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Leave Policies
 
5.1.0 Vacation Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation hours accrued at the end of each pay period are available for use, dependent upon individual department policies and the department head's discretion. New employees may use the vacation benefits accrued with their department head’s discretion. Employees are not allowed to use vacation time before it is earned, thus creating a negative balance.

 

A regular part-time employee will earn vacation and holiday time with pay equal to the percentage of time worked compared to a regular, fulltime employee.

 

Due to different hours of work, Fire Department personnel working shift assignments shall accrue vacation benefits at an equal, but different formula rate than other municipal employees. The annual accrual is the same.

Vacation leave should be taken on consecutive days. Eligible leave should be taken during the fiscal year earned or it is subject to forfeiture as provided below. Depending upon departmental or personal circumstances, a period of vacation leave may be restricted to two (2) weeks at any one period and, in certain cases, eligible vacation may be deferred to the following fiscal year with the approval of the City Manager. Every effort will be made to grant vacation during periods requested by employees, consistent with the operational needs of the various departments. The City reserves the right, by action of the department head and the City Manager, to approve or disapprove actions with regard to granting of vacation requests.

Holidays observed or periods of significant illness occurring during a vacation leave period are not charged against vacation leave, but are charged against applicable holiday or sick leave. 

Employees are not permitted the choice of working for extra pay instead of taking their vacation. However, in special emergency circumstances, when in the best interests of the City and upon the approval of the City Manager, the City may purchase a portion of the accrued vacation of an employee at the employee's then-established salary rate.

Employees are not permitted to accrue more vacation than they earn in one year plus 80 hours (112 hours for sworn fire personnel). Time exceeding the earned amount plus the 80 hours (112 hours for sworn fire personnel) on May 1 of the fiscal year will be deleted from the employee’s accruals unless special arrangements are made in advance with the employee’s department head. Should special arrangements be made, the department head will complete a personnel action form noting the exception.

Upon separation from City service, a regular employee will be paid for accrued but unused vacation leave, up to their allowable annual maximum plus 80 hours (112 hours for sworn fire personnel). If an  employee separates from City service and has been given special permission to accrue more vacation in that year, as described above, the employee will be paid out for any of those accrued hours at the time of termination.

5.2.0 Sick Leave with Pay

 

All regular, fulltime employees accrue paid sick leave benefits at the rate of 3.69 hours per pay period to a maximum of 960 hours. An employee who utilizes sick leave for an entire pay period does not earn sick leave for that period.

 

Sick leave with pay is authorized only if employees notify their department head or immediate supervisor of the necessity for absence in advance of the assigned time to start work. An employee whose work requires a substitute for a particular shift assignment is required to give reasonable notification in advance of the assigned time to start. An employee using paid sick leave benefits is not authorized to work secondary employment while unable to work for the City unless authorized by the employee’s department head.

Sick leave with pay may be used for:


a. Any bona fide personal illness, injury or pregnancy.
b. Quarantine for contagious disease.
c. Doctor/dental appointments.
d. Illness of immediate family member (includes parents, in-laws, step parents, children, spouse, siblings, grandchildren and grandparents or at the department head's discretion)

As a condition to the granting of paid sick leave benefits, any employee may be required to file a certificate of health examination by a practicing physician approved by the City and conform to any medical advice contained therein as directed by the City Manager. A Personnel Action Report must be filed whenever an employee is out for 3 consecutive work days, and a signed medical release must be received in order for the employee to return to work. If, in the opinion of the City Manager upon recommendation of the department head and Director of Human Resources, an employee is unfit to perform essential functions of the job with or without accommodation, or if the health or safety of other employees or the public is jeopardized, such employee may be offered the opportunity to apply for eligible pension or disability benefits and may be granted a leave of absence without pay or may be separated from City service. (See Admin. Dir. 2-5, Use of Personnel Action Form)

While every effort will be made to accommodate employee requests, use of sick leave under items c and d may be denied if emergency situations exist or staffing levels require the employee's presence.

