Employee Assistance Program

Professional counselors to help with issues of anger, marriage, depression, and addiction.

Consumer debt issues - consult with a financial advisor.

Legal questions - confer with an attorney.

Career concerns - support to improve and enhance.

Confidentiality - your privacy is fully protected.

Douglas County Personnel Rules

Douglas County Personnel Rule #9

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

9.1       General Rule for All Leaves.

No absences with or without pay shall be granted unless a request is submitted by the employee and approved by the Department Head in accordance with these rules.  Approval of leave shall be obtained prior to the beginning of leave period, except as may be otherwise provided in these rules.  No payment for any leave of absence shall be made until leave has been properly approved.  An employee may not use accrued leave in an amount in excess of that which is necessary to bring their total hours compensated for the week to 40 hours.  For further information on leave requirements, refer to Leave Administration at Rule 9.8.

9.2       Vacation Leave.

9.2.1   Accrual. After having served continuously as a County employee for 12 full work periods, eligible employees shall be credited with, and thereafter accrue, vacation leave hours, per pay period (pp), as outlined below:

Hrs Budgeted Per Week Full-Time
Equivalent
Percent of F-T Benefit Balance at 6 Months 6 months
to 5 yrs
5 Yrs to 10 Yrs 10 Yrs to 15 Yrs 15 Yrs to 20 Yrs 20Yrs+
20 thru 23.9 .50 - .59 50% 22.20 hrs 1.85/pp 2.31/pp 2.77/pp 3.24/pp 3.70/pp
24 thru 27.9 .60 - .69 60% 26.64 hrs 2.22/pp 2.77/pp 3.32/pp 3.88/pp 4.44/pp
28 thru 31.9 .70 - .79 70% 31.08 hrs 2.59/pp 3.23/pp 3.88/pp 4.53/pp 5.18/pp
32 thru 35.9 80 - .89 80% 35.52 hrs 2.96/pp 3.70/pp 4.43/pp 5.18/pp 5.92/pp
36 thru 39.9 .90 - .99 90% 39.96 hrs 3.33/pp 4.16/pp 4.99/pp 5.82/pp 6.66/pp
40 1.00 100% 44.40 hrs 3.70/pp 4.62/pp 5.54/pp 6.47/pp 7.40/pp

9.2.2    Part-Time Employees.  Whenever the word part-time is used in this rule, it is in reference to part-time employees budgeted at least .50 FTE and, therefore, eligible for pro-rated benefits.  Part-time employees budgeted less than .50 FTE shall not earn vacation leave.

9.2.3    Temporary and On-Call Employees.  Temporary and on-call employees shall not earn vacation leave.

9.2.4    Scheduling Vacation.  Department Heads shall establish staff schedules to provide vacation leave for employees at regular annual periods and employees shall take vacation leave at the time scheduled.  Such schedules may be amended by the Department Head to meet work emergencies or to grant requests of individual employees.  In establishing regular schedules, Department Heads shall give due consideration to the desire of individual employees within limits of work requirements of the division.  No employee shall be granted a continuous vacation of more than five work weeks in any one year.  In the case of any conflicts between employees, the employee with the longest period of service with the County shall be given first consideration.

9.2.5    Accumulation of Vacation Credits.  The maximum accumulation of vacation leave will be as follows:

Hrs Budgeted Per Week Full-Time Equivalent % of Benefit Maximum Accrual
20 thru 23.9 .50 - .59 50% 100 hours
24 thru 27.9 .60 - .69 60% 120 hours
28 thru 31.9 .70 - .79 70% 140 hours
32 thru 35.9 .80 - .89 80% 160 hours
36 thru 39.9 .90 - .99 90% 180 hours
40 1.00 100% 200 hours

Any employee who is about to lose vacation credit because of accrual limitation may, by notifying their Department Head five days in advance, absent themselves to prevent loss of this time.  Such action taken by the employee shall not constitute a basis for disciplinary action or loss of pay.

