40.030: Sick and Bereavement Leave for Classified Employees
April 24, 2020
Colleen Bendl | Chief Human Resource Officer
Deborah J. Shaffer | Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, CFO and Treasurer
M. Duane Nellis | President
This policy provides for the accrual and use of sick and bereavement leave ("sick leave" in the following) and the conversion and payment of unused sick leave at time of retirement or upon death of an employee.
All Ohio university classified employees (as defined in policy 40.040) may earn and accrue sick leave hours that may be used for paid sick leave when necessary. Sick leave will be earned at the rate of 4.6 hours for each eighty hours of service. Credit is proportionate to the hours paid in each bi-weekly pay period and is accrued for all time on active pay status, including vacation and sick leave. There is no limit as to the amount of sick leave that may be accumulated. The policy regarding notification and verification of sick leave usage is detailed below.
Notification of absence
When an employee is unable to report for work, he or she is required to notify the immediate supervisor or other designated person. Such notification must be made as soon as possible but not later than one-half hour after the time the employee is scheduled to begin work on the first day of absence and each work day thereafter for the next successive six calendar days. If such notification is not made, except when emergency or other extenuating conditions make it impossible to give the proper notice, the absence may be charged to leave without pay.
In those departments whose operation is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the notification of absence must be reported at least two hours before the employee's scheduled starting time, unless emergency conditions make it impossible.
In the case of extended absences beyond seven consecutive calendar days, a physician's statement shall be required specifying the employee's inability to work and the probable date of recovery. It is the employee's responsibility to notify the supervisor or designee when hospitalization or institutionalization is required, unless emergency conditions prevent such notification. When convalescence at home is required, the employee shall notify the supervisor or designee at the start and termination of such convalescence.
Approval of sick and bereavement leave
Sick leave shall be granted to employees for absences during regularly scheduled work hours (not overtime).Sick leave may only be used for the following reasons, and unless the employee's absence is for one of these reasons, the absence will not be approved as sick leave:
- Illness, injury, or pregnancy-related condition of the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family where the employee's presence is reasonably necessary for the health and welfare of the employee or affected family member.
- Death of a member of the employee's immediate family (use of sick and bereavement leave not to exceed five paid days of sick and bereavement leave).
- Medical, psychological, dental, or optical examination by an appropriate practitioner for the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family where the employee's presence is reasonably necessary. (An employee has the obligation to report to work before or after such an examination.)
- Exposure of an employee to a contagious disease that could be communicated to and jeopardize the health of other employees, or of students.
Employees shall document sick leave usage in WorkForce. If insufficient accrual of sick leave is available, only the amount of accrued time should be reported. Supervisor approval of such time sheet shall indicate approval of the documented sick leave usage.
If an absence exceeds seven consecutive calendar days, a statement from a licensed physician, specifying the employee's inability to work shall be required to justify the use of sick leave. In addition, the university retains the right to require a medical statement to justify each and every use of sick leave when such justification is deemed to be appropriate.
Definition of immediate family
As used in this policy, "immediate family" means any one of the following: spouse, qualifying domestic partner (see policy 40.013), parents, children, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, a legal guardian or other person who stands in the place of a parent (loco parentis).
The definition of "immediate family" is different under the provisions of the FMLA; see policy 40.054.
Conversion and payment of unused sick leave upon retirement or death
Any unused personal leave, accumulated under policy 40.028 will revert to sick leave and be added to the accumulated balance of sick leave before the terms of this subsection are applied.
An employee retiring with ten or more years of creditable state service may elect to be compensated for one-half of the employee’s accrued but unused sick leave, not to exceed pay for sixty days. Any sick leave received from the donated vacation hour policy (as defined by policy 40.035) may not be counted in the calculation of the unpaid sick leave balance. Payment will be based upon the employee's rate of pay at the time of disability or regular retirement. Such payment may be made only once to an employee and only to those employees who are on the active payroll of Ohio University at the time of retirement. All eligible employees, at the time of filing their application for retirement, must indicate their desire to elect the sick leave conversion option. The two mutually exclusive options are:
- to be paid for one-half of up to nine hundred sixty hours (to be paid for up to sixty days) less any leave received using donated vacation time, or
- to carry forward the total sick leave balance for future anticipated state employment (see part (G)(9) of this policy).
