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Lawndale ESD |  AR  4161.1  Personnel

Personal Illness/Injury Leave (Certificated Employees)   

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Full-time certificated employees who are covered by the collective bargaining unit agreement are entitled to 10 days leave of absence for personal illness or injury (sick leave) per school year, with full pay. Employees working less than five days per week shall be granted comparable sick leave in proportion to the time they work. (Education Code 44978)

(cf. 4161/4261 - Leaves)

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

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

An employee who does not complete a given year of service shall be charged for any unearned sick leave used as of the date of termination.

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.

Any certificated employee who leaves the district after at least one year of employment and accepts a certificated position in another district, county office of education or community college district within one year shall have transferred with him/her the total amount of accumulated sick leave. The district shall not require new employees to waive their leave accumulated in a previous district. (Education Code 44979, 44980)

Sick leave may be used by a certificated employee for:

1. Cases of temporary inability to perform duties because of illness, accident or quarantine, whether or not the cause of absence arises out of and in the course of employment (Education Code 44964)

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

2. Absences due to pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and recovery (Education Code 44965, 44978)

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

3. Cases of 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. Cases of industrial accidents or illnesses when leave granted specifically for that purpose has expired (Education Code 44984)

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

6. Illness of the employee's child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner or domestic partner's child, up to the amount of sick leave that would be accrued during six months (Labor Code 233)

An employee shall notify the district of his/her 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 he/she 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)

Sick Leave Beyond 10 Days

When a certificated employee has exhausted all available sick leave, including all accumulated sick leave, and continues to be absent from his/her duties due to illness or accident for an additional period up to five school months, the employee shall receive his/her regular salary minus 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 might have been paid to a substitute shall be deducted from the employee's salary. (Education Code 44977)

The sick leave, including accumulated sick leave, and the five-month period shall run consecutively. (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)

After five months, if a certificated employee has exhausted all available sick leave and is not medically able to resume his/her duties, the employee shall be placed either in another position or on a reemployment list. If the employee is on probationary status, he/she shall be placed on the reemployment list for 24 months beginning at the expiration of the five-month period provided pursuant to Education Code 44977; if on permanent status, the employee shall be placed on the reemployment list for 39 months. If during this time the employee becomes medically able, he/she shall be returned to employment in a position for which he/she is credentialed and qualified. (Education Code 44978.1)

(cf. 4116 - Probationary/Permanent Status)

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 his/her immediate supervisor.

The Superintendent or designee may, at any time, require additional written verification by the employee's physician or practitioner. Such verification shall be required whenever an employee's absence record shows chronic absenteeism or a pattern of absences immediately before or after weekends and/or holidays or whenever clear evidence indicates that an absence is not related to illness or injury.

The Superintendent or designee may require an employee to visit a physician selected by the district and at district expense in order to receive a report on the medical condition of the employee. The report shall include a statement as to 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.

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 his/her physician stating that he/she is able to return and stipulating any recommended 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 the 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 amount of sick days provided by Labor Code 245-249

c. The terms of paid sick days

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

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)

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

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


220 Sections inapplicable to public employees

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


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


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


approved: September 1, 2003 Lawndale, California

revised: September 1, 2015

revised: October 6, 2015