Policies & Contracts

529 - Temporary Supplemental Sick Leave Policy

Subject: Temporary Supplemental Sick Leave

Section: U529

Date: September 24, 2020


Purpose:

To provide for the administration of a temporary supplement to the sick leave benefit described in Policy 512. This supplement will be effective through December 31, 2020.

who is governed by this policy:

This temporary policy applies to all benefits eligible staff employees.

Policy statement:

Employees who exhaust their sick leave balance will be permitted to use additional supplemental sick leave as described below. Usage of this supplemental sick leave will create a negative balance in the employee’s sick bank. Supplemental sick leave may be used in accordance with the procedures set forth below for absences due to the employee’s own illness or injury, or for receiving medical care, treatment, diagnosis, or preventive medical care and for absences due to a Family Member’s illness or injury, or to care for a Family Member receiving medical care, treatment, diagnosis or preventive medical care. Employees may also use supplemental sick leave if they or a Family Member are a victim of domestic violence or a sex offense, or if they need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency. Employees may also use supplemental sick leave for bereavement leave that would otherwise be unpaid. Employees who use supplemental sick leave will be required to zero-out their negative sick leave balance prior to accruing sick leave under Policy 512.  

A. Benefits Eligible Staff Employee Sick Leave Information

1. Full Time benefits eligible staff employees who exhaust their sick leave balance may use up to the equivalent of fourteen (14) standard workdays of supplemental sick leave. The resulting negative balance will be accrued at their regular accrual rate as described in Policy 512. For example:

i. A full-time benefits eligible staff employee with a standard workweek of 37.5 hours per week that exhausts their sick leave balance, may use up to an additional 105 hours of sick leave;

ii. A full-time benefits eligible staff employee with a standard workweek of 40 hours per week that exhausts their sick leave balance, may use up to an additional 112 hours of sick leave.

2. Part-time benefits eligible employees shall receive a prorated supplemental sick leave based on the number of hours worked per week. The resulting negative balance will be accrued at their regular accrual rate as described in Policy 512. For example:  

i. A part-time benefits eligible employee with a schedule of 30 hours per week will be eligible for 84 hours of supplemental sick leave;

ii. A part-time benefits eligible employee with a schedule of 20 hours per week will be eligible for 56 hours of supplemental sick leave.

3. The available sick leave supplement will be calculated using the employee’s schedule at the time of the request.

4. Supplemental sick leave days will not be approved after December 31, 2020.

5. A benefits eligible staff employee scheduled to work irregular hours each week will be eligible for supplemental sick leave based on the average weekly hours scheduled per month.

B. Administration of Supplemental Sick Leave for All Benefit Eligible Employees

1. All established rules and processes described in Policy 512 and/or individual unit policies for requesting and recording sick leave for exempt and non-exempt employees shall apply to supplemental sick leave. Employees are not required to exhaust all other paid time off prior to requesting to use supplemental sick leave.

2. An employee who has been granted time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) and has exhausted their sick leave balance may use supplemental sick leave to be paid for what would otherwise be unpaid time under the FMLA or VESSA. (See Policy U522 Family and Medical Leave of Absence and Policy U526 Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Leave.)

3. An employee who has applied for Short Term Disability and has exhausted their sick leave balance may use supplemental sick leave during the required waiting period.

4. As described in Policy 512, an employee who is absent and who is compensated under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act or the Illinois Occupational Diseases Act will not have sick leave accruals deducted. However, an employee who has exhausted their sick leave allotment can use supplemental sick leave to supplement the difference between Workers’ Compensation payments and the employee’s regular salary.

5. Pay for supplemental sick leave will be in the same manner as described in Policy 512 and is not considered "hours worked" in calculating overtime. (See Policy U304 Compensable Time, Record-Keeping, and Tracking Absences.)

6. Supplemental sick leave will expire at the close of business on December 31, 2020. Any unused supplemental sick leave will not carry over into the following year nor will it be paid out upon termination of employment.

7. When the need to use supplemental sick leave is reasonably foreseeable, such as a scheduled appointment with a healthcare provider, the employee should notify the unit seven days in advance when possible. When the need to use supplemental sick leave is not reasonably foreseeable, the employee should notify the unit as soon as is practicable.

8. An employee who is absent for more than three (3) consecutive workdays may be required to provide certification that the use of supplemental sick leave was permissible under this Policy. Failure to provide such certification if requested may result in corrective action. An absence of this length may also implicate time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. (See Policy U703 Progressive Corrective Action and U522 Family and Medical Leave of Absence.)

Key Definitions:

Word/Phrase Definition 
Family Member An employee’s child, legal guardian or ward, spouse under the laws of any state, domestic partner, parent, spouse or domestic partner’s parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. A child includes not only a biological relationship, but also a relationship resulting from an adoption, step-relationship, and/or foster care relationship, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis. A parent includes a biological, foster, stepparent or adoptive parent or legal guardian of an employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.  This definition applies only to this Sick Leave Policy 512, and not to other University policies or benefits referencing Family Members or similar terminology.

roles and responsibilities:

Governed Party Roles and Responsibilities 
Employee The Employee is responsible for following the Supervisor’s time off request procedures and recording sick leave use. 
Supervisor The Supervisor is responsible for setting time off request procedures, ensuring they are followed, verifying the use of sick leave is appropriate, monitoring for pattern absences, and approving sick leave use in the time off calendar. 
HR Partner The HR Partner is responsible for ensuring employees are categorized accurately to ensure sick leave is accrued and used correctly. 

related information:

Policy U222 Compensable Time, Record-Keeping, and Tracking Absences

Policy U506 Bereavement Leave

Policy U509 Vacation

Policy U511 Personal Holidays

Policy U512 Sick Leave

Policy U513 Short-Term Disability

Policy U514 Long-Term Disability

Policy U522 Family and Medical Leave of Absence

Policy U526 Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Leave

Policy U703 Progressive Corrective Action

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

Illinois Occupational Diseases Act

key contacts:

Name Email Extension
Center of Expertise - Employee & Labor Relations  elrelations@uchicago.edu 4-7345