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Human Resources Department

Sonoma County Prosecutors’ Association (SCPA)

2018 - 2019 SCPAMemorandum of Understanding: Article 14: Sick Leave

Sonoma County Prosecutors’ Association

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14.1 Sick Leave Benefit For Employees in Allocated Positions

14.1.1 Accrual Rate

Each full-time employee in a regular, allocated position, shall accrue and accumulate sick leave at the rate of 3.680 in-service hours for each completed eighty (80) paid in-service hours. 

In-service hours include all hours in paid status excluding overtime.  This accrual rate shall be adjusted to reflect any unpaid time in each pay period.  Part-time employees, in allocated positions, shall be eligible to receive sick leave on a pro-rata basis. Usage and accrual of sick leave benefits shall be governed by the same rules and regulations applicable to full-time employees.  Employees shall document sick leave usage as provided in Section 14.3.

14.1.2 Accrual – Restoration of Accrued Time

When an employee separates from County employment, and returns to County employment within one year from the separation date, any accrued sick leave remaining on account will be restored to the employee upon rehire, provided the time was not otherwise used, paid out, or converted to service credit. If the separation date is in the middle of the pay period, end of pay period date will apply.

14.1.3 Change in Employment Status – Extra Help to Allocated 

Extra Help to Allocated Position:

For an Extra Help employee who begins an allocated assignment within one year of separation of an Extra Help assignment, any accrued and unused Extra Help sick leave hours on account will carry forward with the employee. If the separation date is in the middle of the pay period, pay period end date will apply. Hours carried forward may be used, subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Extra Help sick leave hours must be used prior to using sick leave accrued as a regular employee;
  2. Extra Help sick leave hours have no cash value; and
  3. Extra Help hours are not eligible for conversion to service credit at regular retirement (pursuant to Section 14.4).

The employee’s annual period will be changed to the date they start in the new position.

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14.2 Sick Leave Use

Earned sick leave credits may, with the approval of the Department Head, be used by the employee, as outlined below.

14.2.1 Sick Leave Use – Non-FMLA/CFRA/PDL Leave:

Accrued sick leave for incidents other than FMLA/CFRA/PDL qualifying events may be used as follows:

  1. Employee Illness: during the employee’s own incapacity due to illness or injury;
  2. Employee Treatment or Examination: during the time needed by the employee to undergo medical or dental treatment or examination;
  3. For Care of a Family Member: For diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventative care for the employee family member. For leave under this Section 14.2.1, “family member” is defined as a:
    1. child (defined as biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to who the employee stands in place of a parent, regardless of age or dependency status);
    2. parent (defined as a biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in place of a parent when the employee was a minor child);
    3. employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner;
    4. grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of the employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner.

      Sick leave use for family members listed 14.2.1c shall not exceed forty-eight (48) hours per occurrence unless extended by joint action of the employee's Department Head and the Director of Human Resources by reason of exceptional hardships. "Occurrence” means per illness or related incidents. The 48 hours do not have be consecutive.

      California “Kin Care” (Labor Code 233) provides that an employee may use an amount of paid sick leave each calendar year that is equal to the amount of time that would normally accrue in six month period, and may be used in the same manner as other sick leave described in this Section 23.1.3.1. Kin Care provisions run concurrent with other protected leaves and do not extend the maximum period of leave to which the employee is entitled to under FMLA or CFRA.
  4. Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking: When an employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, to work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of themselves or their child(ren); to seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; participate in safety planning or take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including temporary or permanent relocation.

14.2.2 Sick Leave Use - FMLA/CFRA/PDL Qualifying Leave:

In accordance with The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the Pregnancy Disability Act (PDA) earned sick leave credits may, with the approval of the Department Head, be used by an employee as follows: 

  1. Employee Illness: During the employee's own incapacity due to illness or injury.
  2. Employee Treatment or Examination: During the time needed by the employee to undergo medical or dental treatment or examination.
  3. Disabled by Pregnancy: When a woman employee is disabled by pregnancy, which means that in the opinion of her health care provider she is unable because of pregnancy to work at all or is unable to perform any one or more of the essential functions of her job, or to perform these functions without undue risk to herself, the successful completion of her pregnancy, or to other persons.
  4. Care of Family Member: When a child, domestic partner or spouse of an employee who is a member of the employee's household or a person for whom the employee is entitled to a Federal Income Tax dependent exemption, or the employee's parent is incapacitated by illness or injury and it is necessary for the employee to care for such child, domestic partner, spouse, or parent.

    Child is defined as biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to who the employee stands in place of a parent, who is either under 18 years of age or an adult dependent child. An adult dependent child is an individual who is 18 years of age or older and who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability within the meaning of Government Code Section 12926(j) and (l).

