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Personnel & Negotiations (Series 9000)

All policies are listed in policy number order. If you would like to search the page by policy title or policy number, hit the Control and F keys (Command and F if you’re on a Mac) at the same time and type in your keyword or policy number. Otherwise the Personnel & Negotiations Policies are as follows:


Policy 9120.1 | Conflict of Interest

View the PDF version of the Conflict of Interest Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) is committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of simultaneous, conflicting interests in any officer or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). Therefore:

No person employed by the District shall hire, supervise, evaluate, promote, review or discipline any other employee who is a member of the same immediate family. (Note: for the purpose of this policy, the “immediate family” is defined as husband, wife, domestic partner, mother, mother-in-law, stepmother, father, father-in-law, stepfather, son, son-in-law, stepson, daughter, daughter-in-law, stepdaughter, brother, brother-in-law, stepbrother, sister, sister-in-law, stepsister, grandmother, grandfather, grandchildren, any relative living as a member of an employee’s household, etc.) In the event that marriage, promotion, or reorganization results in a situation not in compliance with this policy, reassignment or transfer will be effected, in accordance with the applicable provisions of any collective bargaining agreement, to correct the situation.

No person employed by the District shall negotiate or execute any contract on behalf of the District for the purchase, sale, or lease of real or personal property, or services of any nature, if an immediate family member is a party to the contract or a principal within a business that is a party to the contract.

No person employed by the District shall allow any matter, concern, or interest, personal, financial, or otherwise, to influence or interfere with the performance of his or her duties. Should such a matter, concern, or interest arise, the employee shall bring the matter to the attention of his or her supervisor to seek ways to reduce or eliminate the influence or interference.

The Board affirms its commitment to adhere scrupulously to all applicable provisions of law regarding material conflicts of interest.

Reporting Concerns

Each employee has a responsibility to disclose potential conflicts and any situation that might raise the inference of impropriety.

Any person who seeks to report a potential conflict of interest should contact a supervisor, the chief business and financial officer, the director of human resources, or the superintendent.

Once a potential conflict is brought to the attention of a supervisor, the chief business and financial officer, the director of human resources, or the superintendent, he or she shall maintain a written record evaluating the potential conflict and, where appropriate, the reasonable steps taken to minimize the risk of undue bias.

Penalties

In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of the Board’s Conflict of Interest policy may be fined, suspended, or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.

Cross-ref:

  • 2160, School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics

Ref:

  • Education Law §§ 410, 3016
  • General Municipal Law Art. 18, §§ 801-813
  • Labor Law §201-d
  • Dykeman v. Symonds, 54 AD2d 159 (4th Dep’t 1976)

Adoption date: November 3, 2010
Revised date: May 22, 2019

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Policy 9140.1 | Staff Complaints and Grievances

View the PDF version of the Staff Complaints and Grievances Policy here.

Grievance procedures are designed to resolve conflicts that may arise among various members of the staff. These procedures are defined in collective bargaining agreements. Staff members have the right to present complaints and grievances in accordance with the established procedures free from coercion, interference, restraint, discrimination or reprisal.

The district shall implement a multi-stage grievance procedure and an appellate stage for the settlement of grievances pursuant to the General Municipal Law. In addition, the district shall implement procedures and regulations and designate an employee to carry out the responsibilities under Title IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This policy and accompanying regulation (9140.1-R) provide grievance procedures for those employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements or whose negotiated agreements do not include grievance procedures. Staff complaints that are not covered under the General Municipal Law, or cannot be resolved under procedures of Title IX and Section 504 or the ADA shall be subject to the discretion of the Board of Education as to the method by which the complaint may be brought.

Annual Notification

At the beginning of each school year, the district shall publish a notice of the established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination due to sex and/or disability to parents/guardians, employees, eligible students and the community. The public notice shall:

  1. inform parents, employees, students and the community that vocational education programs are offered without regard to sex, race, color, national origin or disability;
  2. provide the name, address and telephone number of the person designated to coordinate activities concerning discrimination due to sex and/or disability; and
  3. be included in announcements, bulletins, catalogues, and applications made available by the district.

Cross-ref:

  • 0100, Equal Opportunity

Ref:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC §12111-12117; 12210
  • General Municipal Law, Article 15-c
  • Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC Chapter 38; 45 CFR Part 86
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504; 29 USC §794
  • Civil Service Law, Article 14
  • Matter of Gatje, 24 EDR 191 (1984)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 9140.1-R | Staff Complaints and Grievances Regulation

View the PDF version of the Staff Complaints and Grievances Regulation here.

