RESOLUTION

 

            WHEREAS, the County of Albemarle Personnel Policy Manual has been adopted by the Board of Supervisors; and

 

            WHEREAS, the proposed Personnel Policy Manual changes clarify 1) leave provisions and requirements for bereavement of immediate and non-immediate family members; 2) pay and leave provisions and requirements for employees who serve on jury duty, who are subpoenaed to court in their capacity as County employees, and who must be absent from work due to private legal actions; 3) terms of Workers’ Compensation payments; 4) provision of lunch time to full-time employees; 5) department heads’ responsibilities in maintaining acceptable attendance in his department; and 6) provisions and requirements for use of the Sick Leave Bank.

 

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors desires to adopt these Personnel Policy revisions;

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County, Virginia, hereby amends the following sections of the County of Albemarle Personnel Policy Manual:

 

By Amending:

Section P-80     Absences

Section P-85     Sick Leave/Acceptable Attendance       

 

 

Section P-80    ABSENCES

 

            The Board shall endeavor strives to keep attendance of employees at a maximum and absences at a minimum.  The Board recognizes, however, that absences are unavoidable and inevitable and, therefore, allows certain absences and absence payments.  The Board will establish policies which that are meant to maintain the highest possible efficiency.  Allowance will be made to permit bona fide absences, and prevent employees who have been ill from becoming a hazard to other employees by returning to work too soon.

 

A.        It will remain the right of the department head/designee and the County Executive or designee to:

 

1.         Authorize, or refuse to authorize in exceptional cases, the advance request of an employee for permission to be absent.

 

2.         Investigate absences.

 

3.         Deny leave payment for absences in violation of any Board policy.

 

4.         Impose reasonable disciplinary penalties upon employees who have abused their leave privileges and who violate the provisions of the “Responsibilities of Employees” section of this policy.

 

B.         Responsibilities of Employees

 

Every employee of the County has the following obligations and responsibilities concerning absence:

 

1.         Request for Leave – When the need for being absent from work is known in advance, the employee must notify his/her immediate supervisor as far in advance as possible on the Leave Request form Form provided by the Office Department of Human Resources.

 

2.         Notice of Unexpected Absence – When an employee who has not given advance notice finds that he/she cannot report to work, the employee must notify his/her supervisor prior to starting time or within thirty (30) minutes of the regular starting time unless the department has established other guidelines for notification.  Employees should be aware of the notification requirements of their departments.  Police Department and Joint Dispatch Center employees are governed under a separate departmental procedure.  Upon returning to work, the employee must complete a Leave Request form Form as a record of absence.

 

3.         Failure to Give Notice – Failure to give the notice required shall constitute cause for a reasonable disciplinary penalty including cause for denial of absence pay allowance.  Unless an absence has been authorized in advance or an absence is unavoidable, every employee shall be expected to be present and on time for his/her scheduled work.

 

C.         Employees Returning to Work After Illness

 

When Before an employee returns to work after an absence due to illness, the employee may be requested to submit a physician’s medical release certifying proof of the illness and/or that he/she is well enough to return to work.  This requirement may be met through a referral by the department head to the County physician. This medical release shall be from the employee’s physician or, if required by the department head, a physician designated by the Human Resources Department. In such all instances, the employee will be advised of the requirement prior to the employee returning being authorized to return to work.

 

D.        Absences for urgent personal business, or bereavement, or illness will be granted at the discretion of the immediate supervisor and in compliance with Board policy.  Sick Leave may be used for bereavement leave for immediate family members. (See also Sick Leave, P-85)   Bereavement leave for non-immediate family members shall be covered by compensatory time, Annual Leave or Unpaid Leave.  (See also Unpaid Leave, P-82)

 

E.         The Board recognizes the duty of every citizen to serve on a jury when requested and will allow payment from the court for serving on jury duty. for the daily rate of pay for each day of jury service.  Employees serving jury duty will receive full salary as well as retain compensation received from the court.  Employees are expected to give notice of jury duty and to report to work when jury is not in session.  Subpoenas to court will be handled in the same manner as jury duty.  Employees who are subpoenaed to appear as witnesses in legal proceedings in their capacity as County employees will be entitled to treat time spent in such proceedings as compensable working time.  However, employees who initiate or are otherwise involved in private legal actions of any kind (excluding employee grievance proceedings), whether such actions involve the County or not, will not be permitted to treat time spent during working hours in connection with such actions as compensable working time.  Such employees will be required to use accrued compensatory time, Annual Leave or Unpaid Leave for all hours spent in connection with such actions that occur during working hours.

