A. LEAVE PROVISIONS
Employees on paid leave shall be entitled to return to the same position at the same school except when the position has been eliminated.
Employees on unpaid leaves will have the option of remaining in the group insurance coverage held by the District at the employee's cost.
B. PERSONAL ILLNESS AND INJURY LEAVE
1. Full-time employees shall be entitled to ten (10) days leave with full pay for each school year for purposes of personal illness or injury. Employees who work less than full time shall be entitled to that portion of the ten (10) days leave as the number of hours per week scheduled duty relates to the number of hours for a full-time employee in a comparable position. As per Labor Code Section 233, up to six (6) days may be used to attend to an illness of an employee’s child, parent or spouse.
2. After all earned leave as set forth in 1. above is exhausted, additional non-accumulated leave shall be available for a period not to exceed five (5) school months provided that the provisions of 4. below are met. The amount deducted for leave purposes from the employee's salary shall be the amount actually paid a substitute employee employed to fill the position during the leave, or, if no substitute is employed, the amount which would have been paid to a substitute.
3. If an employee does not utilize the full amount of leave as authorized in 1. above in any school year, the amount not utilized shall be accumulated from year to year.
4. Upon request by District management, an employee shall be required to present a medical doctor's certificate verifying the personal illness or injury and/or a medical authorization to return to work. If illness or injury absences exceed five (5) working days, the District may require the employee to visit a doctor of the District's choice, a doctor who shall have authority to obtain all relevant medical records from other physicians and/or hospitals which may reasonably relate to the absence(s). After making all necessary inquiries to be fully informed as to the nature and severity of the illness or injury, the doctor will report such findings to the Superintendent or designee. The expense of such physician shall be borne by the District. If the report concludes that the absence is not due to personal illness and injury as previously described, or that the illness is not sufficiently severe to have warranted such absence, or continued absence, the Superintendent or his designee, after notice to the employee, may refuse to grant the leave. If requested by District management, an employee shall not return to work until the employee's physician or, at District request, the employee's physician and a District-selected physician have concluded that the employee may return to work.
5. Whenever possible, an employee must contact the District Office as soon as the need to be absent is known, but in no event later than 5:30 a.m. prior to the start of the work day to permit the employer time to secure a substitute service.
6. An employee who is absent for one-half (1/2) day or less shall have deducted one-half (1/2) day from the accumulated leave; and, if the absence exceeds more than one-half (1/2) day, a full day shall be deducted from accumulated leave.
7. An employee shall not be allowed to return to work if the employee fails to notify the District of the employee's intent to return to work by 5:30 a.m. of the work day involved if such failure results in a substitute being secured. The employee will complete a District form stating the general nature of his or her illness.
8. Each employee shall be notified of the accumulated leave on or around May 15 of each school year and the amount of sick leave days used so far that year.
9. Catastrophic Leave Bank
a. Purpose: The purpose of the Catastrophic Leave bank (CLB) is to create a bank of sick leave days from which eligible unit members may apply for additional sick days when suffering from catastrophic illness or injury.
b. Authorization: Section 44043.5 of the California Education Code authorizes the governing boards of school districts to establish a catastrophic leave program to permit employees to donate eligible leave credits, as defined, to an employee when that employee or member of his or her family suffers from a catastrophic illness or injury, as defined, if prescribed conditions are met.
c. Establishment: The District shall establish a Catastrophic Leave Bank to which all unit members may donate earned and unused sick days.
(1) Catastrophic Illness or Injury: An injury or illness that is expected to incapacitate the unit member or member of his/her family for an extended time (in excess of thirty (30) days), and which causes the unit member to exhaust all paid leave. Maternity and/or child care leaves shall be considered catastrophic only if qualified as defined above.
(2) Eligible Leave Credits: Sick leave accrued to the donating unit member.
(3) Donation, Deposit, Contrition: These terms are interchangeable for the purposes of this article.
e. Eligibility: Use of this Catastrophic Leave Bank shall be available to all members who have made an annual donation of at least one day to the Bank. Exemptions to this restriction shall be any unit member who was absent due to an approved catastrophic illness allowed under this article at the time of its initiation.
