7510 - Leave ## Leave Of Absence

The Avery County Board of Education believes that it is important for employees to have leave available to attend to personal, civic and professional matters as well as to meet family commitments. This need for leave is to be balanced with the need to provide an effective instructional program for students. No employee will be discharged, demoted or otherwise subjected to adverse employment action for taking leave in accordance with board policies and administrative procedures.

All requests for leave, with or without pay, will be addressed in accordance with state and federal law, as well as policies promulgated by the State Board of Education, including those specified in the most current edition of the North Carolina Public Schools Benefits and Employment Policy Manual, available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/district-humanresources/key-information.

In addition to applicable laws and regulations, this board policy applies to leave requests. The information in this policy is intended to supplement, not replace, the requirements of law and the State Board of Education. In the event that changes to State or federal law or regulation conflict with current State Board or local board policies, the board intends that its leave practices be modified to the extent necessary to comply with current law until such time as conforming changes to State Board and/or local board are made.

The superintendent shall develop any necessary administrative procedures and make them available to employees upon request.

A. Minimum Leave Time

An employee may take any type of leave in increments of hours unless otherwise specified in this policy.

B. Continuous Leave Of More Than Ten Days

An employee must comply with the notice and verification requirements as provided in policy 7520, Family Medical Leave, for any continuous leave of more than 10 days if: (1) the leave also is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), defined in policy 7520 Family Medical Leave, and (2) the leave is designated as FMLA-eligible at the time leave is taken or as soon as feasible thereafter. See policy 7520, Family and Medical Leave.

C. Sick Leave

The superintendent or designee may require a statement from a medical doctor or other acceptable proof that the employee was unable to work due to illness or injury. Employees who anticipate using sick leave should inform their immediate supervisor in advance so that arrangements may be made to reassign the employee's duties during the period of absence.

D. Personal Leave

Personal leave must be used in half or whole day units. Personal leave may be used only upon the authorization of the teacher’s immediate supervisor and in accordance with legal requirement and procedures established by the superintendent.

E. Vacation Leave

Vacation may be taken only upon the authorization of the employee’s immediate supervisor and in accordance with legal requirements and procedures established by the superintendent. To promote the efficient operation of the schools, the superintendent may designate certain periods during the nonacademic year as preferred vacation periods for twelve-month employees.

F. Compensatory Leave

Because professional employees are expected to fulfill all job duties, compensatory leave should only apply in extraordinary circumstances.

Employees who are not exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act may accrue compensatory time (comp time) at a rate of 1.5 hours for every 1 hour worked in lieu of receiving overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a given workweek. For purposes of Fair Labor Standards Act compliance, the workweek for school district employees will be 12:00 a.m. Sunday until 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Supervisors will arrange for employees to take comp time within one pay period following the time it is earned if possible. The superintendent or designee may exempt certain employees or categories of employees from this comp time provision when deemed necessary for the proper administration of the school district.

All employees must obtain approval from their immediate supervisors before taking compensatory leave.

G. Leave To Teach At A Charter, Regional, Or Lab School Leave of absence to teach for one year at a charter, regional, or lab school will be granted to a teacher upon timely request to the board. The request must be provided at least 45 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty if it is the initial year of the charter/regional/lab school’s operation and at least 90 days if it is after the charter/regional/lab school’s initial year of operation. The teacher may return to work in the school system in accordance with the provisions of applicable state law.

H. Discretionary Leave Of Absence Without Pay

An employee, who wishes to take leave that is not eligible for any other specific type of leave, may be granted a leave of absence without pay for a period of up to one calendar year at the discretion of the superintendent with approval from the board.

The employee is expected first to consult with his or her immediate supervisor and then to provide advance written notice (60 days if possible) stating the beginning and ending dates of the desired leave of absence. The superintendent may request documentation from the employee in support of his or her request. In determining the length of the leave of absence without pay that will be approved, due and proper consideration must be given to the welfare of students as well as the employee. The superintendent may require the employee to give notice of his or her intent to return to work at reasonable time intervals during the leave.

Once a leave of absence without pay has been requested and approved by the board of education, the dates are binding unless both parties agree to a change.

I. Other Leave

Other types of leave, such as leave for observance of a bona fide religious holiday, professional leave, community responsibility leave, leave for jury duty or court attendance, elected officials leave, parental involvement in schools leave, parental leave without pay, and military leave (see policy 7530, Military Leave), will be granted in accordance with the requirements of law and State Board of Education policy.

Legal References: G.S. 95-28.3; 115C-12, -36, -47, -84.2, -218.90(a)(3), -238.68(3)., -285, -302.1, -316, - 336, -336.1; 116-239.10(4); 16 N.C.A.C. 6C .0405; State Board of Education Policy BENF-003, North Carolina Public Schools Benefits and Employment Policy Manual (N.C. Dept. of Public Instruction, current version), available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/district-humanresources/key-information

Cross References: Workday and Overtime (policy 7500). Compliance with State Board of Education Employment Policies (policy 7505); Family and Medical Leave (policy 7520), Military Leave (policy 7530), Voluntary Shared Leave (policy 7540), Absences Due to Inclement Weather (policy 7550)

Adopted: 2001-10-01

Revised: 2007-12-03 2009-09-14 2011-10-11 2017-04-28 2018-03-13