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CRITICAL

 

PROFESSIONAL STAFF SHORT-TERM LEAVES AND ABSENCES

 


Consistent contact with students and staff is important to the learning environment and district operation and therefore is an essential duty of a professional staff member's position. When a professional staff member is routinely tardy, frequently absent or is absent for an extended period of time, the learning environment and district operations deteriorate, and the students suffer.


The district will allow professional staff members to be absent from their duties for the reasons and the lengths of time listed in Board policy, as long as these absences are not excessive.


Professional employees may be terminated for excessive absences. Unless authorized by the Board or the superintendent, an employee’s absence is considered excessive if it:

 

1.         Is for a reason not granted as paid or protected leave under Board policy.

 

2.         Exceeds the number of days allotted by the Board for that particular leave and is not protected by law.


The district may require an employee to provide verification or certification of an illness from a healthcare provider, satisfactory to the administration, before the district applies sick leave or other applicable paid leave to the absence. In accordance with law, the district may require an employee to present a certification of fitness to return to work whenever the employee is absent from work due to the employee's health.


This policy does not apply to temporary or substitute staff members unless otherwise noted.


The following leaves with pay will be provided to full-time professional staff employees. Regular part-time professional staff employees will receive these leaves on a pro rata basis.

 

I.         Absence from Duty (AFD) Leave

 

Certificated employees who work nine and one-half and ten months will receive 13 AFD leave days per year; 11-month employees will receive 14 AFD leave days per year; and 12-month employees will receive 15 AFD leave days per year. This leave may accumulate to a maximum of 180 days. Part-time certificated employees shall receive AFD leave days on a pro-rated basis.

 

Absences for the reasons described below are eligible for AFD leave:

 

            1.         Sick Leave – Absences may be charged against AFD leave for the following reasons:

 

                        a.         Illness, injury or incapacity of the employee. The Board reserves the right to require a healthcare provider's certification attesting to the illness or incapacity of the claimant and/or inclusive dates of the professional employee's incapacitation. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) health certification procedures apply to FMLA-qualifying absences, even if such absences are paid sick leave. Verification of absences potentially qualifying for FMLA shall proceed according to the FMLA rules, rather than this section of the policy. (For more information regarding FMLA leave, see Board policy GBBDA.)

 

                        b.         Illness, injury or incapacity of a member of the professional employee's immediate family in which instance it is necessary for the professional employee to be with the member of his or her family during such incapacity. (Note: “Family” for FMLA purposes is more limited.)

 

                        c.         Illness, injury or incapacity of those of kinship residing within the professional employee's household in which instance it is necessary for the professional employee to be with the relative during such incapacity. (Note: "Family" for FMLA purposes is more limited.)

 

                        d.         Illness, injury, incapacity or death of other relatives with permission granted by the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

 

                        e.         Pregnancy, childbirth and adoption leave in accordance with this policy.

 

Staff members who are ill are encouraged to stay home to promote healing and reduce the risk of infecting others, especially during a pandemic or other significant health event. In the event of a pandemic or other significant health event, schools may be closed to all staff and students or just students. If schools are closed only to students, staff members are expected to work regular schedules or use appropriate leave.

 

Whenever possible, it is expected that requests for leave will be made to the proper administrator in advance of the time the leave is requested. The administration will respond promptly to the professional employee's request. However, 30 days' notice is required by law if the leave qualifies as FMLA leave and such notice is practical. If any professional employee is absent from school or no arrangements have been made with the principal, the professional employee shall as soon as possible provide reasons for such absence.

 

Excessive absence – The superintendent/designee specifically retains the authority to request verification or certification, satisfactory to the administration, from an employee regarding the reason for the employee’s absence whenever the superintendent/designee has reason to believe that an employee may be absent in violation of Board policy, or may otherwise be abusing the employee AFD leave benefits.

 

Any employee who does not submit such verification or certification, satisfactory to the administration, within 15 days shall have deducted from his or her pay an amount equal to the number of days absent times the professional employee's regular daily pay, distributed equally over the remaining number of pay periods in that fiscal year.

 

Absence from duty without proper excuse or verification may be considered grounds for disciplinary action and will result in the deduction of the appropriate number of days pay at the professional employee's daily rate. (Divide the employee's annual contractual salary, including supplementary pay contract if affected, by the number of days specified in the contract.)

 

No employee will be disciplined or terminated for absences qualifying for protection under the FMLA or other applicable law.

