Board Policy 4820

Educational Support Staff Leaves

  • Each of the provisions in this policy applies to all educational support personnel to the extent that it does not conflict with an applicable collective bargaining agreement or individual employment contract or benefit plan; in the event of a conflict, such provision is severable and the applicable bargaining agreement or individual agreement will control.

     

    Sick and Bereavement Leave

    Full-time educational support personnel who work at least 600 hours per year receive 15 paid sick leave days per year. Sick leave days will accumulate and be earned at the rate of 1.25 days per month. Part-time employees will receive sick leave pay equivalent to their regular workday. Unused sick leave shall accumulate to a maximum of 240 days, including the leave of the current year. If personal illness or injury of an Educational Support Personnel employee prolongs the absence from duty beyond an employee’s cumulative days of sick leave, and the employee has exhausted other discretionary leave rights, the employee will no longer be considered an employee of the District and shall be advised, if eligible, to request disability benefits as provided by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

     

    Sick leave shall be interpreted to mean personal illness, quarantine at home, or serious illness or death in the immediate family or household. The immediate family for purposes of this section shall include: parents, spouse, domestic partner, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents in-law, sisters in-law, brothers in-law, and legal guardians. The Superintendent may extend the definition of immediate family to include other people of exceptionally close relationship.

     

    This policy is the District’s written plan allowing eligible employees to convert eligible accumulated sick leave to service credit upon a District employee’s retirement under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

    As a condition for paying sick leave after three (3) days absence for personal illness or 30 days for birth or as the Board or Superintendent deem necessary in other cases, the Board or Superintendent may require that the staff member provide a certificate from: (1) a physician licensed in Illinois to practice medicine and surgery in all its branches, (2) a chiropractic physician licensed under the Medical Practice Act, (3) an licensed advanced practice registered nurse, (4) a licensed physician assistant who has been delegated the authority to perform health examinations by his or her supervising physician, or (5) if the treatment is by prayer or spiritual means, a spiritual adviser or practitioner of the employee’s faith. If the Board or Superintendent requires a certificate during a leave of less than three (3) days for personal illness, the District shall pay the expenses incurred by the employee.

    The use of paid sick leave for adoption or placement for adoption is limited to 30 days unless a longer leave is provided in an applicable collective bargaining agreement. The Superintendent may require that the employee provide evidence that the formal adoption process is underway.

    No sick leave will be paid out upon termination. If an employee terminates employment prior to the end of the school year, any previously paid sick and/or personal days will be pro-rated and deducted, if necessary, from the final paycheck.

     

    Vacation

    Twelve-month employees shall be eligible for paid vacation days according to the following schedule:



    Length of Employment

    Monthly Accumulation

    Maximum Vacation Leave Earned Per Year

    From:

    To:

     

     

    Beginning of year 2

    End of year 5

    0.83 Days

    10 Days per year

    Beginning of year 6

    End of year 15

    1.25 Days

    15 Days per year

    Beginning of year 16

    End of year

    1.67 Days

    20 Days per year

    The Superintendent will determine the procedure for requesting vacation.

    Vacation days earned in one fiscal year must be used by the end of the following fiscal year; they do not accumulate. Employees resigning or whose employment is terminated are entitled to the monetary equivalent of all earned vacation, provided the employee has not been advanced vacation days, in which case upon termination those days will be deducted from final pay.

     

    Holidays

    Unless the District has a waiver or modification of the School Code pursuant to Section 2-3.25g or 24-2(b) allowing it to schedule school on a holiday listed below, District employees will not be required to work on:

    New Year’s Day

    Labor Day

    Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

    Columbus Day

    Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

    Veteran’s Day

    Casimir Pulaski’s Birthday

    Thanksgiving Day

    Memorial Day

    Christmas Day

    Independence Day

     

     

    A holiday will not cause a deduction from an employee’s time or compensation. The District may require educational support personnel to work on a school holiday during an emergency or for the continued operation and maintenance of facilities or property.

     

    Personal Leave

    Full-time educational support personnel have two (2) paid personal leave days per year. One (1) unused personal leave day may accumulate annually. Any remaining unused personal leave days shall be added to the employee’s accumulated sick leave. The maximum number of personal leave days available for any year shall be three (3) days.

