Everyone should familiarize themselves with Chancellor's Regulations that deal with employees.
C-601 deals with attendance. This is where high school teachers can find their right to a duty-free lunch period.
Last month, this regulation was updated for the first time in 21 years. Excused absences that are so numerous as to limit effectiveness can lead to disciplinary action. That said, two new sentences have been added to this paragraph which can help pedagogues stay out of trouble.
While actual absence which has been excused in accordance with regulations does not, of and by itself, constitute grounds for disciplinary action, absences which are so numerous as to limit the effectiveness of service may lead to disciplinary action for incompetent service or unfitness to perform obligations properly to the service. The fact that excuse or leave was applied for and granted properly does not preclude disciplinary action which may range from adverse rating to the institution of proceedings for dismissal or termination of service. Such disciplinary action shall not be precluded even when the cause of absence is a medical or physical condition. However, before proceeding with disciplinary action for excessive absences based on a medical or physical condition, the supervisor should review, on a case by case basis, whether a reasonable accommodation is needed, has been requested, or is already in place. If a new reasonable accommodation is needed or has been requested, the supervisor shall proceed with the interactive process/cooperative dialogue consistent with Chancellor’s Regulation A-830, Personnel Memorandum No. 5 (2020-2021) (or any successor), DOE’s anti-discrimination policy, and all applicable laws.
Don't be afraid to ask for accommodations.
The Teacher's Contract also covers discipline and attendance in Article 16.
I. Discipline for Authorized Absences
No employee shall be disciplined, adversely rated or have any derogatory material placed in his/her file for taking an approved sabbatical for restoration of health, approved unpaid leave for restoration of health or a central DOE approved paid leave. Discipline for time and attendance is not a reflection of the employee’s performance while at work.
Appply for those approved leaves if you need them.
Remember, also teachers are entitled to ten self-treated days per year. The great myth that teachers can't take more than three days in a row without a doctor's note is just that, a myth.
Teachers on regular appointment shall be granted absence refunds for illness on application, without a statement from a physician, for a total of no more than 10 days in8any school year. Teachers will be allowed to use three of such 10 days of sick leave for personal business provided that reasonable advance notice is given to the head of the school. Teachers may use the days allowed for personal business for the care of ill family members. For the purpose of this provision, family member shall be defined as: spouse; natural, foster or step parent; child; brother or sister; father-in-law; mother-inlaw; any relative residing in the household; and domestic partner, provided such domestic partner is registered pursuant to the terms set forth in the New York City Administrative Code Section 3-240 et seq. Days off for personal business are intended to be used only for personal business which cannot be conducted on other than a school day and during other than school hours.