5401 Sick Leave
I. Paid Sick Leave for Certificated and Classified Employees
The district will grant each regular certificated and classified staff member of the district sick leave days annually in accordance with RCW 28A.400.300 and applicable bargaining agreements.
Unused sick leave may be accumulated on a year-to-year basis up to a maximum of the number of contract days in a contract period not to exceed one year.
If sick leave benefits are exhausted, the Board may grant leave without pay for the balance of the year upon the recommendation of the superintendent.
II. Attendance Incentive Program for Certificated and Classified Employees
In January of the year following any year in which a minimum of 60 days of sick leave is accrued, and each January thereafter, any eligible staff member may exercise an option either:
A. To receive remuneration for unused sick leave accumulated in the previous year in an amount equal to one day's monetary compensation of the staff member for each four full days of accrued sick leave in excess of 60 days; or
B. To add that year's sick leave to the staff member's accumulated sick leave.
All such leave for which the staff member receives compensation will be deducted from accumulated sick leave at the rate of four days for every one day's monetary compensation.
A staff member may cash-out all accrued sick leave at the above rate at the time of separation due to retirement, provided that the retiree provides documentation from the appropriate state retirement system. Such leave will be accrued at the rate of no more than one day per month.
The administrator of the estate of a deceased staff member may also cash-out all accumulated sick leave at the rate of one day's monetary compensation for every four days of leave. A certified copy of the death certificate must be submitted to the district office or proper documentation of court appointment as administrator of the estate.
An employee who is at least age fifty-five, has ten years of service in the retirement system, and is a member of either the teachers’ or school employees’ retirement system plan 3, or is at least age fifty-five, has at least fifteen years of service in the retirement system, and is a member of either the teachers’ or school employees’ retirement system plan 2, may cash out all accumulated sick leave at the rate of one day’s monetary compensation for every four days of leave at the time of separation from employment.
Earned sick leave will not be accumulated in excess of 180 days (260 day per year employees may accumulate up to 260 days of sick leave), or up to a maximum of the number of contract days agreed to in a given contract, but not greater than one year, as of December 31 of each year, except that an employee may exercise the annual January cash-out option for all days accumulated in excess of this maximum.
III. Additional Paid Sick Leave Provisions
The purpose of Section III of this policy is to implement the requirements of Chapter 49.46 RCW and Initiative 1433 related to paid sick leave. The provisions in this Section are not intended to be cumulative with any paid sick leave available under Section I: Paid Sick Leave for Certificated and Classified Employees above, and apply only to those employees who meet the definition of “employee” in RCW 49.46.010 (“Nonexempt Employees”).
A. Exempt Employees
The following are considered exempt from this Section III:
1. Regular certificated employees, including during their work in any supplemental assignments or stipends. Such staff are entitled to paid sick leave under Chapter 28A.400 RCW and applicable collective bargaining agreements, but not under the paid sick leave provisions of Chapter 49.46 RCW.
2. Other salaried professional, administrative, and executive employees as those terms are defined by applicable laws.
3. Volunteers or employees receiving stipends for extracurricular or co-curricular assignments. These individuals are paid a single stipend for their assignment regardless of the number of hours worked, do not accrue or utilize sick leave in their extracurricular assignments, and are exempt under RCW 49.46.010. The district does not subtract pay from these stipends due to occasional absences from activities taken by these individuals due to illness or emergency. Coaches and other extracurricular employees who also work in a regular classified position with the district and whose pay is administered on an hourly basis may receive additional sick leave under this Section in addition to the leave provided in their collective bargaining agreement, but only if the amount of sick leave to which the employee would be entitled under the employee’s collective bargaining agreement is less than the amount to which the employee would be entitled if awarded an hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
4. Any other volunteer or salaried employee of the district meeting an exemption from Chapter 49.46 RCW.
B. Nonexempt Employees
Nonexempt employees are covered by the sick leave provisions of RCW 49.46.210 and Chapter 296-128 WAC beginning January 1, 2018. These include regular hourly employees of the district, as well as substitute employees who do not meet any exemption from Chapter 49.46 RCW. Regular hourly employees are also covered by the sick leave provisions of RCW 28A.400.300.
In general, the sick leave benefits provided under RCW 28A.400.300 are more generous than those required by RCW 49.46.210 and Chapter 296-128 WAC. Below, however, are some of the rights that nonexempt employees are entitled to under RCW 49.46.210 and Chapter 296-128 WAC:
1. Nonexempt employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every forty hours worked. This minimum applies to all hours worked, regardless of whether the hours are worked in different assignments or included in the employee’s base pay for a regular assignment.
2. Nonexempt employees are entitled to use their accrued paid sick leave beginning on the ninetieth calendar day after the commencement of their employment. "Commencement of employment" means no later than the beginning of the first day on which the employee is authorized or required by the district to be on duty on the district’s premises or at a prescribed workplace.
3. Nonexempt employees may use paid sick leave to care for themselves or their family members when the employees’ workplace or children’s school or place of care has been closed by a public official for any health-related reason, or for absences that qualify for leave under the Domestic Violence Leave Act.
4. Nonexempt employees must be permitted to carry over at least forty hours of paid sick leave from year to year. The work year for purposes of this provision commences on September 1 and ends on August 31.
