X-37 Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Staff


NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty
and Unclassified Staff

I. Purpose and Scope: This procedure outlines the method for participating in the Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Staff.

II. Reference: Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana Systems Policy, Northwestern State University Policy and Procedure La. Revised Statutes: 42:441 through 42:447

III. Procedure:

Board of Supervisors for the
University of Louisiana Systems Authority

System institutions and System staff may participate in a program of Shared Sick Leave that complies with System management policies and procedures. The campus policy shall be provided to the System Office for staff approval prior to implementation.

Definitions

Shared Sick Leave is leave hours donated by faculty and/or unclassified staff into a shared leave pool to be used by fellow faculty and/or unclassified staff who are suffering from their own serious health conditions which has caused or is likely to cause the employee to take leave without pay or to terminate employment. Faculty and/or unclassified employees may irrevocably donate sick leave to the shared sick leave pool.

Serious Health Condition (Family Medical Leave Act) is an illness, impairment, physical or mental condition, or injury caused by a serious accident on or off the job that involves:

1. Any period of incapacity or treatment in connection with or consequent to inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential care facility;

2. Any period of incapacity requiring absence from work, school, or other regular daily activities of more than three calendar days, that also involves continuing treatment by (or under supervision of) a health care provider;

3. Continuing treatment by (or under supervision of) a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable or so serious that, if not treated, would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three calendar days.

Voluntary or cosmetic treatments (such as most treatment for orthodontia or acne) that are not medically necessary are not "serious health conditions", unless inpatient hospital care is required. Restorative dental surgery after an accident, or removal of Cancerous growths are serious health conditions provided any of the other conditions are met (1,2, or 3). Treatment for allergies or stress, or for substance abuse, are serious health conditions if any of the other conditions are met (1,2, or 3). Prenatal care is included as a serious health condition. Routine preventive physical examinations are excluded.

Shared Leave for Faculty and Unclassified Employees

A. Shared leave shall be applied for by the employee and may be taken only when recommended by the Review Committee and approved by the campus president or his/her designee. The supervising health care provider must provide written documentation of the need for leave. The Review Committee may choose to require an opinion from another health care provider, especially for extended leaves.

B. To be eligible to participate in the Shared Sick Leave Program an employee shall:
1. be full-time faculty or unclassified staff member who is eligible to earn sick leave,
2. have completed at least: (a) one academic year of service with the University if employed on an academic year (9 months) basis, or (b) one fiscal year of service with the institution if employed on a 12 month basis,
3. have made contribution of at least one (1) day of sick leave to the shared sick leave pool as a prerequisite to apply to use sick leave from the pool, and
4. have used all his/her sick, annual, and compensatory leave before requesting sick leave from the pool.

C. Participants shall retain three (3) sick days (24 hours) at all times for personal use. Employees shall not be permitted to donate to the program if they have less than three (3) days (24hours) of sick leave. No employee who participates in the program may contribute more than two (2) days (16 hours) of their accrued sick leave every three (3) years unless the employee voluntarily makes a one-time donation of up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave at the very beginning of the program.

Since it is the intent of this policy to encourage participation in the program, if an employee wishes to contribute up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of the program, this one-time donation of 40 hours equates to seven (7) years of service. If the contributing employee were to be employed beyond seven years from the initial donation, he or she would need to continue to contribute as the policy states, or with another lump sum donation to remain a participant in the program.

D. Employees who use sick leave from the shared sick leave pool shall not be expected to pay it back.

E. Donations come from a participating employee's accrued "sick" leave only. Donations from an employee's accrued "annual" leave is not permitted.

F. Donations shall only be allowed to the Shared Sick Leave Program pool and not to an individual participating employee.

G. Northwestern State University limits the number of days a participating employee can draw from the Program to 22 days (176 hours) per fiscal year and is limited to 100 days (800 hours) per employee's total participation in the program. (The intent of this policy is to assist an employee's return to the workplace, not substitute for a long-term disability insurance policy).

