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Sick Leave

Policy Number: HR-32
Effective Date: April 2014
Responsible Officer: President, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University


This policy provides guidelines for accruing, using and reporting sick leave, when an eligible Professional Staff Member must be out of work due to a condition or circumstance described in the definition of “Sick Leave” set forth below.


This policy applies to all Professional Staff Members.



Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the supervisor with guidance from the supervisor’s Human Resources Partner.



The President of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the official responsible for the administration of this policy.



The Academy provides eligible Professional Staff Members with paid time off in the event of a personal illness or injury of the Professional Staff Member or an Immediate Family Member, and to allow the Professional Staff Member to attend appointments with his or her health care provider or that of an Immediate Family Member. This policy describes the mechanisms for eligible Professional Staff Members to accrue and report Sick Leave, procedures for handling call-outs and the requirements for medical certifications and return to work clearance.



Domestic Partner is defined as an individual in a committed relationship with a Professional Staff Member of the same gender who is neither married to nor related by blood, adoption or law to the Professional Staff Member.

Immediate Family Member is defined as any person who is related to a Professional Staff Member in any of the following ways:  spouse, domestic partner, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or other relations established by law or court order.

Other Close Relationship is defined as a person who played a significant role in the life of a Professional staff member, such as a co-worker or documented primary caregiver.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Sick Leave is defined as time off from scheduled work:

  1. necessitated by an illness or injury that causes an Professional Staff Member to be unable to perform his or her regular job duties;
  2. to attend a medical, dental, optical or other health care appointment of the Professional Staff Member or a member of the Professional Staff Member’s family;
  3. due to a disease or illness of, or injury to, an Immediate Family Member of the Professional Staff Member that necessitates care and attendance that can only be provided by the Professional Staff Member; and
  4.  because of the Professional Staff Member’s exposure to a contagious disease that reasonably can be expected to spread and potentially jeopardize the health of others.



