Lake Superior State University
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Section: Employee/Labor Relations Section Number: 4.3.9
Subject: Fringe Benefits: Sick Leave/Funeral Leave Date of Present Issue: 12/05/01
  Date of Previous Issues:
10/82, 12/84, 03/87, 12/88, 02/90, 07/93

POLICY:
  1. Eligibility for Sick Leave

    Sick leave begins to accumulate upon employment for all classifications of employees, except temporary and student employees, but does not become available to the employee for use before (30) days of employment have been completed. Employees are eligible to use sick leave only as it accrues (bi-weekly).

  2. Accrual of Sick Leave

    Sick leave shall accrue to the employee on a bi-weekly basis. Maximum accrual is one thousand, two-hundred (1,200) hours or one hundred fifty (150) working days.

    Regular Full-Time

    1. Employees on 40 hours a week, 12-month appointment: 104 hours or 13 days a year, accrued at a rate of 4.0 hours per pay period.

    2. Employees on academic year appointments: 80 hours or 10 days a year, accrued during the academic year at the rate of 4.0 hours per pay period.

    3. Employees on special appointment, less than 8 hours per day or less than 40 hours per week accrue sick leave hours in proportion to straight time hours worked on each pay period (based on 4.0 hours per pay period).

    Regular Part-Time

    Regular part-time employees shall accrue sick leave in proportion to straight-time hours employed each pay period* (based on 4.0 hours accrual per pay period).

  3. Availability of Sick Leave:

    Sick leave shall be available for use by employees for the following purposes:

    1. Acute personal illness or incapacity over which the employee has no reasonable control which prohibits the performance of the duties of the job.

      *Contract provisions apply for faculty bargaining unit members.

    2. Absence due to pregnancy or child birth for the period of temporary disability, duration to be determined by the attending physician.

    3. Absence from work by reason of quarantine by a public health officer because of exposure to contagious disease.

    4. Medical and dental appointments for extraction or treatment to the extent of time required to complete such appointments. (Request for absence shall give time and location of appointments.)

    5. As accumulated, absences required by the confining illness or injury to members of the employee's (or spouse's) immediate family or household, who shall be limited to the following:
      
      Spouse    					Grandparents
      Children (includes Foster and Stepchildren)	Parents-in-law
      Parents (includes Foster and Stepparents)	Brothers
      Other Direct Dependents				Sisters
      
          

      Sick leave available in case of confining illness or injury to family members is governed by contract provisions for members of Educational Support Staff and Faculty Association bargaining units. For non-union employees, absences due to illness or injury to the immediate family are limited to five (5) days per incident. Additional leave may be granted in special cases subject to the approval of the Human Resources Office, providing the request is made by the employee directly to the Human Resources Office and reasons for the request given. Clearance from Human Resources for special requests must be received prior to approval by the Department Head.

    6. For Funeral Leave:

      1. If a death occurs among the members of an employee's immediate family or household, the employee shall be granted up to five (5) days leave with pay.

        The immediate family is defined as spouse, children, stepchildren, brother, sister, parent, foster parent, or stepparent, grandparent or grandchild, of either the employee or spouse or a person having lived in the employee's household for one calendar year or more before death. Additional leave may be granted in special cases, subject to approval of the University, such additional leave is to be charged to vacation or taken as leave without pay.

      2. If a death occurs among other relatives of an employee, the employee shall be granted up to three (3) days leave with pay chargeable to sick leave, vacation, or leave without pay, if required.

      3. Permission may be granted to a reasonable number of employees in a unit who want to attend the funeral of a fellow employee or former employee with pay for the time of the funeral, provided they return to work after the funeral. Employees who serve as pallbearers at a funeral of a fellow employee or former employee will be paid during the time they must be off the job, subject to appropriate arrangements with supervisors as to work schedules and not to exceed four (4) hours.

  4. Documentation

    An approved Absence Form (LSSU-231A or 231B) must be completed by non-exempt employees for all time off for sick leave. (See Documentation Procedure 4.1.3.) Exempt employees will not be required to complete an absence form, but records will be kept in the department as explained in Procedure 4.1.3, Documentation.

    A physician's statement or sworn affidavit at the employee's expense may be required at the option of the University to sustain a claim of absence because of illness. Employees returning from sick leave of one week or more duration must provide a doctor's written release to return to work.

  5. Compensable Injury

    An employee who suffers injury compensable under the Worker's Compensation Act shall be paid the difference between the employee's regular wages and any payment received under provisions of the Act, to be deducted from accumulated sick leave, pro-rated. If the sick leave is exhausted, the employee may remain on Worker's Compensation until its benefits are exhausted. An employee who remains on Worker's Compensation for a period of six months, will be eligible to apply for long term disability benefits, and will be terminated from payroll and University paid benefits. Donation of sick leave provisions (Paragraph M) may not be utilized to provide full pay for those whose sick leave is exhausted, while receiving worker's compensation.

    An employee who suffers injury which arises out of and in the course of employment at the University resulting in disability of seven (7) days (maximum of 5 working days) or less in duration, whose accumulated sick leave has been exhausted shall not lose time or pay because of such disability. If such disability continues beyond seven (7) days (maximum of 5 working days) excluding the date of injury, and becomes compensable under the Worker's Compensation Act from the date of injury, the employee shall reimburse the employer for pay received for the first seven (7) days (5 working days) of disability which have not been charged against the employee's sick leave.

