Each Florida College System institution board of trustees shall adopt rules whereby any full-time employee who is unable to perform his or her duties at the Florida College System institution on account of personal sickness, accident disability, or extended personal illness, or because of illness or death of the employee’s father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, or other close relative or member of the employee’s own household, and who consequently has to be absent from work shall be granted leave of absence for sickness by the president or by the president’s designated representative. The following provisions shall govern sick leave: (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) “Educational support employee” means any person employed by a Florida College System institution as an education or administrative paraprofessional; a member of the operations, maintenance, or comparable department; or a secretary, clerical, or comparable level support employee.
(b) “Instructional staff” shall be used synonymously with the word “teacher” or “faculty” and includes faculty members, librarians, counselors, and other comparable members engaged in an instructional capacity in the Florida College System institution.
(2) EXTENT OF LEAVE WITH COMPENSATION.—
(a) Each full-time employee shall earn 1 day of sick leave with compensation for each calendar month or major fraction of a calendar month of service, not to exceed 12 days for each fiscal year. Such leave shall be taken only when necessary because of sickness as herein prescribed. Such sick leave shall be cumulative from year to year. Accumulated sick leave may be transferred from another Florida College System institution, the Florida Department of Education, a state university, a Florida district school board, or a state agency, provided that at least one-half of the sick leave accumulated at any time must have been established in the college in which such employee is currently employed.
(b) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish rules and prescribe procedures whereby a full-time employee may, at the beginning date of employment in any year, be credited with 12 days of sick leave with compensation in excess of the number of days the employee has earned. Upon termination of employment, the employee’s final compensation shall be adjusted in an amount necessary to ensure that sick leave with compensation does not exceed the days of earned sick leave as provided herein.
(c) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish rules and prescribe standards to permit a full-time employee to be absent no more than 4 days for personal reasons. However, such absences for personal reasons shall be charged only to accrued sick leave, and leave for personal reasons shall be noncumulative.
(d) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish rules to provide terminal pay for accumulated sick leave to full-time instructional staff and educational support employees or to the employee’s beneficiary if service is terminated by death. However, such terminal pay may not exceed an amount determined as follows:
1. During the first 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 35 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
2. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 40 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
3. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 45 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
4. During the 10th year of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 50 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
5. During the next 20 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 50 percent plus up to an additional 2.5 percent per year for each year of service beyond 10 years, times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
If an employee receives terminal pay benefits based on unused sick leave credit, all unused sick leave credit shall become invalid; however, if an employee terminates his or her employment without receiving terminal pay benefits and is reemployed, his or her sick leave credit shall be reinstated.
(e) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may, by rule, provide for terminal pay for accumulated unused sick leave to be paid to any full-time employee of a Florida College System institution other than instructional staff or educational support employees. If termination of employment is by death of the employee, any terminal pay to which the employee may have been entitled shall be made to the employee’s beneficiary.
1. For unused sick leave accumulated before July 1, 2001, terminal pay shall be made pursuant to rules or policies of the board of trustees which were in effect on June 30, 2001.
2. For unused sick leave accumulated on or after July 1, 2001, terminal payment may not exceed an amount equal to one-fourth of the employee’s unused sick leave or 60 days of the employee’s pay, whichever amount is less.
3. If the employee had an accumulated sick leave balance of 60 days or more on June 30, 2001, sick leave earned after that date may not be accumulated for terminal pay purposes until the accumulated leave balance as of June 30, 2001, is less than 60 days.
(3) CLAIM MUST BE FILED.—Any full-time employee who finds it necessary to be absent from his or her duties because of illness as defined in this section shall notify the Florida College System institution president or a college official designated by the president, if possible before the opening of college on the day on which the employee must be absent or during the day, except when he or she is absent for emergency reasons recognized by the Florida College System institution board of trustees as valid. Any employee shall, before claiming and receiving compensation for the time absent from his or her duties while absent because of sick leave as prescribed in this section, make and file a written certificate which shall set forth the day or days absent, that such absence was necessary, and that he or she is entitled or not entitled to receive pay for such absence in accordance with the provisions of this section. The Florida College System institution board of trustees may adopt rules under which the president may require a certificate of illness from a licensed physician or from the county health officer.
(4) COMPENSATION.—Any full-time employee who has unused sick leave credit shall receive full-time compensation for the time justifiably absent on sick leave; however, no compensation may be allowed beyond that provided in subsection (6).
(5) EXPENDITURE AUTHORIZED.—Florida College System institution boards of trustees may expend public funds for payment to employees on account of sickness. The expending and excluding of such funds shall be in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Management Services pursuant to chapter 650.
(6) SICK LEAVE POOL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a Florida College System institution board of trustees may, by rule, based upon the maintenance of reliable and accurate records by the Florida College System institution showing the amount of sick leave which has been accumulated and is unused by employees in accordance with this section, establish a plan allowing participating full-time employees of the Florida College System institution to pool sick leave accrued and allowing any sick leave thus pooled to be disbursed to any participating employee who is in need of sick leave in excess of that amount he or she has personally accrued. Such rules shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:
(a) Participation in the sick leave pool shall at all times be voluntary on the part of employees.
(b) Any full-time employee shall be eligible for participation in the sick leave pool after 1 year of employment with the Florida College System institution, provided such employee has accrued a minimum amount of unused sick leave, which minimum shall be established by rule.
(c) Any sick leave pooled pursuant to this section shall be removed from the personally accumulated sick leave balance of the employee donating such leave.
(d) Participating employees shall make equal contributions to the sick leave pool. There shall be established a maximum amount of sick leave which may be contributed to the pool by an employee. After the initial contribution which an employee makes upon electing to participate, no further contributions shall be required except as may be necessary to replenish the pool. Any such further contribution shall be equally required of all employees participating in the pool.
(e) Any sick leave time drawn from the pool by a participating employee must be used for that employee’s personal illness, accident, or injury.
(f) A participating employee will not be eligible to use sick leave from the pool until all of his or her sick leave has been depleted. There shall be established a maximum number of days for which an employee may draw sick leave from the sick leave pool.
(g) A participating employee who uses sick leave from the pool will not be required to recontribute such sick leave to the pool, except as otherwise provided herein.
(h) A participating employee who chooses to no longer participate in the sick leave pool will not be eligible to withdraw any sick leave already contributed to the pool.
(i) Alleged abuse of the use of the sick leave pool shall be investigated, and, on a finding of wrongdoing, the employee shall repay all of the sick leave credits drawn from the sick leave pool and shall be subject to such other disciplinary action as is determined by the board to be appropriate. Rules adopted for the administration of this program shall provide for the investigation of the use of sick leave utilized by the participating employee in the sick leave pool.