Unit members who elect not to join the Bank upon first becoming eligible shall have a waiting period of thirty (30) days after contributing to the bank before becoming eligible to withdraw.
f. All donations made by unit members shall be voluntary and are irrevocable. Contributions shall be donated by the last duty day in September of each year. At the beginning of the donation period, the Personnel office shall send to each unit member a notice outlining the Catastrophic Leave Bank and a Catastrophic Leave Bank donation form.
Following the initial inception of the Bank, the personnel office shall make a special solicitation of donations as soon as possible to allow for an initial Bank of days to be created immediately.
Unit members may contribute a maximum of two (2) days in any one (1) year and must maintain no less than twenty (20) days accrued sick leave after donating to the Bank. Donations of less than one (1) day will not be accepted.
A donation to the Bank shall be a general donation, and shall not be donated to a specific unit member for his/her exclusive use.
All donations are irrevocable, and the unit member waives any right to leave credits he/she may have donated except as stated in this article.
g. Use of Catastrophic Leave Bank:
(1) Eligible unit members who suffer a catastrophic illness or injury as defined herein, may request withdrawal of leave credits from the Bank under the following terms:
(a) The unit member has or will have exhausted all paid leaves by the time of the actual withdrawal.
(b) The unit member has submitted a Catastrophic Leave Bank withdrawal form in writing to the chair of the CLB Committee with a copy to the Payroll office, and include the following detail;
1. Written verification of the catastrophic illness or injury by a medical doctor.
2. The specific number of days being requested.
(2) The Payroll office shall verify the unit member requesting the withdrawal has exhausted all paid leave, or date when this will occur. The Chair shall convene the CLB Committee as soon as possible to consider the withdrawal request.
(3) Withdrawals may be granted in units of no more than ten (10) duty days. Participants may request extensions or additional days as their grants expire. The maximum withdrawal of leave credits for an individual unit member in a given fiscal year shall not exceed fifty (50) days. In no event shall more than 150 days be withdrawn from the bank during one fiscal year.
(4) All information shall be held confidential by the CLB Committee and the District.
(5) Any days approved by the CLB Committee that are unused by the unit member shall be returned to the bank upon the unit member’s return to work.
(6) Days shall be donated and withdrawn from the bank without regard to the daily rate of pay of the unit member. Unit members using days from the bank shall receive pay for that day at their daily rate of pay.
(7) If the CLB has insufficient days to fund a withdrawal request, neither the CLB Committee nor the District shall be under any obligation to pay the unit member.
(8) If the CLB Committee denies a request for the withdrawal due to insufficient days, the unit member making the request shall be notified in writing of the reason for the denial.
h. Catastrophic Leave Bank Committee
(1) The Leave Bank Committee shall consist of three (3) members appointed by the Association.
(2) The CLB Committee shall be responsible for approving or denying requests for withdrawal from the bank, and shall communicate the decision in writing to the requester and the Payroll office within ten (10) days of receipt of the request.
(3) The Committee shall consider the number of days requested, the number of individuals requesting withdrawals and the status of the credits remaining.
(4) All decisions of the CLB Committee shall be final and not subject to appeal.
(5) A unit member who has been denied a request for leave credits may amend and resubmit the request form.
(6) All records and information obtained by the CLB Committee that relate to an individual employee’s health, finance, family or employment status shall be confidential and may not be discussed or divulged by a Committee member outside formal meetings.
(7) If the Bank does not have sufficient days to meet projected needs of unit members, the CLB shall solicit additional contributions by posting a notice at each work site.
i. District Responsibilities
Upon receipt of donation and/or withdrawal requests, the District shall:
(1) Verify the unit member’s sick leave and notify the CLB Committee.
(2) Effectuate the transfer of credits and notify in writing the unit member and the CLB Committee.
(3) Provide the CLB Committee with the unit member’s paid leave days remaining.
