Guideline 4-8: Sick Leave

Eligibility for Sick Leave:

An eligible employee is covered by sick leave as of the first day actively at work with the San Jacinto College District. Eligible non-contracted employees receive sick leave at a rate of eight hours per month for his or her expected employment period. All contracted employees shall be eligible for sick leave at the rate of eight hours per month for his or her contract period, up to a maximum of 96 hours. Full-time faculty with contracts of nine months or 10.5 months will be awarded sick hours for summer employment based on semester hours taught. Nine-month contracted faculty may earn up to a maximum of 24 hours for teaching 12 semester hours or more in the summer while not under contract. Ten and one-half month contracted faculty may earn up to 12 hours for teaching six semester hours or more in the summer while not under contract. Sick leave for the first year of employment is prorated as of the date of employment (see chart). Employees who are actively at work on the first working day of the month receive sick leave accrual for that month.

  12 Month 10.5 Month 9 Month
First date of employment on or
before 1st working day of Sept.
96 84 72
October 88 76 64
November 80 68 56
December 72 60 48
January 64 52 40
February 56 44 32
March 48 36 24
April 40 28 16
May 32 20 8
June 24 12  
July 16    
August 8    

Transfer of Sick Leave:

An employee of an institution of higher education or public education in Texas, may transfer unused accumulated sick leave for credit at the college. The amount of transferred leave is limited to the accumulated balance at the former institution or school of employment or 240 hours, whichever is less. The amount of sick leave balance must be verified by Human Resources.

Purpose of Sick Leave:

Sick leave provides paid time off for illness or injury, including physical disability due to childbirth, when the medical condition of the employee prevents the performance of the employee's regularly assigned duties. Sick leave may also be used in cases of illness or injury of the employee's spouse, the employee's children, grandchildren, the employee's mother, father, mother-in-law or father-in-law.

Employee Traveling Out Of The Country To Adopt A Child:

An employee has up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for adoption under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under college policies, the employee may request paid vacation leave to travel to the country of adoption or use up to 16 hours of sick time under the policy on personal business.

Once possession occurs, accumulated sick leave may be used by the employee to be off work with pay. This would include travel back to the United States and the remaining balance of time off necessary to care for the new child. Once sick leave and vacation are exhausted, if the conditions warrant, the employee may continue to be off work for the balance of FMLA leave, but without pay. FMLA leave and sick leave run concurrently.

Notification Requirements:

It is the responsibility of the employee to personally contact his or her immediate supervisor when it is necessary to be absent due to illness. If the employee is off more than one day, he or she should personally contact his or her supervisor each day as to his or her status and probable date of return to work.

Accumulation of Sick Leave:

Effective August 1, 1988, sick leave may be accumulated for a maximum of 1,280 hours; however, there will be no accumulation for pay purposes for any sick hours that an employee earns after August 1, 1988.

Leave Accumulated prior to August 1, 1988:

For those employees hired prior to August 1, 1988, after 10 years of continuous employment with the college district, broken only for any approved leave granted under board policy, if an individual dies or actually retires under the terms of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the college will pay for any sick leave hours accumulated prior to August 1, 1988. Any interruption in employment for reasons other than leave authorized by board policy will result in loss of all accumulated sick leave. Payment will be based on the employee's salary for the fiscal year during which eligibility for payment occurs. If an otherwise eligible employee terminates for reasons other than death or actual retirement under the terms of the Texas Teacher Retirement System, no payment will be made for accumulated sick hours.

For those employees hired prior to August 1, 1988, in the event the absences occur under this sick leave policy, causing hours accumulated for pay to be used as sick leave, those hours shall be lost for any future eligibility for pay. The employee may, however, accumulate more sick hours for sick leave purposes under this policy up to the maximum allowable.

For any employee with less than the maximum 800 hours on August 1, 1988, for any future pay consideration, the sick hours for pay are fixed; i.e., any employee with only 256 hours will never have more than 256 hours for pay purposes. The employee would continue to accumulate up to the maximum allowable, but for pay purposes, would never have more than the number of sick hours eligible for on August 1, 1988.

Certification of Reason for Leave:

Certification of the illness by a practitioner licensed to practice in Texas may be required for any absences under this policy; however if the absence is for certain family and medical reasons (covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA), certification is required. If requested, the certificate should include the nature of the illness and probable date when the employee may return to work and assume his or her assigned duties.

Extended Absence/Return to Work

If the employee’s absences were due to his or her own serious health condition, the employee must submit a fitness-for-duty certification from his or her health care provider relating to the condition that caused the need for leave.  The certification form must be submitted to Human Resources before the employee returns to duty; failure to submit the certification form may result in a delay or denial of reinstatement.

In the event an employee is unable to return to work after an absence of twelve (12) weeks in a rolling 12-month period, the College will determine whether the employee is a qualified individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and will evaluate whether providing additional leave is a reasonable accommodation under the circumstances.  The College may request that the employee provide documentation from his or her health care provider regarding the nature and expected duration of the employee’s impairment.  The College will determine whether an additional leave of absence would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position in the immediate future.

An employee who is a qualified individual with a disability under the ADA who is granted leave as a reasonable accommodation ordinarily is entitled to return to his/her same position.  If the employee is not a qualified individual with a disability or if the College determines that additional leave is not reasonable under the circumstances or would impose an undue hardship, then the College may fill the absent employee’s position with a permanent employee.   If the employee is a qualified individual with a disability and the College is unable to hold the position open, the College will consider whether it has a vacant, equivalent position for which the employee is qualified and to which the employee can be reassigned.   If an equivalent position is not available, the College will determine whether a vacant position at a lower level is available.  An employee who is reassigned or transferred to a lower paying position shall receive the salary commensurate with the new position.

If an employee seeks to return to duty after taking a leave of absence, and the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his job because of a disability, the College will determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation that would enable the employee to remain in his or her current position.  Reassignment is the reasonable accommodation of last resort and is required only after it has been determined that there are no effective accommodations that will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the current position and any other accommodations would impose an undue hardship.   The College will evaluate whether there are appropriate vacancies for which the employee is qualified.  An employee who is reassigned or transferred to a lower paying position shall receive the salary commensurate with the new position.  If no appropriate vacancies will be available within a reasonable amount of time, the employee’s employment may be terminated.

Faculty/Summer Employment:

Full-time faculty with contracts of nine months or ten and one-half months may be awarded sick leave hours for summer employment based on the number of semester hours taught in the summer session(s). A faculty member holding a nine-month contract may accumulate a maximum of twenty-four (24) hours of sick leave for teaching twelve semester hours or more in the summer while not under contract. Ten and one-half month contracted personnel may accumulate up to twelve hours for teaching six (6) semester hours or more while not under contract.