Sick Leave

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HOW DOES PSU’S SICK LEAVE POLICY APPLY TO THE CURRENT COVID-19 OUTBREAK?

Absences from work related to the current COVID-19 outbreak may qualify for PSU sick leave usage for a number of different reasons including illness of yourself or other family members, but also for other public health reasons. 

On March 7th, Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Accordingly, for purposes of the PSU Sick Leave Policy, the current COVID-19 situation qualifies as a public health emergency. As such, sick leave can be used for absences including closure of a child’s school or daycare, recommended self-isolation by public health authorities such as in cases of exposure or other situations including (but not limited to)  those listed in the policy (excerpt provided below). 

PSU Sick Leave Policy Section 1.5 

"In the event of a public health emergency, including closure of the employee’s place of business or closure of the employee’s child’s school or daycare, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, to provide self-care or care for a family member if the presence of the employee or family member in the community would jeopardize the health of others as determined by a public health authority or by a health care provider; or if the employee is excluded from work by law due to health reasons."

Importantly, please communicate with your supervisor to the extent possible regarding absences.

Information about how to report sick or other leave can be found on HR's Time off & Leaves web page.

For information about extended periods of leave beyond the CDC's recommended 14- day isolation, please contact PSU's HR Leave & Accommodation team (Leaves@pdx.edu) or see our additional information online at: https://pdx.edu/human-resources/fmlaofla 

As an additional possibility, a telework (remote work) arrangement may be available depending on your condition & responsibilities, the nature of your specific work and the needs of your business unit. If so, please speak with your supervisor about whether this may be an option for you.

If you have any additional questions or need any clarification, please contact PSU Human Resources at askhrc@pdx.edu.

updated 3/11/20

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Employee Eligibility and Accrual

All PSU employees accrue sick leave at a rate determined by their position type. Employees accrue sick leave on a monthly basis beginning with date of hire, and prorated during the first month. Sick leave accrues on the last day of the month/pay period and is available for use the first day of the next month.

Accrual Schedule by Employee Type

Employee Type Accruals
Classified—Full Time* 8 hours per month
Classified—Part Time* Prorated accrual of 8 hours per month based on actual hours worked.
Unclassified—12 month term of service* 8 hours per month, prorated based on FTE.
Unclassified—9 month term of service* 8 hours per month, prorated based on hours paid.
Part-time employees: PSUFA-represented faculty, graduate assistants, academic wage, temporary staff**, student employees, IATSE, and other employees with appointment less than .50 FTE, and not benefits-eligible 1 hour sick leave per 30 hours worked

Sick Leave Policy & FAQs

*Any leave without pay during the month will reduce the amount of sick leave accrued for that month, including any periods of leave without pay, sabbatical leave, and educational leave.

**A temporary employee appointed to a classified position in the same university without a break-in-service of more than 15 calendar days shall accrue sick leave credits from the initial date of appointment to the temporary position. 


 

Wait Period and Maximum Balance

  • Sick leave accrues on the last day of the month/pay period and is available for use the first day of the next month. 
  • There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that may be accrued.

 

Scheduling and Use of Sick Leave

Sick leave time off is available and must be used for any period of absence from employment which is due to the employee's illness, injury, disability resulting from pregnancy, necessity for medical or dental care, exposure to contagious disease. Other uses of leave, may include:

  • Attendance upon members of the employee's immediate family (employee's parents, spouse, children, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or another member of the immediate household) where employee's presence is required because of illness.
  • Unclassified employees may use sick leave in the event of a death in the immediate family of the employee or the employee's spouse.
  • Classified employees may use sick leave for attendance at an employee assistance program appointment.
  • After all earned sick leave has been exhausted employees may request, in cases of illness, to use other paid leave they may have available.
  • Anticipated doctor or dentist appointments:
    • Scheduled in advance cooperatively with the approval of the employee's supervisor.
    • Should be scheduled in such a manner as to minimize the disruption to the operations of the department and organization, within reasonable supervisory discretion.
    • Each department may establish guidelines for employees in addition to this in order to meet customer service and operational needs of the department.

