The following are forms of authorized leave: holiday, vacation, sick, funeral, military, civil, family/medical, and injury leave and leave of absence.
Authorized leave policies also apply to the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the Reporter of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the State Court Administrator, the State Probation Administrator, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Administrative Assistants, Career Law Clerks, and Non-Career Law Clerks with the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals. These leave policies also apply to official court reporters with some exceptions to the vacation leave policy as set out in the Supreme Court Rules Relating to Official Court Reporters. All full-time employees shall account for at least 40 hours of work or leave time per week.
An absence by an employee not authorized by the employee’s supervisor shall be considered as unauthorized leave.
Amended 5-23-07; amended 7-9-15.
The following is a list of court holidays as stated in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25‑2221:
• New Year's Day (January 1)
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
• President's Day (Third Monday in February)
• Arbor Day (Last Friday in April)
• Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
• Independence Day (July 4)
• Labor Day (First Monday in September)
• Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)
• Veterans Day (November 11)
• Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
• Day After Thanksgiving (Friday following Thanksgiving)
• Christmas Day (December 25)
If such holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a holiday. If such holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be a holiday. Other holidays declared by law or proclamation of the Governor are considered court holidays.
Many courthouses will be closed on occasional local holidays as well as court holidays. When the courthouse is closed for local holidays, the court and probation office must remain open and adequately staffed for emergency services and to meet filing deadlines.
Permanent employees shall receive holiday leave equal to one-fifth of their normally scheduled workweek for each paid holiday. Permanent part‑time employees shall be eligible for paid holidays on a pro rata basis, based on the average amount of hours worked. (For example, an employee who works on average 20 hours a week, will be eligible for four hours of holiday pay.)
Temporary employees, whether full time or part time, shall not be eligible for paid holidays, and, if required to work on a holiday, shall be paid for the time worked at their normal rate of pay.
If a holiday occurs while an employee is on workers' compensation or other disability compensation, no credit for the holiday shall be allowed.
In order to receive pay for an observed holiday, an employee must be in a paid status on the workday immediately preceding and immediately following the holiday.
If an employee combines vacation leave with an observed holiday, no deduction from the vacation leave shall be made for that holiday. Likewise, if a holiday falls within a period of an approved sick leave, no deduction shall be made from the employee's accumulated sick leave.
Amended 5-23-07; amended 7-9-15.
Full‑time employees shall earn vacation leave with pay at the following rates:
|1st through 5th year||96 hours||12 days|
|6th year||120 hours||15 days|
|7th year||128 hours||16 days|
|8th year||136 hours||17 days|
|9th year||144 hours||18 days|
|10th year||152 hours||19 days|
|11th year||160 hours||20 days|
|12th year||168 hours||21 days|
|13th year||176 hours||22 days|
|14th year||184 hours||23 days|
|15th year||192 hours||24 days|
|16th year and thereafter||200 hours||25 days|
Permanent part‑time employees shall be entitled to vacation leave proportionate to that which would be granted under full‑time employment. Temporary employees shall not be eligible for vacation time.
The amount of leave earned by each employee is based on the employee’s years of continuous employment. For example, during the ninth year of continuous employment, vacation leave is earned at the rate of 1.5 days per month and an employee is eligible to use the earned vacation time in addition to any accumulated time based on the previous year’s service. Vacation leave is earned during each pay period and credited to the employee at the end of that pay period. For example, leave earned in October is available to use on the first of November.
Leave that is used is deducted from the employee’s accumulated leave one pay period December 31 paycheck information. It is the responsibility of each employee to monitor the amount of vacation leave available for use. If an employee takes vacation leave before it is earned it will result in the reduction of the employee’s wages and possible disciplinary action. Vacation leave must be applied for in advance by the employee and may be used only when approved by the supervisor. However, prior approval is not required when the employee is required to use vacation leave as sick leave or chooses to use vacation leave instead of going on unpaid family/medical leave. Supervisors can only approve vacation leave after it has been earned, unless advanced with the approval of the State Court Administrator or State Probation Administrator, up to a maximum of 40 hours. Vacation leave shall be designated so as not to interfere with the efficient operation of the Nebraska Court System. Vacation leave need not be taken all at one time during the year. All employees must be given the opportunity to take their vacation leave before it expires.
