Lake Superior State University
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Section: Employee/Labor Relations Section Number: 4.1.3
Subject: Absences: Documentation Date of Present Issue: 02/23/94
  Date of Previous Issues:
11/81, 03/83, 08/83, 11/85, 09/87, 10/90, 07/93

NON-EXEMPT POSITIONS (those subject to overtime regulations).


All absences from the normal work station or schedule must be documented on Form LSSU 231A, Application for Approved Absence (Attachment 1). The following procedure applies to the processing of forms.



Employee 1. Submits the appropriate application form for approved absence to the immediate supervisor at least 3 working days prior to expected absence.

2. These forms are required for absences chargeable to:

  1. Sick leave
  2. Funeral leave
  3. Vacation
  4. Short term absence on personal business without pay
  5. Other (e.g. military duty, comp. time)
  6. Long term leaves of absence (i.e. child care, medical leave)
  7. Jury duty - employees called for jury or witness duty will receive full pay. Any fees received from the court must be deposited at the Cashiers' window to offset wages.

3. If absence is due to some cause that makes advance approval impossible, such as illness, the Application for Approved Absence must be completed during the first working day after returning.

4. If absence cannot be documented prior to departure, a telephone call must be made to the immediate supervisor, giving the reason for absence.


Immediate Supervisor 5. Indicates written consent or denial on application form and forwards application to the department head.
Department Head 6. Department heads (i.e. account executives) are the final approval authorities for all short term absences (less than 30 days) for personnel reporting to them: vacation, sick leave, funeral leave, and short term leave without pay and travel on University business that is to be charged to their departmental budgets.

Department heads should use Procedure 4.3.9. and/or union contracts to determine correct usage of sick leave, or consult the Employee Relations Office if questions arise.

If no further approval is required, skip to Step 9.

Cabinet Member/Vice President 7. All extended leaves of 30 days or more require the approval of the appropriate cabinet member/vice president: child care and maternity leave, family and medical leave, VERT schedules, military and peace corps service leaves, and administrative/sabbatical leaves, which might affect staffing in their area of responsibility. (Also for MFLA leaves under Procedure 4.1.5.)
Director of Employee Relations 8.
  1. All leave forms for work-related injuries (Worker's Compensation), and requests for additional sick or funeral leave days (as provided for in the ESP contract and Procedure 4.3.9) requires the approval of the Director of Employee Relations.
  2. Donation of sick leave forms will be approved by the appropriate cabinet member and the Director of Employee Relations.
  3. Physician's release to return to work after 1 week or more of illness, or restrictions on work activities, must be reviewed and approved, by the Director of Employee Relations before an individual returns to work (see Procedure 4.3.9-J).
  4. Application to return from extended leaves will follow the procedure outlined in Section 4.1.2-K and 4.1.5.
Approving Authority 9. Approves or disapproves absence, signs and distributes copies of forms in the following order:

Form 231A and 231B
  1. Original to Employee Relations Office.
  2. Yellow copy to Department Head.
  3. Pink copy to the employee (in advance of requested departure time, if appropriate).


Department Secretary 10. Makes appropriate entries concerning absence on departmental payroll worksheet and retains yellow copy for file. Retention period for absence forms is 2 years.

11. Enters worked time records from worksheet or time cards onto timesheets in ink each pay period, making sure all absences from scheduled work are documented with approved absence forms.

Department Head 12. Checks absences, signs timesheets and initials all changes.
Payroll Department 13. Checks to insure proper signatures and initials of changes are on the timesheets. If signature or initials are not present, obtains proper approvals.

14. Issues timesheet summary each pay period to departments after checks are printed.

Department Secretary 15. Audits timesheet summary to verify that all absences are documented and correctly reported. Makes any required corrections on subsequent pay period timesheets or completes a Vacation and Sick Leave Accrual Change Sheet (LSSU 128-285, Attachment 2). Obtains Department Head's written approval for any changes.

16. Keeps audited timesheet summary and worksheet or time cards on file for two years.

EXEMPT POSITIONS (those not subject to overtime regulations).


  1. Employee notifies department head in writing including reason and length of absence required. (Faculty will follow Section 15 of their contract regarding absences.)

  2. If department head approves, obtains approval of the vice president and notifies vice president of need for replacement coverage, if applicable.

  3. If vice president approves, expenditure for replacement, if needed, will be requested on Position Approval/Replacement form per Procedure 4.8.3.

Recording and auditing of exempt employees absences will follow the method used for non-exempt employees, except that approved absence forms are not required. (See 10 through 16 above.)

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