Section 14. “New” Sick Leave
Effective January 8, 2023, employees shall accrue “new” sick leave at the rate of three and seven-tenths (3.7) hours for each biweekly pay period of full-time work. “New” sick leave will have no cash value and will not have conversion value for the purpose of sick leave conversion for retiree health coverage. Such accrual shall be prorated for any employees who work less than full time during a pay period.
For the purpose of this Section absence in a pay status shall be considered work.
“New” sick leave can accrue up to a cap of nine hundred sixty (960) hours.
Sick leave may be used in increments of six (6) minutes.
“New” sick leave, plus up to one hundred ninety-two (192) hours of “old” sick leave, is accrued paid leave from work that can be used for any of the following purposes:
A. Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an employee’s illness, injury, health condition, or exposure to contagious disease which incapacitates him/her from the 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. Use of accrued sick leave may run concurrently with applicable statutory leaves, which as Family Medical Leave.
B. The employee’s receipt of preventative care or required medical or dental care or consultation.
C. The employee’s attendance, for the purpose of diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventative care, or an immediate family member who is ill. For the purpose of this subsection of Section 14.2, “immediate family member” means parent, spouse, domestic partner (defined as registered domestic partner under California Family Code §297), son, daughter, sibling, stepchildren, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren.
D. The employee’s preparation for or attendance at the funeral of a member of his or her immediate family. For the purpose of preparation for or attendance at a funeral, immediate family member also includes son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparents-in-law and siblings-in-law. Use of sick leave for this expanded definition is limited to five (5) days if travel is required.
E. The employee’s attendance to an adoptive child or to a child born to the employee or the employee’s spouse for up to six (6) weeks immediately after the birth or arrival of the child in the home.
Sick leave used concurrently with 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. 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.
A. An employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may use up to one half (1/2) of his or her annual sick leave allotment to:
1. 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
2. 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.
14.3. Procedures for Requesting and Approving Sick Leave
When the requirement for sick leave is known to the employee in advance of the absence, the employee 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. 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.
14.4. Accounting for Sick Leave
Sick leave may be used in increments no smaller than six minutes. Payment for sick leave used shall be at the employee’s base pay plus applicable differential, if any, as provided in Section 32.
When an employee who has been working as extra help is appointed to a permanent position such appointee may receive credit for such extra help 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 (28) consecutive calendar 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 re‑employed in a permanent position, such sick leave credits shall be restored upon reemployment. The employee shall not have any portion of sick leave credits restored for which they received compensation at the time of or subsequent to the day of layoff.
14.6. 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.
14.7. Use of Sick Leave While on Vacation
An employee who is injured or who becomes ill while on vacation may be paid for sick leave in lieu of vacation provided that the employee:
A. was hospitalized during the period for which sick leave is claimed, or,
B. 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,
C. was preparing for or attending the funeral of a member of the immediate family.
To have sick leave considered in lieu of vacation the request and substantiation must be provided within ten (10) days of the employees’ return to work.
14.8. 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.
14.9. Catastrophic Leave Program
The Catastrophic Leave Policy is designed to assist employees who have exhausted paid time credits due to serious or catastrophic illness, injury or condition of the employee or their family. This policy allows other employees to make voluntary grants of time to that employee so that they can remain in a paid status for a longer period of time, thus partially ameliorating the financial impact of the illness, injury or condition.
B. Program Eligibility
Leave credits may voluntarily be transferred from one 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, and/or the employee’s 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 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.
C. Transferring Time
1. Vacation and holiday time may be transferred by employees in all work groups. Comp time may be transferred by employees in work groups 1, 4, and 5.
2. Sick leave may be transferred at the rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every four (4) hours of other time (holiday, vacation, MOT or comp time).
3. 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.
4. Donations must be a minimum of eight (8) hours and, thereafter, in whole hour increments.
5. The total leave credits received by the employee shall normally not exceed three (3) months; however, if approved by the department head, the total leave credits received may be up to a maximum of six (6) months.
6. Donations approved 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 as described in paragraph #7 below.
7. In the event of the untimely death of a Catastrophic Leave recipient, any excess leave will be returned to the donating employees on a last in/first out basis (excess leave would be returned to the last employee(s) who donated).
D. Appeal Rights
Employees denied participation in the program by the department head may appeal the decision to the Human Resources Director and the County Manager 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.