Definitions

  1. Grievant shall mean an employee who alleges that there has been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statute or regulations which affect him/her.
  2. Grievance shall mean any alleged violation of Title IX, Section 504 or ADA statute or regulations.
  3. Compliance Officer shall mean the employee designated by the Board of Education to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under Title IX, Section 504 and the ADA.

This regulation and accompanying policy (9140.1) provide grievance procedures for those employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements or whose negotiated agreements do not include grievance procedures. The resolution of staff complaints alleging any action prohibited by Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA shall be dealt with in the following manner:

Stage I–Compliance Officer

  1. Within 30 days after the events giving rise to the grievance, the grievant shall file a grievance in writing with the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer may informally discuss the grievance with the grievant. He/She shall promptly investigate the complaint. All employees of the school district shall cooperate with the Compliance Officer in such investigation.
  2. Within 15 days of the receipt of the grievance, the Compliance Officer shall make a finding in writing that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA. In the event the Compliance Officer finds that there has been a violation, he/she shall propose a resolution of the complaint.
  3. If the grievant is not satisfied with the finding of the Compliance Officer, or with the proposed resolution of the grievance, the grievant may, within 15 days after he/she has received the report of the Compliance Officer, file a written request for review by the Superintendent of Schools.

Stage II–Superintendent of Schools

  1. The Superintendent may request that the grievant, the Compliance Officer, or any member of the school district staff present a written statement to him/her setting forth any information that such person has relative to the grievance and the facts surrounding it.
  2. The Superintendent shall notify all parties concerned as to the time and place when an informal hearing will be held where such parties may appear and present oral and written statements supplementing their position in the case. Such hearing shall be held within 15 school days of the receipt of the appeal by the Superintendent.
  3. Within 15 days of the hearing, the Superintendent shall render his/her determination in writing. Such determination shall include a finding that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA, a proposal for equitably resolving the complaint. If the grievant is not satisfied with the determination of the Superintendent, the grievant may, within 15 days after its receipt, file with the Clerk of the Board of Education, a written request for review by the Board.

Stage III–Board of Education

  1. When a request for review by the Board has been made, the Superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the President of the Board.
  2. The Board shall notify all parties concerned of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within 15 school days of the receipt of the request of the grievant. All parties concerned shall have the right to present further statements and testimony at such hearing.
  3. The Board shall render a decision in writing within 15 days after the hearing has been concluded.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002


Policy 9170 | Meals and Refreshments

View the PDF version of the Meals and Refreshments Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that, occasionally, it may be appropriate to provide refreshments and/or meals at Bethlehem Central School District (the District) meetings or events that are being held for a District or educational purpose. Any expenditure on such refreshments and/or meals must be approved in advance by the appropriate building administrator. Refreshments consist of light snacks and beverages, which may be provided as is professionally customary, for meetings during nonmeal periods. Meal requests may be approved when:

  • Officers and/or employees of the District will be prevented from taking time off for food consumption due to a pressing need to complete the business at hand;
  • The District is faced with business of an immediate nature and meetings of District employees are essential at mealtime;
  • The District wishes to recognize the services provided by volunteers or other unsalaried members of the District (in such cases, however, only the meals of those being recognized may be reimbursed and the cost of the meals must be reasonable).

Examples of authorized expenditures include, but are not limited to, refreshments and/or meals for staff on teacher orientation day at the beginning of each year, staff recognition including opening day and at year-end, refreshments during professional development on Superintendent’s Conference Day or faculty meetings, community/district meetings, assessment day grading of tests, receptions for volunteers, and other meetings at which District business is conducted.

Expenditures must be reasonable, actual, and necessary. Reasonable is defined as a nominal per person amount for refreshments, and within the federal travel reimbursement rate schedules for meals. Necessary is defined as professionally customary and as is approved by the appropriate administrator. All expenses must be appropriately documented, including the date, purpose of the meeting, and the group in attendance, and submitted to the District’s Business Office for the purposes of audit and possible reimbursement.

Cross-ref: 6830, Travel Expense Reimbursement

Ref: NY Constitution, Art. VIII, 1 (constitutional prohibition against gifts)
Education Law §2118
Ops. St. Compt. 77-667; 79-522; 82-66; 82-213 82-298; 83-57; 98-2

Adoption date: June 15, 2005
Revised date: February 8, 2018
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9240 | Recruiting and Hiring

View the PDF version of the Recruiting and Hiring Policy here.