9.2.6    Donation of Vacation Leave for Use as Sick Leave.  Any employee may elect to transfer his or her accumulated vacation leave to another County employee for use as paid sick leave.  Any transfer of leave under this policy shall be subject to the approval of the department head for the employee donating the leave and the department head for the employee receiving the leave.  The request must be made on the approved form for this purpose obtained from Management of Finance.

Leave shall be transferred on an hour-for-hour basis.  Upon approval by the department heads, Management of Finance shall deduct the transferred hours from the donating employee=s vacation leave and add an equal number of hours to the receiving employee=s accrued sick leave.

The receiving employee must be eligible to take sick leave to have any transfers to them approved; i.e., employee must be an eligible employee who has served the appropriate wait period to begin accumulating sick leave.  There will be no retroactive donations.

9.3       Sick Leave with Pay.

Accrual  After having served continuously as a County employee for four full pay periods, eligible employees shall be credited with, and thereafter accrue, sick leave hours, per pay period (pp), as outlined below:

Hrs Budgeted Per Week Full-Time Equivalent % of Benefit Balance at 2 Months Accrual Rate
20 thru 23.9 .50 - .59 50% 7.40 hrs 1.85/pp
24 thru 27.9 .60 - .69 60% 8.88 hrs 2.22/pp
28 thru 31.9 .70 - .79 70% 10.36 hrs 2.59/pp
32 thru 35.9 .80 - .89 80% 11.84 hrs 2.96/pp
36 thru 39.9 .90 - .99 90% 13.32 hrs 3.33/pp
40 1.00 100% 14.80 hrs 3.70/pp

Part-time employees budgeted less than .50, and temporary employees, shall not accrue sick leave credits.

9.3.2    Family or Medical Leave.  Employees may be eligible for leave pursuant to the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA).  Leave under either Act will be taken concurrently with sick leave, or other leave accrued.  For more information on the FMLA/OFLA, and the related reporting requirements, see Rule 9.6.

9.3.3    Utilization of Paid Sick Leave.  Employees may utilize their allowances of sick leave after having been employed for a period of four full pay periods when unable to perform their work duties by reason of illness or injury, necessity for medical or dental care, exposure to contagious disease under circumstances by which the health of the employees with whom associated or members of the public necessarily dealt with would be endangered by the attendance of the employee or by illness in their immediate families.  For such period as the employee has sick leave credit, the use of sick leave to attend a family member shall be limited to the time the employee's presence is actually required.  When possible, employees shall attempt to make other arrangements for the care of ill family members and may be required to provide a physician's statement regarding the need of the employee to attend the family member.

9.3.4    Bereavement Leave.   Eligible employees will be allowed bereavement leave in accordance with all applicable federal and/or state mandatory regulations (i.e., FMLA, OFLA, etc).  Eligible employees who do not qualify  for bereavement leave under the provisions of any current federal or state mandatory regulation, are allowed up to five continuous absence days from work due to the death of a family member as defined in Rule 9.3.5.  Employees are required to use any available accrued leave.  At the sole discretion of the department head, depending on the unique circumstances involved, additional days may be approved, not to exceed the maximum bereavement allowed under the most generous leave provided to those employees eligible under federal or state mandatory regulations.

9.3.5    Family Member.  For the purpose of leave taken in accordance with any applicable federal and/or state mandatory regulations, ‘family member’ is defined by the respective law (i.e., FMLA, OFLA, etc.). For just the purpose of leave provided by the County, ‘family member’ shall be defined as mother, father, current spouse or domestic partner, sister, sister-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, child, step-child, current parent-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren, and any relative currently residing in the employee’s home.

9.3.6    Call-In Requirements.  Departments may establish call-in requirements for employees on leave based on the operational needs of the department.  For further information, see Leave Administration, Rule 9.8.

9.3.7    Separation.  No compensation for accrued sick leave shall be allowed for any employee when voluntarily or involuntarily separates from County service.

