Sussex County, DE
 
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§ 29-19 Scope.

The personnel rules shall apply to both the unclassified and classified services as defined in § 29-3 and shall be prepared, adopted and amended as provided in § 29-7. Exceptions to the scope of coverage or procedure are as stated in the rules. All references herein to the singular shall include the plural, to the plural shall include the singular and to any gender shall include all genders.

§ 29-20 Standard workweek; exceptions.

A. 
The standard workweek for salaried employees shall be that which is recommended by the Administrator and approved by the Council. It shall consist of between 35 and 40 hours per week, including breaks, the maximum number and duration of which shall also be determined by the Administrator with the approval of the Council.
B. 
The Administrator may recommend to the Council for its approval the assignment of certain positions or classes to a work schedule which differs from that considered to be standard for the remainder of the County employees. Upon the receipt of Council approval, such a schedule shall become the standard schedule for those employees affected.

§ 29-21 Part-time employment.

A. 
Part-time employment shall include all employment for less than the standard workweek.
B. 
Part-time work shall be performed only according to schedules established by the department head or his or her designee as may be required to accomplish the assigned functions of the office. The expense of part-time employment shall be governed by Council-approved wage and salary budgets for each office concerned.

§ 29-22 Holidays.

A. 
All employees, except part-time employees, shall receive their regular pay for the holidays as designated in 1 Del. C., Ch. 5, as it may be, and any other days specifically designated by the County Council.
B. 
When any holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding business day shall be considered the legal holiday. When any holiday falls on a Sunday, the following business day shall be considered the legal holiday.
C. 
An employee must be in a paid status the scheduled day prior and the scheduled day following the holiday to qualify for the paid holiday.

§ 29-23 Bereavement.

A. 
An employee is entitled leave, not to exceed five working days, with pay because of a death in the immediate family, defined as father, mother, legal guardian standing in loco parentis, stepparent, spouse, civil union/domestic partner, brother, sister, stepbrother/stepsister, son, daughter, stepson/stepdaughter, son-in-law/daughter-in-law, parent-in-law, grandchild, and stepgrandchild. These five days are not to be deducted from accumulated sick leave.
B. 
Leave due to the death of a near relative, defined as grandparent, stepgrandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, brother-in-law or sister-in-law or grandparent-in-law will be granted time off with pay up to three consecutive days. Leave time equating to one paid day may be granted in the death of a first cousin.

§ 29-24 Sick leave.

A. 
Sick leave shall be granted to employees in the classified and unclassified services for the following reasons:
(1) 
Personal illness or physical incapacity resulting from causes beyond the employee's control.
(2) 
Illness in the household of the employee requiring quarantine as certified by a physician or public health officer.
(3) 
Medical, dental or optical appointments which cannot be scheduled in after-duty hours, provided that the employee has made every effort to arrange such appointments at a time before or after his regular workday.
(4) 
Illness in the household requiring intensive care of a member of the "immediate family," defined as father, mother, spouse, brother, sister, son, daughter, parent-in-law or any relative residing in the same home or any person with whom the employee has made his home or illness outside the household requiring intensive care of such a person, supported in writing by a licensed practicing physician.
B. 
Accrual rate.
(1) 
Full-time seven-hour employees in the unclassified and classified service shall be eligible for sick leave at the rate of 8 3/4 hours per month.
(2) 
Full-time eight-hour employees in the unclassified and classified service shall be eligible for sick leave at the rate of 10 hours per month.
(3) 
Full-time ten-hour employees in the unclassified and classified service shall be eligible for sick leave at the rate of 12.5 hours per month.
(4) 
Full-time twelve-hour employees in the unclassified and classified service shall be eligible for sick leave at the rate of 15 hours per month.
C. 
In the event the employee voluntarily leaves the employment of the County and is in good standing, the employee will receive one day's pay for every one day of accrued sick leave up to a maximum accumulation of 45 days and thereafter one day's pay for every two days of accrued sick leave above 45 days to a maximum of 90 days. In case of voluntary resignation, the employee must give two weeks' written notice of intention to resign to be eligible for this payment. In the event of the death of an employee, one day's pay will be given for every one day of accumulated sick leave up to a maximum of 90 days. Pay for and accumulation of sick leave shall be based on the normal workday for the employee concerned.
D. 
In accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), after an absence of three consecutive working days, the department head or his/her designee may require the employee to present a statement from a licensed practicing physician certifying that the employee's condition prevented him or her from performing the duties of his or her position.
E. 
To be compensated for absence on sick leave, it is the responsibility of the employee to report his or her inability to be on duty. Failure to notify the County within two hours of the time established for beginning his or her duties may result in loss of pay for that day.
F. 
Absence for a fraction of a day that is chargeable to sick leave in accordance with these provisions shall be charged proportionately, but in an amount not smaller than fifteen-minute increments for full-time employees.
G. 
An employee absent from work on a legal holiday, during paid sick leave, on vacation, for disability arising from injuries sustained in the course of his or her employment, on authorized leave or on leave of absence without pay for less than one month in any calendar year shall continue to accumulate sick leave at the regularly prescribed rate during such absence as though he or she were on duty.
H. 
Individual records of all sick leave credit and use shall be maintained as part of the personnel record of the County. The Human Resources Director shall ensure that each County employee eligible for paid sick leave is informed at least as often as once each six months of his or her accumulated sick leave to date.

