2018 - 2019 SEIUMemorandum of Understanding: Article 17: Miscellaneous Leaves of Absence
What’s on this Page
- 17.1 Leaves of Absence without Pay Usage Reference Table
- 17.2 Leaves – Compassionate
- 17.3 Leaves – Court
- 17.3.1 Court Leave – Response to Subpoena
- 17.3.2 Court Leave – Line of Duty
- 17.3.3 Court Leave – Extra Help Employees
- 17.4 Leaves – Jury Duty
- 17.4.1 Jury Duty – Summons
- 17.4.2 Jury Duty – Extra Help Employees
- 17.5 Leaves of Absence – No Break in Service
- 17.6 Leaves – Time Off for Voting
- 17.7 Leaves – Time Off for Donating Blood
- 17.8 Leaves – Candidates for Public office – Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc.
- 17.9 Community Development Commission (CDC), Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD), Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. LWOP
- 17.9.1 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – General
- 17.9.2 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Work-Related Disability
- 17.9.3 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Military
- 17.9.4 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Fitness for Duty Examination
- 17.9.5 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Non-Grievability
- 17.10 Leaves – Extra Help Employees
- 17.11 Family Care and Medical Leave Under FMLA and CFRA
- 17.11.2 Eligibility
- 17.11.3 Family Care and Medical Leave Entitlement
- 17.11.4 Family Care and Medical Leave to Care for a Covered Servicemember with a Service Injury or Illness
- 17.11.5 Pay Status and Benefits
- 17.11.6 Relationship of Family Care and Medical Leave to Other Leaves
- 17.11.7 Relationship to Pregnancy Disability Leave
- 17.11.8 Notice to the County
- 17.11.9 Medical Certification
- 17.11.10 County’s Response to Leave Request
- 17.11.11 Employee’s Status on Returning from Leave
- 17.11.12 FMLA/CFRA Procedures, Definitions, and Forms
- 17.12 Human Services Department Leaves – Stipend Education Leave
- 17.12.1 Stipend Education Leave – Health Benefit Continuation
- 17.12.2 Stipend Education Leave – Employee Requirements
- 17.12.3 Leaves – Stipend Education Leave – Non-Grievability
- 17.13 Leaves – Disaster Leave
- 17.14 Paid Parental Leave
- 17.14.1 Eligibility
- 17.14.2 Benefit and Use
- 17.14.3 Coordination of Benefits & Leaves
- 17.14.4 Program Review Process
17.1 Leaves of Absence Without Pay Usage Reference Table
Employees are required to use accrued paid leaves before a leave of absence without pay as shown in the following table:
|MOU Section||Sick||Vacation / CTO|
|During the employee's own incapacity due to illness or injury||Required. You may keep 40 hrs.||Optional|
|During the time needed by the employee to undergo medical or dental treatment or examination||Required. You may keep 40 hrs.||Optional|
|When a woman employee is disabled by pregnancy||Required. You may keep 40 hrs.||Optional|
|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*||Required. You may keep 40 hrs.||Required after sick leave. May keep 40 hours total Vacation & CTO combined|
|Non-sick FMLA/CFRA** qualifying event (e.g. child bonding leave)||N/A||Optional|
|Stipend Education Leave||N/A||Required|
|Approved undisclosed reason or extended vacation||N/A||Required|
* 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 and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) / California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
17.2 Leaves – Compassionate
With respect to this provision, the term “spouse” shall also include domestic partners, and the term “parent” is as defined in Section 188.8.131.52. A full-time employee shall be granted up to 32 hours of leave with pay, in the event of death of the employee’s: spouse, child, step-child, son-in-law, daughter-in- law, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, parent step-parent or parent of the employee’s spouse, grandparent, great-grandparent, grandchild, or person who served as a parent to the employee when the employee was a minor. Up to an additional 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.
Part-time employees shall be eligible for a pro-rated compassionate leave benefit that is computed by multiplying the total normal biweekly hours by .40 (e.g.: 40 hrs. x .40 for half-time employees = 16 hrs.) Ongoing work schedule for purposes of this Section shall mean an average of the two pay periods immediately preceding the need for compassionate leave or the employee’s normal biweekly allocation of hours, whichever is greater.
17.3 Leaves – Court
17.3.1 Court Leave – Response to Subpoena
A full-time or part-time employee is entitled to a leave of absence with 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 such 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.
17.3.2 Court Leave – Line of Duty
These provisions do not apply to employees whose court appearances are in the line of duty.
