All workers, 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 worker, 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.
Workers are entitled to be paid for sick leave used, to a maximum of the time accrued, under the following conditions:
- The worker’s illness, injury, or exposure to contagious disease which incapacitates him/her 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.
- The worker’s receipt of required medical or dental care or consultation.
- The worker’s attendance on a member of the immediate family who is ill.
- The worker’s preparation for or attendance at the funeral of a member of the immediate family.
For the purpose of this Section immediate family means parent, spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, sibling, step children, mother-in-law, fatherin-law, grandparents or grandchildren. For the purpose of paragraph (4) above only, immediate family 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 a maximum of five (5) days if travel is required.
20.3 Procedures for Requesting and Approving Sick Leave
When the requirement for sick leave is known to the worker in advance of his/her absence, the worker shall request authorization for sick leave at such time, in the manner hereinafter specified. In all other instances the worker shall notify his/her supervisor as promptly as possible by telephone or other means.
Before a worker may be paid for the use of accrued sick leave he/she shall complete and submit to his/her 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 a worker 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 a worker who applies for sick leave or make whatever investigation into the circumstances that appears warranted before taking action on the request. Workers 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 worker’s return to work.
A worker who has exhausted his/her 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 worker has been documented by management for attendance problems within the last 4 months, in which case such other leaves may only be used for prescheduled and preapproved medical and dental appointments. The use of such leave in lieu of sick leave is subject to all other provisions of Section 20.
If a worker has had an excessive number of unplanned absences, he/she may be placed on a leave restriction plan. Workers shall not normally be placed on leave restriction unless they have first received an oral warning that their attendance is of concern. If a worker is placed on leave restriction, the supervisor will meet with the worker (with union representation if the worker so chooses), and will be provided with a written statement articulating the reason for it, as well as the length of time his/her attendance is to be monitored. Material relating to the unplanned absences will be made available to the worker. The decision to place a worker on a leave restriction plan is not grievable.
20.4 Accounting for Sick Leave
Sick leave may be used in increments of 6 minutes.
When a worker who has been working in an extra-help category is appointed to a permanent position he/she 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 his/her duties, he/she 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:
- was hospitalized during the period for which sick leave is claimed
- 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
- 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
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 his/her 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.
(b) Program Eligibility
Leave credits may voluntarily be transferred from one or more donating workers to another receiving worker under the following conditions:
The receiving worker is a permanent full or part-time worker whose participation has been approved by his/her department head;
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.);
The receiving worker has exhausted all paid time off;
The receiving worker must be prevented from returning to work for at least 30 days and must have applied for a medical leave of absence.
(c) 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).
(d) Appeal Rights
Workers 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.
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.