(4) Provide the CLB Committee with the balance of credits remaining in the bank.
10. Any certificated employee of any California school district or employee of the County
Superintendent of Schools who was employed for a period of one (1) calendar year or more whose employment was terminated for reasons other than action initiated by the employer for cause and who subsequently accepts employment with the District within one (1) year of such termination of former employment, shall have transferred to the District upon
verification of the total amount of earned leave of absence for illness or injury earned with the previous employer.
C. PERSONAL NECESSITY LEAVE
1. A bargaining unit employee may use up to seven (7) days of accumulated sick leave in
case of personal necessity. Such use must be for reasons other than personal convenience or a situation created by choice of the employee.
2. For purposes of the provision, "personal necessity" is defined as:
a. Death or serious illness of a member of the employee's immediate family as defined in the provision on Bereavement Leave.
b. Attending the funeral of one other than the immediate family as defined herein but not to exceed three (3) days.
c. Accident involving the employee's person or property, or the person or property of a member of the employee's immediate family.
d. An emergency requiring prompt response, which response cannot reasonably be made by anyone other than the employee and cannot be made at any time other than during the employee's working hours.
3. Should the circumstances outlined in a. and b. in Section 2 arise, the employee shall make
every effort to comply with the District procedures to enable the District to secure a substitute. "Immediate family" is defined below in E.2.
4. For purposes of the provision, "personal necessity" shall not include:
a. Ordinary pursuit of business, financial, or economic interests of the employee.
b. Vacation or other recreational pursuits.
c. Social events.
d. Any concerted refusal to work.
5. Under all circumstances an employee shall verify in writing on the "Certificated Absence Report" that the personal necessity leave was used only for purposes as set forth in 2. above.
6. In addition to the personal necessity leave described in this article, employees with sufficient accumulated sick leave may elect to use it as additional personal necessity leave under Section C.2.a. (death or serious illness of a member of the employee's immediate family) or C.2.c. (an accident which is unforeseen involving the employee's person or property, or the person or property of an employee's immediate family).
D. PERSONAL LEAVE (BUSINESS, CHILDBIRTH, AND ADOPTION)
A unit member may use not more than six (6) days of sick leave for personal leave for (a) the pursuit of business, financial, or economic interests of the employee notwithstanding provision C.4 above: (b) the adoption of a child, (c) childbirth by the spouse, or (d) religious holiday.
E. BEREAVEMENT LEAVE
1. An employee shall be entitled to a maximum of five (5) days leave of absence without loss of salary on account of the death of any member of his or her immediate family.
2. For purposes of this provision, an immediate family member shall be limited to mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, or sibling of the employee or of the spouse of the employee and the spouse, son, son-in-law, daughter or daughter-in-law of the employee. Immediate family shall include a foster child or stepchild of the employee or foster parent of the employee.
3. Any exception to the above definition shall be based on the employee's evidence of a close parental substitute relationship to the deceased with approval of the Superintendent or Board.
F. LEAVE FOR PREGNANCY DISABILITY
1. Employees are entitled to use sick leave as set forth in B.1 and 2. for disabilities caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery therefrom on the same terms and conditions governing leaves of absence from other illness or medical disability. Such leave shall not be used for child care or child rearing, but shall be limited to those disabilities as set forth above. The length of such disability leave, including the date on which the leave shall commence and the date on which the duties are to be resumed, shall be determined by the employee and the employee's physician; however, the District management may require a verification of the extent of disability through a conference between a District physician and the employee's physician at District expense.
2. Employees are entitled to leave without pay or other benefits for disabilities because of pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, or recovery therefrom when sick leave as set forth in B.1 and 2. , has been exhausted. The date on which the employee shall resume duties shall be determined by the employee on leave and the employee's physician; however, the District management may require a verification of the extent of disability through a conference between the District physician and the employee's physician at the District expense.
3. An employee may apply for unpaid pregnancy leave.
4. As far as practicable, substitutes will be hired to fill the vacancies created by pregnancy
disability leave. The District maintains the right to hire temporary teachers if necessary.
G. LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FOR CHILD REARING OR ADOPTION
1. Leave without pay or other benefits may be granted to an employee for child rearing or adoption.
2. The employee shall request such leave as soon as practicable, prior to the date on which the leave is to begin. Such request shall be in writing and shall include a statement as to the dates the employee wishes to begin and end the leave without pay.
3. Employees may return from such leave only at the end of the semester or school year. If an employee wishes to apply for an extension, he/she must notify the District by November 1 for spring semester and by March 1 for fall semester and for the next school year.
4. The employee is not entitled to the use of any accrued sick leave or other paid leave while such employee is on leave for child rearing.
5. There shall not be a diminution of employment status for child bearing or child rearing except that no person shall be entitled to compensation, increment, or the accrual of seniority for layoff or reduction in force purposes, nor shall the time taken on such leave count toward credit for probationary teachers in earning tenure status.
6. If an employee is on leave for child rearing and in the event of miscarriage or death of a child subsequent to childbirth, the employee may request an immediate assignment to a unit position. If there is a vacancy for which an employee is qualified, the District will assign the teacher to a position as soon as practicable, in the best interests of the District. If a temporary employee has been hired, that employee shall be allowed to compete the term of employment originally arranged by the District.
H. INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT LEAVE
1. Employees will be entitled to industrial accident leave for personal injury which has qualified for worker's compensation under the provisions of the District's Worker's Compensation Insurance Fund.
2. Such leave shall not exceed sixty (60) days during which the schools of the District are required to be in session or when the employee would otherwise have been performing work for the District in any one (1) fiscal year for the same industrial accident.
3. The District has the right to have the employee examined by a physician designated by the District to assist in determining the length of the time during which the employee will be temporarily unable to perform assigned duties and the degree to which a disability is attributable to the injury involved.
4. For any days of absence from duty as a result of the same industrial accident, the employee shall endorse to the District any wage loss benefit check from the Worker's Compensation Insurance Fund which would make the total compensation from both sources exceed 100 percent of the amount the employee would have received as salary had there been no industrial accident or illness.
5. If the employee fails to endorse to the District any wage loss disability indemnity check received on account of the industrial accident or illness as provided above, the District shall deduct from the employee's salary warrant the amount of such disability indemnity actually paid to and retained by the employee.
6. If disability goes beyond sixty (60) days, accrued leave will be adjusted on a prorated basis
to the worker's compensation payments until such leave is exhausted.
I. JUDICIAL LEAVE
1. Employees will be provided leave for regularly called jury duty. The employee shall submit written notification of the reporting date as soon as he/she receives notice of jury duty.
2. The employee while serving jury duty will receive pay in the amount of the difference between the employee's regular earnings and any amount received for jury services. Employees may keep mileage compensation.
3. Employees will be provided up to ten (10) days paid leave to appear as a witness in court or as a litigant when required by the court to be present.
4. Employees who elect to postpone jury duty to non-work days shall be compensated at the current daily short-term substitute rate.
J. MILITARY LEAVE
Any employee who enters the active military service of the United States or the State of California, or such auxiliary services as the Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross, will be granted leave during the period of war or national emergency, and will receive regular salary for the first thirty (30) calendar days of such leave. The employee may return to a position within six (6) months after honorably leaving the service or being placed on inactive duty.
Members of the Armed Forces Reserve Corps or of the National Guard or Naval Militia are entitled to a temporary military leave not to exceed 180 days and will receive their regular salaries for the first thirty (30) calendar days of such leave. Employees shall attempt to schedule the training duty at a time which will not conflict with regular school duties.
K. STUDY LEAVE
At the discretion of the Board, any regular employee may be granted an unpaid leave of absence for one (1) year or less to pursue educational improvement and advancement.
L. SABBATICAL LEAVE
1. After completing seven (7) consecutive full school years of service, an employee will be eligible to apply for a leave of absence not to exceed a one (1) year period, or for a leave of one (1) semester. No employee shall be granted a sabbatical leave more than once in any eight (8) year period.