9.4       Other Leaves of Absence with Pay.

9.4.1    Jury Duty.  Mandatory service with a jury, provided the employee obtains a work slip from the Jury Clerk and turns it in to their supervisor for each day or partial day of absence.  Any money received for jury service shall be turned in to the Department Head for deposit in the general fund.  Any day shift employee who is dismissed from jury duty prior to the end of their regular work shift is required to report to work for completion of their regular shift.  Exceptions to this rule can be approved by the Department Head where an employee is dismissed from jury duty significantly close to their normal quitting time as to make reporting for work on that day nonproductive in the sole judgment of the Department Head.

Employees whose shift begins before the scheduled mandatory service with a jury are required to report to work at the beginning of their regular shift on that day.  Exceptions to this can be approved where, in the sole judgment of the Department Head, mandatory jury duty is scheduled significantly close to the employee's regular starting time as to make reporting for work prior to jury duty nonproductive.

9.4.2    Service-Connected Leaves.  Leave of absence with pay shall be granted for an appearance before a court, legislative committee, judicial or quasi-judicial body as a witness in response to a subpoena or other order by proper authority compelling their attendance under penalty prescribed by law in connection with the employee's officially assigned duties on behalf of Douglas County.

9.4.3    Non-Service Connected Leaves.  Vacation leave may be granted for an appearance before a court, legislative committee, judicial or quasi-judicial authority compelling the employee's attendance under penalty prescribed by law.  If no vacation leave is available, an employee may be granted unpaid leave provided the notification and approval requirements of the department have been met.

9.4.4    Military Leave - Annual Training. Employees who are ordered to attend annual military training shall  be granted such leave in accordance with Oregon Revised Statute 408.290.

9.5       Unpaid Leave.

9.5.1    Personal Leaves.  A regular, full-time employee who has completed not less than twelve continuous months of employment may be granted an unpaid leave of absence for compelling personal reasons for up to 90 days, with prior approval of their Department Head.  Some, but not all of the factors considered in determining whether to grant an employee's request for personal leave are:

-           The reason for the request;

-           The overall length of service;

-           Prior performance, disciplinary and attendance record;

-           Any previous leave of absence (and the period and purpose of such leaves);

-           A sincere (and written) commitment to return to work immediately following expiration of the leave; and

-           the effect of the employee's absence on efficiency and operations.

Personal leaves must be requested in advance in writing and will generally not be subject to renewal except in very unusual (or emergency) cases.  Such leave is generally unpaid and the employee must use all earned, but unused, vacation leave, sick leave (if appropriate) and compensatory time before going on unpaid status.

Employees who are contemplating such leave should contact the Human Resources Department for information relating to possible continuation of benefits, including health insurance coverage.

9.5.2    Disability Leaves and Parental Leave.  These leaves may be provided without pay when paid leave is not available.  See, Disability Leaves and FMLA/OFLA at Rules 9.6 and 9.7 for more information.

9.5.3    Military Leave - Extended Tours.  Employees who are ordered to, or volunteer for, extended military training or active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, the U.S. Coast Guard, Peace Corps, or the U.S. Public Health Service may take a leave of absence for the length of service, only as required by law.  Military leaves for extended tours are without pay and no benefits shall accrue during the period of the leave, except as may be specifically required by applicable federal or state law.

Employees who are contemplating such leave should contact the Human Resources Department for information relating to possible continuation of benefits, including health insurance coverage.

9.6       Leaves for Disabilities or Serious Health Conditions (FMLA/OFLA).

9.6.1    The availability of leave due to disability or a serious health condition will depend on whether an employee is eligible for leave under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), Oregon Workers' Compensation or other applicable disability leave.  Two or more of the above leaves may run concurrently for the same or different reasons.  In that regard, refer to FMLA/OFLA at Rule 9.6.2 and Workers' Compensation Leave at Rule 9.6.3 for detailed information on those leaves.  For all other disability leaves, refer to Leave Administration at Rule 9.8.

