The department head may authorize vacations up to the number of days actually accrued after 6 months of continuous employment if convenient to the County.

E. Changes to Vacation Leave Requests. Unless department rules have established a different procedure, employees must notify the department head in writing to change or cancel any vacation leave request. The requested change or cancellation will have no effect, and vacation leave will be charged to the employee for the original request, unless and until the department head or his/her designee provides his/her approval of the change/cancellation request in writing.

F. Limits on Accrual of Vacation Leave. Employees will not accumulate any further vacation leave if their unused vacation leave reaches the following levels:

1. Employees holding positions in unit #24-02 (confidential clerical): 300 unused hours.

2. Employees holding positions in units #21-01 and #21-07 (appointed officials), #24-01 (confidential professionals), #24-03 (deputy county counsels), #24-05 (administrative aides), #24-06 (confidential management), #26-01 (assistants and deputies), #25-01 (deputy district attorneys), and #30-01 (supervisory): 360 unused hours.

3. For all other employees, limits are governed by the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

4. In unusual cases, to avoid impairment of County services, the County Administrator may approve the accumulation of unused vacation hours in excess of the maximum unused hours as specified above.

G. Holidays During Approved Vacation Leave. When a holiday observed by the County falls within an employee's approved vacation leave, that day will not be charged against the employee's accrued vacation leave.

H. Injury or Illness During Approved Vacation Leave. If an employee becomes ill or is injured during approved vacation leave, the time of actual illness may be charged against accrued sick leave, if any, provided the employee meets the criteria set forth in Section 44.1.

I. Payment Upon Separation from Employment. Subject to limits on unused hours specified in subsection F, an employee who separates employment with the County and has earned and accrued vacation leave to his/her credit will be paid for the remaining vacation leave as of the last date of employment.

44.6 Holidays

A. Recognized Holidays. The following holidays are observed by the County. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, all regular, probationary, provisional and at-will (exclusive of temporary) employees are entitled to the following holidays with pay.

1. The first day in January

2. The third Monday in January

3. The third Monday in February

4. The last Monday in May

5. The fourth day of July

6. The first Monday in September

7. Veteran's Day as designated by federal law

8. Thanksgiving Day

9. The Friday immediately following Thanksgiving Day

10. ½ day on December 24, if the date falls on a Monday through Thursday and providing that day is not otherwise deemed a holiday

11. December 25

12. ½ day on December 31, if the date falls on a Monday through Thursday and providing that day is not otherwise deemed a holiday.

B. Special Holidays. In addition to the recognized holidays listed in subsection A, the County may, provided approval is given by the Board of Supervisors, observe as a holiday every day appointed by the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of California for a public fast, thanksgiving or holiday upon which federal and/or state government offices will be closed. Such a holiday will be granted to regular, probationary, provisional and at-will (exclusive of temporary) employees.

C. Weekend Holidays. If a holiday, other than December 24 or December 31, falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Friday preceding a Saturday holiday or the Monday following a Sunday holiday will be deemed a holiday in lieu of the day observed. For an employee who does not work a Monday through Friday schedule, the day immediately following his/her two days off will be deemed to be a holiday in lieu of the day observed, unless for business reasons the department head and employee agree to another day, preferably within the same pay period.

D. Floating Holidays. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, 2 to 4 days per year (as noted below) will be deemed floating holidays which may be taken at any time or times during the fiscal year in which they are accrued provided written request is made in advance and the department approves such request in writing. Employees eligible for floating holidays are regular, probationary, and at-will (exclusive of temporary employees and elected officials). If an employee transfers to another County position, the total accrual for the year of transfer will not exceed the maximum accrual for the year for any one position held.

1. Manner of Accrual of Floating Holidays for Unrepresented Employees. Each unrepresented employee, except for confidential clerical positions, will accrue 2 floating holidays on July 1 of each year. Any unrepresented employee hired between July 1 and January 1 of any fiscal year will immediately accrue 2 floating holidays upon appointment for that fiscal year. Any unrepresented employee hired on or after January 1 through March 30 of any fiscal year will accrue 1 floating holiday for the balance of the fiscal year. Unrepresented employees hired after March 30 of any fiscal year will not accrue floating holidays for the balance of the fiscal year.

