Catastrophic Leave is one of the lesser-known benefits provided to the employees by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office.
What is Catastrophic Leave? It is defined in Education Code 44043.5(a)(1) as follows: “‘Catastrophic illness’ or ‘injury’ means an illness or injury that is expected to incapacitate the employee for an extended period of time, or that incapacitates a member of the employee’s family which incapacity requires the employee to take time off from work for an extended period of time to care for the family member, and taking extended time off work creates a financial hardship for the employee because he or she has exhausted all of his or her sick leave and other paid time off.”
Employees can obtain the necessary paperwork from Adrianna Villanueva in Human Resources. The paperwork includes an application form, physician’s certification and instructions for completing the process. Once the completed paperwork is submitted, members of the Catastrophic Leave Committee meet to review the application. The employee’s coworkers, who voluntarily give vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time to that person, make donations of time. Classified staff can donate time to certificated staff and vice versa. The time donated is calculated to match the employee’s rate of pay. Employees who need to use this benefit are asked to contact Human Resources for an application packet.