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Providing timely disposition of Merit employee grievance and maintenance review classification appeals.
5.1.1 The following days are legal holidays for employees: New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day: Veterans’ Day; General Election Day; Thanksgiving Day; Day after Thanksgiving; Christmas Day; and Return Day (the second day after the General Election), 3.75 hours for 37.5 hours work week schedule or 4 hours for 40 hour work week schedule for employees who live or work in Sussex County; and any other day or part of proclaimed by the Governor as a holiday.
5.1.2 When a legal holiday falls on a Saturday, the prior business day shall be the legal holiday. When a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, the next business day shall be the legal holiday. (See 4.14.3)
5.2 Annual Leave
5.2.1 Employees shall accrue annual leave for each month’s completed service according to the following schedules:
18.104.22.168 less than 10 years: 9.5 hours (37.5 hours schedule 10 hours (40 hour schedule)
22.214.171.124 10 to less than 15 years: 11.25 hours (37.5 hour schedule) 12 hours (40 hour schedule)
126.96.36.199 15 or more years: 13.25 hours (37.5 hour schedule) 14 hours (40 hour schedule)
5.2.2 All leave requests are subject to agency approval, taking into consideration employee requests, operating requirements and seniority, and shall be answered as soon as practicable. Leave may not be taken in excess of hours earned. Absences for a fraction of an hour shall be rounded up to .25 hour increments except that within the quarter hour, absences of less than 7 minutes shall be rounded down.
5.2.3 Accrual continues during absence from work on a legal holiday; on paid leave (see exceptions 188.8.131.52 & 184.108.40.206); on unpaid leave of 30 days or less; and while receiving a salary supplement pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5933 (workers’ compensation) and while receiving a short-term disability supplement from the State sponsored Disability Insurance program pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5253 (b) (short-term disability.) Accrual is credited to the employee leave account on the first day of the month following accrual. Accrual shall be on a pro-rata basis.
220.127.116.11 Leave does not accrue when using sick leave to travel out of the United States for the purpose of adopting a child from a foreign country pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5116 (b) (adoption leave) see 5.3.3;
18.104.22.168 Leave does not accrue when on paid Military Serious Illness/Injury leave pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5933 (e) see 5.3.3;
5.2.4 Annual leave credit carried into a new calendar year may not exceed 318 hours (37.5 hours schedule) or 336 hours (40 hour schedule). Agencies may request approval from the DHR Secretary to carry over annual leave in excess of the maximum amount. Upon separation only, employees shall be paid for their accumulated annual leave at their current amount, excluding all supplemental and premiumpays.
5.2.5 Employees covered by practices in effect on or before June 30, 1968, shall continue to earn, accumulate, carry over or be paid at a rate established by those practices, provided they remain in the service of the same employment agency or transfer for reasons beyond their control.
5.2.6 Employees approved for workers’ compensation may request to use accrued annual leave when they are less than fully paid under workers’ compensation. Such leave shall be charged as the difference between workers’ compensation pay and their regular pay.
5.2.7 Employees who move from non-classified to classified positions shall be credited with any annual leave for which they were not paid. Employees whomove from classified to non-classified positions may transfer accrued annual leave to the extent the receiving agency agrees. Such employees shall be paid by the former agency for any annual leave the receiving agency refuses to accept.
5.2.8 If an employee resigns or is terminated for any reason including dismissal, or dies with unused annual leave credit, the employee or his/her estate as applicable, shall be paid in cash for any unused annual leave.
5.2.9 Employees may utilize earned annual leave to supplement short term disability benefits to equal 100% of pre-disability creditable compensation for the maximum period of 182-calendar-days pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5253 (b)(4) (short term disability).
5.3 Sick Leave
5.3.1 Employees shall accrue sick leave for each completed month’s service at the following rate: 9.5 hours (37.5 hour schedule) 10 hours (40 hour schedule).
5.3.2 Sick leave shall be requested in advance. In instances of unanticipated need to use sick leave, employees must notify their supervisor within the first hour of absence or as soon as practicable or as specified by the agency. Failure to do so or otherwise obtain approval shall result in leave denial. Agencies may require documentation which justifies absences or verifies ability to return to work. Absences for a fraction of an hour shall be rounded up to .25 increments except that within the quarter hour, absences of less than 7 minutes shall be rounded down.
5.3.3 Accrual continues during absence from work on a legal holiday; on paid leave; on unpaid leave of 30 days or less and while receiving a salary supplement pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5933 (workers’ compensation) and while receiving a short-termdisability supplement from the State sponsored Disability Insurance program pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5253 (b) (short-term disability.) Accrual is credited to employee leave accounts on the first day of the month following accrual. Accrual shall be prorated.
