2019 - 2023 SCPAMemorandum of Understanding: Article 15: Miscellaneous Leaves of Absence
What’s on this Page:
- 15.1 Leaves of Absence Without Pay Usage Reference Table
- 15.2 Compassionate Leave
- 15.3 Family Care and Medical Leave Under FMLA and CFRA
- 15.3.1 Family Care and Medical Leave – Eligibility
- 15.3.2 Family Care and Medical Leave – Entitlement
- 15.3.3 Family Care and Medical Leave to Care for a Covered Service Member With a Service Injury or Illness
- 15.3.4 Family Care and Medical Leave – Paid Status and Benefits
- 15.3.5 Relationship of Family Care and Medical Leave to Other Leaves
- 15.3.6 Family Care and Medical Leave – Relationship to Pregnancy Disability Leave
- 15.3.7 Family Care and Medical Leave – Notice to the County
- 15.3.8 Family Care and Medical Leave – Medical Certification
- 15.3.9 Family Care and Medical Leave – County’s Response to Leave Request
- 15.3.10 Family Care and Medical Leave – Dual Parent Employment
- 15.3.11 Family Care and Medical Leave – Employee’s Status on Returning From Leave
- 15.3.12 Family Care and Medical Leave – Procedures, Definitions, and Forms
- 15.3.13 Family Care and Medical Leave – Minimum
- 15.4 Time Off for Donating Blood
- 15.5 Court Leave
- 15.6 Jury Duty
- 15.7 Voting
- 15.8 Sabbatical Leave – Requirements
- 15.8.1 Sabbatical Leave – Eligibility
- 15.8.2 Sabbatical Leave – Application
- 15.8.3 Sabbatical Leave – Continuation of Benefits
- 15.9 Disaster Leave
- 15.10 Paid Parental Leave
- 15.10.1 Eligibility
- 15.10.2 Benefit and Use
- 15.10.3 Coordination of Benefits & Leaves
- 15.10.4 Implementation
- 15.11 Total Compensation Comparison
15.1 Leaves of Absence Without Pay Usage Reference Table
Employees in regular, allocated positions will be required to use paid leaves before a Leave of Absence Without Pay (LWOP) as shown in the following table:
Employees will be required to use paid leaves before a Leave of Absence Without Pay
|During the employee’s own incapacity due to illness or injury
|Yes, you may keep 40 hrs.
|When a woman employee is disabled by pregnancy.
|Yes, you may keep 40 hrs.
|During the time needed by the employee to undergo medical or dental treatment or examination.
|Yes, you may keep 40 hrs.
|When the employee’s family member is incapacitated by illness/injury and the employee must care for him/her or for care, exam or treatment of a family member*.
|Yes, you may keep 40 hrs
|May keep 40 hrs. Any combination of Vacation & CTO
|Section 15.3.2 – Non-sick FMLA/CFRA qualifying event (e.g., child bonding leave)
|Section 9.5 – Education Leave
|Must use all Vacation & CTO
|Approved undisclosed reason or extended vacation
|Must use all Vacation & CTO
|Section 15.8 – Sabbatical
|Must use all Vacation & CTO
*In the event an employee is eligible to receive Paid Family Leave to care for the serious health condition of a family member or to bond with a new child they will not be required to use sick, vacation or CTO time, while receiving that benefit.
**Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
15.2 Compassionate Leave
Any full-time employee may be granted up thirty-two (32) hours of leave with pay, in the event of the death of a spouse, domestic partner, child, step-child, son‑in‑law, , daughter‑in‑law, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, grandparent, great-grandparent, grandchild or person with whom the employee has a relationship in loco parentis, and the mother or father of the employee or the spouse of the employee. Up to an additional eight (8) hours of sick leave may be granted to supplement compassionate leave. Where travel in excess of 300 miles one way from the employee’s residence is required up to an additional one (1) of the employee’s regular work days of sick leave may be used to supplement compassionate leave. Up to an additional forty (40) hours of accrued vacation leave or accrued comp time off may be granted to supplement compassionate leave upon request.
A part-time employee shall be eligible for a pro-rated compassionate leave. Ongoing work schedule for purposes of this Section shall mean an average of the two (2) pay periods immediately preceding the need for compassionate leave or the employee’s normal bi-weekly allocation of hours, whichever is greater.
15.3 Family Care and Medical Leave Under FMLA and CFRA
Each eligible employee is entitled to Family and Medical Leave as provided by the Family and Medical Care Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), as amended. The leaves under FMLA and CFRA run concurrently as allowed by law.
