Leaves and Absences - Policy GCC/GDC
The continuous presence of employees promotes excellence in the instructional program by ensuring the following:
- Uninterrupted continuity of education
- Greater teacher-student contact time
- Appropriate role-model emulation
- Consistent classroom discipline; and
- Reduced cost
Therefore, the board expects employees to be present at work every day. The board recognizes, however, that certain absences are unavoidable. At such times, employees may take leave in accordance with Policies GCC and GDC and the procedures set forth in the accompanying administrative rules (GCC-R and GDC-R).
Family: A family is an employee’s:
- Son, Son-In-Law, Stepson
- Daughter, Daughter-In-Law, Stepdaughter
- Mother, Mother-In-Law, Stepmother
- Father, Father-In-Law, Stepfather
- Brother, Brother-In-Law, Stepbrother
- Sister, Sister-In-Law, Stepsister
Procedures Regarding Absences
An employee will notify his/her immediate supervisor as early as practicable when it is necessary for him/her to be absent. When an employee knows that he/she will be absent for a period longer than 10 consecutive days, he/she should submit in writing a request for a medical leave of absence.
An employee who anticipates taking an extended sick leave should submit the request for leave to his/her supervisor at least 30 calendar days prior to the effective date of the leave. The supervisor will forward to the Benefits Department. Any employee returning from an extended leave of absence must present a statement from the attending physician certifying the employee’s clearance and ability to resume all of his/her full time job responsibilities.
In order to equitably provide a leave policy for all full-time and part-time employees of Kershaw County School District that assures no reduction in benefits, and yet is legally consistent with the provisions set forth in the “Act to Provide Leave for Public School Employees” (Section 59-1-400, S.C. Code, 1976), the following provisions are hereby established:
At the beginning of each contract year, or from the date of employment, if hired mid-year, the district will add the total number of days the employee can potentially earn to his/her leave balance. All active full time employees earn 1-1/4 days sick leave on the last day of each full month employed.
A leave day is the same length as the employee’s work day. An employee who uses a leave day that has not yet been earned at the time that the employee separates from employment with the District will be required to reimburse the district for that day through a deduction from the employee's final paycheck.
An employee who has unused sick leave days at the end of a fiscal year (June 30) will have those days carried over in accumulated sick leave up to a maximum of 90 days.
Use of Leave
Sick leave days may be used only for personal illness, or illness of a member of the immediate family which requires the employee to provide care, with prior approval from his/her immediate supervisor. An employee may use up to three of his/her sick leave days per school year for personal reasons.
The district may require a physician’s statement from any employee who is absent for more than three consecutive days. Specifically, the district reserves the right to require that an employee submit a treating physician’s statement verifying an illness along with a leave form when the employee has been on sick leave for more than three consecutive working days. The building principal or employee’s immediate supervisor has the discretion to request such a statement.
Whenever possible, an employee should submit a written request to use leave to the employee’s immediate supervisor for approval at least three working days in advance of the anticipated leave. Employees should also seek to secure a substitute in advance of taking leave. It is required that supervisors must pre-approve the use of three or more consecutive leave days
One-half day is the smallest denomination of leave time that may be taken by an employee, and must be pre-approved in writing by the employee’s supervisor.
Personal Leave cannot be used during the following periods of the year without written pre-approval from the superintendent:
- The first five student attendance days of the academic year
- The last five student attendance days of the academic year
- In-service days
- The day before or after a holiday
Approval for leave during these days will be granted for emergencies and unusual circumstances, as determined by the superintendent.
Adjustments in pay
Any employee who is absent from work for any reason and does not have any leave days available will have his/her salary adjusted to reflect a deduction in annual salary computed at the employee’s daily rate. Such adjustment will be made in the pay period in which the absence occurs, or in the next pay period, at the district’s discretion.
Sick Leave Bank
The district establishes a sick leave bank that will operate in accordance with the guidelines set forth in administrative rules GCCAAA.
Termination for Misuse of Leave/Excessive Absences
Regular attendance is critical for all district employees. The district may terminate the employment of any employee who fails to comply with the requirements of board policy GCC or GDC and the accompanying administrative rules, who fails to report to work at the expiration of authorized leave, or who is unable to return to work at the end of a period of approved leave. Any employee who makes misrepresentations regarding a leave, and/or who misrepresents the purpose for which the leave of absence is requested or obtained, also may be terminated.
An employee who is excessively absent, as determined by the district, other than an employee who is on approved leave pursuant to the FMLA, may be terminated in accordance with the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. Section 59-1-40. The district also will not terminate a full-time employee who is absent with a continuing illness, as documented by a treating physician, for excessive absenteeism so long as the period of absence does not exceed a total of 91 work days.
The district will not terminate from employment those employees under this policy who have accrued sick leave and who are using it in compliance with this policy. The district will not terminate from employment any such employee during a continuing sick leave of less than 91 work days.
Any employee who has exhausted all available leave may be subject to termination.
Employees who work 240 days or more in a fiscal year may accrue annual leave which will be awarded beginning July 1st of the following year.
Annual leave is earned based on consecutive years in an eligible position, as outlined in policy GCC/GDC.
Accumulated leave time over 10 days must be used during the fiscal year July 2nd- June 30th, or be forfeited.
Leave for employees who are enlisted in the U.S. military reserves will be treated in accordance with applicable state and federal law.
District Approved Professional Leave
The board believes that it is desirable to provide professional leave in order to attract and retain staff that will grow professionally and enhance their service to the schools of the district. The district may grant professional leave to an employee for the purpose of attending activities designed to enhance competency or to improve the instructional or other programs offered by the district. Such leave will be handled in accordance with the guidelines set forth in administrative rule GCC-R.