Policy 6550

Leaves of Absence and Other Leave Time 


a) In general, leaves of absence: 

1. Shall be administered by the Superintendent.


2. The Superintendent reserves the right to grant leaves of absence for purposes or under conditions not contemplated or considered in this policy statement. 


3. Under laws and rules governing such action, the Board may undertake appropriate disciplinary action where a leave of absence is falsely requested or improperly used. 


4. Except by permission of the Superintendent, as expressed in writing, the purpose or conditions of a leave of absence may not be altered. 


b) Leaves of absence, contractual and non-contractual

1. Employees who are members of a negotiating unit:

Authorization is granted to the Superintendent to approve requests for leaves of absence submitted pursuant to provisions of contracts in effect between the District and each bargaining unit. 


2. Employees who are not members of a negotiating unit:

Authorization is granted to the Superintendent to approve requests for leaves of absence submitted by such employees where such requests are consistent with the goals of this policy


3. Employees who are under contract to the District and not in a negotiating unit:

The Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent  to implement provisions for leaves of absence contained in the applicable employment contract.


c) Leaves of absence, unpaid, not covered in b) 1. above:

1. Subject to limitations enumerated in this policy statement, authorization is granted for the following unpaid leaves of absence. 

(a) For a period of time not to exceed one (1) school year for approved graduate study, such leave to include any required internship experience. 

(b) At the expiration of a paid sick leave of absence, to extend such a leave of absence for a period of time not to exceed the end of the school year next succeeding the school year in which the paid leave of absence commenced. 


2. Unpaid leaves of absence shall not be used to engage in other occupations, except that the Superintendent shall have discretion, where circumstances warrant, to approve leaves of absence for such purposes. 


3. Unpaid leaves of absence shall not be granted unless the services of a substitute employee, satisfactory in the discretion of the Superintendent, can be secured. 


4. Except where it interferes with an employee’s legal or contractual rights, the timing of unpaid leaves of absence will be granted at the convenience of the District.


d) Other available leaves:

1. Emergency Service Volunteer Leave

Upon presentation of a written request from the American Red Cross and with the approval of the Superintendent, employees certified by the American Red Cross as disaster volunteers shall be granted leave from work with pay for up to twenty (20) days in any calendar year to participate in specialized disaster relief operations. This leave shall be provided without loss of seniority, compensation, sick leave, vacation leave or other overtime compensation to which the volunteer is otherwise entitled.


2. Screenings for Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer

Employees shall be granted up to four (4) hours of paid leave on an annual basis to undertake screening for cancer. This leave shall be excused leave and shall not be charged against any other leave to which the employee is entitled.


3. Blood Donation

Allow its employees to donate blood during work hours at least two (2) times per year at a convenient time and place set by the Superintendent/designee, including allowing an employee to participate in a blood drive at the District.

Leave taken by employees at a District-designated donation alternative (such as a District-sponsored blood drive at the workplace) must be paid leave that is provided without requiring the employee to use accumulated vacation, personal, sick, or other leave time.

The District shall not retaliate against an employee for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence under this section. Additional leaves for the purpose of blood donation under any other provision of law shall not be prevented.


4. Bone Marrow Donation

Employees seeking to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow shall be granted leaves to do so, the combined length of the leaves to be determined by the physician, but may not exceed twenty-four (24) work hours unless agreed to by the Superintendent/designee. The District shall require verification for the purpose and length of each leave requested by the employee for this purpose.


5. Nursing Mothers

The District shall provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit the use of paid break time or meal time each day to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three (3) years following childbirth. The District shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area where the nursing mother can express milk in privacy. The District shall not discriminate against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace.

Reasonable unpaid break time is generally no less than twenty (20) minutes and no more than thirty (30) minutes depending upon the proximity of the designated location for expressing breast milk. In most situations, the District is required to provide unpaid break time at least once every (3) hours if requested by the employee. At the employee’s option, the District shall allow the employee to work before or after her normal shift to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid break time(s) so long as such additional time requested falls within the District’s normal work hours. 


6. Victims of Domestic Abuse

Employers are required to provide employees with an unpaid leave to appear as a witness, consult with the district attorney, or exercise the employee’s statutory rights as the victim of, or witness to a crime of domestic violence. In addition, a victim of domestic violence may need one or more of these types of leave. 

To use this leave, the employee shall provide notice of the need for leave at any time prior to the actual day of leave. Employers are permitted to ask the employee who sought the attendance or testimony of the employee to provide verification of the employee’s service. Penalizing or discharging an employee for absences by reason of a required appearance as a witness in a criminal proceeding, or consultation with the district attorney, or exercising his/her rights as provided under the law constitutes a Class B misdemeanor by the employer.


7. Military Leave

The District will comply with state and federal laws regarding military leave and re-employment.

Leaves of absence for military spouses are granted in accordance with law and regulation.