Policy: 332

Employee Benefits


Procedure:

Definitions of Types of Employees:

  • Full Time Permanent — In a permanent position working 37.5 hours or more a week.
  • Part-Time Permanent — In a permanent position working less than 37.5 hours a week.
  • Temporary Employee — Employee not in a permanent position.

Annual Leave:

  1. Employees Entitled to Annual Leave:
    Full Time Permanent and Part Time Permanent Employees shall accrue annual leave from the date of employment so long as they remain in pay status. Part-Time Permanent Employees shall earn annual and sick leave on a prorated basis of the accrual rate of a full-time permanent employee. An employee shall accrue annual leave while on annual leave, sick leave or other authorized leave with pay. Temporary employees shall not be entitled to accrue or take annual leave.
    ** Annual or sick leave cannot be taken until three (3) months after their hire date as a permanent staff. Leave without pay may be requested during this time.

  2. Rate of Earnings:
    Employees eligible to earn annual leave shall do so based upon years of public service with agencies of the County, State and Government of the United States. For purpose of earning annual leave, service does not include time in the military service.

    1. Service of zero to 10 years:
      Employees eligible to earn annual leave with public service of zero (0) to ten (10) years shall earn annual leave at the rate of one and one-fourth (1) working days per month. Annual leave shall not be granted in advance of accrual.
    2. Service of ten (10) years or more:
      Employees eligible to earn annual leave with service of more than ten (10) years shall earn annual leave dependent upon the number of years of service in excess of 10 years beginning the month after their adjusted anniversary date. Part-time employees eligible to earn and accrue annual leave shall do so on a prorated basis consistent with the method in which annual leave is credited to full time employees. Employees with more than 10 years of service shall be credited annual leave based upon hours worked according to Chart #1 or Chart #2 attached to this policy.

  3. Maximum Accumulation
    The maximum accumulation of annual leave shall not exceed 45 days at the beginning of any fiscal year. Maximum accumulation for part-time employees shall be prorated.

  4. Request for Annual Leave:
    Request for use of annual leave shall be made using the "Request for Leave" form. Whenever possible requests for a period of time exceeding two days should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. Requests for two days annual leave or less should be made at least 48 hours in advance. Exceptions shall be given on a case by case basis by the supervisor.

  5. Granting Annual Leave
    Supervisors shall be responsible to ensure that staffing exists to ensure health and safety of those served. Therefore annual leave shall be approved based upon operational needs of the agency. Every reasonable effort will be made to allow an employee the vacation time of the employee's choice. In those cases when an excessive number of requests are received for the same period, in the same location or department of the agency, Supervisors will grant leave with consideration to seniority or other conditions which will contribute to a fair and reasonable decision as to whose leave request is approved. New hires to permanent positions will accrue leave after working one complete pay period but will not be able to take annual leave until three (3) months after their hire date.

  6. Minimum charge
    Annual leave may be requested in one-half hour increments.

  7. Disposition of Annual Leave at Termination
    1. Termination/Separation:
      Upon termination of employment with the MDCBDSN, for reason other than retirement or death, the employee shall receive a lump sum (payment for accumulated leave less any leave taken during the calendar year). Employees who terminate may be paid a maximum of up to forty-five (45) days of accumulated leave. Annual leave in excess of the payable maximum shall be forfeited.
    2. Retirement:
      Upon achieving a level of service and/or age requirements recognized by the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) as establishing eligibility for retirement and the employee elects to retire from public service with the MDCBDSN; employee has an option to be paid a lump sum payment of accumulated annual leave up to a maximum of forty-five (45) days. Annual leave in excess of this maximum shall be forfeited. The employee may also elect to leave the accumulated leave balance of up to a maximum of forty-five (45) days with the retirement system to increase their benefits.
    3. Death
      The annual leave balance up to forty-five (45) days shall be paid to the employee's estate through legal evidence of an executor or administrator.

Sick Leave:

  1. Employees Entitled to Sick Leave:
    1. A full-time permanent employee shall earn sick leave.
    2. A permanent part-time employee shall earn sick leave on a prorated basis.
    3. Temporary employees shall not be entitled to accrue or take sick leave.

