COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
SYSTEM PROCEDURE

Employee Leave


SP 3-60b

APPROVED: June 9, 2021
EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2021

REFERENCE: Board Policy BP 3-60, Healthy Families and Workplaces Act

APPROVED:

/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor

Basis

This Procedure establishes leave for eligible employees of the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System), in accordance with Board Policy (BP) 3-60 Employee Benefits and Leave, and sets forth any required eligibility, approvals, and record keeping.

Application

This procedure applies to all non-classified employees as defined in Board Policy 3-10, Administration of Personnel. The applicability of each type of leave to each category of non-classified employees is as specified herein. Leave for Classified employees is defined by the State of Colorado Department of Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director’s Administrative Procedures.

Definitions

Benefit-eligible APT” means an administrative, professional or technical employee who is designated at .75 full time equivalent (FTE) or above. It also includes APT employees who were employed with the System between .5 FTE and .75 FTE prior to July 1, 2015, with no break in service.

Benefit-eligible faculty” means a faculty who is designated at .75 FTE or above. It also includes faculty who were employed with the System between .5 FTE and .75 FTE prior to July 1, 2015, with no break in service.

Benefit-eligible employees” means all benefit-eligible APTs and benefit-eligible faculty.

Procedure

CCCS recognizes that there are legitimate reasons why an employee may be absent from assigned duties. The conditions under which employees may be granted such authorization are specified in the following sections of this Procedure.

General Leave Provisions

Approval Required
Leave must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor in advance when foreseeable, unless an alternate approving authority is identified in the applicable section of this Procedure. It is the responsibility of the employee to comply with procedures for requesting and reporting leave at their College or the System Office. Unauthorized absence constitutes grounds for corrective or disciplinary action up to and including termination. Additionally, the supervisor may charge an unauthorized absence to sick or annual leave, or treat the absence as leave without pay and adjust the employee’s pay accordingly. The employee shall be notified of such adjustments. 

Pay During Leave
Leave may be granted with or without pay depending upon the reason for the leave. When leave with pay is granted, the full salary and benefits due the employee during the period of absence from duty will be provided unless this Procedure requires a different arrangement.

Annual Leave
Annual leave is for the purpose of providing opportunity for rest and renewal. CCCS encourages employees to take annual leave regularly in order to increase efficiency in job performance.

Accrual
Benefit-eligible APTs shall accrue annual leave at the rate of 15 hours per month, prorated to the percent of employment. There shall be a maximum carryover of 360 hours into a new fiscal year. At each fiscal year end (June 30), accrued hours over 360 will be forfeited.

Annual leave is accrued at the end of each month, for use beginning the first of the following month. Current System processes result in leave accruals being generated when central payroll processes, prior to the end of each month. Employees are not eligible to use annual leave in the month in which it is earned. Supervisors must consider leave balances when approving leave so as not to approve annual leave in the same month in which it is earned.

Annual leave will be earned during periods of leave with pay, prorated according to the rate of employment during the leave. Such accrual will be credited only upon return to work or upon retirement at the end of the paid leave.

Approval
A supervisor may establish periods when annual leave will not be allowed, or must be taken based on business necessity. These periods cannot create a situation where the employee does not have a reasonable opportunity to use leave that will be subject to forfeiture.

Transfer
Accrued annual leave shall be transferred when an employee is reassigned, transferred, or otherwise appointed to another position within the System, which entitles the incumbent to annual leave. If the employee is reassigned, transferred or otherwise appointed to a position within the System that does not accrue annual leave, their annual leave shall be paid out according to this Procedure prior to the change.

Payout
In the case of separation of employment, or move to a position that is not eligible for annual leave, accrued annual leave will be paid to an employee up to a maximum of 360 hours.

The Chancellor or President may require employees to take annual leave in lieu of payout if they were hired to fill a position on an interim basis and/or their position was funded by other than state funds.

In the case of death of an employee, the total amount of annual leave accrued on the date of death will be paid.

Sick Leave
Sick leave is for the purpose of providing protection of income to eligible employees to address their physical or mental wellbeing.

