Human Resources

Sick Leave

Section: Human Resources Policies
Policy Name: Sick Leave
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: Office of Human Resources
Origination Date: August 1998
Revisions: October 2013; June 2016; February 13, 2018; July 1, 2019; December 31, 2022; February 2024
Legacy Policy Number: 4-31
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses the accrual and use of paid sick leave and applies to all eligible employees.
    1. Eligible employees: Benefited employees, except those in positions covered by collective bargaining agreements between the University and the following representatives: AFSCME, Local 439; AFSCME, Local 3472; AAUP, University of Delaware Chapter.
    2. Illness or injury: (1) an illness or injury suffered by an eligible employee that renders them unable to work, or (2) an illness or injury of an immediate family member that requires the eligible employee to take time off to care for the family member.
    3. Immediate family member: an eligible employee’s spouse (as defined by law), parent or child.
    4. Vacation Overage: Excess vacation hours converted to sick leave at the end of the calendar year.
  3. POLICY STATEMENTThis policy addresses the accrual of sick leave for periods of absence related to covered illnesses or injuries sustained by an eligible employee or their immediate family member.
    1. Accrual: Eligible employees shall accrue sick leave at a rate of 1.5 days per month up to a maximum of 18 days per year. Sick leave accrual is credited for any month in which an eligible employee is on paid status on the last day of the month.  There is no maximum accrual limit for sick leave.
    2. Documentation: Individual departments are responsible for monitoring leave records to prevent the abuse of sick leave. If an eligible employee takes more than three (3) consecutive days of sick leave, the employee may be required to provide a physician’s certificate and the supervisor must inform the Office of Human Resources to initiate FMLA notification.  If a supervisor identifies a pattern of sick leave use or excessive absenteeism, a physician’s certificate may be required for absences of less than three (3) days.  If a physician’s certificate is required and not provided, the sick leave will be tracked as vacation time or will be unpaid.  Sick leave abuse, including, but not limited to, patterns of sick leave use or excessive absenteeism, may result in disciplinary action.  The determination of whether sick leave use is abusive or excessive is at the discretion of the University based on the circumstances and needs of individual departments.  Eligible employees and their respective departments are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate leave request forms are submitted in University’s Time & Attendance system in order to maintain accurate leave records.  Such leave time may be designated as and count toward the maximum leave periods allowed by the Family Medical Leave Act Policy and/or the Parental Leave Policy, as applicable.
    3. Sick Leave for Immediate Family Member’s Injury or Illness (Dependent Sick Leave): Up to six (6) days of earned sick leave may be used in any calendar year to provide direct care for an immediate family member unable to provide for themselves due to illness or injury. Once the dependent sick leave is exhausted, employees must then use their vacation leave to remain in paid status.  Such leave time may be designated as and count toward the maximum leave periods allowed by the Family Medical Leave Act Policy and/or the Parental Leave Policy.
    4. Notice: Eligible employees must follow their department’s established call-in procedures and are responsible for notifying their supervisor promptly of any absence due to illness or injury.
    5. Routine Appointments: Time off for routine appointments with a physician, hospital or other medical professional service for the eligible employee must be charged to sick leave if the eligible employee does not make up the time.
    6. Workers’ Compensation: If an illness or injury is occupationally incurred, the eligible employee must notify their supervisor immediately. In the event of lost time as a result of an occupational injury or illness, the eligible employee is required to use their accrued sick leave followed by their accrued vacation leave in accordance with the worker’s compensation policy.  The eligible employee’s supervisor must submit the “First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease” form to the Office of Human Resources within 24 hours.
    7. Vacation Overage: At the end of each calendar year, excess vacation time will be converted to sick leave and added to the sick leave accrual balance.
    8. Special Circumstances: In situations when an eligible employee’s absences exceed their available sick and vacation leave balances, the Department Chair or Director may recommend the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer approve an additional period of sick leave. These exceptions are rare and reserved for extenuating circumstances.  Request for Additional Period of Sick Leave form.