Time Off and Leave of Absence
Absences of Ten Days or More
If you will be out of work ten days or more, even if you have enough paid time available to cover your absence, you must complete paperwork to request a leave of absence. If you fail to follow the correct Leave Procedures, your pay and benefits may be affected. These notes are condensed from the leave regulations in North Carolina Administrative Code. Official leave policies are documented in the North Carolina Public Schools Benefits and Employment Policy Manual (2022) A quick summary of the leave process is outlined below.
A Request for Leave of Absence Form is required for all leaves of absence. Additional required forms are noted below and may be found under Forms and Documents.
- Medical (Self): Medical Certification for Employee's Own Serious Health Condition
- Medical (Family): Medical Certification for a Family Member's Serious Health Condition
- Family Leave: Relevant Documentation
- Other: Relevant Documentation
Types of Leave
For a non-occupational leave of absence, the following types of leaves are available:
- Medical leave
- Extended Sick Leave
- Family leave
- Parental leave
- Non-paid Leave
- Qualifying exigency leave for families of covered service members
- Military caregiver leave
- Military leave
- Educational leave
- Professional leave
Employees are not eligible to take personal leave of absences. Whether employees are paid during leave depends on the type of leave they are taking, available paid time they may have accrued and their eligibility for disability benefits. Employees on a Workers’ Compensation leave can click here for information.
Employees who are unable to work due to a serious medical condition may request a medical leave of absence. Employees in positions that accrue sick leave or are eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), qualify for a medical leave of absence with or without pay. A medical leave of absence is only granted for an employee's serious health condition. Employees may not take medical leave to care for family members (see Family Leave below). For those employees who qualify for FMLA in addition to medical leave, they shall run concurrently.
Extended Sick Leave may be requested only by teachers and may be granted for periods of up to 20 days annually after earned sick leave has been exhausted. Full salary less the appropriate substitute deduction is paid. This leave may be used for personal illness of the employee only, and medical documentation may be required.
Employees may qualify for Family Leave to assist an immediate family member with a serious medical condition. Employees ineligible for FMLA leave may be eligible for Family Leave. Immediate family is defined as; spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren and dependents living in the employee’s household. Also included are step, half and in-law relationships. Employees who qualify may apply their sick leave toward their Family Leave. For those employees who qualify for FMLA in addition to the family leave, they shall run concurrently.
Parental Leave without Pay
Employees may take up to one year of leave after the birth or adoption of a child, from the date of birth or adoption. Employees shall be required to use all accrued sick leave, extended sick leave, or voluntary shared leave for which they are eligible. Employees may use, but are not required to use, all accrued annual leave or personal leave. For those employees who qualify for FMLA in addition to the parental leave, they shall run concurrently.
Adding Newborn to State Health Plan Instructions - NEWBORNS MUST BE ADDED TO STATE HEALTH PLAN WITHIN 30 DAYS OF BIRTH
Non-Paid Leave may be granted by the Board of Education upon the recommendation of the Superintendent. All permanent personnel employed at least half-time are eligible for non-paid leave for up to one calendar year for the birth or adoption of a child. Return dates from this leave must coincide with reasonable divisions in the school calendar. Uninterrupted coverage of health insurance on a self-paid basis may be arranged by contacting the appropriate health benefits representative in the payroll office.
Qualifying Exigency Leave
A qualifying exigency occurs when an employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves is on active duty or has been called to active duty in support of a contingency operation. The reasons for which an employee may take leave because of a qualifying exigency are divided into seven general categories:
- Short-notice deployment
- Military events and related activities
- Childcare and school activities
- Financial and legal arrangements
- Rest and recuperation
- Post-deployment activities
- Military Caregiver Leave
An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered service member shall be entitled to care for a covered service member who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty for which he or she is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy; or otherwise in outpatient status; or on the temporary disability retired list.
Full-time and part-time permanent employees who are called into active duty or periods of active duty training may be eligible for military leave. Employees must provide copies of orders for military leaves to be processed. Employees’ rights to military leave are provided and protected under USERRA and other applicable federal and state laws.
In some cases, requests for educational leave may be granted so employees can obtain additional education that will benefit them and GCS. Employees must submit written requests of full-time registration in an academic plan of study towards a degree-program before the courses or program begins. Proof of enrollment and course of study must be attached to the request for leave.
Some employees serving in specific capacities with state or local organizations may request a professional leave of absence. Such leaves must be approved prior to the beginning of the term of service and some cases may require the approval of the Superintendent or designee.