Sick Leave

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Murray State University
EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1,  2022
REVISED FROM: May 12, 1997


Sick leave is provided for income protection of employees during active employment. Employees shall not be compensated for accrued sick leave balances upon separation of employment.

  1. Eligibility
    Each regular full-time or part-time employee is eligible to accrue sick leave.

  2. Accrual of Sick Leave

    1. Full-time employees shall accrue sick leave with pay at the rate of one normal working day for each month of service or major fraction thereof. Part-time employees will accrue sick leave on a pro-rata basis. Twelve or more working days during a month constitutes a major fraction. Actual calculation of sick leave accruals will be denoted in hours not days.

    2. The maximum sick leave that may be accrued at any time is one hundred eighty (180) days.

    3. Faculty members on academic year contracts will accumulate sick leave for the summer months provided they are employed for the following academic year.

    4. Faculty and staff on 12-month or academic year contracts will accrue sick leave while on an approved leave of absence with pay.

    5. An employee will not accrue additional sick leave during a period of disability until he/she returns to work for a period of one month. After returning to work for one month, sick leave earned during the paid portion of the disability will be added to the employee's record.

  3. Transfer of Accrued Sick Leave

    An employee who is transferred or otherwise changed from one department to another shall retain his/her accumulated sick leave in the new department. NOTE: Employees working under a grant or contract cannot use accrued sick leave. Accrued sick leave will be retained in the employee's records in Human Resources and will be reinstated if the employee transfers to a University position.

  4. Granting/Utilization of Sick Leave

    Utilization of sick leave will be reported in hours rounded to the nearest quarter hour increment as calculated by the Payroll Office.

    1. The administrative head of the department shall approve sick leave for eligible employees, subject to the conditions and/or limitations stated under this policy. An eligible employee:

      1. When unable to perform job duties as a result of illness, accident or injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or other medical conditions.

      2. When relieved from duty to prevent the employee's exposure to, or exposure of, contagious disease or other potential health hazard.

      3. For the temporary care of members of his/her immediate family who are disabled as a result of illness, accident or injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions requiring the presence of the employee. Immediate family shall be the employee's spouse, children or step-children, parents or step-parents, siblings or step-siblings or in-laws.

      4. Adoption of a child.

      5. When the employee's appointment with a physician or dentist cannot reasonably be scheduled during non-work hours. NOTE: Routine medical or dental appointments for immediate family members may not be charged to sick leave. Such leave must be charged to accrued vacation or time off without pay.

      6. If a faculty or staff member exhausts his/her accumulated vacation and sick leave, the University will continue to cover the University's portion of basic life and health insurance benefits for a maximum period of three (3) months if the employee does not qualify for family medical leave.

    2. A faculty member may use accumulated sick leave only during periods of active employment.

    3. An employee is charged with sick leave for absences only on days which they would otherwise work and receive pay. Should a University holiday be observed on one of the employee's regularly scheduled work days while he/she is on sick leave, he/she shall not be charged for sick leave for the holiday.

  5. Requesting Sick Leave

    An employee who is unable to report to work due to personal or family illness must notify his/her supervisor as soon as possible. Such notification shall be no later than the beginning of the work schedule on the first day of absence and on each succeeding day of absence thereafter, unless the length of absence has been established and previously approved. Failure to properly report an absence may result in the denial of requested sick leave or other disciplinary action. It is the employee's responsibility to ensure proper notification.

  6. Evidence of Disability

    1. Either before, during, or after an absence an employee may be required by his/her supervisor or the Director of Human Resources to furnish a statement from an attending physician or other acceptable evidence of inability to work.

    2. The University recognizes the need for absence for pregnancy, childbirth, or related illnesses. An employee may use paid parental leave when eligible in lieu of accrued sick leave. The normal period of absence which can be charged against sick leave is established at six (6) weeks for childbirth. Absences beyond the six (6) week period following childbirth must be supported by a statement from the attending physician indicating that the additional time is a medical necessity.

  7. Extension of Leave

    1. Absence due to personal or family illness, injury, or disability in excess of accrued sick leave must be charged against accrued vacation leave prior to the employee being granted a leave of absence without pay. NOTE: The Director of Human Resources may grant permission for the employee to be placed on a leave of absence without using all of his/her accumulated vacation if recommended by the administrative head of the department. The employee must state in writing that he/she waives the right to any accumulated vacation remaining on record if he/she fails to return to his/her position at

      the end of the approved leave of absence.

    2. An employee who has exhausted all accrued sick and vacation leave may be placed on a leave of absence without pay

      for one year [including the six (6) months family medical leave] from the date that paid sick leave and vacation leave were exhausted if the employee has a minimum of one year of service with the University. An employee who is unable to return to work at the end of the leave without pay may be terminated. Such leave of absence must be approved by the Board of Regents. Tenured faculty refer to current Faculty Handbook.

    3. A leave of absence for disability may be terminated by the University upon receipt of written notification from a physician that the employee is able to return to work. The University must attempt to notify the employee in writing of the pending action.

  8. Reinstatement of Sick Leave for Former Employees

    Employees shall be credited for accrued sick leave not to exceed the allowable maximum when separated by proper resignation, lay off, or retirement. The employee's amount of accrued sick leave shall be listed on the Personnel Action Form effecting the separation. An employee who is re-employed may have his/her unused sick leave balance reinstated upon request by the supervisor and with approval of the administrative head of the department.

  9. Coordination with Workers' Compensation

    An employee who is injured or becomes ill due to a work related accident or illness will be compensated as follows:

    1. An employee will be paid his/her accrued sick and vacation leave on record. When sick and vacation leaves are used, the employee shall return the Workers' Compensation benefits to the University. This is to assure continuation of retirement credit.

    2. Sick and vacation leaves will be charged proportionately to the percentage of pay received from the University.  Example: If Workers' Compensation benefits amount to 60% of the employee's salary, sick leave will be charged at 40% per day. (See Workers' Compensation)

  10. Disability Retirement

    An employee who has applied for disability benefits under Kentucky Teachers' Retirement or Kentucky Employees Retirement will be placed on leave without pay effective at the time all sick leave has been used and be carried on leave until a decision is made on the disability application. Group insurance will remain in effect during his/her leave with the employee paying his/her share of the premium and the University continuing to pay its share of the premium.

    The sick leave policy incorporates, and is inclusive of, any applicable state and/or federal mandated leave requirements.

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