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PS-02.A.09 - Miscellaneous Leave Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 01, 2019

ISSUE #: ​5

PRESIDENT:  Juan Sánchez Muñoz

PURPOSE

This PS describes the miscellaneous leave benefits for University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) regular employees. 

DEFINITIONS

2.1 Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS): The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is charged with protecting children and adults who are elderly or have disabilities living at home or in state facilities, and licensing and regulating group day-care homes, day-care centers, and registered family homes. 

2.2 Regular Employee: An employee who is appointed for at least 20 hours per week on a regular basis for a period of at least four and one-half months, excluding students employed in positions that require student status as a condition for employment. 

POLICY

3.1 Regular employees are entitled to leave benefits in accordance with the State Appropriations Act and other statutory standards. Vacation and sick leave benefits and Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) are delineated in SAM 02.D.01​ and PS 02.A.11, respectively. Miscellaneous leave benefits outlined herein include Amateur Radio Operator, Assistance Dog Training for Employees with Disabilities, Bereavement, Blood Donations, Bone Marrow and Organ Donations, Court Appointed Special Advocates Volunteer, Emergency, Foster Parent, Jury Duty, Military, Parent-Teacher Conference, Red Cross Disaster Volunteer, Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Training, Voting and Witness Duty. 

3.2 Amateur Radio Operator Leave: An employee with an amateur radio station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission may be granted leave not to exceed ten (10) days each fiscal year to participate in specialized disaster relief services. 

3.3 Assistance Dog Training for Employees with Disabilities Leave: An employee with a disability as defined by Texas Human Resources Code, Section 121.002, may be granted paid leave not to exceed ten (10) days in a fiscal year to attend training to acquaint the employee with the dog to be used by the employee. 

3.4 Bereavement Leave: Bereavement leave may be granted by the immediate supervisor in the event of death in the employee’s family. An employee’s family is defined as the employee’s spouse; the employee’s and spouse’s parents; and the employee’s children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and grandchildren. Leave may also be granted for the employee to take care of personal responsibilities surrounding death. 

3.5 Blood Donations Leave: Employees may be allowed time off, without a deduction in salary or accrued leave, to donate blood. Employees may receive time off to donate blood not more than four times in a fiscal year. 

3.6 Bone Marrow and Organ Donor Leave: Employees are entitled to a leave of absence without a deduction in salary for the time necessary to permit the employee to serve as a bone marrow or organ donor. The leave of absence may not exceed: 

  • Five (5) working days in a fiscal year to serve as a bone marrow donor; or 
  • Thirty (30) working days in a fiscal year to serve as an organ donor. ​

3.7 Court Appointed Special Advocates Volunteer Leave: Employees may be granted leave not to exceed five hours each month to participate in mandatory training or perform volunteer services for Court Appointed Special Advocates. 

3.8 Emergency Leave: Emergency leave will be granted in the event of an emergency closing of the campus or a portion of the campus declared by the President or his/her designee. The President or his/her designee may authorize emergency leave in other circumstances when the employee shows good cause for such leave. 

3.9 Foster Parent Leave: An employee who is a foster parent to a child under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), is entitled to a leave of absence with full pay to attend staff meetings regarding the child held by the DFPS or to attend admission, review and dismissal (ARD) meetings held by a school district regarding the child. 

3.10 Jury Duty Leave: An employee is entitled to leave to respond to a summons for jury duty and to serve on a jury, if selected. The employee will be granted a reasonable amount of time to report for jury duty and to report to work following dismissal from jury duty. 

3.11 Military Leave: Military leave may be granted to employees to accommodate:

3.11.1 Authorized training or duty for the State’s military forces and members of any reserve branch of the U.S. Armed Forces 

3.11.2 Activation of the State’s National Guard by the Governor 

3.11.3 National emergency activation for members of a reserve branch of the U.S. Armed Forces

3.12 Educational Activities Leave: An employee may use up to eight hours of sick leave each fiscal year to attend educational activities of the employee’s pre-kindergarten to 12th grade children. Educational activity is defined as a school-sponsored activity, including parent-teacher conference, tutoring, a volunteer program, a field trip, a classroom program, a school committee meeting, an academic competition, and an athletic, music, or theater program. Employees shall give reasonable advance notice to their supervisor of the employee’s intention to use the sick leave to attend an educational activity. This leave is defined in the Leaves of Absence Policy, SAM 02.D.04

3.13 Red Cross Disaster Service Volunteer Leave: Employees who are certified disaster service volunteers of the American Red Cross or are in training to become a volunteer may be granted paid leave, not to exceed ten (10) days each fiscal year, to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross. 

3.14 Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Training Leave: An employee attending volunteer firefighter and emergency medical services training is entitled to paid leave not to exceed five working days each fiscal year. 

3.15 Voting Leave: An employee must be allowed sufficient time off to vote in each national, state, or local elections. 

3.16 Witness Duty Leave: An employee called to appear in an official capacity in any judicial action, legislative investigation, or as an expert witness on behalf of the University shall consider and report that time as time worked and is not entitled to any witness fees. An employee who serves as a witness for any other reason than on behalf of the University must report the time as vacation, compensatory time or unpaid leave, and is entitled to receive witness fees. 

PROCEDURES

4.1 Amateur Radio Operator Leave: The division of emergency management in the Governor’s Office is responsible for coordinating the establishment and maintenance of a list of employees eligible for amateur radio operator leave. The Amateur Radio Operator Leave must be authorized by the employee’s supervisor and the Office of the Governor. This leave must be coded as other paid leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.2 Assistance Dog Training for Employees with Disabilities Leave: Employees requesting leave to attend training for an assistance dog must obtain prior approval from his/her supervisor before taking time off. This leave must be coded as other paid leave on the Leave Absence Request.

