HOW TO APPLY FOR A LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Shared by: country
HOW TO APPLY FOR A LEAVE OF ABSENCE: 1. Is the employee eligible for a leave of absence? In order to be eligible for a leave the employee must be a regular full or part time employee. All Interim and non-instructional probationary employees are not eligible for leave and would need to resign. Probationary teachers may be eligible for leave at the discretion of their Principal. 2. Are all employees eligible for all types of leave? No. Different bargaining units are eligible for different leaves. Basically, all employees are eligible for Sick leave for themselves or to care for a family member, Maternity/Child Care leave, Military leave, Political leave, Charter School leave. NCF&O employees can be limited to 90 days for Sick or Personal leaves. They may be granted a Personal leave at the discretion of their Principal or Dept. Head. All other employees may request a Personal leave but they are granted on a case by case basis, based on undue hardship and require board approval. They would need to submit the leave form and a letter detailing the need for the leave. Teachers may also be eligible for Professional leave and Career Change leave. These leaves are for one year and must be applied for by May 1st of the previous year to begin in August. No exceptions can be made after May 1. 3. Are these leaves paid or unpaid? These leaves are unpaid leaves. The employee may choose to use sick or annual days at the beginning of some leaves. 4. Does the employee have to use their sick days before going out on unpaid leave? With a maternity leave, the use of sick days is completely optional. With a sick leave, if the employee has income protection (short /long-term disability insurance) the employee has the option of using sick days at the start of the leave. If the employee does not have income protection, they must utilize all their earned sick days prior to going out on unpaid leave. If an employee is taking a leave to care for a sick family member they must utilize all their earned sick days prior to going out on unpaid leave regardless if they have income protection. With all other types of leave, sick days cannot be used and the employee has to go out unpaid. 5. Can a family member transfer sick days to another family member? Yes. A spouse, child, parent or sibling who is also a school district employee can transfer days to an employee who has exhausted their own sick leave by submitting form PBSD 1781 (Family Member Sick Leave Transfer Request) 6. Are there any paid leaves? Yes. Teachers on sabbatical leaves (to return to school full time) are paid ½ their salary but must sign a contract that they will return to work for the district for 3 years after they return from this leave. In addition, teachers who belong to the CTA sick bank may use up all their earned sick days and apply for CTA sick bank days. The teacher would not apply for an Unpaid Leave of Absence until after exhausting their own sick days and the CTA Sick bank days granted. Staff Association members who belong to the Staff Association sick bank would also use up their earned sick days and apply for sick bank days. Once they have exhausted their own sick days and the sick bank days, they would apply for an Unpaid Leave of Absence. Also, employees on Catastrophic Sick leave are paid. To qualify for this leave the employee needs to apply by letter, accompanied by letters from 2 doctors explaining the need for this leave. The employee needs to be out due to illness over 50 work days and needs to have a substantial number of sick days which must be used before the Catastrophic Leave will take effect. 7. Must an employee go out on unpaid leave if they have the sick days to cover the time they will be out.? No. If an employee has enough days to cover the time they will be out and a drs. note is given to the school or department, they may use their own sick time and would just fill out a TDE for their school/department. 8. When would an employee need to go out on unpaid leave? An employee who is going to be out eleven days or more without pay, must go on an unpaid leave. Failure to do this could mean job abandonment and termination and loss of benefits. 9. How does an employee apply for an unpaid leave of absence? The employee needs PBSD Form 1666 and the required supporting documentation. 10. Where can the employee get PBSD From 1666? The form is available on Omniform, on the School District website under Forms and Records, or from the school or department secretary. 11. What kind of supporting documentation is required? PBSD Form 1650 (Certification of Health and Medical Condition) is required to be completed by the employee’s doctor for Sick leaves and for Maternity/Child Care leaves. PBSD Form 1650 or a letter from the patient’s doctor, needs to be completed in cases where the employee is taking a leave to care for a sick family member. A letter explaining in detail the need for a Personal Leave must accompany a request for a Personal Leave. A letter explaining what Charter School the employee is going to work at must accompany a request for Charter School leave. A letter explaining what professional activity a teacher will be engaging in while on Professional leave must accompany a request for that leave. A letter explaining the career activity a teacher will be doing on a career change leave must accompany a request for that leave. Please Note: a teacher may not teach anywhere else or under contract for any other school or district while on a Career Change leave. Military orders should accompany a request for Military leave. A letter explaining the employee’s political candidacy should accompany a request for Political leave. 12. What information must be on the Leave Request Form (1666)? The employee must indicate the last day they will be at work. They must also indicate the date of the last sick/annual day they wish to use in order to be paid for that day. The must also indicate the date on which they plan to return to their worksite. They need to indicate the type of leave they are requesting. They need to sign the form and give it to their principal or department head for signature. 13. Once the employee has the Request form 1666 completed and signed and the accompanying documentation what do they do with it? The forms and documentation should be sent to Annette Arriaga, Leave Analyst. They can be faxed to her at (561) 434-7375 or PX 4-7375. 14.Suppose an employee on leave is unable to return on the original date. What do they do? They should notify their school or dept at least 15 days prior to their expected return date and complete a new form 1666 indicating it is an extension and giving a new return date. If it is a sick leave, they will need a new note from their doctor. If it is a maternity leave, the form alone is required. 15. What happens to the employee’s benefits while on leave? If the employee is on a sick or maternity leave and they have worked for the district for the past 12 months and have worked a total of 1250 hours or more in that time, they may be eligible for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits. The district will pay for the employee’s basic health insurance for 12 weeks and the balance of the month in which that 12 weeks ends. (If the 12 weeks end on December 9th, the entire month of December is covered.) Once that period ends, the employee will be billed for their benefits by Employee Benefits and Risk Management. If the employee has family coverage, dental/vision benefits, etc. they will be billed for this for the entire unpaid portion of the leave. This benefit is for 12 weeks in a rolling 12 month period. If the employee has used this benefit within the past 12 months, they may not be eligible. If they only used a portion of the 12 weeks, they may be eligible for the balance not yet used. 16. If an employee has short term disability do they still need to take a leave? Absolutely yes. The only way that the insurance company will pay an employee out on sick or maternity/childcare leave is if that employee is on an approved Unpaid Leave of Absence. 17. How does the employee notify Florida Combined that they are making a claim for their disability? The employee should contact Employee Benefits and Risk Management to obtain the necessary paperwork which needs to be completed by the employee and by the employee’s doctor and sent directly to Florida Combined. 18. How long can an employee be on unpaid leave? A maternity/child care leave can be extended up to 18 calendar months. Please note: this leave is continuous and once and employee returns, the leave is over and they cannot go out again on a maternity/child care leave for that child. A sick leave for most employees can be for the balance of the school year in which the leave is begun and the entire next school year. A sick leave for NCF&O employees can be limited by the principal or dept. head to 90 work days. Career change leaves are for one entire school year, may be taken only one time. To qualify, the teacher needs to have taught in Palm Beach County for 5 of the immediate preceding years. Professional leaves are for one year. They can be extended for one additional year. They are only available to teachers. All other leaves can be for whatever time is required but are limited to a total of the balance of the current school year and the next school year. After that time, the employee needs to return to work or resign. 19. What happens to the employee’s job while on leave? For teachers, their job is held for them. After 12 calendar months, the school can request to move them to a reassignment pool. When they return from leave, the district will assist them or place them in a new position. For other employees, their jobs are held but can be placed in a reassignment pool after one year as well, at the special request of their principal or dept. head.