2. An applicant for a sabbatical leave must submit his/her request on the appropriate form by no later than March 1 of the school year preceding that in which the leave is requested. For second semester leaves, the deadline for application will be the preceding October 1.
3. Subsequent to the Superintendent's recommendation, the Governing Board may grant leave
based on (a) the financial status of the District, (b) benefit of the proposed leave to the educational process.
4. Employees on sabbatical leave will receive fifty-five (55) percent of the salary they would
have been paid during the period of leave and the appropriate salary schedule placement which would have been granted had the employee not been on leave.
5. The terms and conditions of the leave shall be agreed upon in writing and shall include a description of the sabbatical program and appropriate reporting procedures as may be designated by the Superintendent.
6. Sabbatical leave may be granted for the following purposes: professional study leave or research or travel and observation in connection with an approved study project.
7. No more than two (2) full-year sabbaticals may be granted in any school year.
8. The District agrees to pay the employee's medical premium up to the amount specified in Article 14: Job-Sharing.
9. The year following their return from a sabbatical, employees may make arrangements with STRS to repay both the employer and employee portion to gain maximum retirement service and salary credit. The leave of absence shall be considered as time in service to the District for salary schedule purposes. The leave of absence shall be considered as time in service in the District for retirement purposes.
M. HEALTH LEAVE
At the discretion of the Board, any regular employee of the District may be granted a leave of absence without pay for reasons of health, such leave to be specified for a period of not less than one (1) semester or more than one (1) year. Such leave may be extended in cases of serious health conditions.
Provisions for notice of intention to return will be the same as in regulations governing general leave,
except that such notice will include a written statement from a medical practitioner or clinic designated and paid for by the District, certifying the employee's ability to return to service.
Nothing in this provision shall be interpreted to prevent the District from taking whatever action it considers necessary to comply with state and federal law regarding handicapped or disabled employees.
N. LEGISLATIVE LEAVE
A permanent teacher who is elected to the Legislature shall be entitled to an unpaid leave of absence for the length of his term or terms in office.
1. The teacher on such leave shall notify the Board of his intended return at least twelve (12) weeks in advance.
2. The teacher on such leave shall be entitled to return to employment at the end of the leave but shall not be entitled to any of the other benefits accorded in this contract.
O. PERSONAL LEAVE WITHOUT PAY
1. Any employee may, at the discretion of the Board, be granted an unpaid personal leave for
a period of time as follows:
a. Short-term leave without pay; not to exceed ten (10) working days.
b. Semester leave without pay; a leave of not less than one (1) semester.
c. School year leave without pay; a leave of not less than one (1) full school year.
2. In requesting such leave, the employee must state the specific reasons for the requested leave. Such requests must be filed in time to be acted on at a regular board meeting prior to the date on which the leave is to be begin. Medical, dental, and life insurance benefits will remain in full force and effect for short-term leaves as described in P.1; however, in semester and year-long leaves without pay, such benefits may remain in effect if all costs are paid by the employee.
3. Except for short-term personal leave without pay, the employee may be assigned to any teaching position in the District for which he/she is properly credentialed upon returning from leave.
4. Employees wishing to extend a semester leave, or school year leave without pay, must notify the District by March 1 for the fall semester, and by November 1 for the spring semester.
P. FAMILY CARE LEAVE AND MEDICAL LEAVE
1. Family care and medical leave consists of unpaid leave for a period of up to twelve (12) work
weeks in a school year (July 1 through June 30) for one of the following reasons:
a. The birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee within one (1) year of such birth or placement;
b. To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or
c. If an employee has a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job.
Family care and medical leave is separate and distinct from disability leave for pregnant employees. Pregnant employees may be entitled to a disability leave in addition to a family care and medical leave.
Effect of Family Care and Medical Leave on Pregnancy Disability Leave below describes in detail the interplay between pregnancy leave and family care and medical leave.
