Payroll and Employee Benefits
Sick leave - Unclassified Employees
Full time twelve month employees receive 15 sick days per calendar year. Full time ten month employees receive 12.5 sick days per calendar year. Part-time employees earn sick time at a rate proportionate to their assigned hours. Sick leave may be utilized by employees when they are unable to report to work due to personal illness, accident or exposure to contagious disease, and/or for medical appointments when such appointments cannot be scheduled after working hours. Sick leave may also be used to attend to members of the immediate family who are ill and/or in instances of death in the employee's immediate family.
For purposes of attending to a family member who is ill, medical documentation must be provided verifying that the employee's assistance was essential to the family member's well being. For purposes of using sick leave due to death in the immediate family the New Jersey Department of Personnel defines immediate family members as "father, mother, mother-in-law father-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, spouse, child, foster child, sister or brother of the employee". It shall also include relatives of the employee's household who are living with the employee.
Personal doctor visits which can be arranged during non-working hours, taking family members to the doctor for non-emergency tests or check-ups, or serving as a nurse or housekeeper are not considered appropriate uses of sick leave.
All unused sick leave shall accumulate from year to year to be used if and when needed. An employee shall not be reimbursed for accrued sick leave at the time of termination of his/her employment except upon retirement. (Faculty are not eligible for retirement sick leave.)
An employee who has been re-employed shall be credited with the total accrued sick leave at the termination of his/her previous State employment. Documentation of prior sick leave is the responsibility of the employee.
Authorization for Sick Leave Use
If it is necessary for an employee to use sick leave, the supervisor shall be notified promptly at the employee's usual reporting time, except in those work situations where notice must be made prior to the employee's starting time.
An employee who is on sick leave absence for five or more consecutive working days must submit to the Payroll and Employee Benefits Office acceptable medical evidence substantiating the illness. Employees may also be required to submit proof of illness or injury:
- when there is reason to believe that an employee is abusing sick leave, or
- when an employee has been absent on sick leave for any aggregate of more than 15 days in a 12-month period.
When an illness is of a chronic or recurring nature causing occasional absences of one day or less, one proof of illness shall be required for every six month period. The proof of illness must specify the nature of the illness and that it is likely to cause periodic absences from employment.
At the discretion of the supervisor, a doctor's certificate may be requested for illness immediately preceding or immediately following a holiday.
Failure to provide appropriate medical documentation in any of the above circumstances may result in the denial of sick leave for an absence and constitute cause for disciplinary action.
Employees submitting a medical note should ensure that the note contains the following information:
- the date the employee was seen by the doctor;
- the date(s) the employee was out or will be out;
- the expected date of return;
- the reason for the absence and/or the nature of the illness;
- a statement from the doctor that the employee is unable to carry out expected duties.
Any medical excuse not containing this information will be returned for the necessary details.
Procedures for Applying Faculty Sick Leave
Faculty sick leave should be charged in the following manner:
- In instances where the faculty member's period of medical leave includes intermittent days on which classes are and are not scheduled, the leave shall consist of the entire number of days in question. For example: Professor A has classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Professor A is ill on Wednesday and Friday during a particular week. Professor A is then charged sick leave for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. However, if Professor A is only out sick on Wednesday and has no college responsibilities on Tuesday and Thursday, then he is only charged sick leave for Wednesday.
In items 2-3 below, medical documentation is required excusing the employee from work and returning them to work while on a medical leave of absence.
- In the event that a faculty member is required to take a medical leave of absence for an entire academic year, and he/she has enough earned sick leave for the entire academic year, the faculty member will be charged sick time for the number of days classes are in session during the Fall and Spring semester. Holidays for which the entire University is closed are not, however, to be charged as sick time. A faculty member would receive holiday pay for the following: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King's Day, Good Friday, and Memorial Day.
- In the event that a faculty member is required to take a medical leave of absence for either the Fall or Spring academic semester and he/she has earned enough sick leave to apply during the semester, he/she will be charged sick leave through the last day of the semester. Should the individual provide medical documentation that he/she can return to work prior to the end of the semester, the University must make arrangements for the employee to work. The employee is not to be charged sick leave for the following holidays: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King's Day, Good Friday and Memorial Day. They also should not be charged during winter and spring breaks.