9.6.2    Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). - The FMLA/OFLA provide leave of absence of 12 weeks in a rolling 12 month period for:  1) the serious medical condition of the eligible employee, 2) the serious medical condition of the employee=s immediate family, and 3) for parental leave in event of childbirth or adoption.  See Rule 9.7 for parental leave.

9.6.2.1 Entitlement to Leave.

An eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of leave during a rolling 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

-  To care for a family member with a serious health condition,

-  Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform one or more of the functions of the employee's position, and

-  To care for their child who suffers from an illness, injury or condition that is not a serious health condition but that requires home care.

9.6.2.2  Definition:  Serious Health Condition.

An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which involves:

-  Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential care facility, or

-  A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive days that also involves continuing treatment by a health care provider, or

-    An illness, disease or condition which in the medical judgment of the treating health care provider poses an imminent danger of death, is terminal in prognosis with a reasonable possibility of death in the near future, or requires constant care, or

-  Any period of disability due to pregnancy or period of absence for prenatal care.

9.6.2.3  Leave Eligibility Requirement.

-  FMLA:  An employee who has been employed with the County for at least 12 months and who has worked at least 1,250 hours during that same 12 month period.

-  OFLA:  An employee who has been employed with the County for at least 180 days and who worked an average of 25 hours or more immediately before the date family leave begins.

9.6.2.4 Authorization for Leave.  All requests for FMLA/OFLA leave shall follow the guidelines set forth in Rule 9.8.  Department leave request forms are to be used.  In unforeseeable or emergency situations, a request and approval of the request may be oral, but both the employee and the department head shall put the request and approval in writing as soon as is reasonably possible.  All requests must include an explanation of the need for the leave, the intended or estimated start and return dates.

In the event of disability leave for either the employee or the employee's immediate family, the County will require certification from the health care provider substantiating the need for leave, its duration and other necessary medical information.  When a request is made, Human Resources must be contacted to start the paperwork required of the health care provider.

Where the need for leave is foreseeable and the request for leave is not timely as outlined in Rule 9.8.3, leave may be delayed or reduced up to 30 days.  Failure to give timely notice may also result in disciplinary action.  Recertification of medical need for continuing medical need to care for a family member may be required every 30 days.  An employee who fails to provide a timely, fully completed certification may be denied continuation of the leave.

9.6.2.5 Reduced or Intermittent Leave.  An employee may request reduced or intermittent leave if medically necessary and with the department head's approval.  If an employee requests intermittent leave, the employee is entitled to the hourly equivalent of 12 weeks that the employee would have normally worked.  To avoid disrupting the work schedule, the employee will be required to meet with their supervisor to arrange work schedules while away from work.  In the event reduced or intermittent leave is requested, the employee may be temporarily transferred to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if this would be less disruptive to the needs of the department.

9.6.2.6 Spouses Employed By the County.  If an employee's spouse is employed by Douglas County, and is eligible for leave, the leave shall be limited to a total of 12 weeks for both employees in any 12 month period to care for a sick parent.  Any remaining unused portion of the leave may be used to care for another family member's serious health condition or the employee themselves.

9.6.2.7 Benefits While on Disability (FMLA/OFLA) Leave.   An employee will use any earned paid sick and vacation leave while on an approved disability leave.  No sick or vacation leave time will accrue while on unpaid leave.

While the employee is on approved disability leave, the County will maintain its contribution, at the same level, to an eligible employee's group health insurance package.  If employees pay a portion of their plan  premium, they must still continue to pay that portion as long as the employee is on paid leave status.

If an employee voluntarily does not return from disability leave, the County may seek to recover the cost of benefits paid while the employee was on leave status.

9.6.2.8 Returning From Disability (FMLA/OFLA) Leave.  An employee returning from disability leave shall be required to provide medical certification signifying the health care provider's approval to return to work and shall be returned to their same job or its equivalent or a light duty assignment until they are fully released by their health care provider to return to their previous job responsibilities.  (See Rule 9.8).

