Procedure 4-8-f: Sick Leave

  1. INTRODUCTION
    This procedure specifies the procedures for sick leave as outlined in Policy IV-E-5, Sick Leave.
     
  2. PROCEDURE

Eligibility for Sick Leave:

  • Full-time non-contracted employees receive sick leave at a rate of eight hours per month, up to a maximum of 96 hours per year. 
  • 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 per year.  Ten and one-half month employees will receive up to a maximum of 84 hours of sick leave per year, while nine-month employees will receive up to a maximum of 72 hours sick leave per year.   
  • Twenty-four (24) hours of sick leave are applied to the personal business leave balance each year.
  • Full-time faculty with contracts of nine months or ten and one-half months will receive sick leave hours for summer employment based on semester hours taught.
  • Nine-month contracted faculty may earn up to a maximum of 24 of sick leave 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 of sick leave for teaching six semester hours or more in the summer while not under contract.

The sick leave benefit for the first year of employment is prorated as of the first day of employment.

At the end of the fiscal year, any remaining personal business leave will be rolled into the sick leave balance.  Personal business leave is intended for use in cases when an employee needs to be off of work, but the absence is not covered under sick leave.

Transfer of Sick Leave:

An employee of an institution of higher education or public education in Texas who is hired by San Jacinto College may transfer his or her unused accumulated sick leave to 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 the Benefits Office in the Human Resources Department.

Use of Sick Leave:

Sick leave provides paid time off for illness or injury, including physical disability due to childbirth, or 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 who qualifies for unpaid leave for adoption under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may request paid vacation leave to travel to the country of adoption, or to use up to 24 hours of sick time under the policy on personal business leave.

Once the child is in the employee’s custody, accumulated sick leave may be used by the employee for leave with pay to travel back to the United States and/or to care for the new child.  Once sick leave and vacation are exhausted, the employee may remain on leave for the balance of the FMLA leave, but without pay. FMLA leave and sick leave run concurrently.

Notification Requirements:

It is the responsibility of the employee to personally call his or her immediate leader when it is necessary to be absent due to illness.  It is unacceptable for someone other than the employee to call in unless it is an emergency.  The employee may contact the leader via alternative methods such as text message or email if the leader previously approved alternative methods of reporting.  The employee shall contact the leader at least one hour before the employee’s shift starts, unless, due to extenuating circumstances (such as emergency hospitalization), the employee is physically unable to do so, in which case the employee shall contact the leader as soon as possible.  If the employee is off more than one day, the leader and the employee will agree on how often the employee should provide updates on status and probable return-to-work date.

Accumulation of Sick Leave:

Effective August 1, 1988, sick leave may be accumulated for a maximum of 1,280 hours.  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:

When an employee who was hired prior to August 1, 1988 retires or dies under the terms of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), the College will pay out up to 800 hours for any sick leave accumulated prior to August 1, 1988.  The employee must have completed ten years of continuous employment with the College, broken only for any approved leave granted under board policy.  Any interruption in employment for reasons other than leave authorized by board policy will result in loss of all accumulated sick leave. Payment of the accumulated leave 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 retirement or death under the terms of TRS or ORP, 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; e.g., an 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 earned as of August 1, 1988.

Certification of Reason for Leave/Return to Duty

If an employee’s absences exceed five consecutive work days and were due to the employee’s own health condition, the employee must submit a return-to-work release from his or her licensed health care provider certifying that the employee is able to return to duty. The certification form must be submitted to the Benefits Office in the Human Resources Department before the employee returns to duty; failure to submit the certification form may result in a delay or denial of reinstatement.

If the employee’s absences exceed five consecutive work days and were due to a family member’s health condition, the employee shall provide documentation from the family member’s health provider that substantiates a medical reason for the employee’s absence.  The documentation need not identify the family member’s health condition.

If the absence is for family and medical reasons that are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA, then the certification must comply with the College’s FMLA procedure (see Procedure 4-8, Family and Medical Leave).

Extended Absence

In the event an employee requires additional leave beyond what is permitted under this policy or under the FMLA, the employee may request that the College evaluate whether the employee is entitled to extended leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The College will determine whether the employee is a qualified individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 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 has a qualifying disability under the ADA and is granted leave as a reasonable accommodation is ordinarily 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. 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 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 returns 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.

Procedure #:

  4-8-f

Procedure Name:

 Sick Leave

Pages:

 4

Adopted Date:

 March 2, 1981

Revision/Reviewed Date:

 March 5, 1984; July 11, 1988; September 7, 1993; July 14, 1997; October 14, 1999 and  December 15, 2014

Effective Date:

 March 2, 1981; March 5, 1984; July 11, 1988; September 7, 1993; July 14, 1997; October 14, 1999 and December 16, 2014

Associated Policy:

 IV-E-5