The Board of Education believes that the quality of the district’s employees in large part determines the quality of the education offered to the district’s students. As the employer for the school district, the Board will provide and maintain qualified and certified instructional and support personnel to carry out the educational programs of the district.

The Superintendent of Schools shall implement and maintain a high quality recruiting and hiring program to attract, secure and retain the best qualified staff to meet the needs of students and the district.

New or Revised Positions

The Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs and the Chief Business and Financial Officer will develop recommended qualifications for all new positions in the district and review the qualifications for all existing positions as necessary. The Board must approve the qualifications for all new positions in the district and revisions of the qualifications for existing positions.

The Chief Business and Financial Officer shall refer all proposals for the creation or reclassification of all unclassified (non-instructional) positions and a statement of the duties for these positions to the Albany County Department of Civil Service for classification.

The Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs shall develop job descriptions that incorporate the qualifications and job duties for all instructional and professional positions in the school district. The Superintendent must approve the job descriptions for all positions in the district.

Recruiting

The district will seek the most qualified candidates for vacant positions by recruiting from a variety of sources, including present staff. District employees may apply for all positions for which they meet the certification and other stated qualifications.

The Board and its employees will adhere to the practice of recruiting and hiring personnel without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability or predisposing genetic characteristic, and any other class protected by law (see 0100 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination, BCSD Policy Manual).

The Board will practice due diligence in finding the most qualified persons for any open positions. The Board recognizes that some specialized positions are difficult to fill because of shortages of qualified candidates. In rare instances, the Board may need to hire a retired public employee, in which case it will follow the Commissioner’s regulations for securing a §211 waiver. When recruiting for an open position the Board will first undertake a thorough and good faith search for a certified and qualified individual who will not require such a waiver for employment

Hiring

Through standard recruiting and hiring procedures, the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs and the Chief Business and Financial Officer will ensure that candidates for district employment meet all the qualifications set for the position sought. The district will comply with all the requirements of the Education and Civil Service laws, including any fingerprinting requirements. They will recommend individuals for employment to the Superintendent. The Superintendent must recommend all individuals for employment to the Board. The Board must approve all individuals to be employed by the school district.

Ref:

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 USC §§ 621 et seq. (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 USC §§ 12101 et seq. (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability)
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 USC §§ 2000e et seq. (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, race, religion and sex)
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 29 USC § 794 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability)
  • Title IX, 20 USC §§ 1681 et seq. (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex)
  • New York State Constitution, article V, § 6 (requiring public employees be appointed on the basis of merit and fitness)
  • Civil Service Law §§ 22, 40-44, 61(1) (rules on classified positions)
  • Education Law §§ 1604(8), 1709(16), 2503(3), 2554(2), 3012(1)(a) (board’s authority to hire employees)
  • Education Law §§ 1604(39), 1709(39), 1804(9), 1950(4), 2503(18), 2554(25) (fingerprinting requirements)
  • Executive Law §§ 290 et seq. (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national origin, race or sex)
  • 8 NYCRR § 80-5.5 (§211 waiver process)

Adoption date: October 6, 2010


Policy 9241 | Hiring Procedures for Summer Employment

View the PDF version of the Hiring Procedures for Summer Employment Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (The District) insists on a clear, complete, and consistent procedure for hiring personnel for summer employment in the District. These procedures will follow the established protocols regarding the hiring of District personnel (see Policy # 9240).

Summer work opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following categories: extended school year educational programs, summer school, technology services, operations and maintenance services, and transportation. “Summer employment” is identified as work scheduled during the period of time following the conclusion of a school year and the beginning of the new school year. Such work experiences are funded by the District budget and are supervised by District administrators.

The Board directs the superintendent to ensure that the following procedures are being followed when employees are hired for summer work opportunities:

  1. Positions for summer work employment are posted as vacancies for a period of ten days within the internal District community.
  2. Each vacancy will consist of a job description of duties and responsibilities expected of the candidate in fulfilling the job.
  3. Anyone applying for a vacancy shall be considered for an interview assuming they have demonstrated experience for the job in question. It is incumbent upon the candidate to indicate this experience on the job application for the position in order to be asked to interview.
  4. Priority preference for hiring individuals for summer work opportunities will be given to internal District employees first who meet the needs of the assignments that are posted, and next to candidates outside of the District personnel should there be the need. 
    • Note: The school administration has the right to determine if a candidate meets the needs of the assignment. Exceptions to #4 will be any concerns of a disciplinary nature or if the candidate is unable to perform the essential functions of the position.
  5. Summer work employees will be paid an hourly rate, as determined by the Board of Education for the year of employment, and may be subject to contractual requirements as may be specified within collective bargaining agreements.

