Sick Leave provides you with income protection during times of illness or for routine doctor’s appointments. You can request your sick leave for...
• Personal illness or disability
• Absence needed because of exposure to contagious disease when exposure endangers the health of others
• Dental or medical care
• Absence due to dental or medical care, illness, accident, or death in your immediate family which requires your presence
Immediate family means your spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister. It also includes anyone else who lives with you and is recognized by law as your dependent.
You earn 15 days (or 3 weeks) of sick leave each year at the rate of 10 hours per month. The amount of sick leave you earn does not increase with your years of service. Because sick leave is meant to be income protection in case of long-term illness or disability, you can save up to 90 days (720 hours). Anything over 90 days is forfeited. When you leave state employment, or retire, you will not be paid for your sick leave balance. However, saving your sick leave can benefit you in three ways:
- Free short-term disability insurance. Your sick leave balance protects your income during illnesses or disabilities for up to 90 days. This is full income protection. Although you can purchase short-term disability insurance through your flexible benefits program, there is a 30-day waiting period before you could receive a portion of your salary.
- Free long-term disability insurance. Although you forfeit any hours you earn over 720 (90 days), your department will keep track of your forfeited leave. In the case of a long-term illness or disability, your forfeited sick leave could be restored to you on an “as needed “ basis. Again, this would be full income protection. The long-term disability insurance that you purchase through your flexible benefits program has a 180-day waiting period before you could receive a portion of your salary.
- For members of the Employees’ Retirement System, forfeited sick leave can be used to extend your service time making it possible to retire earlier.