15.3.1 Family Care and Medical Leave – Eligibility
To be eligible for family care and medical leave, on the date on which leave is to begin, a full-time or part-time employee must have been employed by the County for at least twelve (12) months, which need not be consecutive, and have actually worked at least 1,250 hours of service during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.
15.3.2 Family Care and Medical Leave – Entitlement
Subject to the provisions of this MOU, County policy, and state and federal law, including the federal FMLA and the CFRA, an eligible employee is entitled to a total of twelve (12) workweeks of unpaid leave during any twelve (12) month period for any one, or more, of the following reasons:
The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child (FMLA and CFRA);
The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and care for the newly placed child (FMLA and CFRA);
To care for the employee’s child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner (CFRA only) who has a serious health condition. (Child is defined as biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or child of a person standing in place of parent who is under 18 years of age or an adult dependent child. Parent is defined as biological, foster or adoptive parent, stepparent, or legal guardian. Parent does not include a parent-in-law under this provision.)
Because of an employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s position, except for disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, which is covered by pregnancy disability leave. (Pregnancy disability counts toward only California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) and FMLA leave.)
Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a U.S. National Guard or Reserve member on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty status) in support of a contingency operation (FMLA only).
The twelve (12) month period for FMLA/CFRA purposes is determined by a “rolling” twelve (12) month period measured backwards from the date an employee first uses FMLA/CFRA leave.
15.3.3 Family Care and Medical Leave to Care for a Covered Service Member With a Service Injury or Illness
Subject to the provisions of this MOU, County policy, and state and federal law, including the FMLA, an eligible employee may take FMLA leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the service member. (This 12 month period used under FMLA/CFRA to determine leave eligibility is separate from the “annual period” defined in 14.3.)
An eligible employee’s entitlement is limited to a total of twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. The “single 12-month period” in which the 26-weeks-of-leave-entitlement described in this begins on the first day an employee takes leave to care for the covered service member.
During the “single 12-month period” described above, an eligible employee’s FMLA leave entitlement is limited to a combined total of twenty-six (26) workweeks of FMLA leave for any qualifying reason
15.3.4 Family Care and Medical Leave – Paid Status and Benefits
Except as provided in this Section, the family care and medical leave will be unpaid. The County will, however, continue to provide County contributions toward the health plan premium during the period of family care and medical leave for up to twelve (12) work weeks for employees on the same basis as coverage would have been provided had the employee not taken family care and medical leave. The employee will be required to continue to pay the employee’s share of premiums payments, if any.
Nothing in this Section 15.3 shall preclude the use of medical or pregnancy disability leave in Section 10.6 (Medical/Pregnancy Disability Leave) when the employee is medically incapacitated or disabled. If an employee does not qualify for continued benefits under this Section 15.3.3 or Section 10.6 (Medical/Pregnancy Disability Leave) and the employee wishes to continue benefit coverage, then Section 10.8 (Continuation of Health Benefits Coverage) applies.
15.3.5 Relationship of Family Care and Medical Leave to Other Leaves
Any leave of absence that qualifies as family care and medical leave will be counted as running concurrently with any other paid or unpaid leave to which the employee may be entitled for the same qualifying reason. Section 15.1 identifies accrued paid leave which an employee may be required to use concurrently with unpaid family care and medical leave.
15.3.6 Family Care and Medical Leave – Relationship to Pregnancy Disability Leave
The family care and medical leave provided under this section is in addition to any leave taken on account of disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions for which an employee may be qualified under state law.
15.3.7 Family Care and Medical Leave – Notice to the County
The employee must provide written notice to the County as far in advance of the leave as possible and as soon as the employee reasonably knows of the need for the leave. If the need for the leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth, placement of a child for adoption or foster care or planned medical treatment, the notice must be provided at least 30 calendar days in advance of the leave, or if not reasonably known 30 calendar days before the leave, then as soon as reasonably practicable.
The written notice must inform the County of the reasons for the leave, the anticipated duration of the leave and the anticipated start of the leave.
The employee shall consult with the County and make a reasonable effort to schedule any planned medical treatment or supervision so as to minimize disruption to department operations.
15.3.8 Family Care and Medical Leave - Medical Certification
An employee’s request for family care and medical leave to care for a child, a spouse, or a parent who has a serious health condition shall be supported by a certification issued by the health care provider of the individual requiring care. If additional leave is required after the expiration of the time originally estimated by the health care provider, the employee shall provide the County with recertification by the health care provider.
An employee’s request for family care and medical leave because of employee’s own serious health condition shall be supported by a certification issued by the employee’s health care provider.