In a case of very serious or prolonged personal illness, an employee who uses all accumulated sick leave may use all accumulated vacation and holiday leave for sick leave purposes before being removed from full pay status. However, regardless of any other City policy or procedure, the time on leave for a prolonged personal illness or on light duty may not exceed six (6) months (or 30 days beyond the expiration of benefits pursuant to the Public Employee Disability Act for full-time sworn police and fire personnel entitled to such benefits), even if the employee has not exhausted all accumulated leave, unless an exception is made by the City Manager or otherwise required by law, such as by the leave requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act or the accommodation requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Upon exhaustion of the above benefits, the employee may have the opportunity to apply to the appropriate pension or retirement plan for eligible disability benefits or for a leave of absence as defined in Section 5.6 of this policy. (See Admin. Dir. 2-6, Limited Duty Policy)

Every year, employees who use four or fewer sick days may choose to receive a payout of some of their unused sick time each year, based on the following table:

 

 

The payout is valued at 100% of salary, and it doesn’t matter how many hours the employee has saved in their sick bank, only how many sick days the employee used that year. Usage of more than four (4) hours of sick time during a scheduled shift, including partial hours, will constitute use of a sick day for purposes of this policy. For firefighters, use of a sick day refers to one 16-hour shift, but, for purposes of this policy, payouts are made based on an 8-hour day. The employee can choose to receive this payout in cash less standard withholdings, or they may have it transferred to their 457 account on a pre-tax basis. 

If an employee’s total sick leave accrual has reached the 960-hour maximum, the employee will not be permitted to bank any additional sick leave. However, the employee may still participate in the payout options described in this policy. 

If an employee's total sick leave accrual has not reached the 960-hour maximum, and the employee elects to take an annual payout, any sick time not paid out will be placed into a separate accrual bank that may not be paid out at a later date. If the employee elects not to take an annual payout, all sick leave will be placed into a separate accrual bank that may be paid out at a later date. The two banks together cannot exceed 960 hours. 

On separation in good standing, an employee having time accrued and not previously bought down will be eligible for a buyout based on the following guidelines: a minimum accrual of 480 hours and not more than 952 hours of sick leave shall receive compensation equal to 20% of all hours accrued at the employee's current straight pay rate; an employee having a minimum of 953 hours of sick leave accrued shall receive compensation equal to 40% of all hours accrued at the employee's current straight pay rate. Employees who have not accrued at least 480 hours of sick leave or who have done an annual payout will not receive any compensation for that time upon separation from employment.

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) allows retiring members up to one year additional pension service credit for unpaid, unused sick leave accumulated with their last employer. One month of service is credited for every 20 days, or fraction thereof, of unpaid, unused sick leave not to exceed 240 days (one year). Those who joined IMRF on or after June 1, 2014, cannot convert unused, unpaid sick leave to service credit.

 

5.2.1 Voluntary Sick Leave Donation Program

 

All regular full- and part-time employees with a minimum of 160 hours of sick leave on the books may be eligible to donate up to 40 hours of accumulated sick leave per occurrence (more with department head approval) to another regular full- or part-time employee who has a catastrophic illness or injury either to themselves or an immediate family member.

A catastrophic illness or injury is one that is expected to incapacitate the employee or an immediate family member for an extended period of time, provided taking extended time off work creates a financial hardship for the employee because all sick leave and other paid time off has been exhausted. Examples may include, but are not limited to, life threatening injury or illness, cancer, AIDS, heart surgery, stroke, etc. An immediate family member includes parents, in-laws, children, spouse, siblings and grandparents or at the department head's discretion.

The employee receiving donations (recipient) must have exhausted all available leave (sick, vacation, holiday, etc.) before becoming eligible to apply for this program. To apply, the employee must notify the Director of Human Resources in writing of his/her desire to have a notice posted requesting donated time. No donations will be accepted without the recipient’s written request.

Employees wishing to donate time (donors) should notify the Director of Human Resources in writing, noting how much time they wish to donate and whether or not they wish to remain anonymous in their donations. They will have the time deducted from their sick leave banks and this time will not count towards any other buy-back programs. However, the donors will not be penalized in any way by having this time deducted, such as being included in any other sick leave incentive programs.

All donated time must be in increments of 8 hours and will be considered on an hour-for-hour basis, regardless of the pay level of the donor and recipient. Any unused donated time will be returned to the donors on a prorated basis.

This policy shall in no way extend the time off beyond 6 months unless an exception is made by the City Manager or otherwise required by law and will work in conjunction with all other City policies.
 

5.3.0 Emergency Leave

 

Absences because of death of a member of the immediate family (includes parents, in-laws, children, spouse, siblings and grandparents or at the department head's discretion), when the employee's presence is required away from work, can be taken as paid emergency leave. The use of leave for this purpose shall not exceed 24 hours in a calendar year, and only when specifically authorized by the employee's department head. Time in excess of 24 hours must be taken from the employee's accrued vacation time and must be approved by the department head.

