2,673: Sick, Family Sick, Child-Rearing, and Family Medical Leave

Revised: September 2017

General Provisions:

All faculty members on a full-time 12 month ("A" contract) or 9 month ("B" contract) accrue sick leave at the rate of two working days for each full calendar month of service. "A" and "B" contract faculty with a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) less than 1.0 accrue sick leave on a pro-rated basis. Sick leave accrual is credited on the last day of the month. Leave may not be taken in advance until it is accrued.

Sick Leave: Faculty Leave Accrual and Usage

Full-time academic and administrative faculty members on "A" or "B" contracts accrue sick leave up to 30 working days at full salary, available at any time during the initial 12 months of service. Beginning one year after the starting date of the initial contract, each full-time faculty member begins to accrue additional sick leave at the rate of two days for each full month of paid service. Faculty with less than 1.0 FTE on "A" or "B" contracts accrue a pro rata amount of sick leave upon hire and for each calendar month worked. Sick leave may be accrued from year to year, not to exceed 96 working days as of the first day of each fiscal year, and any sick leave in excess of 96 days if forfeited on that date. The maximum leave accrual for part-time faculty will be prorated based on the faculty member's FTE. Faculty members shall not be paid for any accrued sick leave upon termination of employment.

Sick leave may be taken for personal illness, disability, medical, optometric, or dental service or examinations, child-bearing or temporary disability upon the approval of the appointing authority. For absences of more than three consecutive days or if abuse is suspected, the appointing authority may require a faculty member to provide medical certification.

Any sick leave must be approved by the faculty member's supervisor. Sick leave for full-time faculty is used in increments of a half-day or full-day (see BOR Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 19). If a period shorter than one-half work day is used, the supervisor can require a half-day increment of sick leave be requested and deducted from the leave balance. However, sick leave may be used in one hour increments when it runs concurrently with approved intermittent Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Family Sick Leave

Up to 15 days of accrued sick leave per contract year may be used by faculty to care for or assist family members, in-laws, or step relatives within the third degree of consanguinity or relationship, or members of the faculty member's household.

Relationships within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity are defined as:

The employee's spouse, child, parent, sibling, half-sibling, or step-relatives in the same relationship;
The spouse of the employee's child, parent, sibling, half-sibling, or step-relative;
The employee's in-laws, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild or first cousin.

Family sick leave may be used for the following events: illness, injury, or medical, optometric or dental service or examinations. Requests for additional use beyond the - 15 days may be made in writing to the appointing authority. Approval is at the discretion of the appointing authority. The 15 day limit does not apply if the leave is approved under FMLA.

Family Death

Faculty may take up to 10 working days of accrued sick leave in the event of the death of a person listed in the paragraph above. Requests for use of additional leave beyond the 10 days may be made in writing to the appointing authority. Approval is at the discretion of the appointing authority.

Family and Medical Leave Act

A faculty member who qualifies under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during a "rolling" 12-month period. The period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any qualifying Family and Medical leave. To qualify, a faculty member must have been employed by the NSHE for at least 12 months and have been in paid status for a minimum of 60% FTE averaged over the 12-month period preceding the leave. While in FMLA status, all available paid sick and annual leave must be used before leave without pay. A faculty member may use FMLA leave for the birth of a child, and to care for the newborn child; for placement of a child with the faculty member for adoption or foster care; to care for the faculty member's spouse, parent or child with a serious health condition; or because the faculty member is unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of his/her job due to of a serious health condition. If a faculty member must take unpaid leave under FMLA, the employer is required to maintain the faculty member's health insurance coverage for the timeframe represented by the FMLA leave.

Child Rearing Leave - Additional unpaid leave directly related to the birth, placement of a child with the faculty member for adoption or foster care, or child-rearing of a child who is a member of the employee's household shall be granted to either parent, upon request and approval by the president, up to a maximum of one year. In an event that a faculty member still has sick leave balances available, sick leave will not be applicable to a child rearing leave. During unpaid leave the University will not maintain the faculty's health insurance coverage, unless the unpaid leave is approved under the FMLA. The University guarantees that the faculty member will return to his or her original position, or if the original position no longer exists, to a comparable position, without loss of seniority or other benefits.

Unpaid Sick Leave

If a faculty member has been employed for less than 12 consecutive months, and has exhausted all accumulated annual and paid sick leave, the president may approve an employee request for unpaid sick leave not to exceed three months. If the employee is unable to return to work after this unpaid leave, the appointment shall be terminated (Board of Regents Handbook Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 5.10). If employment is terminated under these circumstances, the provisions of Title 2, Chapter 6, of the Board of Regents Handbook do not apply.

See the Board of Regents Handbook (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 19) for additional detail.