Accrual
Benefit-eligible APTs shall accrue sick leave at the rate of ten (10) hours per month, prorated according to the percent of employment. Sick leave is accrued at the end of each month, for use beginning the first of the following month. Current System processes result in leave accruals being generated when central payroll processes, prior to the end of each month. Benefit-eligible APTs are not eligible to use leave in the month in which it is earned. Supervisors must consider leave balances when approving leave so as not to approve leave in the same month in which it is earned.

Benefit-eligible Faculty shall accrue (10) hours of sick leave per working month of their faculty contract (i.e. 9, 10, 11 or 12 month contracts), prorated according to the percent of employment. The total annual accrual allowed will be credited to faculty at the beginning of the contract term. Additional assignments and overloads are not considered in the determination of sick leave accrual.

All other non-classified employees shall accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 48 hours at any time. Leave accruals may be generated on a bi-weekly basis through payroll processes or on an established schedule, depending on the employee type. There shall be a maximum carryover of 48 hours into a new fiscal year. At any time an employee reaches 48 hours, they will stop accruing sick leave until the balance goes below 48 hours.

Employees who work at multiple Colleges and/or the System office shall generate a sick leave bank at each location employed according to their employment status at each location. Sick leave will accrue during periods of leave with pay, prorated according to the percent of employment during the leave. Such accrual will be credited only upon return to work or upon retirement at the end of the paid leave.

Approval
Upon the approval of the immediate supervisor or human resources, paid sick leave will be granted to employees for absence from duty which is required by physical illness or mental health condition of the employee; injury to the employee not covered by Workers’ Compensation; or other health-related reasons, including diagnostic and preventative examinations, treatment and recovery.

Sick leave will also be granted according to the following parameters:

Family Sick Leave
A maximum of 480 hours per year of the employee’s accrued sick leave balance may be granted to employees for absence due to the health needs of the employee’s child who is under the age of 18 or an adult child incapable of self-care, parent, spouse, domestic partner, legal dependent, or a person in the household for whom the employee is the primary caregiver, and in accordance with FMLA. Accrued sick leave may also be used by an employee who has been designated for FMLA leave to care for an injured military service member.  The employee may be required to complete documentation in accordance with FMLA requirements.
Faculty Personal Leave
A maximum of sixteen (16) hours per year of the employee’s sick leave may be granted to benefit-eligible Faculty for personal reasons (faculty personal leave). Faculty may carry over up to sixteen (16) hours of faculty personal leave from year-to-year. No more than thirty-two (32) hours of faculty personal leave may be used in any year and no more than sixteen (16) hours of faculty personal leave may be used in any week.
Parental Leave
Employees may use available sick leave within the first 12-month period of the birth of their child or placement of a child to the employee’s home through adoption or foster care. Intermittent parental leave may be permitted within the eligible 12-month period, subject to business needs. Parental leave shall run concurrently with any FMLA leave.

Sick leave will be charged on an hour for hour basis (i.e., one hour for each hour of classes, office hours, or other duties/responsibilities missed consistent with Board Policy). It is the responsibility of the supervisor to determine the amount of leave to be charged and to make arrangements to cover the duties of an employee who is on sick leave, including arrangements for substitute instructors, temporary office help, and/or temporary reassignment of duties.

Transfer
Accrued sick leave for benefit-eligible employees will be transferred if an employee is reassigned, transferred, or otherwise appointed to another benefit-eligible position within the System. Sick leave for all other employees shall not transfer when employees move to a different College or the System office.

Reinstatement
Benefit-eligible employees who voluntarily separate employment or move to a position with a different benefit structure, and return within five (5) years to a like eligible position within the System shall be credited with all applicable sick leave accrued as of the date of such separation or change.

Sick leave banks for employees in positions that are not benefit-eligible are specific to each location employed. All other employees who voluntarily separate employment, and return within one (1) year to a like position at the same College shall be credited with all applicable sick leave accrued as of the date of such separation.

