TRS Leave Policy Documents/leave_policy.pdf · TRS Policy Leave Leave. Purpose . To provide TRS...

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Transcript of TRS Leave Policy Documents/leave_policy.pdf · TRS Policy Leave Leave. Purpose . To provide TRS...

  • TRS Policy Leave

    Leave

    Purpose

    To provide TRS employees leave time for events, such as holidays, or circumstances, such as recovering from illness or providing care to others.

    Applies To

    All TRS employees

    General Statement

    TRS provides employees with paid leave as detailed in this policy. If they meet the eligibility requirements, employees may also receive authorization to take unpaid leave, or leave without pay. Unscheduled leave may, in certain circumstances, result in corrective action.

    Definitions

    Immediate Family Member For sick leave, sick leave pool, and extended sick leave purposes, immediate family includes the following:

    • an individual who is related to the employee by kinship, adoption, or marriage and who resides in the employee’s household;

    • a foster child who is under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services, who is in the employee’s care, and who resides in the employee’s household;

    • a minor child of the employee, regardless of whether the child and employee reside in the same household; and

    • an individual who is the employee’s spouse, child, or parent and who requires care and assistance for a documented medical condition but who does not reside in the employee’s household.

    Licensed Medical Practitioner A licensed medical practitioner is a practitioner, as defined in the Texas Insurance Code, who is practicing within the scope of his or her license.

    Workplace Accommodations Coordinator The workplace accommodations coordinator is an employee in Human Resources (HR) who manages special leave, including sick leave pool, FMLA, extended sick leave, and workers’ compensation.

    Published: October 2017 1 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

  • Leave TRS Policy

    Work Hours and Holidays

    Work Hours TRS employees are expected to report to work at the appointed time and to work all their scheduled hours. Employees should notify their manager as soon as possible or in accordance with divisional standards if they are not going to be able to report to work at their appointed time.

    TRS’ regular work hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, unless the employee has permission or direction from his or her manager to work different hours.

    An employee may be required to work overtime or additional hours in certain circumstances. Employees who earn overtime in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act will receive overtime pay or FLSA Banked Overtime Comp for hours physically worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.

    Recording Time Worked and Leave Taken Each employee must accurately report his or her time worked and must account for all of his or her leave as directed in this policy.

    Employees should record all leave taken and time worked in 15-minute increments, as follows:

    Actual Time Worked or Leave Taken (in minutes) Record as (in minutes)

    0–7 0 (if infrequent)

    8–22 15

    23–37 30

    38–52 45

    53–67 60

    Failure to Accurately Report Leave An employee who falsifies a leave record or a manager who authorizes the falsification of a leave record may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.

    Alternative Work Schedules At the discretion of the employee’s manager and contingent upon TRS’ business needs, employees may have the option of working an alternative weekly work schedule (including compressed workweek and staggered work hours).

    An employee’s manager may change the employee’s work schedule at any time for business needs or for performance or behavioral issues.

    Version: 2017-01.00 2 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    Lunch and Breaks TRS generally provides employees unpaid time off for a lunch break during their scheduled work hours. Managers have authority to establish lunch and break times.

    A manager may authorize two compensated work breaks a day of up to 15 minutes, provided workload allows. Breaks are a privilege, not an entitlement. Employees may be called for service during work breaks.

    Training Time Participation in required training programs is considered hours worked.

    Voluntary training is considered hours worked only when TRS chooses to recognize such hours, whether or not TRS pays the tuition or sponsors the program. Managers are encouraged to recognize such hours if the training is job-related.

    Travel Time Travel time is considered hours worked while the employee is in transit between job-related sites or is in transit to attend work-related trainings, conferences, or meetings.

    Travel time is not considered hours worked when the employee is in transit between his or her home and regular duty location.

    Emergency Medical Attention The time an employee spends waiting for and receiving emergency medical attention is considered work time if it is for an occupational incurred injury or illness and occurs during the employee’s normal work hours and on days that the employee is working.

    Holidays TRS employees are entitled to a paid day off from work on national, state, and optional holidays observed by the state, provided the holiday does not fall on a Saturday or Sunday.

    If a holiday occurs while an employee is on paid leave, such as sick leave or vacation leave, the holiday time is substituted and the time is not deducted from the employee’s vacation or sick leave balances.

    If an employee is on paid leave before or after a holiday, the employee is paid for the holiday. If an employee is on unpaid leave for the entire day before or after a holiday, the employee is not paid for the holiday.

    Authorized Holidays For a list of the authorized national, state and optional holidays, see the Texas State Auditor’s Office website: http://www.hr.sao.texas.gov/Holidays/.

    The executive director may authorize additional office closures.

    Published: October 2017 3 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

    http://www.hr.sao.texas.gov/Holidays/http://www.hr.sao.texas.gov/Holidays/

  • Leave TRS Policy

    Holiday Time for Full- and Part-time Employees The amount of paid holiday time allowed for full-time and part-time employees is based on the percent of time worked. The following table provides examples:

    Percent of Time Worked Calculation of Holiday Time

    100 40 hours per week ÷ 5 = 8 hours of holiday time

    75 30 hours per week ÷ 5 = 6 hours of holiday time

    50 20 hours per week ÷ 5 = 4 hours of holiday time

    Holiday Time for Hourly Employees Hourly employees earn holiday time proportionate to the hours they work.

    Holiday Time for Employees Who Work Other than 8–5, Monday–Friday Employees who work hours other than 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, receive the same number of holidays as employees who work 8 to 5, Monday through Friday.

    Compensatory Time for Holidays Worked Employees who are required to work on national or state holidays observed by the state are entitled to compensatory time off. The amount of compensatory time accrued is equal to the amount of holiday time worked, not to exceed eight hours.

    The compensatory time earned must be taken before the end of the 12 months after the holiday. The employee must provide reasonable notice to management and get management approval before using compensatory time. The employee and manager must agree to the time off.

    Optional Holidays TRS employees are entitled to observe optional holidays, such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Good Friday, and Cesar Chavez Day, in lieu of skeleton crew holidays. The employee must agree to give up a skeleton crew holiday during the same fiscal year as the optional holiday. The employee’s manager must approve the substitution and ensure the employee works on the substituted holiday.

    New Hires and Holidays If an employee’s hire date falls on a state holiday, the employee will be compensated for the holiday only if he or she reports to work on the first workday following the holiday.

    Holidays and Employee Separation If an employee’s last day of employment falls on a state holiday, the employee is paid for the holiday only if he or she is in a paid status the day before the holiday.

    Version: 2017-01.00 4 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    Vacation Leave

    State employees are entitled to paid vacation leave. Vacation leave is time off for a vacation or to pursue other personal activities. An employee may not take vacation leave until he or she has been employed with the state of Texas for six continuous months. The six continuous months can be at any time during the employee’s lifetime. An employee may not use vacation leave before it has been accrued.

    Earning Vacation Leave Employees begin to accrue vacation leave on the first day of employment and on the first calendar day of each succeeding month of state employment. If an employee is on paid leave that extends from one month into the next month, the employee’s leave accrual will not be posted until the employee returns to work. This leave cannot be applied to cover any previous absences.