All summer employees will be evaluated periodically on their work performance as determined by the administrators of the program. These evaluations may be considered in planning for succeeding summer employment needs.

Adoption date: October 6, 2010
Revised date: June 15, 2011
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019

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Policy 9320 | Drug-Free Workplace

View the PDF version of the Drug-Free Workplace Policy here.

The Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District prohibits the illegal, improper, or unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substances in the workplace. “Workplace” shall mean any site on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, or any place in which an employee is working within the scope of their employment or duties. “Controlled substances” shall include all drugs that are banned or controlled under federal or state law, including those for which a physician’s prescription is required, as well as any other chemical substance that is deliberately ingested to produce psychological or physiological effects, other than accepted foods or beverages.

The superintendent or his/her designee shall implement related regulations which outline the requirements of the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Ref: Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA), 41 U.S.C. §§702-707
Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. §812
21 CFR §§1300.11-1300.15
34 CFR Part 85 (U.S. Dept. of Ed. Regulations under the DFWA)
Civil Service Law §75
Education Law §3020-a
Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Board of Education, 70 NY2d 57 (1987)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9320-R | Drug-Free Workplace Regulation

View the PDF version of the Drug-Free Workplace Policy Regulation here.

The superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall certify to any federal agency making a direct grant to the District that the District will provide a drug-free workplace, in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

The superintendent or their designee shall establish a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about:

  1. the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace;
  2. the District’s policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace;
  3. any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs; and
  4. the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations.

The superintendent or their designee shall publish a statement notifying District employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace (as defined by District policy). The statement shall specify the actions that will be taken against employees for violations of such prohibition. Each employee shall receive a copy of this statement and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Each employee, as a condition of employment on any direct federal grant, shall:

  1. abide by the terms of the statement; and
  2. notify their immediate supervisor, who shall notify the superintendent, of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace within five days of such conviction.

The superintendent shall notify the Board of Education of any such conviction(s), and shall notify the granting agency within ten days after receiving notice of such conviction(s) from any source.

Within thirty days of such conviction(s), the District shall initiate appropriate disciplinary action against any employee so convicted in the manner provided for by law, up to and including dismissal, and/or require their satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by federal, state, or local health law enforcement or other appropriate agency.

The District shall make a “good faith effort” to continue to maintain a drug-free workplace through implementation of these regulations.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9460 | Incidental Teaching

View the PDF version of the Incidental Teaching Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) authorizes the superintendent to assign a teacher to teach a subject not covered by the teacher’s certificate for up to five classroom hours a week when the superintendent believes it is in the interests of the District. In order to accomplish this, the superintendent shall, pursuant to the regulations of the commissioner of Education:

  1. determine that the teacher being assigned on an incidental basis has sufficient teaching experience and knowledge of the subject to teach it in a competent manner.

In addition, the superintendent shall ensure that the District informs parent(s) and/or guardian(s) about incidental teaching assignments by at least one of the following methods: public discussion at a Board meeting, publication in a newsletter, or posting letters to parent(s) and/or guardian(s).

The information provided should include the teacher’s experience and knowledge of the subject matter so parent(s) and/or guardian(s)  are aware of the teacher’s qualifications to teach the subject.

If a parent(s) and/or guardian(s)  appeals an incidental teaching assignment, the appeals process shall begin with the filing of a written complaint with the principal. If the complaint remains unresolved at this level, the complaint is appealable to the superintendent. If still unresolved, the parent may appeal to the Board for a final determination. If the complaint concerns a particular teacher’s qualifications, the Board may meet in executive session to discuss the issue.

Ref: 8 NYCRR §80.2(c)(7) [The Commissioner’s Regulations require all districts who wish to use
teachers on an “incidental” basis to adopt a written policy on incidental teaching,
including provision for an appeals process.]

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9500 | Compensation and Benefits

View the PDF version of the Compensation and Benefits Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that the District’s employees should receive fair compensation and benefits for the work they provide in serving the children of our community. To this end, the superintendent shall be responsible for establishing and administering the compensation and benefits to the District’s employees.

The Board and the District will comply with all applicable federal and state laws that require minimum compensation, overtime, and benefits be provided to certain employees.