22.214.171.124 Leave does not accrue when using sick leave to travel out of the United States for the purpose of adopting a child from a foreign country pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5116 (b) (adoption leave) see 5.2.3;
126.96.36.199 Leave does not accrue when on paid Military Serious Illness/Injury leave pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5933(e) see 5.2.3;
5.3.4 Employees shall be paid for accumulated sick leave at their current salary, excluding all supplemental and premium pays, under the following conditions:
188.8.131.52 At retirement under the State Pension Law, upon commencement of long-term disability [29 Del.C. §5253(c)(5)], or if laid off without prejudice for lack of work at the rate of 1 hour’s pay for each 2 hours of sick leave. The maximum payment is 337.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 360 hours (40 hour weekly schedule).
184.108.40.206 At death of the employee, at the rate of 1 hour’s pay for each hour of sick leave to the employee’s estate. The maximum payment is 675 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 720 hours (40 hour weekly schedule).
5.3.5 Employees covered by practices in effect on or before June 30, 1968, shall earn, accumulate, carry over or be paid at a rate established by those practices, provided they remain in the service of the same agency or transfer for reasons beyond their control.
5.3.6 Upon supervisory approval, which shall not be unreasonably denied, employees may use paid sick leave for the following reasons:
220.127.116.11 Employee illness, injury, temporary disability or exposure to contagious disease.
18.104.22.168 Employee appointments with doctors, dentists, or other similar practitioners or to accompany the following individuals when their personal attendance is required: employees’ spouse or domestic partner; and parent, stepparent or child of the employee, spouse or domestic partner. In exceptional circumstances, agencies may approve the use of sick leave for someone not specifically listed. Whenever possible, such appointments should be scheduled outside of employee’s normal working hours.
22.214.171.124 Serious illness or injury of the following individuals when their personal attendance is required: spouse or domestic partner; and parent, step-parent, or child of the employee, spouse or domestic partner. In exceptional circumstances, agencies may approve the use of sick leave for someone not specifically listed.
126.96.36.199 Employees approved for workers’ compensation may request sick leave when they are less than fully paid under workers’ compensation. Such leave shall be charged at the difference between workers’ compensation pay and their regular pay.
188.8.131.52 Employees may utilize earned sick leave to supplement short-term disability benefits to equal 100% of pre-disability creditable compensation for the maximum period of 182-calendar-days pursuant to 29 Del.C. §5253 (b)(4) (short term disability).
184.108.40.206 Employees who have been continuously employed on a full time basis for at least 1 year at the time of application for leave may utilize accumulated sick leave to travel out of the United States for the purpose of adopting a child from a foreign country. Before the leave will be granted, employees must provide documentation that they have applied for the adoption and that the travel is required for the adoption to be approved. Once the adoption has been approved the leave will be pursuant to The Family and Medical Leave Act (29 USC §2601 et seq.); see also 29 Del.C. §5116 (b).
220.127.116.11 In accordance with 29 Del.C. §5120 eligible employees may use up to twelve weeks accumulated sick leave upon the birth of a child of the employee or the employee’s spouse, or adoption by the employee of a pre-kindergarten age child. Leave for these purposes shall be used during the year immediately following the birth or adoption and be scheduled in advance whenever possible. Employees shall use such leave in accordance with Merit Rule 5.7 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
5.3.7 Employees may not take sick leave with pay in excess of the hours actually accrued. In extreme cases, agencies may allow employees with more than 5 years service, who have not abused sick leave, to “borrow ahead” up to 112.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 120 hours (40 hour weekly schedule) of sick leave after their sick and annual leave is exhausted.
5.3.8 Employees who are injured on the job and approved for workers compensation will not be charged with sick leave for any portion of the day of injury.
5.3.9 Employees who move from non-classified to classified positions shall be credited with any sick leave for which they were not paid. Employees who move from classified to non-classified positions shall transfer accrued sick leave to the extent the receiving agency agrees.
5.4 Compassionate Leave
5.4.1 Upon the death of an immediate family member, employees shall be granted 22.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 24 hours (40 hour weekly schedule) leave with pay, on a pro-rata basis normally to be used on consecutive work days. Employees may request agency approval for a person not specified as immediate family.
5.4.2 Employees shall be granted 7.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 8 hours (40 hour weekly schedule) leave with pay, on a pro-rata basis to attend memorial services or related activity of the following: aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew; brother/sister-in-law; grandparent-in-law; or any other relative or friend living in the employee’s household.
5.5 Other Leaves With Pay
5.5.1 Employees shall be excused from work with pay for the following reasons:
18.104.22.168 To attend training camp or special duty on orders as a member of the military reserves of the United States or the National Guard, not to exceed 112.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 120 hours (40 hour weekly schedule), on a pro-rata basis, in any calendar year.
22.214.171.124 To train and participate as a member of the United States team in any competition sanctioned by the United States Olympic Committee, in the capacity of coach, athlete, official, trainer or group leader, not to exceed 90 working days.
126.96.36.199 To donate bone marrow, not to exceed 7 days of leave in any calendar year.
188.8.131.52 To donate an organ, not to exceed 30 days of leave in any calendar year.
184.108.40.206 To serve on one veteran funeral detail per calendar year if a veteran ora member of the National Guard Reserve.