§ 29-25 Vacation leave.

A. 
Vacation leave shall be granted to classified and unclassified employees according to the provisions of this chapter. Requests for vacation shall be submitted to the employee's supervisor. Approval of vacation requests is at the discretion of each office or department head or his/her designee subject to the provisions of this chapter and after verifying that the employee has sufficient accumulated vacation time to cover the period requested.
B. 
Vacations with pay shall vest as of the last day of each month. Employees who qualify for vacation leave on the vesting day and voluntarily resign or are otherwise terminated and in good standing from the payroll of the County or in the event of the death of any employee, such employee, or his estate in the event of his death, shall receive a vacation allowance at the time of termination equal to one day's pay at his current rate for the employee's position for each day of vacation leave accumulated to the date of his or her termination. However, in the event of voluntary resignation, two weeks' written notice of intention to resign is required in order to be eligible for this payment in lieu of vacation.
C. 
Accrual rate; construal.
(1) 
Accrual rate.
(a) 
Full-time seven-hour employees with nine years of service or less shall earn vacation at the rate of 8 3/4 hours per month.
(b) 
Full-time seven-hour employees with 10 to 14 years of service shall earn vacation at the rate of 10 1/2 hours per month.
(c) 
Full-time seven-hour employees with 15 years of service or more shall earn vacation at the rate of 12 1/4 hours per month.
(d) 
Full-time eight-hour employees with nine years of service or less shall earn vacation at the rate of 10 hours per month.
(e) 
Full-time eight-hour employees with 10 to 14 years of service shall earn vacation at the rate of 12 hours per month.
(f) 
Full-time eight-hour employees with 15 years of service or more shall earn vacation at the rate of 14 hours per month.
(g) 
Full-time ten-hour employees with nine years of service or less shall earn vacation at the rate of 12.5 hours per month.
(h) 
Full-time ten-hour employees with 10 to 14 years of service shall earn vacation at the rate of 15 hours per month.
(i) 
Full-time ten-hour employees with 15 years of service or more shall earn vacation at the rate of 17.5 hours per month.
(j) 
Full-time twelve-hour employees with nine years of service or less shall earn vacation at the rate of 15 hours per month.
(k) 
Full-time twelve-hour employees with 10 to 14 years of service shall earn vacation at the rate of 18 hours per month.
(l) 
Full-time twelve-hour employees with 15 years of service or more shall earn vacation at the rate of 21 hours per month.
(2) 
For the purpose of this policy, any employee placed on the payroll by the tenth day of any month shall be considered to have a full month's service in that month.
(3) 
Pay for and accumulation of vacation shall be based on the normal workday for the employee concerned.
(4) 
Maximum vacation accrual may not exceed two times the annual accrual rate as of December 31 of each year.
D. 
(Reserved)
E. 
Office or department heads or his/her designee shall schedule vacation leaves with particular regard to the operating requirements of the office, seniority of employees and employee requests insofar as the latter is practicable. The scheduling of vacation periods is always subject to be changed at the discretion of the office or department head or their designees in the event of changing circumstances or emergency needs.
F. 
One week of vacation must be taken in each vacation year.
G. 
Individual records of vacation leave credit and use shall be maintained as part of the personnel records of the County.

§ 29-26 (Reserved)

§ 29-27 Computation of vacation time.

For the purpose of computing vacation time, the time of actual service will be counted even though such time may predate the adoption of this chapter.

§ 29-28 Medical leave.

The County will comply with all requirements set forth in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

§ 29-29 Military leave.