An appropriate statement documenting the election will be made available to the employee, and university human resources will determine the amount of hours to be paid. Payment will be made in a lump sum and included in the pay after the employee's final regular pay (if the appropriate forms are received in payroll soon enough — otherwise, as soon as practicable after that; see also policy 40.031). Payment will be subject to normal payroll deductions, excluding OPERS contributions and dues to an employee organization. The conversion option does not apply to any employee who resigns his or her position and elects to retire at some later date.
In the event of the death of an employee with ten or more years of creditable state service, one-half of the employee's accrued but unused sick leave will be paid to the employee's survivors in accordance with section 2113.04 of the Revised Code, or to the employee's estate, not to exceed pay for sixty days. Payment will be based upon the employee's rate of pay at the time of death.
- Sick leave hours used are deducted from sick leave balances and will be paid only if sick leave credit is available. Accumulation, use, and current balance are shown on the employee's bi-weekly pay check stub.
- Sick and bereavement leave for death in the immediate family and postnatal care is limited to five working days. Absence for postnatal care is generally intended for a spouse or domestic partner. Only under extreme circumstances, such as the absence of a spouse or domestic partner during the postnatal period or serious complications, will sick leave be granted for postnatal care to some other member of the immediate family. In this case, a physician's statement showing that the presence of the employee is necessary, will be required.
- When sick leave is requested by the employee to care for a member of the immediate family not residing in the employee's household, the department head may require a physician's certificate to the effect that the presence of the employee is reasonably necessary to care for the ill family member.
- Sick leave cannot be reported on a holiday. If absent because of illness or injury on a day observed as a holiday, the employee receives regular pay which is charged to the holiday and not to sick leave.
- An employee who becomes eligible for worker's compensation payment for loss of time due to an occupational illness or injury may elect to use sick leave before such payments are made.
- If an illness or disability continues beyond the time covered by earned sick leave credit, an employee, upon request, may be granted either a leave of absence without pay or a disability leave. If a leave of absence is granted, and the illness or disability continues beyond expiration of the leave, a disability leave should then be requested by the employee.
- The chief human resource officer may require an employee to submit to a medical evaluation in order to determine the employee's capability to perform the substantial and material duties of the employee's position. If found not able to perform the substantial and material duties of the job, the employee may be placed on sick leave or disability leave. Such evaluations will be conducted by a physician designated by the chief human resource officer and the cost of the evaluation will be borne by the university.
- An employee returning to work from sick leave may be required to obtain medical clearance from the occupational health clinic as outlined in policy 40.032.
- An employee who transfers from one state or local Ohio public agency to another (Ohio public agency refers to governmental entities under the control of Ohio's state or local government), or who is reappointed or reinstated at Ohio university, will be credited with the unused balance of accumulated sick leave--up to the maximum of the sick leave accumulation permitted as of the date when the new employment starts, in the public agency to which the employee transfers (or by Ohio university, in the case of reappointment or reinstatement), and provided the time between separation and reappointment does not exceed ten years. Written proof of sick leave credits must be furnished to the new employer by the prior employer. University human resources will maintain records of unused sick leave of former employees for a minimum of ten years after their last employment by Ohio University; will restore the appropriate balance if the person is re-employed by Ohio University; and will respond to requests for such records from other Ohio public agencies newly employing those people.
- If the medical event for which sick leave is being utilized is also a qualifying family and medical leave event, employees must also follow the provisions of policy 40.054.
Abuse and disciplinary action
Non-compliance with sick leave rules outlined in this policy will result in non-payment for time absent from work. Application for use of sick leave with the intent to defraud shall be grounds for prosecution or disciplinary action, which may include dismissal (see section 124.38 of the Revised Code).
Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:
Chief financial administrative officers
Vice presidents and vice provosts