Leaves of Absence

Know Your Rights

Your rights and leaves of absence

Thanks to CSEA's fight to get classified employees covered under the Education Code, we are all entitled to the following leaves of absence. Please note: these are the minimum guaranteed by state law. Your chapter may have negotiated an extended leave policy.

Every school district must grant classified employees annual vacation leave of at least five-sixths of a day for each month the employee is in paid status. If you are not permitted to take your full annual vacation, you may carry it over into the next year or you will be paid for it, if this is in your contract.

Permanent classified employees must be given a lump sum for earned and unused vacation when they leave employment. You may be advanced vacation before it is earned, but if you leave the district before you earn it back, it will be deducted from your final paycheck.

Classified employees receive the following paid holidays:

  • New Year's Day, Jan. 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day, third Monday in January
  • Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12
  • Washington's birthday, third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day, last Monday in May
  • Independence Day, July 4
  • Labor Day, first Monday in September
  • Admissions Day, Sept. 9
  • Veterans Day, Nov. 11
  • Thanksgiving Day, third Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day, Dec. 25

* Some holidays are substituted with other holidays. For example, Admissions Day is often substituted with Cesar Chavez Day (March 31). Additional holidays may be determined locally.

Sick Leave
Classified employees are entitled to 12 days of absence (within a fiscal year) with full pay for illness or injury. Those who work less than a full fiscal year get a prorated portion of 12 days. For the first six months of employment, employees are entitled to six days of sick leave.

Additional Leave
Classified employees are entitled to additional paid accident and illness leave.

  • For a period of up to five months. You must exhaust all paid leave before you can be paid under this provision, however, the clock starts ticking on the five-month time limit from the first day of your original leave. If a substitute employee is hired to do your job, you will receive in salary only the difference between your salary and the amount the substitute is paid.
  • For a period of 100 days in lieu of the five months described above. In this case, you receive 50 percent of your salary.

Classified employees may also be entitled to leave for a serious health condition, according to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act.

Industrial Accident and Illness
Employees who have industrial accidents or illnesses are entitled to a paid leave of absence for 60 or more working days in any one fiscal year for the same accident or illness. After these 60 days, you are entitled to use extended sick leave, vacation and compensatory time off. Once a workers' compensation claim is approved, employees receive temporary disability payments. Payments are coordinated with sick and vacation leaves.

If you are injured on the job, report the injury to your immediate supervisor as soon as you can. If the injury develops over a period of time, notify your employer as soon as symptoms occur. Written notice is required within 30 days of the injury.

Most employers have a form for this purpose. Also, a workers' compensation claim form (DWC-1) must be filed within one year of the injury or accident.

Also, contact your union steward, chapter leader or CSEA labor relations representative to help protect your rights.

Family Leave
Classified employees may be entitled to a leave of absence due to pregnancy or recovery from childbirth. They may be entitled to up to 12 weeks in a calendar year of leave for care associated with a birth of a child, an adoption, placement of a foster child or a seriously ill family member. Health and welfare benefits must be provided during the leave.

Bereavement Leave
If an immediate family member dies, classified employees can take three days of bereavement leave, or five days if out-of-state travel is required. An immediate family member is defined as the spouse, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, sister or any relative living in the immediate household. An immediate family member is also defined as the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather or grandchild of the employee or the employee's spouse. The class of relatives listed above may be expanded through the negotiations process.

Personal Leave
Classified employees can use up to seven days of their sick leave for reasons of personal necessity:

  1. additional bereavement leave due to the death of an immediate family member
  2. to care or an ill immediate family member
  3. in the case of an accident involving yourself, your property or an immediate family member when it is necessary to appear in any administrative forum as a litigant, party or witness under subpoena
  4. any other reason negotiated between the union and the district

Whether or not you must give a reason for taking personal necessity should be outlined in your contract.

Military Leave
Classified employees who enter the active service of the United States or the state of California during a national emergency (or certain other circumstances) are generally entitled to a leave of absence. Within six months of an honorable discharge, you have the right to your former position and pay, provided the active service does not extend beyond the national emergency.

Members of the armed forces' reserve corps, National Guard or Naval Militia can take temporary military leave according to federal law. Providing the ordered duty does not exceed 180 calendar days, leave is allowed for military duty ordered for active military training, encampment, naval cruises and special exercise of like activity.