A. 
Any permanent employee who is either inducted or who volunteers for active military service in the United States Armed Services shall be granted a military leave of absence without pay which shall extend for 90 calendar days beyond the termination of compulsory service or the first enlistment, as applicable. Such employee shall be entitled to be restored to the position which he or she vacated without loss of seniority, provided that application for reemployment is made with the Administrator within the ninety-day period after his or her release from active duty from military service, and provided that he or she is physically and mentally capable of performing satisfactorily in the position. The County will comply with all requirements set forth in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
B. 
In the event that a position vacated by a person entering the Armed Services no longer exists at the time he or she qualifies to return to work, such person shall be entitled to be reemployed in another position of the same class in the County service, provided that such reemployment does not necessitate the laying off of another person who was appointed at an earlier date than such person returning from military leave.
C. 
Any permanent employee who is a member of the National Guard or an organized military reserve of the United States will be entitled to a paid leave of absence not to exceed a total of 10 working days in any one calendar year for the purpose of active duty, military training or special duty. The County shall not be liable for wages or benefits beyond this ten-day period. The employee must request military leave at least 10 days or as soon as practicable prior to the effective date of the leave and submit with his or her request a copy of orders assigning him or her to active duty or training.
D. 
Military training or special duty leaves of absence shall not be deducted from vacation leave or in any other way result in a loss of seniority, accumulated sick leave or any of the other benefits provided County employees.
E. 
Any permanent employee who is a member of an organized military reserve of the United States or the Delaware National Guard and who is ordered to perform emergency duty under the supervision of the United States government or the State of Delaware shall be granted a leave of absence during the period of such activity.

§ 29-30 Special leaves of absence.

A. 
Any County employee whose place of employment is in a town wherein he or she is a resident active volunteer fireman may, with the approval of his or her office or department head or his/her designee, be permitted to respond to fire calls during his or her regular hours of employment without loss of pay, vacation, sick leave or personal leave credit.
B. 
Any employee may be granted administrative leave of absence with pay to participate in or attend training courses, sessions, conferences or seminars and to engage in other similar job-related activities. Such leave will be granted only if the absence of the employee will not interfere with proper operating efficiency of the County government. Leave for any individual employee shall not aggregate more than five days in any fiscal year. Traveling expenses, lodging, conference fees, tuition and similar expenses incurred during such leave may be paid for by the County. Requests for such leaves up to the maximum five days shall be submitted through the office or department head or his/her designee to the Administrator for approval or disapproval. Exceptions to the five-day limit on administrative leave shall be submitted to the Administrator, who may approve them for good cause.
C. 
The Administrator may authorize an employee to be absent without pay for personal and/or undisclosed reasons for a period or periods not to exceed five working days in any calendar year.
D. 
A permanent employee ordered to serve as a juror or witness in a court of law shall be permitted a paid leave of absence from his or her regular position for this purpose.

§ 29-31 Leaves of absence without pay.

An employee who desires a leave of absence without pay for a period of less than three months shall request such leave through his or her department head or his/her designee to the Administrator, who may grant such leave, subject to the approval of the Council.

§ 29-31A Short-term and long-term disability benefits.