Determination of Employment Status
Before enrolling an individual in the District’s compensation and benefits program, the District will determine the individual’s employment status. In accordance with regulations issued by the state comptroller and as set forth by the Internal Revenue Service, the Director of Human Resources will determine if the person is an employee and thus entitled to benefits. If the individual is not an employee based on the specified criteria, they will not be enrolled in any of the benefit programs offered by the District or the state. When the District hires an attorney, physician, engineer, architect, accountant, or auditor as an employee and not an independent contractor, the Board president must certify to the applicable New York State retirement system the factors supporting that determination using the form prescribed by the state comptroller. The Board president shall be responsible for reporting to the appropriate retirement system those individuals eligible for membership. This reporting shall take place at the time of an individual’s employment, and at the intervals required by the appropriate retirement system.

Employees Covered by Collectively Negotiated Agreements
The compensation and benefits (except for state retirement system benefits) for employees who are represented by recognized or certified employee organizations are established by collectively negotiated agreements between the employee organizations and the District. The District will negotiate in good faith over these issues, as required by law, and fully comply with the requirements of the Taylor Law and the applicable collectively negotiated agreements.

The Board reserves its right to approve all additional funding required by the provisions of a tentatively collectively negotiated agreement, in addition to any right of ratification that is secured by the District’s negotiation representative(s).

Employees Not Covered by Collectively Negotiated Agreements
The compensation and benefits for employees who are not represented by recognized or certified employee organizations shall be determined by the Board upon recommendation of the superintendent.

Ref: Consolidated Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), 42 USC §§
300bb-1 et seq. (federal law that requires the continuation of health insurance
benefits under certain circumstances)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 USC §§ 200 et seq. (federal law that requires a
minimum wage and overtime for non-exempt employees)
Family and Medical Leave Act 0f 1993 (FMLA). 29 USC §§ 2610 et seq. (federal law that
requires an unpaid leave of absence for certain family and medical situations)
Civil Service Law §§ 200 et seq. (“Taylor Law”, requires school districts to negotiate with
unions)
Education Law § 3005-b (requires a minimum sick leave allotment and accumulation for
teachers)
Local Finance Law § 2.00(5)(e) (designates Board of Education President as Chief Fiscal
Officers)
2 NYCRR Part 315.2 and 315.3 (criteria for determining employment status)

Adoption date: July 9, 2008
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9520.2 | Family and Medical Leave

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Policy here.

Consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), the Board of Education recognizes the right of eligible employees to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve (12) month period for certain family and medical reasons (“Basic FMLA Leave”), and to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12-month period to care for a military covered servicemember who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (“Military Caregiver FMLA Leave”). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies and collective bargaining agreements.

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least 12 months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding 12 months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least 50 employees are employed by the District within a 75 mile radius of that worksite.

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child, to care for the child after birth or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  2. To care for a spouse, partner, child or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, partner, child or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered servicemember (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, partner, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least 30 days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • Teachers and administrators wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the Superintendent of his/her request for such leave; and
  • All other employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the Chief Business and Financial Officer of his/her request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy.

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If necessary, arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave.

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the Secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of this Board Policy and corresponding administrative regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.

Additional guidelines and requirements regarding FMLA are outlined in the Administrative Regulations Handbook.

Ref:

  • 29 U.S.C. §§2601-2654 (the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993)
  • 29 C.F.R. Part 825

Adoption date: May 18, 2011

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Policy 9520.2 | Family and Medical Leave

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Regulation here.

Consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the right of eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period for certain family and medical reasons (Basic FMLA Leave), and to take up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a military-covered service member who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver FMLA Leave). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies and collective bargaining agreements.

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least twelve months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding twelve months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least fifty employees are employed by the District within a seventy-five-mile radius of that worksite.

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child, to care for the child after birth, or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  2. To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse,child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered service member (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least thirty days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • All employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the Director of Human Resources of his/her request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy. 

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If necessary, arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave.

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of this Board Policy and corresponding administrative regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.

Ref: 29 U.S.C. §§2601-2654 (the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993)
29 C.F.R. Part 825

Adoption date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9520.2-R | Family and Medical Leave Regulation

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Regulation here.

In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will grant to eligible employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period for certain family and medical reasons (Basic FMLA Leave), and up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a military-covered service member who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver FMLA Leave). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies, and collective bargaining agreements.

Eligible Employees

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least twelve months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding twelve months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least fifty employees are employed by the District within a seventy-five- mile radius of that worksite.

In accordance with FMLA, a full-time classroom teacher is presumed to meet the 1,250 hour requirement, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. “Teacher” is defined by FMLA and includes an employee employed principally in an instructional capacity whose principal function is to teach and instruct students. The term “teacher” does not include teacher assistants or aides who do not have as their principal function actual teaching or instructing, nor auxiliary personnel such as counselors, psychologists, curriculum specialists, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, bus drivers, or other primarily noninstructional employees.

