Leave and Absences
Time Off Process Guides
Staff who need to change or delete approved time off will use this document.
Teachers and approved instructional aides will use this document.
Staff who will not need a sub will use this document.
State Personal Leave
State law requires that all employees receive up to five days of paid personal leave per year. Personal leave is earned at a rate of one-half (1/2) day for every 18 days employed (see chart on previous page), up to a total of five per year and is available for use at the beginning of the school year. A day of earned personal leave is equivalent to an assigned workday. State personal leave accumulates without limit, is transferable to other Texas school districts. There are two types of personal leave: non-discretionary and discretionary.Non-discretionary: Leave taken for personal or family illness, family emergency, or a death in the family or active military services is considered non-discretionary leave. Reasons for this type of leave allow very little, if any, advance planning. Nondiscretionary leave will be granted to employees in the same manner as state sick leave.Discretionary: Leave taken at an employee’s discretion and that can be scheduled in advance is considered discretionary leave. An employee wishing to take discretionary personal leave must submit a request to his or her principal or supervisor five (5) days in advance of the anticipated absence. The effect of the employee’s absence on the educational program or department operations, as well as the availability of a substitute when applicable, will be considered by the principal or supervisor.Leave Proration: If an employee separates from employment with the district before his or her last duty day of the year, or begins employment after the first day, state personal leave and local leave shall be prorated based on the actual time employed. When an employee separates from employment before the last duty day of the school year, the employee’s final paycheck will be reduced by the amount of state personal leave the employee used beyond his or her pro rata entitlement for the school year and local leave the employee used but had not earned as of the date of separation.A maximum of ten percent of the campus employees in each job category will be permitted to take discretionary personal leave at the same time. Discretionary personal leave is to be granted only upon approval by the supervisor and shall not be granted if it creates a hardship in a department or on a campus.Discretionary use of state personal leave shall not exceed five (5) consecutive workdays.Discretionary leave may not be taken on the following key days: on the day before or after a school holiday, days scheduled for end-of-semester or end-of-year exams, days scheduled for TAKS tests, professional or staff development days or workdays, and the first or last day of a grading period. However, extenuating circumstances may be considered by the supervisor to evaluate exceptions. A request describing any extenuating circumstances must be submitted to his or her supervisor.Use of discretionary personal leave shall be considered granted unless the principal or designee notifies the employee to the contrary at least one workday prior to the requested leave date. When a person’s state personal leave has been depleted, local sick leave is not available for personal reasons. Local sick leave can only be used for the reasons discussed below.
State Sick Leave
State sick leave accumulated before 1995 is available for use and may be transferred to other school districts in Texas. State sick leave can be used only in whole or half-day increments except when coordinated with family and medical leave taken on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis. If an employee uses more sick leave than he or she has earned, the cost of unearned sick leave will be deducted from the employee’s next paycheck. For Sick leave and Worker’s Compensation Coordination (see Worker’s Compensation Benefits section in this handbook below)
State sick leave may be used for the following reasons only:
- Employee personal illness.
Illness in the employee’s immediate family, defined in DEC (LOCAL) as:
2) Son or daughter, including a biological, adopted, or foster child, a son- or daughter-in-law, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis.
3) Parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, or other individual who stands in loco parentis to the employee.
4) Sibling, step-sibling, sibling-in-law.
5) Grandparent and grandchild.
6) Any person who may be residing in the employee’s household at the time of illness or death.
For purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the definition of "family" shall include only items 1, 2, and 3 on the above list, but shall exclude son- or daughter-in-law and parent-in-law
Family emergency (i.e., natural disasters or life-threatening situations)
Death in the immediate family
Active Military Service
Local Sick Leave
All employees shall earn an additional five equivalent workdays of local sick leave per school year, concurrently with state personal leave. Local sick leave shall be used according to the terms and conditions of state sick leave accumulated before the 1995-96 school year, except as otherwise provided by DEC (LEGAL), and is available for the employee’s use at the beginning of the school year. When an employee who ceases to be employed by the District has used more leave than he/she has accumulated or earned, the cost of the unearned leave days shall be deducted from the employee’s final paycheck.
Upon initial employment all eligible employees shall earn three (3) days of Local Sick Leave. Additionally, two (2) days of Local Sick Leave will be placed by the District in the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank in the name of each eligible new employee.
During each subsequent year all eligible employees shall earn five workdays of paid local leave per school year in accordance with administrative regulations. Local leave shall accumulate without limit.
