The Catholic University of America

Sick and Safe Leave Policy

 

Approved by: President
History: Issued    -- February 2002  
  Revised  -- August 19, 2015  
Related Policies: Categories of Employment Policy; Family and Medical Leave Policy; Non-Retaliation Policy
Additional References:  
Responsible Official: Associate VP/Chief Human Resources Officer tel. 202-319-5590
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I.          Introduction
 
The University recognizes the importance of employees taking care of their health and safety needs and those of their families.  Accordingly, this policy specifies the provisions for using the University’s Sick and Safe Leave policy.  The University complies with all applicable local and federal laws regarding sick leave and this policy including the District of Columbia Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.
 
This policy must be read in coordination with the Family and Medical Leave Policy which allows eligible employees as defined in that policy unpaid leave for the serious health condition of an employee or family member, the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child, and in certain exigent circumstances related to the service of an employee’s family member in the military or National Guard.
 
II.         Scope
 
This policy applies to all University employees except those covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement should refer to that agreement for applicable sick and safe leave information.
 
The term “employee” for the purposes of this policy means any individual employed by the University but not including volunteers, independent contractors, and students who are employed by the University.
 
III.         Sick and Safe Leave Policy
 
A.         Appropriate Use of Sick and Safe Leave
 
For purposes of this policy, the term “sick leave” includes safe leave.
 
Sick and Safe Leave may be used for absences due to illness, medical treatment, or medical care for yourself or a family member. As used in this policy, the term “family member” means a spouse, the parents of a spouse, children (including foster and grandchildren), the spouses of children, parents, siblings, and spouses of siblings.  It also includes any child who lives with an employee and for whom the employee permanently assumes parental responsibility, and any other family member as defined in D.C. Code §32.131.01.
 
Additionally, Sick and Safe Leave may be used in the event that the employee or the employee's family member is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse; provided, that the absence is directly related to social or legal services pertaining to the stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse, to:
 
(1) Seek medical attention for the employee or the employee's family member to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic violence or sexual abuse;
 
(2) Obtain services from a victim services organization;
 
(3) Obtain psychological or other counseling;
 
(4) Temporarily or permanently relocate;
 
(5) Take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from the domestic violence or sexual abuse; or
 
(6) Take other actions to enhance the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee's family member or to enhance the safety of those who associate or work with the employee.
 
B.         Procedures for Requesting Short-Term Sick and Safe Leave
 
Whenever Sick and Safe Leave is foreseeable (such as for a medical appointment) employees should request leave from their supervisor 10 days, or as early as possible, in advance of the absence.  An employee should make a reasonable effort to schedule foreseeable Sick and Safe Leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of their unit.
 
When Sick and Safe Leave is unforeseeable, an employee must notify the supervisor of the absence as close to work starting time as possible. Employees on Sick and Safe Leave with or without pay are responsible for maintaining contact with their supervisors and for keeping their supervisors apprised of their anticipated date of return to work.
 
An employee using sick leave for the illness of a family member is responsible for complying with all other provisions of this policy.
 
The University may require the submission of documentation, such as a note from a physician, before authorizing Sick or Safe Leave pay. 
 
C.         Procedures for Long Term Sick Leave
 
If the Safe and Sick Leave is 5 continuous days or more, the employee should contact Human Resources for assistance, as employees who have worked at the University for more than a year and who meet the other criteria of the FMLA may apply for FMLA leave. Refer to the Family and Medical Leave Policy for additional information.
 
IV.        Accrual of Leave
 
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.
 
Temporary, part-time employees will accrue paid leave at the rate of two hours per pay period or four hours per month beginning September 1, 2015. Sick leave earned from February 1, 2014, to August 31, 2015, was earned at the rate of 1 hour for every 37 hours of actual work.
 
If an employee does not suffer a loss of income when absent from work, the University shall not be required to provide paid leave.
 
The categories of employment (regular full-time, regular part-time and part-time temporary) are defined in the Categories of Employment Policy.
 
V.         Availability of Leave  
 
Sick and safe leave may be used as earned, including during the employee’s initial review (formerly “probationary”) period.
 
If an employee terminates employment (or is discharged) after completion of the 90 day initial review period and is rehired within 12 months the employee's accrued leave balance at the time of termination will be restored and the employee may access paid leave immediately. If there is a separation of more than one year, the leave will not be restored.
 
The University does not advance sick leave. In the event that sick leave is advanced contrary to this policy and the employee leaves the University, the employee will be required to reimburse the University for any negative sick leave balance.
 
The University does not pay out sick leave balances at termination.
 
VI.        Non-Retaliation
 
The University may not retaliate against an employee who properly invokes the provisions of this Policy. (See the University’s Non-Retaliation Policy).