Hospitalization of any member of the immediate family when it can be clearly shown that an employee's presence is required can also be used as paid emergency leave. Immediate family includes parents, in-laws, children and spouse only. The use of leave for this purpose shall not exceed 24 hours in a calendar year. Time in excess of 24 hours must be taken as sick leave and have department head approval.

In the case of leave for a hospitalization, if the leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, employees are required to make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the department, and also required to provide 30 days advance notice, or, if the treatment is in less than 30 days, such notice as practicable.

The emergency leave consists of a total of 24 hours per year, whether used for a funeral or hospitalization, and the employee is not compensated if the leave is not used.

 


5.4.0 On-the-Job Injury and Disability Leave

If an employee is injured on the job, no matter how slightly, the injury must be promptly reported to the immediate supervisor and a written accident report filed. Medical and hospital expenses incurred due to bonafide work-related injuries will be paid in accordance with City policy and applicable provisions of the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act, provided proper and prompt notice of the accident has been reported by the employee to the department head. (See Admin. Dir. 6-3, Accident and Injury Investigation)

A regular full-time employee on injury leave may be compensated up to a maximum of 30 calendar days at the salary rate he/she was making at the time of the accident, less deduction of the amount paid by the City's Worker's Compensation insurance carrier (full-time sworn police and fire personnel entitled to benefits pursuant to the Public Employee Disability Act are covered for up to 365 calendar days). After the 30-day time period (or 365-day time period for full-time sworn police and fire personnel who are entitled to benefits pursuant to the Public Employee Disability Act), employees may elect to use accumulated sick leave and/or vacation credits to continue receiving full pay. If so, the employee will be charged at a rate of 33-1/3% from accumulated leave. Should the employee not elect such action or should all such accumulated credits be exhausted, the employee may apply for disability under provisions of the applicable retirement or pension fund. Once the employee is no longer receiving full compensation from the City, he/she may be eligible to receive compensation payable under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act in addition to eligible retirement or pension fund benefits. (See Admin. Dir. 2-6, Limited Duty)

This policy shall in no way extend an employee's total leave period or time performing light-duty work beyond six (6) months (or 30 days beyond the expiration of benefits pursuant to the Public Employee Disability Act for full-time sworn police and fire personnel entitled to such benefits) unless an exception is made by the City Manager or otherwise required by law. This policy will be applied in conjunction with all other City policies. (See Admin. Dir. 2-6, Limited Duty Policy)

All vacation, sick leave and holiday leave earned while on injury leave shall accrue at the employee's regular rate.

5.5.0 Military Service and Training


The City will follow all applicable Federal, State and local laws regarding employees who are required to fulfill a military commitment.
 

5.6.0 Family Military Leave Act

Any employee who has been working for at least 12 months, who has worked at least 1,250 hours in those months, and who is the parent or spouse of a person called to state or United States military service lasting longer than 30 days is entitled to unpaid family military leave of up to 30 days while the deployment order is in effect. If leave will consist of five or more consecutive work days, at least 14 days notice is required. Employees taking leave for less than five consecutive work days must give as much advanced notice as is practicable. Employees requesting leave must consult with their supervisor to schedule the leave so it does not unduly disrupt the operations of the City. An employee may not take family military leave unless the employee has used all accumulated vacation leave and holiday leave. The City may require certification from the proper military authority to verify the employee's eligibility for the family military leave requested.

5.7.0 Leave of Absence

The City Manager, in his/her discretion, may grant a leave of absence with or without pay to any regular employee for such reason and period as the City Manager may determine, not exceeding twelve (12) consecutive months. All requests for such leave must be submitted in writing by the employee via his/her department head to the City Manager. Such leave will be granted only when it will not adversely affect departmental operations and is not detrimental to the best interests of the City. 

Upon expiration of the approved period of absence, the employee may be reinstated in the position held at the time leave was granted. An employee who fails to return to full duty at the expiration of the leave shall be deemed to have resigned and will be separated with cause.

Upon expiration of the approved period of absence, the employee may be reinstated in the position held at the time leave was granted. An employee who fails to return to full duty at the expiration of the leave shall be deemed to have resigned and will be separated with cause.

During the leave of absence, the employee will not be eligible for City benefits. Should the employee wish to remain covered by the City's insurance during the leave of absence, COBRA laws will apply unless the leave is a paid leave, in which case the insurance will be paid in the same manner as if the employee were actively working.

