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VII - 7.45 - Policy on Sick Leave

I. Purpose

To implement BOR Policy which governs the accrual and use of sick leave. (BOR  VII - 7.45 - Policy on Sick Leave)

II. Applicability

This policy on sick leave applies to all regular non-exempt and exempt employees of Bowie State University. (For information on the use of sick leave for Faculty, refer to BOR II - 2.30 - Policy on Accident Leave and Creditable and Non-Creditable Sick Leave for Faculty Members. For information on sick leave for Contingent II employees, refer to BOR VII - 1.40 - USM Policy on Contingent Employment for Non-Exempt and Exempt Employees.)

III. Guidelines and General Provisions - Use of Sick Leave

A. Sick leave allows employees to take paid leave under certain circumstances in an effort to provide some protection against the loss of earnings due to absences for health and related reasons.

B. Sick leave can be used to provide leave when the employee or an immediate family member is sick, disabled, injured, or needs to attend a medical appointment. However, the employee is expected to make every effort to schedule medical appointments during non-work hours.

C. Sick leave is earned at the rate of fifteen (15) days per year and is available for the specified use after it is earned. Employees who work part-time (at least 50%, but less than 100%, of full-time) earn sick leave on a prorated basis. Sick leave may be accumulated without limit, and unused sick leave may be carried over from one year to another without limit.

D. Standard campus forms and appropriate documentation shall be used for Advanced Sick Leave and Family and Medical Leave. When using extended sick leave or bereavement leave, employees must submit a written request and appropriate documentation.

E. In order to assist departments in managing operations, additional call-in procedures may be established which outline specific time lines and approval requirements.

F. Employees are expected to contact their supervisors at the beginning of each workday that they are sick. After three (3) days of illness, an employee may be required to submit a doctor's certificate for the period of absence.

G. The Department an Director of Human Resources may grant the use of sick leave for the following reasons:

1. Illness, injury, or disability of the employee.

2. A pre-scheduled and approved, or emergency medical appointment, examination, or treatment for the employee with an accredited, licensed or certified medical provider as defined in BOR VII - 7.45 - Policy on Sick Leave - item IV.C. - Sick Leave that cannot be scheduled during non-work hours.

3. Care for Immediate Family Members

a. Immediate family member, as used in this section, includes the following: employee's spouse, child, step-child, grandchild, mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother, sister, grandparent, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, other relative who is a permanent resident of the employee's household, or legal dependent regardless of residence. The President or designee may require an employee to provide certification by a medical provider to demonstrate this obligation or to authenticate the need of the employee to care for the ill family member.

b. Advanced and Extended Sick Leave may not be used for this purpose.

c. A maximum of fifteen (15) days of the employee's earned sick leave may be used within a 12-month period for medical care of an immediate family member.

d. Use of sick leave for illness in an employee's immediate family shall be recorded as a "Leave Code 187 - Sick Family" on the employee's time sheet.

4. Death of A Relative

a. For the death of a close relative, a maximum of three (3) days of accrued sick leave may be charged. If the employee must travel, the appropriate administrator may grant up to a maximum of five (5) days of earned sick leave upon request by the employee.

b. Close relative is defined as employee's spouse, child, step-child, mother, father, (or someone who took the place of a parent), mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent of employee or spouse, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, other relative who is a permanent resident of the employee's household, or legal dependent (regardless of residence).

c. A maximum of one (1) day of sick leave may be charged to earned sick leave in the event of the death of employee's or spouse's aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.

d. If additional time off is required, the appropriate administrator should make all reasonable efforts to arrange the work so that the employee may take other earned leave for this purpose.

e. The employee must inform the appropriate administrator and submit documentation if requested (i.e. program, obituary, etc.) with time sheet to document the absence, consistent with item II 4.A of the BOR Policy on Sick Leave.

5. Pregnancy - Related Disabilities, Childbirth and Recovery

a. For the purpose of this guideline, absences due to pregnancy, childbirth and immediate physical recovery from childbirth are considered a temporary disability. A female employee may use accrued sick leave to cover any period of temporary disability that is certified by her medical provider during pregnancy or related to childbirth and immediate physical recovery from childbirth.

b. In the event, the employee does not have enough accrued sick leave to cover this period of disability, she may be eligible to request advance sick or extended sick leave consistent with the provisions of section V & VI of BOR - Policy on Sick Leaveand BSU VII - 7.45 - Policy on Sick Leave. The employee will be required to provide a medical certificate to verify the length of the temporary disability.

c. If after this period of temporary disability, the female employee wishes to take additional time off, she may submit a request for the use of annual, personal, or Family and Medical Leave without pay.