Reasons for Leave

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child or to care for the child after birth (so long as such leave
    concludes within twelve months from the date of the child’s birth) or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care (so long as such leave concludes within twelve months from the date of the child’s placement);
  2. To care for a spouse, partner, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty. “Qualifying exigencies” are defined by FMLA and include, by example, attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain legal and financial arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending postdeployment reintegration briefings.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered service member (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

A “serious health condition” is defined by the FMLA and includes an illness, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the function of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a healthcare provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

A “serious injury or illness,” in the case a covered service member, is defined by FMLA and includes: (a) for a member of the Armed Forces, an injury or illness that incurred in the line of active duty (or existed before the beginning of the active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of active duty) and that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating; and (b) for certain veterans who were members of the Armed Forces, a qualifying (as defined by the secretary of Labor) injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of active duty (or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of active duty) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Period of Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to take up to a total of twelve weeks of Basic FMLA Leave in a twelve-month period. For purposes of calculating such twelve-month period, the period is measured forward from the date on which an employee uses any Basic FMLA Leave.

An eligible employee is entitled to take up to a total of twenty-six weeks of Military Caregiver FMLA Leave during a “single twelve-month period.” The “single twelve-month period” is measured forward from the date on which an employee first begins Military Caregiver FMLA Leave.

During each single twelve-month period, an eligible employee is limited to a combined total of twenty-six weeks of Basic FMLA Leave and Military Caregiver FMLA Leave, of which no more than twelve weeks may be attributable to Basic FMLA Leave.

In certain instances, spouses who are both employed by the District may be entitled to only an aggregate total of twelve or twenty-six weeks of leave under this policy, as applicable.

Procedure for Requesting Leave

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least thirty days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • Teachers and administrators wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the superintendent of their request for such leave; and
  • All other employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the chief business and financial officer of their request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Employees must provide sufficient information in order for the District to determine if the requested leave qualifies under FMLA, and the anticipated timing and duration of such leave. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.

Notification of Eligibility and Designation of FMLA Leave

Absent extenuating circumstances, the District will notify an employee in writing of their eligibility for leave under FMLA within five business days after the employee submits their request for leave, or after the District is otherwise aware of the employee’s need for such leave. Such notice will specify any additional information required, as well as the employee’s rights and responsibilities while on such leave. If the District determines that an employee is not eligible for leave under FMLA, the District will notify the employee in writing and provide a reason for the ineligibility.

The District also will inform an employee if their leave will be designated as leave under FMLA and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. If the District determines that the requested leave is not FMLA leave, the District will notify the employee and provide a reason.

Use of Accrued Leave Time Under FMLA

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy.

The District requires employees to use the following accrued paid time prior to taking unpaid FMLA leave:

Type of FMLA Leave Type of Accrued Time Which Must Be Substituted
Basic FMLA Leave for an employee’s own serious health condition Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave
Basic FMLA Leave for the serious health condition of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave
Military Caregiver FMLA Leave Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave
Any other kind of FMLA leave Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave

Substituted paid leave will run concurrently with the 12- or 26-week FMLA period. 

For employees taking an unpaid leave (pursuant to established District policies) that is also an FMLA-qualifying leave, the District will require such unpaid leave to run concurrently with the FMLA leave.

Maintenance of and Effect on Benefits

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. Arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave. The District may, as permitted by the FMLA, recover premiums paid by the District to maintain an employee’s insurance coverage if that employee fails to return to work from FMLA leave.

Seniority will continue to accrue during any paid FMLA leave. Seniority will not accrue during any unpaid FMLA leave, provided that the employee must be notified in writing that the unpaid FMLA leave will not be counted for purses of seniority.

Intermittent Leave

In certain circumstances, FMLA leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis, rather than in one block. Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. A reduced leave schedule is a leave schedule that reduces an employee’s usual number of working hours per work week, or hours per workday.

An eligible employee may use intermittent or reduced schedule leave:

  1. Because of the employee’s own serious health condition, to care for a parent or child with a serious health condition, or for Military Caregiver FMLA Leave if there is a medical need for such leave and such medical need can be best accommodated through leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis; or
  2. For Basic FMLA Leave due to qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

An eligible employee may take intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave after the birth or placement of a healthy child, only if the District agrees. Special rules apply if a teacher desires to take intermittent or reduced schedule leave.

