SICK LEAVE BANK POLICY
The School System Sick Leave Banks (hereinafter referred to as SLBs) are established to provide a loan of leave days for participating members after their accumulated sick leave days have been exhausted and to provide catastrophic sick leave. This action is authorized by The Code of Alabama and the Board of Education. In accordance with The Code of Alabama, the decision to have a joint or separate SLB(s) for certified and support staff is to be made by each group, utilizing a secret balloting process. The accounting of the SLB(s) shall be the responsibility of the Board.II. The Sick Leave Bank Committee
A. Each SLB committee shall consist of five (5) members. At the beginning of each scholastic year four (4) shall be selected by a secret ballot election held among the sick leave bank members. One (1) member shall be appointed as the system’s representative by the superintendent, subject to board approval. The superintendent will be responsible for conducting the election in a fair and equitable manner, ensuring the confidentiality of the secret balloting process.
B. Members of the SLB committee will serve a term of one year. Terms shall be for the scholastic year. Vacancies shall be filled by the respective parties. No representative on the committee shall serve for a term longer than five consecutive years.
C. It shall be the exclusive responsibility of the sick leave bank committee to write the guidelines and administrative procedures of the sick leave bank, including the catastrophic leave provisions. It shall also be the committee’s duty to develop all necessary forms for the orderly operation and administration of the sick leave bank and catastrophic leave provisions. A uniform state form provided by the State Department of Education shall be used to transfer and receive catastrophic sick leave days from one sick leave bank to another. Guidelines shall be approved by a secret ballot vote of the participating members of the sick leave bank.
D. Duties of the SLB Committee
Each SLB(s) guidelines shall include the regulations of this section. Additional guidelines shall be adopted by the SLB committee as may be deemed appropriate and beneficial. No Board or SLB committee shall adopt any regulation which conflicts with the following general regulations:
(1) No employee shall be allowed to owe more than 15 days to the SLB, unless over 50 percent of the members of the bank vote to extend the limit.
(2) Appropriate administrative forms for administering the SLB shall be developed by the SLB committee.
(3) Sick leave days shall be repaid to the SLB monthly as re-earned by the member. Upon the resignation or other termination of an employee who has an outstanding loan of sick leave days, the value of the loan shall be deducted from the final paycheck at the employee’s prevailing rate of pay.
(4) A member of the SLB shall not be allowed to accumulate more days than allowed in Section 16-1-18-1, (Code of Alabama), including days in the SLB.
(5) Employee membership in the SLB shall be voluntary.
(6) Any alleged abuse of the SLB shall be investigated by the SLB committee. On the finding of wrongdoing, the member shall repay all of the sick leave credits drawn from the SLB and be subject to other appropriate disciplinary action as determined by the local Board.
(7) Upon retirement or transfer of the SLB members, days on deposit with the SLB shall be withdrawn and transferred with the employee or made accessible for retirement credit, as applicable.
(8) Before being eligible to use catastrophic sick leave days, the member of the SLB shall first borrow and utilize days from the SLB, up to a maximum of 15 days. However, if the member later qualifies for catastrophic sick leave, donated catastrophic sick leave days may be used to repay days owed to the SLB to the credit of the affected member.
(9) At the beginning of the scholastic year, or upon employment of a new employee, as the case may be, the appropriate number of sick leave days shall, upon application of the employee, be credited to the employee’s account to enable the employee to join the SLB if the employee does not have the minimum number of sick days to enable him or her to join the bank. The SLB committee shall develop in its guidelines a provision whether or not to allow other employees who have previously failed or refused to join the SLB the option to join upon deposit of the prerequisite number of sick leave days. Any policy developed by the SLB committee shall be uniformly applied to all employees.III Eligibility and Participation in the Sick Leave BankA. Any full-time or part-time employee of the Board who has completed a Sick Leave Authorization Form depositing or committing the required days to the SLB is eligible to borrow up to fifteen (15) days from the SLB.
B. The deposit of leave days into the SLB must conform with the SLB guidelines set up by the SLB committee.
C. No employee shall be allowed to borrow or owe a number of days which is in excess of fifteen (15) days ,unless 50% of the participating members of the SLB vote to extend said limit.
D. To be eligible for a loan from the SLB, a participating member must have exhausted all accumulated sick leave in his/her personal account.
E. The Board Payroll Department shall maintain records of all member deposits to the SLBs, withdrawals from the SLBs, and the status of the SLBs. Reports shall be provided on a timely basis and at the request of the SLB committee, Superintendent, or Board.
F. The number of days loaned to an applicant shall be determined by the SLB committee. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, (1) the applicant’s need, (2) the circumstances of the illness or disability, (3) years of service to the system, and (4) the availability of days in the SLB.
IV Procedures for Sick Leave Due to Catastrophic IllnessA. Employees participating in an SLB, at their discretion, may donate a specific number of days to the sick leave bank to be designated for a specific employee for use against a catastrophic illness. Any illness, injury, or pregnancy or medical condition related to childbirth certified by a licensed physician which causes the employee to be absent from work for an extended period of time is defined as catastrophic illness.
B. The employee who is to receive sick leave days for a catastrophic illness shall be a member of an SLB and shall have no sick leave and personal leave available (i.e. the member will have exhausted all accumulated days of leave and have no days that can be borrowed from the bank).
C. The ill employee may use the donated days but shall not be required to repay the days. Also, donated days may be used to repay the SLB.
D. The employee who donates sick leave days to the sick leave bank for a particular employee for use against a catastrophic illness shall not be able to recover such donated days. However, if the particular employee does not require all the days donated to him/her, the days shall revert to the credit of those employees who donated the days in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the sick leave bank committee.
Sick leave days may be donated to a beneficiary employee to be used for the same reasons that regular sick leave may be used according to law (Code of Alabama, Section 16-1-18.1).
E. No employee may donate more that 30 sick leave days, exclusive of the minimum deposit to the sick leave bank for the catastrophic sick leave of any one employee.
F. The SLBs are authorized to donate sick leave days to another SLB, including SLBs of other Alabama school systems, for use by a particular employee who is suffering a catastrophic illness.
Adopted: March 20, 1995
Revised: March 12, 2001
LEGAL REF: The Code of Alabama, Section 16-22-9 and supporting provisions in Section 16-1-18.1.