220.127.116.11 To undergo a medical procedure or operation for a serious illness/injury suffered in the line of duty that is caused or contributed to by war or act of war (declared or not), not sooner than 30 calendardays of return to active State employment nor following one year of return from active military duty and not to exceed six months of absence. Employee must be a member of the United States Military or National Guard. This leave is to run concurrent with FMLA see 5.7.
5.5.2 Employees shall be excused from work with pay for the following reasons: however, they shall return to work within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the following activities. Agencies shall, if possible, make shift changes to accommodate non day shift employees for their involvement in the following:
18.104.22.168 To appear under subpoena to testify, unless they are one of the parties in the proceeding or the subpoena arises from other employment or volunteer activities.
22.214.171.124 To report to serve on a jury.
126.96.36.199 To appear on their own behalf before a hearing officer or the Merit Employee Relations Board in a Merit system grievance. Excusal from work with pay is not authorized for preparation of a grievance or consultation with employees’ representatives.
188.8.131.52 For a scheduled examination or interview for a Classified position in the State.
5.5.3 Employees may be excused from work with pay, at agency discretion, for the following reasons:
184.108.40.206 To serve as a delegate to conventions of unions or employee organizations or to engage in similar job related activities, not to exceed 37.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 40 hours (40 hour weekly schedule) on a pro-rata basis in any calendar year.
220.127.116.11 To serve as a volunteer on an advisory body or commission or similar group sponsored by local or State government or statewide organization to programs benefitting diverse segments of Delaware citizens.
18.104.22.168 To respond to volunteer emergency fire duty, if they are active firefighters or auxiliary members.
22.214.171.124 To respond to disaster relief, not to exceed 15 work days, if they are Certified Disaster Service Volunteers of the American Red Cross.
126.96.36.199 As part of a recognition program approved by the DHR Secretary, not to exceed 7.5 hours (37.5 hour weekly schedule) or 8 hours (40 hour weekly schedule) per award. Such leave must be used within 1 year of being awarded and is not subject to cash payments.
5.6 Leave Without Pay
5.6.1 Employees shall be granted leaves of absence without pay to serve a tour of active duty in the United States military, plus 90 calendar days beyond the end of active duty. When such employees notify the agency of intent to return to work,with evidence of honorable release from military service, they shall be returned to a position in the same or comparable class for which they qualify.
5.6.2 Employees may be granted leaves of absence without pay at agency discretion for personal reasons up to 1 year. In exceptional circumstances, additional 6 month periods may be granted, but in no case shall continuous leave exceed 2 years. Employees may return to duty before the expiration of the leave only with agency approval. Employees returning from a leave of absence of 6 months or less shall be returned to the duty assignment previously held. Employees returning from a leave of absence greater than 6 months shall be returned to a position in the same class or comparable class when leave was granted.
5.7 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA eligible employees will be provided with FMLA leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Employees shall be required to use available accrued annual leave and sick leave while on FMLA with the exception of one work week of annual leave and one work week of sick leave, which they may elect to retain for use upon return to work. Usage of accrued sick leave shall only be in accordancewith M.R. 5.3. Employees on approved Military Serious Illness/Injury leave shall be eligible for wages under Military Serious Illness/Injury leave only see M.R. 188.8.131.52.
5.7.1 FMLA leave shall not be charged to an employee for time missed from work as a result of illness or injury covered by workers’ compensation, unless requested by the employee.
5.8 Educational Leave and Assistance. Agencies may approve educational leave without pay. Upon agency request, the DHR Secretary may approve leave with pay. The purpose of such leave is to permit employees to pursue education or training directly related to State employment which is not available through in-service training.
5.8.1 Educational reimbursement shall be offered by agencies consistent with their budgetary allowances. Reimbursement will be made only upon submission of evidence of satisfactory completion accompanied by paid receipts. In exceptional circumstances, agencies may pay in advance of course completion. In such case, employees shall reimburse agencies if they do not submit evidence of satisfactory completion. Employees shall reimburse agencies for tuition and paid education leave if they do not submit evidence of satisfactory course completion or if they leave State employment within 6 months of course completion.
5.9 The DHR Secretary may grant an agency request for an extended leave of absence to a Classified employee to serve in any nonclassified position described in 29 Del.C. §5903 (4), (5), (6) and (23). At the end of that appointment, employees shall be returned within 60 days to a position for which they are qualified in the Classified Service, provided that the position is the same paygrade or lower as the position from which they left the Classified Service. They may also return to the Classified Service via the competitive process, in which case they would be considered an in-house candidate for the agency from which they originally received their leave of absence. Pay upon return to the Classified Service is set forth in 4.10.
5.10 Other Leave Related Benefits
5.10.1 Employees participating in the STD program shall not be eligible to utilize paid leave in lieu of application for short-termdisability.
5.10.2 An employee on approved STD, who does not supplement the 75 percent STD payment with 25 percent leave for a period greater than 30 calendar-days, will accrue leave on a pro-rata basis.