4.3 Bereavement Leave: Request for bereavement leave shall be submitted to the employee’s supervisor as early as possible identifying the relationship of the deceased to the employee. Upon return from leave, the employee may be asked to furnish acceptable documentation to his/her supervisor. The amount of time allowed will depend on the circumstances and at the discretion of the supervisor not to exceed five days. Requests for additional time will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by ESO. This leave must be coded as bereavement leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.4 Blood Donations Leave: An employee requesting time off to donate blood must obtain prior approval from his/her supervisor before taking time off. Upon returning to work, the employee shall provide his/her supervisor with proof that the employee donated blood during the time off. This leave must be coded as blood donation leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.5 Bone Marrow and Organ Donation: An employee requesting leave of absence for bone marrow or organ donation must obtain prior approval from his/her supervisor, and complete the required paperwork through ESO before taking time off. Prior to returning to work, employees must submit to ESO a doctor's statement giving the employee full release to return to work. This leave must be coded as bone marrow leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.6 Court Appointed Special Advocates Volunteer Leave: An employee requesting time off to participate in mandatory training or perform volunteer services for Court Appointed Special Advocates must obtain approval before taking time off. This leave must be coded as other paid leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.7 Emergency Leave: In the event that an employee should require emergency leave for other circumstances not relating to a University closure, the employee will need to request approval from the President through ESO. This leave must be coded as emergency leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.8 Foster Parent Leave: An employee requesting time off to attend staff meetings with the Department of Family and Protective Services and school districts regarding the care and education of a foster child must obtain approval before taking time off. This leave must be coded as emergency leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.9 Jury Duty Leave: Employees called to jury duty shall submit appropriate documentation of the jury/court duty to their supervisor in advance. No deduction shall be made from the salary or wages of a UHD regular staff employee for jury service nor shall the employee be required to account to the University for any fee or compensation received for jury duty. Upon return to work, the employee must submit a letter or certificate from the court showing the length of service as juror to their supervisor. This leave must be coded as jury duty leave on the Leave Absence Request.

4.10 Military Leave: An employee who is called to active duty or authorized military training is entitled to a leave of absence of fifteen (15) business days in each federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) without loss of pay or benefits. The fifteen (15) days need not be consecutive. This leave must be coded as military leave on the Leave Absence Request. After exhausting the fifteen (15) days, the employee may use accrued vacation leave or be placed on Leave Without Pay status (or a combination of the two) for the remainder of the active duty period. 

4.10.1 An employee called to state active duty as a member of the state military forces by the governor because of an emergency is entitled to receive emergency leave without loss of military or annual leave. This leave is unlimited and will be provided without a deduction in salary. 

4.10.2 A member of the National Guard or any reserve branch of the U. S. Armed Forces called to federal active duty during a national emergency is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence after exhausting the fifteen (15) days of paid military leave. In this instance, the employee retains any accrued sick or annual leave. Otherwise, the employee may use any accrued vacation leave, compensatory time, or overtime leave to maintain benefits for the employee or the employee’s dependents while on military duty. The employee does not earn sick or annual leave during this period; however, he or she does accrue state service credit. 

4.10.3 Requests for military leave must be submitted in writing to the employee’s supervisor as far in advance as possible. A copy of the official military orders must accompany the request. 

4.11 Educational Activities Leave: Employees requesting leave to attend educational activities, as defined in 3.12, must obtain prior approval from his/her supervisor before taking time off. This leave should be coded as sick leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.12 Red Cross Disaster Service Volunteer Leave: Employees who are certified disaster service volunteers of the American Red Cross, or are in training to become volunteers, must have the approval of their supervisor and the Office of the Governor, and a formal request from the American Red Cross. The division of emergency management in the Governor’s Office shall coordinate the establishment and maintenance of a list of eligible employees. This leave must be coded as other paid leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.13 Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services Training Leave: An employee attending volunteer firefighter and emergency medical services training is entitled to paid leave not to exceed five working days each fiscal year. The employee shall submit appropriate documentation of the training to his or her supervisor in advance. Upon returning to work, the employee must submit documentation showing the training was successfully completed. This leave must be coded as other paid duty leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.14 Voting Leave: Employees requesting leave to vote must obtain prior approval from his/her supervisor before taking time off. This leave must be coded as other paid duty leave on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.15 Witness Duty: An employee who is asked to serve as an uncompensated witness, but is not appearing in an official capacity on behalf of the University, must request vacation, compensatory time, or unpaid leave to perform this service. The employee shall provide the supervisor with a copy of their subpoena or summons, and shall promptly and accurately record the use of leave. However, time away for this type of service must be with the supervisor’s prior approval and normal request procedures for vacation, compensatory time, or leave without pay apply. This leave must be coded accordingly on the Leave Absence Request. 

4.16 All miscellaneous leave must be tracked by supervisors, in accordance with this policy, and reflected on employees’ Leave Absence Requests. 

EXHIBITS

There are no exhibits associated with this policy.

REVIEW PROCESS

Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Employment Services and Operations 

Review: Every three years on or before July 1st. 

Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations. 

POLICY HISTORY

Issue #1: 04/25/94

Issue #2: 08/09/99

Issue #3: 09/29/08

Issue #4: 04/20/15 

REFERENCES

UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.D.01

UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.D.04

UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.D.05

UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.D.07

Texas Government Code 661

Texas Human Resources Code, Section 121.002

Last updated 4/24/2022 3:16 PM