Paid Time Off (PTO)
Paid Time Off (PTO) consists of vacation, personal and sick (self or family) paid days off from work. Launch employees receive varying amounts and types of PTO, depending upon their employment category/status, as detailed below.
Regular Full Time and Regular Part Time Employees: Regular full time and regular part time employees receive an entitlement of days away from work with pay that may be used for vacation, personal time, an employee’s illness or time off to care for family members or dependents. The number of PTO days an eligible full time or part time employee receives under this policy includes days for paid safe and sick leave as required by the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“ESSTA”).
- 12-month full time employees receive twenty (20) days of PTO, front-loaded at the start of each calendar year of employment, which will be immediately available for use. Any 12-month employee hired after July 1st will be granted a pro rata portion of the leave time based upon their start date but shall receive no less than forty (40) hours of paid safe and sick leave.
- 11-month full time employees receive ten (10) days of PTO, front-loaded at the start of each calendar year of employment, which will be immediately available for use. Any 11-month full time employee hired after August 15th will be granted a pro rata portion of the leave time based upon their start date but shall receive no less than forty (40) hours of paid safe and sick leave.
- Regular part time employees receive ten (10) days of PTO, front-loaded at the start of each calendar year of employment, which will be immediately available for use. Any regular part time employee hired after July 1st or August 15th, as applicable, will be granted a pro rata portion of the leave time based upon their start date but shall receive no less than forty (40) hours of paid safe and sick leave.
- Regular full time and regular part time employees will be paid for school holidays and vacations falling during the academic year.
Temporary Employees: Temporary employees, whether full time or part time, who work at least 80 hours in a calendar year are eligible for up to a total of forty (40) hours of paid safe and sick leave under ESSTA for use during the calendar year (defined for purposes of this policy as July 1 through June 30), as follows:
- Temporary employees who work eighty (80) or more hours per calendar year shall receive, on their first day of employment, a lump grant of paid safe and sick leave equal to the amount of paid safe and sick leave such employee would accrue during the calendar year based upon their expected hours of work for the calendar year, up to a maximum of forty (40) hours per calendar year. This leave will be available for immediate use by such employee during the calendar year.
- Temporary employees who become eligible for additional safe and sick leave by working more hours than anticipated during the calendar year will accrue additional safe and sick leave at a rate of one (1) hour for every thirty (30) hours of work up to a maximum of forty (40) hours per calendar year.
- Temporary employees are not eligible for any other PTO days and will not be paid for school holidays and vacations falling during the academic year.
Scheduling and Approval Procedure for PTO other than Safe and Sick Leave
Launch requests that employees provide five (5) days advance notice to their supervisor and the Head of School or Executive Director, for the use of PTO (other than safe and sick leave – see Procedures for Using Safe and Sick Leave, below). Any planned absences must be scheduled via the Launch clock-in site. Launch will do its best to try to accommodate the staff member.
PTO may not be taken the last week of the school year, or on scheduled in-service and/or training days, or immediately before or after holidays without supervisor’s permission. See your supervisor for specific department blackout dates.
Safe and Sick Leave
Employees may use safe and sick leave in four (4) hour increments. Full days off will be considered to be the equivalent of eight (8) hours for purposes of tracking time used.
Employees can use sick leave for absence from work due to:
- the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- the employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
- the employee’s need for preventive medical care
- care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, or who needs preventive medical care
- closure of Launch by order of a public health official due to a public health emergency
The employee’s need to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed by order of a public health official due to a public health emergency.
Employees can use safe leave for absence from work due to any of the following reasons when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking:
- to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking;
- to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matter, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking;
- to meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding, including but not limited to, matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing or consumer credit;
- to file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;
- to meet with a district attorney’s office;
- to enroll children in a new school; or
- to take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.
The law recognizes the following as an employee’s family member:
- child (biological, adopted or foster child, a legal ward, or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis)
- domestic partner
- parent (biological, foster, step or adoptive parent or a legal guardian of an employee or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child)
- sibling (including half, adopted, or step sibling)
- grandchild or grandparent
- child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner
- any other individual related by blood to the employee
- any other individual whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship
Procedures for Using Safe and Sick Leave
If the need for safe and sick leave is unforeseeable, Launch requires employees to call the Head of School by 6:30am that morning. We ask, whenever possible, that employees contact the Head of School by 10pm the night before if a sick day is necessary or likely. Please see additional information in our Unplanned Absences policy in the Attendance section of this manual.
If the need for safe and sick leave is foreseeable, Launch requires employees to give their supervisor no less than five (5) days advance notice of the intention to use safe and sick leave. Instructional employees with a planned absence must provide a lesson plan and email it to the email address of their school’s absence team. Please refer to the Coverage for Absences section in this Handbook for additional information.
Safe and Sick Leave Documentation
For an absence of more than three (3) consecutive workdays, employees may be required to provide documentation no less than seven (7) days after they return to work verifying that the employee used the leave for safe or sick leave purposes, as follows:
- for sick leave, Launch would require documentation from a licensed health care provider;
- for safe leave, Launch would require reasonable documentation signed by a social service provider, a member of the clergy, an attorney, court or police records or a notarized letter by the employee explaining the need for safe leave.
The documentation does not need to specify the reason for the leave. Launch also may require an employee to provide written confirmation that the employee used safe/sick time as permitted by law.
An employee’s failure or delay in providing required reasonable documentation and/or an employee’s misuse of safe or sick leave may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Launch will not retaliate against any employee for using safe or sick leave. Employees have the right to file claims for violation of the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (nyc.gov/PaidSickLeave or dial 311).
Carryover and Payout
PTO days, including safe and sick leave, do not carry over into the next school year. Employees will be compensated for a maximum of ten (10) unused PTO days, including safe and sick leave, at the end of the school year based on the following schedule:
- Up to 5 unused PTO days pay out at salary rate
- Unused PTO days 6 to 10 pay out at $100 per day
- Unused PTO days 11 to 20 for 12-month full time employees only, these are not eligible for pay out and will not carry over
An employee must complete the school year to be eligible for payout. PTO days (including safe and sick leave) are not paid out if an employee ceases employment for any reason during the school year.
Exhausting PTO Days
PTO days taken in excess of the PTO days available can result in disciplinary action up to and including employment termination. If approved, this time will be unpaid. For each day that excess PTO is taken, employees will receive an unpaid day reflected in their next paycheck.