Payout
Benefit-eligible employees hired or reinstated, under the scope of this Procedure, on or after July 1, 1989, who are approved for regular or early retirement under PERA rules will be paid for one quarter (1/4) of sick leave accrued as of the date of retirement, or for 240 hours, whichever is less, at the rate of pay in effect on the date of retirement. Such employees who were hired prior to July 1, 1989, and had no break in service, will be paid upon retirement for one-fourth (1/4) of sick leave accrued as of the date of retirement from a leave eligible position at the rate of pay in effect on the date of retirement.

In the case of death of an employee, one-fourth (1/4) of total sick leave accrued on the date of death will be paid at the rate of pay in effect at the time of death.

Public Health Emergency Leave
As defined in the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, when the Governor or a federal, state, or local public health agency declare a disaster or public emergency, all employees shall be granted up to eighty (80) hours of paid public health emergency leave, pro-rated for part-time employment. Public health emergency leave may be used for up to four weeks after the suspension of the public health emergency.

Public health emergency leave may be used for the following reasons:

  1. Needing to self-isolate because the employee is diagnosed or experiencing symptoms of the communicable illness;
  2. Seeking or obtaining medical diagnosis, care or treatment, preventative care, or care of such illness;
  3. Being exposed to, or experiencing symptoms of, such illness;
  4. Being unable to work due to a health condition that may increase susceptibility or risk of such illness;
  5. Caring for a child or other family member for reasons 1, 2, or 3 above, or whose school, child care provider, or other care provider is either unavailable, closed, or providing remote instruction due to the public health emergency; or
  6. Closure of the temporary employee’s work location, and work cannot be performed remotely.

Family and Medical Leave
In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), CCCS shall grant employees covered under this Procedure up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period for the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • To bond with a child within the first year of the child’s birth or placement;
  • To care for the employee’s partner, child, or parent who has a qualifying serious health condition;
  • For the employee’s own qualifying serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job;
  • For qualifying exigencies related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee’s partner, child, or parent.

An eligible employee who is a covered service member’s partner, child, parent, or next of kin may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period to care for the service member with a serious injury or illness.

Employees must have been employed within CCCS for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to taking leave to be eligible for FMLA leave. Service across the Colleges and System office shall apply toward eligibility.

Whenever possible, employees must provide 30 days’ notice to the College or System office of foreseeable FMLA leave. When an employee is not able to provide 30 days’ notice, she/he must notify the College or System office as soon as possible according to the applicable College or System office leave usage procedures. Employees must provide enough information to the College or System office to determine eligibility for FMLA leave. The College or System office may require certification or periodic re-certification to verify eligibility.

Employees shall use sick and annual leave, according to this Procedure, before being eligible for unpaid FMLA leave. All paid leave used by the employee will run concurrently with FMLA leave. If justified under the provided certification and requested, intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule may be approved. The College or System office may temporarily transfer an employee who is on approved FMLA leave to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if it better accommodates the reduced work schedule.

The College or System office shall continue group insurance coverage by continuing to pay the employer portion of premiums for plans in which the employee is enrolled. Employees shall be required to pay their portion of the premiums by established deadlines, subject to any SBCCOE Benefit Plan restrictions.

Upon return from FMLA leave, the employee shall be returned to the same or a comparable position.

Special Leaves with Pay

Bereavement Leave
Benefit-eligible employees will be granted paid leave during any term of employment for up to a maximum of forty (40) hours in the event of the death of a family member or other person. Bereavement leave cannot be used for settling an estate. The decision to grant and the amount of leave approved shall be based on the relationship to the deceased and the circumstances of the situation.

Holidays
Benefit-eligible APT will be granted the same number of paid holidays granted to employees of the State Personnel System, pro-rated to their percent of employment. The Chancellor may establish alternate holiday schedules in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statue 24-11-101(3).

Jury Leave
All benefit-eligible employees shall be granted jury leave with pay for the period they are required to serve on jury duty. Compensation paid by the court for jury duty during the time absent from work shall not be turned over to the College or System office. All other employees within the scope of this Procedure shall be granted leave with pay for the first three days of jury duty. Where employees do not have an established schedule, the pay shall be based on the average weekly hours worked during the three months preceding the juror’s term of service. For new employees with less than three months history of average weekly hours, the pay shall be based on the available history or the anticipated schedule for the applicable jury period.