If an employee is unable to perform the essential functions of their regular job in a full-time capacity,  an offer of light, or modified, duty will be made to them, through their physician.  A modified, or light duty, position to accommodate temporary limitations placed on the employee will be designed cooperatively by the supervisor or Department Head and Human Resources Risk Manager.  The light duty is a temporary assignment based on the needs of the department and will be available for a preagreed, temporary, period of time.   The light duty assignment can be altered by the supervisor at any time. If none is available, or that time period has expired, the employee will be placed on layoff status until an available and suitable job can be found.  Every effort will be made to match the employee to previous responsibility and salary, but this may not be possible.  No positions shall be created, nor shall any regular employees be displaced to make a position for such a returning employee.  If an available and suitable position is approved by the employee=s health care provider, and the employee turns down the offer, the employee will be considered to have voluntarily resigned immediately with no further employment rights.

All questions regarding returning from a disability leave should be directed to the Human Resources Department.

9.6.2.9 Extended Disability Leave.  In the event the FMLA/OFLA 12 week leave has been exhausted and the employee has not returned to work, the employee must request further leave.

9.6.3    Workers' Compensation Leave.

9.6.3.1 Under the Oregon Workers' Compensation Act, all employees, no matter their length of employment, are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, including paid leave, so long as the employee's attending physician (as defined by the Workers' Compensation Act) authorizes temporary disability and the employee's claim has not been denied.  The act of filing a workers' compensation claim will not necessarily result in paid or unpaid leave.

9.6.3.2 Application For Leave. Any employee who has an on-the-job injury and desires workers' compensation leave must first complete and sign a claim form (State 801 claim form available in Human Resources Department), and submit that form to their supervisor or Department Head.  In addition, the employee must obtain a medical release from their attending physician, as defined by the Workers' Compensation Act, modifying or releasing them from work.  A release to modified work by the employee's attending physician will generally result in an offer of available and suitable modified work, not a release from all work.  (See Rule 9.8.7 - Returning to Work.)

Employees eligible for workers' compensation leave may also be eligible for disability leave under the FMLA/OFLA.  Employees shall cooperate with the County when asked to complete or obtain the documentation necessary to receive disability leave.

9.6.3.3 Employee Responsibility.  In the event of an on-the-job injury or occupational disease claim, the employee must:

a.  Immediately notify their supervisor or Department Head,

b.  As practicable, before leaving work, complete all necessary reports and Douglas County investigative materials,

c.  Notify the Human Resources Department within 24 hours who will provide the  State 801 claim form for completion,

d. Contact their supervisor or Department Head immediately following the employee's first visit for medical treatment, and advise:

i.  their doctors name, address, and telephone number,

ii.  the status of their injury/occupational disease, and

iii.  the anticipated return-to-work date and whether the return will be to modified or regular work.

e.  After the initial report of injury and disability, the employee must notify their supervisor of their release to regular or modified work within 24 hours of receiving the release.

9.6.3.4 Return to Work.  Employees on workers' compensation leave shall notify the County when they have been released to return to modified or regular work.  Employees released to regular work will be reinstated to their former position if the position still exists.  If the employee's former position no longer exists, the employee will be reinstated to a position that is available and suitable.  An employee released to modified work will be returned to a position which is available and suitable.  An employee's right to reinstatement terminates after three years from date of injury or occupational disease.

For more information, see, Leave Administration at Rule 9.8, or contact the Human Resources Department.

9.7       Parental Leave.

9.7.1        The Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) provides an eligible employee 12 weeks of leave in a rolling 12 month period for the birth of a child of the employee, or for the placement of a child with the employee as an adoption or foster care.  In the event an employee is qualified for OLFA and FMLA, the regulation that is more beneficial to the individual employee’s circumstances will apply. Parental leave must be completed within 12 months after the date of the birth or placement.

9.7.2    Leave Eligibility Requirement.

-  FMLA:  An employee who has been employed with the County for at least 12 months and who has worked at least 1,250 hours during that same 12 month period.

