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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines

HUMAN RESOURCES

Policy UL-HR01 LIBRARIES' FACULTY SICK AND MEDICAL LEAVE

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Introduction 
  • Criteria 
  • Short-Term Absences
  • Long-Term Absences
  • Charging Vacation in Lieu of Sick Leave
  • Sick Family Leave
  • Absence From Work for Pregnancy or Childbirth
  • Notification and Documentation Requirements
  • Faculty Who Began Employment in the University Libraries Prior to November 4, 2002
  • Additional Resources

PURPOSE:

To state the University Libraries’ position on absences for medical reasons for Libraries’ faculty on Standing (to include Fixed Term Multi-Year appointments) and Fixed Term I and II appointments.

INTRODUCTION:

Faculty in the University Libraries do not have work schedules strictly tied to the academic calendar, and therefore, are treated similar to staff in that they accrue vacation. Faculty are different than staff in that they do not maintain a sick leave balance, and paid sick leave requires prior approval in certain situations, as outlined in this policy.

Medical leave for Libraries’ faculty on Standing (to include Fixed Term Multi-Year appointments) and Fixed Term I and II appointments is at the discretion of the Dean, and subject to the terms of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 as well as University guidelines found in Human Resources Guidelines 11 (HRG11), “Family and Medical Leave.”

CRITERIA:

Absence is chargeable as sick leave under the following circumstances:

  • when the faculty member is unable to perform his or her duties due to illness or injury
  • when routine appointments with a physician, dentist, optometrist, etc., last a half day or more, provided it is not possible to schedule the appointment on the faculty member’s own time
  • when tests or other medical procedures require an absence from work for more than half of a day

SHORT-TERM ABSENCES:

Short-term absences are defined as absences that meet the criteria above and last at least half of a day but do not exceed nine (9) consecutive working days. Short-term absences do not require prior approval to be paid. Absences of ten (10) or more consecutive working days are considered to be long-term absences (see Long-Term Absences' section below) and require prior approval to be paid.

Although faculty members do not maintain a sick leave balance, they are expected to record absences that meet the criteria above and that last a half day or more on their attendance record.

LONG-TERM ABSENCES:

Long-term absences are defined as absences from work that meet the criteria above and last ten (10) or more consecutive working days. Paid sick leave for long-term absences is at the discretion of the Dean and requires prior approval. Requests for medical leaves for a long-term absence due to physical or mental illness, with or without compensation, must include consultation with Libraries Human Resources, permission of the Dean, and verification from a physician or other health professional. The duration of a leave is typically determined in accordance with the guidelines below:

Long-Term Absences

Length of Continuous Regular University Service at Beginning of Absence

Length of Paid Leave*

Maximum Length of Total Leave Granted (Paid + Unpaid)

Less than 1 year Up to 1 month Up to 3 months
More than 1 year, but less than 2 years Up to 3 months Up to 6 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 2, but less than 5 years Up to 6 months Up to 9 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 5, but less than 10 years Up to 9 months Up to 12 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 10 years Up to 12 months Up to 15 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 15 years Up to 12 months Up to 18 months, but not less than 3 months

*The above limits can be changed, at the discretion of the Dean, for extenuating circumstances, such as those that may have a negative impact on the retention of the faculty member and/or the operations of the department or University Libraries.

If, at the end of the approved paid portion of the leave of absence the faculty member is still unable to work, or the total amount of leave requested and approved extends beyond the applicable paid leave limit, then additional absences, at the option of the faculty member, shall be charged to accumulated vacation. If the faculty member expends all accumulated vacation, or elects not to charge the absence to accumulated vacation or request vacation donation (eligibility determined by Libraries Human Resources), the faculty member shall be granted a leave of absence without pay normally not to exceed the maximum length of total leave granted limits listed above.

CHARGING VACATION IN LIEU OF SICK LEAVE:

If a faculty member is charging sick leave and the faculty member’s vacation accumulation reaches the maximum, the employee can charge vacation accumulation instead of sick leave, so that vacation earnings are not lost.

SICK FAMILY LEAVE:

A faculty member may use up to 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year to care for a sick family member. Family member as used in this policy shall be defined as those whom the employee considers as family. The care provided may include such activities as bed-side care, accompanying the family member to a doctor's appointment, and emotional support. (See also HRG11, Family and Medical Leave.)

ABSENCE FROM WORK FOR PREGNANCY OR CHILDBIRTH: 

Since faculty members in the University Libraries earn vacation time and have sick leave available to them, this time should be used in lieu of the time outlined in Guideline HRG18, Paid Parental Leave for Faculty. Faculty may use sick leave up to six weeks immediately following the birth of the child by the faculty member. Any leave desired beyond this would fall under the terms of HRG11, Family and Medical Leave.

NOTIFICATION AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS:

Owing to documentation requirements imposed by the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Dean’s role in granting medical leave, a faculty member shall notify his/her supervisor as soon as practically possible about medical absences. 

In order to ensure compliance with FMLA regulations, Libraries Human Resources shall be contacted by the faculty member or the faculty member’s immediate supervisor when any of the following occur:

  1. A faculty member has missed three consecutive days of work;
  2. A faculty member discloses a medical condition or indicates they are seeking diagnosis or treatment from a physician for a medical problem; or
  3. A faculty member continues to miss intermittent time over the course of a month.

Although faculty members do not accrue sick leave, they are expected to record short- and long-term absences on their attendance record.

FACULTY WHO BEGAN EMPLOYMENT WITH THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 4, 2002:

A faculty member who began continuous employment with the University Libraries prior to November 4, 2002, who retires on a pension, who is eligible for continuation of insurance into retirement shall receive an amount equal to a) twelve and one-half (12 1/2) days of pay or b) seventeen (17) days of pay if the employee's use in the preceding twelve (12) months has not exceeded twenty-five percent (25%) of the paid sick leave allowance (based on chart in "Long Term Absences" section).

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Guide


Effective Date: September 19, 2005
Date Approved: September 19, 2005 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • December 7, 2009 – Addition of guidelines on absences for childbirth; clarification of short- and long-term absences; sick family leave, and payout of sick leave for retiring faculty who began University Libraries' employment prior to November 4, 2002.  
  • August 8, 2006 – Editorial
  • September 19, 2005 – Addition of guidelines on length of paid leave based on length of continuous regular University service
  • November 4, 2002 – Supersedes February 1990 policy
  • February 1990 – New policy

Last Review Date:  December 2009