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Policy No: 2095
Responsible Office: Human Resources
Last Review Date: 11/22/2022
Next Required Review: 11/22/2027
Policy No: 2095
Responsible Office: Human Resources
Last Review Date: 11/22/2022
Next Required Review: 11/22/2027

Sick Leave

1. Purpose

This policy provides information about the accrual and appropriate use of sick leave, available to benefits-eligible USA employees.

2. Applicability

This policy applies to benefits-eligible staff employees and faculty in the University General Division.

3. Definitions

Immediate Family - is defined to include the following who live in and outside of the same household: spouse, son, daughter, mother and father. Upon request, evidence of family relationship may be required.

4. Policy Guidelines

4.1  General Information

Sick leave is provided to protect you against loss of income during illness when you are unable to perform work duties because of illness or injury, when you must obtain health related professional services which cannot be scheduled outside regular work hours, when you must care for a seriously ill member of your immediate family for not more than three days per occurrence, or when someone in your household is quarantined by a physician or medical authority because of a contagious disease.

4.2  Extended Period of Leave / FMLA

However, if the absence requires additional leave and meets the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Family and Medical Leave (FML) policy will apply. FML is for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child, an employee's own serious health condition, for the care of a dependent child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition, or because of any qualifying event that occurs due to the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation. The Human Resources Department assists supervisors and employees with processing all requests for FML and applicable paid leave options for the illnesses of adult children who are not FML qualifying. See USA’s FMLA policy for more details (see link in Section 7.1).

Employees may use up to sixty work days or 480 hours (three months) of paid sick leave for full or intermittent FML qualifying family member illness concurrent with approved FML leave. FML leave is for up to a maximum of 90 calendar days (three months) per rolling year. The Human Resources Department assists supervisors and employees with processing all requests for FML and applicable paid leave options for the illnesses of adult children who are not FML qualifying.

5. Procedures

5.1  Communication with Supervisor

You must report your absence as soon as possible to your supervisor on the first day you are absent and daily thereafter. Tell your supervisor the nature of your illness or reason for your absence and how long you anticipate you will be unable to work. Failure to communicate with your supervisor for three consecutive scheduled working days or shifts will be considered as a voluntary resignation without proper notice. Your supervisor is not responsible for contacting you if you do not report to work at the scheduled time.

Your supervisor has the responsibility to ensure that you use sick leave for its legitimate purposes. Until your supervisor is satisfied that you have used sick time properly, your supervisor may deny approval of sick pay.

Upon request of your supervisor, you may be required to show evidence of your illness (or if applicable, an immediate family member’s illness) in the form of a physician’s statement. The University also reserves the right to require that you have an examination by a physician(s) of its choosing. When there is evidence of abuse of sick leave, you will not be paid for that time taken. Additionally, abuse of sick leave is grounds for disciplinary action.

Vacation pay will not normally be granted in lieu of sick leave.

Regular employees who are appointed to work on a part-time basis should contact Human Resources to determine eligibility to accrue sick leave benefits.

5.2  Sick Leave Accrual and Carryover

Sick leave is accrued only when you are in an active pay status which includes, but is not limited to:

    • Normal work hours;
    • Paid vacation;
    • Paid sick leave;
    • Paid jury duty;
    • Other paid administrative leave.

Regular employees who are appointed to work 20 hours or more per week (.50 FTE or greater) accrue sick leave benefits from the first day of employment at a rate of .04615 for each hour worked up to 40 hours of work per week. This equals 12 sick days per year if you are paid for 2,080 hours during a complete year. Example: .04615 x 2,080 hours worked = 96 hours or 12 (8-hour) days sick leave. Payment of sick leave benefits for regular part-time employees is based on hours scheduled to be worked on the date that sick leave occurred.

There is no limit of the amount of sick leave an employee may accrue.

Regular part-time employees appointed to work less than 20 hours per week (less than .50 FTE) are not eligible to accrue sick leave benefits. Temporary employees do not accrue sick leave benefits.

Employees who resign or who are terminated for any reason will not be paid for any unused sick leave.

5.3  Transfer of Sick Leave From a Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) Participating Agency

You may receive credit for sick leave accrued while employed at another agency or institution which participates in the RSA, provided that you resigned from that position to accept a position at the University of South Alabama. Requests for transfer (credit) may be made in writing, to Human Resources, and should include a notarized statement from the previous institution’s payroll/accounting department verifying your accrued sick leave balance.

5.4  Conversion of Accrued Sick Leave to Teacher’s Retirement System of Alabama (TRS) Membership Service Credit

Subject to certain limitations, regular employees may convert accrued sick leave to membership service credit in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama for the purpose of applying for service retirement.

5.5  Use of Sick Leave During Holidays

If you are absent due to illness during a holiday, you will be granted holiday pay in lieu of sick pay. You must be on an approved absence both the scheduled day before and the scheduled day after the holiday or substitute holiday to be eligible for holiday pay.

5.6  Reasonable Accommodation Request

The University of South Alabama is committed to nondiscrimination and employment of qualified individuals with physical and mental disabilities in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), and state and local laws and ordinances. The University’s attendance policy is subject to requests for reasonable accommodation under the ADA and ADAAA.

It is the employee’s responsibility to request an accommodation. Requests for a workplace accommodation will require the employee to complete the University’s Employee Accommodation Request form and submit it to Human Resources for review. The University may require written documentation of the employee’s limitations from an appropriate health care provider. If obtaining this information is necessary the employee will be provided with a Medical Inquiry form for the health care provider to complete. Once the required documentation is reviewed and approved, the University will engage in the interactive process with the employee in seeking the availability of a reasonable accommodation.

If the request for a workplace accommodation is granted, implementation of the accommodation will be handled by the employee’s department with guidance provided by Human Resources. The employee who has been granted a workplace accommodation must report changes in the ongoing need for the accommodation.

6. Enforcement

Human Resources Department owns and administrates this policy. Failure to abide by the terms of this policy may jeopardize a staff employee’s ability to quality for the benefit.

7. Related Documents

7.1  Family Medical Leave (policy)
7.2  Military Leave (policy)
7.3  Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) Leave (policy)
7.4  Staff Employee Handbook
7.5  Employee Accommodation Request Form
7.6  Medical Inquiry Form