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Module 8

Leaves


This presentation is part of a series designed to share important information about Brevard Public Schools with newly employed individuals.  It is our goal to help you understand your rights, responsibilities, benefits and the operation of our school system so that you can become a vital member of our team in as short a time as possible.

The information shared in this series is a summary of other documents maintained by the district as well as applicable laws, rules and regulations.  This orientation program is not meant to replace these other documents but rather to make you aware of both your obligations and privileges as an employee of Brevard Public Schools.  This program is also not meant to create, nor should it be construed as creating, a contract of employment.  This module, as well as the three before it, is about the benefits, insurance and otherwise, for which you may be eligible as an employee.  This one will cover disability insurance, our employee assistance program, flexible spending accounts, life insurance and leaves of absence, both paid and unpaid

Brevard Public Schools offers two types of disability insurance coverage to employees--short-term disability and long-term disability.  Because disability income payments are received tax free, premiums for this insurance must be paid with after tax dollars. 

Short-term Disability insurance assures that you will receive benefits equal to 60% of your basic weekly salary should you become disabled and not able to work.  These benefits begin on the 15th day of your disability and continue for up to 26 weeks.  Your sick leave and or paid vacation may provide you with regular income until your short-term disability benefits begin.  However, short-term disability benefits can begin before you have used up your vacation and sick leave.  Weekly benefits are paid on one fifty-second of your annual contract salary.  If you do not elect disability coverage at the time of your first opportunity to do so, you will have to provide a health history in order to enroll at a later date.

Long-term Disability insurance assures that you will receive salary of up to 60% of your basic monthly earnings if you are disabled and cannot work. Long-term disability is offset by any benefits that you may qualify for from social security or workers' compensation. Long-term disability benefits begin 180 days after your disability begins. Monthly benefits are based on one twelfth of your annual contact salary or monthly wage rate.


Benefits are payable to age 65 (or 71 for disabilities incurred after age 60).  Pre-existing conditions will be covered after you have been enrolled in the plan for 12 months. If you do not elect disability coverage at the time of your first opportunity to do so, you will have to provide a health history in order to enroll at a later date. Brevard Public Schools also offers insurance that will help you in the event of Accidental Death or an Accident that results in Dismemberment. Under this option you may elect coverage in amounts of one, two, three or four times your annual base pay.  A family coverage option is also available.

Our Employee Assistance Program provides a variety of counseling and informational services.  It is available for problems not normally covered under our Mental Health Plan, such as stress, weight loss, financial issues, family problems, smoking cessation, etc.  It can also be used for information and referral if you need help determining how to tackle a personal or workplace problem.  A supervisor may also refer an employee to the Employee Assistance Program if it appears personal issues are interfering with work performance. 

You and your family members are eligible for up to six visits per contract year to an approved mental health provider, at no cost to you.  You do not need to be covered by one of our health plans to use our Employee Assistance Program.

Mental health care benefits are available through CIGNA. 

Flexible Spending Accounts, which are sometimes called reimbursement accounts, let you pay for eligible health care expenses and dependent care expenses on a pretax basis.  The money is not taxed when it is deducted from your paycheck and it is not taxed when it is paid back to you from your Reimbursement Account.  Money set aside for a Flexible Spending Account does not reduce your retirement benefits because the salaries reported for retirement are gross wages; that is your wages before any deductions are taken out of your pay.

A Healthcare Flexible Sending Account is designed specifically for reimbursement for medical, dental and vision care expenses you expect to incur during the plan year.  These expenses are those that are not covered by your health care plan.  Each year you may contribute up to a maximum of $3,000 in pre-tax dollars to your Healthcare spending Account.

A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account allows you to pay for eligible dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.  To be eligible, expenses must be for the care of a child under 13 years of age, or a disabled dependent adult and necessary for you and or your spouse to able to work or attend school on a full-time basis. 

Each year you may contribute up to a maximum of $5,000 in pre-tax dollars to your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account except if you are married and file separate tax returns, your maximum annual contribution is $2,500.

