Louisiana Department of Education                                  Employee Policies

Special School District (SSD)                                               Effective Date:

                                                                                                Upon Commission Approval

 

Crisis Leave

 

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Applicability

 

This policy applies to LSS employees. SSP employees will follow Department of Education policy.

 

Policy

 

The Crisis Leave Program is a means of providing paid leave to an eligible employee who has experienced a catastrophic illness or serious injury to himself or herself or eligible family member.  The intent of the program is to assist employees who, through no fault of their own, have insufficient paid leave to cover the crisis leave period.

 

Definitions

 

Crisis Leave Pool Policy Year: A calendar year.

 

Eligible Employee: A full-time classified or unclassified employee of LSS who is eligible to earn annual leave, or an employee who is in a position that is eligible for sabbatical and/or extended sick leave. Classified employees must have attained permanent status. Unclassified employees must be in a position that is considered on-going and must have been employed by LSS for the length of the probationary period required for classified employees.

 

Eligible Family Member:  The employee’s spouse or minor child.

 

Licensed Medical Service Provider (LMSP):  A practitioner, as defined in the Louisiana State Licensing Law (relative to that LMSP’s field of service), who is practicing within the scope of his or her license.  This is to include licensed Physicians (a doctor of medicine) or MD, Doctor of Osteopathy or DO, or licensed Chiropractors, Counselors, or Therapists, as recognized and licensed by appropriate State boards or authorities.

 

Catastrophic Injury or Serious Illness:  An acute or prolonged illness, usually considered to be life threatening or with the threat of serious residual disability.  Treatment may be radical and is frequently costly.  Condition or combination of conditions must:

 

 

 

 

Leave Pool Manager:  The Human Resources Director or Administrator or designee.

 

Crisis Leave Committee:  A committee comprised of the Leave Pool Manager, at least one member of the Executive Staff or Cabinet, and at least one other staff member.  The Committee considers requests for Crisis Leave, and may recommend guidelines and procedures for the Crisis Leave Program.

 

Eligibility Requirements

 

An eligible employee may apply to receive crisis leave if the following requirements are met:

 

 

 

 

An employee is not required to contribute to the Crisis Leave Pool to be eligible to receive crisis leave.

 

The Crisis Leave Committee determines the amount of crisis leave granted for each catastrophic illness or serious injury.  The amount of leave granted to an employee will generally reflect the recommendations of the LMSP, subject to the following limits:

 

 

 

 

Donation Procedures

               

Contributions to the Crisis Leave Pool are strictly voluntary. LSS may periodically request contributions to the Crisis Leave Pool; however no employee shall be coerced or pressured to donate leave.  An employee donating to the pool may not designate a particular employee to receive donated time.  Donations are accumulated in the pool and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible employees.  Donations are limited to the following terms:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The employee must complete a leave form and designate the leave as a “Donation to the Crisis Leave Pool”.  This form should be turned in to the immediate supervisor for approval, who then forwards the slip to the Leave Pool Manager.

 

Request Procedures

 

An employee may request leave from the Crisis Leave Pool by the submission of a letter that must be accompanied by the Certification of Catastrophic Injury or Serious Illness form completed by the employee’s LMSP.  The documentation must include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A request for Crisis Leave will only be considered upon receipt of all required documentation.

 

The request and accompanying documentation is submitted to the Leave Pool Manager.  The Leave Pool Manager reviews the request to make sure that the employee is eligible to receive crisis leave.  The employee requesting crisis leave must provide all requested information necessary to make a final determination of eligibility.

 

All requests for crisis leave must be treated as confidential.  All requests and documentation for crisis leave should be submitted in envelopes marked “confidential.”  Requests proceed directly to the Leave Pool Manager for recommendation to the Crisis Leave Committee.

 

Each request will be stamped with the time and day upon receipt by the Leave Pool Manager, and handled on a first-come, first-served basis. If the request is approved, leave may be granted beginning the day the request is received. 

 

If the request is approved, the Leave Pool Manager will credit the number of approved hours to the employee’s leave record as used, up to the approved limit. 

 

Any approved crisis leave is used and documented in accordance with the same procedures as regular paid leave taken by the employee.

 

The decision to approve or deny crisis leave by the Crisis Leave Committee is final. 

 

Change in Status Affecting Crisis Leave

 

The granting of crisis leave is meant to cover only the circumstances for which it was requested.  Employees on crisis leave will be required to submit a medical update confirming that the qualifying condition continues, at three week intervals. If any change occurs in the nature or severity of an illness or injury, or of any other factor on which the approval was based, the employee must provide documentation describing the change to the Leave Pool Manager.  The employee can request more crisis leave subject to the limits outlined above; however, extensions of crisis leave are not automatic.  Each extension must be approved on a first-come, first-served basis.  The employee, immediate supervisor, and the primary timekeeper will be notified accordingly.

 

Hours granted from the Crisis Leave Pool may be used only for reasons stipulated in the approved request.  The use of Crisis Leave Pool that is not in accordance with procedures and requirements outlined in this policy may constitute payroll fraud and will be dealt with accordingly.

 

Employees who are able to return to work before using all of their granted crisis leave must return the unused leave to the Crisis Leave Pool.

 

Employees who have a crisis leave balance upon termination will not be paid for the leave and will not receive retirement credit for the leave; the leave will be returned to the Crisis Leave Pool.

 

Compensation and Benefits

 

Crisis leave will be awarded hour-for-hour, regardless of the giving or receiving employee’s rate of pay.

 

An employee in crisis leave status will be considered in partial paid leave status and will continue to receive benefits as appropriate; the employee will not accrue leave.