-  OFLA:  An employee who has been employed with the County for at least 180 days and who worked an average of 25 hours or more immediately before the date family leave begins.

9.7.2.1 Spouses Employed by the County.  If an employee's spouse is employed by Douglas County, and is eligible for parental leave, the leave may be limited to a total of 12 weeks for both employees in any 12 month period.  In addition, spouses employed by the County shall not take parental leave at the same time.

9.7.2.2 Notice of Parental Leave.  The employee shall give written notice to the County at least 30 days before the anticipated delivery date or the anticipated date the employee will take physical custody of a newly adopted child.  The employee shall give notice to the department within seven days of any changes to the original date.

9.7.3    Intermittent or reduced parental leave is not available to an eligible employee unless their Department Head and the employee agree to such a schedule.

9.7.4    Eligible employees may use accrued but unused vacation and sick leave for parental leave.  If the employee has fewer than 12 weeks accrued paid leave available, the additional weeks of parental leave will be without pay.

9.7.5    Benefits While on Parental Leave.   An employee will use any earned paid sick and vacation leave while on an approved parental leave.  No sick or vacation leave time will accrue while on unpaid leave.

While the employee is on approved parental leave, the County will maintain its contribution, at the same level, to an eligible employee's group health insurance package.  If employees pay a portion of their plan premium, they must still continue to pay that portion as long as the employee is on leave status.

If an employee voluntarily does not return from parental leave, the County may seek to recover the cost of benefits paid while the employee was on leave status.

9.7.6    Medical Certification.  As a condition of returning to work, an employee may be required to obtain certification from the employee's health care provider that the employee is able to resume work.

9.7.7    Reinstatement.  Upon completion of parental leave, an employee is eligible to be restored to the position held at the time leave commenced if the position still exists, or, if that position no longer exists, to an available position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions.  Unless on paid leave during parental leave, the employee will not accrue employment benefits.

All questions regarding return to work issues should be directed to the Human Resources Department.

9.8       Leave Administration.

9.8.1    Leave Computations.  For both the accumulation of leave credit and the granting of leave, computation may be made in hourly units.  Deductions shall not be made from leave accumulations for regularly assigned days off or holidays occurring at the beginning, during or at the end of a period of leave with pay if the employee returns to work on the first day thereafter or is granted additional paid leave.  At no time shall an employee be on unpaid status if eligible paid leave is available.  An employee may not use accrued leave in an amount in excess of that which is necessary to bring their total hours compensated for the week to 40 hours.

9.8.2    Leave Accrual.  Sick and vacation accruals begin on the first day of the work period following date of hire for eligible employees.  Accrual will start immediately if the first working day is the first day of a work period. After four full work periods, the employee is eligible to use sick leave that has accrued.  After 12 full work periods, the employee is eligible to use vacation leave that has accrued.  No sick or vacation leave accrual shall occur during a leave of absence without pay.

9.8.3    Authorization for Leave. No leave of absence with or without pay shall be granted unless a request is submitted by the employee and approved by the Department Head in accordance with these rules.  Approval of leave shall be obtained prior to the beginning of leave period, except as may be otherwise provided in these rules.  No payment for any leave of absence shall be made until leave has been properly approved.

9.8.3.1  Unless required otherwise by law, all leaves of absence shall also be subject to the following conditions:

It is an employee's responsibility to initiate all arrangements for leave of absence (or any extension of an existing leave) and to provide any required or requested medical substantiation.  Except in unforeseeable or emergency situations, all requests must be submitted to the Department Head in writing at least 30 days before the proposed commencement of the leave (or any extension).

Department Heads may approve vacation leave requests or other paid leaves authorized in these rules regardless of any requirements in 9.8.3.1.