5.8.0 Absence without Leave

Absence of an employee from duty, including any absence for a single day or part of a day, that is not specifically authorized shall be without pay and serve as a basis for disciplinary action. An employee who absents himself/herself from the job for three consecutive days without authorized leave shall be deemed to have resigned and will be separated with cause.

5.9.0 Family an Medical Leave (FMLA) 

Employee Eligibility, Leave Entitlement, and Job Restoration 
Employees who have been employed by the City for at least 12 months and who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the prior 12 months may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12-month period in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”). The 12-month period shall be measured forward from the date an employee first uses any family and medical leave. (“FMLA leave”).

FMLA leave is available for the following reasons:

1. For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
2. To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
3. To care for the employee's spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
4. For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee's job.
5. Military family leave for a qualifying exigency.
6. Military Family leave to act for caregiver purposes.

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee's job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or daily activities.  Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined with at least two (2) visits to a health care provider or one (1) visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.  Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.  In most cases, serious health conditions do not include short-term conditions, such as the cold, flu, earache, upset stomach, or a migraine. 

In the case of FMLA leave for serious health conditions, the leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced-hours basis if such leave is medically necessary.  If the need for intermittent or reduced-hours leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee generally must schedule the treatment in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the City’s operations. Also, if intermittent or reduced-hours leave is required, the City may temporarily transfer the employee to another position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates such leave. 

In the case of an FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child, intermittent or reduced-hours leave cannot be taken without the approval of the Department Head and Director of Human Resources.  If both spouses are employed by the City, the combined FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child, or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition, shall not exceed 12 weeks. 

Employees who return to work from an FMLA leave within their maximum 12 weeks per 12-month period will be reinstated to their former position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. However, an employee has no greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed by the City during the FMLA leave period. Therefore, if changes in the City’s business occur during an employee’s FMLA leave and the employee would have been terminated, laid off or reassigned had he/she been on active status, the employee is not guaranteed reinstatement. 

If an employee does not return to work following the conclusion of FMLA leave, the employee will be considered to have voluntarily resigned, unless the employee requests and is granted a personal leave of absence or remains off work on an approved leave.  In either case, the City cannot guarantee the availability of a position when the period of leave exceeds the job-protected leave period provided by the FMLA.  In addition, certain key employees may be denied restoration to their prior or an equivalent position.

Military Family Leave: Qualifying Exigency
Eligible employees make take up to 12 weeks leave for a “qualifying exigency” arising out of the foreign deployment of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who is a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard and Reserves) and who is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty. Qualifying exigencies include (i) addressing any issues that arise from the short-notice deployment (deployment within 7 or fewer days of notice); (ii) Attending military events and related activities, such as official ceremonies, programs, events and informational briefings, or family support or assistance programs sponsored by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross that are related to the member’s deployment; (iii) certain childcare and related activities (e.g., arranging for alternative childcare, providing childcare on a non-routine, urgent, immediate need basis, enrolling in or transferring a child to a new school or day care facility); (iv) care of the military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care; (v) making or updating financial and legal arrangements; (vi) attending counseling for the employee, the military member, or the child of the military member; (vii) certain post-deployment activities within 90 days of the end of the military member’s covered active duty; and (viii) taking up to 15 calendar days of leave to spend time with a military member who is on short-term, temporary Rest and Recuperation leave during deployment.

Military Family Leave: Caregiver
Eligible employees may also take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member or a covered veteran during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is receiving medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, or is in outpatient status, or is on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness. A serious injury or illness is one that is incurred by a service-member in the line of duty on active duty that may cause the service-member to be medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating. A serious injury or illness also includes injuries or illnesses that existed before the service-member's active duty and that were aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty.
A covered veteran is a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness and meets each of the following criterion:

· was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves);
· was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable; and
· was discharged within the five-year period before the eligible employee first takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for him or her.

Note: With respect to military family caregiver leave, an eligible employee is limited to a combined total of 26 weeks of leave for any FMLA-qualifying reasons during the single 12-month period. Up to 12 of the 26 weeks may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason other than military family caregiver leave.

Notice And Certification
Requests for FMLA leave should be submitted in writing to the employee’s Department Head. The Department Head should immediately forward the request to the Director of Human Resources. Employees must provide 30 days’ advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days’ notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with the City’s normal call-in procedures for reporting absences. Leave to accommodate planned medical treatment should, when possible, be scheduled to avoid disruption of City operations. Employees taking intermittent leave must comply with the City’s normal call-in procedures unless their condition precludes them from doing so. Employees must provide sufficient information for the City to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. If an employee seeks leave for a reason for which he or she has previously been granted FMLA leave within the past 12 months, the employee must specify the reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken.