Certain absences that exceed three (3) consecutive days of absence may be protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA).

  • The University may require a physician's certificate to support the sick leave claim for absences whether covered under the leave program or in relation to the use of sick leave.
  • The University may also require a physician's certificate to certify that returning to work would not be detrimental to the employee or to others before allowing an employee to return to work.
  • For additional information on FMLA/OFLA benefits and required procedures, refer to Family Medical Leave.

 

Recordkeeping

Employees must record and submit usage of sick leave accurately on the applicable timesheet and/or leave roster within established payroll deadlines.


 

Sick Leave without Pay

The University may grant sick leave without pay for up to a year when the employee has used all accrued sick leave with pay.

  • This process is coordinated with University FMLA/OFLA leaves where applicable.
  • The employee must submit a written request by completing the Request for Leave Form and shall be required to submit a physician's certificate.
  • Extensions beyond one year may be granted on a year-by-year basis.
  • The decision to grant sick leave without pay for an Unclassified employee is made by the President or his/her designee. For Classified employees, the decision is made by the University or the administrator.

 

Leave Donations and Borrowing

Classified employees, with the exception of those receiving Workers' Compensation or who are on parental leave, who have exhausted all paid leave accruals are eligible to receive donations under the Hardship Leave provision of the collective bargaining agreement. This provision allows employees within the bargaining unit at the university to donate accrued vacation leave for use by eligible recipients as sick leave.

  • To apply for this benefit, the employee must request the leave in writing to the Office of Human Resources. A written statement from the treating physician must be submitted with the request certifying that the illness or injury will continue for at least thirty days following the employee's exhaustion of accumulated leave.
  • If a medical certification is already on file with the Office of Human Resources, an additional certification is not required.
  • Donated leave may be used intermittently. Hardship leave donations are credited at the recipient's current regular hourly rate of pay.

To make an irrevocable leave donation, complete the Hardship Leave Donation Form. For additional information, see the SEIU collective bargaining agreement.

Unclassified employees may access unearned sick leave advance up to 520 hours in a seven-year period to provide for up to 90 calendar days of absence due to illness or injury through a combination of accrued and advanced sick leave. Full-time benefits eligible unclassified employees are entitled to receive a sick-leave-with-pay advance as needed to provide the difference between sick leave earned as of the onset of the illness or injury and 520 hours. This amount is prorated based on an employee's FTE for part-time benefits eligible unclassified staff.

  • As sick leave is earned, the amount shall replace any sick leave advanced until all advanced time is replaced with earned time. More than one sick leave advance is possible as long as the total advance does not exceed 520 hours during a seven-year period.
  • Sick leave that may have been advanced, but was unused, cannot be considered for the purposes of computing retirement benefits.
  • Employees on a fixed-term appointment cannot receive an advance that extends beyond the end date of the fixed-term appointment except upon written approval of the President or designee.

 

Inter-Institutional and Inter-Agency Transfers

When an eligible Unclassified or Classified employee transfers to another benefits-eligible position within the University, State of Oregon, or other Public University, the employee shall transfer all accrued sick leave to the new position, provided the break-in-service does not exceed two years and the receiving institution's policy allows it. When accruals are different between agencies, please refer to the collective bargaining agreement for clarification on the "assumption of Sick Leave" accruals for Classified employees.

An employee who separates employment is not entitled to compensation for unused sick leave except in the calculation of the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) retirement benefit as provided in ORS 237.153.


 

Integration with Worker's Compensations

Sick leave may be used as outlined here when an illness or injury has been determined to be job-related if the employee elects to utilize accrued sick leave. Sick leave is available in the amount equal to the difference between the Workers' Compensation benefit for lost time and the employee's regular salary rate. In such instances, prorated charges will be made against the accrued sick leave account. An employee may not receive salary and workers' compensation benefits that exceed the employee's regular pay. The University may promptly recover any salary overpayment through payroll deduction or by cash payment according to existing procedures.


 

Additional References