Leaves and Absences
PISD offers employees paid and unpaid leaves of absence in times of personal need. This page describes the basic types of leave available and restrictions on leaves of absence.
For more details, see the PISD Employee Handbook or contact the HR Department.
Any employee, who is absent more than 5 days because of a personal or family illness, must submit a medical certification from a qualified health care provider confirming the specific dates of the illness, the reason for the illness, and—in the case of personal illness—the employee’s fitness to return to work.
Employees who expect to be absent for an extended period of more than five days should call the HR Department for information about applicable leave benefits, payment of insurance premiums, and requirements for communicating with the district.
Paid leave must be used in 1⁄2 day increments. Earned comp time must be used before any available paid state and local leave. Unless an employee requests a different order, available
paid state and local leave will be used in the following order:
• Local leave
• State sick leave accumulated before the 1995-96 school year
• State personal leave
State law entitles all employees to five days of paid personal leave per year. Personal leave is available for use at the beginning of the year. A day of personal leave is equivalent to the number of hours per day in an employee’s usual assignment, whether full-time or part-time. State personal leave accumulates without limit, is transferable to other Texas school districts, and generally transfers to education service centers. Personal leave may be used for two general purposes: nondiscretionary and discretionary.
Nondiscretionary. Leave taken for personal or family illness, family emergency, a death in the family, or active military service is considered nondiscretionary leave. Reasons for this type of leave allow very little, if any, advance planning. Nondiscretionary may be used in the same manner as state sick leave.
Discretionary. Leave taken at an employee’s discretion that can be scheduled in advance is considered discretionary leave. Discretionary use of state personal leave shall not exceed 3 consecutive work days.An employee wishing to take discretionary personal leave must submit a request to his or her principal or supervisor 5 days in advance of the anticipated absence. The effect of the employee’s absence on the educational program or department operations, as well as the availability of substitutes, will be considered by the principal or supervisor.
State Sick Leave
State sick leave accumulated before 1995 is available for use and may be transferred to other school districts in Texas. State sick leave can be used only in 1⁄2 day increments, except when coordinated with family and medical leave taken on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis or when coordinated with workers’ compensation benefits.
State sick leave may be used for the following reasons only:
• Employee illness
• Illness in the employee’s immediate family
• Immediate family emergency (i.e., natural disasters or life-threatening situations)
• Death in the immediate family
• Active military service
For purposes of leave other than family and medical leave, immediate family is defined as the following:
• Son or daughter, including a biological, adopted, or foster child, a son- or daughter-in- law, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis.
• Parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, or other individual who stands in loco parentis to the employee.
• Sibling, stepsibling, and sibling-in-law
• Grandparent and grandchild
• Any person residing in the employee’s household at the time of illness or death
All employees shall earn three paid local leave days per school year in accordance with administrative regulations. Local leave shall accumulate to a maximum of 15 leave days. Local leave shall be used according to the terms and conditions of state sick leave accumulated before the 1995–96 school year, except that an employee may contribute local leave to the sick leave bank. [See DEC(LEGAL)]
Sick Leave Bank
The district provides a Sick Leave Bank that employees may join through a contribution of local leave. The leave contributed to the bank shall be solely for the use of participating employees. An employee who is a member of the bank may request leave from the bank if the employee or member of the employee's immediate family experiences a catastrophic illness or injury and the employee has exhausted all paid leave and any applicable compensatory time.
Extended Paid Leave
After all available paid leave days, any leave days granted from the sick leave bank, if applicable, and any applicable compensatory time have been exhausted, an employee who has been employed by the district for at least one year shall be granted in a school year a maximum of five leave days of extended sick leave to be used for the employee's personal illness or injury, including pregnancy-related illness or injury, or for absences related to the illness or injury of a member of the employee's immediate family. A written request fo extended sick leave must be accompanied by medical certification of the illness or injury. For professional employees, the district shall deduct the average daily rate of pay of a substitute for each day of extended sick leave taken, whether or not a substitute is employed. For employees other than professionals, the District shall deduct an amount equal to one-third the individual employee's daily rate of pay for each day of extended sick leave taken.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
An employee absent from duty because of a job-related illness or injury may be eligible for workers’ compensation weekly income benefits if the absence exceeds seven calendar days. An employee receiving workers’ compensation wage benefits for a job-related illness or injury may choose to use available, partial-day increments of sick leave or any other paid leave benefits to make up the difference between wage benefits and pre-injury or -illness wages. While an employee is receiving workers’ compensation wage benefits, the district will charge available leave proportionately so that the employee receives an amount equal to the employee’s regular salary.
Assault leave provides extended job income and benefits protection to an employee who is injured as the result of a physical assault suffered during the performance of his or her job. An incident involving assault is a work-related injury and should be immediately reported to the supervisor. An injury is treated as an assault if the person causing the injury could be prosecuted for assault or could not be prosecuted only because that person’s age or mental capacity renders the person nonresponsible for purposes of criminal liability. An employee who is physically assaulted at work may take all the leave time medically necessary (up to two years) to recover from the physical injuries he or she sustained. At the request of an employee, the district will immediately assign the employee to assault leave. Days of leave granted under the assault leave provision will not be deducted from accrued personal leave and must be coordinated with workers’ compensation benefits. Upon investigation, the district may change the assault leave status and charge leave used against the employee’s accrued paid leave. The employee’s pay will be deducted if accrued paid leave is not available.
