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; Sick Leave Policy effective December 31, 2022
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 him/her unable to work, or (2) an illness or injury of an immediate family member that requires the eligible employee to miss work to care for said family member.
    3. Immediate family member: an eligible employee’s spouse (as defined by law), parent or child.
  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 his/her immediate family member.
    1. Accrual: Eligible employees shall accrue sick leave at a rate of 1.5 days (11.25 hours) per month up to a maximum of 18 days (135 hours) per year, based on a 37.5-hour workweek.  Sick leave accruals for any month are credited if an eligible employee is on paid status for at least one-half of the normally scheduled workdays for that month.  Eligible employees can accrue a maximum of 120 days (900 hours) of 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.  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 UDTime 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: Up to six (6) days of earned sick leave can be used in any twelve-month period to provide direct care for an immediate family member unable to provide for himself or herself 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 is 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 his/her supervisor immediately.  Lost time for an occupational injury or illness is charged to sick leave.  The eligible employee’s supervisor must submit the “First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease” form to the Office of Employee & Labor Relations within 24 hours.
    7. Special Circumstances: In those cases where an eligible employee’s absences exceed earned sick and vacation leave, the Department Chair or Director may recommend to the Vice President of Human Resources an additional period of sick leave.
    8. Incentive: An eligible employee who does not use any sick leave for 12 consecutive months will be credited with one additional day of vacation at the end of the calendar year.