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Atascadero USD |  AR  4161.1, 4361.1  Personnel

Personal Illness/Injury Leave   

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Certificated employees employed five days per week are entitled to 10 days leave of absence with full pay for personal illness or injury (sick leave) per school year of service., Employees working less than five school days per week (part-time employees) shall be granted sick leave in proportion to the time they work. However, any part-time employees who are entitled to less than three days of paid sick leave per year due to the amount of time worked shall be granted sick leave pursuant to Labor Code 246, if they are eligible. (Education Code 44978: Labor Code 245-249)

(cf. 4161/4261/4361 - Leaves)

(cf. 4161.9/4261.9/4361.9 - Catastrophic Leave Program)

Use of Sick Leave

Sick leave may be used by a certificated employee for absences due to:

1. Accident or illness, whether or not the absence arises out of or in the course of employment with other persons having a contagious disease or temporary inability to perform assigned duties because of illness, accident, or quarantine (Education Code 44964)

(cf. 4157.1/4257.1/4357.1 - Work-Related Injuries)

2. Pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery (Education Code 44965, 44978)

(cf. 4161.8/4261.8/4361.8 - Family Care and Medical Leave)

3. Personal necessity (Education Code 44981)

(cf. 4161.2/4261.2/4361.2 - Personal Leaves)

4. Medical and dental appointments, in increments of not less than one hour

5. Industrial accidents or illnesses when leave granted specifically for that purpose has been exhausted (Education Code 44984)

(cf. 4161.11/4361.11 - Industrial Accident/Illness Leave)

6. Need of the employee to bond with a child within one year of the child's birth, adoption, or foster care placement (parental leave) (Education Code 44977.5; Government Code 12945.2, 12945.6 ;29 USC 2612;29 CFR 825.112)

7. Need of the employee or employee's family member, as defined in Labor Code 245.5, for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition or for preventive care (Labor Code 233, 246.5)

8. Need of the employee to seek or obtain any relief or medical attention specified in Labor Code 230(c) and/or 230.1(a) for the health, safety, or welfare of the employee or employee's child, when the employee has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (Labor Code 233)

For the purposes specified in items #7-8, an employee may use, in any calendar year, the amount of sick leave that would be accrued during six months at the employees then current rate of entitlement (Labor Code 233)

An employee may take sick leave at any time during the school year, even if credit for sick leave has not yet been accrued. (Education Code 44978)

An employee shall reimburse the district for any unearned sick leave used as of the date of termination of service.

Unused days of sick leave shall be accumulated from year to year without limitation. (Education Code 44978)

At the beginning of each school year, employees shall be notified of the amount of sick leave they have accumulated.

The Superintendent or designee shall notify any certificated employee who leaves the district after at least one school year of employment that if the employee accepts a certificated position in another district, county office of education, or community college district within one year the employee may request that the district transfer any accumulated sick leave to the new employer. The district shall not require new employees to waive leave accumulated in a previous district. (Education Code 44979, 44980)

Notification of Absence

An employee shall notify the district of the need to be absent as soon as such need is known, so that substitute services may be secured. This notification shall include an estimate of the expected duration of absence. If the absence becomes longer than estimated, the employee shall so notify the district. If the duration of absence becomes shorter than estimated, the employee shall notify the district not later than 3 p.m. of the day preceding the day on which the employee intends to return to work. If failure to so notify the district results in a substitute being secured, the cost of the substitute shall be deducted from the employee's pay.

(cf. 4121 - Temporary/Substitute Personnel)

Continued Absence After Available Sick Leave Is Exhausted

During each school year, when a certificated employee has exhausted all available sick leave, including all accumulated sick leave, and, due to illness or injury, continues to be absent for an additional period up to five school months, the district shall deduct from the employee's regular salary for that period the actual cost of a substitute to fill the position. If the district has made every reasonable effort to secure the services of a substitute and has been unable to do so, the amount that would have been paid to a substitute shall be deducted from the employee's salary. (Education Code 44977)

An employee shall not be provided more than one five-month period per illness or accident. However, if the school year ends before the five-month period is exhausted, the employee may take the balance of the five-month period in a subsequent school year. (Education Code 44977)

Absence Beyond Five-Month Period/Reemployment List

If a certificated employee is not medically able to return to work after the five-month period provided pursuant to Education Code 44977, the employee shall be placed either in another position or on a reemployment list. Placement on the reemployment list shall be for 24 months for probationary employees or 39 months for permanent employees and shall begin at the expiration of the five-month period. If during this time the employee becomes medically able, the employee shall be returned to employment in a position for which the employee is credentialed and qualified. (Education Code 44978.1)

(cf. 4116 - Probationary/Permanent Status)

