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Sick Leave (and Bereavement)

Policy Number: HR-32
Effective Date: July 2002
Revisions: June 2002, June 2001, July 2000
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President of Student Life & Administrative Services

PURPOSE

Sick leave is granted to allow continuation of base pay plus benefits when an eligible employee must be out of work for the reasons identified under this policy.

I. POLICY

Drexel University provides eligible non-faculty employees ("Employee") with paid time off in the event of: personal illness or injury, an illness of a member of his/her household family, and appointments with health care providers for the employee or a family member. This policy describes the mechanism for eligible employees to accrue sick leave and procedures for handling call-outs and providing medical certification.

II. ELIGIBILITY

This policy applies to all University regular and contractual non-faculty employees not affiliated with collective bargaining units.

III. DEFINITION

Sick Leave is defined as time off from scheduled work:

  1. due to an illness or injury which causes an employee to be unable to perform his or her regular job duties;
  2. for bereavement leave;
  3. for medical, dental, optical or other health care provider appointments for the employee or family member;
  4. due to a contagious disease, illness, or injury to a member of the employee's immediate family necessitating care and attendance that can only be reasonably provided by the employee ;
  5. when through exposure to a contagious disease, the presence of the employee at the University will jeopardize the health of others.

Family Member (non-bereavement purposes) is defined as parents, spouse, child, stepchild, stepparents or someone for whom the employee serves as a legal guardian.

Immediate Family Member (bereavement purposes) is defined as parent, spouse, domestic partner, child, daughter-in law, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, adopted child, foster child, legal guardian, or step relationships.

Domestic Partner is defined as the sole partner who, with the employee, has demonstrated an intent to live together in all respects of a couple (heterosexual or homosexual) who are married to each other.

