Leave of Absence

SCCSD Leave of Absence Policy

The Sioux City Community School District leave of absence policy allows an employee to apply for a leave of absence for personal, medical, or educational reasons. A formal letter of request must be submitted to the Human Resource Department for approval. The District allows a maximum of two years for an approved leave of absence.

The advantage of an approved leave of absence is that the employee must be offered the first open position for which he or she is qualified at the end of the first or second year of Leave. A position will only be held for those in their first year of an approved medical leave that does not cross into the following school year.

If the employee is unable to return to work after the 2nd year of medical, personal or educational leave of absence, they will be asked to submit their letter of resignation or retirement notice to the Human Resources office.

The Sioux City Community School District does adhere to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) guidelines. Formal notification must be supplied to the District HR office for military leave.

Personal and educational leaves are unpaid, but the insurance benefits may be continued at the employee’s expense. If the employee elects insurance, they must pay 121 Benefits private check or money order by the first of each month in which premiums are due, or the insurance will be terminated.

An employee on a medical leave of absence for their own serious health condition must utilize available sick leave until it is exhausted. If the employee is qualified for Family Medical Leave, the first 12 weeks of their medical leave is documented as FMLA leave. If the employee is not eligible for FMLA leave or FMLA leave has been exhausted, they must request a medical leave of absence. The purpose of the leave of absence is to protect the employee’s job and benefits while they are receiving medical treatment.

Under the medical leave of absence, the employee would continue to receive insurance cafeteria plan contributions if eligible for them. Any insurance premium normally paid for by the Sioux City School District will continue to be paid for one year, as well as any cash benefit. Employees on medical leave are responsible for paying their portion of the insurance premium. Any portion of the insurance premium that is unable to be payroll
deducted must be paid by the employee via private check or money order by the first of the month in which premiums are due or the insurance will be terminated.

The employee on medical leave may apply for a second-year leave of absence by submitting another letter to the Human Resources Office. If approved, the employee may elect to stay on the health, dental and vision insurance, but are responsible for all insurance premiums. The employee would no longer receive any Cafeteria Dollars if previously receiving as part of their District Cafeteria Plan. Life & Long Term Disability insurance may not be continued during a second-year leave of absence unless a claim for waiver of the premium was filed and approved.
To be eligible for IPERS disability, an employee must terminate employment status with the Sioux City Community School District.

SCCSD Leave of Absence FAQ

What is a leave of absence? 

The purpose of a Board approved leave of absence is to protect an employee’s job, and insurance and benefits while on leave. The Sioux City Community School District allows employees to apply for a leave of absence for personal, medical, educational, or military reasons. 

How do I request a leave of absence? 

Employees who meet FMLA qualifications must first exhaust the 12 weeks of protected leave prior to applying for a Board-approved medical leave. Visit the Family Medical Leave Act page for more information about FMLA.

Regular staff (exempt and non-exempt) who will not be doing work for the District for at least 10 working days—and who may or may not be using paid time off—may request a leave of absence. Employees must submit a leave of absence request to the human resources department in writing. The request must explain the reason for the leave and the amount of leave time desired. The minimum duration of a leave of absence is 12 weeks. 

The terms and conditions of the absence must be agreed upon by the employee submitting the request and his/her supervisor. The request must be approved by the director of human resources and the Sioux City Community School District Board. 

Do I qualify for a Board-approved medical leave of absence? 

Employees who are not eligible for FMLA leave or if FMLA leave has been exhausted, may request a medical leave of absence. Medical documentation from the employee’s physician will need to be provided along with the written leave of absence request. 

Will I get paid during a leave of absence? 

A personal, educational, or military leave of absence is unpaid. 

The Sioux City Community School District does adhere to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) guidelines. Formal notification must be supplied to the District human resources department for military leave. 

During a medical leave, sick time will be applied per the employee’s master contract or employee handbook. 

Will I receive insurance and benefits during a leave of absence? 

The District will continue to pay the District portion of insurance premiums during the employee’s first year of a medical leave, but the employee is responsible for any portion of the insurance premium they normally would pay including dependent premiums (including health, dental, vision, basic and supplemental life and long-term disability). Any portion of the insurance premium that is unable to be payroll deducted must be paid by the employee via private check or money order by the first of the month in which premiums are due or the insurance will be terminated. 

Employees may continue their elected health, dental, and vision insurance during their second year of a medical leave but must pay the full premium rate. Billing will be administered through 121 Benefits. 

Those on a personal, educational, or military leave have the option to continue insurance paying the full premium rate. Billing will be administered through 121 Benefits. 

How long can I take a leave of absence? 

Employees can receive a maximum of two years for leave of absence. Employees may apply for a second-year leave of absence by submitting a request to the human resources department in writing. 

If the employee is unable to return to work after the second year of medical, personal, or educational leave of absence, they will be asked to submit their letter of resignation or retirement notice to the human resources department. Visit the Retirement and Resignation pages for more information.

Returning from a Board Approved Leave of Absence 

Upon return, employees must be offered the first open position for which they are qualified. 

A position will only be held for those on their first year of an approved medical leave that does not cross into the next school year. Those on a board approved medical leave must supply a physician’s work release prior to their return. 

Can I receive IPERS disability? 

To be eligible for IPERS disability, employees must terminate employment status with the Sioux City Community School District. Once an employee terminates their employment status with the Sioux City Community School District, they forfeit their right to receive the first available position for which they are qualified.