Types of Employee Leaves of Absence

  • Important Update- COVID:

    DPS staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for five days. Day Zero is defined as the day symptoms begin or the day of the positive test, whichever comes first. 
    Isolation may end on Day Five if:
    • Symptoms have ended or symptoms are improving.
    • Individuals are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications.
    After the five-day isolation has ended and individuals are feeling better, they should wear a high-quality mask -- such as a KN95 or N95 -- through Day 10. If symptoms are not improving and/or a fever persists past Day Five, isolating until Day 10 is recommended.
    Leave of absence Process: Staff are required to enter a leave of absence if they are out 4 or more days for a "Employee Health Leave" in True Pay.  You will also be required to provide a physician statement verifying the need for leave.  Staff will be using their own accrued paid sick leave for this time off.  Sick Leave Bank will only apply after the employee has exhausted their own accrued paid sick leave first.  Requirements for Sick Leave Bank usage are described in detail in the DPS Employment Practices Manual.
    Other Leave types:

    Leaves of absence are time taken away from work that do not fall under regular sick time or vacation time. You can request a leave of absence from your role at DPS for a number of reasons. There are three main types of leaves:

    • Maternity: are used for the birth or adoption of a child. Delivery of a child can fall under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - Self or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). 
    • Child Bonding: Child Bonding, under FMLA - Family Member. The leave of absence team will be creating a leave for Maternity while the employee is healing for themselves and then a leave for child bonding.
    • Medical leaves of absence for Employee/Other Person's health condition: are used for extended time off for a personal medical reason or to care for a direct family member. These usually fall under the Family and Medical Care Act and can be eligible for pay.
    • General leaves of absence are used for extended time off that is not related to a medical reason. This could be for educational purposes or other reasons, but are not eligible for pay. 

    Some Employee Associations may have additional types of leaves based on their contracts with DPS. You can find information on these additional leaves by reaching out to your Union representatives.

    To learn about all additional leave types, visit the Other Leave Types page

  • Continuous Leaves

    A continuous leave means that you have been absent for work for more than three consecutive days and will need to take a block of consecutive time off. Continuous leaves may qualify for pay for part of the time. The leaves listed below are the most commonly utilized leaves at DPS, but is not the full list of available options.

    • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - Self  (Including Maternity Leave) If eligible, this leave type provides up to 12 weeks of job protected leave. Eligible leaves include, but are not limited to, childbirth, surgeries, and illnesses. 

      Important Note: if your leave is for maternity purposes, and you wish to add your child to your DPS benefits, you have 30-days from the date of birth or adoption to contact Employee_Benefits@dpsk12.org. Requests for changes to benefits made outside of the 30-day window cannot be processed. 

    • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - Family Member If eligible, this leave type provides up to 12 weeks of job protected leave to care for an immediate family member (parent, child, spouse). Reasons for this leave could be, but are not limited to, assisting your family member with activities of daily Living, caring for them after a surgery, or during an illness. 

      Important Note: if your leave is for paternity purposes, if you wish to add your child to your DPS benefits you have 30-days from the date of birth or adoption to contact Employee_Benefits@dpsk12.org. Requests for changes to benefits made outside of the 30-day window cannot be processed. 

    • Non-Family Medical Leave Act - Child Birth If you are not FMLA eligible but are expecting a child, you may have 6 - 8 weeks (depending on the type of delivery) of job protected leave, per the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. 

      Important Note: if you wish to add your child to your DPS benefits you have 30-days from the date of birth to contact Employee_Benefits@dpsk12.org. Requests for changes to benefits made outside of the 30-day window cannot be processed.

      Parental/Adoption Leaves: If eligible, this leave type provides up to 12 weeks of job protected leave. If your spouse or partner works for the same employer, the 12 weeks would be shared between you and your spouse or partner. 

    • General/Union Leave Depending on your Employee Association, you may be eligible for up to 12 months of unpaid leave. Reasons include, but are not restricted to, participating in an educational program, caring for your family, or educating abroad. Review your union contract or contact your union representative for more details. 

    • Military Leave/Family Service Member Serious Illness or Injury Leave Military Leave is available for service members that are called to duty, suffering from an injury or illness sustained while an active member, or has qualifying exigencies. This leave is also available for employees who care for a service member who is injured or ill or has qualifying exigencies

  • Intermittent Leaves

    An intermittent leave is when you need to take time off in separate blocks of time. Intermittent leave can be in hourly or daily increments and may qualify for pay. The amount of intermittent leave available is based on your work year calendar and can be determined when you request a leave.