5. Retaliation against a nonexempt employee for lawful exercise of paid sick leave rights is prohibited.
Non-exempt employees who do not receive sick leave under Section I above or under collective bargaining agreements will accrue the minimum sick leave provided above at the rate of one hour per 40 hours worked, and will be limited to carryover of no more than 40 hours unless otherwise specified by a separate contract or policy.
C. Reasonable Notice for the Use of Paid Sick Leave
Nonexempt employees must provide reasonable advance notice of an absence from work for the use of paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member. Such reasonable notice must be provided to the immediate supervisor other person designated to receive notice. If a nonexempt employee’s absence is foreseeable, the employee must provide notice to their immediate supervisor at least 10 days, or as early as possible, before the first day paid sick leave is used. If a nonexempt employee’s absence is unforeseeable, the employee must contact their immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
A nonexempt employee must give advance oral or written notice to the immediate supervisor as soon as possible for the foreseeable use of paid sick leave to address issues related to the employee or the employee’s family member being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. If a nonexempt employee is unable to give advance notice because of an emergent or unforeseen circumstance related to the employee or the employee’s family member being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the employee or a designee must give oral or written notice to the immediate supervisor no later than the end of the first day that the employee takes such leave.
This provision will not apply to the extent it conflicts with the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement.
D. Verification of Absences
The district may require a signed statement from a healthcare provider for any absence in excess of three consecutive days, or after such longer period as may be established in applicable collective bargaining agreements. If the district obtains medical information through this verification process, the information will be kept confidential.
Pursuant to WAC 296-128-660, if the district requires such verification from a nonexempt employee and the employee believes obtaining verification would result in an unreasonable burden or expense, the employee may contact their immediate supervisor orally or in writing indicating that the sick leave is for a qualifying purpose and specifying how the request for verification will be an unreasonable burden or expense on the employee. The district will consider the employee’s request and respond within ten calendar days as set forth in WAC 296-128-660.
E. Frontloaded Paid Sick Leave
In order to meet the notice requirements of WAC 296-128-760(2)(b), the district will provide employees with monthly payroll statements via Employee Access, designating the amount of sick leave balance that has been frontloaded and/or carried over from previous years, as well as the number of hours worked in each pay period. Employees with questions related to their payroll statements and sick leave balances may contact the Payroll Department.
Frontloaded amounts provided under Section I will generally exceed the minimum accrual amount of one hour for every forty hours worked. However, if for any reason a nonexempt employee’s frontloaded paid sick leave provided under a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract is less than this minimum amount, the district will make any additional amounts of paid sick leave available for the employee’s use no later than 30 days after the discrepancy is identified.
If a nonexempt employee uses more paid sick leave than the employee would have accrued absent frontloading, the district will not seek reimbursement from the employee for the paid sick leave used during the course of ongoing employment. The district will not make an adjustment to an employee’s final wages for frontloaded paid sick leave used prior to accrual, unless there is a specific agreement in place allowing for such a deduction.
F. Substitute Employees
Nonexempt substitute employees will accrue leave at the rate of one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked for the district commencing on their first day of employment that occurs on or after January 1, 2018, and may carry over a maximum of 40 accrued hours into a subsequent school year. However, day-to-day substitutes are not entitled to use accrued leave except as set forth below.
Unless notified otherwise by the district in writing, substitute employees who commence employment with each daily assignment are not required by the district to attend work on any subsequent work days, and do not have any expectation of future employment. Such employees are not eligible to utilize accrued sick leave in lieu of accepting a day-to-day substitute assignment or to utilize a partial day of leave after accepting an assignment.
Substitute employees hired into a regular position or granted a written assignment as a leave replacement employee for a specified time period exceeding a day-to-day assignment are eligible to utilize leave once they have worked a total of 90 cumulative days in single-day assignments, or some combination of daily assignments and long-term substitute assignments that adds up to 90 days, or on such earlier date as leave may be available under a collective bargaining agreement.
A substitute who is hired into a regular position and who becomes eligible upon such hire for the sick leave allocations set forth in Section I of this policy and/or employee collective bargaining agreements will be permitted to retain previously accrued leave accrued in the substitute position, provided that the substitute is hired into the regular position within one (1) year of their most recent substitute assignment.
Sick leave accumulated by substitute employees is not available for cash out when accrued solely under this Section III. Such leave becomes eligible for cash out under Section I and RCW 28A.400.210 if a substitute is hired into a regular position.
Substitute employees of the district who were previously employed by another school district will not retain leave from the other employer, provided that upon hire into a regular position such employees may be entitled to retain leave accrued in a regular position for a previous school district employer under RCW 28A.400.300.
RCW 28A.400.210 Employee attendance incentive program — Remuneration or benefit plan for unused sick leave
RCW 28A.400.300 Hiring and discharging of employees — Written leave policies — Seniority and leave benefits for employees transferring between school districts and other educational employers
RCW 49.46.200 Paid sick leave
RCW 49.46.210 Paid sick leave — Authorized purposes — Limitations — “Family member” defined
Chapter 296-128 WAC Minimum wages
Chapter 392-136 WAC Finance — Conversion of accumulated sick leave
AGO 1963-64 No.98 Sick leave for certificated and noncertificated employees
AGO 1980 No.22 Limitation on compensated leave for school district employees
Adoption Date: 4/24/84
Franklin Pierce Schools
Revised: 10/8/85; 11/18/08; 1/13/15; 4/3/18