  2. An employee shall be granted sick leave for any of the following reasons:
    1. Personal illness or injury incapacitating the employee from performing duties required in his/her position.
    2. Exposure to a contagious disease that would endanger the health of fellow employees or residents when certified by a licensed physician.
    3. Appointments for medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment by licensed physician, sick leave granted shall be limited to the time required for the examination plus reasonable travel time.
    4. Sickness during pregnancy or other temporary disabilities when a licensed physician certifies that normal job duties would be hazardous to the health of the employee.
    5. Treatment of alcoholism.

  3. Family Sick Leave:
    Employee may use up to five (5) days sick leave annually to care for ill members of their immediate family. Immediate family is defined by MDCBDSN as spouse, child, mother, or father.
    **New hires to permanent positions will not be able to use Family Sick Leave until three (3) months after their hire date.

  4. Sick Leave Accrual
    Sick leave is accrued at a rate of (1 ) day per month.

  5. Maximum Accumulation
    Regular full-time and part-time employees may accumulate and carry over eighty (80) days from one fiscal year to the next (e.g. July 1 to June 30).

  6. Minimum charge
    The minimum amount of sick leave per request shall be one-half () hour.

  7. Notification of Illness
    When an employee is incapacitated because of illness, the employee must notify their supervisor or administrator of their absence and the reason as early as possible but no later than thirty (30) minutes prior to their reporting time. Employees should make the call to their supervisor. Exception may be made and other individuals can make the call to the employee's supervisor in an emergency situation. Failure to give notice within a reasonable time may result in the absence being charged to leave without pay.

  8. Application for Sick Leave:
    1. Immediately upon return to work the employee should apply for sick leave on the "Request for Leave" form. The application must be submitted to the immediate supervisor the day the employee returns to work.
    2. Absence of three (3) consecutive work days or more must be supported by a certificate from a licensed medical practitioner specifying the nature of the medical condition and stating that the employee may return to work. Whenever the employee's medical condition does not require a licensed medical practitioner the employee must submit a signed statement indicating the nature of the illness and the reason a medical certificate is not furnished. The supervisor shall determine whether the statement of the employee is sufficient evidence to support the application for sick leave. Should the employee fail to submit an application within the prescribed time or if there is insufficient evidence to support the request for sick leave, the absence shall be charged to leave without pay.
    3. Sick leave for less than three consecutive work days may be approved by the employee's supervisor provided the employee gives a satisfactory reason to justify the absence.
    4. When there is reason to believe an employee is abusing sick leave, the supervisor should in turn notify the employee in writing that a question has arisen concerning their use of sick leave and that in the future a medical certificate will be required with each request for sick leave.

  9. Expiration of accumulated sick leave
    Should a period of illness continue beyond the employee's accumulated sick leave, the employee may request that accrued annual leave be used to cover their absence. Should the employee not have any accrued annual leave the absence shall be charged to leave without pay.

  10. Terminations
    All accumulated sick leave shall be canceled upon termination of employment with MDCBDSN.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

To be eligible an employee have worked for the MDCBDSN a minimum of one year and worked 1,250 hours or more during the 12 months prior to requesting leave, they are eligible for family and medical leave.

If the employee is eligible, they will be allowed up to 12 weeks of leave within any 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child, to provide either physical or psychological care for a child, spouse (husband or wife), or parent with serious health conditions, or to care for their own serious health condition.

The employee must conclude leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care within 12 months after the event. Leave may begin prior to birth or placement, as circumstances dictate.

To qualify for medical leave, the health condition or treatment(s) must be such that it requires the employee to be absent from work on a recurring basis or for more than a few days for treatment or recovery.

In the case of the employee's own serious health condition or that of a family member, they may take leave intermittently or on a reduced work schedule, if medically necessary. When the leave is for adoption or birth of a child, they may take intermittently or on a reduced work schedule only with the joint approval of the employee and MDCBDSN.

The Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs extends the benefit of the Family Medical Leave Act to "eligible" employees on the basis of "concurrency" with existing paid leave benefits including sick leave and annual leave.

NOTIFICATION

The employee must provide the Board 30 days written notice of their need for FMLA leave, or, if emergency conditions prevent such notice, they must notify the Board as soon as is practicable.

The employee will need to report to their supervisor at least weekly on their status during the leave period.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

During the period of family or medical leave, which is covered by paid leave time including sick leave and annual leave, the employee will be retained on the State Insurance Plan to continue health coverage but must continue paying the employee's portion of the health premiums. Once an employee has exhausted all available paid leave time, the employee will be extended the opportunity and right to continue Health Care coverage/insurance through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).Once sick and annual leave has been exhausted the employee will be on "Leave Without Pay", and must pay both employee and employer premiums to continue health coverage.