After receiving a request for FMLA leave, the City will inform the employee whether he or she is eligible under the FMLA. If the employee is eligible, the City will inform the employee about any additional information the employee must provide to qualify for FMLA leave as well as the employee's rights and responsibilities concerning FMLA leave. If the employee is not eligible for FMLA leave, the City will inform the employee why he/she is not eligible.

Employees requesting FMLA leave may be required to submit a certification from their health care provider establishing the existence of a serious health condition, the need for the leave and its probable duration. The medical certification form may be obtained from the Director of Human Resources’ office. When required, such certification must be submitted as soon as practicable, but, in no event, later than 15 calendar days after the request. If the City concludes that an employee’s medical certification is insufficient, it will notify the employee in writing of the additional information that is necessary to complete the certification. The employee then has seven (7) calendar days to provide the requested information. The City reserves the right to require a second and/or third medical opinion by a health care provider of its choice.

The City will then inform the employee whether leave will be designated as FMLA-protected and, if known, the amount of leave that will be granted. The City will also notify the employee if it determines that the leave is not FMLA-protected.

Employees on FMLA leave must periodically notify the Director of Human Resources of their status and intention to return to work, and may be required to submit periodic medical recertifications. Employees who are expecting to return to work early from FMLA leave must inform the Director of Human Resources as soon as practicable. In addition, in order to return to work after an FMLA leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee must submit a certification from his/her health care provider that the employee is able to resume work and perform the essential functions of the employee's job, i.e., fit for duty. An employee will not be returned to work until the employee has submitted this documentation.

Failure to meet the notice and certification requirements may result in denial of a request for leave; counting the employee’s days off against his or her attendance record; disciplinary action, up to and including termination; or denial of reinstatement following the leave.

Prohibition On Working
As with other forms of leave, except where express authorization is given, employees on FMLA leave are prohibited from performing any work, paid or unpaid, for any other person or entity, including the employee’s own business. Violations of this prohibition may result in FMLA leave being revoked and the employee’s prior days off being counted against his or her attendance record; disciplinary action, up to and including termination; or denial of reinstatement following the leave.

Health Insurance And Other Benefits
During an FMLA leave, the City will continue to pay its portion of the group health insurance premiums, and the employee must continue to pay his/her share of the premiums (including the employee’s share of any premium increases). The employee’s failure to pay his/her share of the premiums will result in loss of coverage. If the employee does not return to work after the leave expires, the employee must reimburse the City for all premiums the City paid during the leave, unless the employee does not return because of the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition, or other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

Employees will not lose any employment benefits earned and accumulated before their FMLA leave begins. However, employees on illness and disability leaves, including leaves for their own serious health condition, must use all accumulated sick leave and then all accumulated vacation and holiday leave. Employees on leave for the birth or placement of a child must use all accumulated vacation and holiday leave. An employee on leave for the birth or placement of a child may not use accrued sick leave. Use of accumulated leave for an extended period for any reasons covered under this policy will be considered as part of the 12 (or 26) weeks of FMLA leave. Upon exhaustion of FMLA leave, the employee may request an unpaid leave of absence as defined in Section 5.6 of these policies. Employees will continue to earn additional paid vacation days and sick days during their FMLA leave only for so long as they remain in a paid status under the terms of this policy.

Enforcement
An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.

FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.

This policy is intended to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 as amended, and its implementing regulations. The City will be guided by the specific provisions of the FMLA and related regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor when interpreting and applying this policy in individual cases.

5.10.0 Victim's Economic Security and Safety Leave (VESSA)

 

Eligibility and Leave Entitlement
Pursuant to the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act ("VESSA"), employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence, or have a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, are permitted to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve (12)-month period to:

1. Seek medical attention for, or to recover from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence to the employee or a family or household member;
2. Obtain services from a victim services organization for the employee or a family or household member;
3. Obtain psychological or other counseling for the employee or a family or household member;
4. Participate in safety planning, relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the employee or a family or household member; or
5. Seek legal assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or a family or household member.

Notice and Certification
Employees must give their immediate supervisor or department head at least 48 hours advance notice of their intention to take leave unless such notice is not practicable.

