Title 17. Education

Chapter 2. Teachers and Employees

Part X. Leaves of Absence

Subpart B. Sick Leave

 

17:1202    Teachers; extended sick leave

 

A. (1) Every city, parish, and other local public school board shall permit:

 

(a) Each teacher to take up to ninety days of extended sick leave in each six-year period of employment, which may be used for a medical necessity in the manner provided in this Section at any time that the teacher has no remaining regular sick leave balance.

 

(b) Each teacher granted maternity leave in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 17:48 or 1211 and who has no remaining sick leave balance available to take in the manner provided in this Section up to thirty days of additional extended sick leave in each six-year period of employment for personal illness relating to pregnancy, illness of an infant, or for required medical visits certified by a physician as relating to infant or maternal health.

 

(2) As used in this Section the following terms shall have the following meanings:

 

(a) “Child” means a biological son or daughter, an adopted son or daughter, a foster son or daughter, a stepson or daughter, or a legal ward of a teacher standing in loco parentis to that ward who is either under the age of eighteen, or who is eighteen years of age but under twenty-four years of age and is a full-time student, or who is nineteen years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

 

(b) “Immediate family member” means a spouse, parent, or child of a teacher.

 

(c) “Infant” means a child under one year of age.

 

(d) “Medical necessity” means the result of catastrophic illness or injury, a life threatening condition, a chronic condition, or an incapacitating condition, as certified by a physician, of a teacher or an immediate family member.

 

(e) “Parent” means the biological parent of a teacher or an individual who stood in loco parentis to the teacher.

 

B. (1) Unused days during any six-year period of employment shall not cumulate or carry forward into the next six-year period of employment.

 

(2) The balance of days of extended leave available to a teacher shall transfer with such teacher from one public school employer to another without loss of days and without restoration of days.

 

(3) Interruptions of service between periods of employment with a public school employer shall not be included in any calculation of a six-year period, such that any employment with any public school employer, regardless of when it occurs, shall be included in any determination of the balance of days of extended sick leave available to a teacher.

 

C. (1) All time while on extended sick leave is regular service time for all purposes for which service time is calculated or used.

 

(2) Any teacher on extended sick leave shall be paid sixty-five percent of the salary paid to him at the time the extended sick leave begins.

 

D. (1) No teacher may undertake additional gainful employment while on extended sick leave, unless all of the following conditions are met:

 

(a) The teacher can demonstrate that he will be working not more than twenty hours a week in a part-time job that he has been working for not less than one hundred twenty days prior to the beginning of any period of extended sick leave.

 

(b) The physician who certifies the medical necessity of the leave indicates that such part-time work does not impair the purpose for which the extended leave is required.

 

(2) Any violation of this prohibition may require the teacher to return to the employer all compensation paid during any week of extended leave in which the teacher worked more than twenty hours and to reimburse the employer all related employment costs attributable to such period as calculated by the employer, without any restoration of such days.

 

E. (1)(a) On every occasion that a teacher uses extended sick leave, a statement from a licensed physician certifying that it is for personal illness relating to pregnancy, illness of an infant, or for required medical visits related to infant or maternal health or that it is a medical necessity shall be presented prior to the extension of such leave.

 

(b) Repealed by Acts 2014, No. 659, § 2.

 

(c) The physician statement required by this Paragraph may be presented and the extended sick leave may be requested subsequent to the teacher’s return to service. In such a case, the extended leave shall be granted for all days for which such leave is requested and the required documentation is presented provided the leave is requested and the required documentation is presented within three days after the teacher returns to service.

 

(2)(a) If the board or superintendent, upon review of the application, questions the validity or accuracy of the certification, the board or superintendent, as the case may be, referred to in this Paragraph as the “challenging party”, may require the teacher or the immediate family member, as a condition for continued extended leave, to be examined by a licensed physician selected by the challenging party. In such a case, the employer shall pay all costs of the examination and any tests determined to be necessary. If the physician selected by the challenging party finds medical necessity, the leave shall be granted.

 

(b) If the physician selected by the challenging party disagrees with the certification of the physician selected by the teacher or the immediate family member, then the challenging party may require the teacher or the immediate family member, as a condition for continued extension of sick leave, to be examined by a third licensed appropriate physician whose name appears next in the rotation of physicians on a list established by the local medical society for such purpose and maintained by the challenging party. All costs of an examination and any required tests by a third doctor shall be paid by the employer. The opinion of the third physician shall be determinative of the issue.

 

(c) The opinion of all physicians consulted as provided in this Paragraph shall be submitted to the challenging party in the form of a sworn statement which shall be subject to the provisions of R.S. 14:125.

 

(d)(i) In addition to the authority provided in R.S. 17:1201(A)(2), the board shall adopt a policy regarding providing for employees suffering from catastrophic and long-term illness.

 

(ii) The board may, as part of a collective bargaining agreement, or by its own policy, provide additional compensation or extended leave days in excess of what is required in this Section.

 

(3) All information contained in any statement from a physician shall be confidential and shall not be subject to the public records law.

 

F. Each city, parish, and other local public school board shall develop and implement a sick leave bank policy to allow for the donation of sick leave among teachers.

 

G. Each city, parish, and other local public school board annually shall submit a report to the state Department of Education on the number of leave requests granted each year pursuant to this Section, the number of leave requests denied, and the reason or reasons for such denials.

 

H. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, all decisions relative to the granting of leave pursuant to this Section shall be made by the superintendent of the local public school system.

 

Amended by Acts 1987, No. 656, § 1; Acts 1999, No. 1341, § 1; Acts 2001, No. 278, § 1, eff. June 1, 2001; Acts 2011, No. 405, § 2, eff. July 1, 2011; Acts 2012, No. 788, § 2, eff. June 13, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 659, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 849, § 1, eff. June 23, 2014.