An employee who has terminated employment with the state for any reason other than disciplinary or retirement and who returns to state employment with the Nebraska Court System within 5 years from the date of termination shall have service for vacation leave entitlement computed by combining prior continuous service with current continuous service, disregarding the period of absence. An employee who transfers to the Nebraska Court System from another state agency will continue to earn vacation leave at the same rate as the employee did with the former agency. No more than 40 hours of accumulated vacation leave may be transferred to the Nebraska Court System with approval from the administrative office. The employee must arrange payment for accumulated vacation leave above 40 hours with the former agency.
Each employee, upon retirement, dismissal, or voluntary separation from Nebraska Court System employment, shall be paid for unused accumulated vacation leave. Upon the death of the employee, the employee's beneficiary shall be paid for all unused accumulated vacation leave.
Vacation leave shall not be earned during a leave of absence or while the employee is removed from the payroll for any reason.
Each employee's vacation leave account shall be balanced as of the closing date of the last pay period of each calendar year. Vacation leave in excess of 35 days shall be forfeited. In special and meritorious cases, when it would cause hardship for any employee to take earned vacation leave before December 31, excess carryover leave may be approved by the Administrative Office. In these cases, the hours carried over shall be used within the next 6 months. In no case shall carryover vacation continue from year to year.
Some employees of the offices of the Supreme Court (staff of the Clerk and Library who were hired before 1980), some probation employees (who either joined the Nebraska Court System in July 1985 or July 1986), and some county court employees (who joined the Nebraska Court System in July of 1985 as a result of legislation merging the municipal and county courts) shall continue on the same leave schedules they were on prior to their becoming employees of the Nebraska Court System.
Full‑time employees earn sick leave at the following rates:
|1st through 5th year||96 hours||12 days|
|6th year||136 hours||17 days|
|7th year||144 hours||18 days|
|8th year||152 hours||19 days|
|9th year||160 hours||20 days|
|10th year||168 hours||21 days|
|11th year||176 hours||22 days|
|12th year||184 hours||23 days|
|13th year||192 hours||24 days|
|14th year||200 hours||25 days|
|15th year||208 hours||26 days|
|16th year||216 hours||27 days|
|17th year||224 hours||28 days|
|18th year||232 hours||29 days|
|19th year and thereafter||240 hours||30 days|
|Maximum Accural||1440 hours||180 days|
Permanent part‑time employees shall earn sick leave in an amount proportionate to that which would have been earned under full‑time employment. Temporary employees shall not be eligible for sick leave.
Sick leave is defined to mean a period during which the employee is unable to perform his or her duties because of sickness, disability, or injury not arising from the course of employment; or for medical, psychological, surgical, dental, or optical examination or treatment; or when, by reason of the employee's exposure to a contagious disease, the employee's presence at his or her post would jeopardize the health of others.
Sick leave for immediate family is defined to mean a period during which the employee's presence is required to provide medically-related care for a member of the employee's immediate family because of sickness, disability, or injury; or for medical, psychologial, surgical, dental, or optical examination or treatment. The immediate family shall be considered as spouse, children, and parents. At the State Court Administrator or State Probation Administrator's discretion, the definition of immediate family may be broadened to include other individuals with a like relationship to the employee as that of an immediate family member. Employees must use vacation time for care of family members when their presence is helpful, but not essential, if approved by the supervisor.
The amount of leave earned by each employee is based on the employee’s years of continuous employment. For example, during the ninth year of continuous employment, sick leave is earned at the rate of 1.67 days per month and an employee is eligible to use the earned sick leave in addition to any accumulated time based on the previous year’s service. Sick leave is earned during each pay period and credited to the employee at the end of that pay period. For example, leave earned in October is available to use on the first of November.