9.8.3.2  An employee will be notified by the Department Head when a request for leave of absence has been approved.  Employees should not assume that they are on leave of absence until they have been officially notified of that fact.  An employee who leaves work before the approval of a leave, runs the risk that the leave may be denied and the time missed counted against the employee.  The employee may be considered to be absent without leave approved, and, therefore, subject to disciplinary action.

9.8.4    Call-in Requirements.  Departments may establish call-in requirements for employees on leave based on the operational needs of the department.

Unless an approved leave of absence is granted, as per Rule 9.8.3.2, the employee shall be required to report their absences to their Department Head on a daily basis or as per their department call-in policy.  Each failure to do so will be treated as a violation of these call-in requirements and, therefore, subject to disciplinary action.

9.8.4.1  Approved disability leaves are always granted for an estimated period of time. If the reason for the leave ceases to exist before the estimated expiration date, an employee is required to immediately inform the County so that the employee can be returned to employment.  An employee who knows or should have known they have been released to return to work and fails to do so on their regularly scheduled work day will be considered a voluntary quit or constitute grounds for termination and will result in loss of employment and re-employment rights.  All requests for reinstatement/reemployment from a disability leave of absence must be made in writing and delivered personally to the employee=s department head.  Prior to acting on the request, the Department Head will coordinate the return with the Human Resources Director or designee.

9.8.4.2  An employee who is granted leave by the County for a serious health condition or disability for longer than four work days must contact their supervisor not less than once a week throughout the period of the leave to advise of the employee's status.  Each failure to report shall be treated as a violation of this rule.  The department will notify the Human Resources Department on a weekly basis for record keeping purposes.  If an employee moves or changes telephone numbers, such change must be reported to the Human Resources Department immediately.  Failure to timely report may prohibit contact by the Department for reemployment and may prevent subsequent offers of available jobs and will subject the employee to forfeiture of re-employment rights in some circumstances.

9.8.4.3  Any sick leave absence of four or more continuous days or which involves continuing treatment by a health care provider will be considered disability leave and subject the employee, if eligible, to the FMLA/OFLA, see Rule 9.6.  For those who do not qualify for such leave, any sick leave absence of four days or more must be accompanied by a physician's certification as to illness as a condition of receipt of sick leave pay; and must provide medical evidence confirming the employee's recovery and release for regular duty at the time the employee seeks to return to work.  A physician's certification may be required for absences of less than four days if the employee has been advised of such requirement in advance of the illness or at the time the employee notified the County of the illness.

A Department Head may waive the requirements of this section for non-FMLA/OFLA leaves on a case-by-case basis when they have first hand knowledge of the nature and legitimacy of the employee's absence and have so advised the Human Resources Department.

9.8.5    Physician's Certification.

9.8.5.1  In the event there are any questions about whether an employee should be granted a personal or medical leave of absence, and/or whether a physician's statement or return-to-work slip should be considered acceptable, it is the employee's responsibility to bring all relevant facts and documents the employee wishes to have considered to the attention of the Department Head.

9.8.5.2  The County may, at its discretion, request that an employee be examined by a physician of its choice either during or after a leave of absence.

9.8.6    Activities While on Leave.

9.8.6.1 An employee who applies for or engages in any work for compensation while on a leave of absence, including disability leave, shall be subject to immediate termination unless the County has consented to the arrangement in writing in advance.  This provision does not apply to service connected with approved military leave.

9.8.6.2 An employee who improperly applies for or is granted unemployment benefits while on a leave of absence will be subject to immediate termination.

9.8.6.3 An employee who engages in any conduct or activity which violates restrictions imposed by a physician or which otherwise delays full and prompt return to regular employment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

9.8.7    Returning to Work.

9.8.7.1 Subject to the requirements of each statutory leave, employees on disability or personal leave will be returned to their original job if it is available or to any other suitable job that is available, provided that the requirements for obtaining and returning from the leave are satisfied.  For employees on workers' compensation leave, employees who recover or whose physicians certify ability to perform light duty must immediately contact their supervisor or the Human Resources Department and make arrangements to return to work.