2. Manner of Accrual of Floating Holidays for Employees in Sub-Unit #24-02. Each employee in sub-unit #24-02 (confidential clerical) will accrue 4 floating holidays on July 1 of each year. All employees hired in a position in sub-unit #24-02 between July 1 and January 1 of any fiscal year will immediately accrue upon appointment 4 floating holidays (30 hours) for that fiscal year. All employees hired in a position in sub-unit #24-02 on or after January 1 through March 30 of any fiscal year will accrue 2 floating holidays (15 hours) for the balance of that fiscal year. Employees in these groups hired after March 30 of any fiscal year will accrue no floating holidays for the balance of the fiscal year.

3. Manner of Accrual of Floating Holidays for Represented Employees. The right to, use of and manner of accrual of floating holidays for employees represented by a union or association, if any, will be determined by applicable collective bargaining agreement.

4. No Carry-Over of Floating Holidays. Floating holidays must be taken in the fiscal year accrued and will not carry over from one fiscal year to the next. Upon separation of employment from the County, unused, accrued pro-rated floating holidays will be paid at the employee’s straight time rate.

Return to Top

44.7 Family Medical Care Leave

A. Statement of Policy. To the extent not already provided for under current leave policies and provisions, the County will provide Family Medical Care Leave for eligible employees as required by state and federal law. Unless otherwise indicated, "leave" under this section will mean leave pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

B. Definitions. The following definitions apply to this policy.

1. "12-Month Period" means a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date leave is taken and continuous with each additional leave day taken.

2. "Child" means a child under the age of 18 years of age, or 18 years of age or older who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. An employee's child is one for whom the employee has actual day-to-day responsibility for care and includes a biological, adopted, foster or stepchild, legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.

3. A child is "incapable of self-care" if he/she requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more of the activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living such as caring for grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing and eating, cooking, cleaning shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, etc.

4. "Parent" means the biological parent of an employee or an individual who stands or stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent) to an employee when the employee was a child. This term does not include parents-in-law.

5. "Spouse" means a husband or wife as defined or recognized under California State law for purposes of marriage.

6. “Domestic partner” as defined in PMR 42.

7. "Grandparent" means the parent of the employee's parent.

8. "Grandchild" means a child of the employee's child.

9. "Sibling" means a person related to another person by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent.

10. A qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of the individual or the individual's: spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces.

11. "Serious health condition" means an illness, injury impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

a. Inpatient Care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, or

b. Continuing treatment by a health care provider for reasons of:

i. A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days.

ii. Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.

iii. Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition.

iv. A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective.

v. Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery there from) by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider.

12. "Health Care Provider" means:

a. A doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery by the State of California;

b. Individuals duly licensed as a physician, surgeon, or osteopathic physician or surgeon in another state or jurisdiction, including another country, who directly treats or supervises treatment of a serious health condition;

c. Podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, and chiropractors (limited to treatment consisting of manual manipulation of the spine to correct an existing subluxation as demonstrated by X-ray) authorized to practice in California and performing within the scope of their practice as defined under California State law;

d. Nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives and clinical social workers who are authorized to practice under California State law and who are performing within the scope of their practice as defined under California State law; and

e. Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.

C. Reasons for Family Medical Care Leave. Leave is only permitted for the following reasons:

1. The birth of a child or to care for a newborn of an employee;

2. The placement of a child with an employee in connection with the adoption or foster care of a child;

3. Leave to care for a child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition; or

4. Leave because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her position.

D. Employees Eligible for Leave. An employee is eligible for leave if the employee:

1. Has been employed for at least 12 months; and

2. Has been employed for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.

E. Amount of Leave. Eligible employees are entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period, with the following exceptions:

1. Minimum Duration of Leave. If leave is requested for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child of the employee, leave must be concluded within one year of the birth or placement of the child. In addition, the basic minimum duration of such leave is two weeks. However, an employee is entitled to leave for one of these purposes (e.g., bonding with a newborn) for at least one day, but less than two weeks duration on any two occasions.

2. Leave Due to Serious Health Condition. If leave is requested to care for a child, parent, spouse or the employee him/herself with a serious health condition, there is no minimum amount of leave that must be taken. However, the notice and medical certification must be in compliance with the provisions of this policy.

3. Spouses Both Employed by County. In any case in which a husband and wife both employed by the County are entitled to leave, the aggregate number of workweeks of leave to which both may be entitled may be limited to 12 workweeks during any 12- month period if leave is taken for the birth or placement for adoption or foster care of the employees' child (i.e., bonding leave). This limitation does not apply to any other type of leave under this policy.