You must re-enroll each year to participate in either a healthcare or a dependent care flexible spending account.  You cannot change the amount you are contributing to your reimbursement accounts during the year, unless you have a change in family status.  A change in family status is something like your spouse losses employment.  Also, you may not transfer money between your healthcare and day care reimbursement accounts.

Any money left in your reimbursement accounts at year's end must be forfeited.  This means you lose all rights to that money.  So, it is important that you put only enough money into your flexible spending accounts to cover the expenses you are sure you will have.

As an employee of Brevard Public Schools you are automatically covered with a basic life insurance in an amount equal to one times your annual base pay.  You may also select additional employee life insurance coverage in amounts of one, two, or three times your annual base pay.  Once you have enrolled in this additional life insurance, the amount of increase in coverage you may select each year during open enrollment is limited to one times your annual salary up to the maximum of three times your annual base salary.

If you do not sign up for life insurance at your first opportunity to do so and you want to obtain coverage at a later enrollment opportunity, you will be subject to medical underwriting.  Medical underwriting means you will have to fill out a Medical History Statement and may have to take a physical examination.

Long-term care provides a variety of personal and household services for people  who are unable to care for themselves. Long-term care coverage is specially designed to he to cover the costs of long-term care services and gives you the peace of mind that come comes with knowing you are prepared for the future. To learn more about long-term care including what types of coverage are available and what it will cost, go to the website address shown at the end of this
module.

Paid leaves of absence include vacation, sick leave, some types of military service leaves and others.  Your immediate supervisor must always be notified and grant approval prior to you taking any leave.  Employees in positions that are covered by a negotiated bargaining unit agreement should refer to the appropriate agreement.

First we will look at paid vacation.  Not all employees earn vacation time.  Check with your supervisor or with the provisions of a bargaining unit agreement if you are not sure whether you earn vacation time or not.  If you earn vacation time the amount you earn depends upon years of continuous service you have with Brevard Public Schools.  Vacation leave is earned at the rate of 1 day per month during your first 5 years of continuous service, 1¼ days per month for years 6 through 10 and 1½ days per month when you have worked for more than 10 continuous years for the district.

Paid sick leave is earned at the rate of one day of sick leave for each month you are employed.  Sick leave may be used for either personal illness or the illness or death of a relative or a person residing in your household.  Unused sick leave benefits may accumulate without any limit. 

Certificated employees may transfer sick leave from other public school systems to Brevard Public Schools. Support employees may transfer sick leave from other public education institutions in the State of Florida.  The sick leave must be verified in writing by the previous district/educational institution. When sick leave is transferred, one day of the transferred sick leave is added to your balance each month until the total number of transferred days has been placed in your sick leave account.

The Sick Leave Bank is a source from which additional paid sick leave days.  You must join the bank and apply for benefits at the time you need them.  Sick leave bank days may be granted for your own catastrophic or prolonged personal illness, for an accident or an injury. Membership in the Sick Leave Bank is available to full time employees after completion of at least one full year of employment with the District. Details about this benefit are available on the district website.

You may use up to six days of accumulated sick leave each fiscal year for personal reasons. Personal leave is not cumulative.  This means you cannot save them from one year to the next.  These days may be taken for personal reasons as long as they do not result in taxable income, result in activities for union associated business or result in any form of work stoppage. 

Jury Duty or Court Service leave with pay may be granted to you if you are summoned to court for jury duty or subpoenaed as a witness before a court or regulatory agency.  Paid court service leave is not available for any legal action in which you are a party.  If you are personally involved, you may request personal or vacation leave.  A copy of the subpoena or jury summons must accompany your leave form when you request paid jury duty or court service leave. If you are represented by a bargaining unit, you should refer to your collective bargaining agreements for any specific rules that may apply.  Remember the bargaining unit agreements are on the district website.

