Policy Number: 30
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
Employees appointed for a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least four and one-half months in a fiscal year, when authorized, may use sick leave with pay for absences necessitated by personal illness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement, or when the employee is needed to assist a member of his/her immediate family who is ill.
Immediate family is defined as any person living in the same household who is related by kinship, adoption (including foster children certified by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services), or marriage. Minor children of the employee, whether or not living in the same household, are also considered immediate family. An employee's use of sick leave for family members not residing in that employee's household is strictly limited to the time necessary to provide care and assistance to a spouse, child, or parent of the employee who needs that care and assistance as a direct result of a documented medical condition.
Negative balances of sick leave cannot be carried forward from one month to the next. Employees must be placed on leave without pay for hours overdrawn on sick leave.
Each department is responsible for maintaining accurate records of sick leave entitlement and use. (Refer to HOOP Policy 24 Time and Attendance Reporting.)
Employees accrue sick leave as follows:
- Employees accrue sick leave beginning on the first day of employment and ending on the last day of employment.
- Regular employees earn sick leave at the rate of eight hours for each month or fraction of a month of employment. Less than full-time, benefits eligible employees accrue sick leave on a proportional basis. All unused sick leave will be carried forward each month. There is no limit to the number of hours that may be accrued.
- If an employee is absent on a paid leave status, the employee will continue to accrue paid leave each month on leave. The hours accrued while on leave may be posted to the leave balance only when the employee returns to work. Should the employee fail to return to work, the employee will not receive the accruals and will not be paid for those hours accrued.
- Sick leave will be accrued for each month or fraction of a month of service proportionate to the time appointed. However, an employee on faculty development leave will accrue sick leave at the full-time rate.
- No sick leave will be accrued for an employee who is on leave without pay for at least one full calendar month.
- An employee whose status changes from an eligible to an ineligible leave status will have all accrued sick leave balances frozen at the time of the status change. If the employee subsequently returns to an eligible leave status, the employee may recommence the use and accrual of sick leave.
- Sick leave that was accumulated prior to extended military leave is frozen until the employee returns to employment, provided the employee meets the requirements specified in HOOP Policy 41 Military Leave.
- If an employee is separated from employment with the state under a formal reduction-in-force and becomes re-employed by the state within 12 months of termination, that individual's sick leave balance will be restored.
- If an employee is separated for reasons other than reduction-in-force, and is re-employed by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") within 12 months, the employee must have a break of service of 30 calendar days with the State of Texas before sick leave balances can be restored. If an employee is re-employed by another state agency within 12 months following the end of the month in which they separated from the university the employee’s sick leave balance will be reinstated at their new institution.
- An employee who transfers directly from another state agency will be credited with any unused sick leave, provided employment with the state was uninterrupted.
- In the case of death of an employee who has accumulated sick leave, the estate will be paid for such leave as permitted by law.
1. Eligibility: To use sick leave with pay, the employee must notify or cause the supervisor to be notified promptly of the reason for any absence attributed to illness, on the initial day of the absence and each day thereafter.
2. Absences Greater than Three Working Days: For absences of more than three working days, an employee will be required to submit a statement from the attending healthcare provider (or some other written statement of the facts concerning the illness that is acceptable to the supervisor) upon returning to work. An employee who uses sick leave to care for a child or parent who does not reside with the employee and is not totally dependent on the employee, but needs the employee's care as a direct result of documented medical condition, must be able to provide a healthcare provider's statement naming the child's or parent's condition. It is within the discretion of the supervisor to require documentation concerning illnesses resulting in absences of three working days or less.
3. Release to Return to Work: Employees with identified medical conditions that may have debilitating effects (for example, hypertension) must submit a healthcare provider's statement to their supervisor indicating they can safely return to work.
4. Abuse of Sick Leave: An employee whose behavior gives rise to the suspicion that sick leave is being used inappropriately may be required to submit a statement from an attending healthcare provider. This request is to be made at the discretion of the employee's supervisor. An employee who is discovered to have obtained sick leave pay under false pretenses is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
5. Birth of a Child: Sick leave may be used by the employee for the period following delivery and recovery associated with the birth of a child to the extent certified by the healthcare provider.
6. Parent-Teacher Conferences: An employee who is the parent of a child(ren) attending school (prekindergarten through 12th grade) is entitled to use up to eight hours of sick leave per calendar year to attend parent-teacher conferences for the child(ren). Employees must provide reasonable advance notice to their supervisor and taking of leave is subject to the supervisor’s approval.
7. Personal and Family Medical Leave Act Leave: All accrued sick leave and vacation time must be exhausted before a request for personal leave for medical reasons. (Refer to HOOP Policy 105 Personal Leave.) Employees who wish to take family and medical leave for their own serious health condition, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition, should consult HOOP Policy 106 Family and Medical Leave for the circumstances and restrictions specified for that leave. Employees are required to use all accrued sick leave, if applicable, when taking leave under HOOP Policy 106 Family and Medical Leave.