     

    The use of a personal day is subject to the following conditions:

    1. Except in cases of emergency or unavoidable situations, a personal leave request should be submitted to the Building Principal 3 days before the requested date.
    2. No personal leave day may be used immediately before or immediately after a holiday, vacation, or an unexcused absence, unless approved by the Superintendent or designee.
    3. Personal leave may not be used in increments of less than one-half day.
    4. Personal leave is subject to any necessary replacement’s availability.
    5. Personal leave may not be used when the employee’s absence would create an undue hardship.

     

    Leave to Serve as a Trustee of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

    Upon request, the Board will grant 20 days of paid leave of absence per year to a trustee of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund in accordance with 105 ILCS 5/24-6.3. 

     

    Other Leaves

    Educational support personnel receive the following leaves on the same terms and conditions granted professional personnel in Board policy 5:250, Leaves of Absence:

    1. Leaves for Service in the Military and General Assembly.
    2. School Visitation Leave.
    3. Leaves for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence.
    4. Leave to serve as an election judge.

     

    Religious Observances

    Upon the approval of the Superintendent or designee, an employee may be granted leave with pay for the observance of religious holidays. No more than two (2) days of leave for observance of religious holidays shall be granted in any school year. If such a leave is desired, it shall be the responsibility of the employee to submit in writing a request for a leave to the principal.

     

    Bereavement

    A maximum of five (5) days absence shall be allowed at full pay in the case of death in the “immediate family” of an Educational Support Personnel employee. Any time required beyond five (5) days shall be assessed against the accumulated sick leave.

    In the case of bereavement, “immediate family” shall be defined as parent, husband, wife and child.

    A maximum of four (4) days absence shall be allowed at full pay in the case of death in the “family” of an Educational Support Personnel employee. Any time required beyond four (4) days shall be assessed against the accumulated sick leave.

     

    In the case of bereavement, “family” shall be defined as sister, brother, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, aunt and legal guardian.

     

     

    A maximum of two (2) days absence shall be allowed at full pay in the case of death of a niece or nephew of an employee. Any time required beyond two (2) days shall be assessed against the accumulated sick leave.

     

    Jury Duty

    The Superintendent or designee shall grant leave at full salary for an employee to be absent from assigned responsibilities for the purposes of fulfilling jury duty. Any compensation which an employee received for jury duty, with the exception of the stipend paid for meals and travel, shall be remitted to the District.

     

    Subpoena Day

    An employee shall be allowed one (1) paid leave day annually to comply with a legally- approved, District-related subpoena, provided that the purpose of the subpoena shall not require the employee to testify against the Board. A copy of the subpoena must be submitted for prior approval of such leave.

     

    Leave for Service with Peace Corps and Other Educational Foreign Assignments

    The Board is cognizant that service in the Peace Corps or other recognized educational assignments sponsored by the Federal Government have a minimum tour of duty of at least two years, and that such service may be of value to the country as well as the local school system. Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, it shall be the policy of the Board to grant a leave, without pay, to an employee for service in the Peace Corps or another recognized assignment.

    If the period of duty extends beyond two (2) years, the employee may request that the leave be continued. After reviewing the request, it shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to recommend to the Board to either continue or to terminate such a leave.

     

    Child Rearing Leave

    A male employee shall be entitled to a child-rearing leave of absence upon the anticipated birth of a child which the employee has fathered or upon his planned adoption of a child. Such leave shall be unpaid and shall be subject to all of the applicable notice and other requirements as set forth in “General Conditions for Leaves of Absence” section of this policy.

     

    Leaves for Extended Periods of Time

    Leaves of absence for extended periods of time, without pay, may be granted by the Superintendent with the approval of the Board. Upon the proper application to the Superintendent and with the approval of the Board, any Educational Support Personnel employee may be granted a leave of absence for illness or injury.

     

    Military

    Educational Support Personnel employees who are called upon to enter military service in defense of their country shall be granted a military leave without pay.

    Following their discharge from military service, Educational Support Personnel employees shall be restored to their former positions or similar positions for which they are qualified. Any Educational Support Personnel employee who chooses to remain in military service longer than six (6) months after becoming eligible for discharge shall forfeit all rights of reinstatement.

    Upon receipt of notification for military service, it shall be the responsibility of all Educational Support Personnel employees to notify the Superintendent in order that a replacement can be employed.

     

    Leaves for Victims of Domestic, Sexual, or Gender Violence

    An unpaid leave from work is available to any staff member who: (1) is a victim of domestic, sexual, or gender violence, or (2) has a family or household member who is a victim of such violence whose interests are not adverse to the employee as it relates to the domestic, sexual, or gender violence. The unpaid leave allows the employee to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning, and other assistance without suffering adverse employment action.