If the leave is requested for the placement or birth of a child, and both parents are employees of the District, the total amount of family care and medical leave for both parents is limited to twelve (12) weeks.
a. "Accumulated sick leave" means days of sick leave the employee earned in previous school years and has not taken, thereby accruing a balance from year to year.
b. "Child" means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is either (a) under eighteen (18) years old or (b) over eighteen (18) years old and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.
c. "Differential pay sick leave" means the right to receive the difference between an employee's regular salary and the amount of money the District pays a substitute.
d. "Employee benefits" means all benefits provided or made available to employees by the District, including group life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, annual leave, educational benefits, and pensions, regardless of whether such benefits are provided by a practice or written policy of the District or through an employee benefit plan as defined in Section 3(3) or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002 (3)).
e. "Employment in the same position" means employment in the position which the employee held prior to taking a family care and medical leave.
f. "Employment in equivalent position" means a position that has the same or similar duties, pay, and employment benefits which can be performed at the same or similar geographic location as the position held prior to the leave.
g. "Group health plan" means any plan provided or contributed to by the District to provide health care (directly or otherwise) to the employers, employees, former employees, or the families of such employees or former employees.
h. "Health care provider" means an individual:
(1) holding a physician's and surgeon's certificate or an osteopathic physician's and surgeon's certificate; or
(2) duly licensed as a physician, surgeon, or osteopathic physician or surgeon in another state or jurisdiction, who directly treats or supervises the treatment of the serious health condition; or
(3) who has been determined by the United States Secretary of Labor to be capable of providing health care services under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
i. "Industrial accident and illness" means a work-related injury or illness.
j. "Intermittent leave" means a leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single illness or injury and may include leave periods from one (1) hour or more to several weeks.
k. "Parent" means a biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or someone who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.
l. "Reduced leave schedule" means a leave schedule that reduces an employee's usual number of working hours per day or per week.
m. "Serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which involves either of the following
(1) Inpatient care (overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
(2) Continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider.
n. "Sick leave" means days for which an employee is paid but is not required to work because of illness or injury.
o. "Spouse" means a husband or wife according to California law.
3. Eligibility for Family Care and Medical Leave
Employees are required to have completed more than twelve (12) months of continuous service with the District to be eligible for family care and medical leave. Continuous service consists of full-time or part-time employment for the number of months customarily worked
by employees in that job classification. If an employee separates from service after attaining more than one (1) year of continuous service and is not subsequently re-employed by the District, the employee is not eligible for family care and medical leave until he or she completes another year of service. Employees are required to have completed 1,250 hours of service in the twelve (12) months preceding the leave for eligibility.
4. Right to Family Care and Medical Leave
Subject to the terms and conditions stated in this policy, an eligible employee shall be granted an unpaid family care and medical leave for up to a total of twelve (12) work weeks in a school year (July 1 through June 30) after making a request for such leave in accordance with the procedures set forth below.
A request for family care and medical leave must comply with the applicable notice requirements described below. Appropriate certification as described in Certification of Serious Health Condition From Health Care Provider below is also required.
5. Requests for Family Care and Medical Leave
a. If the employee learns of facts necessitating a family care and medical leave more than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the time the leave is needed, the employee shall provide written notice to the District immediately. A minimum of thirty (30) calendar days written notice is required.
b. If the employee learns of facts necessitating the family and medical care leave less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the time the leave is needed, the employee shall provide written notice to the District as soon as possible.
The employee is required to provide the District with written notice within five (5) working days of learning of the need for the leave.
c. If the employee's need for the leave is foreseeable due to a planned medical treatment or planned supervision of the employee, or that of a child, parent, or spouse with a serious health condition, the employee shall consult with the District regarding the scheduling of the treatment or supervision so as to prevent undue disruption to the operations of the District. Any scheduling of treatment or supervision shall be subject to the approval of the health care provider of the individual with the serious health condition. In any event, thirty (30) calendar days written notice is required.
6. Certification of Serious Health Condition From Health Care Provider
a. If the employee is requesting the leave to care for a child, parent, or spouse with a
serious health condition, the District may require certification of the serious medical condition by the individual's health care provider.