 

F.         Worker’s compensation Workers’ Compensation will be paid in accordance with law, i.e., at two-thirds (2/3) salary after the first seven (7) calendar consecutive days from the date of injury.  These first seven (7) days must may be covered by the employee’s own Sick lLeave.  In the event that an employee has no leave to cover the first seven (7) calendar days, sSick lLeave will can be advanced and paid back to the County as it is accrued.  If incapacity continues for a period of more than three (3) weeks (twenty-one (21) calendar days), then Workers’ Compensation shall be allowed retroactive to the first day of such incapacity.  The Board will, however, pay the additional one-third (1/3) of a day’s salary with no charge to the employee’s sSick lLeave for up to one (1) year from the date of incident assuming the claim is compensable under worker’s compensation Workers’ Compensation.  If the claim is deemed not compensable, the employee will reimburse the Board of the salary for one-third (1/3) of a the day (i.e., through Annual, Sick or Sick Bank lLeave or leave without pay).

 

G.         Military leave of absence will be granted by the Board in accordance with existing state and federal statutes. (See Policy P-83, Military Leave)

 

H.        Breaks:  There is no formal break time provided by Albemarle County.  However, reasonable time shall be provided for personal care and refreshments during the work day workday.

 

I.          Lunch Time:  A lunch period of at least thirty (30) minutes shall be provided to each full-time employee and, unless prior supervisory approval is received, employees may not forego the lunch period in order to shorten the work day workday. (Also see Overtime/Compensatory Time Policy P-61/62)

 

J.          Acceptable Attendance:

 

            Acceptable attendance is a minimum expectation of all County employees.  Department Heads are responsible for monitoring attendance within their departments.  Except as noted, when an employee’s absenteeism exceeds four percent (4%) of available work time for Sick Leave, Unpaid Leave, and/or unplanned use of compensatory time or Annual Leave, his department head is responsible for investigating the absenteeism and taking appropriate action as necessary.  Leave taken under FMLA and/or Workers’ Compensation shall not be considered when determining acceptable attendance.  However, nothing shall prohibit the County from determining an employee’s eligibility to return to employment once FMLA has been exhausted.

 

Amended:  August 4, 1993, April 20, 2005

 

 

Section P-85    SICK LEAVE/ACCEPTABLE ATTENDANCE

 

            Albemarle County recognizes that its employees may need time away from their positions to remain at home work due to personal illness, and/or illness or death in their immediate families.  The immediate family is defined as the employee’s spouse or the employee’s or spouse’s children, parents, siblings, and grandparents.  In such instances, it is the County’s desire to The County provides a program of paid leave to cover such circumstances.  It is also necessary, however, for employees to realize that absenteeism problems hinder the efficient operation of a County department and its delivery of services to the public.  Therefore, an attendance criteria is established which emphasizes that:

 

1.         The primary purpose of sick leave is to provide for paid time in the event of long term illnesses.  Employees must accumulate sufficient balances to cover this possibility.

 

2.         Sporadic absenteeism, i.e., time lost that is not due to long-term illness, must be limited in order to maintain efficient operations.

 

3.         Satisfactory attendance is a minimum expectation for all County employees.

 

4.         There should be a consistent criteria upon which to make judgements about employee attendance.

5.         When an unsatisfactory pattern of attendance exists, the problem must be identified and corrected.

 

            Judgements Disciplinary actions regarding absenteeism problems will be made determined by examining patterns and/or frequency of usage occurrenceAbuses Unacceptable attendance will be handled through the normal performance evaluation and disciplinary procedures of the County.

 

            The purpose of Sick Leave is to provide for paid time in the event of absences due to personal illness and/or illness or death in the family.  All personnel employees shall earn sSick lLeave days at the rate of one (1) day per month (permanent, full-time) of employment (regular, full-time) or a major fraction thereof (permanent regular, part-time) with no maximum on accumulation.

 

            Bereavement Leave:  Employees may be permitted to use up to five (5) days of accrued Sick Leave in the event of the death of a member of the employee's immediate family.  Any additional time required by the employee in such event shall be covered by Annual Leave, compensatory time or Unpaid Leave, as may be applicable.  In the event of the death of a non-immediate family member, employees will be required to use Annual Leave, compensatory time or Unpaid Leave, as may be applicable."

 

Sick Leave Bank

 

            The County will maintain a sSick lLeave bBank to be used when a member of the bBank becomes incapacitated by long-term illness (defined as more than twenty (20) days) or injury as long as one-third (1/3) of the eligible members agree to participate in accordance with the terms contained herein.

 

            Membership in the sSick lLeave bBank shall be voluntary and open to all eligible personnel employees who accrue sSick lLeave.

 

            Each employee of the Board who accumulates sSick lLeave is eligible for membership and may become a member by donating one day of sSick lLeave upon joining and one an additional day thereafter whenever an assessment is required.

 

            Requests for leave time from the bBank must be made in writing by the employee (or his representative if the employee is unable to submit the request) in advance of the absence for which the extra days are to be granted.  Requests cannot be made retroactively except in the case of absences that were presumed to be covered by Workers’ Compensation, but were subsequently denied.