If an employee separates from employment with the District before his or her last duty day of the year, or begins employment after the first duty day, state personal leave and local leave shall be prorated based on the actual time employed.
If an employee separates from employment before the last duty day of the school year, the employee’s final paycheck shall be reduced for:
1. State personal leave the employee used beyond his or her pro rata entitlement for the school year; and
2. Local leave the employee used but had not earned as of the date of separation.
Temporary Disability (Certified Employees)
Any full-time employee whose position requires certification from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is eligible for temporary disability leave. The purpose of temporary disability leave is to provide job protection to full-time educators who cannot work for an extended period of time because of a mental or physical disability of a temporary nature. Temporary disability leave must be taken as a continuous block of time. It may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule. Pregnancy and conditions related to pregnancy are treated the same as any other temporary disability.
Employees must request approval for temporary disability leave. An employee’s notification of need for extended absence due to the employee’s own medical condition shall be accepted as a request for temporary disability leave. The request must be accompanied by a physician’s statement confirming the employee’s inability to work and estimating a probable date of return. If disability leave is approved, the length of leave is no longer than 180 calendar days. If temporary disability leave is approved, it will run concurrent with any Family Medical leave for which the employee may be eligible and with all accrued sick and personal leave.
If it is determined to be in the best interest of the District, District officials can make the decision to place an eligible employee on Temporary Disability Leave. If an employee is placed on temporary disability leave involuntarily, he or she has the right to request a hearing before the Board of Trustees. The employee may protest the action and present additional evidence of fitness to work. The request for hearing must be in writing to the Superintendent and must be filed within 15 days of when the employee knew or should have known of the action to place them on Temporary Disability Leave. The District will follow the procedures outlined in policy DGBA concerning Hearings before the Board.
The employee will be required to supply the District with periodic medical updates from an attending health care provider. This will be required at the beginning of the leave, every 30 days, and 30 days before returning to work.
When an employee is ready to return to work, the Director of Human Resources should be notified at least 30 days in advance. The return-to-work notice must be accompanied by a physician’s statement confirming that the employee is able to resume regular duties. Certified employees returning from leave will be reinstated to the school to which they were previously assigned if an appropriate position is available. If an appropriate position is not available, the employee may be assigned to another campus, subject to the approval of the campus principal. If a position is not available before the end of the school year, the employee will be reinstated to a position at the original campus at the beginning of the following school year.
Family and Medical Leave
The following text is from the federal notice, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Specific information that the district has adopted to implement the FMLA follows this general notice.
Basic Leave Entitlement
The FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:
For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.
Military Family Leave Entitlements
Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or call to active military duty and deployed to a foreign country may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
The FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember during a single 12-month period. A covered servicemember is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list. It also includes a family member who is a veteran with an illness or injury that occurs in the line of duty while on active duty and manifests itself before or after the servicemember became a veteran. The veteran must have been on active duty during the five years preceding the need for treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
Benefits and Protections
During FML, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any "group health plan" on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. Upon return from FML, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
Use of FML cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.Upon return to work, the employee will be required to pay the District for any insurance benefits that were paid by the District while the employee was on unpaid leave.Eligibility RequirementsEmployees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, for 1250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.Definition of a Serious Health ConditionA serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.
Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.
Use of Leave
An employee does not need to use this leave entitlement in one block. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.
Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave
Employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking FML. In order to use paid leave for FML, employees must comply with the employer’s normal paid leave policies and procedures.
Employees must provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take FML when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with an employer’s normal call-in procedures.
Employees must provide sufficient information for the employer to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform job functions, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. Employees also must inform the employer if the requested leave is for a reason for which FML was previously taken or certified. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave. GISD requires recertification every 30 days.
The employee is responsible for notifying the District Human Resources Office when they are in need of FMLA information. Please call 817-408-4185 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting information.
All necessary forms and information will be given to the employee by the Human Resources personnel.
Employees are always encouraged to call the HR Office early and often for information, forms, and assistance about FMLA at 817-408-4185.
Covered employers must inform employees requesting leave whether they are eligible under FMLA. If they are, the notice must specify and additional information required as well as the employees’ rights and responsibilities. If they are not eligible, the employer must provide a reason for the ineligibility.Covered employers must inform employees if leave will be designated as FML and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s leave entitlement. If the employer determines that the leave is not FML, the employer must notify the employee.Unlawful Acts by EmployersThe FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to:
Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right protected under the FMLA;
Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the FMLA.
An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor of may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.
The FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.