CERTIFICATION

Certification of the need for leave to care for your illness or injury or that of a family member is required. You must obtain the following information from a responsible health care provider and make it available to the Board.

  1. The date the serious health condition began.
  2. The duration of the condition.
  3. A statement that you need to care for the ill person and the estimated length of the leave or statement that the employee cannot perform the functions of his/her job.
  4. If applicable, the medical reasons verifying the need for intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule, such as scheduled dates for treatment(s).

RELEASE TO RETURN TO WORK

A doctor's release is required if you are returning from medical leave for three days or longer.

MORE INFORMATION

Please contact the Human Resources Administrator to obtain a form to request Family and Medical Leave of Absence.

Leave Without Pay:

  1. Leave without pay for less than 5 days must be approved in advance by the employee's supervisor.
  2. Leave without pay for more than 5 days must additionally be approved by the Executive Director.
  3. A regular leave form is to be used for this purpose .
  4. Annual or sick leave does not accrue while an employee is on leave without pay.

Court Leave

  1. A permanent full time employee who is summoned to serve as a member of a jury, during which time they are scheduled to work, shall be granted leave with pay.
  2. A permanent employee who is subpoenaed as a witness by a federal court, state court, or a political subdivision to serve as a witness, during which time they are scheduled to work, may be granted leave with pay.
  3. Court leave with pay shall not be granted an employee who is subpoenaed to testify as an individual in a private litigation or when his appearance in court is a result of an alleged violation of the law.
  4. When an employee attends court in connection with his official duties, the time required shall be shown on the time records as though he were present for duty.
  5. Application for court leave must be submitted on a "Request for Leave" form. A copy of the summons must accompany the request. The employee must notify their supervisor as soon as possible of the court leave.
  6. Court leave will not effect accrued annual or sick leave.

Funeral Leave

  1. A permanent full time employee, upon request of funeral, shall be granted up to three (3) consecutive work days of leave with pay. In the event of death of any member of the employees immediate family. The MDCBDSN defines the immediate family as the employee's spouse, parent, child, grandparents, and siblings.
  2. Funeral leave will not affect accrued annual or sick leave.

Military Leave

Military leave shall be granted in accordance to the law.

Education Leave

Any permanent full-time employee who has completed at least twelve (12) months of employment is eligible to apply for educational leave without pay. The Executive Director may grant educational leave on a case by case basis.

Holidays

Full time permanent employees will receive eleven (11) paid holidays during odd years and (12) paid holidays during even years. Should the governor of South Carolina declare Christmas Eve a holiday it will be observed as the twelfth (12th) holiday during odd years and as a thirteenth (13th) during even years. The Board will determine holidays for the next fiscal year at its June meeting and they will be posted prior to the last days of the fiscal year.

S.C. Retirement System (Mandatory)

Retirement Benefits to the employee are determined by the S.C. Retirement System. The Agency and the employee contributes to the system and participation is mandatory for full time permanent employees. Participation is optional for part-time permanent employees as defined by the SC Retirement System.

State Health Plan

The Agency participates in the State Health Plan. The employee may choose coverage for their family and dependents. Each employee receives a copy of the benefits for eligible services. The Agency has agreed to the policies as set forth by the Division of Insurance Services. Benefits to the employee are determined by the Division of Insurance Services.

Worker's Compensation

  1. Each employee is protected against a loss of income if the employee sustains a disabling injury or occupational disease which arises out of or in the course of carrying out the responsibilities of their job.
  2. The disabled employee shall be compensated according to the regulations of the S.C. Workers Compensation.
  3. Compensation shall not be payable if injury, occupational disease, or death is the result of the employee's intoxication or willful intention to injure or kill self or another individual.
  4. Leave shall not accrue while an employee is receiving worker's compensation for lost time or while the employee is on leave without pay.
  5. Refer to Worker's Compensation Law for definitions of disability.

Attachment

Annual Leave Accrual Charts

Purpose

To establish the benefits to be granted to MDCBDSN employees.

Effective Date:
June 1, 1998

Reviewed/Revised:
May 24, 2001
July 26, 2001
July 25, 2002
September 26, 2002 (FMLA)
November 20, 2003 (annual leave in line with State)
March 22, 2007
October 25, 2007 (Leave without Pay)
June 27, 2013