Academic Sick Leave Policy

General Policy Statement 

The University of Illinois System provides eligible faculty, academic professional employees, and other academics (with the exception of those noted below under “Accruals”) cumulative and non-cumulative sick leave for illness of, injury to, or need to obtain medical or dental consultation for the employee, employee's spouse, civil union partner, same-sex domestic partner, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, and members of the employee's household. "Children" include biological, adopted, foster, stepchildren, legal wards, children for which an employee is standing in loco parentis, and children who are members of the employee's household. "Parent" is defined as a biological parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor.

Sick leave may also be used for pregnancy or following the birth or adoption of a child to care for that child, not to exceed 12 weeks. The use of accrued sick leave for Family and Medical Leave purposes does not extend the 12-week Family and Medical Leave entitlement. To verify in loco parentis, employees should complete the “Verification of In Loco Parentis Status” form and submit the form to human resources.

Cumulative sick leave may be utilized for either (1) sick leave in accordance with this policy or (2) for establishing service credit in the State Universities Retirement System.  

Eligibility

Cumulative and non-cumulative sick leave benefits are provided to faculty, academic professional employees, and other academics (with the exception of those noted below under “Accruals”) who are participants in the State Universities Retirement System or, if applicable, the Federal Retirement System, and who are appointed for at least 50 percent time to a position for which service is expected to be rendered for at least nine consecutive months.  

Accruals

Eligible academic employees will earn cumulative sick leave of 12 work days for each academic year, the unused portion of which shall accumulate without maximum.  If these 12 days are fully utilized in any academic year, up to 13 additional non-cumulative workdays will be available for extended sick leave in that academic year for those employees appointed for at least 50 percent time.  No part of the 13 days shall be cumulative or eligible for payment.   

In the case of an appointment for less than a full academic year, and in the case of a part-time appointment, the 12 days cumulative and the 13 days noncumulative leave shall be prorated.

Postdoctoral research associates, SURS annuitants, and other faculty, academic professional employees, and academics who are not participants in the State Universities or Federal Retirement Systems, and those who are appointed for less than 50 percent time and/or for less than nine consecutive months earn non-cumulative sick leave only.  

Employees eligible for non-cumulative sick leave only earn sick leave of 13 work days for each appointment year, no part of which will be cumulative,  The 13 days will be prorated for those on part-time appointments, or on appointments for less than a full appointment year.

Sick Leave Accrued between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1997

Under the Public Act 90-65 and actions of the Board of Trustees, one-half of the number of days of unused sick leave earned and accumulated between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1997, is eligible for payment upon an employee's death, retirement, resignation, or other termination of employment.

Unused sick leave earned by faculty, academic professional employees, and other academics between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1997, has been accumulated, up to a maximum of 240 work days, and upon termination of employment, an employee may designate the portion of the accumulation to be paid pursuant to Public Act 90-65 (up to one-half of balance), and the remainder thereof will be utilized for establishing service credit in the State Universities Retirement System.  All cumulative, non-compensable sick leave is to be utilized in full prior to any utilization of January 1, 1984 through December 31, 1997 accumulations.

Faculty, academic professional employees, and other academics who, on December 31, 1983, had an unused balance of accumulated sick leave, retained the same to a maximum of 180 work days, which was added to any cumulative sick leave earned on or after January 1, 1984.  

In the event the 25 days of earned and extended sick leave described above, or any proration thereof, are exhausted in an academic year, any balance of leave accumulated before January 1, 1984, will be available for use. After that amount is depleted, any balance of sick leave accumulated on or after January 1, 1998 will be used.  After that amount is depleted any balance of sick leave accumulated between January 1, 1984, and December 31, 1997 will be used.

Additional Leave

Each university has the ability to provide a university Shared Benefits program that allows for donation of sick and/or vacation leave and a method for requesting additional sick leave from the program.  Employees should consult with the appropriate university or system human resource office for details on Shared Benefits.

