PERSONNEL PROCEDURES FOR UC IRVINE STAFF MEMBERS

Absence From Work

Procedure 42: Sick Leave

Responsible Office: Human Resources
Revised:
May 2012

A. References

Personnel Policies for Staff Members

UCI Information Packet: Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

B. Authority and Responsibility

An employee is responsible for notifying the supervisor as soon as possible when use of sick leave is being requested.

The supervisor is responsible for notifying the employee when sick leave usage may qualify for Family and Medical Leave and/or Supplemental Family and Medical Leave. Refer to Absence From Work Policy for information regarding these leaves.

C. Definitions

Eligible Employee - An employee who has worked one-half the working hours of the month or four-week cycle regardless of percentage of appointment. (Example: a 49 percent limited appointment employee who works 51 percent of the month is eligible to accrue sick leave proportionally). Note: Up to three work days of a curtailment leave without pay will be considered time on pay status for the purpose of accruing sick leave (see Absence From Work Policy).

For non-exempt professionals and support staff, sick leave is provided for medical appointments.

Family Member - An employee's spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild. In-laws and step-relatives in the relationships listed above are also covered, as are persons residing in the employee's household.

Medical Appointments - Any professional appointment that promotes the physical and/or mental well-being of the employee (i.e., dental, eye, psychiatrist, physical therapy, etc.).

Quadriweekly Cycle - Two biweekly pay periods designated by the University as a unit for the purpose of leave accrual.

Sick Leave Usage - May be used for illness, disability, and, on a limited basis, in the event of illness in the family or bereavement.

D. Guidelines

  1. Employees should refer to Absence From Work Policy before following these guidelines.
  2. An employee who becomes ill while on vacation may be required to submit a certification of illness or injury prior to being permitted use of sick leave.
  3. Sick leave is not to be used prior to accrual, except that an employee may be eligible for extended sick leave payments if unable to work due to a work-incurred illness or injury. Refer to Policy 44, Work-Incurred Illness and Injury.
  4. Sick leave is not to be used in excess of the employee's scheduled hours of work. Example: An employee who has a 50 percent appointment may not use sick leave which would enable the employee to be paid over 50 percent for the week in which sick leave is taken.
  5. Sick leave is not to be used in lieu of vacation.
  6. Sick leave is not to be used beyond a predetermined date of separation, retirement or indefinite layoff.
  7. An employee is required to notify the supervisor as soon as possible when use of sick leave is being requested. Preferably, notice should be given before scheduled work begins.
  8. Abuse of sick leave is determined on a case by case basis. Abuse is considered improper use or use considered excessive without professional certification. Employees who are determined to abuse sick leave should be counseled by the supervisor and may be required to provide certification from a health care practitioner.
  9. If sick leave used for one event of personal or family illness exceeds three days, an employee may be put on a Family Medical Leave. Refer to Absence From Work Policy.
  10. Sick leave used for family illness covered by FMLA is limited to 12 weeks per calendar year. Sick leave used for family illness not covered by FMLA is limited to 30 days per calendar year. Exceptions to policy, due to catastrophic illness, may be approved by the Chancellor.
  11. Sick leave used for bereavement is limited to 10 days per occurrence for a family member and 5 days per calendar year for bereavement or funeral attendance due to the death of any other person.
  12. An employee who is transferred, promoted or demoted to a position in which sick leave does not accrue may not use sick leave in the new position. If the employee later transfers, is promoted or demoted to a position in which sick leave does accrue, sick leave accrued in the prior position will be transferred to the new position.
  13. Upon retirement, accrued sick leave is applied toward service credit.

E. Procedures

  1. Employee notifies supervisor of the need to use accrued sick leave and the expected length of absence. Employee may be required to provide the notification in writing.
  2. Supervisor notifies employee that use of sick leave is approved or disapproved and any conditions placed on the absence.
    1. If a conflict of scheduling occurs for a planned use of sick leave (i.e., medical appointments, planned surgery), the supervisor should work with the employee to reschedule the request at a time that does not produce a scheduling conflict.
    2. If the employee is required to provide professional certification to verify use of sick leave before returning to work, the supervisor should inform the employee.
    3. If the use of sick leave exceeds 3 days consecutively, the supervisor should inform the employee that the absence may qualify for Family Medical Leave. Refer to Absence From Work Policy.
  3. Sick leave use is recorded on the employee's timesheet and reported to the University's payroll system.
    1. Non-exempt employees - Sick leave use is maintained to the nearest quarter hour.
    2. Exempt employees - Sick leave use is maintained in one-day increments only or in increments not less than the portion of a day during which an employee on less than full-time pay status normally is scheduled to work.
      • Exception: Exempt employees who are on a reduced work schedule or intermittent leaves may have accrued sick leave use reported to the nearest quarter hour. Refer to Absence From Work Policy.

F. Applicability

All staff members, except employees who are in a bargaining unit that has an exclusive representative (union) and are covered by the applicable provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. Contract employees may be covered by this policy; refer to the individual's contract to determine applicability.