Military Leave
Pursuant to C.R.S. 28-3-601, any employee within the scope of this Procedure who is a member of the armed forces, the National Guard or reserve shall be granted leave with pay for up to a maximum of fifteen days in any calendar year for the annual training period or for active service ordered or authorized by proper authority pursuant to law.

When military service extends beyond the maximum time for paid leave, leave without pay shall be granted. Employees who are separated from active military service under honorable conditions and who return to employment within the System in accordance with applicable statutes and state fiscal rules shall be entitled to the same or like position as that occupied when the employee entered military service, with reinstatement of pay, seniority, rights and benefits as provided by statute.

Community or School Volunteer Leave
Permanent Classified employees and benefit-eligible employees shall be eligible for up to eighteen (18) hours of paid administrative leave per fiscal year to volunteer time in their kindergarten through twelfth grade (“K-12”) schools, meet with their children’s school, or volunteer in local communities as long as it does not create a conflict of interest. Volunteering is an action and does not include spectating at events or school activities. Approval must be obtained in advance. The College or System office retains the right to deny a request based on business needs. This leave may not be used to volunteer in connection with advocating for or against a candidate for an elected office, or a ballot issue or referred measure.

Part-time employees shall be eligible for a portion of the community or school volunteer leave specified for full-time staff based on the percentage of a full-time schedule which is defined as forty (40) hours per week.

Administrative Leave with Pay
The Chancellor or President may grant leave with pay to employees covered under the scope of this Procedure to release employees from their official duties for the good of the College or System office including, but not limited to, required appearances in court or at administrative proceedings, disciplinary or investigatory purposes, closure of work facilities due to weather conditions, emergency situations, or to serve as a disaster volunteer. In addition, up to two hours of administrative leave shall be granted to participate in general elections, if the employee does not have 3 hours of unscheduled work time during the hours the polls are open.

The approval of the Chancellor shall be required for paid administrative leave in excess of twenty (20) consecutive working days.

Leaves granted under this provision will be in accordance with State laws and State Fiscal Rules, and in consideration of budgetary needs, work schedules, and the impact on the ability to fulfill the role and mission of the institution or the System.

Leave Without Pay
Leave without pay may be granted to employees by the Chancellor or President when there are good reasons for such leave and the absence of the employee will not cause a hardship to the College or the System.

Maximum Length
Leave without pay may be granted for periods of up to one fiscal year at a time. Leave extending beyond the end of the current fiscal year will require review and approval by the Chancellor or President at the end of each fiscal year, up to a maximum of three years. If additional leave is requested at that point, the approval of the Chancellor must be obtained.

Continuation of Benefits
If leave without pay is granted for a period of less than one month, leave benefits will continue to accrue, pro-rated according to the percent of time worked in the month. Employees on leave without pay for periods of one month or more will not accrue leave and will not receive service credit for sabbatical leave. Such employees will receive group insurance contributions but may only continue coverage provided they pay their portion of the premiums by established deadlines, subject to plan policy restrictions.

Leave for Grant-Funded Programs Required to Have a Formal Structure of Shared Governance
If a College is a grantee or delegate agency under a federal grant requiring the grantee or delegate agency to maintain a formal structure of shared governance through which people external to the College can participate in decisions regarding personnel policies for the program, the shared governance body may establish separate leave policies for employees whose positions are funded by the grant. Any separate leave policies must be approved by the Chancellor.

Leave Share
Leave share programs provide some income protection when an employee experiencing a catastrophic hardship would be absent from work for a prolonged period of time and has exhausted all leave.  Permanent Classified employees and benefit-eligible employees with a minimum of one year of service, who have exhausted all leave, may apply for a leave share program at their College or the System office. Each College or the System office shall establish an application process for their leave share program, ensuring applicable rules for Classified employees are applied.

Permanent Classified employees and benefit-eligible APT may transfer annual leave and faculty may transfer accrued sick leave designated as leave for personal reasons. Donated leave shall not be part of any leave payout upon termination or death.

Revising this Procedure

CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this Procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.