Sick Leave Policy for Faculty under the Traditional Sick Leave Plan

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University Policy Number 2232

Categorized:

Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Related Law & Policy:


I. Scope

This policy applies to Eligible Faculty in the Traditional Sick Leave plan (non-VSDP), and describes the accrual and use of traditional sick leave.

Relief from faculty duties or responsibilities for medical reasons may be governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). See University Policy 2215: Family Medical Leave and http://hr.gmu.edu/benefits/leave/fmla.php.

II. Policy Statement

In the Traditional Sick Leave program (non-VSDP), eligible Faculty may accrue up to 125 days of traditional sick leave.

Nine-month faculty accrue 30 work days of traditional sick leave per academic year. Faculty whose appointment drops below 1.0 and remains at or above .75 FTE will be allotted/granted the full 30 days of sick leave for the associated academic year. Faculty whose appointment drops below .74 and remains at or above .50 FTE will be allotted/granted 15 days of sick leave for the associated academic year. Nine-month Faculty beginning their employment in the Spring semester (January) will be granted/allotted 15 days for the remainder of the associated academic year.

Nine-month faculty members do not submit electronic timesheets. Sick leave is recorded and tracked within the faculty member’s local academic unit (LAU).  Nine-month faculty must report to the department or LAU any absences taken, and sick leave must be used and recorded for the absence. Summer employment for 9-month faculty is not covered by sick leave.

Twelve-month faculty are granted 80 hours of traditional sick leave at the beginning of employment (to expire 1 year from date of hire), and accrue 10 hours per pay period (30 work days per year).  Twelve-month faculty submit electronic timesheets each pay period.  Twelve-month faculty must record their use of sick leave for absences due to illness in their electronic time sheets.

Use of sick leave may be subject to verification and approval. Faculty members are not reimbursed for unused sick leave upon retirement, separation, or change of status.

If use of sick leave falls under the FMLA, all Medical Certifications must be submitted to, reviewed by, and approved by a Benefits Administrator in the HR & Payroll department. Also, medical absences of 14 calendar days or more must be reported to the Benefits Team in HR & Payroll. All documentation related to the medical absence must be submitted directly to Benefits.

III. Procedure

A. 9-Month Instructional Faculty

  • Under the FMLA, Faculty have the option to use traditional sick leave to cover their time away from work due to their or an eligible family member’s health condition. See the Procedures for University Policy 2215: Family Medical Leave for further information.
  • If faculty do not have sufficient sick leave to cover the time out they may have a period of leave without pay (LWOP). LWOP may affect some benefits; faculty must contact a Benefits Administrator in HR & Payroll if they anticipate they will take LWOP.
  • In cases of serious and extended illness, the faculty must contact a Benefits Administrator in HR & Payroll for guidance and FMLA approval. Faculty may use their accumulated sick leave days to be placed on full or partial sick leave for a semester. If faculty are able to maintain their teaching, research, or service and administrative responsibilities, they may request partial sick leave and be released from some of those responsibilities, including release from teaching one course or from their entire teaching load. One semester is equal to 90 days of sick leave.
    • Examples of how a full semester of sick leave should be reported:
      1. Work distribution is 75% teaching and 25% service: 67.5 days of sick leave would be used for teaching and 22.5 days of sick leave would be used for service.
      2. Work distribution is 30% teaching, 30% research and 40% service: 27 days would be used for teaching, 27 days for research and 36 days for service.

Faculty must work closely with their supervisor or LAU head to put a plan in place to optimally meet the needs of the faculty member and the department.

B. 12-Month Faculty

  • In cases of serious and extended illness, the faculty must contact a Benefits Administrator in HR & Payroll for guidance and FMLA approval. Faculty may use their accumulated sick leave days to be placed on full or intermittent leave. Employees who are able to work intermittently will continue to submit an electronic timesheet. All traditional sick leave used during this time will be counted toward FMLA time unless notified otherwise. If faculty must take sick leave under FMLA for an extended period of time, the electronic timesheet will be turned off and leave will be deducted manually by HR and Payroll.
  • If faculty do not wish to use leave or do not have sufficient traditional sick leave, they may have a period of leave without pay (LWOP). LWOP may affect some benefits; faculty must contact a Benefits Administrator in HR & Payroll if they anticipate they will take LWOP.
  • Annual leave may also be used if traditional sick leave has been depleted.

C. Interaction with Tenure

For tenure track faculty, the tenure clock may be stopped as provided in Faculty Handbook section 2.7.3.2.

IV. Definitions

Eligible Faculty: for the purpose of this policy, means full-time and part-time faculty with a FTE between .50 and 1.0, including 9-month instructional, 12-month instructional/research and administrative/professional faculty,. If a faculty member’s FTE drops below .50 they become benefits ineligible and are no longer eligible to accrue or use any sick leave.

FMLA: means the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2601 et. seq.

Non-VSDP: means those who are not enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP).

V. Effective Date and Approval

A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:

 N/A.

 VI. Timetable for Review

This Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually.

VII. Signatures

Approved:

______/S__________                                         __8/28/2017__

Senior Vice President for                                         Date

Administration and Finance

 

______/S___________                                     __9/5/2017__

Provost and Executive Vice President                   Date