F. Employee Benefits While on Leave

1. Following the use of paid leave balances, leave under this policy is unpaid. While on unpaid leave, employees will continue to be covered by the group health insurance (which includes dental and vision) to the same extent that coverage is provided while the employee is on paid status.

2. However, employees will not continue to be covered under the non-health benefit plans, unless specified elsewhere. Employees may make the appropriate contributions for continued coverage under the preceding non-health benefit plans by payroll deductions or direct payments made to these plans. Depending on the particular plan, the County will inform the employee whether the premiums should be paid to the carrier or to the County. Coverage on a particular plan may be dropped if the employee is more than 30 days late in making a premium payment. Employee contribution rates are subject to any change in rates that occurs while the employee is on leave.

3. If an employee fails to return to work after his/her leave entitlement has been exhausted or expires, the County will have the right to recover its share of health plan premiums for the entire leave period, unless the employee does not return because of the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition of the employee or his/her family member which would entitle the employee to leave, or because of circumstances beyond the employee's control. The County will have the right to recover premiums through deduction from any sums due to the employee (e.g. unpaid wages, vacation pay, etc.).

G. Substitution of Paid Accrued Leaves. Unless otherwise precluded by law, e.g. Labor Code 4850 time, an employee must use paid accrued leaves concurrently with FMLA. Employees who are eligible to receive state disability insurance may receive paid state disability leave (Paid Family Leave) during FMLA or CFRA leave, with the exception of FMLA used for illness of the employee, effective July 1, 2004.

H. Medical Certification

1. Employees who request leave for their own serious health condition or to care for a child, parent or a spouse who has a serious health condition must provide written certification from the health care provider of the individual requiring care if requested by the County.

2. If the leave is requested because of the employee's own serious health condition, the certification must include a statement that the employee is unable to work at all or is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position, subject to the following requirements:

a. Time To Provide Medical Certification. When an employee's leave is foreseeable and a medical certification is requested, the employee must provide it before the leave begins. When this is not possible, the employee must provide the requested certification to the County within 15 calendar days after the employer's request, unless it is not practicable under the particular circumstances to do so despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts.

b. Consequences For Failure To Provide An Adequate Or Timely Certification. If an employee provides an incomplete medical certification, the employee will be given a reasonable opportunity to cure any such deficiency. However, if an employee fails to provide a medical certification within the time frame established by this policy, the County may delay the taking of FMLA/CFRA leave until the required certification is provided.

c. Recertification. If the County has reason to doubt the validity or clarity of a certification, the County may require a medical opinion of a second health care provider chosen and paid for by the County. If the second opinion is different from the first, the County may require the opinion of a third provider jointly approved by the County and the employee, but paid for by the County. The opinion of the third provider will be binding. An employee may request a copy of the health care provider's opinions when there is a recertification.

I. Intermittent Leave or Leave on a Reduced Leave Schedule. If an employee requests leave intermittently (a few days or hours at a time) or on a reduced leave schedule to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or treatment required for oneself, the employee must provide medical certification that such leave is medically necessary. "Medically necessary" means there must be a medical need for the leave and that the leave can best be accomplished through an intermittent or reduced leave schedule.

J. Employee Notice of Leave. Although the County recognizes that emergencies arise which may require employees to request immediate leave, employees are required to give as much notice as possible of their need for leave. If leave is foreseeable, at least 30 days notice is required.

In addition, if an employee knows that he/she will need leave in the future, but does not know the exact date(s) (e.g. for the birth of a child or to take care of a newborn), the employee will inform his/her supervisor as soon as possible that such leave will be needed. Such notice may be given orally. If the County determines that an employee's notice is inadequate or the employee knew about the requested leave in advance of the request, the County may delay the granting of the leave until it can, in its discretion, adequately cover the position with a substitute.

K. Reinstatement upon Return from Leave

1. Upon expiration of leave, an employee is entitled to be reinstated to the position of employment held when the leave commenced, or to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. Employees have no greater rights to reinstatement, benefits and other conditions of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed during the leave period.

2. Employees may be required to periodically report on their status and intent to return to work.

L. Fitness For Duty Certification. As a condition of reinstatement of an employee whose leave was due to the employee's own serious health condition which made the employee unable to perform his/her job, the employee must obtain and present a fitness-for-duty certification from the health care provider indicating that the employee is able to resume the essential functions of his or her pre-leave position. Failure to provide such certification will result in denial or delay of reinstatement.

