Taking off for yomtov as Public School employee

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  • #618431

    SMG
    Member

    I just started working in a NJ public school, and I was wondering if anyone has any info on how it works with absences on Yomtov. Do I need to take personal days? Sick days? There aren’t even enough personal days to cover. Are there any laws about this?

    #1184025

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Contact the Human Resources department. They are responsible for these issues.

    #1184026

    mik5
    Participant

    You have the legal right to take off for all yomim tovim on which melacha is assur (you don’t have a legal right to take off for Channukah).

    I am assuming that you will get off for R”H and Y”K; most public schools are off on those days.

    So you need to take off four days, maybe five for erev Yom Kippur. You don’t have 5 sick days?

    #1184027

    yehudayona
    Participant

    It may depend on the system. When I taught in public schools, I got Yom Tovim off for free if I recall correctly. It’s probably covered by the union contract. If you don’t like the answer HR gives you, check with your union rep.

    As mik5 points out, there aren’t a lot of days since most districts give off RH, YK, and Pesach. This year it’s probably 6: Sukkos, Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah, and Shavuos. You’ll probably have to work during Chol HaMoed. Some years you’ll luck out and have YK fall on Columbus Day or Shavuos fall on Memorial Day. If necessary, take Purim as a personal day (this year it’s on a Sunday). It’s a good idea to save sick days for when you’re sick.

    #1184028

    Joseph
    Participant

    Outside of NYC, most public schools aren’t closed on Yomim Tovim.

    #1184029

    SMG
    Member

    Thanks for your replies. The school gives off the first day of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. That leaves me with 5 days right now that I need to take off. I get 10 sick days and 3 personal. Officially, one is not supposed to use sick days for other things than illness. In addition, I am a woman with children who sometimes get sick, and I have been known to get sick myself, so I didn’t want to have to use up half my sick days right off the bat. I hope to speak to HR tomorrow, but I thought it would be smart to have some info or knowledge beforehand. thanks.

    #1184030

    mik5
    Participant

    My law school also gives off the first day of RH and YK and erev YK after 3.

    The only info that you need to have is that it is 100% illegal to discriminate against you because of the Jewish holidays.

    However, on a side note, someone who takes off (for example) Isru Chag Pesach when the company is in the middle of an important project is being a jerk and deserves to be fired (according to an article I read on erev Shabbos in the 5 Towns Jewish Times).

    Ditto for a person who says he can’t work on Chanukah.

    #1184031

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    mik5: You wrote: “You have the legal right to take off for all yomim tovim on which melacha is assur (you don’t have a legal right to take off for Channukah).”

    While individuals may have the “legal right to take off” NYS employees (not public school employees but state workers) have to either charge annual leave, personal leave or leave without pay.

    #1184032

    147
    Participant

    I work for NY City:- They used to allow LWOP for religious reasons, and 1 day out of the blue, they simply stopped all LWOP saying that annual leave has to be used when taking off even for religious reasons; They don’t even allow making up time in winter during week for early Fridays, but force you to charge each Friday to annual leave.

    I have brought this up at the union, and they told me, that as long as City is allowing me to be off on Yom Tov, they still have the right to charge it to my annual leave, and don’t have to allow me to make up time.

    Needless to say, Shabbos & Yom Tov are not restful vacation days, and don’t leave much for me to tale care of resting up.

    When I could take LWOP, I had enough time to take off Chol haMoed. Now that they recanted, I don’t have enough time to take off Chol haMoed.

    #1184033

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    As mentioned in other posts, I am in local government here in CT. Our area schools are closed first day RH and YK. Teachers may use personal days for religious observance, NOT sick days. Sick days are for illness. If a known Jewish teacher attempts to use sick days for Yuntif observance they will be asked to provide a doctor’s note for the absence.

    Unpaid time will be granted for religious observance. After all, the municipalities have to pay substitute teachers to cover classes when a teacher is out.

    #1184034

    Abba_S
    Participant

    I would advise you to contact your supervisor first they may have an unofficial policy in these type of cases, so that you may be allowed to work additional hours in order not exceeds you leave balances and be on leave without pay. Your supervisor may require permission from their supervisor. As a general rule Bosses do not like it when subordinates are on leave without pay status so they may work with you by increasing your work hours so that you don’t fall into that category.

    #1184035

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    147: I understand. NYS (depending on the bargaining group) has “voluntary leave without pay” subject to certain conditions. I have always had to charge the Yomim Tovim to annual or personal time.

    #1184036

    huju
    Participant

    Why has no one suggested contacting someone in the teachers’ union, if in fact there is a union representing teachers in the relevant district? Days off come from unions and collective bargaining.

    And for those of you who think days off come from Hashem, consider why the first known days off in the US were Sundays.

    #1184037

    takahmamash
    Participant

    I wonder why the OP didn’t clarify this before accepting the position. I would never accept a job if I didn’t know how I would be able to arrange my days off for the chagim.

    #1184038

    dovrosenbaum
    Participant

    I never understood why religious people would teach in public schools.