(1) The certification shall include:
(a) the date on which the serious health condition commenced;
(b) the probable duration of the condition;
(c) an estimate of the time that the health care provider believes the employee needs to care for the individual requiring the care;
(d) a statement that the serious health condition warrants the participation of the employee to provide care for the employee's child, parent, or spouse.
(2) If additional leave is requested beyond the period stated in the certification, the District may require the employee to obtain re-certification in accordance with the procedures set forth above.
(3) The District may require the employee to undergo an examination by a health care provider of the District's choice to obtain a second opinion. If the second opinion differs from the opinion in the original certification, the District may require the employee to undergo a third examination conducted by a health care provider jointly selected by the District and the employee. The third opinion shall be binding on the District and the employee. All subsequent opinions obtained after the initial certification shall be at District expense.
(4) Prior to returning to work after an employee has been granted family care and medical leave for his or her own serious medical condition, the District may require the employee to obtain certification from his or her health care provider that the employee is able to resume his or her duties.
7. Right to Reinstatement
a. In general, an employee returning from a family care and medical leave shall be assigned to the position he or she occupied prior to the leave, or an equivalent position with equivalent terms and conditions of employment, including employment benefits such as pay, working conditions, privileges, and status. Additionally, an employee's use of family care and medical leave will not result in the loss of any other employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using the leave.
8. Intermittent or Reduced Schedule Leave
a. Leave taken because of the serious health condition of the employee or the employee's spouse, child, or parent may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule leave when medically necessary. Intermittent or reduced schedule leave shall not result in a reduction of the total amount of family care and medical leave to which the employee is entitled pursuant to state and federal law. Leave taken because of the birth of a child or placement of a child with the employee shall not be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule leave unless expressly agreed to by the District and the employee.
b. If an employee requests intermittent leave, or a reduced schedule leave, the District may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position. The alternative position must be one which the employee is qualified for, which has equivalent pay and benefits, and better accommodates the recurring periods of leave than the employee's regular position.
9. Terms of Family Care and Medical Leave
a. Leave taken pursuant to the policy is unpaid leave. However, an eligible employee
may elect, or the District may require the employee, to substitute accrued paid sick leave, differential pay sick leave, or other paid leave for any part of the twelve (12) week period. Nothing in this policy shall require the District to provide paid sick leave or paid medical leave in any situation in which the District would not otherwise provide any such paid leave.
In the event the employee elects or is required to use sick leave, the accumulated sick leave shall be used first. After the accumulated sick leave is exhausted, the employee may elect, or the District may require the employee, to use any available differential pay sick leave during the period of the family care and medical leave.
Because family care and medical leave is limited to a duration of twelve (12) work weeks, it is unlikely the employee will run out of differential pay sick leave within the duration of the family care and medical leave for a particular individual's serious health condition.
b. During the period of family care and medical leave, the District shall maintain coverage under any group health plan (as defined in Section 5000(b) (1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) for a maximum of twelve (12) work weeks. The coverage shall be under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had continued in employment for the duration of the leave. The District may collect the amount of premiums paid by the District from the employee if the employee fails to return from leave after the contemplated time period for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition.
c. During the period of the family care and medical leave, the employee is entitled to participate in pension and retirement plans (hereinafter, "retirement plans") and supplemental employment benefit plans to the same extent and under the same conditions as would apply to any other unpaid personal leave granted by the District for any reason other than family care and medical necessity.
The District is not required to make plan payments to any retirement plan or to count the leave period for purposes of "time accrued" under any such retirement plan during the unpaid portion of the leave period. However, during the portion of the leave period wherein the employee has elected or the District has required the employee to utilize accrued vacation or other paid leave, applicable payments will be made to the retirement plan. In addition, accrued vacation or other accrued paid time off shall count towards "time accrued" under the retirement plan in the same manner as if the employee had utilized the paid leave other than for family care and medical leave. Employees are allowed to continue making contributions to their retirement plan, in accordance with the terms of the plan, during the unpaid portion of the leave.
d. The employee shall maintain employee status during the period of the family care and medical leave. The leave shall not constitute a break in service for purposes of seniority and/or longevity.
e. The employee returning from family care and medical leave shall return with no less seniority than the employee had when the leave commenced for purposes of layoff, recall, promotion, job assignment, and seniority-related benefits, such as vacation.
