Rule 11: Unpaid Leave

11-20: General Provision of Unpaid Leave

Before sending an employee for a fitness for duty examination, a supervisor must reasonably believe the employee cannot perform his or her duties due to medical problems or disabilities. In re Martinez(PDF, 870KB), CSB 09-12, 4-5 (8/15/13), citing 29 CFR 1630.14 (c). 

Sheriff's departmental order on fitness for duty examinations was not intended to allow a supervisor to send an employee for an examination out of spite or on a whim, or without sufficient information to form a reasonable belief that mental or physical issues or disabilities were preventing an employee from performing the job in an acceptable manner. In re Martinez(PDF, 870KB), CSB 09-12, 3 (8/15/13), citing 29 CFR 1630.14 (c).

Supervisor who ordered deputy to undergo fitness for duty examination did not have reasonable basis for concluding that deputy had a breakdown, where she did not witness the incident, and two other supervisors who witnessed it did not conclude deputy was having a breakdown. In re Martinez(PDF, 870KB), CSB 09-12, 3-4 (8/15/13).

Lacking sufficient information to reasonably conclude that appellant's inappropriate behavior prevented her from performing her job acceptably due to medical problems or disabilities, management faced a disciplinary issue, not a medical one. In re Martinez(PDF, 870KB), CSB 09-12, 4 (8/15/13).

Inappropriate behavior does not automatically justify an order for a fitness for duty examination. In re Martinez(PDF, 870KB), CSB 09-12, 4 (8/15/13). 

Deference to management decision-making cannot replace evidence or the requirement that management have sufficient information to form a reasonable belief that a fitness for duty examination is justified. In re Martinez(PDF, 870KB), CSB 09-12, 4 (8/15/13).

An agency has authority to assess leave without pay and to impose disciplinary action for the same incident. In re Lottie, CSB 132-08 (7/7/09).

This rule concerns an agency’s authority to grant an employee’s request for leave without pay, not whether agency may assess leave without pay for an employee’s absence. In re Vigil,(PDF, 477KB) CSA 110-05, 6 (3/3/06).

Request for ninety days of leave without pay was not a reasonable accommodation where appellant analyst was behind in his work, causing significant strain on other analysts and on the agency’s obligation to process applications for minority contractors, and appellant could not perform his essential work functions for an indefinite time. In re Torres(PDF, 243KB), CSA 97-05, 3 (2/21/06).

Sick leave for Career Service employees is authorized for necessary care and attendance during sickness, or for death of a member of the employee’s immediate family. In re Espinoza(PDF, 500KB), CSA 30-05, 4 (1/11/06). 

In applying rigid departmental rule mandating discipline after a certain number of sick days, undersheriff’s assumption of leave abuse created irreconcilable friction with career service rules by preventing legitimate application of sick leave rule. In re Espinoza,(PDF, 500KB) CSA 30-05, 6-7 (1/11/06). 

Agency’s application of departmental rule mandating discipline after a certain number of sick days violated appellant’s right to take accumulated sick leave. In re Espinoza(PDF, 500KB), CSA 30-05, 7 (1/11/06).  

The purpose of sick leave is to allow leave for personal or family incapacity due to illness or for a death in the family. In re Conway, CSA 40-05, 4 (8/16/05).