    Vacation Leave Accrual Rate The amount of vacation leave an employee accrues is determined by his or her length of state service and percent of time worked. Vacation leave accruals end on an employee’s last day of duty, which is an employee’s last physical day on the job.

    For a schedule of vacation leave accrual for full-time employees, see: https://www.trs.texas.gov/Pages/careers_benefits_vacation.aspx.

    Accrual Rates for Part-Time and Hourly Employees The accrual rates and maximum number of hours that can be carried forward into the next fiscal year for part-time and hourly employees are proportionate to those for full-time employees. The accrual rates and maximum carry-forward hours are based on total state service and the percentage of time worked.

    For example, an employee who has less than 2 years of state service and has always worked at 50 percent time accrues 4 hours of vacation leave per month (8 hours X .50 = 4 hours). The same employee can carry forward 90 hours into the next fiscal year (180 X.50 = 90 hours).

    Accrual Rates for Employees Changing from Full Time to Part Time An employee who changes from full-time to part-time status during the year will earn vacation leave consistent with the percent of time worked during each month of the year. Such an employee may carry forward into the next fiscal year an amount proportionate to his or her employment status as of August 31st.

    Vacation Leave Accruals for Rehired Retirees Rehired retirees who retired from state employment before June 1, 2005, accrue vacation leave at the same rate as they did immediately before retirement. Rehired retirees who retired on or after June 1, 2005, and who receive a state retirement

    Published: October 2017 5 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

    https://www.trs.texas.gov/Pages/careers_benefits_vacation.aspxhttps://www.trs.texas.gov/Pages/careers_benefits_vacation.aspx

  • Leave TRS Policy

    annuity accrue vacation leave based on their length of service earned after retirement.

    Total State Service Anniversary Date The rate at which an employee accrues vacation leave per month increases when the employee’s total length of state service reaches an anniversary date (e.g., the hours of vacation leave that an employee accrues per month increases from 8 to 9 hours after 2 years of state service and from 9 to 10 hours after 5 years of state service).

    When an employee’s anniversary date falls on the first day of the calendar month, the employee is credited for the higher rate on that day. When an employee’s anniversary date falls on any other day, the employee is credited for the higher rate on the first day of the following calendar month. When an employee’s anniversary date occurs during August, the employee may carry forward the higher amount of maximum hours into the next fiscal year.

    Vacation Leave and Sick Leave An employee may request a change in leave status if the employee or an immediate family member becomes ill while the employee is on vacation leave.

    Employees who use vacation leave in lieu of sick leave must provide the same documentation as they would if they were out for more than three consecutive working days. For additional information, see Required Documentation under Sick Leave.

    The employee must follow all provisions of the sick leave policy.

    Vacation Leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) An employee who is authorized for FMLA leave must exhaust all accrued vacation leave before going on unpaid leave during the authorized FMLA period, except when the employee is receiving temporary disability benefit payments or workers’ compensation benefits. See the Family and Medical Leave Act policy for more information.

    Vacation Leave and Parental Leave An employee who is authorized for parental leave must exhaust all accrued vacation leave before going on unpaid leave during the 12 weeks. See the Parental Leave policy for more information.

    Separation and Unused Vacation Leave When an employee who has completed six or more continuous months of state service separates from employment, the employee will be paid for any unused vacation leave unless he or she is employed by another state agency within 30 days of the separation. In that instance, the balance of the unused vacation leave will be transferred to the employing agency.

    Version: 2017-01.00 6 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    An employee may request to stay on the TRS’ payroll and exhaust all or part of his or her vacation leave balance rather than receive a lump sum for the total amount. TRS has discretion to grant or deny such a request.

    The estate of a deceased employee is entitled to payment for all accrued vacation leave, provided that all the requirements in Texas Government Code, Chapter 661, Subchapter B, are satisfied.

    Withholding from Lump Sum Payments for Vacation Leave TRS must defer making a lump sum payment for vacation leave if TRS has received an administrative writ of withholding for the enforcement of an existing child support order. TRS is required to notify the office of the attorney general (OAG) prior to issuing a lump sum payment to an employee of $500 or more when the agency has received an administrative writ of withholding in a Title IV-D case that requires an employee’s income be withheld for child support arrearages (Texas Family Code §158.215).

    TRS will not make a lump sum payment for vacation leave until TRS receives authorization from the OAG or until the 10th day after the date the agency made the notification, whichever occurs first.

    Questions regarding this notification should be directed to the Payroll Team.

    Requesting Vacation Leave Employee requests for vacation leave must be submitted to the employee’s manager in accordance with department standards. The manager may deny the request based on business necessity, unless the vacation leave requested is for a condition covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or workers’ compensation.

    A manager may require a non-exempt employee to use his or her FLSA overtime in lieu of requested vacation or state compensatory leave. However, the manager should not require this substitution if it would result in the employee’s loss of vacation leave due to fiscal yearend conversion into sick leave or state compensatory leave due to reaching 12-month expiration date.

    Unscheduled Leave

    Unscheduled leave occurs when an employee who has applicable leave balances is late or absent without prior approval. Unscheduled leave may be authorized or unauthorized depending on the circumstances.

    The following are examples of unscheduled leave use that may be addressed by counseling or discipline:

    • The employee frequently has unscheduled leave due to events that could have been avoided by prior planning or effective time management;

    Published: October 2017 7 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

  • Leave TRS Policy

    • The employee frequently has unscheduled leave that is not FMLA leave or approved as a workplace accommodation and results in performance problems, the reassignment of the employee’s work, or disruption in the workplace;

    • The employee has a pattern of unscheduled leave right before or after the weekend or holiday time off or on days of peak workload;

    • The employee calls in sick on a day for which his or her request to use vacation has already been denied;

    • The employee fails to report to duty at the scheduled time; and

    • The employee is frequently absent due to his or her own illness or the illness of a family member that is not covered by FMLA leave or supported by a medical provider’s note when required.

    If an employee is out three or more consecutive business days due to illness or for another medical reason, the employee must provide a statement from the employee’s medical provider indicating that the employee has been released to return to work. This statement must be provided to the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR.

    Exceptions to this policy can be made on a case-by-case basis by the executive director or his or her designee. The manager should contact Human Resources if the manager feels that an exception is warranted.

    No medical information should be retained outside of Human Resources. Employees should limit the information provided to managers when reporting leave due to medical reasons. Employees need only report that they are out for personal illness or for FMLA reasons. Specifics about the illness should not be shared with the manager.

    Dock Status An employee who is absent from work and has no applicable leave balance is in a leave without pay (LWOP) dock status. An employee in dock status will not be paid for the number of hours he or she is in dock status.

    An unauthorized absence resulting in dock status may subject the employee to corrective action, up to and including termination from employment.

    Job Abandonment An employee who is absent from work for three consecutive workdays without contacting his or her manager regarding the reason for the absence is considered to have abandoned the job and is subject to immediate termination of employment.

    An employee who fails to return to work on the first workday following the end of an approved leave period is considered to have abandoned the job and is subject to immediate termination of employment.