 

            Requests must be supported by a medical doctor’s certificate acceptable to the County.  The County reserves the right to require additional medical documentation to support the request.

 

            Failure to meet applicable requirements set forth in this policy will result in the rejection of the employee’s Sick Leave Bank application.

 

            Employees should also be aware of Policy P-90, Family and Medical Leave, and how it relates to use of Sick Leave and Sick Leave Bank Leave.

 

            The Director of Human Resources is designated as the administrator of the sSick lLeave bBank.

 

A.        Enrollment Procedures

 

An eligible employee may enroll within the first thirty (30) days of employment.  An employee who does not enroll when first eligible may do so between any subsequent September 1 to October 15 during any subsequent Benefits Open Enrollment period by making application and providing satisfactory evidence of good health to the Board.  Enrollment the first year the bank is in existence will be for any eligible employee who fills out the appropriate form and submits this form to the Board within the initial enrollment period.  Membership in the bBank may be earned by contributing one (1) day of sSick lLeave upon joining and one an additional day thereafter whenever an assessment is required.  The donated days of leave will be deducted from the donor’s accumulated days of sSick lLeave.

 

B.         Rules for Use

 

1.         The first twenty (20) consecutive working days of an illness, or disability will not be covered by the bBank, but must be covered by the member’s own accumulated paid leave or leave without pay.  This requirement may be met in cases in which twenty (20) days of absence, although not consecutive for the same illness/injury, for the same illness/injury, although not consecutive, occur within thirty (30) working days.

 

2.         Requests for use of the sSick lLeave bBank must be made submitted in writing by the employee (or representative if the employee is unable to submit the request) prior to the twentieth (20th) day of absence for which the leave days are to be used except in the case of Workers’ Compensation claims that were denied.

 

3.         A maximum of forty-five (45) working days each year can be drawn by any one member.  Eligible employees may take a maximum of forty-five (45) working days from the Sick Leave Bank in any rolling year (defined as a three hundred sixty-five (365) day period beginning with the first day of Sick Leave Bank usage).  For example, if an eligible employee begins Sick Leave Bank usage on March 1st, he would be entitled to take up to forty-five (45) working days from the Sick Leave Bank in the three hundred sixty-five (365) day period beginning on that date.

 

4.         Days drawn from the bBank for any one period of eligibility must be consecutive, except additional periods of disability resulting from recurrence or relapse of the original illness which will be covered fully on a continuing basis up to the annual maximum of forty-five (45) days.  Otherwise, members Once a member has used all forty-five (45) days of Sick Leave Bank, he must return to work and must meet the requirements of Item Section B.1 before becoming eligible to utilize sSick lLeave bBank benefits again.

 

5.         A member of the bBank will not be able to use sSick lLeave bBank benefits until the employee’s sSick lLeave time balance declines to zero.  Sick Leave and/or Sick Leave Bank Leave will run concurrently with FMLA where applicable.

 

6.         Members of the bBank will be assessed additional days of sSick lLeave at such time as the bBank is depleted to two hundred (200) days, unless they choose not to participate further in the bBank.  Members who have no sSick lLeave to contribute at the time of assessment will be assessed one (1) day and allowed to temporarily maintain a negative balance.

 

 

7.         Members utilizing sSick lLeave days from the bBank will not have to replace these days except as a regular contributing member of the bBank.

 

8.         The Sick Leave Bank request form must be signed by a medical doctor (M.D.) acceptable to the County.  The County reserves the right to require additional medical documentation supporting the request.

 

C.         Termination

 

Upon termination of employment or membership in the sSick lLeave bBank, a participating employee may not withdraw the days he has contributed to the bBank.

 

Extraordinary Sick Leave

 

            In certain circumstances such as a long period of illness or recuperation, an employee may not have a sufficient sSick lLeave or Sick Leave Bank balance large enough to cover the period of absence.  In such a case, the employee will be placed on annual leave, then on leave without pay for up to one year from the date on which sick leave was exhausted.  The employee’s insurance benefits will be treated as described in the Leave of Absence regulations.  In such circumstances, employees may be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence, as outlined in Policy P-82, Unpaid Leave.

 

Acceptable Attendance

 

            Acceptable attendance is a minimal expectation of all County employees.  Department heads are responsible for monitoring attendance within their department.  When employee absenteeism exceeds 4% of available work time for sick leave (if a pattern exists over a three year trend), department heads will be responsible to their evaluators for having investigated the situation and taking appropriate action when necessary.  Nothing in the above guidelines is meant to limit a supervisor in exercising discretion in applying these guidelines to an individual employee’s circumstances.

 

Amended:  August 4, 1993; August 23, 1993; August 7, 1996, April 20, 2005

 

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