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A. Leave of Absence Without Pay. A leave of absence without pay is a period approved in advance pursuant to this chapter during which an employee is not required to work and is not paid. If an employee is absent from work without approval such employee may be disciplined pursuant to this title. An employee may only take a leave of absence without pay if such employee has no compensatory time, or vacation time available for use.

B. Eligibility for Leave of Absence Without Pay. Any permanent full-time or permanent part-time employee may be granted a leave of absence without pay, pursuant to the following provisions.

C. Approval Required for Leave of Absence Without Pay.

1. The appointing authority may grant an employee a leave of absence without pay not to exceed 30 days per year.

2. The Board of Supervisors may grant a department head a leave of absence without pay of any duration.

3. The Board of Supervisors may grant an employee a leave of absence without pay of more than 30 consecutive calendar days.

D. Employment Terms During Leave of Absence Without Pay. During any leave of absence without pay, the employee shall not accrue any sick leave or vacation leave or receive any holiday pay. The employee’s anniversary date for the purpose of eligibility for step or merit increases and the accrual of leave and other benefits and probation period, if applicable, shall be extended to reflect the cumulative leave of absence without pay. The county and the employee shall each pay their respective shares of group insurance premiums for any leave of absence of up to 30 consecutive days. Unless otherwise expressly provided for in this title or in the most current memorandum of understanding with the employee’s bargaining unit, the employee shall pay both the county and the employee’s shares of all health and life insurance premiums for that portion of any leave of absence in excess of 30 consecutive days.

E. Administrative Leave Computation Policy. For good legal cause, the appointing authority with the concurrence of the County Personnel Director and/or County Counsel may place an employee on administrative leave with pay. During such period, the employee shall receive full compensation, benefits and accruals. Upon being given written notice (or verbal notice confirmed in writing) of being placed on administrative leave which shall, if reasonably possible, be made prior to the effective date of the leave, the employee shall not attend his or her county employment. Administrative leave shall not be construed as disciplinary action. The appointing authority shall initiate any administrative leave action.

F. Leave Policy for Volunteer Emergency Response Personnel. County employees who are members in good standing of volunteer emergency response organizations within Sierra County which are pre-designated by the appointing authority, including volunteer fire departments, search and rescue, emergency medical technicians, and ambulance crews, may be granted up to one working day per month of leave to respond to bona fide emergencies within the county. Such leave shall be compensated at the employee’s normal wage and benefit rate, provided the employee receives no compensation from the emergency service. If the employee receives compensation from the emergency service, such amount may be deducted from the employee’s county compensation.