20.1.  Accrual

All employees, except extra-help, shall accrue sick leave at the rate of 3.7 hours for each biweekly pay period of full-time work. Such accrual shall be prorated for any employee, except extra-help, 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.

20.2.   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 worker’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 health care professional.
  2. The worker’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 a member of the immediate family who is ill. For the purpose of this Section 20.2, immediate family means parent, step-parent, spouse, domestic partner, child, person for whom the employee is a legal guardian, sibling, step children, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren.
  4. The worker’s preparation for or attendance at the funeral of a member of the immediate family.
  5. For the purpose of preparation for or attendance at a 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, grandparents-in-law and grandchildren. Use of sick leave for this expanded definition is limited to a maximum of five (5) days if travel is required.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. An employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may use up to one half (1/2) of their annual sick leave allotment to:
  9. 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 their child; or
  10. 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.

20.3.            Procedures for Requesting and Approving Sick Leave

When the requirement for sick leave is known to the employee in advance of their 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.

Before an employee may be paid for the use of accrued sick leave they shall complete and submit to their department head a request, 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 payroll preparation, other arrangements may be made with the department head and Controller’s approval. The sick leave request shall be treated confidentially.

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. Employees who are absent from work because of illness or injury shall not be disciplined because they are unable to provide a physician’s certificate when said document has not been requested prior to the employee’s return to work.

An employee who has exhausted their accrued sick leave balance may use other accrued leaves (vacation, comp time, holiday credits), in lieu of sick leave which meets the criteria specified in Section 20.2, unless such employee has been documented by management for attendance problems within the last 4 months, in which case such other leaves may only be used for pre‑scheduled and pre‑approved medical and dental appointments. The use of such leave in lieu of sick leave is subject to all other provisions of Section 20.

See Section 37 regarding workers with an excessive number of unplanned absences.

20.4.            Accounting for Sick Leave

Sick leave may be used in increments of 6 minutes.

20.5.            Credits

When a worker who has been working in an extra-help category is appointed to a permanent position they 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 28 consecutive calendar days in which a worker was not in a pay status.

If a worker with unused sick leave accrued is laid off and later reemployed in a permanent position, such sick leave credits shall be restored upon reemployment. Workers 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.

20.6.            Incapacity to Perform Duties

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

20.7.            Use of Sick Leave While on Vacation

A worker who is injured or who becomes ill while on vacation may be paid for sick leave in lieu of vacation provided that the worker:

  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 an immediate family member.

No request to be paid for sick leave in lieu of vacation will be considered unless such request is made within 10 working days of the worker’s return and the above substantiation is provided within a reasonable time.

20.8.            Sick Leave During Holidays

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

20.9.            Catastrophic Leave Program

1. Purpose

The Catastrophic Leave Policy is designed to assist workers who have exhausted paid time credits due to serious or catastrophic illness, injury or condition of the worker or their family. This policy allows other workers to make voluntary grants of time to that worker so that s/he can remain in a paid status for a longer period of time, thus partially ameliorating the financial impact of the illness, injury or condition.

The County will prepare a modified policy Catastrophic Leave Policy. The County will present the proposed policy to all labor organizations in or about January 2019, and will offer the opportunity to meet and confer as provided by law through a joint process involving all participating labor organizations.

2. Program Eligibility

Leave credits may voluntarily be transferred from one or more donating workers to another receiving worker under the following conditions:

  1. The receiving worker is a permanent full or part-time worker whose participation has been approved by their department head;
  2. The receiving worker and/or the worker’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 worker has exhausted all paid time off;
  4. The receiving worker must be prevented from returning to work for at least thirty (30) days and must have applied for a medical leave of absence.

3. Transferring Time

  • Vacation and holiday time may be transferred by workers in all work groups. Compensatory time may be transferred by workers in work groups 1, 4, and 5.
  • Sick leave may be transferred at the rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every 4 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 worker’s sick leave balance on an hour-for-hour basis and shall be paid at the rate of pay of the receiving worker.
  • Donations must be a minimum of 8 hours and, thereafter, in whole hour increments.
  • The total leave credits received by the worker 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 six months.
  • Donations approved shall be made on a Catastrophic Leave Time Grant form signed by the donating worker and approved by the receiving worker’s department head. Once posted, these donations are irrevocable except as described in paragraph 7 below.
  • In the event of the untimely death of a Catastrophic Leave recipient, any excess leave will be returned to the donating workers on a last in/first out basis (i.e., excess leave would be returned to the last worker(s) to have donated).

4. Appeal Rights

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

20.10.    Sick Leave for Child Birth and Adoption

Workers may use up to 30 working days of accrued sick leave following the birth or adoption of a child they will legally parent.