Employees requesting intermittent or reduced schedule leave must attempt to schedule their leave so as not to disrupt the District’s operations. The District may, in certain circumstances, assign an employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates the employee’s intermittent or reduced leave schedule.

Return from Leave

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

In addition, special rules apply if a teacher desires to take FMLA leave near the end of an academic term.

  • If a teacher begins FMLA leave more than five weeks before the end of a term, the District may require the employee to continue taking leave until the end of the term if: (i) the leave will last at least three weeks and (ii) the employee would return to work during the three-week period before the end of the term.
  • If a teacher begins leave during the five-week period before the end of a term because of the birth of a child; the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or to care for a covered service member, the District may require the employee to continue to take leave until the end of the term if: (i) the leave will last more than two weeks; and (ii) the employee would return to work during the two week period before the end of the term.
  • If a teacher begins leave during the three-week period before the end of the term because of the birth of a child; the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or to care for a covered service member, the District may require the employee to continue to take leave until the end of the term if the leave will last more than five working days.

In the case of an employee who is required to take leave until the end of an academic term, only the period of FMLA leave until the employee is ready and able to return to work shall be charged against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement; however, the District shall maintain the employee’s group health insurance for the additional leave period required by the District to the end of the term.

Prior to returning from FMLA leave, the District may require that an employee present a certification of fitness to return to work when the absence was caused by the employee’s serious health condition.

Failure to return from any leave may result in the employee’s termination. 

Enforcement

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA, or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under FMLA. FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination. An employee who disagrees with any determination by the District regarding a request for leave, or who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for requesting or taking FMLA leave, may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or commence a private lawsuit.

Notice of Policy

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of the Board Policy and these regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.

Adoption date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 18, 2019

Re-Adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9540.1 | HIPAA Compliance Policies for Insured Group Health Plans

View the PDF version of the HIPAA Compliance Policies for Insured Group Health Plans here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (“District”), as a sponsor of one or more insured group health plans (the “Plan” or “Plans”), is required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 19096 (“HIPAA”) to implement certain policies and procedures relating to the rights of Plan enrollees.

Non-Retaliation Policy

The District will not discriminate against, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or take any other retaliatory action against an insured individual or worker for exercising the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Official of an insurer, or with the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or for testifying, assisting or participating in an investigation, compliance review, proceeding, or hearing regarding an alleged violation under HIPPA.

Non-Waiver of Rights

The District will not require an insured individual or a worker to waive his or her rights under HIPAA as a condition of the provision of treatment, payment, enrollment in a health plan, or eligibility for benefits.

Adoption date: September 3, 2003

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Policy 9540.2 | HIPAA Compliance Policies for Self-Insured Group Health Plans

View the PDF version of the HIPAA Compliance Policies for Self-Insured Group Health Plans here.

Bethlehem CSD (“District”), as a sponsor of one or more self-insured group health plans (the “Plan” or “Plans”), is required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) to implement policies and procedures relating to the privacy of individually identifiable health information of Plan enrollees.

This Policy applies to all District personnel (“workers’) who have access to Protected Health Information (“PHI”) in the course of their duties relating to the District’s self insured group health plans, including flexible spending plans for medical reimbursement, whether or not the worker is directly involved in administration of health plan benefits or services.

This Policy does not pertain to information that the District may receive, create, or transmit in relation to Workers’ Compensation, FMLA, fitness for duty, ADA, OSHA, employee drug screening, life insurance, or disability insurance.

Protected Health Information

For purpose of this Policy, PHI is defined as individually identifiable health information, including demographic information, that is created, received, transmitted or maintained by the District in relation to a group health plan, regardless of form (oral, written, or electronic), if the information relates to:

  • the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual;
  • the provision of health care services to an individual; or
  • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

PHI includes but is not limited to EOBs, treatment records, billing records, consultant reports, and laboratory or other diagnostic results.

Confidentiality of PHI

Workers may not divulge, copy, transfer, alter, or destroy any PHI, or remove any PHI from the premises, except as authorized by the District or by the individual who is the subject of the information. Workers must strictly comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations and all policies and procedures established by the District relating to the confidentiality of PHI continues after termination of his or her employment or other relationship with the District.

Administrative Safeguards

The District implements appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI and to safeguard PHI from any uses and disclosures that would be in violation of HIPAA. The Notice(s) of Privacy Practices attached to this Policy reflect the District’s policies and procedures in relation to use the disclosure of PHI.

Files containing PHI, on paper or in electronic media, must be maintained in a manner that guards against unauthorized access and disclosure. Workers must hold in strictest confidence any and all access codes, passwords, and other authorizations which enable access to computer systems in which PHI is maintained by the District.