    Job abandonment constitutes a voluntary resignation on the employee’s part and will be coded accordingly.

    Human Resources, in consultation with the employee’s management, may make individual exceptions to this policy based on extenuating circumstances or may consider requests for

    Version: 2017-01.00 8 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    reinstatement by an employee on a case-by-case basis. In no way shall this policy be construed to deprive an employee of rights under the FMLA, ADA, or any other federal or state law.

    Violations Violations of TRS or division attendance, work hours, or leave policies may result in corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.

    If a manager suspects an employee of abusing leave, the manager should contact the Employee Relations staff in Human Resources for advice and additional information.

    Leave Without Pay

    Leave without pay (LWOP) is an unpaid absence from work. It can be either authorized or unauthorized leave. The executive director or designee may grant employees LWOP not to exceed 12 months. Subject to fiscal constraints, authorization of LWOP constitutes a guarantee of employment at the conclusion of the specified leave period.

    The executive director or his or her designee may grant exceptions to the LWOP limitations if the employee is taking the leave for a reason such as to work for another state governmental entity under an interagency agreement or for educational purposes.

    Repeated unauthorized use of LWOP by an employee is considered an inappropriate use of leave and may result in corrective action, up to and including termination.

    Exhausting Paid Leave All applicable paid leave must be used before going on LWOP status. The following exceptions apply:

    • military leave without pay • leave covered by workers’ compensation benefits • disciplinary suspensions • sick leave*

    *Sick leave may be used only if the employee is taking leave for which sick leave is appropriate.

    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exempt Employees and LWOP When an FLSA-exempt employee is on LWOP for personal reasons, the employee’s pay is deducted for the actual amount of time off. When an FLSA-exempt employee receives a disciplinary suspension, the LWOP is deducted in increments of full workdays. During the suspension, the employee is not permitted to use vacation leave, sick leave, compensatory leave, or other paid leaves and is not paid for holidays.

    Published: October 2017 9 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

  • Leave TRS Policy

    Family and Medical Leave Act and LWOP An employee on FMLA leave who has exhausted applicable accrued paid leave may be placed on LWOP for the remainder of the 12-week period of FMLA.

    Emergency Leave and LWOP An employee who is on LWOP is not eligible for emergency leave.

    Group Insurance and LWOP An employee on authorized LWOP may maintain group insurance by paying the total monthly premium, except with cases involving FMLA. For more information on group insurance and FMLA, see the Health Insurance Benefits While on Family Medical Leave section of the TRS Family and Medical Leave Act policy.

    State Service and Leave Accruals While on LWOP If an employee is on LWOP for a full calendar month, that month is not counted toward the employee’s longevity pay, state service, or vacation and sick leave accruals. If an employee is on LWOP for a full or partial month, the LWOP time does not constitute a break in service.

    This provision does not apply to members of the state military forces or reserve branches of the armed forces of the United States who were called to active duty and who are returning to employment from military leave without pay.

    Requesting LWOP LWOP requests must be authorized by the department manager, chief officer, HR director, and the executive director or his or her designee. Employees must contact the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR to initiate the process.

    Extension of LWOP Employees requesting an extension of LWOP must seek prior approval from their department manager. Employees or their department manager must contact the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR to initiate the extension process. The total duration of LWOP may not exceed 12 months.

    Sick Leave

    Sick leave is an employee benefit that, under certain conditions, allows for a paid absence from work.

    Sick Leave Accrual and Use An employee accrues and is eligible to use sick leave beginning on the first day of employment. Thereafter, an employee accrues sick leave on the first day of the calendar

    Version: 2017-01.00 10 of 33 Published: October 2017

    http://home/HR_Documents/Family%20and%20Medical%20Leave%20Act.pdf

  • TRS Policy Leave

    month. The employee is not required to complete six months of continuous state service before using accrued sick leave. An employee who is on leave the first day of the month may not use that month’s accrual until he or she returns to duty. Sick leave accrual ends on the last duty day of state employment. The last duty day is the employee’s last physical day on the job.

    An employee may use accrued sick leave for:

    • a personal illness or injury; • appointments with medical practitioners; • pregnancy-related illness; • physician-prescribed confinement due to complications with a pregnancy; • the care of an eligible immediate family member who is ill; • the adoption of a child who is less than three years old; and • educational activities (see Sick Leave and Educational Activities under Sick Leave).

    An employee who has a pattern of using sick leave on Mondays or Fridays may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.

    Use of Sick Leave for Family Members Not in Employee’s Household The use of sick leave for immediate family members not residing in the employee’s household is strictly limited to the time necessary to provide such care and assistance. The workplace accommodations coordinator may request documentation of the family member’s medical condition from the employee before approving sick leave. However, if the disease or condition is chronic or terminal, documentation is not required for each use of sick leave.

    Sick Leave Accrual Rate Full-time employees accrue eight hours of sick leave per month.

    Part-time employees accrue sick leave at a rate proportionate to full-time employees. The percentage of time that the part-time employee worked is used to calculate his or her accrued hours.

    Hours Carried Forward The employee’s unused sick leave balance is carried forward each month throughout employment. There is no limit to the amount of sick leave that can be accrued or carried forward into the next fiscal year.

    Sick Leave and Holidays If an employee is on sick leave during an authorized state holiday, no hours for that day are subtracted from the employee’s sick leave balance

    Published: October 2017 11 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

  • Leave TRS Policy

    Sick Leave and Educational Activities Employees who have children attending pre-kindergarten through 12th grade may use up to eight hours of sick leave each fiscal year to attend their children’s educational activities.

    Examples of educational activities:

    • a school-sponsored activity, including a parent-teacher conference • tutoring • a volunteer program • a field trip • a classroom program • a school committee meeting • an academic competition • an athletic, music, or theater program

    Sick Leave and Workers’ Compensation Employees who are drawing workers’ compensation benefits may retain or use accrued sick leave. If an employee uses sick leave, the employee is not entitled to workers’ compensation income benefits until the employee has exhausted all accrued sick leave.

    An employee who elects to retain sick leave balances while on leave without pay may not use sick leave accruals until returning to duty.

    Sick Leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) An employee who is authorized for FML leave must exhaust all accrued sick leave (and any additional TRS provided benefits) before going on unpaid leave during the authorized FML period, except for the birth of a child or when the employee is receiving temporary disability benefit payments or workers’ compensation benefits. See the Family and Medical Leave Act policy for more information.

    Sick Leave and the Birth of a Child Employees authorized for parental leave or FML leave for the birth of a child must exhaust all accrued sick leave, when sick leave is appropriate, before going on unpaid leave during the 12 weeks. See the Parental Leave policy and Family and Medical Leave Act policy for more information.

    Sick Leave Pool Donations Donations to the sick leave pool (SLP) are strictly voluntary.

    Any employee may donate an unlimited amount of accrued sick leave hours to the SLP in increments of eight hours, as long as the donation does not cause the employee’s sick leave balance to fall below 80 hours.

