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City of Lake Wales, Florida Human Resources Department
Personnel Policies

SECTION 2-217 SICK AND FUNERAL LEAVE

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Secs. 2-217.01 Sick and Funeral Leave Eligibility

(a) Sick leave, whether paid or unpaid, shall apply to leave for sickness, injury or disability that is not covered by Workers' Compensation. Sickness, injury or disability for pregnancy, childbirth, or related disabilities shall be treated the same as other sicknesses, injuries or disabilities.

(b) Regular full-time employees are eligible under paragraphs 2-217.02 and 2-217.03 for paid sick leave for absences due to sickness or injury, provided, upon request, they present evidence, including a medical doctor's excuse, if requested, satisfactory to their Department Head to establish their absence was due to sickness or injury. Sick leave may also be used for funeral leave as provided in 2-217.11 below. return to top

Secs. 2-217.02 Rate of Earning

(a) Regular full-time employees shall earn four (4) hours paid sick leave each fourteen (14) day pay period and at 6.125 for the deputy chiefs in the fire department which may be used as sick or funeral leave as provided herein.

(b) Sick leave shall not accrue during unpaid leave of absence for any reason of more than thirty (30) days unless required by law. return to top

Secs. 2-217.03 Probationary Period

Sick leave accrual shall begin from the first day of employment but is not earned and cannot be used until successful completion of the employee's initial probationary period. return to top

Secs. 2-217.04 Charging Leave

(a) Sick leave taken shall be recorded, charged and paid in days, shifts or full hours, whichever is applicable.

(b) Paid holidays which occur during a paid sick leave shall not be chargeable to sick leave. return to top

Secs. 2-217.05 Request for Sick or Funeral Leave

(a) To be eligible to receive pay for sick or funeral leave, the employee shall notify his immediate supervisor or Department Head as soon as possible but not less than one (1) hour prior to the time set for beginning the employee's shift. This provision may be waived by the Department Head if the employee submits evidence satisfactory to the Department Head that it was impossible to give such notification.

(b) Frequent claiming of sick leave, such as using sick leave as it accrues or showing a pattern of taking sick leave on Fridays or Mondays, constitutes evidence of malingering or deliberate abuse of sick leave and as such will result in disciplinary action. return to top

Secs. 2-217.06 Extended Unpaid Medical Leaves

(a) When paid sick leave and accrued vacation leave are exhausted for absence due to sickness, disability or injury, the employee may be given extended sick leave without pay for up to six (6) months. However, no benefits such as holiday, vacation, funeral leave and paid sick leave will accrue during such unpaid leaves.

(b) The City retains the right to require the employee to submit to another medical examination at the City's expense to verify the employee's inability to work.

(c) The employee shall be required to return to work the work-day after the last day of the leave granted, unless prior to that time the employee has obtained permission from the City Manager to extend the medical leave or has applied for and been granted additional time off as allowed by these rules.

(d) The employee may continue his Group Medical coverage during such absence provided the employee pays the full premium by the time each month and in the manner required by HR. For continuation of insurance during FMLA leave, see Section 2-219.07. return to top

Secs. 2-217.07 Return From Sick Leave

(a) At the option of the City, the employee may be required to supply a medical release from a doctor acceptable to the City to return to work from sick or disability leave whether the leave was with or without pay.

(b) An employee who is released from sick leave and who wishes to return to work shall notify the City. If the leave was less than thirty (30) days beyond pay status, the employee shall be placed in the job he held before the leave and there shall be no adjustment of his anniversary date or City or classification seniority date.

(c) Subject to applicable law FMLA, if the leave was longer than thirty (30) days beyond pay status, the employee will be given his job or a substantially equivalent job that is vacant if he is qualified to perform all the essential requirements of the vacant job. If the absence was due to a legally-recognized disability, reasonable accommodation that will not cause undue hardship to the City will be offered. Adjustments of his anniversary date, City, departmental and classification seniority dates shall be as provided for other unpaid leaves under Section 2-221.

(d) The Department Head may make exceptions to the above for operational reasons upon the request of the employee. return to top

Secs. 2-217.08 Use of Sick Leave

(a) Paid sick leave may be used provided it is approved for the following purposes:

  1. Sickness, injury or disability off the job.
  2. Medical, dental, optical or chiropractic examination or treatment which cannot be scheduled during non-duty hours.
  3. Serious illness (as defined in Section 2-219.02) of a member of the employee's immediate family which requires the personal care or attention of the employee, or the death of a member of the employee's immediate family. Immediate family includes any of the following: spouse, parent, child, sister, brother, mother/father-in-law, and other relatives who are members of the employee's household.
  4. Up to forty (40) sick leave hours may be used as vacation leave in addition to regularly earned vacation leave on an annual basis if the following criteria are met:

    (a) The employee has five years of continuous service with the City.