Use of state leave and/or local sick leave for death in the immediate family shall not exceed five workdays per occurrence, subject to the approval of the district.
The district provides paid leave to employees who are summoned to jury duty, including service on a grand jury. The district will not discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any regular employee because of juror or grand juror service or for the employee’s attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with the service in any court in the United States. Employees who report to the court for jury duty may keep any compensation the court provides. An employee should report a summons for jury duty to his or her supervisor as soon as it is received and may be required to provide the district with a copy of the summons to document the need for leave.
Compliance with a Subpoena
Employees will be paid while on leave to comply with a valid subpoena to appear in a civil, criminal, legislative, or administrative proceeding and will not be required to use personal leave. Employees may be required to submit documentation of their need for leave for court appearances.
Truancy Court Appearances
An employee who is a parent, guardian of a child, or a court-appointed guardian ad litem of a child who is required to miss work to attend a truancy court hearing may use personal leave or compensatory time for the absence. Employees who do not have paid leave available will be docked for any absence required because of the court appearance.
The district will reasonably accommodate an employee’s request for absence for a religious holiday or observance. Accommodations such as changes to work schedules or approving a day of absence will be made unless they pose an undue hardship to the district. The employee may use any accumulated personal leave for this purpose. Employees who have exhausted applicable paid leave may be granted an unpaid day of absence.
Paid Leave for Military Service. Any employee who is a member of the Texas National Guard, Texas State Guard, reserve component of the United States Armed Forces, or a member of a
state or federally authorized Urban Search and Rescue Team is entitled to paid leave when engaged in authorized training or duty orders by proper authority. Paid military leave is limited
to 15 days each fiscal year. In addition, an employee is entitled to use available state and local personal or sick leave during a time of active military service.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the 12-month period from July 1 through June 30.
Eligibility Requirements: The employee must:
• Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
• Have at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months before taking leave;* and
• Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite.
Generally, employees must give 30-days’ advance notice of the need for FMLA leave. If it is not possible to give 30-days’ notice, an employee must notify the immediate supervisor and the District's HR department as possible to receive the required forms to complete. Employees do not have to share a medical diagnosis but must provide enough information to the employer so it can determine if the leave qualifies for FMLA protection. Sufficient information could include informing an employer that the employee is or will be unable to perform his or her job functions, that a family member cannot perform daily activities, or that hospitalization or continuing medical treatment is necessary. Employees must inform the employer if the need for leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. Employers can require a certification or periodic recertification supporting the need for leave. If the employer determines that the certification is incomplete, it must provide a written notice indicating what additional information is required.
Use of Paid Leave
FML runs concurrently with accrued sick and personal leave, temporary disability leave, compensatory time, assault leave, and absences due to a work-related illness or injury. The district will designate the leave as FMLA, if applicable, and notify the employee that accumulated leave will run concurrently.
Combined Leave for Spouses. Spouses who are employed by the district are limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of FML to care for a parent with a serious health condition; or for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Military caregiver leave for spouses is limited to a combined total of 26 weeks.
When medically necessary or in the case of a qualifying exigency, an employee may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule. The district does not permit the use of intermittent or reduced-schedule leave for the care of a newborn child or for adoption or placement of a child with the employee.
Fitness for Duty. An employee that takes FML due to the employee’s own serious health condition shall provide, before resuming work, a fitness-for-duty certification from the health care provider.
Reinstatement. An employee returning to work at the end of FML will be returned to the same position held when the leave began or to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.
For certified employees only, if you have not been released to return to duty prior to expiration of FMLA, your leave would transition to Temporary Disability Leave.
Temporary Disability Leave: (Certified Employees Only)
Any full-time employee whose position requires certification from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is eligible for temporary disability leave. The purpose of temporary disability leave is to provide job protection to full-time educators who cannot work for an extended period of time because of a mental or physical disability of a temporary nature. Temporary disability leave must be taken as a continuous block of time. It may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule. Pregnancy and conditions related to pregnancy are treated the same as any other temporary disability. Employees must request approval for temporary disability leave. An employee’s notification of need for extended absence due to the employee’s own medical condition shall be accepted as a request for temporary disability leave. The request must be accompanied by a physician’s statement confirming the employee’s inability to work and estimating a probable date of return. If disability leave is approved, the length of leave is no longer than 180 calendar days. If an employee is placed on temporary disability leave involuntarily, he or she has the right to request a hearing before the board of trustees. The employee may protest the action and present additional evidence of fitness to work. When an employee is ready to return to work, the business office should be notified at least 30 days in advance. The return-to-work notice must be accompanied by a physician’s statement confirming that the employee is able to resume regular duties. Certified employees returning from leave will be reinstated to the school to which they were previously assigned if an appropriate position is available. If an appropriate position is not available, the employee may be assigned to another campus, subject to the approval of the campus principal. If a position is not available before the end of the school year, the employee will be reinstated to a position at the original campus at the beginning of the following school year.