    The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act governs the purpose, requirements, scheduling, and continuity of benefits, and all other terms of the leave. Accordingly, if the District employs at least 50 employees, an employee is entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period.

    Neither the law nor this policy creates a right for an employee to take unpaid leave that exceeds the unpaid leave time allowed under, or is in addition to the unpaid leave time permitted by, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

     

    Maternity Leave

    An Educational Support Personnel employee shall be eligible for maternity leave without pay or other benefits subject to the following conditions and to the general conditions for unpaid leaves set forth in the “General Conditions for Leaves of Absence” section of this policy:

    1. An Educational Support Personnel employee who desires a maternity leave shall request approval for such leave in accordance with the “General Conditions for Leaves of Absence” section of this policy. The effective dates of the leave shall be determined pursuant to the “General Conditions for Leaves of Absence” section of this policy. A maternity leave may extend up to a maximum of two (2) years. A maternity leave must begin no later than the actual date of delivery of the child. Post-delivery disability may postpone the onset of a leave only with a physician’s verification and only for such period of time as the actual disability exists. If a court of competent jurisdiction rules otherwise, the parties agree to reopen this provision and negotiate the issue.
    2. Sick leave shall not be applicable during the period of the maternity leave. Any accumulated sick leave available at the commencement of the maternity leave shall be available to the Educational Support Personnel employee upon return to employment in the District.

     

    1. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring any Educational Support Personnel employee to apply for maternity leave. An Educational Support Personnel employee not desiring maternity leave may utilize accumulated sick leave during any period of disability related to her pregnancy and/or the delivery of the child.

                If such Educational Support Personnel employee shall have exhausted accumulated sick leave, she shall be granted a leave of absence without pay or other benefits during such period of disability due to pregnancy in accordance with the “General Conditions for Leaves of Absence” section in this policy.

                Such Educational Support Personnel employee shall return to employment immediately following the termination of such disability.

     

    School Visitation Leave

    An eligible employee is entitled to eight (8) hours during any school year, no more than four (4) hours of which may be taken on any given day, to attend school conferences, behavioral meetings, or academic meetings related to the employee’s child, if the conference or activity cannot be scheduled during non-work hours. Employees must first use all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, and any other leave that may be granted to the Educational Support Personnel employee, except sick and disability leave.

     

    Family and Medical Leave

     

    Eligible employees may use unpaid family and medical leave, guaranteed by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, for up to a combined total of 12 weeks during any rolling calendar.

    Other available paid vacation, personal, or family leave will be substituted for family and medical leave necessitated by birth, adoption/foster care placement, or a family member’s serious health condition. A maximum of eight (8) weeks of sick leave may be utilized for post-delivery disability. Other available paid vacation, personal, or sick leave will be substituted for family and medical leave necessitated by a family member’s or employee’s own serious health condition. Any substitution required by this policy will count against the employee’s family and medical leave entitlement. The District will pay family leave or sick leave only under circumstances permitted by the applicable leave plan. Use of family and medical leave shall not preclude the use of other applicable unpaid leave that will extend the employee’s leave beyond 12 weeks, provided that the use of family and medical leave shall not serve to extend such other unpaid leave.

    Family and medical leave is available in one or more of the following instances:

    1. the birth and first-year care of a son or daughter;
    2. the adoption or foster placement of a child;
    3. the serious health condition of an employee’s spouse, parent, or child; and
    4. the employee’s own serious health condition

    Employees may take an intermittent or reduced-hour family and medical leave when the reason for the leave is 3 or 4, above, with certain limitations provided by law.

     

    Within 15 calendar days after the Superintendent or designee makes a request, an employee must support a request for a family and medical leave when the reason for the leave is 3 or 4, above, with a certificate completed by the employee’s or family member’s health care provider. Failure to provide certification may result in a denial of the leave request.

    If both spouses are employed by the District, they may together take only 12-weeks for family and medical leaves when the reason for the leave is 1 or 2, above, or to care for a sick parent.