When the operational needs of the department are not adversely affected and the Department Head has preauthorized a leave, the position can be held open provided the employee is so notified at the time the leave was approved.

If no positions are available and/or suitable, the employee will be placed on a preferential hiring list.  When a suitable job becomes available, the County will call or mail an offer of employment to the employee and describe the job to be performed.  The County will contact the last telephone number and address in the employee's personnel file.  If the employee has moved or changed telephone numbers, it is the employee's responsibility to notify Human Resources of any changes.  If an employee does not report for work within one workday after delivery of the offer, the offer will be considered refused and all re-employment rights will be terminated.

9.8.7.2 If the treating physician places temporary or permanent physical restrictions on the employee, the County will attempt to accommodate those restrictions to the extent that positions are available for which the employee is qualified.  Since any job assignment may vary considerably from the employee's original assignment, compensation and benefits may vary accordingly.  The County may offer a job to an employee who is disabled from performing the former job.  Such differences in themselves do not render the position unsuitable.

9.8.7.3 Return to Work - Light (Modified) Duty.  Until an employee is able to perform the essential functions of their regular job in a full-time capacity, an offer of light, or modified, duty will be made to them, through their physician.  A modified, or light duty, position to accommodate temporary limitations placed on the employee will be designed cooperatively by the supervisor or Department Head and Human Resources Risk Manager.  The light duty is a temporary assignment based on the needs of the department and will be available for a preagreed, temporary, period of time.   The light duty assignment can be altered by the supervisor at any time.

The employee must have a detailed written statement from their physician when released to work, or when modification of work is required.

Employees who refuse physician-approved light duty work will immediately lose sick leave pay and some workers' compensation benefits.  Benefits will continue to accrue, but will not be paid effective the date the physician approves return to light duty work.

9.8.8    County Initiated Leave.  The County reserves the right to initiate a leave of absence, in cases where it concludes that an employee's attendance, quality or quantity of work or efficiency, or safety of the employee, coworkers or the public may be or have been adversely affected by medical condition(s) or personal circumstances.

9.8.9    Public Employee's Retirement System (PERS).

9.8.9.1  In addition to the County requirements under Rule 9, PERS requires notification to payroll anytime an employee is on an unpaid leave status for ten consecutive work days or more.  When prior knowledge exists, a Personnel Action Form should be processed five days in advance; otherwise, it should be processed as soon as the department has knowledge that such a leave is occurring or has occurred.

9.8.10 Transfer Credits and Vacation Pay when Terminate County Employment.

9.8.10.1  When an employee is transferred to, or appointed to another department, his vacation and sick credit shall be assumed by the new Department Head.

9.8.10.2  An employee who terminates during the initial six months of their employment shall not be entitled to cash compensation in lieu of vacation leave.  If the employee has served for six months or more and is separated from the County, the employee shall be entitled to cash compensation for accrued vacation leave.  In case of death, compensation for accrued vacation leave shall be paid in the same manner that salary due to the decedent is paid.

9.8.11  Continuous Service.  Continuous service shall be service unbroken by separation from the County service, except that time spent by an employee on military, or Peace Corps leave, FMLA/OFLA leave, workers' compensation leave, vacation or sick leave with pay.  Time spent on other types of authorized leave will not count as part of continuous service except employees returning from such leave, or employees who are laid off, shall be entitled to credit for service prior to the leave.

9.8.12   Sick Leave Credit Following Re-Employment. At the request of the Department Head, an employee who is re-employed into an eligible (benefited) position within one year following a hearing, a layoff (under Rule 10.1.2), an expiration of leave without pay, or a voluntary termination in good standing, shall have sick leave credits accrued but unused during the previous employment restored.  A person serving in a temporary position shall not have previously accrued sick leave credits restored.

9.8.13 Vacation Accrual Credit Following Re-Employment.  At the request of the Department Head, an employee who is re-employed into an eligible (benefited) position within one year of voluntary termination in good standing will be rehired at the same rate of accrual as when they left.