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Sick Leave

Policy Number: HR-32
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: May 2015
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

PURPOSE

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.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible non-faculty Professional Staff Members, including Temporary Employees (working more than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period), Casual and Per-Diem Employees, who have accumulated at least 40 hours of time worked, and excluding any professional staff member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

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

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer is the Drexel University official responsible for the administration of this policy.

 

POLICY

Drexel 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.

 

DEFINITIONS

Casual Employee is defined as an individual who is scheduled to work a maximum of 19 hours per week.

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

Per-Diem Employee is defined as an individual who is scheduled on an "as needed" basis.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by 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; 
  4. absence due to domestic abuse sexual assault or stalking, provided the leave is to allow all persons to whom this policy applies to obtain medical attention, victim services, counseling, relocation, legal services or remedies for themselves or a family member; and
  5.  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.

Temporary Employee is defined as an individual who is working either full-time or part-time and scheduled to work less than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period. A temporary employee may become eligible for this policy if their temporary assignment is extended beyond 6 months.

PROCEDURES

  1. Sick Leave Accrual
    1. 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 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.  Sick Leave Accrual for Temporary Employees (working more than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period), Casual and Per-Diem Employees
    1. Temporary Employees (working more than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period) - A minimum of one (1) hour of sick time shall accrue for every forty (40) hours worked. Individuals shall not accrue more than forty (40) hours of sick time in a rolling 12-month period. If the individual has worked at least 6 months they will be credited forty (40) hours of sick leave, but cannot use it unless the time has been earned based on hours worked.
    2. Casual and Per-Diem Employees - A minimum of one (1) hour of sick time shall accrue for every forty (40) hours worked. Individuals shall not accrue more than forty (40) hours of sick time in a rolling 12-month period. Upon hire, they will be credited forty (40) hours of sick leave. Sick leave cannot be used until the time is actually earned. Forty (40) hours will be provided each July 1 and depleted each June 30.
  3. 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.
  4. Compensation for Temporary Employees (working more than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period), and Casual and Per-Diem Employees
    1. Temporary Employees (working more than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period) - Time is compensated at the same hourly rate as the employee normally earns at the time the employee uses the paid sick time.
    2. Casual and Per-Diem Employees - Time is compensated at the same hourly rate as the employee normally earns at the time the employee uses the paid sick time.
  5. Notification of Illness or Injury and Call-out Procedures
    1. All persons to whom this policy applies who are 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. All persons to whom this policy applies 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 individual is unable to contact the supervisor.  In such instances, the individual must personally contact his or her supervisor as soon as possible.
    4. All persons to whom this policy applies on sick leave must be in contact with her or his supervisor on a daily basis during the period of absence.  Additionally, only Professional Staff Members should provide medical certification to MetLife 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 Drexel’s Family and Medical Leave Policy [PDF] .
    6. All persons to whom this policy applies who leave 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 any person to whom this policy applies 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. All persons to whom this policy applies 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.  For Professional Staff Members only, a medical return to work clearance must be provided directly to MetLife 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. All persons to whom this policy applies 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.
  6. Routine Medical Appointments
    1. 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 individual’s scheduled work time, the individual should obtain supervisory approval as far in advance of the appointment as possible. A Request for Authorized Leave Form may be utilized by the requesting Professional Staff Member but use is not mandatory.
  7. Immediate Family Member Illness
    1. All persons to whom this policy applies 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 MetLife stating the nature of the condition and the necessity of the Professional Staff Member's presence.
    2. Drexel’s FMLA policy will apply in the event of an Immediate Family Member’s extended illness or serious health condition requiring multiple treatments.
  8. 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 Drexel’s Performance Improvement Process, up to and including termination of employment.
  9. 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 including Temporary Employees (working more than 6 months in a rolling 12-month period), Casual and Per-Diem Employees 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.

 

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  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.