20.1   General

Employees shall not be entitled to leaves of absence as a matter of right, but only in accordance with the provisions of law and this Memorandum of Understanding. Unless otherwise provided, the granting of a leave of absence also grants to the employee the right to return to a position in the same classification, or equivalent classification in the same department as he/she held at the time the leave was granted. The granting of any leave of absence shall be based on the presumption that the employee intends to return to work upon the expiration of the leave. However, if a disability retirement application has been filed with the County Board of Retirement a leave may be granted pending decision by that Board. Nothing in Section 20 shall abridge the rights to which employees are entitled under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Information regarding FMLA is contained in the Letters section of this MOU.

Total Period of Leave:

Except for Disability Leaves as provided above and in Section 20.4 (2) (c) below, no leave of absence or combination of leaves of absence when taken consecutively, shall exceed a total period of twenty-six (26) biweekly pay periods.

Approval and Appeals:

Initial action to approve or disapprove any leave of absence shall be by the employee’s department head; however, leaves of absence of more than two (2) biweekly pay periods must also be approved by the Human Resources Director. Denial of requested leave in whole or in part at the department head level may be appealed by the employee to the Human Resources Director, whose decision shall be final.