Leave that is used is deducted from the employee’s accumulated leave one pay period after it is used. For example, any leave used in November will be recorded as leave used on the December 31 paycheck information. It is the responsibility of each employee to monitor the amount of sick leave available for use. Sick leave shall not be used as vacation leave. Sick leave cannot be taken in advance, unless approved by the State Court Administrator or State Probation Administrator, up to a maximum of 40 hours.
Sick leave shall be requested in advance from the supervisor whenever possible, i.e., dental appointment or physical examination, etc. In case of sickness, injury, emergencies, or any other absence not approved in advance, the employee shall advise his or her supervisor of the circumstances as soon as possible. If the sickness, injury, or emergency qualifies as family/medical leave the employee should submit a family/medical leave form to Personnel.
Disabilities caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery there from are, for all job‑related purposes, temporary disabilities and will be treated as such under the rules and regulations for sick leave.
Sick leave shall be taken on a working‑hour basis. An employee may be required to submit substantiating evidence when the reason for the leave request was a medical or dental appointment or when the supervisor suspects sick leave abuse. Substantiating evidence may also be required by the supervisor if the sick leave absence exceeds 3 workdays but is less than 10 workdays and does not qualify for family/medical leave.
Substantiating evidence shall be required by the supervisor if the sick leave absence is 10 workdays or longer and the employee is not on family/medical leave. Sick leave may be denied when the employee fails to substantiate the legitimate use of sick leave. When an employee is absent for 3 or more days or when a supervisor receives information that indicates the reason for the sick leave may qualify as family/medical leave, the employee shall be given a family/medical leave form. Employees shall be required to take family/medical leave concurrently with sick leave if the reason for sick leave qualifies. (See additional information under Family/Medical Leave section.)
Holidays within a period of sick leave shall not be counted as working hours. If an absence because of illness or injury not arising from the course of employment extends beyond the sick leave earned to the credit of an employee, and if the employee is not on family/medical leave, such additional time shall be charged to vacation leave. Sick leave can be used to supplement workers' compensation up to the employee's current salary level extent.
If an employee leaves the service of the Nebraska Court System in good standing and is reemployed within 1 year from the date of separation, sick leave earned during the previous period of continuous employment shall be reinstated to the employee's credit.
An employee who has terminated employment with the state for any reason other than disciplinary or retirement, and who returns to state employment with the Nebraska Court System within 5 years of termination, will have sick leave entitlement computed by combining prior continuous service with current continuous service, disregarding the period of absence. Sick leave is not affected by the transfer of an employee from one state agency to another.
Upon retirement under the existing Nebraska State Employees Retirement System, or upon reaching the age of retirement and voluntarily resigning in good standing, an employee shall be paid one‑fourth of unused, accumulated sick leave, with the rate of payment based upon the employee's regular pay at the time of retirement. Upon the death of an employee, the employee's beneficiaries shall be paid one‑fourth of the accumulated unused sick leave with the rate of payment based upon the employee's regular pay at the date of death.
An employee who is eligible for retirement and who elects to receive payment for one‑fourth of accumulated, unused sick leave upon retirement from Nebraska Court System or any other Nebraska State agency employment, and subsequently returns to the system's employment, shall be considered a new employee without any prior service when determining entitlement to and accumulation of sick leave.
The payment of one‑fourth of the accumulated sick leave to an employee is limited to a one‑time payment, and no employee, by virtue of reentering state employment, shall become entitled to additional payments for unused sick leave.
Employees may not be compensated for earned sick leave when they are separated from Nebraska Court System employment unless the separation is due to retirement or death.
The sick leave account of each employee shall be balanced as of the closing date of the last pay period of each calendar year. Sick leave in excess of 1,440 hours will be forfeited.
Amended 5-23-07; amended 7-9-15.
