The Catholic University of America

Archived 10/25/05

Sick Leave

The University is concerned about minimizing unnecessary absences because of the detrimental effect of absence on the successful attainment of departmental goals and the goals of the University. However, recognizing that employees may need time off work because of illness, the University grants sick leave to employees to protect employees' income in cases of bona fide illness. Sick leave may be used for personal illness or for employees' doctor or dentist appointments. Sick leave may not be used for the illness of a family member except as specified in this policy.

A regular employee with at least one full year of service at the University may request approval to use up to 16 weeks of accrued sick leave to care for a spouse, child, parent or sibling who has a serious health condition. For purposes of this policy, a serious health condition is a physical or mental illness, injury or impairment that involves one of the following:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility
  • Continuing treatment or supervision at home by a health care provider or other competent individual

An employee who wishes to request sick leave for the serious illness of a family member should request such leave in writing to his or her supervisor. The supervisor, in conjunction with the Director of Human Resources or his or her designee, will determine if the request meets the required criteria. Before the use of sick leave for the serious illness of a family member will be approved, the employee must submit documentation from the family member's health care provider certifying that the family member has a serious health condition. That documentation must be submitted to the employee's supervisor or directly to Human Resources. If the documentation is submitted to the supervisor, he or she will be responsible for forwarding the documentation to Human Resources. Human Resources will notify the employee in writing about whether the request will be granted.

An employee who has been granted sick leave for the serious illness of a family member is responsible for complying with all other provisions of this policy.

Regular, full-time employees accrue one day of sick leave for each calendar month worked, up to a maximum accumulation of 90 days. Regular, part-time employees accrue sick leave on a pro-rated basis with the maximum accumulation pro-rated on the same basis. Sick leave may not be used until successful completion of an employee's initial evaluation (formerly "probationary") period.

When an employee needs to request sick leave, he or she must notify the supervisor within the first hour of the working day except in extreme emergencies. The employee must keep his or her supervisor advised as to the probable date of return to work.

If an employee is on extended sick leave, the University may require the employee to submit a doctor's certificate explaining the need for absence from work and indicating the anticipated date of return to work. The University may not authorize sick leave pay until the required medical documentation is submitted.

Employees on extended sick leave without pay are responsible for maintaining contact with their supervisors and for keeping their supervisors apprised of their anticipated date of return to work. When the employee is well enough to return to work and is released by the physician, the University will make every effort to restore the employee to the position which he or she held prior to the extended leave or to a comparable position. If an employee does not return to work when released by his or her physician, or does not indicate the date that he or she will return, the employee will be considered to have resigned from employment at the University. For employees who have worked at the University for more than a year and who meet the other criteria, the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may apply. Refer to HR 6.7.4 for additional information on FMLA.

An employee may apply to his or her supervisor for an advance of up to five days of sick leave if the employee has not accrued sufficient sick leave to cover the anticipated absence. The request must be in writing and requires approval by the supervisor, the cognizant dean or director and the cognizant Vice President. If an employee's employment terminates before the advanced sick leave is earned, the employee will be expected to reimburse the University.

If an employee terminates employment at the University and is reinstated within 90 days of the effective date of termination, the employee's accrued sick leave balance at the time of termination will be restored. However, the restored sick leave may not be used during the first three months of reemployment, consistent with the restriction from using sick leave during the initial evaluation period.