  1. Sick Leave Accrual
    1. a. Eligible Professional Staff Members accrue one sick leave day per month up to a maximum of 12 sick days per year. Accrual of sick leave for part-time Professional Staff Members is pro-rated based on the number of hours per week the Professional Staff Member is regularly scheduled to work in relation to the standard 35/40-hour workweek. For example, a Professional Staff Member who works 20 hours per week (50% of the standard workweek) will accrue 50% of the full-time rate of sick leave accrual.
    2. The maximum amount of sick leave a Professional Staff Member may accrue is 120 days. Professional Staff Members who have reached the maximum will cease accruing sick leave until the number of days is reduced below the maximum amount.
    3. Sick leave is accrued in any month in which a Professional Staff Member is in active pay status.
    4. Professional Staff Members are eligible to use sick leave during the same pay period in which it accrues.
    5. Sick leave will not accrue while a Professional Staff Member is on an unpaid leave of absence.
  2. Compensation
    1. Sick leave is paid according to a Professional Staff Member's base hourly rate and the number of hours he or she is regularly scheduled to work at the time the sick leave is taken.
    2. Sick leave taken by Exempt Professional Staff Members will be charged in minimum units of one half day of work (four hours).  Absences of less than four hours will not be counted against an Exempt Professional Staff Member’s leave balance, except that exempt Professional Staff Members on approved Family and Medical Leave may use sick leave on an hourly basis for intermittent leave or reduced schedules. 
    3. Exempt Professional Staff Members may not be docked for anything less than a full day’s work.
    4. Sick leave for Non-exempt Professional Staff Members will be charged in quarter hour increments.  When a Non-exempt Professional Staff Member works a partial day due to illness or injury, sick leave is charged only for the amount of time that the Professional Staff Member does not work.
  3. Notification of Illness or Injury and Call-out Procedures
    1. A Professional Staff Member who is unable to report to work must notify her or his immediate supervisor at the earliest opportunity, and no later than one hour prior to the scheduled starting time or in accordance with departmental procedures, whichever is earlier.
    2. The Professional Staff Member must advise his or her supervisor of the anticipated date of return.
    3. Notification from an Immediate Family Member or friend does not constitute proper notification unless, due to exigent circumstances, the Professional Staff Member is unable to contact the supervisor.  In such instances, the Professional Staff Member must personally contact his or her supervisor as soon as possible.
    4. A Professional Staff Member on sick leave must be in contact with her or his supervisor on a daily basis during the period of absence, or provide medical certification to the Designated Insurance Carrier that states the date the Professional Staff Member is expected to return to work, in which case Human Resources will apprise the supervisor of the anticipated return to work date.  If the expected date of return is not known, the medical certification must state the date for follow-up treatment.
    5. Absences due to a serious health condition as defined under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or sick leave absences exceeding three calendar days in length, may qualify as leave covered by the Academy’s Family and Medical Leave Policy [PDF] .
    6. A Professional Staff Member who leaves work due to illness or injury prior to the end of the scheduled shift must inform her or his immediate supervisor of the departure.  A Non-exempt Professional Staff Member's time lost shall be charged against sick leave in quarter hour increments.  If a Non-exempt Professional Staff Member has no accrued sick leave available for use, vacation or personal floating holiday time may be utilized.  If no leave time is available, the Professional Staff Member will not be paid for the time away from work due to illness or injury. 
    7. If a Professional Staff Member is on sick leave for more than three consecutive workdays, the supervisor must report the absence to their HR Partner on the fourth day, in order to ensure that (i) Drexel complies with Federal regulations, and (ii) Professional Staff Members receive proper notification of their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
    8. A Professional Staff Member must obtain medical clearance to return to work from her or his health care provider after a serious health condition, or an illness or injury those results in an absence of more than three workdays.  Medical return to work clearance must be provided directly to Human Resources by the returning Professional Staff Member.  Professional Staff Members may be required to receive medical return to work clearance from a health care provider selected by Drexel prior to returning to work.
    9. A Professional Staff Member may be denied use of sick leave for any days for which he or she fails to provide the required medical certification in a timely manner.
  4. Routine Medical Appointments

    Sick leave for purposes of attending medical appointments as provided above, which are routine in nature, should be scheduled for non-work days, to the greatest extent possible.  If such a routine medical appointment unavoidably conflicts with the Professional Staff Member’s scheduled work time, the Professional Staff Member should obtain supervisory approval as far in advance of the appointment as possible.

  5. Immediate Family Member Illness
    1. A Professional Staff Member may use sick leave to cover time lost from work for care of an Immediate Family Member (as defined above) who is ill or injured.  If a Professional Staff Member is, absent for three or more days in order to care for the serious health condition of an Immediate Family Member, a physician's note must be submitted to the Designated Insurance Carrier stating the nature of the condition and the necessity of the Professional Staff Member's presence.
    2. The Academy’s FMLA policy will apply in the event of an Immediate Family Member’s extended illness or serious health condition requiring multiple treatments.
  6. Consequences of Non-Compliance
    1. A Professional Staff Member who fails to observe the requirements of this policy, or is found to have abused or fraudulently used sick leave, may be subject to Drexel’s Performance Improvement Process, up to and including termination of employment.
    2. Failure to provide proper notification, as described in this policy, will be recorded in the Professional Staff Member’s personnel file as an "absence without authorized leave."  Repeated absences without authorized leave may subject the Professional Staff Member to the Academy’s Performance Improvement Process, up to and including termination of employment.
  7. Separation from Employment
    1. Accrued but unused sick leave is not paid out upon termination of employment unless for an official retirement.
    2.  If a terminated Professional Staff Member returns to regular employment status within ninety (90) days of termination, the previously accrued sick leave will be reinstated.
    3. Professional Staff Members retiring from Drexel at or after age 65 will be paid for accrued but unused sick leave up to a maximum of 35 days.



Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.