549R-A - Absences and Leave

Sections

549R-A Absences and Leave
549P-A Sick Leave Plan
549R-B Absences-In General
550R Sick Leave Bank                     
551R Personal Leave
553R Vacation 
554R Leave of Absence
561R Leave for Summer School Teachers 

  1. Position Transfers 
    Accrued sick and personal leave balances may be retained when a full time employee is reassigned to a position not earning leave allowances. All absences charged to the retained leave must be approved by the employee's supervisor. Annual leave balances will be paid to the employee in an amount equal to the employee's daily rate times the earned annual leave days upon such reassignment.

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R            

  2. Sick Leave Bank/Consecutive Absences 
    An employee must file an application to draw days from the sick leave bank. The application (copy attached) must include a Statement of Attending Physician signed by the employee's doctor. Please note:  Employees who are participants in the Virginia Retirement System Hybrid Plan are not eligible for the sick leave bank.

    When computing the 30 consecutive day period for sick leave bank utilization, days of absence shall be considered consecutive if they are related to the same illness or injury and are within 20 days of the last return-to-work from the related illness or injury. A chronic illness may allow the employee to return for occasional full time or part time work during the 30-day qualification period. It is the intention of this policy and regulation to provide the opportunity for periodic return to duties, if possible, and not to encourage any employee's absence if able to return. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 550R

  3. Prorata Leave for Part-Year Employees 
    Sick leave and personal leave shall be credited at initial employment or termination based on the percentage of the employment term worked by the new or terminated employee. Such earnings shall be rounded to the nearest one-half hour.  For example:  

      Example 1 Example2
    Employment Term  180 Days 180 Days
    Days Actually Worked 139 Days 140 Days
    Sick Leave Allowance  70 Hours 70 Hours
    Ratio of Employment
    Term Worked

    77.2% 77.7%
    Hours per Ratio 54.04 54.39
    Hours Earned 54.00 54.50

    At termination, excess sick leave hours used (docks) may be netted against earned personal leave or annual leave balances, but excess personal leave or annual leave may not be offset against sick leave earned. Leave benefits for full-time/part-time employees shall be prorated unless otherwise specified. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R 

  4. Change in Contract Term 
    When a ten month or eleven month employee's assignment term is adjusted to a twelve month position the employee will be given credit for his ten month or eleven month service for purposes of computing years of service required for additional vacation hours over the 75 to 80 hour (ten day) allowance. 

    If approved by the superintendent, a maximum of 5 vacation days (in hourly equivalents) may be anticipated in the first year of the twelve month assignment. Any anticipated hours will reduce the annual leave earnings to be posted. 

    Reference Sections: 553R 

  5. Leave Posting
    Sick leave and personal leave shall be posted to the employee's account at the beginning of the contract or assignment term. Annual leave shall be posted to the employee's account as the leave is accrued and earned each month. 

    Anticipation of Leave During the Assignment Term: Employees may anticipate sick leave and personal leave if adequate provisions are made for the refund (or pay dock) of non-earned days in the event the employee terminates employment before earning leave hours that have been anticipated. 

    Anticipation of Leave at the Start of the Assignment Term: Returning employees, who verify in writing their intention to return to work, may anticipate sick leave and personal leave for the new assignment term prior to actually reporting to work. New employees may not anticipate or use any leave benefits until they have reported to work. 

    Non-posted annual leave may not be anticipated. 

    Increases in annual leave allowances based on the sixth (6th) employment anniversary shall be credited in the applicable anniversary month.

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R

  6. Earning of Leave 
    Credit for sick leave, personal leave, and annual leave shall be earned while an employee is absent on approved leave unless otherwise specified. Credit for leave allowances may not be earned while one is on leave of absence. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R, 554R 

  7. Depletion of Leave 
    If an employee on extended absence has 1) depleted all sick leave, sick leave bank, personal leave, annual leave, low-docks, and injury leave, 2) is not on an approved leave of absence, or 3) has not made prior arrangements for return to work, the employee will be terminated. Termination will be deemed to occur on the date that all posted leave expires. Unearned posted leave that has been used will be docked at pay-out.

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R 

  8. Full Docks and Low Docks 
    Full docks will apply to all absences not covered by sick leave, personal leave, annual leave, or sick leave bank balances; injury leave, civil leave, military leave, or low dock allowances; administrative leave, or professional leave approvals. 

    Low docks may be charged only in connection with sick leave bank allowances pursuant to policy section 550P. Low docks are not available for intermittent or periodic absences after the depletion of an employee's sick leave allowances. 

    Reference Sections: 549R-A 

  9. Leave Adjustments 
    It is the responsibility of each employee to be aware of his leave allocation balances and to correctly report leave usage through the absence management system. Leave days charged to any leave allocation category may be changed to another category only in cases of administrative or posting error. The request for adjustment must be supported by documentation from the employee's supervisor. 