6. Birth or Adoption of a Child

a. Up to a maximum of thirty (30) days of accrued sick leave may be used to care for a child immediately following the birth of a child or placement of the child with the employee for adoption. In the case of an adopted child, sick leave is only available in connection with a formal adoption and shall be granted only if the employee making the request is the person having primary responsibility for the care of the child. In the event that both parents are USM employees, sick leave to care for the child is available to only one parent.

b. The Director of Human Resources shall grant the employee's request if the employee has furnished satisfactory documentation of the birth of the employee's child or an agreement of placement for adoption.

7. Family Medical Leave

An employee who is on leave for the purpose defined by the Policy on Family and Medical Leave(BOR Policy VII - 7.50 Paragraph V) shall have the absence applied toward the maximum Family and Medical Leave entitlement of twelve (12) weeks per calendar year. An employee may take Family and Medical Leave for:

a. The birth of a child.

b. Placement of child with employee for adoption or foster care.

c. The need to take care of the employee's child within a twelve (12) month period from birth to placement.

d. The need to take care of the employee's immediate family member who has a serious health condition.

e. The serious health condition of the employee.

IV. Medical Certificates

A. The appropriate administrator may require the employee to present a medical certificate to verify the use of sick leave, advanced sick leave and/or extended sick leave, to ensure medical attention, and/or to prevent the abuse of sick leave.

B. The appropriate administrator should not routinely require a medical certificate for all usage of sick leave. However, in instances where excessive leave is used, the administrator may require medical certification for a prescribed period of time.

C. If a medical certificate is to be required, the employee should be informed in advance of the requirement.

D. When considering whether to require a medical certificate to verify the use of sick leave for circumstances other than advanced and/or extended sick leave or to care for an ill or injured immediate family member, the appropriate administrator should base verification on one of the indicators listed below. These indicators may assist the appropriate administrator in determining the need for medical attention for the employee or the existence of potential abuse of sick leave or excessive use of sick leave. These indicators include but are not limited to:

1. The employee appears unfit for duty (demonstrates some limitation in his/her ability to perform some or all of the job tasks due to illness, injury or other disability);

2. The employee indicates that he/she cannot perform a job task(s) due to a medical condition;

3. The employee has provided medical certificates for absences in the past. However, the certificates have not provided adequate information as required in item IV.B. of the BOR Policy of Sick Leave;

4. The appropriate administrator notes a pattern to the employee's absences (i.e. consistent absences on a particular day of the week or on days when projects/assignments are due);

5. The appropriate administrator has reason to believe that the employee is not sick (based on observation or other relevant evidence);

6. The employee's absences are having a negative impact on the employee's ability to accomplish work tasks (i.e. assignments are not completed).

V. Abuse of Sick Leave and/or Excessive Absenteeism

A. Abuse of sick leave, which amounts to unauthorized absence, may result in progressive disciplinary action. Such examples include:

1. Employee says he/she was sick when appropriate administrator has evidence that the employee was not;

2. Employee uses more leave than is needed and/or approved for a medical appointment;

3. Employee fails to provide requested medical certificate for absence for self or immediate family member.

B. Excessive use of sick leave can be defined as a consistent pattern of unscheduled absences which have a negative impact on the employee's ability to accomplish work tasks (e.g. more than five (5) occurrences within a six (6) month period.)

VI. Requirement for Medical Evaluation

A. An appropriate administrator may require an employee to undergo a medical evaluation/examination in order to determine whether the employee is able to perform, regularly and routinely, the responsibilities of his/her position. An appropriate administrator may also require an employee to provide verification of fitness for duty before being allowed to return to work following an absence due to illness, injury, or disability.

B. In order to request a medical evaluation/examination as described in the Policy on Sick Leave, the appropriate administrator shall make a written request to the Director of Human Resources, describing the reason(s) for the request. Once approved by the Director of Human Resources, it is the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources to make arrangements for the medical evaluation/examination appointment. All cost incurred for evaluation/examination is the responsibility of the requesting department.

C. If the evaluation/examination determines that the employee is unable to perform, regularly and routinely, the responsibilities of his/her position, the Department Head/Director should consult with the Director of Human Resources for guidance on employment options. These options may include reasonable accommodations, if applicable, modified duty, disability retirement, voluntary separation or termination.

