Staff Policy Handbook

Part VI: Leave Benefits


608 - Sick Leave Benefits

Rev. 6-1-08, 2nd Rev. 5-1-11

Drury University provides paid sick leave benefits to all regular full-time staff members for periods of temporary absence due to illnesses or injuries. Eligible staff members may use sick leave benefits under the following circumstances:

*        Employees may use sick leave for absences due to their own illness, injury, or medical appointments.

*        Employees may use sick leave for absences due to medical appointments, or illnesses or injuries of an immediate family member, EXCLUDING absences due to an FMLA Leave taken to provide care for an “immediate family member”, which is defined as a parent, spouse, or child.

Further information on absences due to illness or injury to a family member is addressed in the Family Medical Leave policy, Section 603.

Eligible staff members will accrue sick leave benefits at the rate of 8 hours per month. Sick leave benefits begin the month the individual begins working provided the date of employment is the tenth of the month or earlier; otherwise, accrual begins the following month. Paid sick leave can be used in minimum increments of one hour.

Staff members who will be unable to report to work due to illness or injury should notify their direct supervisor before the scheduled start of their workday if possible. The direct supervisor must also be contacted on each additional day of absence. Before returning to work, staff members may be required to furnish a written statement from their physician stating that the employee has been under the physician’s care and that the employee is capable of performing the essential functions of his or her position before being reinstated.

Sick leave benefits will be calculated based on the staff member's base pay rate at the time of absence. As an additional condition of eligibility for sick leave benefits, a staff member absent more than 5 consecutive work days must notify Human Resources. Absences in excess of 5 consecutive work days due to a serious medical condition will be designated as Family and Medical Leave. For more information, refer to Section 603, Family and Medical Leave Policy. Sick leave may not be used during Family and Medical Leave unless the leave is due to the employee’s own serious health condition.  Absences in excess of available Family and Medical Leave, paid or unpaid, must be arranged with the Human Resources Department.

Unused sick leave benefits will be allowed to accumulate until the staff member has accrued a total of 960 hours of sick leave benefits. If the staff member's benefits reach this maximum, further accrual of sick leave benefits will be suspended until the staff member has reduced the balance below the limit. Sick leave benefits will be used to provide a salary during the long-term disability elimination period. For more information, refer to Section 306, Long-Term Disability Policy.

Employees will be required to use eligible paid time off concurrently with FMLA. Upon exhaustion of eligible accrued time off, the remainder of leave will be unpaid. For FMLA purposes the leave will be deducted from the employee's available bank of FMLA leave, from day one of absence.
Staff members absent on paid leave continue to accrue sick leave benefits. University holidays occurring during paid leave are not charged to sick leave benefits. Sick leave benefits cannot be taken in advance of being earned. If accrued sick leave benefits are exhausted, further absences must be charged to accrued vacation. If both accrued sick leave and vacation benefits are exhausted, the staff member's absence must be charged to leave of absence without pay, if the employee qualifies. Refer to Section 611, Catastrophic Illness or Injury Assistance.

Sick leave benefits are intended solely to provide income protection in the event of a staff member's illness or injury; or for the non-FMLA illness or injury of an immediate family member, and may not be used for any other absence. Unused sick leave benefits will not be paid to staff members while they are employed or upon termination of employment.