DISTRICTS ‑- SCHOOLS ‑- EMPLOYEES ‑- PENSIONS ‑- SALARIES
Under RCW 28A.58.100 (2) (f), which states that accumulated sick leave to a maximum of forty-five days shall be creditable as service rendered for the purpose of determining the time at which a school district employee is eligible to retire, an employee utilizing this accumulated sick leave for that purpose is to receive no other compensation.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
June 15, 1973
Honorable Gordon L. Walgren
State Senator, 23rd District
245 Fourth Street Building
Bremerton, Washington 98310
Cite as: AGLO 1973 No. 66
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion on a question which we paraphrase as follows:
Under RCW 28A.58.100 (2) (f), which states that accumulated sick leave to a maximum of forty-five days shall be creditable as service rendered for the purpose of determining the time at which a school district employee is eligible to retire, must a school district pay a teacher his salary for these forty-five days of accumulated sick leave when the teacher is using these same days as credit to retire early?
We answer this question in the negative.
RCW 28A.58.100 relates to school district leave policies with respect to persons under contracts of employment with such districts in positions requiring either certification or noncertification qualifications
". . . including but not limited to leaves for attendance at official or private institutes and conferences and sabbatical leaves for employees in positions requiring certification qualification, and leaves for illness, injury, bereavement and, emergencies for both certificated and noncertificated employees, and with such compensation as the board of directors prescribe: . . ."
This statute then keys in, specifically, upon leaves for illness, injury and emergencies and deals with these matters in a proviso reading as follows:
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
". . . Provided, That the board of directors shall adopt written policies granting to such persons annual leave with compensation for illness, injury and emergencies as follows:
"(a) For such persons under contract with the school district for a full year, at least ten days;
"(b) For such persons under contract with the school district as part time employees, at least that portion of ten days as the total number of days contracted for bears to one hundred eighty days;
"(c) Compensation forleave foar illness or injury actually taken shall be the same as the compensation such person would have received had such person not taken the leave provided in this proviso;
"(d) Leave provided in this proviso not taken shall accumulate from year to year up to a maximum of one hundred eighty days, and such accumulated time may be taken at any time during the school year;
"(e) Sick leave heretofore accumulated under section 1, chapter 195, Laws of 1959 (former RCW 28.58.430) and sick leave accumulated under administrative practice of school districts prior to the effective date of section 1, chapter 195, Laws of 1959 (former RCW 28.58.430) is hereby declared valid, and shall be added to leave for illness or injury accumulated under this proviso;
"(f) Accumulated leave under this proviso not taken at the time such person retires or ceases to be employed in the public schools shall not be compensable except in the following manner: Any leave for injury or illness accumulated up to a maximum of forty-five days shall be creditable as service rendered for the purpose of determining the time at which an employee is eligible to retire;
"(g) Accumulated leave under this proviso shall be transferred to and from one district to another, the office of superintendent of public instruction and offices of intermediate [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] school district superintendents and boards of education, to and from such districts and such offices;
"(h) Leave accumulated by a person in a district prior to leaving said district may, under rules and regulations of the board, be granted to such person when he returns to the employment of the district." (Emphasis supplied.)
It is, of course, subpart (f) of this proviso which is pertinent to your question. What it says, quite clearly, is that any school district employee's accumulated sick leave not taken at the time of his retirement shall be creditable, to a maximum of forty-five days, as service rendered for the purpose of determining the time at which such employee is eligible to retire ‑ but shall not otherwise be compensable. Therefore, the answer to your question, as above paraphrased, must be in the negative.1/
We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
PHILIP H. AUSTIN
Deputy Attorney General
*** FOOTNOTES ***
1/Accord, our earlier memorandum opinion of July 2, 1971 [[to Lloyd G. Becker, Director, Public Employees Retirement System, an Informal Opinion, AIR-71588]], to the former director of the teachers' retirement system, copy enclosed.