17.3.3 Court Leave – Extra Help Employees
Extra Help employees who are scheduled to work and are subsequently called to court under circumstances in Subsection 17.3.1 above, qualify under this Subsection 17.3.1.
17.4 Leaves – Jury Duty
17.4.1 Jury Duty – Summons
It is the policy of the County of Sonoma to encourage County employees to perform service as jurors when summoned for jury duty by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any employee summoned for jury duty shall as soon as possible notify his or her supervisor. The employee shall be entitled to a leave of absence with full pay for such period of time as may be required to attend the court in response to such summons. An employee may retain such 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.
17.4.2 Jury Duty – Extra Help Employees
Extra Help employees who are scheduled to work and are subsequently called to jury duty qualify under Subsection 17.4.1.
17.5 Leaves of Absence – No Break in Service
No absence under any paid leave provision of this Memorandum shall be considered as a break in service for any employee who is in paid status during each absence. All benefits which, under the provisions of the Memorandum, accrue to employees who are in paid status shall continue to accrue during such absence.
17.6 Leaves – Time Off for Voting
If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote in a statewide election, the employee may, without loss of pay, take off enough working time which when added to the voting time available outside of working hours will enable the employee to vote.
No more than two (2) hours taken off work for voting shall be with pay. The time off for voting shall be only at the beginning or end of the regular working shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from the regular working shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed in advance by the employee and the employee’s supervisor.
If the employee on the third working day prior to the day of election, knows or has reason to believe that time off will be necessary to be able to vote on election day, the employee shall give the employer at least two (2) working days’ notice that time off for voting is desired, in accordance with the provisions of this Section (17.6).
Not less than ten (10) days before every statewide election, the County shall keep posted conspicuously at County work sites, if practicable, or else where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work, a notice setting forth the provisions of this Section (17.6).
17.7 Leaves – 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 employee’s supervisor at least five (5) working days’ notice that time off for donating blood is desired, in accordance with the provisions of this Section (17.7).
17.8 Leaves – Candidates For Public Office – Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc.
Any employee of the Water Agency or Sonoma County Fair and Exposition, Inc. who becomes a bona fide candidate for elective public office, may upon recommendation of the employee’s Agency Manager take and be granted leave of absence without pay during all or any portion of the period of the employee’s candidacy by delivering to the employee’s department head at least ten (10) days written notice of intention to do so, specifying the dates upon which such leave shall begin and end. The employee may, by further ten (10) days written notice delivered to the employee’s department head, change the date upon which such leave shall end. Such leave shall not extend beyond the period of time during which the employee is a bona fide candidate for elective public office.
17.9 Community Development Commission (CDC), Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation And Open Space District (SCAPOSD), Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. LWOP
17.9.1 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency and SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – General
- Pursuant to Section 17.1 (See Chart), employees will be required to use appropriate paid leave(s) before leave of absence without pay will be granted.
- The CDC Executive Director, the General Manager of SCAPOSD and the Water Agency and the Fair Manager may grant leaves without pay, for periods not to exceed six (6) months, at the request of the employee because of illness, disability, or pregnancy; or for educational purposes; or for other reasons the Executive Director, General Manager or Fair Manager deems appropriate.
- Requests for leaves without pay for periods in excess of six (6) months may also be approved by the Executive Director, General Manager and Fair Manager.
- An employee may appeal to the Director of Human Resources the denial of the employee’s request for leave without pay by the Executive Director, General Manager or Fair Manager. An appeal shall be made in writing and submitted through the General County Grievance Procedure in accordance with its procedural requirements. Any appeal of a denial of leave without pay for medical reasons shall be accompanied by a statement signed by competent medical authority, setting forth the employee’s ability to perform the duties of the employee’s position and a prognosis of the employee’s ability to return to work at the termination of the requested leave.
- The decisions of the Grievance Appeals Committee on any appeals under this Subsection 17.9.1 shall be final and binding. An extra-help or provisional employee has no appeal rights from any decision by the County under this Section (17.9 [Subsections 17.9.1 through 17.9.5]).
17.9.2 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency and SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Work- Related Disability
Requests for leave without pay for disabilities which are found by the State Compensation Insurance Fund or the Industrial Accident Commission to be incurred as a result of CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency or Sonoma County Fair employment shall be approved by the Executive Director, General Manager or Fair Manager for the period following expiration of paid sick leave and vacation until discontinuation of disability compensation payments.