    Employees interested in donating hours to the pool must submit the Sick Leave Contribution form (PER 35) to the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    Version: 2017-01.00 12 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    An employee who donates accrued sick leave to the SLP may reclaim the leave donated if the employee exhausts his or her sick leave balance because of a catastrophic illness or injury. The number of hours returned is limited to the number of hours donated during the same fiscal year. A written request must be made to the workplace accommodations coordinator prior to exhausting all accrued sick leave.

    As stated in Emergency Leave, sick leave donated to the SLP for purposes of obtaining emergency leave may not be reclaimed.

    Employees may donate their entire sick leave balance to the SLP at the time of separation from state employment. Hours donated to the SLP at the time of separation are considered used and are not restored if the individual is subsequently re-employed by a state agency.

    Donation of Sick Leave to an Employee An employee may donate any amount of the employee’s accrued sick leave to another employee who:

    • is employed in the same state agency as the donor employee; and • has exhausted the employee’s sick leave, including any time that the individual may be

    eligible to withdraw from a sick leave pool.

    An employee may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for a sick leave donation. An employee who receives donated sick leave under this section may not:

    • Use sick leave donated to the employee except as provided under the Sick Leave Accrual and Use section; or

    • Notwithstanding any other law, receive service credit in the Employees Retirement System of Texas for any sick leave donated to the employee that is unused on the last day of that employee’s employment.

    Employees interested in donating hours to another employee must submit the Sick Leave Contribution form (PER 35) to the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    Sick Leave Balance Restoration An employee who terminates employment as a result of a reduction in force shall have his or her sick leave balances restored (excluding any hours that were donated to the Sick Leave Pool at the time of termination) if re-employed by the state within 12 months.

    Employees who terminate employment with the state for other reasons are entitled to have their sick leave balance restored if:

    • re-employed by the same state agency or institution of higher education within 12 months after termination, but only if there has been a break in employment with the state of at least 30 calendar days; or

    • re-employed by a different state agency or institution of higher education within 12 months after termination.

    Published: October 2017 13 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

  • Leave TRS Policy

    Sick Leave and Employee’s Death The estate of a deceased employee is entitled to payment of half of the employee’s accumulated sick leave or 336 hours, whichever is less, provided that the requirements in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 661, Subchapter B, are satisfied.

    Sick Leave and Other Paid Leave An employee who uses other appropriate paid leave in lieu of sick leave must provide documentation to the workplace accommodations coordinator if the employee is out for more than three consecutive working days. Requests are authorized at the discretion of management in consultation with Human Resources.

    The employee must comply with all sick leave provisions.

    Sick Leave Notification An employee who will be absent from duty because of illness must notify his or her manager as soon as possible or in accordance with divisional standards. If absent for more than one day, the employee should notify the manager, in accordance with division/department procedures, of his or her status each morning, unless other arrangements are made.

    Employees must give their managers at least a 24-hour notice of their intent to use sick leave for:

    • nonemergency medical appointments; or • a parent-teacher conference.

    Required Documentation An employee who is absent for more than three consecutive work days because of illness must provide a doctor’s medical documentation to the workplace accommodations coordinator. Management, in consultation with HR, may also require medical documentation or some other written statement for sick leave taken during a continuous period of three or fewer working days.

    Human Resources may require a return-to-work note when an employee has had to seek immediate medical attention while at work (e.g., the employee was escorted to the hospital).

    TRS Membership Service Credit A retiring employee who is a TRS member may be eligible to purchase one year of TRS membership service credit. General eligibility requirements for purchase of this service credit are described in the TRS Service Credit brochure.

    Version: 2017-01.00 14 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    Sick Leave Pool

    Sick leave pool (SLP) is a bank of donated sick leave hours used to support employees who suffer a catastrophic illness or injury or who care for immediate family members who suffer a catastrophic illness or injury. Leave from the SLP allows eligible employees to continue receiving their pay when all accrued leave balances are exhausted and the employees would otherwise be placed on leave without pay.

    Definitions Catastrophic illness or injury: a severe condition or combination of conditions that:

    • affects the mental or physical health of the employee or an immediate family member of the employee and is potentially life threatening;

    • requires the services of a licensed medical practitioner for a prolonged period; and • forces the employee to exhaust all earned leave time and lose state compensation.

    Examples of catastrophic illness or injury include:

    • stroke with residual paralysis or weakness • severe heart attack • major surgery (for example, heart bypass surgery) • cancer-related surgery or treatments • potentially fatal tumors • amputations

    Eligibility With the exception of the executive director, an employee may apply for the SLP if the employee or the employee’s immediate family member suffers a catastrophic illness or injury.

    To be eligible for leave from the SLP, the employee must have:

    • successfully completed his or her new employee probationary period; • had a leave balance of 80 hours (based on any combination of leave types) on the date

    the event arose or on the diagnosis date of a new or reoccurring condition (40 hours if the employee has less than one year of state service);

    • exhausted all available leave before SLP hours are granted; • no documented evidence of abuse of leave within the past 12 months; • no second- or

    third-level corrective actions within the last 12 months; and • provided acceptable medical documentation.

    Published: October 2017 15 of 33 Version: 2017-01.00

  • Leave TRS Policy

    Maximum Amount of Hours Awarded The maximum number of SLP hours allowed for full-time employees per catastrophic event is based on length of continuous state service:

    Length of State Service Maximum Benefit (in hours)*

    Six months but less than two years 40

    Two years but less than three years 80

    Three years but less than four years 120

    Four years but less than five years 240

    Five years but less than 10 years 480

    10 years or more 720

    *When an employee’s maximum benefit is calculated, hours previously awarded are deducted from the total hours available based on length of continuous state service. Exceptions can be made at the executive director’s discretion.

    To determine the number of hours awarded, the workplace accommodations coordinator considers the:

    • current balance of the SLP1; • maximum number of hours for which an employee is eligible based on length of

    continuous state service; and • number of hours needed based on medical documentation provided.

    Maximum Hours for Part-Time and Hourly Employees Part-time salaried employees and hourly employees can request leave from the SLP at a rate in proportion to full-time employees. For part-time employees, the rate is based on the percent of time worked. For hourly employees, the rate is based on the average hours worked each month over the previous six consecutive months.

    1 An employee may not receive sick leave in excess of one-third of the total time in the pool or 90 days, whichever is less.

    Version: 2017-01.00 16 of 33 Published: October 2017

  • TRS Policy Leave

    Requesting Leave from the SLP To request hours from the SLP, employees should submit a Special Leave Request form (TRS116) to their manager. Before HR can process the request, the signed TRS116 form and the following documentation must be sent to the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR:

    • Family and Medical Leave Act Certification of Health Care Provider form (obtained from the workplace accommodations coordinator)

    • Supplemental Medical Certification form (PER40)

    IMPORTANT: Employees must submit medical documentation directly to the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR.

    The workplace accommodations coordinator will notify employees in writing whether their request was authorized or denied and, if authorized, the amount of hours granted. Unused hours are returned to the SLP.

    Avoiding Pay Loss To avoid leave without pay, employees should submit requests to use leave from the SLP to the workplace accommodations coordinator at least five workdays before their accrued leave is exhausted.

    Confidentiality of Medical Information As required by law, the workplace accommodations coordinator maintains all employee medical records in confidential files separate from employee personnel files.

