University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Article 17 Sick Leave

Section 1. Eligibility

Employees (including those on temporary appointments) who are employed in one Department on a 50% time or greater appointment shall accumulate sick leave with pay.

Section 2. Accumulation

Sick leave shall accrue at the rate of three (3) minutes per straight time hour paid to a maximum of eighty (80) hours per pay period. Leave shall not accrue during periods of unpaid leave, except as provided for in Article 31, Union Rights, Section 5, Unpaid Leave Provisions.

Sick leave accumulated for any one pay period is not available for use until the following pay period.

An employee with available sick leave who leaves University employment or who changes to a work schedule of less than 50% time shall lose unused sick leave. However, should an employee who is reduced below a 50% work schedule return to a 50% time or more position, the lost sick leave hours shall be reinstated. If an employee who has earned sick leave reduces his/her appointment because of a layoff situation, that employee shall keep the sick leave s/he has accrued and be able to use that leave according to this Article, even though that employee may not be eligible to accrue more sick leave.

Employees shall be informed of their total accumulated sick leave on each paycheck, or if that is not possible, shall be given a written report each month of their total accumulated sick leave.

If the supervisor and employee agree, an employee shall be allowed to use leave without pay for purposes identified in this Article rather than using accrued sick leave. If sick leave is exhausted, an employee shall be allowed to use vacation leave or overtime accruals for the reasons sick leave is provided in this Article unless the employee has discipline for abuse of sick leave in his/her personnel file, in which case the employee may use vacation or overtime accruals subject to the provisions of Article 16, Vacation and Article 13, Overtime.

Section 3. Sick Leave Conversion

When a sick leave accumulation of four hundred (400) hours has been reached, one-quarter (1/4) of any sick leave accumulated thereafter may be credited to the employee's vacation accumulation if the employee's sick leave accumulation is maintained at four hundred (400) or more hours; three-quarters (3/4) of sick leave accumulated thereafter may be credited to sick leave. Sick leave accumulated prior to July 1, 1970, cannot be transferred to vacation under the provisions of this Article.

When a sick leave accumulation of eight hundred (800) hours has been reached, one-half (1/2) of any sick leave accumulated thereafter may be credited to the employee's vacation accumulation if the employee's sick leave accumulation is maintained at eight hundred (800) or more hours; one-half (1/2) of sick leave accumulated thereafter may be credited to sick leave.

Section 4. Utilization

Approved sick leave may be used by an employee who is unable to perform duties because of illness, injury, or pregnancy; or who would expose others to contagious or infectious diseases; or who must keep medical or dental care appointments.

Accumulated sick leave may be used to supplement Workers’ Compensation benefits during periods of lost work time due to compensable on-the-job illness or injury.

Approved sick leave may be used to care for or arrange care for an employee’s child, and up to five (5) days per incident may be used by an employee to care for or make arrangements for the care of an ill member of the employee’s immediate family. A department may approve an additional five (5) days of sick leave to care for or make arrangements for the care of an ill member of the employee’s immediate family provided this illness is covered by the FMLA. Immediate family as used in this portion of the Article shall mean spouse or cohabiter, children (including foster children and step-children) or siblings, parents, or parents-in-law of the employee, and registered same sex domestic partner, children of the registered same sex domestic partner, or parents of the registered same sex domestic partner.

Accumulated sick leave, as approved by the supervisor, of up to two (2) days per year can be used by an employee to participate in a personal health maintenance program (e.g., weight control, stress management, stop smoking).

Five (5) days of accumulated sick leave shall be granted for bereavement leave per Article 18, Leaves of Absence, Section 2. Additionally, with the approval of the supervisor or department head, employees may use sick leave to serve as pallbearers or to attend funerals of individuals not identified above.

Section 5. Requesting Sick Leave

  1. Employees must request and receive approval for use of sick leave from the designated or appropriate administrator in the Department as soon as possible after the onset of illness.
  2. While supervisors must be informed of the general nature of an illness, such information shall be treated by the supervisor with appropriate confidentiality.
  3. In the case of extended or chronic illness, the designated or appropriate administrator in the Department may require statements from a physician or dentist which includes the anticipated date of return. Upon request of the Employer, when the Employer has reasonable cause to believe that an employee has abused or is abusing sick leave, employees utilizing leave under this Article may be required to furnish a statement from a medical practitioner as defined in the Family Medical Leave Act stating that the practitioner finds the employee unable to work due to illness. Requests to furnish a statement from a medical practitioner may be oral or written. Oral requests shall be reduced to writing as soon as practicable. The written requests shall state the reason(s) for the request as well as the period of time that the employee will be required to furnish the statement. if an employee does not bring a medical practitioner's statement of illness when requested, the supervisor may deny the use of sick leave.
  4. Abuse of sick leave shall be one form of just cause for disciplinary action. Abuse shall be defined as use of paid sick leave for reasons other than those listed in this Article. Use of paid sick leave in a pattern such as Mondays, Fridays, or the day after payday is an example of a use of sick leave that may constitute abuse.
  5. A designated or appropriate administrator may require an employee to leave the workplace:

    1. If the employee is unable to perform job responsibilities in an up-to-standard manner because of what appears to be a health condition; or
    2. If the employee may expose others in the workplace to illness or disease. Such time shall be charged against sick leave, if available.
  6. If an employee becomes ill while on vacation leave and presents satisfactory proof of illness or injury, the designated or appropriate administrator in the Department may approve the use of sick leave in lieu of vacation leave.

Note: For information on disability leave without pay, see Article 18, Leaves of Absence, Section 6.