    Public schools are full of pritzus, immorality, foul language/nivul peh, and ideals against torah abound, whether it be sex ed, evilution, homosexuality, trannies, etc. These non-Jewish kids don’t want to be taught by frum Jews. And by the same token, it’s kind of hypocritical to teach in schools you wouldn’t send your own kids to.

    #1184039

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Dov- because you get good hours, good benefits, summers off- ideal for working mothers, especially. No job is perfect, and very few will automatically grant you off for Jewish holidays, unless you work for a frum boss.

    Besides, small children usually use a lot less nivul peh, and show a lot less pritzus and immorality than you might find in an office/business situation with adults. Yes, these required topics would prove problematic, but I doubt these are taught at every grade level. Nor would it apply to paraprofessionals, therapists etc who work for the board of ed but not as teachers. The non-Jewish kids would love to be taught by frum Jews as long as they are good teachers who care about their students.

    And it is not at all hypocritical- And plenty of teachers don’t send their kids to the schools they teach in. How many white teachers in inner city schools would send their kids there? For that matter, how many upper-middle class educated people would send their kids to public school at all (specifically, NYC, other areas are better). Even in the frum schools- are there no MO teachers in yeshivish schools, or chasidish rebbes in litvish chadarim or hareidi teachers in MO schools?

    #1184040

    huju
    Participant

    To dovrosenbaum: Hashem must have blessed you with an extraordinary parnassah. Frum teachers who teach in public schools make much more money, and have overall better working conditions, than teachers in frum schools. I wonder why teachers in frum schools do not seek employment in public schools.

    #1184041

    dovrosenbaum
    Participant

    Something tells me that a frum teacher just doesn’t care about goyishe kids like they would care for unzerer.

    #1184042

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Dovrosenbaum, that is not the issue. The issue is if a frum teacher will care about non Jewish kids as much as, or more than, their non Jewish counterparts.

    From conversations I’ve had with frum teachers who work in public schools, it seems they care very much, although I don’t have basis for comparison.

    #1184043

    apushatayid
    Participant

    You are doing the right thing by consulting with HR. At the same time, if you are part of a union, speak to your union rep as well.

    #1184044

    SMG
    Member

    Thank you to those who replied with advice. dovrosenbam, I don’t really need to explain my choices, but it is a special needs public school. Most of the children I work with are nonverbal, so nivul peh is not a problem. I don’t teach evolution or gay rights, mostly how to answer yes or no and express if they want to eat, use the bathroom, feel sick, etc. They seem more than happy to be taught by me, as I provide a fun, caring atmosphere with lots of sensory enrichment. They neither know nor care what religion I am. To the person who wondered why I took the job without knowing what would be with yomtov, it seemed obvious to me that if I wanted this job it would be better not to discuss this topic until after the job was offered to me. Nothing is perfect, especially job opportunities, and every job will have its drawbacks. It is not easy, but that is why we call it work.

    #1184045

    huju
    Participant

    dovrosenbaum writes: “Something tells me that a frum teacher just doesn’t care about goyishe kids ….” This is a shameless and disgraceful smear against any and all frum public school teachers, of which there are many, including members of my family. And 100 years ago, it might have been the majority opinion of the principals and administrators who ran the public schools, who used this belief as a reason not to hire frum (or other Jewish) teachers. Fortunately for some of my ancestors, your view did not prevail, and they became successful (and beloved) teachers and principals, for Jews and goyishe kids alike. In fact, you might have benefited from a year with my aunt or cousin.

    #1184046

    yehudayona
    Participant

    Huju: “Why has no one suggested contacting someone in the teachers’ union, if in fact there is a union representing teachers in the relevant district?”

    Look at my reply about nine replies above yours.

    dovrosenbaum, the guy you’re supporting for president is “full of pritzus, immorality, foul language/nivul peh, and ideals against torah.”

    #1184047

    dovrosenbaum
    Participant

    If you think liberal, communist-infected government schools are so great, send your own kids there with a kosher bagged lunch and send them to hebrew school after.

    #1184048

    huju
    Participant

    To yehudayona: Sorry I missed your suggestion to seek union help.

    To dovrosenbaum: Who said anything about sending kids to “government schools”? All I said was that they offer attractive employment opportunities to frum teachers, more attractive – materially, at least – than offered by frum schools. As for your slur on “liberal, communist-infected government schools”, you could have added a dig at “all” the frum teachers and administrators who don’t care about the “goyishe kids”. And among anti-Semites, the proof of communist infestation of schools is all the Jewish (frum and other) teachers and administrators. You seem thoroughly confused.

    #1184049

    dovrosenbaum
    Participant

    I know what the teacher unions and liberal curriculum and common core are all about. Teacher unions are an activist arm of the DNC. Sadly, too many Jews succumbed to communism and continue to replace yiddishkeit with socialism, bolshevism, and the like, r”l. Kiruv is needed to get them away from Killary and towards HKBH and Torah.

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