M. Reinstatement of "Key Employees". The County may deny reinstatement to a "key" employee (i.e., an employee who is among the highest paid 10 percent of all employees) if such denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the operations of the County, and the employee is notified of the County's intent to deny reinstatement on such basis at the time the employer determines that such injury would occur.

N. Required Forms. Employees must request, complete and return each of the applicable forms (Fitness for Duty to Return from Leave Certification Form or FMLA Leave Request Form) in connection with leave under this policy.

44.8 School Visit Leave

A. Definition - School visit leave is up to 40 hours each year, not to exceed 8 hours per month, of paid or unpaid leave taken by a parent, guardian or grandparent having custody of 1 or more children who are in school (grades 1 through 12) or who is attending a licensed child day care facility to participate in activities of the child's school or daycare facility.

B. Eligible Employees - Only employees who are custodial parents, guardians or grandparents are eligible.

C. Prior Notice Required - Eligible employees desiring to take school visit leave must provide written notice to the department head or designee reasonably in advance of the leave. Failure to provide written notice in a reasonable time prior to the leave may result in denial of the leave request.

D. Other Leave Runs Concurrently With School Visit Leave - An employee must use vacation, floating holiday, personal leave or compensatory time off concurrently with school visit leave. The employee will notify the County of which leave he/she intends to run concurrently with school visit leave at the time of the leave request. If the employee fails to make an election, the County may designate which leave will run concurrently with school visit leave.

E. Documentation of Participation - The County may require the employee taking school visit leave to provide written documentation from the school or licensed daycare facility evidencing the employee's participation.

44.9 Bereavement Leave

A. Definition. Bereavement leave is leave with pay, up to 5 consecutive working days (37 ½ or 40 hours), which may be granted by the department head or his/her designee to be used by the employee in the case of the death of an eligible employee's mother, father, spouse, domestic partner, sister, brother, son or daughter. Bereavement leave will be charged against the employee’s sick leave. Bereavement leave may be granted upon approval of the County Administrator in case of the death of other persons whose death is a matter of concern to the employee.

B. Eligible Employees. All employees except temporary employees and elected officials are entitled to bereavement leave. Regular employees employed on a part-time basis are entitled to bereavement leave, but on a pro-rata basis.

C. Documentation of Death. The County may require the employee taking bereavement leave to provide written documentation of the death for which the bereavement leave is taken.

Return to Top

44.10 Personal Leave

A. Definition. Personal leave is paid leave which may be granted at the sole discretion of an employee's department head. Approval or denial of an employee's request for personal leave will be based on the employee's quality of performance, workload, office workload and any other factors the department head deems appropriate.

B. Eligible Employees. Unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, employees, except temporary employees, may be granted and accrue personal leave. Regular employees employed on a part-time basis may be entitled to personal leave, but will accrue it on a pro-rata basis.

C. Manner of Accrual of Personal Leave for Unrepresented Employees in Units #21, #24, and #26. Each unrepresented regular employee in positions in units #21 (Appointed Officials), #24 (except confidential clerical) and #26 (Assistants and Deputies), except for Deputy County Counsels, Deputy District Attorneys, Attorneys I through IV, may be eligible to receive personal leave not in excess of 40 hours per year which, if allowed, must be taken during the same fiscal year. Each regular employee on the payroll as of July 1st will be credited with 40 hours personal leave for that fiscal year. Employees newly appointed between July 1 and October 31 will be credited with 40 hours personal leave for that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between November 1 and February 28 (29) will be credited with 20 hours of personal leave for the balance of that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between March 1 and May 31 will be credited with 8 hours of personal leave for the balance of that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between June 1 and June 30 will receive no personal leave for that fiscal year.

D. Manner of Accrual of Personal Leave for Unrepresented Employees in "Confidential Clerical" Positions (Unit 24-02). Each unrepresented regular employee in a position in unit #24-02 (Confidential Clerical) will be eligible to receive personal leave not in excess of 37 ½ hours per fiscal year which must, if allowed, be taken during the same fiscal year. Each regular employee on the payroll as of July 1st will be credited with 37 ½ hours personal leave for that fiscal year. Employees newly appointed between July 1 and October 31 will be credited with 37 ½ hours personal leave for that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between November 1 and February 28 (29) will be credited with 18 hours of personal leave for the balance of that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between March 1 and May 31 will be credited with 7 ½ hours of personal leave for the balance of that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between June 1 and June 30 will receive no personal leave for that fiscal year.

