Policy GCBD-RZ

A. Definitions

Legacy Employee – full-time employee who was hired in a Virginia Retirement System (VRS) eligible position prior to January 1, 2014 who is a member of the VRS Plan 1 or Plan 2. For further information, see VRS Plan 1 or 2 Member Handbook at www.varetire.org.

Hybrid Employee – full-time employee who was hired in a VRS eligible position on or after January 1, 2014 and who is a member of the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan. For further information, see VRS Hybrid Member Handbook at www.varetire.org.

Immediate Family – parent, son, daughter, foster parent/child, stepmother, stepfather, stepson, stepdaughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-inlaw, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, grandchild, or relative other than the above if such relative lives in the household of the employee.

B. Personnel Covered

Full-time employees and part-time employees earn sick leave each month. All employees will be advanced the first 3 days of their sick leave after the first worked day of their contract and will continue to accrue sick time on a monthly basis until the maximum number of days are accrued dependent on the length of the employee’s contract.

  1. Full-time employees: Sick leave without loss of pay is allowed in the amount of one day earned per contract month.
  2. Part-time employees: Sick leave without loss of pay is allowed in the amount of one day earned per contract month. A sick leave day shall be equal in length to the employee’s part-time work day. Part-time employees who work less days per week than full-time employees shall earn sick leave days according the employee’s full-time equivalency (FTE).

C. Accumulation of Sick Leave

  1. Employees may use accumulated sick leave without loss of pay.
  2. For Legacy and part-time employees, unused sick leave accumulates from one contract year to the next with no maximum accumulation. For Hybrid Employees, unused sick leave accumulates from one contract year to the next with a maximum of 90 days to be carried over as of June 30th each year.
  3. Employees may use anticipated sick leave during the contract period. If the employee resigns or is terminated prior to the end of the school year, the employee shall repay the school division for any used but unearned days of sick leave. Repayment shall occur by deducting unearned sick leave days from his/her final pay. Any amounts due that cannot be deducted from final pay must be paid in full within thirty (30) days after written notification to the employee of the outstanding amount due, after which the school division may pursue civil action to collect the outstanding amount due.
  4. An employee who is absent as a result of a work-related injury covered by the VirginiaWorker’s Compensation Act shall use accumulated sick leave as specified in policy EI Insurance Management.
  5. Sick leave may be taken in no less than half day increments for exempt employees and may be taken in no less than one hour increments for non-exempt employees.
  6. Employees who have accumulated sick leave and who are unable to report for work at the beginning of their contract year because of illness, as certified by their physician, may use accumulated leave not exceeding the number of days to their credit as of June 30th of the preceding contract year. Once employees physically report to work, they will receive an allocation of days for the new contract year based on their actual report-to-work day. They may be required to provide a physician’s certification of their ability to perform their duties. Employees with no available leave cannot use sick leave unless or until they have physically reported to work.
  7. If an employee uses all of his/her sick leave days accrued, personal or vacation days may be used for additional days missed. If the employee has no personal or vacation days, the employee will be docked the equivalent of one day’s pay for each day used.
  8. All questions regarding sick leave should be directed to the Director of Personnel.

D. Absences Covered

  1. Sick leave shall be allowed for personal illness or quarantine. In the event an illness requires absence from duty for a continuous period of five or more school days or at any other time deemed advisable by the Superintendent or designee, a statement certifying the employee’s condition of health may be required from a physician. This statement shall be filed with the Director of Personnel. For absences greater than five days, refer to policy GCBE Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or GCBEA Emergency Medical Leave (EML).
  2. Sick leave, not to exceed five days for any one illness in the employee’s Immediate Family will be allowed. Absence from duty in this section is charged to the employee’s total sick leave account in the same manner as absence due to personal illness or quarantine. For absences greater than five days, refer to policy GCBE FMLA.
  3. Sick leave for absence related to pregnancy and child birth is allowed for that period of time certified by a physician, that the employee is physically unable to perform her duties up to the number of sick leave days for which the employee is eligible. It shall be the responsibility of the employee to provide the required physician’s statement defining the exact period of disability, and to consult with the Superintendent or designee to establish the total period of absence. Leave without pay may be granted to the employee, upon proper request to the Superintendent or designee, when absence beyond that accountable to sick is desired. For absences greater than five days, refer to policy GCBE FMLA or GCBEA EML.

E. Extended Illness Program

The purpose of the Extended Illness Program (EIP) is to provide additional sick leave for those members who have a long-term (20 or more consecutive days) illness or injury and who have exhausted their sick leave.

A Legacy or part-time employee may enroll by donating one day of his/her sick leave to the program equivalent to the contracted FTE. Enrollment may be accomplished by submitting the EIP Application to the EIP Committee. This committee will consist of Deputy Superintendent, Chief Financial Officer, and Director of Personnel or designees.

A short-term disability (STD) benefit is provided for Hybrid Employees, therefore, Hybrid Employees are not eligible to participate in EIP. For further information, see http://www.vacorp.org/hybrid-disability/.

