5.37 Shared Sick Leave
The College will maintain a Shared Sick Leave program for employees who are unable to work due to the employee’s own serious illness, injury or impairment.
The College will maintain a Shared Sick Leave program for employees who are unable to work due to the employee’s own serious illness, injury or impairment which requires continuing treatment/supervision by a health care provider and which is likely to cause the employee to take a prolonged leave without pay or likely to result in a substantial permanent disability leading to termination of employment or retirement with the College. Shared Sick Leave may not be used for absences resulting from providing care for a family member. Following the use of Shared Sick Leave, an employee must complete a minimum of one (1) year of continuous full-time employment with the College before he/she is eligible to receive Shared Sick Leave again.
Procedures (Revised 8-25-2014):
5.37.1 Eligibility Requirements for Shared Sick Leave
Full-time employees may be eligible for Shared Sick Leave if they meet the following criteria:
a. The employee must have been employed full-time by the College for at least twelve (12) months immediately preceding the first day leave from the Shared Sick Leave pool is used.
b. The employee must have been absent from work for at least fifteen (15) continuous working days due to the employee’s own serious illness, injury or impairment.
c. The employee must have exhausted all accrued leave or must provide certification from a licensed medical provider that future absences related to the employee’s serious illness, injury or impairment will extend beyond the employee’s current accrued leave balances for personal, vacation and medical leave.
d. The employee must submit a certification from a licensed medical provider that the employee’s inability to work is due to a serious illness, injury or impairment.
e. If the employee has previously received Shared Sick Leave, the employee must have completed a minimum of one (1) year of continuous full-time employment with the College since the conclusion of the most recent use of Shared Sick Leave.
5.37.2 Approval Process
a. The employee must complete the Shared Sick Leave request form and must include a detailed explanation of the reason for requesting Shared Sick Leave.
b. The employee shall submit the completed Shared Sick Leave request form along with the required documentation to the Human Resources Director.
c. The Human Resources Director and the area Vice President will review requests upon receipt of the request form and the required certification from a licensed medical provider.
d. The Human Resources Director will make a recommendation to the College President.
e. The College President will approve or disapprove the request within ten (10) working days from receipt of the recommendation from Human Resources. The decision of the President is final.
f. The College may approve up to 160 hours of Shared Sick Leave for full-time employees. The approval will include the number of allotted Shared Sick Leave hours, dates for use of the hours and whether recertification will be required.
g. All requests for Shared Sick Leave will be considered confidential.
h. Shared Sick Leave may be retroactive to the start of the unpaid leave if circumstances warrant or if the individual was unable to complete the request form and provide the required certification prior to the use of all accrued leave.
i. Exceptions to this Policy must be approved by the President.
5.37.3 Reconsideration of Shared Sick Leave Request
Requests that are denied may be eligible for reconsideration upon receipt of additional information or change in circumstances that would make the employee eligible for Shared Sick Leave. A written request for review of the eligibility for Shared Sick Leave should be submitted to the Director of Human Resources and the President of the College within ten (10) working days from the date of disapproval notification. The Human Resources Director will make a recommendation to the College President who will make a final determination within ten (10) working days of receipt of the written request.
5.37.4 Benefits While on Shared Sick leave
a. An eligible full-time employee may be granted up to 160 hours of Shared Sick Leave over a two (2) month period.
b. The College will continue paid medical, dental, life, and disability insurance for the duration of the use of Shared Sick Leave.
c. The employee can accrue sick leave and will earn personal days according to College guidelines. The employee will not be eligible to accrue vacation leave until the first of the month following return to work full-time.
d. Educational Assistance may be used by qualified dependents, but may not be used by the employee who is on full-time or intermittent Shared Sick Leave.
e. The employee will not be eligible for supplemental employment within the College and will not be approved for supplemental employment outside of the College during the period he/she is receiving Shared Sick Leave.
f. Utilization from the Shared Sick Leave bank ceases when: 1) the employee is released to return to work, 2) the employee has been absent 90 continuous working days and is eligible to apply for Long-Term Disability benefits, 3) the employee begins receiving retirement benefits, or 4) the approved number of hours has been used.
g. An employee who uses Shared Sick Leave days from the Shared Sick Leave bank is not required to pay back the hours.
h. Leave covered by this Policy shall not constitute a break in service and an individual shall have all rights and privileges as defined in the Policies of the Board of Trustees unless otherwise specified.
5.37.5 Return to Work
Prior to returning to work, an employee who has been absent due to his/her own serious injury, illness or impairment must provide to Human Resources a return to work release from a licensed medical provider. If the return to work release contains any restrictions, Human Resources will work with the employee and the supervisor to determine if the College can accommodate the state restrictions. The College will consider any employee who fails to return to work after receiving the release from the licensed medical provider to be absent from his/her job without authorization. The College considers three (3) days of unauthorized absences to be a voluntary resignation.
5.37.6 Donations to Shared Sick Leave Bank
An employee may donate up to 40 hours from his/her accrued sick leave in a fiscal year to the Shared Sick Leave bank as long as his/her accrued sick leave does not fall below 240 hours. Once a donation has been made to the Shared Sick Leave bank, it cannot be restored to the individual. Donations may be made during the months of September and May of each year. The Shared Sick Leave bank cannot exceed a maximum of 2,000 days, and donations will be accepted only when the days accumulated in the bank drop below 2,000 days.
5.37.7 Option for Employees Ineligible for Shared Sick Leave
Employees who do not qualify for Shared Sick Leave, who have exhausted their accumulated paid leave, and/or who have exhausted Family and Medical Leave may consult Human Resources to determine eligibility to apply for an unpaid leave, reduced work schedule, retirement and/or long-term disability.
5.37.8 Exhaustion of the Shared Sick Leave Bank
Days in the Shared Sick Leave bank will be distributed until exhausted or as determined by the College President. The program may be amended as required to maintain the integrity and purpose of the Shared Sick Leave bank.
(Approved 4-2-2007; Revised 8-25-2014)