E. Manner of Accrual of Personal Leave for Unrepresented Deputy County Counsels I-IV (Unit 24-03) and Deputy District Attorneys I through IV (Unit 25-01). Each unrepresented regular employee in a position in unit #24-03 (Deputy County Counsels) and unit 25-01 (Deputy District Attorneys I through IV) will be eligible to receive personal leave not in excess of 80 hours per fiscal year which must, if allowed, be taken during the same fiscal year. Each regular employee on the payroll as of July 1st will be credited with 80 hours personal leave for that fiscal year. Employees newly appointed between July 1 and October 31 will be credited with 80 hours personal leave for that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between November 1 and February 28 (29) will be credited with 40 hours personal leave for the balance of that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between March 1 and May 31 will be credited with 8 hours of personal leave for the balance of that fiscal year. Any such employee appointed between June 1 and June 30 will receive no personal leave for that fiscal year.

F. Manner of Accrual of Personal Leave for Represented Employees. The right to, use of and manner of calculating the accrual of personal leave for employees represented by a union or association, if any, will be determined by applicable collective bargaining agreement.

G. Effect of Transfer on Personal Leave. If an employee transfers from one County position to another, the total accrual for the fiscal year of transfer will not exceed the maximum accrual for that year for any one of the positions held.

H. Use of Personal Leave. Personal leave, if granted by a department head and accrued in advance, may not be taken without written request to the department head or his/her designee and notification from the department head that the request has been approved in advance of the leave. Requests to use personal leave should be scheduled as far in advance as reasonably possible in each work unit, and should be staggered over the entire calendar year to the extent reasonable. Employee preference for personal leave time or times, to the extent that it is reasonable, will be honored (on a seniority or annual rotation basis, in the event of a conflict), subject to the department head's judgment as to the maintenance of minimum work forces at all times, peak workload coverage and/or general departmental and public convenience.

I. No Carry Over of Personal Leave. Personal leave will not carry over from one fiscal year to the next. When an employee terminates, there will be no compensation for unused personal leave unless an applicable MOU provides otherwise.

44.11 Military Leave

A. Military leave will be granted in accordance with the provisions of federal and state law. Military leaves of absence in excess of 30 days will be reported by the department head to the Director of Human Resources to insure that all statutory requirements are satisfied.

B. During times of declared war or otherwise, the Board of Supervisors may approve additional time with supplemental pay and benefits in addition to the 30 days of full pay under California law.

Return to Top

44.12 Voting Leave

In accordance with State law, employees whose work schedule prevents them from voting at a statewide election may take up to two (2) hours off with pay at the beginning or end of the work day. If the time off is required, the employee must have prior approval from the employee’s department head at least two (2) days prior to the statewide election.

44.13 Jury Duty

A. Definition. Every employee of the County who is summoned or required to serve as a trial juror is entitled to be absent from the County during the period of service. Such employees will be deemed to be on special service status for the duration of such jury duty. Such employee, except temporary employees, will be paid the employee's regular salary and will either waive or return to the County any and all jury fees.

B. Employee Must Immediately Notify His or Her Supervisor of Receipt of Summons for Jury Duty. An employee summoned for jury duty must immediately notify his or her supervisor.

C. Employee Must Report Status of Jury Duty to Supervisor on Daily Basis. Employees are required to notify their supervisor on a daily basis regarding jury duty hours, including jury duty release time.

D. Employees Must Take Advantage of Court Call-In and other Scheduling Procedures. Where courts have call-in procedures to determine days and hours of service, employees must take advantage of these procedures. If an employee is told by the Court not to report, is dismissed, or is told to call in the next day, the employee must come to work and, if necessary, make the call from the County, unless the employee receives prior approval from the department head, or supervisor, to call from home.

44.14 Pregnancy Leave

A. Definition. Any female employee will be entitled to take an unpaid leave on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions up to 6 months. The employee will be entitled to utilize accrued sick leave during the period of disability, as well as vacation leave or other accrued paid leave during this period of time. An employee will not accrue additional vacation or sick leave during any unpaid portion of this leave. The employee is eligible for and is designated to be on Family Medical Leave upon the commencement of pregnancy disability leave.

