Sick Leave Bank Policy

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EFFECTIVE DATE:  July 1, 2018
REVISED FROM: December 6, 2013


The purpose of the Sick Leave Bank is to provide a means of obtaining additional sick leave days to avoid loss of compensation due to a catastrophic illness or injury of the employee sick leave bank member that requires intermittent or continuous absence from work.  Catastrophic injury or illness is defined as a life-threatening condition or combination of conditions affecting the mental or physical health of the employee, and includes, but is not limited to, the following: lengthy hospitalizations, necessary surgery requiring a lengthy recovery, an ongoing treatment regimen requiring frequent time off work, or complicated pregnancy requiring bed rest or hospitalization.  The catastrophic illness or injury must require the services of a health provider. This benefit is available to eligible, voluntarily participating faculty and staff who have legitimately exhausted all of their accumulated sick and vacation leave.

  1. Responsibility
    The Office of Human Resources shall be responsible for managing and administering the University Sick Leave Bank to include the procedural establishment, solicitation of contributions from faculty and staff, processing of applications and records management.

  2. Membership

    1. All regular full-time and regular part-time Murray State University employees who have a sick leave balance of six or more days at the time of the initial contribution shall be eligible to participate in the Sick Leave Bank.

    2. Newly hired employees shall be eligible to participate in the Bank the month following the accumulation of six sick leave days.

    3. Upon joining, an eligible employee must immediately contribute 1-3 days of accumulated sick leave.

    4. Once employees elect to participate in the Sick Leave Bank, membership is established for the duration of their employment by Murray State University, unless they submit a statement to discontinue membership or decline to make the required annual contribution to the Sick Leave Bank.

    5. A participant granted leave of absence shall retain his/her status upon returning to regular duties.

  3. The general operating procedures are as follows:

    1. Enrolled employees will be automatically re-enrolled each year and may be required to contribute 1-3 days from their sick leave accumulation to the Bank depending upon the annual cumulative usage from the Bank. Employees continue as members until they submit a statement to discontinue membership or decline to make a required annual contribution, or employment ends.

    2. The Sick Leave Bank may be opened for re-enrollment of participating members in any month following a decline to a balance of less than one day per member.

    3. Non-participating employees shall be provided an opportunity to enroll in each succeeding annual benefits open enrollment period and may be required to contribute 1-3 days from their sick leave accumulation to the Bank depending upon the annual cumulative usage from the Bank.

    4. Participation is restricted to eligible employees who have contributed to the Bank.

    5. Sick Leave Bank usage is not available to an employee's family member.

    6. Sick Leave Bank usage is not available to employees who:

      1. Are currently receiving University sick or vacation leave payments.

      2. Are currently receiving long-term disability payments.

      3. Are currently receiving University retirement system payments.

      4. Are currently receiving Social Security disability payments.

      5. Are currently receiving workers’ compensation disability payments.

    7. For purposes of this policy, one day is considered as 7.5 hours per day or 8.0 hours per day, depending on the common work day length in the employee's current department.  Employees who work more or less than 7.5 or 8.0 hours per day will have sick leave bank days granted in a manner that is proportional to other employees who work 7.5 or 8.0 hours per day.  For example, this policy will consider employees who work four 10.0-hour days each week as employees who work five 8.0-hour days each week.

  4. Contributions

    1. Each employee who is a member shall contribute 1-3 days of his/her annual sick days to the Bank each year. This annual contribution may be waived, as determined by the Director of Human Resources. The requirement for contributions is based on annual cumulative days used from the Bank. A sick day contributed to the Bank will be deducted from the sick leave days available to the contributing employee.

    2. The day, once contributed to the Bank, becomes the property of the Bank and may not be reclaimed by the employee except as specified in this policy. Only employees who are active members of the Sick Leave Bank in any given year shall be eligible to draw on the Bank.

  5. The criteria for Sick Leave Bank usage shall be as follows:

    1. Catastrophic accident by the employee requiring absences from work.

    2. Catastrophic illness of the employee.

    3. Extended hospitalization of the employee.

    4. Legitimacy of previously used employee earned sick leave may be considered.

  6. Application and Withdrawal

    1. An employee may submit an application to withdraw Sick Leave Bank days only after exhausting all accumulated paid leave days. These days would include all earned vacation days and sick days. The employee could then withdraw Sick Leave Bank days only after: (1) application approval as outlined in the application and approval process, and (2) after missing 75* consecutively scheduled work hours (the 75* hours will run concurrently with any paid leave days). *Employees regularly scheduled to work 8.0 or more hours per day must miss 80 consecutively scheduled work hours.

    2. Each grant of sick leave days shall be limited to a maximum of 30 consecutively scheduled working days (equivalent to 225 hours for employees regularly scheduled to work 7.5 hours per day, or equivalent to 240 hours for employees regularly scheduled to work 8.0 hours or more each day) for each illness or injury. The total sick leave granted from the Sick Leave Bank to any one member shall not exceed 30 days for any one illness, recurring illness, or injury.

    3. Employees who have already exhausted all of their accumulated sick leave in accordance with criteria for Sick Leave Bank usage will be exempt for the remainder of the current calendar year from the eligibility requirement of contributing sick days to the Bank.

    4. To be considered for Bank leave usage a written request, signed by the employee's department head, must be submitted to the Director of Human Resources. Requests for Sick Leave Bank assistance must be in writing and be accompanied by a written statement from a licensed medical practitioner stating the beginning date of the condition, a description of the catastrophic illness or injury, and date the employee may be able to return to work. Progress reports may be required to continue sick leave payments to the employee.

  7. Sick Leave Bank Application and Approval Process

    1. The employee's application for Sick Leave Bank withdrawal shall be initially reviewed by the appropriate Human Resources personnel. The initial approval or rejection of the employee's application will be the responsibility of the Director of Human Resources.

    2. Should the employee disagree with the initial decision made by Human Resources, the employee may submit an appeal and application to the Director of Human Resources within 10 business days of receiving notice of the denial. Any Sick Leave Bank member may enter into an appeals process by submitting a signed statement to the Appeals Committee. Written guidelines for this process shall be administered by the Appeals Committee.

    3. The Appeals Committee shall submit a recommendation based on its findings to the Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services. This Vice President, in conjunction with all other Murray State University Vice Presidents, shall review the recommendation and make a determination on the appeal. The ruling of the University Vice Presidents shall be final.

  8. Appeals Committee

    1. The Sick Leave Bank Appeals Committee shall be composed of one (1) faculty member, one (1) exempt staff member, and one (1) hourly staff member, appointed by Faculty Senate and Staff Congress.

    2. Appeals Committee members shall initially serve staggered terms of one (1), two (2) and three (3) years. Thereafter, each committee member shall be appointed for a three (3) year term.

    3. Committee members shall not rule on any usage application of their own or that of a relative.

    4. The Appeals Committee shall be responsible for:

      1. Hearing and recommending action upon any Sick Leave Bank appeal.

      2. Recommending revisions to this policy to the University Insurance and Benefits Committee for review.

  9. Discontinuation
    In the event that the Board of Regents discontinues the Bank, all employees who are members of the Bank at the time of discontinuation shall remain members without additional contributions until all days in the Bank are exhausted or the remaining pool of days is pro-rated back to the contributing employees.

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