Up to 5 days of funeral leave may be granted for funerals in the immediate family. In extraordinary circumstances additional leave may be approved by the Probation or Court Administrator. For funerals of persons not in the immediate family, up to 1 day of funeral leave may be granted at the discretion of the supervisor. Immediate family, for purposes of this leave policy, shall mean wife, husband, children, parents, children‑in‑law, grandchildren, grandparents, brothers, sisters, or those bearing the same relationship to the spouse. Step‑persons bearing these relationships are included. At the Court Administrator or Probation Administrator's discretion, the definition of immediate family may be expanded to include other individuals with a similar personal relationship to the employee as that of an immediate family member.
All employees who are members of the Nebraska National Guard or any other reserve component and who participate for up to 15 workdays in drills, encampments, maneuvers, active duty or training, and other exercises prescribed by competent authority, will receive their full pay in addition to their military pay.
Employees who are ordered to active duty by the Governor under emergency conditions will receive the difference between their full state pay and their military pay, provided the military pay is less than their state pay.
Employees, other than temporary and intermittent, who leave a position to undergo military duty in the active service of the State of Nebraska are entitled to a leave of absence for the period of such training or service not to exceed 4 years, and without loss of pay during the first 15 workdays of the leave of absence. This is not in addition to the 15 days mentioned in the paragraph above. When separated from such training or service under honorable conditions, employees are entitled to reinstatement to their former positions with seniority, status, pay, and vacation as if they had not been absent, if application is made within 30 days after release from training or service.
When an employee is called to serve as a juror or is appointed as a clerk or judge on an election or counting board, the employee is entitled to any fees received as a result of this service in addition to receiving paid civil leave. Employees will return to work when not actually serving as a juror on a daily basis.
If any employee does not have sufficient time before or after regular duty hours to vote, up to 2 hours of civil leave may be granted.
Time spent by employees appearing in court as a function of their job shall be considered as hours worked. Any witness fees and reimbursements received as a result of those court appearances shall be returned to the State.
Employees attending court as a plaintiff, defendant, or witness on non work‑related matters may use vacation leave or earned compensatory time, or the Administrative Office may grant a leave of absence. Any witness fees paid to the employee for these court appearances shall be kept by the employee.
Employees who provide proof of their disaster relief volunteer certification with the American Red Cross may, with appropriate supervisory authorization, be granted paid civil leave not to exceed 15 working days in each calendar year to participate in specialized disaster relief services in Nebraska for the American Red Cross, upon the request of the American Red Cross.
Amended 7-16-03; amended 7-9-15.
The Family Military Leave Act was passed by the Nebraska Legislature and became effective on April 5, 2007. In accordance with the act, it shall be the policy of the Nebraska Supreme Court to allow an eligible employee who is the spouse or parent of a person called to military service lasting 179 days or longer, with the State or United States pursuant to the orders of the Governor or President of the United States, to take up to 30 days of unpaid leave.
For purposes of the Family Military Leave Act, an eligible employee is an employee who has at least 12 months of service and has worked for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of this leave. An eligible employee is the spouse or parent of a person called to military service lasting 179 calendar days or longer. An eligible employee may request up to 30 days of leave without pay. Employees may choose to use accrued vacation leave for some or all of this requested leave.
The employee shall give at least 14 calendar days of notice of taking leave if the leave will consist of 5 or more consecutive workdays. Whenever possible, the employee shall consult with the supervisor to schedule the leave so as to not unduly disrupt the work operations. An employee taking less than 5 consecutive days shall give the supervisor notice as is practicable. The supervisor may require certification from the proper military authority to verify the employee’s eligibility for the family military leave requested.
When the leave ends, the employee must be restored to the position previously held or to a position with equivalent seniority status, benefits, pay, et cetera, except when the supervisor proves the employee is not restored due to reasons unrelated to taking leave.
The employee may continue benefits, during leave, at the employee's expense. The employee's service date will be adjusted after 14 calendar days of unpaid leave.
The act provides that the employee may negotiate with the employer for the employer to maintain benefits at the employer's expense during the leave period. Taking family military leave shall not result in the loss of benefits accrued before the leave started.