    All medical documentation must be sent to the workplace accommodations coordinator. No medical documentation may be kept in department/division files. Medical documentation must be submitted in a confidential manner to the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    Effective Date of SLP Awards If awarded, SLP hours become effective on the date the employee enters unpaid leave status. The workplace accommodations coordinator tracks employee use of SLP hours following the effective date of award.

    Unless the workplace accommodations coordinator determines that an administrative error has been made, awards will not be made retroactive by more than 30 days prior to the date that the coordinator received the request.

    Continuous or Intermittent Use An employee may continuously or intermittently use, based upon medical documentation, leave from the SLP.

    An employee who needs to use the SLP hours intermittently must use all currently accrued leave before using the remainder of leave from the SLP.

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    Leave Accrual While on SLP Leave Employees using leave from the SLP continue to earn vacation leave and sick leave. Accrued leave is not credited to the employee’s leave balances until the employee returns to duty.

    Separation and Leave from the SLP Employees who separate from employment for any reason while using leave from the SLP are not entitled to have accrued leave or unused SLP hours paid or credited to them.

    In the event of the death of an employee who is using SLP hours, no payment for unused SLP hours will be made to the estate of the deceased employee.

    Return of Unused SLP Leave Unused SLP hours must be returned to the pool if the:

    • employee or the employee’s immediate family member is fully released by the practitioner;

    • employee or the employee’s immediate family member is deceased; or • employee terminates employment.

    Additional Requests If an employee uses less SLP hours than his or her maximum benefit, the employee may request the remaining hours from the pool for the same or a new catastrophic event. For calculations of maximum benefit, see the Maximum Amount of Hours Awarded section under Sick Leave Pool.

    To request additional hours, the employee must contact the workplace accommodations coordinator. If the employee is medically unable to request additional hours, an immediate family member may make the request. Supporting medical documentation from the treating practitioner may be required when re-evaluating the number of hours awarded for an existing condition. Medical documentation is required if the employee, or an employee’s immediate family member, suffers from a new qualifying catastrophic illness.

    When possible, the request for additional hours should be made five workdays before the original SLP hours are exhausted. There is no automatic right or guarantee that a request for additional hours will be authorized.

    SLP and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) SLP hours are counted against the 12 weeks allowed under FMLA unless the employee’s FMLA entitlement has been exhausted.

    SLP and Workers’ Compensation Employees cannot receive paid leave from the SLP while receiving workers’ compensation income benefits.

    If an employee is awarded leave from the SLP for an injury or illness covered by workers’ compensation, the employee should consult the workplace accommodations coordinator.

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    Release to Return to Work Before returning to work, an employee who has been granted SLP for his or her own catastrophic illness must provide the workplace accommodations coordinator with a release from the employee’s treating physician or licensed medical practitioner authorizing the employee to return to work. The release must include sufficient information to allow the workplace accommodations coordinator to make a determination that the employee can perform the essential functions of the position. An employee taking leave to care for an immediate family member is not required to submit a release to return to work.

    Donations to the SLP Donations to the SLP are strictly voluntary. For information regarding SLP donations, see the Sick Leave Pool Donations section under Sick Leave.

    Extended Sick Leave

    Extended sick leave (ESL) is additional paid leave above and beyond the sick leave actually earned by an employee. ESL may be granted to an employee who has a serious health condition or who needs time away from work to care for an immediate family member who has a serious health condition.

    When the situation qualifies, the employee should request ESL after having requested and exhausted leave from the SLP.

    Eligibility To be eligible for ESL, an employee must have:

    • been employed with TRS for at least one year since his or her most recent hire date; • had a combined leave balance of 80 hours on the date the event arose or on the

    diagnosis date of a new or reoccurring condition; • exhausted all available leave, including any leave from the SLP, if applicable; • no documented evidence of abuse of leave within the last 12 months; • no second- or third-level corrective actions within the last 12 months; • provided acceptable medical documentation; and • not exhausted his or her available ESL balance within the last three years.

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    Maximum Amount of Hours Awarded The maximum number of ESL hours allowed for full-time employees is based on years of continuous TRS service:

    Years of TRS Service Maximum Benefit (in hours)*

    One year but less than two years 80

    Two years but less than three years 120

    Three years but less than four years 240

    Four years or more 480

    *When an employee’s maximum benefit is calculated, hours previously awarded are deducted from the total hours available based on length of continuous TRS service. Exceptions can be made at the executive director’s discretion.

    ESL awards for salaried part-time and hourly employees are prorated.

    To determine the number of hours awarded, the workplace accommodations coordinator considers:

    • the maximum number of hours for which an employee is eligible based on years of continuous TRS service;

    • the number of hours needed based on medical documentation provided; and • whether the employee has exhausted his or her available ESL balance within the last

    three years.

    Requesting ESL To request ESL hours, employees should submit a Special Leave Request form (TRS116) to their manager. Before HR can process the request, the signed TRS116 form and the Family and Medical Leave Act Certification of Health Care Provider form must be sent to the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR. The Certification of Health Care Provider form can be obtained from the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    IMPORTANT: Employees must submit medical documentation directly to the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR.

    The workplace accommodations coordinator will notify employees in writing whether their request was authorized or denied and, if authorized, the amount of hours granted. Unused ESL hours are removed from the employee’s ESL balance.

    Confidentiality of Medical Information As required by law, the workplace accommodations coordinator maintains all employee medical records in confidential files separate from employee personnel files.

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    All medical documentation must be sent to the workplace accommodations coordinator. No medical documentation may be kept in department/division files. Medical documentation must be submitted in a confidential manner to the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    Avoiding Pay Loss To avoid leave without pay, employees should submit requests to use ESL leave to the workplace accommodations coordinator at least five workdays before their accrued leave or SLP hours are exhausted.

    Approval Authority ESL leave is granted at the discretion of the executive director or designee in consultation with the HR director.

    Effective Date of ESL Awards If awarded, ESL hours become effective on the date the employee enters unpaid leave status. The workplace accommodations coordinator tracks employee use of ESL hours following the effective date of the award.

    Unless the workplace accommodations coordinator determines that an administrative error has been made, awards will not be made retroactive by more than 30 days prior to the date the coordinator received the request.

    Leave Accrual While on ESL Employees on ESL continue to earn vacation leave and sick leave. Accrued leave is not credited to the employee’s leave balances until the employee returns to duty.

    Separation and ESL Employees who separate from employment for any reason while on ESL are not entitled to have accrued leave or any unused ESL hours paid or credited to them. Additionally, if an employee returns to TRS, the employee re-establishes eligibility for ESL once he or she reaches one year of continuous TRS service.

    In the event of the death of an employee who is using ESL hours, no payment for unused ESL hours will be made to the estate of the deceased employee.

    ESL and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ESL hours are counted against the 12 weeks allowed under FMLA unless the employee’s FMLA entitlement is exhausted.

    ESL and Workers’ Compensation Employees cannot use ESL while receiving Workers’ Compensation income benefits.