     

    1. Eligibility To be eligible for family and medical leave, an employee must: Have been employed by the District for at least 12 months (the 12 months need not be consecutive) and have been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12- month period immediately before the beginning of the leave.
    2. Notice If possible, employees must provide at least 30 days’ notice to the District of the date when a leave is to begin. If 30 days’ notice is not practicable, the notice must be given within two (2) business days of when the need becomes known to the employee. Employees shall provide at least verbal notice sufficient to make the District aware that he or she needs a family and medical leave, and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Failure to give the required notice may result in a delay in granting the requested leave until at least 30 days after the date the employee provides notice.
    3. Continuation of Health Benefits During a family and medical leave, employees are entitled to continuation of health benefits that would have been provided if they were working.
    4. Return to Work An employee returning from a family and medical leave will be given an equivalent position to his or her position before the leave, subject to the District’s reassignment policies and practices.

     

    Leave to Serve as an Election Judge

    Any staff member who was appointed to serve as an election judge under State law may, after giving at least 20-days’ written notice to the District, be absent without pay for the purpose of serving as an election judge. The staff member is not required to use any form of paid leave to serve as an election judge. No more than 10% of the District’s employees may be absent to serve as election judges on the same Election Day.

     

     

    Absence from Duty - Temporary

    When it becomes necessary for an Educational Support Personnel employee to be absent, it shall be the responsibility of the employee to inform his immediate supervisor as soon as possible.

     

    Pre-approval shall be obtained from the Superintendent and/or his designee for all absences due to legal commitments and transactions, personal business, religious observance, military commitments, and emergency days.

     

    Child Bereavement Leave     

    State law allows a maximum of 10 unpaid work days for eligible employees (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 20 U.S.C. §2601 et seq.) to take child bereavement leave. The purpose, requirements, scheduling, and all other terms of the leave are governed by the Child Bereavement Leave Act. Child bereavement leave allows for: (1) attendance by the bereaved staff member at the funeral or alternative to a funeral of his or her child, (2) making arrangements necessitated by the death of the staff member’s child, or (3) grieving the death of the staff member’s child, without any adverse employment action.   

    The leave must be completed within 60 days after the date on which the employee received notice of the death of his or her child. However, in the event of the death of more than one child in a 12-month period, an employee is entitled to up to a total of six weeks of bereavement leave during the 12-month period, subject to certain restrictions under State and federal law. Other existing forms of leave may be substituted for the leave provided in the Child Bereavement Leave Act. This policy does not create any right for an employee to take child bereavement leave that is inconsistent with the Child Bereavement Leave Act.

     

    General Conditions for Leaves of Absence

    Unless otherwise set forth in this Article, any leave of absence afforded by the Board is subject to the following general terms and conditions:

    1. Time Lines for Requesting Leaves:

    Application for an unpaid leave shall be made in writing to the Superintendent or designee at least ninety (90) calendar days prior to the proposed start of the leave or, if the leave is for the following school year, by February 1 of the preceding year. An emergency request for an unpaid leave of absence may be submitted with as much advance notice as possible under the circumstances. The application shall indicate the requested starting and ending dates of the leave.

    1. Medical Substantiation:

    Any request for a leave based upon personal medical reasons shall be accompanied by a physician’s statement indicating the nature, anticipated extent, and duration of medical disability. Evidence from a qualified physician indicating the employee’s ability to perform all assigned duties shall be submitted at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the return of any employee on an unpaid leave for personal medical reasons.

    1. Structuring of Leave:

    The employee and the Superintendent or designee shall agree upon a plan for the commencement and termination of the leave.

     

     In developing this plan, they shall consider the continuity of instruction to the maximum possible degree and the pertinent time factors related thereto. An unpaid leave may extend up to a maximum of two (2) years. Every effort shall be made to have such leave terminate immediately prior to the start of a new school year.

     

    1. Insurance Benefits:

    An employee granted an unpaid leave may make arrangements during his/her leave to continue hospitalization and surgical insurance coverage as provided herein at his/her own expense.

    1. Notice of Intent to Return:

    Any employee granted an unpaid leave of six (6) calendar months or more, as a condition thereof, shall advise the Superintendent or designee in writing no later than March 1 prior to the termination of such leave that he/she intends to return to employment. Failure to advise the Superintendent or designee of intent to return as required by this section shall be treated as an election not to return to employment and as a resignation from the District.

    1. Position Upon Return:

    An employee returning from an approved leave of absence shall be assigned to a position for which the employee is legally qualified.

    1. Early Return from Leave:

    An employee on an approved leave of absence may request in writing to return to employment prior to the conclusion of the leave if the reasons for the leave no longer exist. In such event, the Board shall offer the requesting employee the first available vacancy for which the employee is qualified.