The City may require certification to verify that the employee or the employee’s family or household member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence or to verify that leave is for one of the five purposes listed under “Eligibility and Leave Entitlement.”

Health Insurance and Other Benefits
During the leave, the City will continue an employee’s health care coverage on the same basis as prior to the leave. The City may recover the premium it paid for maintaining coverage if:

1. The employee fails to return from leave after the period of leave to which the employee is entitled has expired; or
2. The employee fails to return from leave for any reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of domestic or sexual violence that entitles the employee to leave under VESSA, or other circumstances beyond the employee’s control. The City may require the employee to submit a certification that he or she is unable to return to work. All information provided to the City will be kept confidential unless disclosure is requested or consented to in writing by the employee or otherwise required by applicable federal or state law.

Employees will not lose any employment benefits earned and accumulated before their VESSA leave begins. Employees may elect to use their earned and accumulated paid vacation days and sick days in conjunction with their VESSA leave and should notify their immediate supervisor if they choose to do so. Employees will continue to earn additional paid vacation days and sick days during their VESSA leave only for so long as they remain in a paid status under the terms of this policy.

Reinstatement
The City will restore an employee to his or her former position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms, provided the employee returns to work at the end of his or her scheduled leave.

The City fully supports the concept of VESSA leave. Accordingly, the City will not interfere with or restrain any employee in the exercise of VESSA leave rights, nor will it retaliate or discriminate against anyone who seeks to enforce these rights.

5.11.0 Pregnancy Accomodations

Pursuant to the Pregnancy Accommodation Amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act, effective January 1, 2015, the City will accommodate pregnant employees. Under the Act, pregnancy is defined as “pregnancy, childbirth, and conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth”. It is a civil rights violation with respect to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions: 

  1. not to make reasonable accommodations, if so requested, unless it can be demonstrated that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the ordinary operations of the City;

  2. to deny employment opportunities or benefits to or take adverse action against an otherwise qualified job applicant or employee;

  3. to require a job applicant or employee to accept an accommodation that the applicant or employee chooses not to accept; or

  4. to require an employee to take leave under any leave law or policy of the City if another reasonable accommodation can be provided.

Employees who would like to make a request for accommodation under this policy should contact the Human Resources Department. The City may request an employee to provide certain information from her health care provider regarding the request for accommodation.  Upon presentation of medical documentation supporting the need for a workplace accommodation, the City will consider accommodation of pregnancy to the extent such accommodation does not pose an undue hardship on the ordinary operation of the business of the City

5.12.0 Miscellaneous Leave Policies

Department heads have authority to approve vacation, jury duty (when the employee receives an official summons), on-the-job injury leave, emergency and sick leave with pay. Such leaves of absences may be requested by the employee, approved by the department head and reported to the Human Resources Department. Leaves of absence for other purposes, with or without pay, may be authorized by the City Manager.

A regular employee selected for jury duty may be granted a leave of absence and receive his/her regular salary. Any jury pay or fees shall be signed over to the City.

In cases where an employee attends court sessions as a defendant, subpoenaed witness or plaintiff in conjunction with that employee’s employment, the employee may be paid for the period of absence. An employee receiving full pay shall sign over to the City any payments received for court appearances.

Blood Component Therapy donors must register their participation in the program with their supervisors. They may be excused with pay to participate in this program provided there is an immediate need by the blood bank.

The City complies with the Illinois School Visitation Rights Act by allowing employees to take up to eight hours of unpaid leave per school year, with no more than four hours being taken in one day. An employee requesting leave under this Act must provide a written request for the leave at least seven days in advance, except in the case of emergencies. This leave is intended to be used as a last resort by employees who have no other paid (vacation or personal) leave available and who have made every attempt to schedule the visit during non-working hours. The employee must provide his/her supervisor with documentation of the visit as provided by the school administrator within 2 working days of the school visitation. If notice is not provided within the required time frame, the employee is subject to the City’s standard disciplinary procedures for unexcused absences. This is unpaid leave, however, the City will make every effort to accommodate an employee who wishes to make up the time, provided it is not disruptive to normal City operations.

Voting Leave – The City encourages employees who desire to do so to exercise their right to vote before or after working hours. Employees who are registered to vote and who are not otherwise able to vote outside working hours are eligible to receive up to two (2) hours off without pay in order to vote in a general or special election, or an election where propositions are submitted to a popular vote. All requests for such time off must be submitted to an employee's immediate supervisor or department head two (2) days prior to the election day and the City may specify the hours during which employees may absent themselves from work in order to vote.