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FILE:  GDBDA
CRITICAL

 

SUPPORT STAFF SHORT-TERM LEAVES AND ABSENCES

 


Consistent staffing is important to the learning environment and district operation and therefore is an essential duty of all employees. When an employee 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.


Employees may be terminated for excessive absences or tardiness. Unless authorized by the Board or superintendent, or otherwise authorized by law, an employee's absence or tardiness 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.


The employee's salary will be docked if the absence or tardiness occurs for a reason not granted as paid leave under Board policy or if it exceeds the number of days the employee has been granted under a designated leave, even if the absence or tardiness is authorized by the Board or the superintendent.


No employee will be disciplined or terminated for absences qualifying for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or other applicable 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 support staff employees. Part-time employees accrue sick, personal and vacation leave on a pro rata basis if they work 20–29 hours per week.

 

I.         Absence from Duty (AFD) Leave

 

Employees will accrue Absence from Duty (AFD) leave at the rate of one day per month of employment. Employees will be granted three personal leave days per year to be included in their AFD leave. Part-time employees shall receive AFD leave and personal leave days on a prorated basis. This leave may accumulate to a maximum of 180 days. However, any leave granted beyond one-half of the accumulated maximum per school year will be authorized only for the employee's personal illness.

 

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 employee's incapacitation. 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 support staff's immediate family in which instance it is necessary for the support staff 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 support staff employee's household in which instance it is necessary for the support staff 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.         Inclement weather (refer to #5).

 

                        f.         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. However, 30 days' notice is required by law if the leave qualifies as FMLA leave and such notice is practical. The administration will respond promptly to the support staff employee's request. If any support staff employee is absent from school and no arrangements have been made with the principal, the employee shall, as soon as possible, provide reasons for such absence.

 

Any support staff employee who is a member of a retirement system shall remain a member during any period of leave under sick leave provisions of the district or under Workers' Compensation. The employee shall also receive creditable service credit for such leave time if the employee makes contributions to the system equal to the amount of contributions that he or she would have made had he or she been on active service status.

 

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 employee's regular hourly rate, 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 hours of pay at the support staff's hourly rate.

 

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

 

            2.         Personal Leave

 

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

 

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

 

                                  No more than three support staff 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 personal leave time 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.

 

            3.         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.

 

            4.         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. Support staff employees whose assignment is less than 1.0 FTE may use three days of bereavement at the equivalent hours per day of his/her support staff position for family or friends. An example of this would be a custodian working 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 additional 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).

 

            5.         Inclement Weather

 

All full-time, 12-month employees (*see exceptions below) shall be given one to two hour(s) to report to work on days(s) when classes have been canceled due to inclement weather and road conditions make it difficult for the employee to travel. The superintendent will determine if one or two hours is appropriate. However, any work time missed must be accounted for by:

 

                                  Making the time up (within same pay week)

                                  Requesting personal or vacation leave at supervisor's discretion

                                  Docking employee's pay for missed time

 

Emergency leave with pay may be considered by the superintendent when inclement weather prevents any such employee from reporting to work.

 

Flex time of up to two hours may be used. The employee shall notify his/her supervisor of using flex time.

 

Second shift employees shall be allowed at least 12 hours between shifts in the event that employees are requested or required to work early on days when classes have been canceled due to inclement weather. Exceptions can be made in emergency situations only.

 

                        *          The Director of Facilities will determine if it is appropriate for maintenance/custodial staff to be given one to two hours to report to work on inclement weather days. The Director of Facilities may also require maintenance and/or custodial staff to report to work early to perform snow/ice removal or other emergency services related to inclement weather.

 

            6.         Absences may be charged against AFD leave for court appearances, unless applicable law or policy provides for paid leave, and for leave 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, classified 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 1,125 hours) for written notification of intent to retire/resign/separate with proper notice at the following rates:



 

Notification

90 Days

Notification

60 Days

Notification

30 Days

1–9 FTE equivalent

years of service

$3/hour

$2/hour

$1/hour

10–19 FTE equivalent

years of service

$4/hour

$3/hour

$2/hour

20 or more FTE equivalent

years of service

$5/hour

$4/hour

$3/hour

 

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

 

Support staff personnel whose assignments call for 12 months of full-time employment will be granted ten days of paid vacation annually.

 

The employee's initial employment date will govern the number of days the employee is eligible to receive in vacation during the first fiscal year. (First year of vacation is calculated at 10/12 of a day for each full month of service.)

 

Support staff personnel employed for 12 months shall receive ten days of paid vacation during the first five years of employment. Thereafter, support staff personnel shall receive paid annual vacation based upon the schedule below:


Employment Year

Days of Vacation

6th year

7th year

8th year

9th year

10th year

11th year

12th year

13th year

14th year

15th year

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

 

An employee must submit a written request for vacation to his/her supervisor and receive written authorization before taking vacation days. If the employee's absence may disrupt district operations, the supervisor 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 support staff 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 – Employees may be granted professional leave to attend classes or conferences, meet with mentors or participate in other approved professional growth activities. Professional leave must be approved by the immediate supervisor, 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 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 support staff employees who are selected for petit jury service 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:          09/09/1999; 04/06/2000; 04/05/2001; 01/10/2002; 04/04/2002; 05/09/2002; 11/13/2003; 12/09/2004; 03/28/2005; 05/12/2005; 04/13/2006; 04/07/2008; 07/09/2009; 05/13/2010; 06/09/2011; 06/14/2012; 04/11/2013; 12/12/2013

 

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: GDBDA-C.SC6 (12/12)

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