  • Sick, Vacation, Personal Time

    You must utilize all your accumulated sick and vacation hours to receive pay on your leave. Use of personal days is optional.

  • Sick Leave Bank

    Sick leave bank is only used for the Employee Health Condition. After your own sick accruals, you may be eligible for Sick Leave Bank for up to 40 days of additional pay. To qualify for Sick Leave Bank, you must have enrolled during Open Enrollment each spring.

    Maternity leave: Sick Leave Bank is only used up to 6 - 8 weeks (calendar days) depending on your delivery type. Refer to the Sick Leave Bank rules for more details.

  • Long-Term Disability

    DPS provides Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance to eligible employees automatically and at no cost to you through The Standard. LTD insurance is designed to help you meet your financial needs if you become unable to work due to an illness or injury. 

    To qualify for your LTD coverage, you must be on a leave for at least 90 days. After the waiting period, your benefit includes 60% of your monthly earnings, up to $5,000 per month. 

    To submit a claim and receive LTD payments, please review the LTD forms in the forms section. The employer section of the packet can be completed by your assigned Leave of Absence Case Manager at your request.

    Submit the completed packet to: 

    Standard Insurance Company

    Employee Benefits Department 

    PO Box 2800 

    Portland, OR 97208

    Or by fax to 971-321-8400

    For additional resources or questions regarding your LTD benefit, contact The Standard at 800-368-1135.

  • CO PERA Disability Program

    Colorado PERA members with five or more years of service are covered by a Short Term Disability (STD) program and a disability retirement benefit. This STD program helps you return to work as soon as practical to your previous job or another similar job. If you are unable to work or are not expected to recover, your disability retirement package will take the place of STD. 

    If you believe you may qualify for STD or disability retirement, please contact PERA no later than 90-days following your date of termination from employment. Your date of termination if the last day you receive salary on which PERA contributions are withheld or the last day of an employer-certified leave, whichever is later. 

    For additional information, review the CO PERA Disability Program Booklet or call COPERA at 800-759-7372.

  • Payroll Assistance Program

    The Voluntary Payroll Protection Plan through Denver Teachers’ Club is available to all full-time DPS employees. For the cost of $10 per month, the plan provides members with supplemental income during a long-term personal illness or injury. Visit the Program Site to learn more.

  • Important Notice for Parental Leave

    If your Leave of Absence is related to a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) you have 30 days from the date of your event to make changes to your DPS benefits. To make changes, contact Employee_Benefits@dpsk12.org. Request to change your benefits after the IRS permitted 30-day window cannot be processed. 

    For births and adoptions: the date of your event is the birth or adoption date. Your 30-day window begins on that day.

  • Paid Leaves

    You will see no change to your benefit deductions and will continue to receive applicable Benefit Credits. Your premium costs will be deducted from your pay the same way they are when you are working.

  • Unpaid Leaves

    FMLA, Unpaid Status: your position and benefits are still protected. Because you are unpaid, you will owe your regular benefit premiums minus applicable Benefit Credits. You can opt to pay for your premiums during your leave (through invoices) or to have the full amount deducted from your paychecks when you return from your leave. 

    Unprotected, Unpaid Leave Status: your position and benefits are not protected under the FMLA guidelines. Your benefits through DPS will end on the last day of the month you transition into an unpaid leave status. When your DPS benefits terminate, you are eligible for continuing coverage through COBRA.

    COBRA Information: You will receive a COBRA information packet from HealthEquity within 4 weeks of your benefits ending. COBRA will be retroactively effective the first of the month following the end of your DPS plan to ensure no gap in coverage. The cost of COBRA is the full premium cost of DPS plans, without Benefit Credits or subsidies, plus 2% COBRA mandated administrative fee. You can be covered by COBRA for up to 18 months. 

    As an alternative to COBRA plans, you may be eligible to enroll in coverage with a Qualifying Life Event through Connect for Health Colorado.

Returning to Work After Your Leave

  • To return to work, you must: 

    • Complete a Return to Work Authorization Form (last page of your Pre-Approval letter)
    • Contact your supervisor and assigned Case Manager five business days before your planned return
    • If your benefits ended while on leave, you must email Employee_Benefits@dpsk12.org within 30 days of returning to work. Benefits will be eligible to begin the first of the month following your return date.