 

A professional employee, for the purpose of sick leave, shall be defined as an employee in a position that requires certification.

 

            2.         Sick Leave Absence

 

All present employees who are eligible for the sick leave reserve as of the beginning of the 1998-99 school year are grandfathered under the following policy.

 

After a professional employee has completed five consecutive years of service, or the part-time equivalent thereof, in the School District of the City of St. Charles, 130 days of sick leave reserve will be credited to the professional employee to be used only for the purpose of the professional employee's personal illness. Accumulated sick leave combined with sick leave reserve shall not exceed 180 days. All current and accumulated leave shall be expended before leave days can be deducted from the 130-day reserve. Any unused days of current sick leave and personal leave will, at the end of the school year, be used to rebuild sick leave reserve to the 130 days maximum only after the accumulated sick leave has reached 60 days.

 

Those professional employees returning to the school district, who left on a leave of absence granted by the Board of Education, may recover their accumulated sick leave and sick leave reserve as it was prior to their departure.

 

The professional employee shall be notified at the beginning of each school year the total number of current and reserve sick leave days credited to him or her at that time.

 

            3.         Sick Leave for Extra-Duty Assignments

 

If, due to medical disability, an extra-duty sponsor or coach is unable to perform such extra duty or coaching duties, the professional employee will be compensated for such extra-duty assignment during the time of disability but not to exceed one year. However, to be eligible for such disability pay, the professional employee/sponsor must have completed at least five consecutive years of extra-duty contracts at the time of disability and have been employed by the district in a teaching capacity for at least five years.

 

            4.         Personal Leave

 

A maximum of three days of AFD leave will be available for personal leave per school year. Professional employees will be granted leave under the following conditions:

 

                                  The principal shall be given five days prior notification when feasible.

 

                                  No more than three professional employees from one building may use personal leave on any one day.

 

                                  Personal leave may not be used the day before or the day after winter/spring break.

 

                                  Request for the personal/professional leave day shall be made by completing the proper authorization form located in the principal's office.

 

Any exceptions to the above must be approved by the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

 

            5.         Educational Conference Leave

 

A maximum of one day of AFD leave will be available for an employee who chooses to attend an educational conference at his or her own expense. Request for Educational Conference Leave shall be made by completing the Professional Trip Form and receiving prior approval to attend this conference from the principal/supervisor.

 

            6.         Religious Observance Leave

 

A maximum of two days of AFD leave will be available per school year for mandatory religious observance. To be eligible for paid leave under this policy, the employee must submit a religious observance request to his or her principal/supervisor at least 30 days prior to the requested leave. In addition, leave under this policy will only be granted for religious observance when the leave requested is a day on which performance of work duties is prohibited by the employee's religion.

 

            7.         Bereavement Leave

 

Employees may use three days of paid bereavement leave and two additional days of AFD Leave annually for bereavement for family or friends. Professional employees whose assignment is less than 1.0 FTE may use three days of bereavement at the equivalent hours per day of the teaching assignment for family or friends. An example of this would be a professional employee teaching two hours per day would receive three two-hour days of paid bereavement and two two-hour days of AFD Leave for bereavement. These hours may not be combined; they must be used as separate days. Requests for AFD leave beyond the two days allowed per policy will be considered if submitted in writing to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. Such requests must include supporting documentation (e.g., funeral notice).

 

            8.         Leave for Continuing Education

 

Leave may be granted to an employee for the purpose of entering a summer school program on schedule or to remain in school until the close of the summer session. The number of days absent shall be deducted from the employee's current or accumulated sick leave.

 

            9.         Absences may be charged against AFD leave for court appearances, unless applicable law or policy provides for paid leave, and for leaves authorized by law, policy or the Board that would otherwise be unpaid including, but not limited to, leave under the FMLA.

 

Pay for Unused Absence from Duty Leave

 

Effective beginning with the 2013–2014 school year, certified employees who have full-time equivalent years of service (combined part-time and full-time FTE, this service does not have to be continuous) in the St. Charles School District, as outlined below, will be paid for any unused AFD leave (up to 150 days) for written notification of intent to retire/resign/separate at the conclusion of the work agreement for that fiscal year at the following rates:


 

Notification

by 12/1

Notification

12/2–1/31

Notification

After 1/31

1–9 FTE equivalent

years of service

$40/day

$30/day

$20/day

10–19 FTE equivalent

years of service

$50/day

$40/day

$30/day

20 or more FTE equivalent

years of service

$60/day

$50/day

$40/day

 

Payments will be made in January of the calendar year following the date of retirement/resignation/separation.