FMLA section 109 (29 U.S.C. §2619) required FMLA covered employers to post the text of this notice. Regulations 29 C.F.R. §825.300 (a) may require additional disclosures.For additional information:1866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243) TTY: 1-877-889-5627Local Family and Medical provisions
Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the 12-month period from July 1 through June 30.
Use of Paid Leave
FML runs concurrently with accrued sick and personal leave, temporary disability leave, compensatory time, assault leave, and absences due to a work-related illness or injury. The district will designate the leave as FML, if applicable, and notify the employee that accumulated leave will run concurrently.
Combined Leave for Spouses
A husband and wife who are both employed by the district are limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of FML to care for a parent with a serious health condition; or for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Military caregiver leave for spouses is limited to a combined total of 26 weeks.
When medically necessary or in the case of a qualifying exigency, an employee may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule. The district does not permit the use of intermittent or reduced-schedule leave for the care of a newborn child or for adoption or placement of a child with the employee.
Employees that require FML or have questions should contact Human Resources at 817-408-4185 for details on eligibility, requirements, and limitations.
Assault leave provides extended job income and benefits protection to an employee who is injured as the result of a physical assault suffered during the performance of his or her job. An Incident involving an assault is a work-related injury, and should be immediately reported to the Business Office. An injury is treated as an assault if the person causing the injury could be prosecuted for assault or could not be prosecuted only because that person’s age or mental capacity renders the person non-responsible for purposes of criminal liability.
An employee who is physically assaulted at work may take all the leave time medically necessary (up to two years) to recover from the physical injuries he or she sustained.
At the request of an employee, the District will immediately assign the employee to assault leave. Days of leave granted under the assault leave provision will not be deducted from accrued personal leave and must be coordinated with workers’ compensation benefits.
Upon investigation the District may change the assault leave status and charge leave used against the employee’s accrued paid leave. If accrued paid leave is not available, the cost of the leave days used while on assault leave shall be deducted from the employee’s next paycheck at the employee’s regular daily rate of pay.
Use of state leave and/or local sick leave for death in the immediate family (as defined in Local Policy DEC) shall not exceed five (5) workdays per occurrence, subject to the approval of the District.
Jury Duty and Court Appearances
Jury Duty: Employees will receive leave with pay and without loss of accumulated leave for jury duty. Employees must present documentation of the service and shall be allowed to retain any compensation for this service. Employees not selected for jury duty or employees released early are expected to return to work if at least three hours of their workday remains. An employee should report a summons for jury duty to his or her supervisor as soon as it is received and may be required to provide the district a copy of the summons to document the need for leave.
Compliance with a Subpoena: Absences due to compliance with a valid subpoena or for jury duty shall be fully compensated by the District and shall not be deducted from the employee’s pay or leave balance. Employees may be required to submit documentation of their need of leave for court appearances. Absences for court appearances, without a valid subpoena, related to an employee’s personal business must be taken as personal leave or leave without pay (if no personal leave is available). Employees may be required to submit documentation of their need of leave for court appearances.
Truancy Court Appearances: An employee who is a parent, guardian of a child, or a court appointed guardian ad litem of a child who is required to miss work to attend a truancy court hearing may use personal leave or compensatory time for the absence. Employees who do not have paid leave available will be docked for any absence required because of the court appearance.
The District will reasonably accommodate an employee’s request for absence for a religious holiday or observance. Accommodations such as changes to work schedules or approving a day of absence will be made unless they pose an undue hardship to the District. The employee may use any accumulated personal leave for this purpose. Employees who have exhausted applicable paid leave may be granted an unpaid day of absence.
Sick Leave Bank (or Pool)
The purpose of the Sick Leave Bank is to provide additional paid sick leave days to eligible employees who experience a disabling catastrophic event. Days may be requested from the bank only after the member has exhausted all accumulated state leave and local sick leave days and has taken five days of leave without pay.
Eligible employees are all GISD employees. A catastrophic illness or injury is a severe condition or combination of conditions affecting the mental or physical health of the employee or the employee’s spouse or child that requires the services of a licensed practitioner for a prolonged period of time and that forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned by that employee and to lose compensation from the District. Such conditions typically require prolonged hospitalization or recovery or are expected to result in disability or death. Conditions relating to pregnancy or childbirth shall be considered catastrophic if they meet the requirements of this paragraph.
For purposes herein, Bank shall refer to the District Sick Leave Bank. Committee shall refer to the Catastrophic Leave Committee.
All new employees shall earn three workdays of local leave per school year. Additionally, two days of local leave shall be contributed to the Sick Leave Bank (Bank) in the name of each new employee.