Minimum Necessary Disclosure

Workers may use PHI only as necessary to perform their duties in relation to the Plans, and for no other purpose whatsoever. When using, disclosing, or accessing PHI, workers may only use, disclose or access the minimum PHI necessary to perform their duties. When PHI must be shared with others, it must be shared in a manner consistent with the intended purpose, taking precautions to minimize the risk of disclosure beyond the minimum necessary for the intended recipient or purpose. All workers whose duties involve access to PHI are required to undergo training in safeguards concerning use and disclosure of PHI.

Mitigation of Harmful Effects

In the event of disclosure of PHI in violation of HIPAA, the District has a duty to mitigate any known harmful effect of that violation, to the extent practicable. Any worker who becomes aware of an activity that may jeopardize the confidentiality of PHI should promptly report that activity to the District’s privacy Official.

Individual Rights

Under HIPAA, an individual is entitled to certain rights concerning his or her protected health information. Those Individual rights are described in the administered in accordance with the attached Notice(s) of Privacy Practices. The applicable Notice of Privacy Practices is distributed to named self insured Plan enrollees as of April 14, 2003, and thereafter to new enrollees upon initial enrollment. No less frequently than once every three years, enrollees then covered by the Plan will be informed that the Notice is available and how to obtain it.

Non-Retaliation and Non-Waiver of Rights

The District will not discriminate against, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or take any other retaliatory action against any individual or worker for exercising the right to file a complaint with the District’s Privacy Official, or with the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or for testifying, assisting or participating in an investigation, compliance review, proceeding, or hearing regarding an alleged violation under HIPAA. In addition, the District will not require an individual or a worker to waive his or her rights under HIPAA as a condition of the provision of treatment, payment, enrollment in a health plan, or eligibility for benefits.

Administrative Sanctions

Any violation of this policy or violation of any applicable federal or state law relating to the protection of PHI may subject a worker to disciplinary action, in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures of the District.

Complaint Process

The District has a complaint process by which individuals may make complaints concerning the policies and procedures of the Plan in relation to the confidentiality of PHI. Complaints regarding the inappropriate use of disclosure of PHI may be made in writing to the District Privacy Official. Complaints may also be made to the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Privacy Official

The Privacy Official be contacted at the following office address: Bethlehem Central School District 90 Adams Place Bethlehem, New York 12054

Adoption date: September 3, 2003

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Policy 9540.3 | Bethlehem CSD Prescription Drug Plan Notice of Policy Practices

View the PDF version of the Bethlehem CSD Prescription Drug Plan Notice of Policy Practices here.

Adoption date: September 3, 2003


Policy 9700| Staff Development

View the PDF version of the Staff Development Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that professional growth helps ensure the success of educational programs and improves the effectiveness of the school, as well as individual staff members. The Board encourages instructional staff, support personnel staff, and administrative staff to take graduate courses and participate in other activities that would enhance their effectiveness.

In addition, the Board also recognizes its responsibility to encourage staff development through goal-setting, budgetary commitment, and monitoring of staff development activities. The Board’s decision to implement in-service activities, conference attendance, workshop participation, etc., is done in light of the fiscal constraints imposed on the Board. It is the Board’s responsibility to make the most effective use of the resources available in providing a strong educational program for the children of the District. In-service activities will be weighed against other essential expenditures of resources.

In-service programs will be conducted in the District by the superintendent or other appropriate personnel at least annually. The superintendent, or designee, is directed to provide for the selection of subjects pertinent to the curriculum in the schools, and to build from these subjects in-service or staff development courses that will help teachers in new methods acceptable to the schools, or to help them to improve techniques already in use. Such programs will also familiarize the professional staff with the provisions and purposes of the District Code of Conduct, to ensure its effective implementation. Instructional and support personnel are encouraged to participate in in-service activities.

The superintendent, or designee, has authority to approve release time and expenses for individual staff member’s attendance at professional training conferences, study councils, in-service courses, workshops, summer study grants, school visitations, professional organizations, etc., within budgetary constraints. Prior approval must be obtained from the superintendent, or designee. In addition, the staff member may be requested by the administration to prepare a report or summary of the meeting attended.

Support Staff

In-service activities for support staff will be provided within the financial constraints of the District. Attendance at such activities will be with the prior approval of the superintendent, or designee. In addition, the staff member may be requested by the administration to prepare a summary report of the meeting attended.

Ref: Education Law §3604(8)
8 NYCRR Part 80; §100.2(e)(vii)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019