The Sick Leave policy is designed to provide position and salary continuation in the event of illness or injury and to promote sick leave conservation for extended protection.
Regular full-time, part-time and limited service staff members up to and including position grade 28 and grades A, B, C, D, are eligible.
The accumulation of sick leave allows continuation of base salary plus benefits when an eligible staff member is required to be absent from work because of illness or medical conditions. For more information on how to track and manage time away from work, click here.
Sick leave is accrued based on a staff member's regularly scheduled hours of work. A full-time or limited service staff member accrues sick leave at the rate of one (1) day per completed month of service up to 12 days in each fiscal year (July 1–June 30). A regular, part-time staff member accrues sick leave on a pro-rata basis. The maximum sick leave accumulation is 90 work days. Note that an employee will only be paid for the time accrued.
A staff member or his/her designee should notify his/her supervisor as soon as he/she knows that he/she will be unable to work, but no later than the starting time of the staff member's work day. A staff member must notify his/her supervisor on each day of absence unless other arrangements have been made or the sick leave is being used under an approved Family and Medical Leave. Failure to provide proper notice may result in disciplinary action.
Accrued sick time may be used for the following reasons:
- Medical diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive medical care of the staff member’s own physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition
- Medical diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive medical care of a family member’s* physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition
- Absences necessary due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking provided the leave is to allow the staff member or a member of the staff member’s family to obtain:
- Medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence or stalking;
- Services from a victim services organization;
- Psychological or other counseling;
- Relocation due to domestic or sexual violence or stalking; or
- Legal services or remedies, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from domestic or sexual violence or stalking.
Sick leave of up to five (5) days per calendar year may be used for a member of the staff member’s family* for the reasons outlined above or for paternity, adoption and foster care.
Staff members using sick leave for absences due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking for themselves or a family member are required to submit appropriate documentation as outlined in the University’s Domestic or Sexual Violence Policy.
*For purposes of this policy (Policy 612), family member is defined as:
- a biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild or legal ward or a child to whom the staff member stands in loco parentis
- a biological, foster, stepparent or adoptive parent or legal guardian of the staff member or a staff member’s spouse or a person who stood in loco parentis when the staff member was a minor child
- a spouse or same-sex domestic partner
- a grandparent or spouse of a grandparent
- a grandchild
- a biological, foster, or adopted sibling or spouse of a biological, foster or adopted sibling;
- a Life Partner (as defined in section 9-1102 of the Philadelphia Code).
Sick leave benefits used intermittently or for three (3) days or more due to a serious health condition shall run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FML) under Policy 631, if applicable.
When a staff member has been out on sick leave for more than three (3) consecutive work days, he/she is required to submit documentation from a health care provider certifying the medical necessity for the absence and the expected date of return to work. If the employee already has provided a certification and application for FML leave covering the same period, this shall suffice. Additionally, where a staff member has been out on sick leave for more than three (3) consecutive work days, the supervisor is expected to notify the staff member that the University is provisionally designating the use of that sick leave as Family Medical Leave (running concurrently with sick leave).
Sick leave may be used for doctor/dentist or other health care provider appointments when it is not possible to schedule them during non-working hours. Sick time used for health care provider appointments, which are not medically urgent, must be scheduled in advance and approved by the supervisor.
Medical leave resulting from pregnancy shall entitle staff members to paid leave for up to eight (8) weeks in the case of a normal delivery, and up to ten (10) weeks for a Caesarean Section, or the length of time determined to be medically necessary as certified by the employee's physician. Such paid leave consists of sick leave, Paid Time Off (PTO), and Short-Term Disability (STD), in that order. Staff members taking additional leave under Policy 631 (Family and Medical Leave), will be allowed to substitute available PTO per that policy.
Sick leave is provided for the reasons stated in this policy and may not be used for other purposes. Sick leave may not be advanced.
Employees using sick leave are prohibited from working either in the workplace or at any other location, including the employee's home, whether for the University or otherwise. The employee may be required to submit a return to work note from the treating or health care provider prior to reporting back to the workplace.
The University reserves the right to require that the staff member submit to examinations by a health care provider of the University's choosing for continuation of payments under this policy.
612.4 POSITION/SALARY CONTINUATION
A staff member who properly uses the provisions of this policy is entitled to return to a similar or equivalent position without reduction in salary or loss of service credit. However, if a staff member has exhausted all available sick leave and PTO, his/her employment may be subject to termination unless he/she qualifies for and receives short-term disability, Family Medical Leave and/or a leave of absence without pay. Note that a leave of absence without pay is subject to the approval of Human Resources or the individual's department if an employee is not eligible for or has exhausted his/her FMLA/STD benefits.
Normally employees returning from medical leave will be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. Failure to return to work once all paid leave and unpaid FML have been exhausted may result in termination of employment. However, at times, departments, schools and/or centers may restructure due to changing business and operational needs and the need to continually enhance programs and services. These restructuring initiatives may result in position discontinuations, even positions held by employees out on FML or other types of leaves. If a staff member on FML has his/her position discontinued, he/she will be given at least 30 days written notice of the position discontinuation and will be informed of any applicable benefits that he/she may be eligible to receive under the Position Discontinuation and Staff Transition Program.
In case of illness or injury which is expected to continue beyond the sick leave accrual, the Short-Term Disability and/or FMLA policies may be applicable.
612.5 SICK LEAVE FOR STAFF MEMBERS HIRED PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1984
Regular full- and part-time support and professional/administrative staff through grade PA8 (hired before August 1, 1984) entered the sick leave program with all sick leave that they had accumulated under the old policy:
- Weekly paid staff members entered with their current unused accumulation plus a prorated amount from their anniversary date to the conversion date, up to a maximum of fifty-four (54) days.
- Monthly-paid staff members entered with ninety (90) working days of sick leave credit.
612.6 UNIONIZED STAFF MEMBERS
University staff members who are covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to the appropriate contract article. Any contract articles incorporating or referring to previous editions of this policy shall be superseded by the current policy.
*For staff using Flexible Work Options, Paid Time Off usage will be governed by the Flexible Work Options Guidelines.
Letter #1 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has been out sick for more than 3 consecutive days and has not notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event.
Letter #2 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event for his/her own serious medical condition.
Letter #3 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.
Letter #4 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event for birth/placement of a child for adoption.
Family Medical Leave Forms
Including the Physician's Certification Form and the Short-Term Disability & Family Medical Leave Request Form
The benefits and policies for University of Pennsylvania employees who work in locations outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be different from the benefits and policies set forth in this website. Employees working outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should contact their Human Resources representatives for more information.
Policy Number: 612
Effective Date: 05/13/2015
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 612 (Sick Leave 11/01/1998, 01/12/1999, 12/11/2001, 4/1/2009)
Applicability: Regular Staff at or Below Grade 28
Cross-reference: Policy 404
(Short-Term Disability), Policy 405
(Long-Term Disability), Policy 603
(Attendance), Policy 607
(Paid Time Off), Policy 616
(Leave of Absence Without Pay), Policy 629
(Termination), Policy 631
(Family Medical Leave Act)