Policy
Purpose: 

To describe the eligibility for and circumstances under which paid sick leave may be requested and granted.

Applies to: 

 Faculty and staff appointed to regular positions.

Campus: 
Edwards
Lawrence
Juniper Gardens
Parsons
Yoder
Topeka
Policy Statement: 

Faculty and staff appointed to regular positions are eligible for paid sick leave that is granted for the necessary absence from duty because of personal, preventative care appointments related to health and wellness, pregnancy, adoption, childbirth and recovery, disability or legal quarantine of the employee; or the personal illness, health care or disability of a member of the employee's family, when the illness or disability reasonably requires the employee to be absent from work.

Sick leave cannot be granted until after it is accrued.

If an employee or family member becomes ill while on vacation such that they are deprived of a significant portion of their vacation, sick leave may be substituted for vacation leave during the period of illness with departmental authorization.

Any departmental policies regarding sick leave must conform to University policy and be approved by the Director (or designee) of Human Resource Management (HRM).

Accruals/Balances

Faculty and staff appointed to temporary positions, including student employees, are not eligible for sick leave. The sick leave accrual rates for non-exempt employees are determined on the basis of hours in pay status in each pay period. Employees accrue sick leave only during the time periods when they are in pay status. Exempt employees will accrue sick leave if they are in pay status for any portion of the pay period. Part-time employees accrue sick leave on a prorated basis. Sick leave is accumulated on an unlimited basis.

Requests/Authorization

Employees requesting sick leave must notify their supervisor as soon as possible. A department head or supervisor may require that an employee requesting paid sick leave submit medical documentation from a health care provider (particularly when there is reason to believe that the use of sick leave has been abused). During periods of public health emergencies, documentation requirements may be subject to change and will be communicated by Human Resource Management.     

Employees who have been absent three (3) or more consecutive workdays due to their own or family member’s illness may be required to produce medical documentation before being authorized to return to work. The employee shall pay the costs of such documentation. HRM may designate a leave of three (3) consecutive days or more as FMLA qualifying if appropriate.

Employees who do not have sick leave balances available to support the needed absence should speak with their supervisor and HRM for other available options (e.g., Vacation Leave, Shared Leave, Leave Without Pay). In order to support a healthier campus environment, employees should not report to the worksite if they are ill, experiencing severe cold and/or flu like symptooms; or believe that they, or a household member, has reason to believe that they have been exposed to a highly infectious virus or disease.

Sick Leave Balances Upon Termination/Reemployment and Retirement

Unused sick leave is forfeited when employment from the State of Kansas is terminated for those who are not retirement eligible. The sick leave balance remaining at time of termination will be reinstated for persons re-employed by the University or the State of Kansas within one year of termination.

Sick leave payout amounts upon termination for faculty and staff who are retirement eligible are listed on the Sick Leave Overview.

Persons who are retirement eligible at the time of termination and who elect to have their sick leave accruals paid out are not eligible for reinstatement of sick leave upon rehire.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Eligible faculty and staff may request Parental Leave for the birth or adoption of a child which must be taken within 12 weeks immediately following the qualifying event.

The Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)  provides specific leave under the Employee Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) due to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020.

​Faculty and staff appointed to temporary positions, including student employees, are not eligible for sick leave. Unpaid time off should be granted for employees ineligible for sick leave based upon the same criteria used for employees who accrue leave. Documentation of absence may be requested if there is a history of attendance issues or the absence exceeds three or more days (if appropriate).

Extra time worked cannot be substituted for time which should be reported as sick leave usage.

If a faculty or staff member has exhausted all forms of paid leave because of a continuing medical condition, the faculty or staff member may qualify for Shared Leave.

For faculty on tenure-track, FMLA qualifying leave may affect the tenure clock in some circumstances. Further information is available at Interruption of the Probationary Period (Tenure Clock).

Faculty and academic staff may have situations that qualify them for Modified Instructional Duties.

An exception to the sick leave accrual requirement exists for highly contagious medical conditions. Further information is available at the Leave Advancement Policy.

Consequences: 

Excessive use of sick leave that affects productivity or abuse of sick leave usage may result in restrictions on leave usage and/or disciplinary action. Chronic absenteeism procedures may be applied to staff who have excessive use of sick leave that is not FMLA qualifying.

Contact: 

Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
785-864-4946
hrdept@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Board of Regents, Office of the Provost, Department of Human Resource Management
Approved on: 
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Effective on: 
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

"Employee's family" shall include persons related to the employee by blood, marriage, or adoption, and minors residing in the employee's household. (Kansas Board of Regents Policy, II, F.13.d(2)).

Quarantine: The restriction of movement for individuals which have been exposed, or have had potential exposure, or diagnosed with a communicable disease to prevent exposure of others.

Keywords: 
Sick, sick leave, family illness, family sick, accrual, leave accrual, quarantine, disease, public health emergency, illness
Change History: 

06/10/2020: Policy formating cleanup (e.g. typos, spacing)
05/29/2020: Updated to clarify eligibility. 
​03/13/2020: Revised through an expedited process in order to provide guidance given concerns related to COVID-19.
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
04/28/2016: Updated Review Date
09/03/2015: Updated Review Date
08/13/2015: 

  • Updated Human Resources/HR to Human Resource Management/HRM
  • Added Purpose
  • Updated “Applies to” to reflect regular positions and campuses
  • Expanded on policy statement
  • Added exclusions and special circumstances
  • Added Consequences
  • Added Voluntary Leave without pay to related procedures
  • Added definition of “employee’s family”

01/21/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
05/30/2013: Updated HR web links to sick leave charts and USS handbook; removed “Equal Opportunity” from department name in Contacts section.

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Leaves & Holidays
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Leaves & Holidays

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
New Policies in the last 30 days
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times