 

If notice is not possible, the Board may make an exception to this policy.

 

In case of the death of an employee to whom pay for unused leave is owed pursuant to Board policy, the unused leave will be paid to an individual designated by the employee. If no designation is made, unused leave will not be compensated.

 

Workers' Compensation Insurance

 

Absence due to injury or illness incurred in the course of the employee's employment shall not be charged against his or her AFD leave days for the period of the Workers' Compensation total disability.

 

II.        Vacation

 

Administrators and other certificated personnel employed on a 12-month basis will receive four weeks of vacation during the contracted year. An employee must submit a written request for vacation to the superintendent or designee and receive written authorization before taking vacation days. If the employee's absence may disrupt district operations, the superintendent or designee has the discretion to deny a request for vacation or to limit the time of year the employee may take his or her vacation. Ten vacation days can be carried over every year with a deadline date of October 1 for using carry-over days.

 

Unused Vacation Days

 

An employee who terminates after one full year of employment will receive pay for unused vacation days.

 

                      Vacation days shall be prorated in accordance with the number of months served during the fiscal year in which the employee terminates.

 

                      Vacation used prior to termination shall be subtracted from the prorated vacation days.

 

                      Employees will be paid for unused vacation days that exceed the number of prorated days for which they are eligible.

 

                      Employees who have used more vacation than the prorated number of days for which they are eligible will have payment for the excess number of days deducted from their final checks.


Unless otherwise provided, the following leaves will be provided to full-time and part-time professional employees.

 

I.         Holidays

 

The district will grant paid and unpaid holidays in accordance with the academic calendar adopted by the Board. Employees whose assignments are based on a 12-month calendar will be paid for seven holidays. Employees whose assignments are based on less than a 12-month calendar will be paid for one holiday. Holidays may be modified or eliminated as needed when the academic calendar is changed due to inclement weather or for other reasons. Holidays may change from year to year. (See paid holiday eligibility/compensation.)

 

II.        Professional Leave

 

Professional leave shall be granted to attend classes or conferences, meet with mentors or participate in other professional growth activities. Professional leave must be approved by the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in accordance with budgeted substitute days for professional leave, arranged well in advance and is not considered AFD leave.

 

III.       Military Leave

 

The Board shall grant military leave as required by law. Members of the National Guard or any reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces who are engaged in the performance of duty or training will be entitled to a leave of absence of 120 hours in any federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) without impairment of efficiency rating or loss of time, pay, regular leave or any other rights or benefits. Employees shall provide the district an official order verifying that they are required to report to duty.

 

IV.      Election Leave

 

Any employee who is appointed as an election judge pursuant to state law may be absent on any election day for the period of time required by the election authority. The employee must notify the district at least seven days prior to any election in which the employee will serve as an election judge. No employee will be terminated, disciplined, threatened or otherwise subjected to adverse action based on the employee's service as an election judge.

 

V.        Leave to Vote

 

Employees who do not have three successive hours free from work while the polls are open will be granted a leave period of up to three hours to permit the employees three successive hours while the polls are open for the purpose of voting. Requests for such leave must be made prior to election day, and the employee's supervisors will designate when during the workday the leave should be taken. Any employee who properly requests leave to vote and uses the leave for that purpose will not be subject to discipline, termination or loss of wages or salary.

 

VI.      Jury Duty Leave

 

An employee will be granted paid leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process or time spent actually serving on a jury. An employee will not be terminated, disciplined, threatened or otherwise subjected to adverse action because of the employee's receipt of or response to a jury summons.

 

All professional staff employees who are selected for petit jury service and participate as a juror will:

 

            1.         Be required to notify the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources of this service;

 

            2.         Be paid at their regular daily rate;

 

            3.         Not be charged for personal leave;

 

            4.         Be required to assign their jury duty pay vouchers to the school district before payment is made for days of jury service.

 

If, after appearing for jury selection, the individual is not selected as a juror, he or she must present the notice from the sheriff's office to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in order to be paid for that day's absence.

 

VII.     Leave for Court Subpoena – If the subpoena is directly related to the employee's school duties, the employee will be released for court appearance without loss of leave. Other court appearances will be deducted from AFD leave.