    Parent for purposes of this Section is defined as biological, foster, adoptive, step-parent, legal guardian or person who stood in place of a parent to the employee when the employee was a child. A biological or legal relationship is not necessary for a person to have stood in place of a parent to the employee as a child.  Parent does not include a parent-in-law.

    For FMLA/CFRA qualifying events to care for a covered family member incapacitated by illness or injury, employees are allowed to use up to 480 hours of accrued sick leave per eligible event, and not to exceed the number of hours authorized by medical certification.  CFRA bonding leave does not qualify for use of sick leave.

    Information on FMLA/CFRA/PDL eligibility, documentation, and benefit and pay status is provided under Section 15.3 – Family Care and Medical Leave Under FMLA/CFRA.

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14.3 Sick Leave Documentation

14.3.1 Annual Period - Allocated Employees

“Annual period” is a twelve month period beginning with the employee’s first day of work in an allocated assignment. For employees on staff on July 1, 2015, the annual period began July 1, 2015, and ends June 30, 2016. For employees who begin work after July 1, 2015, the annual period begins on their first day of work. (This is not the same as the annual calendar used under FMLA/CFRA/PDL qualifying events.)

14.3.2  First Forty-Eight Hours

For new employees, the first 48 hours, or number of hours equal to 6 days of the employees regular schedule (whichever is greater), of accrued sick leave used by an employee in the first annual period will be applied to and subject to the provisions of California paid sick leave laws, until January 1st, and on a calendar year thereafter. During this period, if the need for paid sick leave is foreseeable, the employee shall provide reasonable advanced notice. If the need for paid sick leave is unforeseeable, the employee shall provide notice of the need for the leave as soon as practicable. If the County has reasonable suspicion of sick leave abuse, a signed medical certification may be required for each use of accrued sick leave to the extent permissible by law.

14.3.3 Subsequent Hours

For use of accrued sick leave beyond the first 48 hours or number of hours equal to six (6) days in the annual or calendar period (consecutive or non-consecutive), as described above, a signed medical certification may be required for each use of sick leave. Reasonable medical evidence of incapacity shall be required for sick leave use of more than forty-eight (48) consecutive work hours duration.

14.3.4 Reasonable certification

Reasonable certification may be required, within a reasonable time after the absence, when an unscheduled absence occurs to obtain relief if the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, in accordance with Section 14.2(d) of this Agreement. Such certification shall be treated as confidential. Certification may be provided directly to Human Resources and shall not be disclosed to any person except to the affected employee, or as provided by law.

If use of accrued sick leave is for an FMLA, CFRA, or PDL qualifying event, medical certification is required, in accordance with the law and as outlined in the Medical Leave Policy.

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14.4 Sick Leave Conversion At Regular Retirement

Each employee separating from County service on regular, non-disability retirement shall convert one-hundred percent (100%) of all unused sick leave remaining to the employee’s credit at the time of retirement to retirement service credit as provided by Government Code Section 31641.03, excepting that Extra Help sick leave hours are not eligible for conversion to retirement service credit.

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14.5 Sick Leave Payoff At Regular Retirement

The County shall pay the monetary equivalent of twenty-five percent (25%) of all unused sick leave remaining to an employee’s credit at the time of separation, computed on the basis of the employee’s base hourly rate, for each employee who separates from County service on regular non-disability retirement, who reaches 100% of retirement benefit allowed by law, and who is prevented by law from converting some or all of the employee’s remaining unused sick leave to service credit under Section 14.4 (Sick Leave – Conversion at Regular Retirement). Extra Help sick leave is not eligible for this provision.

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14.6 Sick Leave Distribution At Death Or Layoff

The County shall pay each employee who separates from County service by death or layoff, the monetary equivalent of 25% of all unused sick leave remaining to the employee’s credit as of the time of separation, computed on the basis of the employee’s base hourly pay. Extra Help sick leave is not eligible for this provision.

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14.7 Sick Leave Payoff At Disability Retirement

The County shall pay each employee separated from County service by disability retirement at the employee’s base hourly rate for all unused sick leave remaining to the employee’s credit as of the time of separation.  This Section shall not apply to an employee separated from County service by a service retirement.  The County shall not pay an employee under this Section for any sick leave hours donated to the employee by other employees under a catastrophic leave benefit. Extra Help sick leave is not eligible for this provision.

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14.8 Medical Examinations

The Department Head may direct any employee to undergo a medical examination to determine the employee’s mental and physical capacity to perform the duties of the employee’s position. A determination that an employee is or is not capable of performing the duties of the employee’s position will be made available to the Department Head and the employee concerned. The examination shall be paid by the department.

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