    Employees suffering illness or injury which arises out of and in the course of employment will make arrangements through the Human Resources Office to be examined and treated at the Health CARE Center (following any emergency treatment required at the hospital). If treatment by a specialist is required, referral will be made by the Health CARE Center physician. The Health CARE Center staff will assist the Administration in evaluating whether accommodation can be made to work restrictions if any are imposed (see Paragraph J, Restricted Activities).

  6. Vacation Credits

    Employees who have exhausted their sick leave credit and are still unable to return to work may, at the employee's request, be paid from any unused vacation credits.

    Employees who are on approved vacation and who suffer personal illness during this vacation, or other circumstances described in Paragraph C above, for which sick leave may be used, may be granted, upon request in writing from the employee, to have the vacation days so involved charged to their sick leave balance, up to the limits so prescribed. The University may require documentation to substantiate such requests.

  7. Sick Leave Credit for Recalls and Rehires

    Employees who are laid off shall have credited to them any unused sick leave previously earned at the time they are recalled. Persons in full-time or regular part-time employment of the University who resign from that employment, but who are or have been subsequently rehired by the University, will receive credit for the unused sick leave they accrued in their previous employment with the University.

    Persons who were compensated for such accumulated sick leave, upon retirement, will not be credited for the accumulation, if they should return to full-time or regular part-time employment at the University. The past-service sick leave accumulation credited to rehired employees shall not exceed forty-five (45) days.

    *Contract provisions apply to members of Educational Support Staff and Faculty Association bargaining units (i.e. Rehires are not credited with past sick leave accumulation).

  8. Non-Accrual

    Employees on leaves of absence without pay, or lay-off, shall not accumulate sick leave during such period.

  9. Pay for Sick Leave

    Pay for sick leave shall be at the employee's hourly rate at the time sick leave is taken times the number of hours of accrued sick leave used (not to exceed 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week) and shall be paid to the employee on regular pay days.

  10. Medical Examination

    At the conclusion of an employee's sick leave, the University, at its option and without cost to the employee, may require that a physician or physicians of its choosing examine the employee to determine the employee's fitness to return to work.

    Restricted work activities

    The University will determine whether work restrictions imposed by an employee's physician prohibit the employee from performing the essential functions of the individual's assigned position. If the restrictions affect the performance of the job duties to such an extent that it would be unreasonable or impossible to accommodate the restrictions and still accomplish the required work, then the employee will be placed on medical leave until work restrictions are removed or modified to the extent allowing return (up to a maximum period of six months' absence).

    Employees placed on medical leave due to work restrictions may use accumulated sick leave and vacation credits until they are exhausted. Donation of sick leave provisions (Section M) may be utilized up to a maximum of sixty days, at which time the employee may qualify for long term disability benefits, if eligible, and will be terminated from University payroll and benefits (subject to union contractual specifications).

  11. Pay in Lieu of Sick Leave

    An employee will receive pay in lieu of paid sick leave time only after completion of one calendar month of employment and then only under the following circumstances and as provided below:

    1. An employee who separates from the University for retirement purposes and who meets the age and service eligibility requirements, in accordance with provisions of the Lake Superior State University retirement program, or who retires due to a total and permanent disability, shall be paid for accumulated unused sick leave up to a maximum of eight hundred (800) hours or one hundred (100) work days. For Faculty members and non-union staff hired after July 1, 1987, and for ESP bargaining unit members hired after December 31, 1989, this provision does not apply (e.g. no future payment of sick leave benefits on retirement).

      Pay in lieu of sick leave time shall be at the employee's hourly rate, at the time retirement occurs, times the number of hours of unused accrued sick leave time up to a maximum of eight hundred (800) hours or one hundred (100) working days. The hourly rate of academic year appointees is determined by dividing the annual salary by 1600 hours, and for 12-month appointees by 2080 hours.

    2. Payment for accumulated unused sick leave up to a maximum of eight hundred (800) hours or one hundred (100) working days will be made to the beneficiary in case of the death of an employee at the employee's hourly rate as determined above. For faculty and non-union staff hired after July 1, 1987, this death benefit provision will not apply. For Educational Support Personnel staff hired after December 31, 1989 this death benefit provision will not apply.

  12. Illness During Term Breaks (applies to nine-month faculty appointees only):

    If a faculty member on a nine-month appointment is on an approved, extended sick leave, due to acute personal illness or disability, the normal days off associated with breaks in the academic calendar, will not be charged to his/her sick leave.

  13. Donation of Sick Leave

    Non-probationary employees may donate their accrued sick leave days to provide a sick employee with additional sick days when he or she has exhausted his or her sick leave (see Attachment 1). This donated accrued sick leave can only be utilized to qualify the employee who has exhausted his or her sick leave for long-term disability benefits. Employees who use donation of sick leave provisions are limited to a maximum of 60 work days for a single illness. The purpose of the donated sick leave is to assist employees who have not accumulated enough sick leave to recover from their long-term illnesses, or to qualify for long-term disability benefits. Terminating employees may NOT donate sick leave which would normally be cancelled on their termination.

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