LEAVES OF ABSENCE
The purpose of this policy is to guide decisions related to requests from employees who desire an unpaid leave of absence from work.
II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
A. The Board of Education recognizes the right of employees to request leaves of absence without pay as provided in the appropriate employee master agreement or policy.
B. Because the absence of an employee impacts the educational program, staff and students, the needs and desires of the employee must be weighed against the needs of the district and the replacement employee.
C. In acting on employee leave requests, the Board of Education will observe provisions of the appropriate employee master agreements or policy, and applicable state or federal statutes. Consideration will be given to both the reasons for the employees’ request and the needs of the district. Where needs are in conflict, however, concerns relating to the overall educational program will take precedence.
III. FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED
Multiple factors will be considered in acting on leave of absence requests, including but not limited to the following:
A. The stated reason(s) of the employee in requesting a leave;
B. Relevant provisions of the appropriate employee master agreement, policy, or statute;
C. Length of service to the district of the employee applying for the leave;
D. Record of previous leaves taken by the employee;
E. Availability of qualified staff to replace the employee and the potential for turnover among replacement employees during the period of the leave of absence;
F. Number of other employees in the same category currently on leaves of absence;
G. Timing of the leave in order to minimize disruption to the operation of district programs;
H. Potential benefits to the district of granting the leave;
IV. GUIDELINES TO BE USED IN GRANTING LEAVES OF ABSENCE
A. Normally, the length of an approved leave of absence shall not exceed one (1) year. In extenuating circumstance an extension of one (1) additional year may be granted for a maximum of two consecutive years of leave.
B. An unpaid leave of absence for child care shall generally be limited to a maximum period of 18 months coinciding with the birth or adoption of the employee’s own child.
C. When an unpaid leave of absence is requested in conjunction with another leave of absence, such as a child care leave of absence, the total time of absence from work for all leaves shall not exceed two (2) consecutive years, or longer if necessary to have the ending point of the leave coincide with a break in the school calendar.
D. The maximum duration of an extended leave of absence for teachers pursuant to M.S. §122A.46, Subd. 2. must be determined by mutual agreement of the Board and the teacher at the time the leave is granted and shall be at least three, but no more that five, years. An extended leave may be granted to teachers who have been employed by the district for at least five years and who have at least ten years of allowable service in Minnesota.
Legal References: Minn. Stat. §122A.46 Extended leaves of absence.
Cross Reference: Board Policy 481, Leaves of Absence for Classified Personnel
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: March 15, 1999
REVIEWED and AFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: June 11, 2012
AMENDED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: January 7, 2002