IV. PROCEDURES

  1. Accrual of Sick Leave
    1. Exempt Full-time or Part-time Employees
      1. Eligible regular, full-time or part-time, exempt and contractual employees are granted one (1) sick leave day per month.
      2. Eligible regular, full-time or part-time, exempt and contractual employees accrue a total of twelve (12) sick days per fiscal year. Regular part-time (20 hours/week) employee's sick leave days are prorated based upon paid hours.
      3. The maximum amount of sick leave a regular, full-time or part-time, exempt and contractual employee may accrue is 120 days. Employees who have reached the maximum will cease accruing sick leave until the number of days is reduced below the maximum amount.
      4. An employee is eligible to use sick leave in the same pay period in which it is accrued.
      5. Sick leave is accrued in any month in which an employee is in an active pay status.
      6. If a regular, full-time or part-time, exempt employee or a contractual employee changes employment status to temporary status, the sick days that the employee has accrued will not be available for use. If the employee returns to regular, full-time, exempt or part-time status within ninety (90) days, the previously accrued sick days will be reinstated.
    2. Non-Exempt Full-time or Part-time Employees
      1. Eligible regular, full-time or part-time, non-exempt employees accrue sick leave each pay period based upon their paid hours of work.
      2. Eligible regular, full-time or part-time, non-exempt employees accrue a total of twelve sick days per year. Part-time nonexempt employees’ accrual rates are pro-rated based on their paid hours of work.
      3. The maximum amount of sick leave a regular, full-time or part-time, nonexempt employee may accrue is 120 days. Employees who have reached this maximum will cease accruing sick leave until the accrual is reduced below the maximum accrual amount.
      4. An employee is eligible to use sick leave in the same pay period in which it is accrued.
      5. If a regular, full-time, non-exempt or part-time non-exempt employee changes employment status to temporary status, the sick days that the employee has accrued will not be available for use. If the employee returns to regular full-time nonexempt or part-time nonexempt status within ninety (90) days, the previously accrued sick days will be reinstated.
  2. Compensation
    1. Sick leave is paid according to an employee's base hourly rate and the number of hours he/she is regularly scheduled to work at the time the sick leave is used.
    2. Sick leave for administrative and professional (exempt) employees will be charged in minimum units of one half day of work. Exempt employees on Family and Medical Leave may use sick leave on any hourly basis only for intermittent or reduced-scheduled leaves after receiving approval.
    3. Sick leave for support staff (hourly) will be charged in minimum units of hours or the smallest units that can be accommodated by Payroll using increments of quarter hours, i.e., 0.25 for 15 minutes, 0.5 for 30 minutes, 0.75 for 45 minutes. When an employee works a partial day due to illness or injury, sick leave is charged only for the amount of time (using the minimum units) not working.
  3. Notification of Illness or Injury and Call-out Procedures
    1. An employee who is unable to report to work is required to notify the supervisor/manager at the earliest opportunity, but at least one hour prior to the scheduled starting time, or as stated by departmental procedures, whichever is greater.
    2. The employee must advise the manager/supervisor of the anticipated date of return.
    3. Notification from a family member or friend is not acceptable, unless it is an emergency situation and the employee is unable to contact the supervisor/manager. The employee is expected to contact his /her immediate supervisor/manager as soon as possible.
    4. An employee must notify his/her manager/supervisor on a daily basis when not reporting to work, or provide medical certification to Human Resources which state the date returning to work. If the expected date of return is not known, the medical certification should state the date of follow-up treatment.
    5. Absences that constitute a serious health condition under the terms of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or absences greater than three calendar days in length may be eligible under the policy on Family and Medical Leave or the policy on Non-Family and Medical Leave.
    6. Employees who leave work due to illness or injury prior to the end of the scheduled shift must inform the immediate supervisor. A non-exempt employee's time lost shall be charged against sick leave in minimum units.
    7. If the employee has no remaining sick leave, the non-exempt employee will not be paid for the time not worked.
    8. Supervisors/managers are required to report to Human Resources any employee sick-leave absences of three consecutive calendar days (i.e., Friday and Monday) to ensure appropriate approvals are obtained and the University complies with federal regulations regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act. Notification to Human Resources must occur on the fourth day after three consecutive calendar days of absences.
    9. An employee shall obtain medical certification from his/her health care provider (as defined in the policy on FMLA) to verify a serious health condition, illness or injury that results in an absence of three or more consecutive calendar days. Certification is to be returned to the Human Resources Department. Employees may be required to receive medical clearance from a health care provider selected by the University prior to returning to work.
    10. An employee may be denied use of sick leave for any days for which he/she failed to provide the required medical certification.
    11. Employees affiliated with a collective bargaining unit should refer to contract provisions regarding sick leave.
  4. Routine Medical Appointments
    Routine medical appointments should be scheduled as much as possible on off-duty time. For routine medical appointments that conflict with work time, an employee should obtain supervisory approval as far in advance of the appointment as possible, and may be charged to sick time. An optional form, the Request for Authorized Leave Form is included with this policy.
  5. Illness of Family Member
    An employee may use sick leave to cover time lost from work for care of a family member as defined above who are ill. If the absence of three (3) or more days is to care for the serious health condition of a family member, a physician's note must be submitted to Human Resources Department stating the nature of the condition and the necessity of the employee's presence.
  6. Bereavement Leave
    1. Eligible employees are permitted to take sick leave for bereavement leave in smallest eligible units for a funeral or three (3) days for the loss of an immediate family member or domestic partner (as defined). For the death of a member of the immediate family or domestic partner, usage can be
      extended to five (5) working days depending on the circumstances.
    2. Absences due to bereavement/funeral will not be included when considering an employee's attendance record. These absences should be documented, but should not be considered as an occurrence when determining absenteeism/lateness in accordance with the Attendance policy.
  7. Performance Improvement Policy
    1. An employee who fails to observe the stipulations set forth in this policy or is found to have abused or fraudulently used sick leave, may be subject to action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy, up to and including termination of employment.
    2. Failure to notify the department head or supervisor will result in an "absence without authorized leave." Repeated absences without authorized sick leave will result in action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy. If such unauthorized leave continues for more than three (3) consecutive working days, and if the employee does not satisfactorily account for the absence, the employee may be terminated. Repeated absences without authorized leave for shorter durations may also result in action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy, to include termination.
  8. Separation From Employment
    1. At termination, an employee will accrue sick leave for that month if they are employed on the 15th day of the month in which they terminate employment.
    2. Unused sick leave will not be paid upon voluntary or involuntary separation from employment. However, employees retiring from the University at or after age 65 will be paid for accumulated sick time up to a maximum of thirty-five days.


Inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to the Human Resources Department.