Other than as set forth in this policy, the District shall not discharge, fine, suspend, expel, discriminate in any fashion against, or refuse to hire any individual who:
(1) utilizes the family care and medical leave set forth in this policy;
(2) gives information or testimony regarding the employee's own family care and medical leave, or another employee's family care and medical leave, in any inquiry or proceeding related to family care and medical leave.
10. Effect of Family Care and Medical Leave on Pregnancy Disability Leave
a. Leave Available: Leave taken under a pregnancy disability policy runs concurrently with family care and medical leave under federal law, but not family care and medical leave under California law. Consequently, an eligible employee may take a pregnancy disability leave of up to four (4) months and a family care and medical leave of up to twelve (12) work weeks, for a combination of four (4) months plus twelve (12) weeks (approximately seven (7) months).
In order to be eligible for a combination pregnancy disability/family care and medical leave, pregnant employees must meet the eligibility requirements set forth above.
b. Compensation During Leave: Leave necessitated by pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery therefrom shall be treated the same as sick leave. Consequently, an employee shall utilize sick leave and any available differential pay sick leave during the period of the pregnancy disability/family care and medical leave.
The accumulated sick leave shall be used first. After the accumulated leave is exhausted, the employee shall use any available differential pay sick leave.
The employee may also elect, or the District may require the employee, to utilize any other paid leave during the pregnancy disability/family care medical leave. Nothing in this policy shall require the District to provide paid sick leave or paid medical leave in any situation in which the District would not otherwise provide any such paid leave.
c. Benefits During Leave: The District shall maintain coverage under any group health plan (as defined in Section 5000(b) (1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) for employees who are eligible for combination pregnancy disability/family care and medical leave for the amount of time the employee utilizes accumulated and differential pay sick leave. In addition, the District shall maintain coverage for a maximum of twelve (12) work weeks of unpaid leave taken pursuant to this policy. In some instances, the District may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work following a combination pregnancy disability/family care and medical leave.
Employees on a combination pregnancy disability/family care and medical leave whose paid coverage ceases in accordance with this policy may continue their group health insurance coverage through the District in conjunction with federal COBRA guidelines by making monthly payments to the District for the amount of the relevant premium. Employees should contact their supervisor or the District Office for further information.
d. Reinstatement: In general, employees returning from a combination pregnancy disability/family care and medical leave shall be reinstated pursuant to the reinstatement rights set forth above.
However, if an employee returning from pregnancy disability leave is unable to perform the essential functions of the job because of a physical or mental condition, the District's obligations to that employee may be governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
11. Effect of Family Care and Medical Leave on Industrial Accident or Illness Disability Leave
a. Leave Available: Leave taken under any industrial accident or illness disability policy runs concurrently with family care and medical leave under both federal and state law.
b. Benefits During Leave: The District shall maintain coverage under any group health plan (as defined in Section 5000(b) (1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) for employees who are eligible for combination industrial injury or illness disability/family care and medical leave for a maximum of twelve (12) work weeks. In some instances, the District may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work following a combination industrial injury or illness disability/family care and medical leave.
Employees on a combination industrial injury or illness disability/family care and medical leave whose paid coverage ceases after twelve (12) work weeks may continue their group health insurance overage through the District in conjunction with federal COBRA guidelines by making monthly payments to the District for the amount of the relevant premium. Employees should contact their supervisor or the District Office for further information.
c. Reinstatement: In general, employees returning from a combination industrial injury or illness disability/family care and medical leave shall be reinstated pursuant to the reinstatement rights set forth above.
However if an employee returning from industrial injury or illness disability leave is unable to perform the essential functions of the job because of a physical or mental condition, the District's obligations to the employee may be governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.