1. Enrollment
  1. A Legacy or part-time employee will be eligible to enroll within the first 30 days of employment.
  2. An employee who does not enroll when first eligible may do so during open enrollment by submitting an EIP application.
  3. All eligible employees must be enrolled in the plan for six months prior to becoming eligible to utilize the benefits of the EIP.
  4. Upon enrollment the employee donates one (1) day of sick leave equivalent to the contracted FTE to the program and one day thereafter whenever an assessment is required.
2. Membership/Participation
  1. Membership in the program shall be continuous unless the employee informs the committee in writing of intent to withdraw from participation in the program.
  2. The first twenty (20) consecutive contract days (qualifying period) of illness or injury will not be covered by the program but must be covered by the employee’s own accumulated leave or leave without pay.
  3. A member of the program will not be able to utilize sick leave benefits until he/she depletes his/her own sick and personal/vacation/non-accumulative leave.
  4. A member utilizing days from the program will not have to replace these days except as a regular contributory member in accordance with the provisions for assessment.
  5. Absences due to procedures or treatments not medically necessary or absences that are a bridge to retirement are not eligible for the EIP.
  6. Days drawn from the program for any one period of eligibility must be consecutive and will run concurrently with FMLA. If the member suffers a recurrence or relapse within 30 days due to the original illness or injury, the member is not required to meet another 20-day qualifying period. Otherwise, members must return to work and must meet the 20-day qualifying period before becoming eligible to utilize the EIP again.
  7. EIP days are for employee’s use only and do not apply to absence due to family illness.
  8. Members are eligible to withdraw up to twenty (20) days maximum per school year of EIP leave equivalent to the contracted FTE. The employee can use the balance of the approved EIP leave from the previous school year if there is a need under the original request for leave to continue into the next year. The leave must be consecutive without a break. If a member does not use all of the days granted from the EIP, the unused days will be returned to the EIP. A new application for EIP leave must be submitted for review by the committee for a succeeding school year.
  9. In the event the same illness has been continually incapacitating through the non-contracted period for employees who work less than twelve (12) months, the employee can use the balance of the approved EIP leave from the previous school year. Once this leave is exhausted, the employee must submit a new application and meet the 20 day qualifying period.
  10. Members of the EIP will be assessed an additional day of sick leave equivalent to the contracted FTE at such times as the program is depleted to 200 days. Notification from the EIP committee of such assessment shall be sent to each member at the time it is determined to be necessary, and the assessment shall be made unless the participant chooses to cease membership in the program. A member who has no sick leave to contribute at the time of assessment will have this day deducted from the first sick leave day subsequently accumulated.
  11. Upon termination of employment or withdrawal of membership, a participant will not be permitted to withdraw any contributed days.
3. To Request Leave From the Program
  1. A completed EIP Leave Withdrawal Form shall be submitted to the EIP Committee. The committee shall approve/disapprove the request within 5 business days.
  2. The leave withdrawal form may be submitted in anticipation of exhaustion of all paid leave, but no member will actually receive donated leave until all paid leave is exhausted.
  3. The leave withdrawal form must include medical certification from an attending physician that identifies the medical problem and the estimated time period of incapacity, including any restrictions. No request will be considered unless medical information is included. Completed FMLA paperwork may be submitted along with the withdrawal form in place of the medical certification.
4. Approval Authority

Decisions to grant leave under this policy will be made by the EIP Committee. The decision of the committee is final and is not subject to appeal.

F. Catastrophic Medical Leave

A full-time employee may be granted up to twenty (20) additional days of paid Catastrophic Medical Leave (CML) in the event the employee has a continuous and prolonged absence of five (5) or more days. This leave period will run concurrently with FMLA or EML. The absence must be for personal illness beyond the employee’s accumulated leave including personal/vacation/non-accumulative leave. An employee is not required to be a member of the Extended Illness Program (EIP); however, if the employee is a member all leave must be exhausted before requesting CML.

A request in writing must be submitted to the CML Committee. This committee will consist of the Deputy Superintendent, Chief Financial Officer, and the Director of Personnel or designees. The committee will forward the request to the Superintendent for final approval. A full-time employee will be limited to one occurrence of CML during a 12-month period. Continued absence beyond CML shall be without pay.

G. Employees on Leave

Hybrid Employees on Short Term Disability

Hybrid employees can receive up to 125 work days of short term disability if approved by the disability provider. If the employee is approved by the provider for long term
disability status, the employee’s contract with Lynchburg City Schools’ will be terminated. The termination date will be the day that long term disability benefits become payable.

Legacy Employees

The Family Medical Leave Act protects an employee’s position for up to 12 weeks (60 days). Employees who are out on leave past the 60 days may request an additional 30 days of Extended Medical Leave, if a doctor’s note states that additional time is needed. Once the additional 30 days of Extended Medical Leave is exhausted, if the employee is not able to return to work fulltime and has exhausted all sick and other available leave, the employee’s contract with Lynchburg City Schools’ may be terminated. Workers Compensation leave for more than 5 days runs concurrent with FMLA and the same rules would apply.

H. Transfer of Leave

Accumulated sick leave may be transferred up to a maximum of ninety (90) days for Legacy Employees and forty (40) days for Hybrid Employees. Such leave can be transferred within Virginia from one school division to another if the school division to which the employee transfers agrees to accept the responsibility for the accumulated sick leave. The Lynchburg City School Board will accept such transfer of leave from other participating Virginia divisions for certified employees.

I. Termination

When an employee’s services are terminated for any cause and the person is employed by any other participating school board in Virginia, upon request, a certificate of all sick leave which has accumulated to the credit of said employee shall be furnished to the said employing school board. An employee who has left the public school system of Virginia or is unable to work in the public schools of Virginia for a period of three consecutive years because of illness or physical disability or family responsibility will forfeit all accumulated sick leave. This three year period will begin on the date of the last paycheck received from Lynchburg City Schools.

Persons who leave public school employment to enter the Armed Services do not forfeit accumulated sick leave earned unless they fail to return to such employment immediately upon discharge from an original tour of duty in the Armed Services. Sick leave credit is not allowed for the period while in the Armed Services.

Adopted: March 6, 2018
Revised: August 7, 2018
Revised: February 4, 2020