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    If an employee is awarded ESL for an injury or illness covered by workers’ compensation, the employee should consult the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    Release to Return to Work Before returning to work, an employee who has been granted ESL for his or her own illness must provide the workplace accommodations coordinator with a release from the employee’s treating physician or licensed medical practitioner authorizing the employee to return to work. The release must include sufficient information to allow the workplace accommodations coordinator to make a determination that the employee can perform the essential functions of the position. An employee taking leave to care for an immediate family member is not required to submit a release to return to work.

    Medical and Mental Health Care Leave for Certain Veterans

    Employees who are veterans may receive up to 15 days of paid leave each fiscal year to obtain medical or mental health care, including physical rehabilitation, administered by the Veterans’ Health Administration of the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

    Eligible veterans are those who served in:

    • the army, navy, air force, coast guard, or marine corps of the United States; or

    • the Texas National Guard,

    and who are eligible for health benefits under a program administered by the Veterans’ Health Administration of the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

    The executive director has the discretion to grant additional days of leave as appropriate for the requesting employee.

    To request medical and mental health care leave under this provision, contact the Workplace Accommodations Coordinator.

    Emergency Leave

    At the discretion of the executive director or his designee, emergency leave may be granted to an employee who requests leave for a good cause. The employee must show good cause for the leave and intend to return to his or her position at the conclusion of the leave period to be eligible. Employees who are on emergency leave are in a paid leave status.

    Reasons for emergency leave include:

    • a death in the employee’s family;

    • a National Guard emergency;

    • military leave during a national emergency;

    • time off (up to five days) for a volunteer firefighter or emergency medical service volunteer to attend training conducted by a state agency or an institution of higher education; and

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    • time off to care for or assist an ill or injured person who is a member of the employee’s household. A person in the employee’s household means an individual who is not defined in state law as family but who resides in the same household and with whom the employee is cohabitating.

    If an employee is granted emergency leave to care for a household member who does not meet the state law definition of family, the employee must comply with the Sick Leave policy and will be required to donate an equivalent amount of sick leave to the sick leave pool. In this circumstance, sick leave donated to the SLP cannot be reclaimed. If the employee has donated all the sick leave to which he or she is entitled and additional leave is needed, the employee may be granted additional emergency leave in accordance with the standards included in the Sick Leave Pool policy. The amount of emergency leave granted in excess of the employee’s donated leave reduces the amount of leave available for the employee’s use from the sick leave pool on an hour-for-hour basis.

    The executive director may, in his discretion, grant emergency leave to close the agency due to weather conditions or in observance of a holiday.

    TRS must report annually to the comptroller the name and position of each employee granted more than 32 hours of emergency leave in the prior fiscal year. This report must include the reason for the leave and the total amount of leave granted.

    Leave During Investigation The executive director or his or her designee may authorize the use of leave to remove an employee from the workplace pending the outcome of an investigation that could result in corrective action against the employee. An employee who is the subject of an investigation is otherwise ineligible for emergency leave.

    The executive director may also grant leave to an employee who is a victim or witness to an act or event that is the subject of an investigation, pending the outcome of the investigation, as appropriate.

    Leave Accruals While on Emergency Leave An employee continues to accrue vacation and sick leave while on emergency leave, but the accruals are not credited to the employee’s leave balance until the date the employee returns to duty.

    Employees do not accrue vacation and sick leave while on leave without pay if they are out for a full calendar month.

    Requesting Emergency Leave To request emergency leave, employees should submit a Special Leave Request form (TRS116) to their manager. Before HR can process the request, the signed TRS116 form and any other documentation as required by the type of emergency leave must be sent to the workplace accommodations coordinator in HR.

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    If an employee is unable to complete the form, his or her manager should contact the workplace accommodations coordinator, who will complete and submit the form on the employee’s behalf.

    Except for unforeseen emergencies, special leave should be requested in advance of the event.

    Emergency Bereavement Leave TRS may grant emergency leave to an employee for the death of a:

    • family member; • TRS co-worker or former TRS co-worker; or • person in the employee’s household who is not defined in state law as family but who

    resides in the same household and with whom the employee is cohabitating.

    A family member is a person related to the employee either by blood or current marriage, including:

    • a spouse • a parent (including in loco parentis — role of the parent) • a child • a sibling • a grandparent • a grandchild

    Amount of Leave Authorized for Family Death An employee may take up to 24 hours (three business days) of emergency leave for the death of a family member. Up to 40 hours may be granted at the discretion of the executive director or his or her designee if the funeral or memorial service is more than 300 miles from the employee’s home or if there are other extenuating circumstances. The executive director has the discretion to make exceptions.

    Additional time is not granted for employees to wrap up the affairs of an estate. An employee may request to use other accrued leave for this purpose, as appropriate.

    The leave for salaried part-time and hourly employees is prorated.

    Current or Former Employee The executive director or designee may grant up to four hours of emergency leave to employees to allow them to attend the funeral of a current or former TRS employee. Time is not granted for employees to attend services for relatives of current or former employees. An employee may request to use other accrued leave, as appropriate, to attend the funeral services of relatives not listed under Emergency Bereavement Leave or of friends.

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    Request for Bereavement Leave Information necessary for TRS to verify the death and funeral services (e.g., an obituary, newspaper clipping, death certificate, or funeral program) must accompany the Special Leave Request form (TRS116).

    When emergency leave is granted for the funeral or memorial service of a co-worker or former co-worker, the TRS116 form is not required and instructions for coding time will be provided.

    Military Leave Employees are eligible for leave to accommodate:

    • authorized training or duty for the state’s military forces, members of any reserve branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and members of a state or federally authorized urban search-and-rescue team;

    • activation of the state’s National Guard by the governor; or • national emergency activation for members of a reserve branch of the U.S. armed

    forces.

    Paid Military Leave An employee who is called to active duty or authorized training is entitled to a leave of absence of 15 workdays in a federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) without loss of pay or benefits. The 15 days does not have to be consecutive.

    If a holiday occurs while an employee is on military leave, the employee receives holiday pay and the holiday pay is not counted against the 15 workdays.

    Unused leave carries over to the next federal fiscal year, but the total amount must not exceed 45 workdays.

    After exhausting the 15 workdays, the employee may use applicable accrued paid leave or be placed in a leave without pay status (or a combination of the two for the remainder of the active duty period).

    State Active Duty If an employee who is a member of the National Guard is called to active duty by the governor because of a state emergency, the employee:

    • is entitled to receive unlimited leave with full salary (paid emergency leave);

    • earns vacation and sick leave during that time (but is ineligible to use the earned leave until after returning to work); and

    • does not have to use vacation or the 15 workdays of paid military leave.

    Federal Active Duty An employee called to federal active duty during a national emergency is entitled to:

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    • an unpaid leave of absence after exhausting the 15 workdays of paid military leave;

    • use any accrued vacation leave, compensatory time, or overtime leave to maintain benefits for himself or herself or his or her dependents while on military duty; and

    • receive differential pay, if eligible.

    If an employee is a member of the National Guard and is called to federal active duty to provide assistance to civil authorities in a declared emergency or training for that purpose, the employee is entitled to additional paid emergency leave of up to 22 workdays without loss of other military leave or vacation leave.