A faculty, academic professional employee, or other academic employee who has completed at least three full years of service and has exhausted all cumulative sick leave (both compensable and non-compensable) and all non-cumulative sick leave, as well as any applicable shared benefits leave, subject to the approval of the president, or chancellor/vice president as appropriate, may be granted noncumulative sick leave with full pay for a period (including the annual and extended leaves and accumulations described above) not to exceed one half of the employee’s appointment year.  

Reporting

Reporting of sick leave for faculty, academic professional employees, and other academics occurs bi-annually, in May and August. Reporting is handled at the department/college level, and may occur more often based on departmental procedures.

Termination

When employees leave the University of Illinois System before the completion of their contract, sick leave must be prorated for the portion of the year worked.  If, at the date of termination, employees have used more sick leave than they have earned, the value of the unearned days used will be deducted from the employee's final paycheck unless there is sufficient vacation leave to apply to those absences. If the repayment amount is not deducted from the final check, an employee will be required to reimburse the University of Illinois System for the value of the used unearned days.

Restoration of Prior Sick Leave

Faculty, academic professional employees, and other academics who return to University of Illinois System employment within two years of an earlier separation from University of Illinois employment may be eligible for restoration of prior sick leave. Upon return, the employee must be eligible for accrued cumulative sick leave under this policy. Upon request, any accrued sick leave that was not used to establish service credit with the State Universities Retirement System or paid out at the time of separation, may be restored.

Transfer of Sick Leave

Benefit eligible employees who transfer from a State agency or other institution subject to SUCSS may request to have sick leave transferred to the University of Illinois System. In order to request a transfer, a break in service between leaving the prior state agency/institution and joining the University of Illinois System cannot be greater than 120 days. The employee should contact the appropriate office at the prior agency/institution who can verify leave information and complete the Request to Transfer Cumulative/Noncompensable Sick Leave form.

Request to Transfer Cumulative/Noncompensible Sick Leave

The University of Illinois System does not accept compensable sick leave from other agencies/institutions. Employees should have been paid out for any remaining compensable sick leave at the time of separation. Noncompensable sick leave can be transferred and will be credited to the employee's noncompensable balance at the University of Illinois System. Transfer of vacation is not accepted at the University of Illinois System.

Change from a Sick Leave Benefit-Eligible Position to a Non-Benefit Eligible Position

Accrued but unused cumulative sick leave in a sick leave benefit-eligible position shall be forfeited if an employee moves to a position that is not eligible for cumulative sick leave. If the employee has a compensable sick leave balance and eligible for a 50% payout, the payout shall be processed at the time of moving to a non-benefit eligible position.

Executive Order 13706

Executive Order 13706 requires certain employers who contract with the federal government to provide their employees with up to fifty-six (56) hours (seven workdays) of paid sick leave annually, including for family care and absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Accordingly, employees performing work on or in connection with a federal contract that is covered by Executive Order 13706 and who are not otherwise eligible for sick leave benefits will be paid sick leave benefits in accordance with the terms of that Executive Order.  The Department of Labor has noted that federal grants are excluded from the coverage of Executive Order 13706, as well as employees who perform work in connection with covered contracts for less than twenty percent (20%) of their hours worked in a particular workweek.  

The University of Illinois System may limit the amount of paid sick leave employees (not otherwise eligible for sick leave benefits) may accrue under Executive Order 13706 to 56 hours each year, but must permit those employees to carry over accrued, unused sick leave from one year to the next.  The University of Illinois System also may limit the amount of paid sick leave employees have accrued to under Executive Order 13706 to 56 hours at any point in time.  

Employees entitled to sick leave under Executive Order 13706 may use that leave for an absence resulting from (1) physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition of the employee, (2) obtaining diagnosis, care, or preventative care from a health care provider by the employee, (3) caring for the medical needs of any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the staff member is the equivalent of a family relationship, or (4)  domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the absence is for the purposes of medical care, to obtain additional counseling, seek relocation, seek assistance from a victim services organization, take legal action, or to assist the staff member’s child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the staff member is the equivalent of a family relationship in engaging in any of those activities.

Policy Information

Policy Title: Academic Sick Leave Policy
Policy Owner: System Human Resource Services
Date Approved: 12/16/2020