Lone Star College recognizes that there are various reasons for an employee to need time off from work. Employees are asked to schedule leaves and absences as far in advance as possible, so coverage can be arranged.
Compensation is paid for leave described in the Board Policy.
The Chancellor shall designate the paid holidays to be provided to eligible employees during the twelve-month period beginning September 1. The holiday schedule shall be consistent with generally accepted practices in other institutions of higher education.
Paid holidays, paid leaves and leaves of absence are only available to employees who are employed on a full-time basis. Faculty and other academic year employees follow the appropriate instructional calendar.
Full-time non-faculty employees on a twelve-month schedule are eligible for paid vacation leave. Employees accrue vacation leave at different rates, depending on their length of service and position. Faculty do not accrue vacation. New employees are eligible immediately to use their accrued vacation leave. Employees may not take more vacation time than they have accrued.
All full-time employees in positions requiring 12 months of service are eligible to accrue 96 hours of sick leave per year, at the rate of 8 hours per month. Sick leave may be accrued to a maximum of 600 hours.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires an employer to provide eligible employees up to twelve (12) weeks unpaid job guaranteed leave within a fiscal year for childbirth, adoption, and serious illness of an employee or their immediate family members.
An employee who has been employed by Lone Star College for at least 12 months and for 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period, shall be entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of family medical leave, without loss of any employment benefit accrued prior to the beginning of the leave, during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
- Because of the birth or adoption, including placement for foster care, of the employee's child and in order to care for the child, provided the leave is taken within 12 months of the birth, adoption, or placement of the child;
- To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent if the spouse, child, or parent has a serious health condition; or
- A serious health condition of the employee.
Short Term Disability
Lone Star College provides in-house and ERS short-term disability benefits and in certain circumstances where an employee's leave period exceeds their accrued sick leave, vacation leave, and accumulated compensatory time.
In order to be eligible for short-term disability benefits, the absence must be leave due to "medical reasons" and must exceed one normal workweek. A physician's statement as to the probable duration of the disability is required.
Long Term Disability
LSC offers long term disability to all full-time employees. When an employee's absence due to personal injury or illness (not due to the personal injury or illness of a dependent) exceeds the employee's accrued sick leave, accumulated compensatory time, vacation, and short term disability the employee may apply for long-term disability benefits. Benefits are monthly payments of 60% of the employee's salary, up to a maximum of $6,000 in monthly benefits.
Full-time employees who are required to appear for jury duty, or to testify in court proceedings to which the employee is not a party, are allowed to be released from their normal duties, as necessary, with no loss of salary and no reduction in leave. The employee must submit a copy of the jury duty documentation and the Return to Work Certificate stamped by the court to his/her immediate supervisor.
All regular full-time employees may accrued use sick leave for personal business leave. Personal time accrued depends on the employee's length of service. Faculty should give sufficient notice of such leave to provide adequate class coverage. Personal leave is charged against sick leave and may only be taken if an equal amount of sick leave has accrued.
All full-time employees may take up to three days of paid excused absence and use sick leave or other leave if more time is needed from work in the event of the death of a family member.
"Family" means a husband, wife, child (natural, foster, step, adopted), parent (natural, step of adoptive), grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, sister, brother, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle or in-laws in the same degree of relationship as listed above, or Domestic Partner or an individual for whom the employee has legal custody.
If additional time off is requested and approved, it may be charged to vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory time or leave without pay.
Leave of Absence without Pay
Full-time Lone Star College employees may apply for a leave of absence without pay (LWOP) for personal, family, or other reasons. If employees request LWOP for situations not covered by other System leave provisions, the request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The decision to grant such leave will be made in the best interest of the System. The length of employment and the employee's evaluation records are all valid factors in determining whether or not to grant such leave.
Military Professional Leave
Full-time employees of Lone Star College are eligible for military leave under certain terms and conditions.
Sabbatical leaves are authorized for the primary purpose of increasing the value of the recipient's contribution to the college district by providing the individual a significant opportunity for professional growth. Sabbatical leaves are not to be viewed as deferred compensation nor are they to be anticipated simply on the basis of longevity with the college district. The Sabbatical Proposal Outline and Leave Request document provides further information regarding this program.