VII. Advanced Sick Leave

A. The Director of Human Resources may grant this Advanced Sick Leave at the rate of fifteen (15) days for each year of the employee's completed State service up to a maximum of sixty (60) days in a 12-month period. The employee is subject to the following conditions:

1. Must have completed at least six (6) months of continuous BSU service and, if applicable, have completed an original probation period.

2. Must have exhausted all available paid leave.

3. Must have a satisfactory record of work performance and sick leave usage.

4. Note: An employee who has used his/her sick leave in an excessive manner (e.g. intermittent leave without adequate medical certification such as five (5) or more occurrences in six (6) months) shall not be granted advanced sick leave.

B. Advanced sick leave is not an entitlement. The granting of requests for Advance Sick Leave is at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources.

C. Advanced sick leave shall not be granted in instances where illness or injury or disability occurred on the job, and the Worker's Compensation Commission has granted the employee accident leave or temporary total disability benefits.

D. Advanced sick leave may be requested for absences for an extended period of time subject to the provisions outlined in Paragraph V. of the BOR-Policy of Sick Leave. Advanced sick leave will not be granted for absences ofsingle days of occurrence. However, an employee who is recovering from a temporary illness, injury or serious disability and who needs to be absent intermittently for ongoing treatment/medical care may also request advanced sick leave.

E. The employee or someone acting on the employee's behalf shall complete the "Request for Advanced Sick Leave" form and submit it to his/her department head, director or chairperson and then to the Director of Human Resources for approval. The request shall also include a medical certificate as described in items IV. B. and C. of the BOR-Policy of Sick Leave.

F. Employees on Advanced Sick Leave continue to earn/accrue annual, sick, and personal leave, which is applied to the employee's absence as they are earned.

G. The minimum required rate of repayment is one-half (1/2) the rate at which sick leave and annual leave are earned.

H. The Office of Human Resources tracks Advanced Sick Leave granted and repaid in the Automated Leave System.

VIII. Extended Sick Leave

A. An employee who has a serious illness, injury, or disability may request extended sick leave subject to the following three (3) conditions:

1. Must have completed at least five (5) years of continuous State service.

2. Must have exhausted all types of accrued leave and advanced sick leave.

3. Must have a satisfactory record of work performance.

B. The maximum cumulative total of extended sick leave that may be approved throughout an employee's entire State service is twelve (12) work months (52 weeks).

C. Extended Sick Leave may be requested for absences of an extended period of time subject to the provisions outlined in item VI. BOR Policy on Sick Leave. Sick leave will not be granted for absences of single days of occurrence. However, an employee who is recovering from a temporary illness, injury, or serious disability and who needs to be absent intermittently for ongoing treatment/medical care may also request extended sick leave.

D. The employee or someone acting on the employee's behalf shall submit a written request and medical verification to his/her department head, director or chairperson for approval. The request shall also include a medical certificate as described in items IV. B. and C. of the BOR-Policy on Sick Leave.

E. Upon department approval, the request shall be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources for approval prior to the date on which the leave is to commence.

IX. Leave Reserve Fund

The USM has a Leave Reserve Fund, which is composed of personal leave that employees have not used by the end of each calendar year. This unused personal leave becomes part of the USM Sick Leave Bank. After an employee has exhausted all available sick leave, advanced sick leave, extended sick leave, annual leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, the employee may be eligible to receive leave from the Sick Leave Bank.

A. The maximum number of days, which will be granted, is one (1) day for each month of creditable State service. The employee is not required to reimburse the Sick Leave Bank for any leave, which has been granted and used.

B. Any leave granted by the Sick Leave Bank and not used will be reverted to the Sick Leave Bank.

X. Other Related Policies

For other related policies and their provisions, please see Policy on Leave Reserve Fund (Policy VII - 7.11);Policy on Leave of Absence Without Pay (Policy VII - 7.12)Policy of Accident Leave (Policy VII - 7.40); andPolicy on Family and Medical Leave (Policy VII - 7.50).

XI. Exceptions

None

 

Replacement for:

Additionally, this policy supersedes, in whole or in part, any policy(ies) and/or procedure(s) established by the Regents, Trustees, Presidents, or their designees, of the former institutions of the University of Maryland, and of the former State Universities and Colleges, and of the Regents of the University System of Maryland that are in conflict with this policy's purpose, applicability, or intent, that may have been overlooked and not included as a specific citation under "Replacement For."

 

Effective Date:  08/03/2000