Effective until June 12, 2022, employees shall accrue “old 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 prorated for any employee who works less than full time during a pay period. For the purpose of this Section, absence in a pay status shall be considered work. Effective June 12, 2022, “old sick leave” will cease to accrue for all employees.
Effective June 12, 2022, employees will accrue “new” sick leave at a 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 will be prorated for an employee who works 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 seven hundred twenty (720) hours. Once an employee accrues up to the cap of seven hundred twenty (720) hours, the employee will cease to accrue sick leave until such time the employee uses sick leave to reduce accrued hours below the cap.
A break in service of twenty-eight (28) days or more will result in the forfeiture of all accrued, unused old and new sick leave. An approved leave of absence, including FMLA/CFRA, disability, and pregnancy disability leave, will not constitute a break in service for the purpose of this section.
Sick leave is accrued paid leave from work that can be used for any of the following purposes:
- Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an 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.
- The employee’s receipt of preventative care or required medical or dental care or consultation.
- 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 19.2, immediate family means parent, spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, sibling, stepchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent or grandchild.
- 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 a funeral, immediate family also includes son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent-in-law, and sibling-in-law. Use of sick leave for this expanded definition is limited to a maximum of three (3) days if travel is required.
- 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 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.
- 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:
- 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
- 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.
An employee may elect to use their full amount of “new” sick leave in advance of drawing on “old” sick leave accrued before June 12, 2022.
19.3 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 preparation of the payroll, other arrangements may be made with the approval of the department head and the Controller.
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. The County agrees to accept doctor’s notes from an employee, regardless of the employee’s health care provider, as documentation of an employee absence.
The department head may make whatever investigation into the circumstances of an employee’s request for sick leave 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 19, unless such employee has been documented by management for attendance problems within the last four (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 19.
19.4 Accounting for Sick Leave
Sick leave may be used in increments of six (6) minutes.
When an employee who has been working in a seasonal or extra-help category is appointed to a permanent position such appointee shall 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 (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 to them 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.
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 who becomes ill while on vacation may be paid for sick leave in lieu of vacation provided that the employee:
- was hospitalized during the period for which sick leave is claimed, or
- 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
- 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.
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 or more donating employees to another receiving employee under the following conditions:
- The receiving employee is a permanent full or part-time employee whose participation has been approved by their department head;
- 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);
- The receiving employee has or will have exhausted all paid time off;
- 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.
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.
Vacation and holiday time may be transferred by employees in all work groups. Compensatory time may be transferred by employees in work groups 1, 2, 4, and 5.
Sick leave may be transferred at the rate of one (1) hour of sick leave for every four (4) hours of other time (i.e., holiday, vacation, MOT or compensatory 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 eight 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 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 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).
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.