B. Employees Must Notify of Intent to Take Pregnancy Leave. Any employee who plans to take a leave on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or adoption or related situation should submit in writing to her department head a statement of her intent to take leave, including a physician's statement indicating her last advisable or probable date to remain at work and a statement of her intended date to return to work. Notice must be given not less than 30 days prior to the intended commencement date of the leave, if the leave is foreseeable. When the need for leave does not allow for 30 days notice, notice must be given as soon as practicable.

44.15 Lactation Accommodation

In accordance with state law, the County will provide a reasonable amount of break time to employees who are breast feeding to express milk. If possible, the break time will be that already provided. If not, the break time will be unpaid. The County will provide a private location close to the employee’s work area for this break. The break time may be denied if it would seriously disrupt the department’s operations. The County will endeavor to provide access to a refrigerator to store expressed milk.

44.16 Administrative Leave

Administrative Leave is leave with pay taken at the sole discretion of the County. Employees placed on Administrative Leave will be relieved of their regular duties during the period of Administrative Leave. Employees placed on Administrative Leave will remain at their residences or elsewhere at the instruction of the department head during their regular work hours. Employees placed on Administrative Leave will report by phone to their department head or designee daily or as otherwise instructed by their department head or designee during the period of the leave. Administrative leave is not discipline and does not entitle the employee to any right of appeal.

44.17 Leave Without Pay

A. Definition. Leave without pay means leave which is requested after all sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time off and other leaves of absence which the employee is entitled to use have been exhausted. Leave without pay is not to exceed one year. Upon employee request, the employee may retain up to 75 or 80 hours’ vacation in their accrual account.

B. Eligibility. All employees except temporary employees are eligible for leave without pay.

C. Request Procedure

1. The County Administrator, upon the recommendation of an employee's department head, may grant a leave of absence without pay to regular employees who have been employed by the County for at least 1 year. The leave will be for a minimum of 30 days. Leave of absence without pay will only be considered upon written request to the department head setting forth the reason for the request. If the department head recommends leave without pay, the County Administrator may grant a request provided the need is substantiated and no significant disservice to County operations or the public service will result.

2. Upon conclusion of a leave of absence without pay, the employee is entitled to return to his/her former or a comparable position to the extent possible. Failure of the employee to return upon the expiration of the leave will constitute a separation from employment which is not subject to appeal.

D. No Accrual of Benefits During Leave Without Pay. Vacation, sick leave and other paid leaves will not be earned during the leave, and holidays with pay will not be given. The County contributions to monthly premium costs of medical insurance will be suspended except as provided under approved FMLA. After this time, the employee must make arrangements with the Auditor-Controller’s Office to continue to pay his/her normal monthly premium costs for insurance or lose coverage.

44.18 Special Leave for Distress Not Otherwise Covered

A. Definition. In extraordinary circumstances, leave with pay for serious economic hardship, illness or distress not otherwise covered by any leave policy may be granted.

B. Eligibility. Only regular employees with at least five years of continuous service may be eligible for special leave for distress not otherwise covered. To be eligible for special leave, if for illness, there must be a favorable prognosis for recovery and there must be a predictable date of return to work.

C. Procedure for Application. An employee who would otherwise experience serious economic hardship, illness, or distress not otherwise covered by any leave policy provided for above, and who has exhausted all other avenues of paid leave, including catastrophic leave donation except in the case of appointed department heads, may apply in writing to the employee's department head for leave with pay. If the department head is satisfied that the employee will otherwise experience serious economic hardship, illness or distress, the department head may recommend to the County Administrator to grant special leave. The County Administrator, if satisfied of the existence of serious economic hardship, illness or distress, may recommend to the Board of Supervisors that special leave be granted. The final decision to grant or deny special leave for distress not otherwise covered will be at the sole discretion of the Board of Supervisors.

44.19 Sabbatical Leave

For employees with five years or more of continuous full-time County service, a department head may grant a leave of absence without pay for up to three calendar months for such purposes as education or restorative endeavors.

Sabbatical leave may only be granted when no disservice to the County will result. Leave balances may remain for an employee granted sabbatical leave.

APPROVAL

Effective Date: January 2005
Revisions No. : 0
Prepared By: Laura Armor

Approved: ss/President, Board of Supervisors