 

VIII.    Firefighter Leave – Employees will be allowed to use AFD leave, vacation and/or unpaid leave for any time taken to respond to an emergency in the course of performing duties as a volunteer firefighter. For the purposes of this section, "volunteer firefighter" includes members of Missouri-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, Missouri Task Force One, Urban Search and Rescue Team or those activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in times of national disaster. Employees covered under this section shall not be terminated from employment for joining a volunteer fire department or for being absent from or late to work in order to respond to an emergency. Employees shall make every reasonable effort to notify the principal or supervisor if the employee may be absent from or late to work under this section. Employees are required to provide their supervisors with a written statement from the supervisor or acting supervisor of the volunteer fire department stating that the employee responded to an emergency along with the time and date of the emergency.

 

IX.      Crime Victim Leave – Any employee who is a crime victim, who witnesses a crime or who has an immediate family member who is a crime victim will not be required to use vacation or AFD leave in order to honor a subpoena to testify in a criminal proceeding, attend a criminal proceeding or participate in the preparation of the criminal proceeding.

 

X.        Civil Air Patrol Leave – Any employee who is a member of Civil Air Patrol and has qualified for a Civil Air Patrol emergency service specialty or who is certified to fly counternarcotics missions shall be granted unpaid leave to perform Civil Air Patrol emergency service duty or counternarcotics missions without loss of time, regular leave or any other rights or benefits in accordance with law. The leave is limited to 15 working days in any calendar year, but is unlimited when responding to a state- or nationally declared emergency in Missouri. The district may request that the employee be exempted from responding to a specific mission.

 

XI.      Coast Guard Auxiliary Leave – Employees who are members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will be granted an unpaid leave of absence for periods during which they are engaged in the performance of United States Coast Guard or United States Coast Guard Auxiliary duties, including travel related to such duties, when authorized by the director of auxiliary or other appropriate United States Coast Guard Authority. Such leaves of absence will be given without loss of time, regular leave or any other rights or benefits to which such employees would otherwise be entitled. The leave is limited to 15 working days in any calendar year, but is unlimited when responding to a state- or nationally declared emergency in Missouri or upon any navigable waterway within or adjacent to the state of Missouri. The district may request that an employee be exempted from responding to a specific mission.


Pregnancy, Childbirth and Adoption Leave


This section creates no rights extending beyond the contracted period of employment. FMLA certification and recertification procedures apply to FMLA-eligible employees. An employee must notify the district of the need for and anticipated duration of the leave at least 30 days before leave is to begin, if foreseeable. If 30 days' notice is not practical, the employee must give as much notice as possible. A pregnant employee shall continue in the performance of her duties as long as she is able to do so and as long as her ability to perform her duties is not impaired, based on medical opinion.


Employees eligible for FMLA leave for the birth, first-year care, adoption or foster care of a child will have such leave applied in accordance with the FMLA. The district shall only apply up to six weeks of accrued paid leave to such absences.


Employees who are ineligible for FMLA leave may take up to six weeks of leave for the birth, first-year care, adoption or foster care of a child and may use any combination of accrued sick leave, personal leave, vacation leave or unpaid leave.


Pregnant employees who need more than six weeks of paid or unpaid leave for a pregnancy-related incapacity must provide certification of the medical necessity for such leave.


* * * * * * *


Note:  The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.

 

Adopted:         10/14/1993

 

Revised:          06/08/1999; 01/10/2002; 05/09/2002; 11/13/2003; 05/13/2004; 12/09/2004; 03/28/2005; 05/12/2005; 04/13/2006; 05/14/2009; 07/09/2009; 04/08/2010; 06/09/2011; 06/14/2012; 04/11/2013

 

Cross Refs:     DLB, Salary Deductions

HA, Negotiations with Employee Representatives

HPA, Employee Walkouts, Strikes and Other Disruptions

 

Legal Refs:     §§ 41.1000, .1005, 105.270 - .271, 115.102, .639, 168.122, 169.595, 320.200, .330 - .339, 494.460, 595.209, RSMo.

Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 - 219

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2611 - 2619

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k)

29 C.F.R. § 1604.10

Willis v. School Dist. of Kansas City, 606 S.W.2d 189 (Mo. Ct. App. 1980)

Stewart v. Board of Educ. of Ritenour, 574 S.W.2d 471 (Mo. Ct. App. 1978)

Aubuchon v. Gasconade County R-1 Sch. Dist., 541 S.W.2d 322 (Mo. Ct. App. 1976)


St. Charles School District, St. Charles, Missouri

 

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For Office Use Only: GCBDA-C.SC6 (12/12)

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