    Differential Pay An employee called to active duty during a national emergency may be entitled to differential pay.

    Differential pay is emergency leave granted to an employee if the employee’s military gross pay is less than the employee’s state gross pay.

    The combination of differential pay and military pay may not exceed the employee’s actual state gross pay. Military pay does not include money the employee receives:

    • for service in a combat zone; • as hardship pay; or • for being separated from the employee’s family.

    To receive differential pay, the employee must submit the military leave and earnings statement each month to the TRS Payroll Team to verify continued eligibility.

    Entitlements Employees called to active duty with state military forces, a reserve branch of the U.S. armed forces, or a state or federally authorized urban search-and-rescue team are also entitled to:

    • retain any accrued vacation and sick leave and be credited with these leave balances upon return to state employment;

    • receive state service credit for the time spent on active duty in the military for the purpose of retirement, longevity pay, and vacation and sick leave entitlement; and

    • return, when relieved from active duty, to the position held when they were ordered to duty or to return to another position of like-seniority, status, and pay.

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    Option to Use Vacation or Compensatory Leave An employee on military leave may elect, but cannot be required, to use any accrued vacation leave or earned compensatory leave in lieu of being placed on leave without pay.

    Work Schedule Adjustment To facilitate participation in military duties, the manager of an employee who is a member of the state military forces or a reserve branch of the U.S. armed forces must adjust the employee’s work schedule so that two of the employee’s non-workdays per month coincide with two days of military duty.

    Notification and Process The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) requires service members to provide written or verbal notice to their employers for military duty unless giving notice is impossible, unreasonable, or precluded by military necessity.

    When reasonable and not precluded by military necessity, employees should submit with the Special Leave Request form (TRS116) a copy of military orders ordering them to active duty or a written notification of their order to active duty. The written notification should include the reporting date and estimated ending date, if known.

    Benefits An employee called to active duty must be provided with information on:

    • health coverage for the employee and covered family members during his or her absence;

    • all paid leave balances; • paid leave entitlement for state military forces who are called to state

    active duty by the governor; and • re-employment rights.

    An employee who has been employed with the state for less than 60 days is not eligible for health coverage.

    Leave Without Pay Employees called to active duty may be placed in a leave without pay status for a period not to exceed the period of active duty.

    The 12-month limit placed on leave without pay does not apply to employees on active duty.

    Employees who are on active duty with the state or federal military continue to accrue vacation and sick leave while on leave without pay.

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    Re-employment Rights As provided by the USERRA, an employee may have re-employment rights upon completion of the service if the employee:

    • is not a temporary employee; and • gives notice that he or she is resigning employment to enter directly into

    the uniformed services for a period of five years or less.

    Uniformed services include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services. Federal training or service in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard are also covered under USERRA.

    An employee who goes on leave of absence to enter active military service is entitled to be re-employed:

    • by the TRS; • in the same department and office in which the employee was employed

    at the time he or she was inducted, enlisted, ordered to active military service; and

    • in the same position held or in a position of similar seniority, status, and pay.

    This provision applies if the veteran:

    • is physically and mentally qualified to perform the required duty; • was honorably discharged within five years of beginning military service;

    and • contacts HR within the established time limits for reporting back to work

    following discharge.

    EXCEPTION: Under USERRA, the TRS does not have to re-employ a veteran if the TRS’ circumstances have significantly changed so that re-employment would be impossible, unreasonable, or present an undue hardship. For example, an employee’s position is eliminated by a reduction-in-force while the employee is on the leave of absence.

    An employee who is restored to a position upon returning from military service is considered to have been on leave of absence during his or her federal or state military service.

    Time Limits The time limits for returning to work under USERRA depend upon the duration of the employee’s military service. The employee must submit a written request for reemployment to HR and provide evidence of discharge/release from service under honorable conditions. The applicable time limits are as follows:

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    If service was for… then employee must…

    less than 31 days report to work by the beginning of the first regularly scheduled workday that falls eight hours after the end of the calendar day on which the period of service was completed. If, through no fault of the employee, reporting is not possible, the employee must report as soon as possible.

    31 to 180 days submit a written request to HR no later than 14 days after the completion of the period of service. If, through no fault of the employee, submitting the request is not possible, the employee must submit the request as soon as possible.

    181 days submit a written request to HR no later than 90 days after the completion of the period of service.

    The deadlines for returning to work or contacting HR are extended for up to two years for those employees who are hospitalized or convalescing because of a disability incurred or aggravated during the period of military service.

    Dismissal Following Re-employment A re-employed veteran may not be dismissed from his or her position without cause for:

    • one year after the date of re-employment if the employee served 181 days or more; or

    • six months after the date of re-employment if the employee served 31 to 180 days.

    Miscellaneous Paid Leave State employees are entitled to additional time off without a deduction in salary or accrued leave to:

    • fulfill jury duty; • vote in national, state, and local elections; • attend certain specialized training; • perform certain foster parent duties; • serve as a bone marrow or organ donor; and • donate blood.

    Additionally, the executive director or designee may grant eligible employees time off without a deduction in salary or accrued leave to respond to emergency situations and to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross.

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    Voting TRS encourages employees to vote before or after work hours when possible. Employees who are not able to vote before or after work hours are allowed sufficient time off without a deduction in salary or accrued leave.

    To minimize work disruption, employees are encouraged to take advantage of available early voting.

    Jury Duty Employees are granted a paid leave of absence for jury duty or grand jury duty. An employee called to jury duty:

    • on a regularly scheduled workday receives paid leave for the hour served, including reasonable time to travel to and from the court;

    • on a regularly scheduled day off does not receive compensatory leave for the number of hours served on jury duty that day;

    • on an authorized state or national holiday will not receive compensatory leave for the number of hours served on jury duty that day; or

    • while he or she is on unpaid leave status is not granted paid leave or compensatory leave for the number of hours served on jury duty.

    If an employee is serving jury duty or grand jury duty for less than one day, the employee must submit with the Special Leave Request form (TRS116) the summons as support for his or her absence. If the employee is serving for one day or more, he or she must submit a statement from the court documenting the length of the jury service. All documentation must be submitted to the workplace accommodations coordinator.

    Employees do not need to report any fees or compensation that they accepted while serving jury duty.

    Witness Leave The executive director or designee may authorize emergency leave for employees who are subpoenaed as a witness in a civil or criminal court proceeding.

    Witness leave may be granted as follows:

    • An employee’s time when called to appear in a court proceeding as an official representative of TRS is counted as time worked.

    • An employee testifying as an expert witness but not as an official representative of TRS must use accrued leave or compensatory time whenever the employee will be paid for those services.

    • An employee subpoenaed to testify in court proceedings on matters that are not directly related to TRS’ business may receive emergency leave for the absence provided that the employee ▪ is not the plaintiff, defendant, or named party in the litigation; ▪ does not receive a fee for the testimony; and

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    ▪ provides a copy of the subpoena to the manager for authorization of paid leave.

    Emergency leave for witness duty is granted for eligible employees under the same conditions as jury duty or grand jury duty.