As a condition of an employee’s return from leave taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee is required to obtain certification from the employee’s health care provider that the employee is able to resume work.
Employees are required to use the medical certification forms available from the County Human Resources Department to meet the certification and recertification requirements of this section.
15.3.9 Family Care and Medical Leave - County’s Response to Leave Request
It is the County’s responsibility to designate leave, paid or unpaid, as family and medical leave-qualifying and to notify the employee of the designation.
15.3.10 Family Care and Medical Leave - Dual Parent Employment
Where both parents are County employees, allowable leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child or the care of an employee’s ill parent is limited to a total of fifteen (15) work weeks in a 12-month period between the two employees. Their family care and medical leave entitlement is not limited or combined for any other qualifying purpose.
15.3.11 Family Care and Medical Leave - Employee’s Status on Returning From Leave
Except as provided by law, on return from family care and medical leave, an employee is entitled to be returned to the same or equivalent position the employee held when leave commenced, or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee has no right to return to the same position. Use of family care and medical leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an eligible employee’s FMLA/CFRA leave.
15.3.12 Family Care and Medical Leave - Procedures, Definitions, and Forms
A description of the required process and procedures to follow for intermittent leave and reduced leave schedules, forms to use when requesting family care and medical leave, and applicable definitions are included in the County Medical Leave Policy and found on the County Human Resources Department website, and are available from the Human Resources Department.
15.3.13 Family Care and Medical Leave - Minimum
This Section 15.3 shall be interpreted as the legal minimum family care and medical leave available to eligible employees. The County may grant additional leave without pay under this Section 15.3 provided it is consistent with this MOU, the applicable provisions of the Sonoma County Civil Service Rules and County leave policies.
15.4 Time Off for Donating Blood
If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of working hours to donate blood, subject to department operational needs, the employee may, without loss of pay, take off up to one (1) hour of working time twice a year for the purpose of donating blood. The employee shall give the department at least five (5) working days’ notice that time off for donating blood is desired.
15.5 Court Leave
A full‑time or part‑time employee is entitled to pay at the employee’s base hourly rate to respond to an enforceable subpoena to appear in a court or administrative agency hearing in California other than as a litigant and for reasons other than those caused by the employee’s connivance or misconduct. An employee may retain any payment as may be allowed the employee for lodging, meals and travel, but as a condition for entitlement to this Court Leave, the employee shall make payable to the County of Sonoma any and all fees which the employee may receive as payment for the service as a witness. An employee on Court Leave will receive the base hourly rate of pay for those hours spent traveling to and from the court or administrative agency hearing and the hours spent attending to the employee’s obligation as a witness so long as those hours correspond to the employee’s assigned work schedule. Time spent as a witness or travel time which is outside the employee’s assigned work schedule shall not be paid. If an employee’s obligation as a witness expires on any workday with time remaining on the employee’s work schedule, the employee will be obligated to return to work. These provisions do not apply to employees whose appearances are in the line of duty.
15.6 Jury Duty
The County of Sonoma encourages employees to perform services as jurors when summoned for jury duty by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any employee summoned for jury duty shall be entitled to full pay for the period of time as may be required to attend the court in response to a jury duty summons. An employee may retain any payment as may be allowed for travel but shall make payable to the County of Sonoma any and all fees which the employee may receive in payment for service as a juror.
If an employee who is a registered voter does not have sufficient time outside of the employee’s working hours within which to vote in any state‑wide general or primary election, the employee may upon request, be granted so much working time off without loss of pay as will, when added to the employee’s voting time outside the employee’s working hours, enable the employee to vote. An employee may take off so much time which will enable the employee to vote, but not more than two (2) hours of which shall be without loss of pay; provided, that the employee shall be allowed time off for voting only at the beginning or end of the employee’s regular working schedule, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from the employee’s regular working schedule.
15.8 Sabbatical Leave – Requirements
15.8.1 Sabbatical Leave – Eligibility
The Department Head, within his/her sole discretion, may allow an employee a sabbatical leave from the employee’s position with the County for a period not to exceed six (6) calendar months. Prior to commencing the leave, the employee must have served the equivalent of seven (7) years of full-time service in paid status. Each subsequent sabbatical leave shall require the equivalent of an additional seven (7) years of similar service. Any unpaid absence from work which lasted longer than two (2) full pay periods shall not be counted in the qualifying period.
15.8.2 Sabbatical Leave – Application
An employee must apply for the sabbatical leave in writing to the employee’s Department Head who shall respond to the request in writing by either approving or disapproving the leave. The decision of the Department Head is final, non‑appealable, and non-grievable under this Memorandum any County policy, resolution or rule.