Parental Leave

During each school year, a certificated employee may use all available sick leave, including accumulated sick leave, for the purpose of parental leave for a period of up to 12 work weeks. The 12-week period shall be reduced by any period of sick leave, including accumulated sick leave, taken during a period of such parental leave. (Education Code 44977.5)

Eligibility for such leave shall not require 1,250 hours of service with the district during the previous 12 months. (Education Code 44977.5)

An employee who has exhausted all available sick leave, including accumulated sick leave, and continues to be absent on account of parental leave shall receive differential pay of at least 50 percent of the employee's regular salary for the remainder of the 12 work weeks. (Education Code 44977.5)

Parental leave taken pursuant to Education Code 44977.5 shall run concurrently with the parental leave taken pursuant to Government Code 12945.2 or 12945.6, and the aggregate amount of parental leave shall not exceed 12 work weeks in a 12-month period. (Education Code 44977.5; Government Code 12945.2, 12945.6)

Verification Requirements

After any absence due to illness or injury, the employee shall verify the absence by submitting a completed and signed district absence form to the employee's immediate supervisor.

The Superintendent or designee may, require verification whenever an employee's absence record shows chronic absenteeism or a pattern of absences immediately before or after weekends and/or holidays or whenever evidence clearly indicates that an absence is not related to illness or injury.

In addition, the Superintendent or designee may require an employee to visit a physician selected by the district, at district expense, in order to receive a report on the employee's need for further leave of absence and a prognosis as to when the employee will be able to return to work. If the report concludes that the employee's condition does not warrant continued absence, the Superintendent or designee may, after giving notice to the employee, deny further leave.

Any district request for additional verification by an employee's physician or a district-selected physician shall be in writing and shall specify that the report to be submitted to the district should not contain the employee's genetic information. Any genetic information received by the district on behalf of an employee shall be treated as a confidential medical record, maintained in a file separate from the employee's personnel file, and not be disclosed except in accordance with 29 CFR 1635.9.

Before returning to work, an employee who has been absent for surgery, hospitalization, or extended medical treatment may be asked to submit a letter from a physician stating that the employee is able to return to duty and stipulating any necessary restrictions or limitations.

(cf. 4032 - Reasonable Accommodation)

(cf. 4113.4/4213.4/4313.4 - Temporary Modified/Light-Duty Assignment)

Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act Requirements

No employee shall be denied the right to use accrued sick days, and the district shall not in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee for using or attempting to use sick leave, filing a complaint with the Labor Commissioner, or alleging district violation of Labor Code 245-249.

To ensure the district's compliance with Labor Code 245-249, the Superintendent or designee shall:

1. At a conspicuous location in each workplace, display a poster on paid sick leave that includes the following information:

a. That an employee is entitled to accrue, request, and use paid sick days

b. The number of sick days provided by Labor Code 245-249

c. The terms of use of paid sick days

d. That discrimination or retaliation against an employee for requesting and/or using sick leave is prohibited by law and that an employee has the right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner if the district discriminates or retaliates against the employee

2. Provide at least 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave to each eligible employee to use per year and allow eligible employees to use accrued sick leave upon reasonable request

3. Provide eligible employees written notice, on their pay stub or other document issued with their pay check, of the amount of paid sick leave they have available

(cf. 4112.9/4212.9/4312.9 - Employee Notifications)

4. Keep a record documenting the hours worked and paid sick days accrued and used by each eligible employee for three years

Legal Reference:


44964 Power to grant leave of absence in case of illness, accident, or quarantine

44965 Granting of leaves of absence for pregnancy and childbirth

44976 Transfer of leave rights when school is transferred to another district

44977 Salary deduction during absence from duties up to five months after sick leave is exhausted

44977.5 Differential pay during parental leave up to 12 weeks after sick leave is exhausted

44978 Provisions for sick leave of certificated employees

44978.1 Inability to return to duty; placement in another position or on reemployment list

44979 Transfer of accumulated sick leave to another district

44980 Transfer of accumulated sick leave to a county office of education

44981 Leave of absence for personal necessity

44983 Exception to sick leave when district adopts specific rule

44984 Industrial accident or illness

44986 Leave of absence for disability allowance applicant


12945.1-12945.2 California Family Rights Act

12945.6 Parental leave


220 Sections inapplicable to public employees

230 Jury duty; legal actions by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims, right to time off

230.1 Employers with 25 or more employees; domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims, right to time off

233 Illness of child, parent, spouse or domestic partner

234 Absence control policy

245-249 Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014


5601 Transfer of accumulated sick leave


2601-2654 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended


2000ff-2000ff-11 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008


825.100-825.702 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

1635.1-1635.12 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008


Veguez v. Governing Board of Long Beach Unified School District, (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 406


approved: March 15, 2011 Atascadero, California

revised: September 3, 2019