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Policy 363: Sick Leave

Section: Personnel Policies
Sub-Section: Benefits
Policy Number: 363
Subject: Sick Leave
Covered Employees: Budgeted Employees
Origin Date: January 24, 1997
Revision Date(s): July 1, 1999
Effective Date: July 1, 1999
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363.1 POLICY

The University grants sick leave to employees who are temporarily disabled due to personal illness, injury, or incapacity; or for the illness, injury, incapacity, birth, or adoption of the employee's dependents.

1.1 Eligibility

Budgeted employees working on a fiscal or academic year base appointment at 50% time or greater are eligible for sick leave benefits.

1.2 Definition of Dependents

For the purpose of this policy dependents are defined as spouse, dependent children (including newborn, adopted or step children), and parents/parents-in-law.

1.3 Accrual

(1) Sick leave accrual will begin on the first day of the month for employees hired between the 1st and the 15th of the month. For employees hired between the 16th and the end of the month, the accrual will begin on the first day of the following month.

(2) Full-time employees accrue sick leave at the rate of 8 hours per employed month. Eligible part-time employees accrue sick leave on a pro-rata basis.

(3) Sick leave will not accrue while an employee is on leave without pay, special development leave, or long-term disability. Sick leave does accrue while an employee is on short-term disability, but at a reduced rate.

(4) Unused sick leave can accumulate to a maximum of 130 working days which may be carried from one fiscal year to the next. Unused sick leave will not be paid as a cash settlement to the employee when his or her employment ends.

(5) An employee who leaves employment with the University and then is rehired within one year will have his/her accrued sick leave restored.

1.4 Disability when Employment Is Ending

If an employee becomes disabled just before his/her employment ends and the employee's termination date is set before the disability begins, the employee will be paid for the sick leave used until his/her employment ends. If no sick leave exists, the employee will use annual leave or leave without pay to cover the period until his/her employment ends.

363.2 PROCEDURES

2.1 General

Applications for sick leave must be filed with the appropriate department or unit within two days after the staff member returns to duty. The University reserves the right to require substantiation of all illness charged to sick leave. If the employee is absent for more than three days, a certificate from a physician may be required by the department head or supervisor.

The employee's supervisor may require the employee to provide a Fitness for Duty certification before returning to work after sick leave. The employee will be notified of this requirement by his/her supervisor before the employee returns to work. Fitness for duty examinations, if required, must be job-related and paid for by the requesting department.

Sick leave taken by faculty, administrators, and exempt (professional) employees should be reported in half-day increments. If the amount of sick leave taken is less than half a day, it should not be reported. Sick leave taken by non-exempt (classified) employees should be reported in 1-hour increments. In some areas it may be appropriate to account for classified employees' leave in increments of less than one hour for job costing and other such purposes. In such cases, leave may be recorded within the department in 15- minute increments, then tallied and reported in 1-hour increments on the monthly leave reports.

If the length of the disability is longer than the employee's accrued sick leave, the employee may use accumulated annual leave or leave without pay as approved by the University and in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Policy (351).

If the illness extends beyond 10 working days, an employee who is covered by short-term disability insurance may use the benefits of that program.

2.2 Sick Leave Coordinated with Short-Term Disability

After 10 working days of illness, sick leave may be coordinated with the short-term disability program. If the employee has no sick leave, the 10-day waiting period before short-term disability begins may be taken as annual leave or leave without pay.

2.3 Sick Leave Coordinated with Worker's Compensation

All employees are eligible to receive worker's compensation for job-related injuries or illnesses. If an employee is to receive sick leave payment for absences under worker's compensation, the employee must sign over to the University all compensation received through the worker's compensation insurance program. Sick leave will be applied to the remaining portion not covered by the worker's compensation benefit so the employee receives a normal pay check while on leave.

2.4 Sick Leave Taken for Maternity/Paternity Situations

Employees may use sick leave for maternity/paternity situations as follows:

(1) An employee who is a natural birth mother of a newborn child may take sick leave as directed by her physician, usually up to six weeks for a normal delivery. Additional leave may be taken in accordance with the Family and Medical leave policy using annual leave or leave without pay.

(2) An employee who is the father of newborn child may take up to six weeks of sick leave immediately following the birth of the child, as needed. Additional leave may be taken in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Policy using annual leave or leave without pay.

(3) Employees who are the parents of newly adopted children may take up to four weeks of sick leave immediately following the child's placement in their home. Additional leave may be taken in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Policy using annual leave or leave without pay.

2.5 Internal Transfer of Sick Leave

An employee who transfers from one unit of the University to another will be entitled to transfer accrued sick leave to the new unit.

2.6 Sick Leave Conversion to Annual Leave

(1) Eligible employees may convert unused sick leave to annual leave under the following guidelines:

(a) Conversion is allowed only after the employee has accrued 48 days of sick leave before the year of conversion.

(b) Only sick leave earned during the current calendar year may be converted.

(c) Unused sick leave days in excess of 8 days earned in the current calendar year may be converted to annual leave at the end of that calendar year. This formula allows for up to 4 days that may be converted in any given year. (Example: A person using 2 of 12 earned sick days in a particular calendar year would have 10 unused sick days or 2 days more than 8. Those 2 days could be converted to 2 days of annual leave.)

(2) The following procedures outline the steps for the conversion of sick leave to annual leave:

(a) Shortly after the conclusion of each calendar year, the Office of Human Resources will notify employees who are eligible to convert sick leave to annual leave.

(b) Eligible employees, with their department heads' acknowledgment, must notify the Office of Human Resources in writing of their intent to convert, on or before February 15.

(c) Converted sick leave will accrue to the next year's annual leave balance and will be managed under the annual leave policy.

363.3 RESPONSIBILITY

3.1 Department Heads and Supervisors

Responsible for reviewing employees' absences to ensure that this policy is not abused. They will work with employees to coordinate sick leave with other benefits if the illness exceeds 10 days or is the result of job-related injuries or illnesses. They will complete monthly summary sick leave reports on each employee and provide this information to the Office of Human Resources.

3.2 Office of Human Resources

Responsible for providing monthly and annual summary leave reports for department heads and supervisors. They will coordinate with supervisors and employees the conversion of unused sick leave. The Office of Human Resources maintains the centralized data base record of sick leave for University employees.

3.3 Employees

Responsible for using absences responsibly and for notifying their supervisor when they cannot report to work. May also be responsible for providing documentation of an absence charged to sick leave.