H. Days/hours shall be transferred from the pool as they are used.

I. Employees receiving workers' compensation or benefits from a long-term disability insurance policy are not eligible to withdraw leave from the pool.

Northwestern State University Procedures

A. The adoption of this Shared Sick Leave Policy or any subsequent to this policy shall not create a legal entitlement.

B. A Review Committee shall be appointed by the University President. This Committee shall consist of two (2) members of the University Benefits Committee, three (3) members-at-large selected by the Faculty Senate and two (2) ex-officio non-voting members, the Director of Human Resources and the Payroll Supervisor. One member appointed from the Benefits Committee shall serve as Chairman. The members appointed from the University Benefits Committee shall be in the unclassified state service. The members appointed shall be eligible for participation in the Program.

C. The Policy, along with Request for Donations (Attachment #1) will be issued to all eligible faculty and unclassified employees after the Policy is approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University System of Louisiana. After the initial Policy notification. All Request for Donations will be routed through the donating employee's supervisor/budget unit head to the Business Affairs-Payroll Section. The donation of leave will be monitored annually.

D. Application for Use of Shared Sick Leave Pool (Attachment #2) shall be sent directly to the Office of the President, Northwestern State University. The Review Committee will review all requests and make a recommendation to the President or his/her designee.

E. Upon approval, to simplify record keeping, sick leave will be converted on an hour for hour basis regardless of the value of the leave being donated or received. Sick leave will be transferred from the pool as it is needed on a per payroll basis. Sick leave from the pool shall be granted on a first come, first serve basis with seniority with Northwestern being the tie breaker.

F. If the University Chooses to end the Shared Sick Leave Program, any accrued leave in the pool will continue to be used until depleted.

To Participate in the Program

Note: To be eligible to participate in the Shared Sick Leave Program an employee shall:

1. Be a full-time faculty or unclassified staff member who is eligible to earn sick leave.

2. Have completed at least: (a) one academic year of service with the University if employed on an academic year (9 month) basis, or (b) one fiscal year of service with the institution if employed on a 12 month basis.

3. Participants shall retain three (3) sick days (24 hours) at all times for personal use.

4. Have made contribution of at least one (1) day of sick leave to the shared sick leave pool as a prerequisite to apply to use sick leave from the pool. Employees that participate in the program may not contribute more than two (2) days (16 hours) of their accrued sick leave every three (3) years unless the employee voluntarily makes a one-time donation of up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave at the very beginning of the program.

5. Have used all his/her sick, annual, and compensatory leave before requesting sick leave from the pool.

6. The University limits the number of days a participating employee can draw from the Program to 22 days (176 hours)per fiscal year and is limited to 100 days (800 hours) per employee's total participation in the Program.

7. Employees receiving workers' compensation or benefits from a long-term disability insurance policy are not eligible to withdraw leave from the pool.

To Donate Leave

Faculty/Unclassified Employee

1. Complete "Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Employees - Leave Donation Form" (Attachment #1) and forwards to supervisor or Budget Unit Head.

Supervisor/Budget Unit Head

2. Receives completed "Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Employees - Leave Donation Form" (Attachment #1) from employee and forwards to Business Affairs - Payroll Section.

Application for Use of Shared Sick Leave Pool

Faculty/Unclassified Employee

1. Complete "Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Employees - Application for Use of Shared Sick Leave Pool" (Attachment #2) and send to the president's designee, Director of Human Resources.

President's Designee Director of Human Resources

2. Receives "Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Employees - Application for Use of Shared Sick Leave Pool" (Attachment #2) from employee and forwards to the Review Committee.

Review Committee

3. Receives "Shared Sick Leave Program for Faculty and Unclassified Employees - Application for Use of Shared Sick Leave Pool" for review. Committee reviews request and makes recommendation to the President's designee.

President's Designee

4. Receives recommendation for use of shared sick leave pool from the Review Committee. Notifies employee of Committee decision, with copy going to Business Affairs - Payroll Section.