17.9.3 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency and SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Military
Requests for leave without pay for military service shall be approved by the Executive Director, General Manager and Fair Manager in accordance with applicable law.
17.9.4 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency and SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Fitness For Duty Examination
When an employee is absent due to illness, injury, or disability, the Executive Director, General Manager or Fair Manager may require that before returning to work the employee provide verification from a physician that the employee is medically able to perform his/her job responsibilities. Until the employee’s fitness for duty is verified, the employee shall continue to use available paid and unpaid leave. Failure to provide verification of fitness for duty shall result, after expiration of the employee’s accumulated sick leave, in further leave with pay, leave without pay, and/or separation of the employee.
17.9.5 CDC, SCAPOSD, Water Agency & SCF&E, Inc. – LWOP – Non- Grievability
This Section 17.9 is not grievable nor arbitrable except as stated in Subsection 17.9.1(d).
17.10 Leaves – Extra Help Employees
Other than where specifically stated, extra-help employees are not covered by this Article 17, Miscellaneous Leaves of Absence.
17.11 Family Care and Medical Leave Under FMLA and CFRA
Each eligible employee is entitled to family care and medical leave as provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), as amended. The leaves under FMLA and CFRA will run concurrently to the extent permitted by law.
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.
17.11.3 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 loco parentis 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.
17.11.4 Family Care And Medical Leave To Care For A Covered Servicemember 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 servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the servicemember. (This 12 month period used under FMLA/CFRA to determine sick leave eligibility is separate from the “annual period” defined in 16.1.4.)
An eligible employee’s entitlement under Section 17.11.4 is limited to a total of twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember 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 servicemember.
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.
17.11.5 Pay Status and Benefits
Except as provided in this Article, 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 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 shall preclude the use of medical or pregnancy disability leave in Section 12.9 (Medical, Dental & Vision Benefits – Medical or Pregnancy Disability) when the employee is medically incapacitated or disabled. If an employee does not qualify for continued benefits under this Section 17.11 or Section 12.9 (Medical or Pregnancy Disability Leave) and the employee wishes to continue benefit coverage, then Section 12.10 (Continuation of Health Benefits Coverage) applies.
17.11.6 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 17 identifies accrued paid leave which an employee may be required to use concurrently with unpaid family care and medical leave.
17.11.7 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.
17.11.8 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 start of the leave, and the anticipated duration 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.
17.11.9 Medical Certifications
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 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.
17.11.10 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.
17.11.11 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.
17.11.12 FMLA/CFRA 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. The provisions of this Article 17 are subject to Article 21, Grievance Procedure, of this MOU, but the County Medical Leave Policy is not subject to Article 21, Grievance Procedure, of this MOU.
This Section 17.11 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 (17.11) provided it is consistent with the applicable provisions of the Sonoma County Civil Service Rules, County leave policies, Section 17.1, and other provisions of this memorandum.
17.12 Human Services Department Leaves – Stipend Education Leave
17.12.1 Stipend Education Leave – Health Benefit Continuation
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 12.10, employees in the Human Services Department who are authorized a Leave of Absence to attend graduate school under the IV-E Training Program, to obtain a master’s degree in Social Welfare (MSW), shall be entitled to continue the County Health Benefit insurance program during the education leave. The County shall continue to make its normal health benefit contribution for the employee as provided under Section 12.2.2 (County Contribution toward Active Employee Medical Benefits) of this MOU. The employee shall make appropriate payments acceptable to the ACTTC to continue his/her portion of the premium during the leave.
17.12.2 Stipend Education Leave – Employee Requirements
Each employee shall comply with all requirements of the Department in applying for the educational stipend leave. The employee shall agree and contract with the County, that upon return from leave, he/she will continue working for the County for a minimum of one (1) year for each year of approved education leave. If, for any reason, the employee is not able to satisfy the agreement, then the employee shall repay the County for the total cost of the County’s contribution for the continuance of the health insurance benefit during the approved period. The Human Services Department may waive the pay back requirement under this Section in case of an employee’s disability or death, or involuntary transfer of an employee’s spouse out of the area.
17.12.3 Leaves – Stipend Education Leave – Non-Grievability
Subsection 17.12 is not grievable nor arbitrable under Article 21 of this MOU.
17.13 Leaves – 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.
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 the 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.
17.14 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.
17.14.2 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.
17.14.3 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.
17.14.4 Program Review Process
County and SEIU Representatives will meet to discuss any unanticipated issues that arise, including administrative and legal issues, at the SEIU County Wide Labor Management Committee.