    Employees in an unofficial capacity and on personal leave (subpoenaed or not) may accept fees for witness duty.

    Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Volunteers An employee who is a volunteer firefighter or emergency medical services volunteer is entitled to paid leave of up to five workdays in a fiscal year to attend fire services or emergency medical services training conducted by state agencies or institutions of higher education.

    An employee who is a volunteer firefighter or an emergency medical services volunteer may also be granted up to five workdays of paid leave per fiscal year to respond to emergency fire or medical situations. The executive director or designee may grant additional leave to fight fires or respond to emergency medical situations. This leave is not charged against the employee’s accrued leave balances.

    Red Cross Disaster Service Volunteer An employee who is certified as or is in training to become certified as a disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross may be granted up to 10 days of paid leave each fiscal year to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross.

    This leave is not charged against the employee’s accrued leave balances if taken:

    • at the request of the American Red Cross; • with the executive director or designee’s authorization; and • with the governor’s approval.

    To request this leave, employees should submit the Special Leave Request form (TRS116). See Requesting Emergency Leave.

    Reserve Law Enforcement Officer An employee who is a reserve law enforcement officer as defined by Section 1701.001 of the Occupations Code is entitled to up to five working days of paid leave every fiscal biennium to attend required training for peace officers.

    To request this leave, employees should submit the Special Leave Request form (TRS116). See Requesting Emergency Leave.

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    Foster Parent An employee who is a foster parent to a child under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is entitled to paid leave for the purpose of attending:

    • meetings held by DFPS regarding the child under the foster care of the employee; or

    • an admission, review, or dismissal meeting held by a school district regarding the child under the foster care of the employee.

    To request this leave, employees should submit the Special Leave Request form (TRS116). See Requesting Emergency Leave.

    Assistant Dog Training An employee with a disability as defined by the Human Resources Code, §121.002, is entitled to a paid leave of absence to attend a training program to acquaint the employee with an assistance dog. This leave may not exceed 10 working days in a fiscal year.

    To request this leave, employees should submit the Special Leave Request form (TRS116). See Requesting Emergency Leave.

    Bone Marrow or Organ Donation An employee is granted time off with pay to donate:

    • • bone marrow (not to exceed five working days in a fiscal year); or • an organ (not to exceed 30 working days in a fiscal year).

    To request this leave, employees should submit the Special Leave Request form (TRS116). See Requesting Emergency Leave.

    Blood Donation With approval from his or her manager, an employee may receive time off to donate blood. The time off is not to exceed four times in a fiscal year.

    The employee may be required to provide proof of having donated during the requested time off. Failure to provide proof may result in the leave being deducted from the employee’s salary or accrued leave, whichever the employee chooses.

    Court Appointed Special Advocate Leave Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is an organization that trains and organizes volunteers who are appointed by judges to oversee and advocate for abused and neglected children as the children move through the legal and social services system.

    An employee may be granted up to five hours off with pay each month to participate in mandatory training or to perform volunteer services for CASA.

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    To request this leave, employees should submit the Special Leave Request form (TRS116). See Requesting Emergency Leave.

    This policy does not constitute a contract, a promise or guarantee of employment, or a guarantee of access to TRS premises or information resources, as applicable, and may be modified, superseded, or

    eliminated by TRS without notice to the employee.

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    PurposeApplies ToGeneral StatementDefinitionsImmediate Family MemberLicensed Medical PractitionerWorkplace Accommodations Coordinator

    Work Hours and HolidaysWork HoursRecording Time Worked and Leave TakenFailure to Accurately Report Leave

    Alternative Work SchedulesLunch and BreaksTraining TimeTravel TimeEmergency Medical AttentionHolidaysAuthorized HolidaysHoliday Time for Full- and Part-time EmployeesHoliday Time for Hourly EmployeesHoliday Time for Employees Who Work Other than 8–5, Monday–FridayCompensatory Time for Holidays WorkedOptional HolidaysNew Hires and HolidaysHolidays and Employee Separation

    Vacation LeaveEarning Vacation LeaveVacation Leave Accrual RateAccrual Rates for Part-Time and Hourly EmployeesAccrual Rates for Employees Changing from Full Time to Part TimeVacation Leave Accruals for Rehired RetireesTotal State Service Anniversary Date

    Vacation Leave and Sick LeaveVacation Leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)Vacation Leave and Parental LeaveSeparation and Unused Vacation LeaveWithholding from Lump Sum Payments for Vacation LeaveRequesting Vacation Leave

    Unscheduled LeaveDock StatusJob AbandonmentViolations

    Leave Without PayExhausting Paid LeaveFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exempt Employees and LWOPFamily and Medical Leave Act and LWOPEmergency Leave and LWOPGroup Insurance and LWOPState Service and Leave Accruals While on LWOPRequesting LWOPExtension of LWOP

    Sick LeaveSick Leave Accrual and UseUse of Sick Leave for Family Members Not in Employee’s HouseholdSick Leave Accrual RateHours Carried ForwardSick Leave and HolidaysSick Leave and Educational ActivitiesSick Leave and Workers’ CompensationSick Leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)Sick Leave and the Birth of a ChildSick Leave Pool DonationsDonation of Sick Leave to an EmployeeSick Leave Balance RestorationSick Leave and Employee’s DeathSick Leave and Other Paid LeaveSick Leave NotificationRequired DocumentationTRS Membership Service Credit

    Sick Leave PoolDefinitionsEligibilityMaximum Amount of Hours AwardedMaximum Hours for Part-Time and Hourly EmployeesRequesting Leave from the SLPAvoiding Pay LossConfidentiality of Medical InformationEffective Date of SLP AwardsContinuous or Intermittent UseLeave Accrual While on SLP LeaveSeparation and Leave from the SLPReturn of Unused SLP LeaveAdditional RequestsSLP and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)SLP and Workers’ CompensationRelease to Return to WorkDonations to the SLP

    Extended Sick LeaveEligibilityMaximum Amount of Hours AwardedRequesting ESLConfidentiality of Medical InformationAvoiding Pay LossApproval AuthorityEffective Date of ESL AwardsLeave Accrual While on ESLSeparation and ESLESL and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)ESL and Workers’ CompensationRelease to Return to Work

    Medical and Mental Health Care Leave for Certain VeteransEmergency LeaveLeave During InvestigationLeave Accruals While on Emergency LeaveRequesting Emergency LeaveEmergency Bereavement LeaveAmount of Leave Authorized for Family DeathCurrent or Former EmployeeRequest for Bereavement Leave

    Military LeavePaid Military LeaveState Active DutyFederal Active DutyDifferential PayEntitlementsOption to Use Vacation or Compensatory LeaveWork Schedule AdjustmentNotification and ProcessBenefitsLeave Without PayRe-employment RightsTime LimitsDismissal Following Re-employment

    Miscellaneous Paid LeaveVotingJury DutyWitness LeaveVolunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services VolunteersRed Cross Disaster Service VolunteerReserve Law Enforcement OfficerFoster ParentAssistant Dog TrainingBone Marrow or Organ DonationBlood DonationCourt Appointed Special Advocate Leave