    Reference Sections: 549R-A 

  10. Part-Day Absences 
    Employee absences must be reported in 1/4 hour increments and must reflect only the length of the absence. When a substitute is obtained for a teacher or instructional aide absence, the substitute will work and be paid in half or whole day amounts regardless of the length of the employee’s absence. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R 

  11. Health Insurance During Leave of Absence 
    An employee shall be eligible to continue health insurance coverage through the group plan while on an approved leave of absence. If continuation of group insurance is elected, such continued coverage shall be counted toward the maximum number of months for which the employee is eligible under cobra provisions. 

    Reference Sections: 554R 

  12. Bereavement 
    Up to five (5) days of leave with full pay shall be granted for the death of an employee’s parent, spouse, child or stepchild. This leave is not charged to any leave entitlement the employee may have available. 

    Available sick leave may be used for up to five (5) days for the death of a family member other than the employee’s parent, spouse, child or stepchild.

    Available personal or annual leave may be used for up to five (5) days for bereavement involving the death of individuals not defined above. 

    With the prior approval of the superintendent (or his designee), selected personnel will be permitted to attend funerals of employees (and other persons closely connected with the school system) as official representatives of the Frederick County Public Schools. Absences will not be recorded for those attending the funeral as representative of the school system. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 551R, 553R 

  13. Use of Personal Leave on Make-Up Days, Work Days, In‑service Days, or Before/After a Holiday 
    Personal leave on make-up days shall be granted only when previously scheduled business, legal matters or personal events (weddings, dental appointments, etc.) can not be changed because of planning that had been completed prior to notification of the make-up day. 

    On teacher work days, in-service days, or the day before or after a school holiday/vacation period, personal leave is allowable only under certain circumstances. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    1. change of personal residence, when those dates are contingent upon the scheduling necessary to occupy a new dwelling,

    2. appearance in court, other than for those reasons addressed in regulation 558R, Personnel - Civil Leave,

    3. completion of summer school in a degree program or course necessary for initial certification or license renewal (including commencement exercises),

    4. participation in a family wedding.

    5. attendance at commencement exercises for a family member.

    Requests under these or similar circumstances are to be reviewed and considered for approval by the building/department supervisor. Should a request for personal leave immediately before or after a holiday or vacation period be denied, the employee may appeal the denial to the Executive Director of Human Resources, whose review and decision is final. If the request is denied, the employee may be allowed to take leave without pay (Full Dock), with the recommendation of the immediate supervisor. 

    No more than ten percent (10%) of the teaching staff may take personal leave at one time in any school or administrative unit, except in emergency situations. 

    Reference Sections: 551R

  14. Return to Work From Chronic or Extended Absences 
    Employees must deliver a Physician's Medical Release Data form when returning to work from a chronic, extended illness or injury. This would include, but not be limited to, absences involving sick leave bank, worker's compensation, or other absences involving specialized or ongoing medical attention. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A, 550R, 556R 

  15. Sick Leave Bank Contributions and Draws 
    The days contributed for participation in the sick leave banks, and any subsequent assessments, shall be credited in hours based on the individual employee's monthly sick leave allowance at the time of participation. Each day drawn from the banks may not exceed the number of work- hours-per-day for the employee's assignment. 

    Reference Sections: 550R 

  16. Family Illness 
    Pursuant to section 549P-A, B.1-b., the phrase "up to five (5) consecutive days in any one case of illness in the immediate family" shall not limit the number of total family illness sick leave days the employee may use in each school year. The employee must return to work after charging five (5) consecutive days absence to family illness in order to be eligible to use additional family illness days.

    Reference Sections: 549P-A 

    Employee use of sick leave for family illness beyond the five consecutive days allowed under section 549P-A, B.,1.b. will be considered for a long-term, catastrophic, or terminal illness of a family member. The request must be submitted in writing to human resources. 

    Reference Sections: 549P-A 

  17. Attendance Bonus for Bus Drivers and Bus Aides 
    Full-time bus drivers and bus aides may be eligible for an attendance bonus. Refer to School Board Regulation 522R-A, Personnel–Salary Payments/Bonus. 

Adopted: April 7, 1970 
Amended: September 7, 1976 
Amended: August 1, 1991 
Amended: August 17, 1992 
Amended: September 9, 1997 
Amended: August 23, 2001 
Amended: February 21, 2005 
Amended: September 23, 2009 
Amended: January 17, 2011 
Amended: June 21, 2011 
Amended: September 23, 2011 
Amended: September 28, 2011
Amended: January 18, 2012
Amended: July 1, 2014   
Amended: December 8, 2014
Amended: September 1, 2015
Amended: November 10, 2017