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Sick Leave for SHRA Employees

Eligibility

A permanent SHRA employee with (including probationary, trainee, or time-limited appointments) regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more each work week is eligible for sick leave under the guidelines of this policy.

For the purposes of using sick leave, “immediate family” will refer to the following relations:

  • Self (employee)
  • Spouse (husband or wife)
  • Parent (biological, adoptive, or person who stood-in as “parent”)
  • Child (biological, adopted, legal ward, foster care, or person for whom employee stands-in as “parent”)
  • Sister or Brother (biological or adoptive)
  • Grandparents
  • Great-Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Great-Grandchildren
  • Step-, Half-, and In-law relations of the above
  • Other dependents living in the household

Uses

Sick leave may be used by an employee:

  • for recovery from personal illness, injury, or disability that prevents the performance of usual duties;
  • for illness or injury of a member of an employee’s immediate family or other dependents living in the household;
  • for the temporary disability associated with childbirth;
  • for the adoption of a child (limited to a maximum of 240 hours (30 days) for each parent);
  • for medical or dental appointments for the employee or members of the immediate family;
  • for donations to a member of the immediate family who is approved to receive Voluntary Shared Leave; or
  • for death of a member of an employee’s immediate family or of other dependents who lived in the employee’s household.

In the absence of adequate sick leave to cover a period of absence due to illness, injury or death in the immediate family, management may require an employee to use available vacation leave or other available paid leave as provided by policy. (See “Determining Time Worked” in the Related Subjects below for more information.)

Exception for On-The-Job Injury: When an employee is injured on the job as a result of a compensable accident and loses time from work due to the injury, the employee is not charged leave for time lost from work on the day of the injury. An employee injured on the job in a compensable accident who has returned to work, but continues to require medical or therapy visits to reach maximum medical improvement, is not charged leave for time lost from work for required medical or therapy treatment. (See “Workers’ Compensation Policy”.)

Leave Earnings

Accrual Rate: Eligible employees who are in pay status for one-half or more of the regularly scheduled work days and paid holidays in a month earns sick leave for that month. A full-time employee earns sick leave at the rate of eight hours per month. Part-time employees (regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more each work week) earn leave on a pro-rated basis according to the number of scheduled work hours each week.

Exceptions: The time in pay status created by employee receiving terminal leave pay cannot result in additional earned sick leave. Employees who are on leave without pay due to workers’ compensation will continue to earn sick leave.

Leave Retention: Sick leave is accumulated indefinitely without maximum so long as the employee is a permanent SHRA employee. In addition, if an employee’s employment status is maintained through December 31 of a year, all vacation leave in excess of 240 hours must be converted to sick leave, effective January 1.

  • Employees do not forfeit unused sick leave, except upon separation.
  • If an employee retires, accumulated sick leave is credited toward years of service in the retirement formula.
  • Sick leave is restored to an employee’s leave record when the employee returns from an approved period of leave without pay.
  • Sick leave is restored to an employee’s leave record when the employee is reinstated to State service within five years of any type of separation. Sick leave also will be reinstated when an employee returns to State service within five years after separating from SHRA employment with a local government, public school, community college, or technical institute.

Leave Charges

The purpose of paid leave is to maintain an employee’s income, not to enhance it. Planned leave charges must be reduced by the amount of any additional work performed outside the employee’s normal schedule during the same work week. Leave shall be charged according to the actual amount of time taken, as provided in ConnectCarolina.

Note: If an SHRA non-exempt employee is scheduled for a period of leave (voluntary shared leave, Family & Medical Leave, leave without pay, etc.), and will not be able to use (or chooses not to use, if eligible) earned compensatory time off or other accrued paid time off due to expire during the absence, then all such paid time off must be paid out as its expiration date occurs. (Note that the employee cannot use other available leave if s/he has any available PTO. See “Determining Time Worked” in the Related Subjects section below for details on prioritized application of leave and PTO.)

The employee must give the supervisor reasonable advance notice of the need to use sick leave. In the event of an emergency or other unplanned absence, the employee must notify the supervisor as close to the beginning of the work schedule as possible. To avoid misuse of sick leave privileges, management may require a statement from a medical doctor or other acceptable evidence that the employee was/is unable to work due to personal illness or injury, family illness or injury, or death in the family.

Advancement of Leave: At the discretion of management, the supervisor may advance sick leave to an employee based on individual circumstances and organizational requirements. The maximum advancement is the amount that the employee could earn for the remainder of the current calendar year. An employee must be in pay status for leave to be advanced.

Negative Balances: A negative sick leave balance cannot be carried over from one calendar year to the next. Management either will direct the employee to use available paid leave or paid time off to offset a negative sick leave balance, or have the overdrawn amount deducted from the employee’s last paycheck of the calendar year or as soon as possible after. A negative sick leave balance at the time of separation is deducted from an employee’s final paycheck.

Recordkeeping

The operating department maintains and retains individual leave records for current employees. For terminated or transferred employees, the operating department shall retain the leave records for 5 years after the date of separation or transfer from department.

Upon separation from the University, an employee’s final leave balance is retained in his/her personnel file by the HR Records & Data Management Department, Office of Human Resources.

The department must balance each employee’s sick leave record at the end of each calendar year (December 31), and whenever the employee:

  • transfers to another UNC-Chapel Hill department;
  • transfers to another State agency;
  • terminates employment with the State;
  • is separated by reduction in force (layoff);
  • schedules family and medical leave;
  • participates in voluntary shared leave;
  • goes on long-term military leave;
  • enters leave without pay status;
  • is covered by Workers’ Compensation;
  • is covered by the Disability Income Plan (DIP);
  • retires; or
  • dies.

Sick leave must be transferred when an employee transfers to another University department or to another State agency. If the employee’s new agency is willing to accept some or all of the leave, it may be transferred to a:

  • public school system,
  • community college, or
  • local Department of Human Resources agency.

Each department is responsible recording employee leave balances through the Time Information Management (TIM) System.

For Departments Using the Time Information Management (TIM) System:

Implementation of the Time Information System (TIM) to track work hours, special pay, and leave for University employees began its phased implementation in August 2007. See “TIM Website” in the Related Subjects section below for information on recording and tracking Sick Leave.

Leave should be input in a timely basis and accounted for on a daily basis.

Employee groups not yet moved into the TIM system follow the recordkeeping structure defined below.

For Departments Using Employee Time Records:

For permanent SHRA non-exempt employees who complete an Employee Time Record: All sick leave hours are recorded under the coded leave column with a code “S”. Additional information regarding the absences may be provided in the “Explanations” section of the Time Record.

For permanent SHRA exempt employees, accrual and use of sick leave shall be recorded and tracked by the school/division’s HR Office or the department’s TIM Administrator.

Questions

If you have questions regarding the appropriate application of this policy, contact your school/division’s HR Office or the Benefits Consultant in the Office of Human Resources who is assigned to work with your department.

If you have questions about your current sick leave balance, contact your school/division’s HR Office or your department’s TIM Administrator.

Related subjects

Sick Leave Earnings Chart (SHRA)

Leave PTO Payouts & Transfers

Determining Time Worked

Time Information Management (TIM) Project Web Site