All returning employees who have previously joined the Bank will continue as members of the Bank until termination of employment. See Policy DEC under ADDITIONAL LOCAL LEAVE for complete details of membership.
The governing committee that approves or disapproves all requests for sick leave bank days shall be the Catastrophic Leave Committee. The Superintendent shall vote only if necessary to break a tie.
The Catastrophic Leave Committee shall evaluate applications, consider all available information and cast a vote concerning applications for use of the Bank.
All members shall be eligible for benefits beginning with the first official day of work for that school year.
For Bank purposes, the school year shall begin on the first official day of work for ten-month employees.
Any member of the Bank who uses days from the Bank shall earn three (3) workdays of local sick leave the following school year. Additionally, the District shall contribute two (2) workdays of local sick leave to the Bank in the name of each of these employees during the following year.
All local sick leave days placed in the Bank for membership remain the property of the Bank. Termination of employment will end an employee’s membership in the Bank.
GRANTING OF DAYS
Requests for Bank days shall be made within thirty (30) days of the absence to be considered.
Days from the Bank shall be granted based on the following:
1) Bank days shall be granted only for absences from working days and shall not be granted for holidays, vacation days, or noncontract days.
2) Pre-existing medical conditions will not be accepted. Pre-existing conditions shall include, but shall not be limited to, any condition for which the member received treatment during the 12-month period preceding the member’s enrollment in the Bank. Charter members shall be exempt from meeting these conditions.
3) Unless there is a related complication, pregnancy shall not be covered. Complications arising from childbirth shall be considered on an individual basis, providing the recovery period requires longer than six weeks.
4) Bank days shall not be authorized for illness or disability resulting from substance abuse rehabilitation (including injuries resulting from substance abuse), self-inflicted injury, or act of war.
5) The Committee shall be authorized to approve up to 30 days per request only for a member’s personal illness or injury or for the care of a spouse or a dependent child. Subsequent request for days and additional days shall require the recommendation of the Committee and the Superintendent, and the approval of the Board. Each request must be preceded by a mandatory 5 day dock. Requests are limited to 60 days per year and 120 days per Lifetime.
6) The Committee may consider a request by a member for up to ten (10) days to assist other critically or terminally ill immediate family members per Bank year. (See DEFINITIONS/FAMILY above)
7) The Committee shall not grant more days than the District has contributed.
8) The Committee may request a medical review by a physician of the committee’s choice at the member’s expense.
9) At the end of the Bank year, all unused sick leave days in the Bank shall be carried over to the next Bank year.
10) A member shall lose the right to use the benefits of the Bank by:
- Termination or suspension of employment in the District
- Attempted abuse of the Bank and/or its policies
Grants of days from the Bank shall be considered only for a catastrophic illness lasting five (5) consecutive days or longer.
The application procedure shall be as follows:
1) Members should call the Human Resource Department at 817-408-4190 for application procedures.
2) The employee will complete the appropriate request forms and questionnaire provided by the Human Resources Office.
3) The Committee shall review individually all requests for Bank days.
4) The Committee may request that a member appear before the Committee to substantiate the validity of the request.
5) The Committee shall determine the number of days approved and shall reserve the right to approve, deny, or modify the days requested.
6) No member of the Committee shall participate on the Committee when making a personal request for Bank days or when the committee is considering a request made by a family member.
7) The Human Resources Office shall notify the member of the outcome.
Paid Leave for Military Service
Any employee who is a member of the Texas National Guard, Texas State Guard, reserve component of the United States Armed Forces, or a member of a state or federally authorized Urban Search and Rescue Team is entitled to a paid leave when engaged in authorized training or duty ordered by proper authority. Paid military leave is limited to 15 days each fiscal 31 year. (In addition, an employee is entitled to use available state and local personal or sick leave during a time of active military service.)
Re-employment after Military Leave
Employees who leave the District to enter into the United States uniformed services or who are ordered to active duty as a member of the military force of any state (e.g. National or State Guard) may return to employment if they are honorably discharged. Employees who wish to return to the District will be re-employed provided they can be qualified to perform the required duties. Employees returning to work following military leave should contact the Human Resources Department. In most cases, the length of federal military service cannot exceed five years.
Continuation of health insurance: Employees who perform service in the uniformed services may elect to continue their health plan coverage at their own cost for a period not to exceed 24 months. Employees should contact the Human Resources Department at 817-408-4185 for details on eligibility, requirements, and limitations.