A. 
An employee shall be deemed disabled for the purposes of this section if such employee has a physical or mental disability which prevents the employee from performing the duties of such employee’s position, as determined by the County in its sole discretion. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, eligibility for disability benefits under Subsections B and C of this section shall be contingent upon meeting the requirements of those respective subsections.
B. 
Short-term disability.
(1) 
A permanent, full-time employee in classified or unclassified service who becomes disabled shall, beginning on the date of such employee’s disability, become eligible to receive short-term disability benefits pursuant to this Subsection B. Such short-term disability benefits shall continue for as long as such individual remains disabled, up to a maximum of 182 days (26 weeks). During the sixty-day period beginning on the date of such employee’s disability (the “sixty-day elimination period”), such disabled employee shall not be eligible to receive the benefit described in Subsection B(3) below but shall be required to use any accrued leave that the disabled employee has accrued but not used. The sixty-day elimination period shall be considered part of the 182 days (26 weeks) of short-term disability for purposes of this subsection and not an addition thereto.
(2) 
If an employee returns to work for one day or less during the sixty-day elimination period but cannot continue to work thereafter, the period worked shall not be considered to have interrupted the sixty-day elimination period.
(3) 
Disabled employees receiving short-term disability under this section shall remain eligible to receive medical and dental benefits through Sussex County’s medical plan on the same basis that such disabled employee received such benefits prior to ceasing active work for Sussex County due to such disability. A disabled employee receiving short-term disability benefits under Sussex County’s short-term disability plan shall continue to accrue sick leave, vacation time, applicable holiday time, creditable service, and pay increases.
(4) 
A disabled employee eligible for short-term disability under this subsection shall, for each pay period after the sixty-day elimination period while the disabled employee remains eligible for short-term disability under this subsection, receive 75% of the amount of regular base wages or salary such disabled employee earned or would have earned if he or she had worked regular full-time hours during the pay period immediately prior to becoming disabled. A disabled employee eligible for short-term disability payments under this Subsection B(4) may use his or her unused accrued leave to supplement the short-term disability benefit to equal up to no more than 100% of pre-disability compensation.
(5) 
Once an employee exhausts his or her sixty-day elimination period, the employee shall not be eligible to utilize unused accrued leave in lieu of application for short-term disability.
(6) 
If an employee receiving disability benefits under this section returns to work on a full-time basis for 15 consecutive calendar days or longer, any succeeding period of disability for which the employee becomes eligible for disability benefits under this section shall constitute a new period of disability with a corresponding sixty-day elimination period.
(7) 
Upon the exhaustion by an employee of the maximum short-term disability benefit period set forth above in Subsection B(1), and provided the employee has exhausted his or her Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) (26 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.) entitlement and/or is not FMLA eligible, such employee’s employment with the County shall terminate, and such employee shall not accrue any service or retirement benefits.
C. 
Long-term disability.
(1) 
After receiving short-term disability benefits under this section for 182 days (26 weeks), a disabled employee who continues to meet the definition of "disability" under the provisions of the long-term disability benefit plan, if any, that is maintained by Sussex County at such time and who was a permanent, full-time employee in classified or unclassified service prior to such disability shall be eligible to begin receiving long-term disability benefits under the long-term disability benefit plan, if any, that is maintained by Sussex County at such time. Such long-term disability benefit plan shall be fully insured, and the terms of the long-term disability insurance policy shall govern the provision of the long-term disability benefit plan.
(2) 
The employment status of any individual receiving long-term disability benefits under this section shall be terminated and no service or retirement benefits shall accrue during any period for which a disabled former employee receives long-term disability benefits under this section. Upon the termination of such disabled former employee’s employment status, the disabled former employee shall have the option to have such disabled former employee’s unused sick leave and vacation time cashed out and paid to such disabled former employee; or if such disabled former employee feels that he or she will be able to return to work with in the six-month period immediately following the end of his or her short-term disability eligibility, the disabled former employee may elect to have his or her unused leave banked with the County until such disabled former employee’s reinstatement as an employee of the County, provided that if such disabled former employee is not able to return to work within such six-month period, the disabled former employee’s leave shall be cashed out and paid to such disabled former employee.
(3) 
Disabled former employees who are receiving long-term disability benefits under this section shall continue to be eligible for medical benefits under Sussex County’s medical plan on the same basis as regular, active, full-time employees of Sussex County until the disabled former employee becomes eligible for Medicare Parts A and B coverage, whether or not the disabled former employee enrolls in Medicare Parts A and B, at which point such disabled former employee’s medical coverage under Sussex County’s medical plan shall become secondary to Medicare coverage. If a disabled former employee’s disability benefits terminate prior to becoming eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, such disabled former employee’s coverage under Sussex County’s medical plan shall terminate. Sussex County shall have the right to amend, modify or terminate the medical coverage of disabled former employees from time to time and at any time.
(4) 
Notwithstanding Subsection C(1) above, eligibility for long-term disability benefits under this section for the initial two-year period beginning upon the day after the one-hundred-eighty-two-day period for short-term disability shall only continue if the disabled former employee satisfies the definition of "disability" under the County’s long-term disability benefit plan.
(5) 
A disabled former employee eligible for long-term disability under this subsection shall, while the disabled former employee remains eligible for long-term disability under this subsection, receive 60% of the amount of regular wages or salary such disabled former employee earned or would have earned if he or she had worked regular full-time hours during the pay period immediately prior to becoming disabled, offset by certain other amounts received by the former employee, including but not limited to social security disability benefits, as set forth in the policy of insurance under which the long-term disability benefits are provided.
D. 
Neither the short-term disability benefits nor the long-term disability benefits set forth in this section shall be subject to vesting. The short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits may be amended, modified, terminated or suspended by the County Council at any time and from time to time.