    (b) The employee maintains a minimum of three hundred sixty (360) hours of credited sick leave time accrued.

    (c) The department head has considered the employee's anniversary date to determine eligibility.

    (d) The time off has received the prior approval of the Department Head (see Section 2-216.02)

    (e) Sick leave hours may only be converted to vacation if and to the extent that vacation, optional holiday, safety day and compensatory time accruals are not sufficient to cover non-sick leave time off in the current or next bi-weekly pay period. The sick leave will be converted as vacation leave is used.

    (f) Sick leave will not be converted to increase the vacation accrual balance.

  5. Funeral leave under Section 2-217.12 below.
  6. Leave under FMLA.
  7. To supplement Workers' Compensation but not more than necessary to cover the employee's regular schedule times his normal hourly rate.

(b) Use of sick leave for any purpose not specified above may be considered misconduct and result in disciplinary action. return to top

Secs. 2-217.09 Accumulation/Pay Out - Sick Leave

(a) There is no limit on the number of hours of sick leave which an employee may be eligible to accumulate for use for illness or injury.

(b) Accumulated sick leave will be payable upon termination at the rate of ½ the sick leave hours accumulated up to a maximum of ½ of 400 hours (1/2 x 400 hrs = 200 maximum hours payable upon termination). This policy shall apply only to those employees hired after 10/1/85. Sick leave payable upon termination for those employees hired prior to 10/1/85 shall be ½ the total hours accumulated. Employees who have more than six months of service with the City and leave in good standing shall be paid accrued but unused sick leave pay upon cessation of their employment regardless of which policy applies.

  1. With the exception of the employee hired on July 26, 1968 pay out accrued and unused sick leave shall not be granted prior to cessation of employment except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3). This provision shall create no precedent as to any other employee.
  2. Upon application to the human resources director, an employee hired prior to 10/1/85 who has entered a deferred retired option plan (DROP) may be paid for up to five hundred (500) hours of accrued and unused sick leave (up to 1000 hours x 1/2) prior to cessation of employment provided said accrued and unused leave was accrued prior to the employee’s entrance into the DROP and provided, in the sole discretion of the city manager, the city’s cash position will not be adversely affected by such pay out. An employee shall be eligible for pay out of unused accrued sick leave as specified in this paragraph only once during each year of participation in the DROP until the payable leave balance is fully paid. The city’s record of accrued and unused leave shall be adjusted to reflect the pay out of accrued leave (i.e., a pay out for 500 hours shall result in a reduction of 1000 hours from the employee’s accrued sick leave balance).
  3. Upon application to the human resources director, an employee hired after 10/1/85 who has entered a deferred retired option plan (DROP) may be paid for up to two hundred (200) hours of accrued and unused sick leave (up to 400 hours x 1/2) prior to cessation of employment provided said accrued and unused leave was accrued prior to the employee’s entrance into the DROP and provided, in the sole discretion of the city manager, the city’s cash position will not be adversely affected by such payout. An employee shall be eligible for payout of unused accrued sick leave as specified in this paragraph once during each year of participation in the DROP until the maximum payable leave balance is fully paid. The city’s record of accrued and unused leave shall be adjusted to reflect the pay out (i.e., a pay out for 200 hours shall result in a reduction of 400 hours from the employee’s accrued sick leave balance). An employee who has received the maximum allowable pay out while participating in the DROP shall not be eligible for additional pay out upon cessation of employment.
Secs. 2-217.10 Light Duty

If an employee is released by his physician for "light duty," return to light duty shall be at the option of the City based on its operational needs. Refusal to accept a light-duty assignment by the City, which the employee is capable of performing in accordance with applicable law will result in termination of employment. return to top

Secs. 2-217.11 Funeral Leave

(a) Approved funeral leave in the event of the death of a member of the employee's immediate family [as defined in Section 2-217.08(a)(3)] will be granted as provided below:

  1. Up to three (3) working days and up to five (5) working days for funerals that take place out of the state.
  2. The minimum leave under this section shall be four (4) hours. Approved funeral leave will be charged against the employee's sick leave balance.

(b) The employee may be required to provide the Department Head with proof of death in the immediate family, as defined, before compensation is approved.

(c) If, in the opinion of the Department Head, additional days off are necessary to attend the funeral of a member of the immediate family, accrued vacation leave may be used or the employee may be given additional time off without pay.

(d) If the employee wishes to attend the funeral of someone outside his immediate family, the employee may be allowed time off without pay but only if the Department Head determines the absence will not affect operations. If approved, the employee may charge it against accumulated but unused vacation pay in full one (1) hour increments. return to top


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