19.1 Accrual

Employees shall accrue sick leave at the rate of three and seven tenths (3.7) hours for each biweekly pay period of full-time work. Such accrual shall be pro-rated for employees who work less than full-time during a pay period. For purposes of this Section absence in a pay status shall be considered work.

19.2 Usage

Sick leave is accrued paid leave from work that can be used for any of the following purposes:  

(1)   Diagnosis, care or treatment of the employee’s illness, injury, health condition, or exposure to contagious disease which incapacitates them from performance of duties. This includes disabilities caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth and recovery therefrom as determined by a licensed physician, or, under the Kaiser plan, a licensed health care professional.

(2)   The employee’s receipt of preventative care or required medical or dental care or consultation.

(3)   The employee’s attendance, for the purpose of diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventative care, on an immediate family member who is ill. For this section 19.2, immediate family means parent, spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, person for whom the employee is a legal guardian, sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren.

(4)   The employee’s preparation for or attendance at the funeral of a member of the immediate family. For the purpose of preparation for or attendance at the funeral, immediate family includes parent, spouse, domestic partner, child (including through miscarriage or stillbirth), person for whom the employee is a legal guardian, sibling, sibling-in-law, step children, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparents, grandparent-in-law, and grandchildren. Use of sick leave for this expanded definition is limited to a maximum of three (3) days if travel is required.

(5)   The employee’s attendance to an adoptive child or to a child born to the employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner for up to six (6) weeks immediately after the birth or arrival of the child in the home.

Sick leave used concurrently with California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave for the purpose of bonding following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child of the employee must be concluded within one (1) year of the birth or placement of the child. The basic minimum duration of such leave is two (2) weeks. However, an employee is entitled to leave for one of these purposes (e.g. bonding with a newborn) for less than two (2) weeks duration on any two (2) occasions.  

(6)   An employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may use sick leave to:

a. obtain or attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order or other court assistance to help ensure the health safety or welfare of the employee or his or her child; or

b. obtain medical attention or psychological counseling; services from a shelter; program or crisis center; or participate in safety planning or other actions to increase safety.

18.3 Procedures for Requesting and Approving Sick Leave

When the requirement for sick leave is known to the employee in advance of the absence, they shall request authorization for sick leave at such time, in the manner hereinafter specified. In all other instances the employee shall notify their supervisor as promptly as possible by telephone or other means. Before an employee may be paid for the use of accrued sick leave, they shall complete and submit to their department head a signed statement, on a prescribed form, stating the dates and hours of absence and such other information as is necessary for the request to be evaluated. If an employee does not return to work prior to the preparation of the payroll, other arrangements may be made with the approval of the department head and the Controller.

The department head may require a physician’s statement from an employee who applies for sick leave or make whatever investigation into the circumstances that appears warranted before taking action on the request.

19.4 Accounting for Sick Leave

Sick leave may be used in increments no smaller than 6 minutes. Payment for sick leave used shall be at the employee’s base pay plus applicable differential, if any, as provided in Section 10.

19.5 Credits

When an employee who has been working in a seasonal or extra help category is appointed to a permanent position they may receive credit for such extra help or seasonal period of service in computing accumulated sick leave, provided that no credit shall be given for service preceding any period of more than twenty-eight con­secutive days in which an employee was not in a pay status.

If an employee who has unused sick leave accrued is laid off and subsequently reemployed in a permanent position, such sick leave credits shall be restored upon reemployment. No portion of sick leave credits for which an employee received compensation at the time of or subsequent to the day of layoff shall be restored.

19.6 Incapacity to Perform Duties

If the appointing authority has been informed through a doctor’s report of a medical examination that an employee is not capable of properly performing their duties, they may require the employee to absent himself/herself from work until the incapacity is remedied. During such absence the employee may utilize any accumulated sick leave, vacation, holiday and compensatory time.

19.7 Use of Sick Leave While on Vacation

An employee who is injured or becomes ill while on vacation may be paid for sick leave in lieu of vacation provided that the employee: (1) was hospitalized during the period for which sick leave is claimed, or (2) received medical treatment or diagnosis and presents a statement indicating illness or disability signed by a physician covering the period for which sick leave is claimed, or (3) was preparing for or attending the funeral of a member of the immediate family. No request to be paid for sick leave in lieu of vacation will be considered unless such request is made and the above substantiation is provided within the pay period during which the employee returns to work.

19.8 Sick Leave During Holidays

Paid holidays shall not be considered as part of any period of sick leave, unless the employee is scheduled to work on that holiday.

19.9 Catastrophic Leave

Leave credits may be transferred from one (1) or more donating employees to another receiving employee under the following conditions:

(1)   The receiving employee is a permanent full or part-time employee whose participation has been approved by their department head;

(2)   The receiving employee or the receiving employee’s spouse/domestic partner or direct family member has sustained a life threatening or debilitating illness, injury or condition. (The Department Head may require that the condition be confirmed by a doctor’s report);

(3)   The receiving employee has or will have exhausted all paid time off;

(4)   The receiving employee must be prevented from returning to work for at least thirty (30) days and must have applied for a medical leave of absence.

Transferring Time

Vacation and holiday time may be transferred by employees in all work groups. Comp time may be transferred only by employees in work groups 1, 4, and 5. Sick leave may be transferred at the rate of one hour of sick leave for every four hours of other time (i.e., holiday, vacation, or comp time). Donated time will be converted from the type of leave given to sick leave and credited to the receiving employee’s sick leave balance on an hour-for-hour basis and shall be paid at the rate of pay of the receiving employee. Donations must be a minimum of 8 hours and thereafter in whole hour increments. The total leave credits received by the employee shall normally not exceed three months; however, if approved by the department head, the total leave credits received may be up to a maximum of one year.

Donations shall be made on a Catastrophic Leave Time Grant form signed by the donating employee and approved by the receiving employee’s department head. Once posted, these donations are irrevocable except in the event of the untimely death of a Catastrophic Leave recipient. In that event, any excess leave will be returned to donating employees on a last in first out basis (i.e., excess leave would be returned to the last employee(s) to have donated).

Appeal Rights

Employees denied participation in the program by the department head may appeal to the Human Resources Director whose decision shall be final.

The County shall address changes to the Catastrophic Leave policy through a County-wide process. The County will prepare a modified policy and present it to all labor organizations for comments at the Benefits Committee in January 2019.