Illness or Injury in the Line of Duty paid leave is available to employees who must be absent from work due to a personal injury received in the discharge of their duties or because of an illness from a contagious or infectious disease contracted in school work. This leave will result in no reduction of either your salary or your accumulated sick leave.  Illness or injury in line of duty leave may not exceed ten days in any fiscal year.

Professional paid leave may be used for the employee’s professional growth.  It may be granted when the experience shall be deemed to be of substantial benefit to the school district and shall have an immediate application to the current role of the employee.  Examples are conferences, conventions and seminars.

Line-of-Duty leave is used when the leave is needed to perform job functions and is required by the supervisor.

There is more than one kind of paid military leave.  One kind is for reserve training duty only.  The maximum number of days paid for this kind of leave is seventeen days per fiscal year.  Remember a fiscal year is from July 1st to June 30th.  Military leave, which is voluntary on the part of the employee, is not paid.   Another type of paid military leave is call up for duty other than training.  The maximum number of days paid for this kind of leave is thirty days per fiscal year.    A copy of your military orders is required.  The third type of paid military leave occurs in the event of a national emergency.  Employees who are required to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States or of the State of Florida will be granted military leave.  In this situation you will be paid the difference in pay, if the military pay is less than the employee’s normal rate of pay, for a period not to exceed one calendar year.  In all cases of military leave, a copy of your official orders is required.

Now, let’s move on the leaves of absence that are not paid.

Professional Study may be granted to employees for up to one fiscal year of leave without pay to continue their education.  Leave for certificated personnel may begin only at the start of the school year. Your spouse may also be granted personal leave to accompany your mate when leave is granted. 

Personal Leave Not Paid may be granted for up to one fiscal year at the Board’s discretion. 

Illness Leave Not Paid is available should you exhaust all of your paid sick leave but you continue to be sick or disabled and unable to return to work.  Leave may be granted for a maximum of two years.

Extended illness leave is also available to some employees if you exhaust all you paid sick leave, but still cannot return to work.  This leave is only available if you are not eligible for Family Medical Leave.  Brevard Public Schools paid group health care benefits will be continued and paid for by the Board for a period not to exceed sixty days. Any application for this leave must be accompanied by a physician’s statement. 

Brevard Public Schools may grant an employee up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. This leave is family medical leave and is mandated by the federal Family Medical Leave Act.  The Board will maintain your health care coverage while you are on FMLA leave.  In order to be eligible for this type of unpaid leave you must have worked for the School Board for at least one year and for 1,250 hours during the previous twelve months.  Teachers are exempt from the 1,250-hour requirement.   Medical certification to support your request is required.

Maternity leave without pay may be granted for a partial or complete school year upon certification by a physician verifying the pregnancy and setting forth the estimated date of delivery. The request for maternity leave must be made not later than five calendar weeks prior to the estimated delivery date. Upon return from maternity leave the employee must present certification that she is physically and mentally able to perform her duties. 

Unpaid paternity leave are also available without pay.  Proof of the birth will be required.  Paternity leave may be granted for a partial or complete school year

You may also apply for an unpaid leave of absence in the event of your adoption of a child. Application for this kind of leave must be submitted to the supervisor within two calendar weeks after the approval for adoption by the recognized adoption agency or source. 

An employee who has been granted maternity, paternity or adoption leave may apply for an extension of unpaid leave for a period of one school year for the purpose of child rearing.  This leave may be granted for the balance of the school year in which the child is born or adopted plus one succeeding school year.

http://benefits.brevard.k12.fl.us/Benefits.htm
      Employee benefits information

http://benefits.brevard.k12.fl.us/Benefits.htm
      Mental Health benefits information

http://benefits.brevard.k12.fl.us/Benefits.htm
      Long-term care information

http://hrweb.brevard.k12.fl.us/LR/hrlr.htm 
      Brevard Federation of Teachers Contract

http://hrweb.brevard.k12.fl.us/LR/hrlr.htm 
      Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, Local 1010 Contract

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