15.8.3 Sabbatical Leave – Continuation of Benefits
During the sabbatical leave and notwithstanding any other section of this Memorandum, the employee shall not receive any regular salary or pay; however, the County shall continue to make its normal contributions for the employee’s and their eligible dependents’ health, dental, vision care, life, long‑term disability benefits, and any other health and welfare benefits as may be granted employees in the future, as were paid at the commencement of the leave. The employee shall make appropriate payments acceptable to the Auditor‑Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector in order to continue coverage during the period of the sabbatical leave.
15.9 Disaster Leave
When there has been a natural disaster of a magnitude that requires the Board of Supervisors to Proclaim a County State of Emergency, the County will enact this disaster leave provision.
During the proclaimed emergency period and for up to one year from the termination of the said proclamation, County employees may donate accrued compensatory time and vacation leave to other County employees who have lost work time because they have been a victim of a disaster affecting their primary residence. For up to one year from the termination of said proclamation, impacted employees may use up to 320 hours of donated leave. Such donated time will not exceed the total amount of time lost by the receiving employee including vacation, compensatory time used and any unpaid leave incurred. Unused donated time at the expiration of the leave provision period will be returned to the donor.
15.10 Paid Parental Leave
Effective 10/1/18, any permanent or probationary employee who has been continuously employed by the County for at least 12 months prior to the start of the leave shall be eligible for Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to use within 12 months of the following events:
- Birth of a child of the employee, the employee’s spouse, or the employee’s domestic partner
- Placement of a child with the employee’s family for adoption or foster care
For the purposes of PPL, the definition of “parent” and “child” are as defined by the California Family Rights Act.
15.10.2 Benefit and Use
Eligible employees shall be granted 320 PPL hours to use within 12 months of the qualifying event. Part-time employees shall be eligible for a pro-rated number of PPL hours, based on allocated FTE.
PPL is based on a 12 month rolling calendar. No more than 320 PPL hours may be used in any 12 month period.
PPL is based on the employee’s base hourly wage plus cash allowance. It is considered “paid status” for the purpose of merit, seniority, premiums, vacation and sick leave accrual, and County benefit eligibility and contributions.
PPL pay is pensionable and counts towards retirement service credit.
PPL may be used in a block of continuous time or as intermittent leaves as arranged in advance. Unless approved by the Director of Human Resources, PPL cannot be used retroactively.
Use of PPL shall not be cause for an employee to lose his/her current assignment on a permanent basis; however, assignments may be altered to accommodate the employee’s or department’s operational needs when working a reduced work schedule.
An employee in a disability period following birth of child must use sick leave down to 40 hours before using PPL.
15.10.3 Coordination of Benefits & Leaves
PPL can be fully integrated with any short-term disability or California Paid Family Leave program. STD and PFL will not reduce PPL leave entitlement. For time covered by FMLA/CFRA job protected leave for bonding, PPL must be used prior to other accrued leave or Leave Without Pay. If an employee has exhausted FMLA/CFRA entitlements, PPL must be used prior to Leave Without Pay for arranged leaves for the purpose of bonding. PPL does not need to be used when an employee is on leave for reasons other than bonding. To the extent CFRA leave is available, it will run concurrently with PPL.
For qualifying events occurring after 10/1/2017, PPL may be applied to any remaining CFRA eligible bonding hours still available to the employee after the program effective date.
15.11 Total Compensation Comparison
- County Attorney Classifications
If and when the County contribution to medical premiums is equivalent for all attorney classifications, the County agrees to compare total compensation data, excluding any additional compensation for any specialty duties (including but not limited to, on call or standby pay), for the County’s attorney classifications.
Within sixty (60) days after the County’s contributions to medical premiums is equivalent for all attorney classifications, the County and SCPA shall meet and confer regarding total compensation data with the objective of negotiating and reaching agreement on total compensation parity in relation to the relevant attorney classifications. Under no circumstances shall this result in a reduction in pay for SCPA members.
- Total Compensation Survey
For the 2019 successor Memorandum of Understanding, the County’s total compensation survey shall include the same components surveyed in the Ralph Andersen & Associates July 2017 survey. It shall compare the Attorney IV level to other appropriate levels of attorney classifications.
The following counties will be used for comparison to Sonoma County: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Solano, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara.
The benchmark market average will be determined by calculating the total compensation of each benchmark classification within each agency within the composite list of ten agencies, then removing the agency showing the highest and the agency showing the lowest total compensation per benchmark classification.